NHTE 165 Brian Fitzy AND Mark Wood

Brian Fitzy and then Mark Wood each performed and then sat down for these interviews during the Winter 2017 NAMM show in California. Fitzy is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer, and composer who is releasing a new album. He has performed at venues ranging from Madison Square Garden in New York to the Staples Center in Los Angeles, plus, as talked about during this interview, he appeared with the Foo Fighters on the 50th Grammy Awards. He talks about his extensive use of looping technology too. Mark Wood is a recording artist, performer, producer, inventor, Emmy-winning composer, and music education advocate. He has been called the “Les Paul of the violin world, did TV broadcast music for the Winter Olympics and Tour de France, appeared alongside Lenny Kravitz, Celine Dion, and Kanye West, and toured with Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Steven Tyler, and Roger Daltry. Plus, he has played at Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, and Shea Stadium, and also talks on this interview about the Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp & Festival.

Show Quotes: 


“When I decided to make a foray into looping – which was out of necessity ‘cause just touring with a band, logistically, getting all the schedules coordinated, getting the caliber of musician that I needed that’s not at a point in their life where they can just go off for a month/two months, and just trying to sort all those variables out was really challenging and – fortunately looping technology got to where it is and I was able to come up with a way to make it work for me.”

“It’s really exciting that doing what I love is giving me the opportunity to go so many places and meet so many people.  The energy you get from playing for people and then talking with people, it’s a scene where everybody’s coming from somewhere else, everyone has different experiences and all that is just what makes doing this so great.”

“I kinda felt that there was a disconnect with an audience when you’re seated, especially, the larger the venue the more disconnected you are ‘cause everyone else is standing and you’re this guy up on stage sitting on a stool, it’s just, it’s weird.”

“…some really cool opportunities.  It’s really funny to – and I guess a favorite of mine – that I’ll have these nights where I’ll get to do something like that where’s it’s just epic and it’s the highlight of maybe the entire year and then maybe the following night I’m playing a place with, like, 30 people, but, like, max capacity 30 people and I really like that up and down, it makes it more exciting maybe.”

“It doesn’t really matter the size of the audience, to me it’s how many people I can connect with.”


“I’m Julliard trained, classical trained, and when I heard Hendrix and Clapton and Van Halen (I thought), ‘I could do that, but I have a bow not a pick,’ … but by my ears picked up on these guitar players doing astounding things with music, but a lot of it was distortion too and we found with a bow we were able to sustain those notes longer… So I realized that this instrument actually is far better suited for rock and roll than a guitar.”

“I really believe that musicians need to be the focal point of musical instruments.  Like, Jimi Hendrix sells guitars, not Fender.  I think it’s important that musicians are the driving force.”

“We are having our moment.  Years ago, 40 years ago Woodstock happened, we had, nobody knew the guitar as a lead instrument, and Woodstock changed everything.  We are having Mark Wood-stock right now with electric violins being the new revolutionary instrument.”

“We want to have a home, a special, safe home for young musicians to develop creativity.”

“My son… now he’s Shania Twain’s drummer, he plays with Gwen Stefani, and he just turned 21.  He’s awesome.”

Songs on this episode: 

Brian Fitzy
“Kickin You Out” (live)
“Dream” (live)

Mark Wood
(live) “Crazy Train” (Ozzy Osbourne)
(live) “Any Way You Want It” (Journey)