Mark Martyre on iTunes, and upcoming Tour Dates
:: 7Q Interview ::
S-R: First things first, where were you the night of November 26, 2013?
Hmm... I don't really remember. For me it was just another night. Nothing special. The night most likely ended with me crashing on whatever floor I was sleeping on at the time.
S-R: The subject matter for the songs on your new album "London" seem to be very personal and full of uncertainty. Is this new territory for you as a musician or does it have any common ground with your previous release "Down, Record"?
Hmm, well I'm not sure if it's new territory. I guess it depends on how you want to look at it. To me,London is just another marker, that's just a little further along the same road that I was on with Down, Record.
S-R: How important was it for you to produce your own music?
For me, what's important, is having the control over the music. It's very hard for me to leave it in other people's hands, and relent that authority – as I'm sure the people I've worked with can attest to. So, I need to be a part of the process. I need to be able to see the project through, from start to finish.
S-R: The theme of traveling and being apart from someone is a recurring theme on this album, did that situation make for an easier or more challenging environment to write songs in?
Well, I've never considered one environment to be more or less challenging than another. You just sort of write. If my life consists of traveling and moving toward, or away from, people – then I guess that'll filter its way into the things I write. But, if other themes were recurring in my life, then I'm sure they'd also be recurring in my songs.
S-R: In regards to goodbye and hope, does either one prevail by the end of "London" and therefore have an effect on what's ahead for you musically?
Well again, it's just that road, y'know?London was a follow-up to Down, Record, and what occurred between those two markers may have had an affect on the music that eventually came out on London. And I'm sure there's another album ahead of me, and what happens between now and then will certainly influence that record in someway. In terms of what prevails at the end of the London – I have no idea. I guess it's whatever prevails to the listener.
S-R: The musical tone of the songs really set a specific mood for the entire album, Who are some of the people that were instrumental in accompanying you and where was the album recorded?
Well, the majority of the album was recorded in London, Ontario, at Down By the River. That's where I recorded my guitar parts, piano, vocals, bass, and harmonica. Also, in London, Jeff Kahl played drums on a few songs, and Jordan Mandel added the slide guitar to “Window of a Train” and the electric guitar at the end of “Goodbye.” The recording process was finished in Toronto. There we added: some violin parts - performed by Anna Wheeler, some cello tracks - performed by Anna Jarvis, some accordion - performed by Graydon James, and Myke Mazzei played some lead guitar on “Where Will You Go Now?” “The Next Song,” and “Falling Down, Tonight.” Myke and I also mixed the album in Toronto, at Typewriter Studio. Finally, Karl Machat mastered it at Misters Mastering House. All these people definitely played an instrumental role in this project.
The overall tone of an album, and how it will sound and feel when played in its entirety is definitely a big consideration for me. And it's something I always appreciate in other artists. So, thanks for noticing that.
S-R: Ah, so you're talkin' London, Canada not London, England!, not that the album cover really showed the latter.
MM: Well, yeah, the cover is an archival photo from London, Ontario. Though, I don't mind the ambiguity in calling the album "London." But I didn't name the album as an homage to the city in Ontario, nor would it have been a nod to the place in England. Its just a word. It was a title that made sense, and felt appropriate.
S-R: Trains, Greyhound buses and sailboats are all mentioned in your music, if submarines ever became a practical mode of transportation for people, is there a specific place you would like to go in a submarine?
I think travelling inside a submarine, regardless of where it went, would be a hell of an experience.