Monday 30 October 2017

Irish Drummers; David (Frew), can you share with us some of Martin’s influences?

Martin's influences were primarily The Clash and the work of Topper Headon, especially his jazz, reggae and rock style playing. Martin wasn't a fan of the more exuberant 'flash' drummers - in essence he liked his drummers fairly primal with a unique feel and style. I know the drummers he was fond of were, Jet Black from the Stranglers, Paul Cook (Sex Pistols) Neil Conti from Prefab Sprout, Charlie Watts from the Stones, Kenny Jones (The Who) and of course the late great Keith Moon.

Irish Drummers; What was it like playing music with Martin?

Martin was great to play with both live and in studio. Amazingly enough, in the studio he was rubbish at playing with a metronome click track, but give him a simple rhythmical pattern and he was bang on time. He wasn't a big fan of the production style in the '90's of 'triggered' samples but it's in the live area where he excelled, he was always playing around with different styles of playing and liked to improvise when he could. 

Irish Drummers;  What type of drum gear did he use?

His kit was a Pearl All Maple. I know he liked his range of Zildjian cymbals and other various percussion accessories (he had a double kick drum pedal for a while which was interesting) 
He had a very punk rock aesthetic and played with a primal feel when needed (a big fan of the floor tom and kick) plus he could play with great syncopation.

Irish Drummers; Can you tell us the extent of Martin’s role in An Emotional Fish?

His role in An Emotional Fish was pivotal especially with the bass playing of Enda (Wyatt), Our song ‘Celebrate’ is a good example of this, a driving bass riff with Martin's syncopation patterns on the song really move it along. Interestingly his work on songs like Lace Virginia and Careless Child, I would suggest showcase his various playing styles.

Irish Drummers; How will Martin best be remembered?

Fundamentally it's him as a friend and a great,arguably self-taught musician (I do know he had some lessons with Noel Eccles). Indeed I'm sure I can answer for Jerry (Fish) and Enda (Wyatt) also on this, Martin loved Music pure and simple and especially his work within the band. I know he took - more then any of us, the gradual dissolving of AEF with some sadness. He was very much the quintessential drummer you want in your band who gives a very visceral contribution to the band and was always up for the experience, if that makes sense. As I said earlier his playing was pivotal to the sound of AEF. We will truly miss him, I know I do.  I'll end with a lyric from his favourite band The Clash which we would say to each other periodically, Go easy, step lightly, stay free. 

YouTube video - An Emotional Fish - Lace Virginia