Interview with Eric Martin
Eric Martin Best Vocalist in Music
Guitar/ Vocals- (Eric Martin Band/Scrapmetal)
Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: October 2007
Brian Rademacher: Hey Eric, Brian Rademacher from Rockeyez.com
Eric Martin: Ooooohhhhhh, how ya doing man?
Brian Rademacher: Good, Happy Birthday I know your birthday just past.
Eric Martin: Yeah man, you know last year I had a big party with like fifty people. This year I spent it at Chucky Cheese with my kids. Yeah my kids loved the life size Chucky band that played music and when we were leaving my son Dylan was yelling Chucky, I didn’t get to say good-bye to Chucky. He calmed down after awhile.
Brian Rademacher: You came in from Chicago with SCRAPMETAL, what did you do in Chicago?
Eric Martin: Yeah, we flew into Chicago and had a nice drive into South Bend. Once we came in it was happy hour so I hung in the bar for awhile. I was pretty burned out, I was in South America and came home for couple days and off to Chicago. Andrew McNeice of MelodicRock.com has been my gift horse for a long time. I definitely wanted to be part of this. Jeff Scott Soto went to see Y & T which I wanted to go as well but didn’t. Jeff says to me I’m all burned out from gigging and my throat hurts and then he goes to see Y & T and sings “Midnight in Tokyo” with them.
Brian Rademacher: The one question I would like to ask you is how it feels being announced at The Melodicrock.com Anniversary show being the best voice in music?
Eric Martin: (Laughing) I had micro monitors so all I could hear was my voice and Kelly’s snare drum and high hat. I didn’t hear them announce me. I had to turn to the guitar tech and ask him, ‘now’ and he said, ‘yeah now’. Joe Lynn Turner said that and it was a major compliment. I was sharing the stage with my high school idols. Joe Lynn Turner I met years ago and I always wanted to sing with him, he is a major idol of mine. You have your Paul Roger’s and Lou Gramm and Joe Lynn Turner they had similar voices. I wish I had a voice like that and some people say I do (I say not that good) I am not sure how old Joe is but he’s still going strong and God he’s so funny. Since playing in RAINBOW I always thought he was from England, so I met him and he says in that Jersey accent ‘Hey Eric Martin tough guy’, he is a total Jersey boy. If I was walking down a dark alley I would definitely want him with me. He kicks ass, he wasn’t even going to do “Stone Cold” and on the bus it was NELSON, Mark Slaughter, Kelly, me and Joe the professor of rock talking about Richie Blackmore & RAINBOW and Joe was telling us some of the stories and he said he was going to do songs from his solo album, we told him come on man we wanted to hear “Street of Dreams”, “Stone Cold”, “Highway Star” PLEASE!!!
Brian Rademacher: You know Joe lives in the same state that I live in and before he went to the MelodicRock show he played a small club here called Dingbatz.
Eric Martin: Yeah I played Dingbatz, actually I have a good friend in Jersey Pete Loren from TRIXTER he lived in Paramus and actually my mother is from New Jersey, she was from Englishtown.
Brian Rademacher: Cool, I just photographed a show in Englishtown called the Warped tour.
Eric Martin: (Laughing), I like the way you say I just photographed a show in Englishtown called the Warped tour. Look dude I don’t live in a box, I’m hip with the kids I not a granddad “you old classics rocker” (laughing).
Brian Rademacher: Seems to me you have a great report with fans and really enjoy being in the spotlight. You are the only artist that jumped in the audience and actually stayed for quite a while just hanging in the front row. You must have made some fans very happy. How do you keep yourself so happy being on the road away from family?
Eric Martin: Being on the road and being at home are two different things. It’s really hard being on the road. This year alone I’ve been to Europe and Australia and South now I’m going to Norway and India. How do I keep in touch with my family I have a webcam attached to my laptop, thank God for technology. I love doing the gigs but it’s hard with only five hours sleep a day. For the last couple years I haven’t been dong anything kinda of semi-retirement because of my kids. I was in this group with Jack Blades called TMG and I asked Jack how do you balance being a father and a rockstar. He said, “I missed the birth of my son and parties, and school gatherings”. I told him I’m not doing that, I might have had to when I was with Mr. Big but I had the luxury to take a couple years off because I have some royalty checks coming in from “To Be with You”. I kinda kicked back and took care of my kids. Now my kids say daddy it’s time to go, get out on the road, we need to bring in some bacon, school clothes cost money. So I went out on the road, I finally get back home and I’m so burned out, I say to my wife, ‘Honey, I been on the road I’m so tired I don’t know what time it is, I don’t know what day it is.’ She turns and says, ‘I know what day it is, its trash night so take the garbage out rockstar your home now’ (Both laughing).
Brian Rademacher: Our staff hung out with you backstage for awhile and you were the rocker that seemed to be the most accessible to everyone. Is that just natural to you?
Eric Martin: I loved that and I was really excited been among my fellow Americans. I’ve been going to Japan, Europe and I haven’t been in that part of middle America in awhile. There were a lot of people at that show from different parts of the world, people from Europe, Japan, Ireland & South America it was kind of a trip I really dug it. I mean we were going to go out in the lobby and start signing autographs because we were having some problems during sound check and it ran a little long, Someone said let the people in when we were doing our SPINAL TAP sound check so we did, I stepped out into the lobby to sign some autographs and take pictures (man my ego’s huge) my dance card is filled.
Brian Rademacher: Yeah but how many of those rockers during their set jumped in the crowd and hung out in the front row with fans, I just sent your wife a picture of that.
Eric Martin: Dude I just saw that, my wife just let me know that was your’s (that’s the money shot) Joe holding the microphone for me to sing.
Brian Rademacher: How did SCRAPMETAL all come about?
Eric Martin: The NELSON brothers started that, they did something in Nashville for songwriters association. Mark Slaughter, Nelson and Kelly Keagy all live in Nashville and they got together for one gig. They liked it so much they wanted to keep it going. So they came to Marin country, twenty minutes from San Francisco where we were going to see Eddie Money at the fairgrounds. NELSON was playing in the afternoon; I go, geez NELSON they still got that big old poodle hair. They say that on stage so this doesn’t look like I’m a total asshole. They were really good, I shouldn’t be surprised because of their father, and the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. I went backstage and saw them; they said oh my God Eric Martin and Gunner says Matthew, and Matthew looks at Gunner and they say are you thinking what I’m thinking (for God’s sake they should be because their twins). And that was it. It took a year to get together and we’re having a blast.
Brian Rademacher: How about what Jimi Peterik was wearing?
Eric Martin: He loves Leopard doesn’t he, both laughing. His hairs all big, he wrote all those songs for SURVIVOR. It was cool to see him playing the guitar being his back. That boy likes leopard or tiger, doesn’t he, I don’t look good in tiger, I would put it on and say I don’t think I’m going to wear the tiger tonight, but he has the eye of the tiger.
Brian Rademacher: Can you tell us anything about the new CD you are working on?
Eric Martin: Yeah, I've been working on fifteen songs and it will come out in 2008; I have until February to finish it. I thinking of called it “Hung like Einstein, Smart as a Horse” Whatta think (laughing).
Brian Rademacher: Were you in any bands before KID COURAGE and STARK RAVING MAD?
Eric Martin: That’s like kid stuff. When I was in KID COURAGE in San Francisco we opened for AC/DC for two shows, their first shows in America. I was backstage playing pool with Bon Scott. It was good times back then, I was thinking I was a rockstar back then, it never happened.
Brian Rademacher: What do you mean, you’re a rockstar now.
Eric Martin: Yeah an old tarnished rockstar.
Brian Rademacher: Do you foresee a reunion with Mr. BIG?
Eric Martin: All the time, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. Paul Gilbert’s so happy putting out ten albums a year. I had a management said why aren’t you motivated like that, I said that isn’t motivation that’s a machine. (Laughing) plus he’s playing with his boys RACER X. He’s a happy camper. All of us get that question and they look at me like I’m the puppet master laughing, I talk with the guys except maybe Billy. There’s a lot more food on the plate. My wife came in at the end of Mr. BIG demise and she said you guys have a great band and I go yeah, yeah there’s more to it. So she e-mailed all the guys last year to invite them to my surprise birthday party and everyone responded and said they had other projects and wish Eric a happy birthday. Billy wrote saying I don’t harbor any ill will. Off stage Me & Billy didn’t gel, onstage it was a different situation and best of friends. Offstage we didn’t talk and didn’t work our problems out, we had a miscommunication breakdown and for not talking about it for five years the fish got bigger.
Brian Rademacher: What is your favorite song to sing live?
Eric Martin: I love “Super Fantastic” and “To Be with You” and a song called “Untouchable”
Brian Rademacher: When you were growing up what kind of kid were you in high school?
Eric Martin: Class clown hands down; I made a few trips to the principles office. I was the last picked to be on the black tops for the basketball team.
Brian Rademacher: What was the first concert you attended?
Eric Martin: I would like to say it was QUEEN, REO SPEEDWAGON, & Y & T but it was AMERICA how’s that. “Horse With No Name” I like these questions.
Brian Rademacher: What was the first record you owned?
Eric Martin: Swear to God, I found a Ricky Nelson record in a field with the first song was chipped off. I think I kept playing “Hello Mary Lou” that skipped, “Traveling Man”. I told the NELSON’s that and they said ok good. But the truth is “Introducing the Beatles”.
Brian Rademacher: Your son Jake had some fun recording the Power Ranger song what’s the next song for him to conquer?
Eric Martin: Jake’s singing Power Rangers, when I’m on the road he always thinks I’m on an airplane, and if I ask him what do I sing he thinks Power Rangers. Power Rangers is on every CD player in the house. So when I’m home Dylan says Daddy you play guitar and we take the drum mic out of the bass drum and he stretches it up to his level. And Jake plays the drums and we make believe we play “Go Go Power Rangers” just about everyday I’m home.
Brian Rademacher: What do expect going to India?
Eric Martin: I told my wife there’s a KING of providences in India who is the promoter. I am going to stay at this summer palace. What if I get a big head and say what no elephant. I am not riding down main street on and elephant. You can forget it.
Brian Rademacher: What happens if you get off the plane and there’s an elephant waiting for ya to take you to your palace?
Eric Martin: Yeah with two monkey’s carrying my luggage. That was a joke and you’re starting to believe it. They have Idol TV show all over the world and the India Idol winner is going to open my show and we will be doing a duet on one of the songs. I’m looking forward to that.
But one thing you gotta know, no matter where you are in the world and where you live there’s always a trash day. It was good talking to yeah buddy.
Brian Rademacher: Thanks Eric it’s been fun.