© 2019 by Shannon Wilk.

Located in Connecticut, USA
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Interview With Fitzy
(Bad Marriage)

Shannon Wilk - When did you begin playing guitar?


Fitzy - “I think I started a little later than most, I first heard electric guitar when I was very young and my dad had a jukebox in the basement and it played 45 records and I remember hearing ‘Jailhouse Rock’ by Elvis and ‘Heartbreaker’ by Led Zeppelin. I remember the wow factor of the guitar sound on those two songs very well. It just fascinated me. When I was a sophomore in high school, I think it was a half-day in school, and I went to a party where some of my older friends were jamming in a basement and they were playing tons of songs and that was the second time I was amazed by guitar. Seeing it in person really did it for me, normally that happens when a person sees their first concert, but all it took, for me, was seeing my friends do it. That made it real because that meant I could do it too. I called up good ol’ gram, because grandmas never fail, and she bought me my first guitar.”


Shannon - Who do you consider to be your biggest musical influence?


Fitzy - “I would have to say Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin because he has such a vast array of musical style. His guitar can go from a hard-hitting rock and roll song like ‘Rock N Roll’ or ‘Heartbreaker’ or ‘Whole Lotta Love’ to gorgeous acoustic ballads like ‘Tangerine’ or ‘Stairway to Heaven’. He also has everything in-between. I’ve always been fascinated by his guitar sound and the way he composes music. He’s also known for producing and mixing a lot of Led Zeppelin stuff and that’s what I want to do so I mix and produce all the Bad Marriage music.”


Shannon - Prior to Bad Marriage, what were you doing musically?


Fitzy - “I’ve been in bands my whole life but they all were pretty much rock bands. In 2013, my band broke up and I took a year to start buying recording equipment and I started teaching myself how to record music and mix music. When I started Bad Marriage, I knew I wanted to be able to record everything we write myself, not only to save money, but to use my own knowledge.”


Shannon - When starting Bad Marriage, what was your vision?


Fitzy - “We started in 2015. I was frustrated that my previous band had broken up because when you put your heart and soul in making a band successful and it breaks up, it’s upsetting. That’s how I came up with the band name because more often than not, being in a band is like being in a Bad Marriage. They’re very hard to keep together, you’ve got 5 guys or girls in a band and you have to keep them all on the same page and it’s just a hard thing to do. My vision with Bad Marriage was to hand-pick as many of the members as I could. I knew everybody who has been in Bad Marriage because I chose them myself because they had the talent or were cool people. I believed that it would be the best chance of keeping the band together if I did it that way. The only person I didn’t really know was our bass player, Todd. I had known everyone from years of either being in a band with them or sharing the stage with them.”


Shannon - You just got off the road with Tesla. How do you think this tour went?


Fitzy - “I thought it went exceptionally well. An easy way to gauge that is crowd and fan interaction on and offstage. I thought we got a really good response during our set, in-between songs and after. The most important gauge is how many people come to meet us at the merch booth because we like to hang there and talk to people and take pictures and sign autographs and sell our CDs and t-shirts. Not only does it help us fill the gas tank, but getting our merchandise out there and seeing people wear the shirts and represent us. That is one of the most important ways of promotion. Tesla has been awesome to us, this is our second tour with them, and we couldn’t ask for a cooler band to be touring with.”


Shannon - How did you get the opportunity to tour with Tesla?


Fitzy - “Being a Boston/New England band, we are one of the bands that gets called if an opener is needed for a national rock band that comes through here. We got a call asking if we wanted to open for Tesla at the Boston House of Blues. So, of course, we jumped on it and said yes. Before that show even happened, they called again and said they needed an opener for three shows: Boston, New Hampshire, and Maine. We ended up doing all three shows with them and that was the first time we had ever done a mini-tour like that. By the second show, it was in Portland, Maine, the bass player in Tesla, Brian Wheat, had called us into a private room before the show. He said he watched our show the night before at the House Of Blues and he really liked the band and the way we carried ourselves and the way we sell our merchandise and he liked the way Jonny sounded as a vocalist. That was kind of the beginning of a great relationship with those guys.”


Shannon - Can you compare what your original idea of touring was and what the reality is?


FItzy - “Well I think everyone’s fantasy picture of touring is like a rolling mansion for a tour bus. Unfortunately, as an up and coming band, it’s really difficult because most bands travel in a van which pulls a trailer with all their gear. We have an RV, a 30-foot camper-style RV, and it’s very tight in there. We have 7 of us, 5 guys in the band, a driver, and a tech guy. It’s very close-quarters and you have to be able to get along with each other to make it work. It’s not luxury right away like people would be led to believe. You’ve gotta pay your dues and do it in hopes that someday you’ll be able to afford a nicer vehicle like a tour bus.”


Shannon - Outside of music, what do you enjoy doing?


Fitzy - “I like to go metal detecting. Where I’m from, there’s a lot of history. It’s where the country first started, we have Plymouth Rock near here and where the Pilgrims first came. There’s a lot of cool stuff in the woods. I like to go whenever it’s nice out and explore in the woods where you can find old foundations where people lived. You can find some really cool stuff with a good metal detector. We have found old coins and buttons, just very cool historical stuff from when the settlers first came over. I’m also a vintage clothing guy. I really love collecting vintage concert t-shirts. So if anyone out there has vintage concert t-shirts, I’m the guy you want to donate them to.”


Shannon - Any last words?


Fitzy - “Our website is www.badmarriagemusic.com and it is basically a hub where you can find all our social media, tour dates, and merchandise. We just came out with our debut 12-song album which I mixed and produced by myself, so I’m very proud of that. For anyone that has a Facebook account, we have a group called the Bad Marriage Society which is becoming a really cool community for Bad Marriage fans, we call them family, to become friends and talk about the band.”



 

Photo by Chele Drappel