We had the good fortune of connecting with Mark Fallavollita and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mark, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
Inspiration, while at times a fickle and elusive creature, is more so a tenacious cornerstone of life. It can be spotted and attained quick as a wink, or desired and chased ceaselessly in bouts of unproductivity. The bulk of nouns that inspire me are a continuous and at times overwhelming materialization that sometimes end up becoming paralyzing, especially in regards to music. As a multi-instrumentalist and producer, I get a surge of intrigue, envy, realization, and motivation whenever I hear almost any piece of music. You know when you hear a song, and the lyrics are hitting you in a way that makes you more connected to anything else in the world at that moment, as though the words are perfectly explaining your exact feeling or situation in a way you could never (probably) articulate, but you feel as though you wrote them? It’s that exact feeling but heightened anew with the entire song; the lyrics, the instruments, the tonalities, the arrangements, the production choices, EVERYTHING. Sure I’m inspired when I watch a documentary about Jackson Pollock to buy canvas and paints and develop my painting ideas, or when I see a new whisky I havn’t tried to have a massive go, but nothing extracts and rattles that inspiration element quite like a song do.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In regards to my solo art, I am a borderline recluse. I have been writing songs for over 20 years and have never fully released a single work that didn’t require the involvement of friends/co-writers. Because of this defect and challenge of being so self-critical, I have been able to hone my skills as a team player and co-producer. I think that’s a main reason why I love playing in bands so much; I really thrive on building and performing sounds in a cohesive way with a bonded group. Whether I like to admit it or not, it’s always been much easier offering and supplying song/lyric/story ideas and angles on other people’s songs, or a song that is out-the-gate co-written. I think I have an awareness of what a song is trying to say, and what pieces can work elementally. One of the biggest challenges outside of my own bullshit is the time it may take to land on the magical elements. Sometimes a song is conceptualized in three minutes, other times three months. It all depends on so many variables, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t care how long it takes. This may get me in trouble in regards to progress in the traditional sense, but I really don’t give a shit. I’m proud of my intuition, something I really enjoy developing as I grow as a person and artist. I look forward to my next chapters in so many ways, especially with all the strange and talented people I’ll work with along the way.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
It’s a little difficult these days with Covid, but…What’s this friend into? LA has something for LITERALLY everyone. From hiking and beaches to speak-easy bars and after hours spots, and everything in between… When people I know come to visit, I’ll usually ask three questions: how much money do you want to spend, how much sleep do you want to get, and how much traffic do you mind sitting in? I really enjoy the Griffith Observatory in Los Feliz for hikes and some history. Going to live shows at the Greek Theater, the Hollywood Palladium, the Mayan, the Regent, just to name a FEW, is always fun. Food is insanely abundant here, LA has almost everything and I love it. ‘We’re Pouring’ is a favorite local spot of mine in Glendale; they house some of my favorite IPAs and send a bangin’ fried chicken sandwich. There are amazing spots for photography almost anywhere you look; you can find ways to capture the state of humanity and nature in a really visceral way around almost any corner. There is endless beauty but also heartache. There is a looming fear of natural disasters almost all year round. There are guarantees but even more uncertainties. Los Angeles is a diverse and historic place that I think anyone who’s lived here could recommend or advise against visiting, or living, for one reason or another. Itinerary? I mean, we can try…

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First, a thank you to Shoutout LA and sources like it! Having the passion for exposing and exploring interesting conversations to create a community love and awareness in any capacity is really fucking great. As someone who struggles with getting involved, I recognize the importance of my counterparts who can bring it and make stuff like this available. Also: -School band programs -Church and it’s music directors -Mom and Grandma -All my school mates -East Coast basements -Rhode Island and Los Angeles and it’s many places, friends, relationships and music. Without moving from Massachusetts to each of these locations I would have a different story for sure All of the bands/musicians I’ve played in/with -Friends -All art -My Wife and her family -All the bands, musicians, writers and artists who have created works and put them out into the world to inspire and provide content for the rest of us. It’s likely projection, but I see bravery when people explore their vulnerabilities and perspectives, and release a part of themselves into the collective consciousness.

Instagram: @markfallavollita

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.