Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Linzi Stoppard & FUSE Electric Violin Act

Greetings all! The Starboots blog is our new blog showcasing stars from around the world. Today I present Linzi Stoppard & FUSE Electric Violin Act. "Exciting", "dynamic" and "extraordinary" are words often overused in the entertainment industry, but having listened to Fuse's new single, "Ignite the Fuse" I think they apply in spades.
So, what is FUSE Electric Violin Act? It's a rock electric string due made up of Linzi Stoppard and Ben Lee. Oh, and "fabulous" is another word that comes to mind... and again I mean that literally. There's something magical about the sound of crystal violins. Yes, that's right... they play genuine crystal violins. I could hardly believe it either.

Here's what Linzi has to say to my five inquisitive questions.

Linzi and Ben
Q. Fuse is an exciting and unusual act. Could you tell me a little about how the two of you got the band together? 

A. Originally I was a solo artist performing at many events worldwide. My show was a concept which I developed with my management team. I soon realised I wanted to push the boundaries of my productions and sounds. I needed some outside input. Through my teams music network we eventually whittled it down to 2 people who a) had live music production experience and b) could play violin so would have understanding about what I needed. We chose Ben Lee. To begin with. Ben was my executive producer and help develop the live experience of my shows. We worked on this for about 6 months and then completely out of the blue, one day in rehearsal the idea of FUSE was born. To give the show more dynamics and more depth we talked about having another violinist for some of the tracks. At first we were thinking about a girl but then it soon became obvious that Ben was the perfect candidate - we had the same ambition and vision, it would make us the only girl-boy duo around and our sound was ahead of the curve. FUSE was born. 

Q. What's the deal with the crystal violins? Whose idea was this, and how did you go about bringing it to reality? 

A. These violins are the only ones in existence - actually sponsored by Swarovski, made from platinum grade Austrian crystal, 50,000 per violin, each individually hand applied. It all came about quite organically. FUSE performed at a charity event which was sponsored by Swarovski and some of their pieces of bejewelled art was on display at the venue. When I saw what they could do I knew immediately - we should collaborate and create a one-off pair of FUSE Signature Swarovski Crystal violins. It so happened that all the key decision makers were at the event and saw us perform. They were immediately taken by FUSE’s fresh, contemporary and unique style and sound. It was a perfect marriage. We proposed the idea to create these real working examples of art which FUSE would use for their performances around the world and launch them to the media at a key site (which turned out to be the world famous Harrods store). At the time Ben had bright blonde platinum hair so we made him a black hematite crystal violin, and I had dark hair so decided on iridescent white crystal. The yin and yang of the violin world!
Q. Your new single, Ignite the Fuse is unlike anything I have ever heard before. Who wrote the piece and who did the arrangement? 
The new single

A.This came about because we wanted to try something a bit different. We released an album of rock anthems. Previously we had all played the classical crossover cliches so we wanted something that was a bit different, a bit dancy, a bit clubby, and influences of dubstep. That was our starting point. We work really well as a team in our studio HQ, and it’s not just Ben and I. Our manager has a decent creative input as well. He always has his eyes and ears on the end goal - Between the 3 of us we decided on the sound an direction add in a couple of references and then we were left to find the magic combination. The video we ended up with also definitely helps, it captured the true essence of the track really well so we ended up with a complete 360 degree package..we don’t like standing still so we are already working on the next concept…

Q. Do you consider yourselves primarily a recording or performing (live) act? 

A. In today’s market you can’t get away with being one or the other. If you want to do more than tread water you have to be both so FUSE and our team have always made sure we give equal attention to both. We love being in the studio, being creative, spinning around different ideas. We usually demo 2 albums worth of track to end up with 12-14 track we are happy and proud of. And then at the other end of the scale is the live - this is where we can experiment with some of track and see if they work and our fans like them - This has been really useful as the fans know best, you must listen to them. The other side of live is the energy and the opportunity to express who you are and what your music stands for. It is an unrivalled way to connect with people - You are locked onto them and they are locked on to you. Nothing outside of that moment can get between you and interrupt that magically connection. It’s exhilarating. "

Q. What's next for Linzi Stoppard & FUSE Electric Violin Act? 

A. New musical directions, new live productions for our shows, and of course a new violin concepts. We did it with the only official and true working examples of the crystal violins, then the world’s first ever 24carat golden violins and now we are working on the logical next step. It is going to be very different but if we pull these off it will be extraordinary! 

Thanks, Linzi for an exhilarating interview. Now, head over to the official Linzi Stoppard & FUSE Electric Violin Act official site here or visit the Youtube site at http://www.youtube.com/user/fusemusicuk For the new single go directly here