FUSE are virtuoso musicians Linzi Stoppard and Ben Lee who, on their eponymous debut album, harness their bespoke signature Bridge electric violins and take Rock tracks that people love and radically but lovingly reinterpret them. As Linzi says, “It’s completely fresh, no one thought that what we do was even possible. Someone recently said, ‘The album is great but I can’t hear as much of the violins as I’d like’. Everything you hear is violins! The style that we use when we play is more akin to that of a guitar player, with more soul and electricity – literally! We chose work from artists that are huge stadium acts, and that’s where we want to be. It is that big and that powerful – get some ear plugs! We specialise in blowing away people’s preconceptions.”
The sound that FUSE generate takes serious know-how and technical skill. Linzi explains, “We play five string and four string instruments; this gives us more range than a normal violin. We play Bridge violins with Kevlar carbon fibre composite bodies. They could take a bullet for us!” Ben continues, “The violins are sprayed with a finish containing gold particles. We have particular tonal requirements – of course we keep our secrets to ourselves! – but I will say that we use guitar amps, combinations of valve heads and transistor heads and speaker cabinets. Other people playing electric violins just plug into a mixing desk whereas we use a series of effects pedals.” FUSE have had to invent new ways to render melodies that were vocal on the original tracks. FUSE aim to prove that the electric violin can be as versatile as the electric guitar. There’s no cutting down or simplification involved. Live, it is nothing short of explosive – the violins are generally accompanied by the sound of jaws dropping!