Mark Zavon Singled Out Week: Brick By Brick
Kill Devil Hill guitarist Mark Zavon recently released his debut solo album and is gearing up for some shows this month. To celebrate we asked Mark to tell us about some of the songs. Today he tells us about "Brick By Brick". Here is the story:
Back in late 2006 I was offered a job playing guitar for WASP, and began rehearsing with the band shortly after that. During those rehearsals I noticed that I wasn't firing on all cylinders, and sometimes when I would try to play a part it wouldn't come out right no matter how much preparation I had put in. With a tour looming, Blackie, their singer, told me the bad news, that they were going to use another guitarist for the tour. I was crushed, but honestly I couldn't blame him, since I knew I hadn't been playing my best.
Later that month I noticed a lump in my neck. It didn't hurt, but stuck out about the size of a quarter. After asking my brother-in-law, who was a doctor, about it he told me that I should get it checked out just to be safe. The next week I had a biopsy done, and found out it was Hodgkins Lymphoma, and that I had an even bigger tumor the size of a lemon between my lungs. I started chemotherapy treatments the following week, and after six months of those I did 2 months of radiation treatments.
I have been cancer-free for over ten years now, but it was a really difficult experience, both physically and psychologically. I lost my hair, a lot of weight, and felt like I was losing my mind as well. I did my best to stay outwardly positive during that time, but inside I could feel myself slipping into depression. I found myself losing faith in things that I knew I shouldn't, and trying to find something to blame, but there was nothing. The verses in this song are about those dark days and empty feelings. The choruses, however, are about getting back up afterward, and moving forward. Those first steps after my treatments weren't easy, but they got easier as I kept going and kept focused on regaining my strength. They say it's not how you fall down, but how you get back up that matters, and that's the point of this song, to keep getting back up and moving forward.
I was bummed when I lost the WASP gig, I have always been a fan of the band. But if I had gone on that tour, which lasted several months, I probably would not have been diagnosed in time to effectively treat the type of cancer that I had. So I guess you could say that losing that gig actually saved my life.
Mark Zavon Singled Out Week: South Of The Border