We dive into the darkened, decadent and disintegrated mind of Mark Zito, better known as Fractures

Mark Zito, better known by his stage name Fractures, has become somewhat of a live staple in Sydney and Melbourne in recent times. Now, after years of performing, he’s set to release his debut album Still Here.

Happy sat down to chat with Mark as he embarks on this new phase in his career. Proving himself to be witty, self-aware, and confident in his work, we have no doubt we’ll be seeing far more of Fractures in the future.

fractures mark zito
Illustration by CeeLo

Bright and energetic, the personable attitude of Mark Zito hardly matches the dark euphoria of his music as Fractures.

HAPPY: Why did you choose Fractures as a stage name?

MARK: Initially it was because the music I was making at the time was quite dark, and I suppose that hasn’t changed much over time. It was kind of an all encompassing word I figured. I was like ‘it’s got this darkness to it’, you hear that word and you go into it not expecting the music to be terribly uplifting. It has dark overtones and it just fit. I asked all my mates initially and they all said no so that kind of spurred me on to use it [laughs].

HAPPY: You’re finally releasing your debut album Still Here this month – how does it feel to finally take this step considering you’ve been active since 2012 or 2013?

MARK: It’s a relief. I’ve been wanting to show off some of these songs outside of a live arena for a long time now, so I’m excited for people to finally hear them and have access to them. But yeah, it’s a relief mainly because the period has been so drawn out – there are phases with the album where you love it then you hate it… I’m in a good phase at the moment though.

HAPPY: That’s probably a good thing considering how soon it’s being dropped.

MARK: Yeah, exactly, I wouldn’t be spruiking it if I didn’t love it. So it’s a relief to have it done, but it’s also quite frightening. It’s done now, and who knows how people will receive it? It’s all a gamble.

HAPPY: You’re doing a tour to promote Still Here right? Whereabouts will this tour be taking you?

MARK: Unfortunately just the east coast… for whatever reason Perth, Adelaide and Hobart aren’t really getting a look in. Hopefully demand one day will necessitate a bigger trip but for now the focus is just on the east coast capital cities. I’m excited to go to Brisbane, I’ve never been officially, not to headline or anything.

HAPPY: So this is the most extensive tour you’ve ever done?

MARK: Of my own music yeah, I’ve only ever really done two dates generally. I haven’t had too many releases of my own until this point, so I’ve been a bit of a coat tail rider for the most part.

HAPPY: Are you nervous?

MARK: Not really. I don’t generally get nervous until about two minutes before stage, and even then it’s not a mental nerve but the good kind of nerves. Or the kind of nerve that presents itself physically, like in a bowel movement [laughs]. So yeah I’m good for the time being.

HAPPY: So there have been a lot of allusions cast between the recording process of your album, where you secluded yourself away to record it, and that of For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver. Has he been a particular influence on your and your work?

MARK: Look I think it’s pretty obvious that there are some songs that Bon Iver has influenced, but unfortunately as soon as you start singing in a falsetto these days people just assume you’re a copying him. But yeah, I’m a big fan. Seclusion may be a bit of PR spin, I mean I do lock myself away for some periods to work but I am happy to talk to people in those times. It wasn’t really a shut in period but I do work a lot better on my own. If I had a cabin in the woods or something I’d definitely go there but I don’t… so yeah the comparison is fair, but I think the PR spin is probably a factor behind some of those comparisons.

HAPPY: What was it like completely self producing your album?

MARK: So the process is effectively writing the songs and then filling the gaps, so making sure everything flows together, tugging at the heart strings at the right time and all that. [Sarcastically] It’s just something you can’t teach – it’s innate and instinctive! [laughs].

I suppose I also have slight control tendencies on some things, I’d prefer that I ultimately have the final say on the album. Wayne, who mixed the bulk of the songs, parted some of his expertise and influence on the album. But for the most part I just made the product and then my team helped polish it and make it sound better in a mixing sense.

So as the songs come along I feel like they need this or that and I put it in accordingly. For the most part it seems to work, it’s a bit of a control thing. Because it’s solo I’ve got a lot of pride in my work. It’s mine ultimately, and you feel better about it when you have creative autonomy. It’ll have my name all over it.

HAPPY: What’s your favourite track on the album?

MARK: The one I like playing the most live is I Don’t Mind. It’s got this silly build where it gets to this point where you can’t get any louder or more hectic, and you can’t ignore it from a crowd point of view. They always seem to react to it. I mean it’s about jealousy which I guess works, and I don’t really normally get lost in a performance but whenever I play this song I get a lot more immersed and it just moves me for some reason.

HAPPY: It’s been a pleasure speaking to you Mark, thanks again for your time.

MARK: No worries, it was great speaking to you.