Pete Mroz: Rising Above

By Traci Nubalo

Metaverse Tribune - February 26, 2012

One of Second Life’s top musical performers over the last few years has been Pete Mroz (Pilgrim75 Swashbuckler). He’s been consistently creating expert-level music, both live onstage (in SL and RL) as well as in the recording studio.

The story of Pete’s rocky road to success reads like a movie screenplay. Mroz lost his Dad early on; as a young musician he struggled mightily to carve out a place for himself at the professional table. On the eve of his departure to record a new breakthrough record, the investment money dried up. Pete - not an ounce of “quit” in him - took a shot and registered on a website called Family, friends, and fans were able to log onto the site and make donations, helping Pete to re-raise the thousands of dollars in production money he needed. Then he headed to Hollywood to record “We’ll Rise Above” with a powerful and well-known music producer.

One trait that many top performers in either world exhibit is that they are talented in multiple ways: singing, playing, working the audience, writing creative and powerful set lists, etc. In Pete’s case he combines all of these factors, making him one powerful weapon as a performing artist.

To begin with, he’s a first-rate guitarist with a style of playing that perfectly suits his voice. And what a voice! The man has one of the best set of pipes that this journalist has heard - and I’ve heard a few. His vocal timbre has a sweetness to it; his voice is pitched a bit higher than some male singers. This alone would set him apart, but he also embodies an ability to rock out vocally. He can sing the sweetest of ballads and then vocally shred with the best of them. He’s a master at relating to his audiences, talking and joking with them throughout his well-paced set. Speaking of which, Mroz seems to have an uncanny sense of how to write a set list; he knows exactly which songs will go best, and in what order. This makes every set he plays a powerhouse performance.

When I last wrote about Pete he had amassed $20,000 in investment money from his fans and was heading to the City of Angels to embark on a recording project with major music producer Warren Huart. The result of those sessions is an amazing CD entitled “We’ll Rise Above”.

Traci Nubalo: Pete, when we last spoke you were going to record with top music producer Warren Huart (The Fray, James Blunt, Korn, many others). What happened through your work with Warren?
Pete Mroz: It was awesome. About six months ago I went to L.A. and recorded with Warren, after getting my funding through the people. A producer like Warren brings musicians of a high caliber to the project. For example, Alanis Morrisette drummer Blair Sinta and legendary guitarist Tim Pierce.

[AUTHOR NOTE: google Warren Huart, Blair Sinta and/or Tim Pierce. Pierce, for example, has a full seven pages of major recording credits going back to 1974, including session work with Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Jason Mraz, and many, many others].

PM: I walked in and the pre-production was done. So the work was not so hard for me. It was still ten days of an emotionally-difficult process; it was intense, in fact. But these guys were three-take professionals.
TN: I’m hearing some new depth in your playing. Is this a result of the refinements learned in the process of recording?
PM: New depth in my sound might come from constantly playing with top people; it moves your game up. I work daily at playing better. I’m also now doing this full time; I no longer work at a day gig. I’m putting it out there.
TN: Your vocals - good god!!!
PM: I look at it the other way around - I don’t worry about singing. I worry about guitar. I’m a guitar geek who wants to always play better.
TN: I’ve been talking with Lizzy and Lexxi (Pete’s wonderful SL management team Lizzy Nightfire and Alexxis Lefavre). We’re all amazed that you somehow keep getting better and better at your craft. How can you account for this?
PM: I don’t think I’m getting better. Sometimes I have moments when I feel close to it. But I’m very competitive with myself. Sometimes I get humbled and feel like I don’t have the bandwidth I need. I’m just striving.
I live in Nashville and I meet guitarists who are unreal; it’s all around me. Then to have someone like Tim Pierce play with me and become my friend. He would blow your mind. I can send him a song and ask his opinion and he’ll take his time and say, “You’re too heavy with your right hand“ or “You’re a little behind the beat.” I have those kind of people in my life now.
TN: So what's next for you in SL and in RL, Pete?
PM: Right now I’m traveling all around the US spreading the gospel, promoting this record. I’m working on finding radio promoters and publishers to work with. Exploring film, and TV options and just going out and playing. I’m also writing a lot. There are lots of unfinished songs coming through. Maybe next year I’ll record another project. We’ll see.

In addition to having an amazing musical skill set, and now working with top industry professionals , Pete Mroz is also an incredibly nice guy. I’ve done a considerable amount of work with the man and he has never failed to be helpful, interesting and gentlemanly. And a serious professional in his own right.

I love it when nice guys come in first!

Visit Pete and check out his new CD "We'll Rise Above" at

© Copyright Traci Nubalo 2012. All rights reserved.


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