Electric Violinists Linzi Stoppard and FUSE
Electric Violinist Linzi Stoppard Daily Telegraph interview about FUSE eponymous album:
Rock and the violin have enjoyed a hesitant history. The poor fiddle rarely gets to be a lead rock instrument – that’s the guitar’s job. From George Martin through Nick Drake to Guy Chambers and Robbie Williams, it has been relegated to sweetening and thickening a tune.
Or providing arty texture (Roxy Music), folksy trimmings (the Corrs) or jazzy depth (Jean-Luc Ponty).
Now one band aims to elbow the guitarists offstage. Fuse is an electric-violin duo formed by Linzi Stoppard, Sir Tom’s model daughter-in-law, and the session musician Ben Lee.
Fuse push their raw violins through thickets of electronic pedals and valve amplification to make a big, warm stadium noise. Apart from drums, and a sprinkling of electronics and guitar, everything on their new album of cover versions is generated by bow and strings.
Not that you’d know it on tracks such as their slabby, distorted arrangement of Michael Jackson’s Beat It.
Sir Tom, no stranger to rock music socially and professionally, insists he offers Linzi no counsel on handling herself in public. “Fuse do palimpsest and collage – they do covers, but they are not covers,” he says. “It’s not like Cilla Black doing Dionne Warwick. It’s plastic, malleable. It feels like a different thing.”
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