Friday, 26 March 2010

Introducing...Martin Wainwright

YMC chats to Martin Wainwright from  York
YMC: You're a solo performer and have also been in a bands. Did you start out in a band or were you a solo performer first?
Bands. I started a band called 3DaysForward when I was about 17 with friends from school. That continued on for about three years or so but eventually split up whilst I was at uni. Once I finished university I was sitting on a whole load of material which I had written, but no band to play it with, so I got myself an acoustic guitar and started playing. That was how the solo project came to be!

YMC: What are the pros and cons of playing solo versus being in a band?

Pros:

I can play whatever I want, and however I want to. I dont have to worry about being in time with anyone else. This means I can make mistakes from time to time and no one will notice, or I can add extra bits in if I feel like it. It basically allows me to be totally flexible

No heavy gear to drag around with me everywhere! When you're in a band you have big heavy amps and pedal boards, drums kits and the like which is all very heavy and can be a pain to transport around. Playing acoustic I just need my guitar and a lead! I can walk to a venue if I want, or get the train!

Cons:

Much harder to have an impact on a crowd as I can't physically create the same amount of noise as a band! Having drums and bass brings a lot of power and pace which is very difficult to replicate on my own.
There is no one else to hide behind. What I play is what everyone is listening to. I can't say 'oh we'll put a lead guitar part there to make it more interesting' or use the usual tricks that you would do in a band to keep peoples attention, so I have to try just write the best songs that I can. I guess this is also a Pro to as hopefully it makes me write better songs!

YMC: You've had some gigs out of York this year, has it been hard to connect with venues?
Yes definitely! The recession and general situation with the economy means a lot of venues are either closing down or are become much more cautious about who they book, so its extremely hard to get shows out of towns at the bigger venues. That basically makes it difficult to get slots with rock bands. I have some great friends though in other bands and who are promoters and they've helped me no end in getting out of town shows. On the flip side however acoustic nights are actually becoming more popular as pubs seem to be putting on more acoustic musicians to try drum up a bit more business which does help.
YMC: Have you had a good reaction away from home?

The gigs I have played so far out of town have been a great success. Fairly regularly people will come up to me after I've played to ask about my CD or how they can find out when I'm playing again, which is extremely encouraging! I think people arn't used to seeing acoustic musicians who are trying to create such a fast paced sound and bring power to the songs. Hopefully its helping me and my music stick in people's mind a little more than other acoustic acts they might have seen.

YMC: Who are you listening to at the moment?
I have a very wide taste in music and I never really go off anything that I've liked before so my listening tends to be fairly broad, however I do love pop punk so I probably end up listen to that more than any other genre. With that in mind, at the moment I'm listening to the new Four Year Strong and Say Anything albums fairly religiously! On the more acoustic front Im a big fan of Dashboard Confessional and Newton Faulkner. I grew up listening to a lot of hair metal though so its never too long before I stick on some Motley Crue or Def Leppard!

YMC: Do you have any recorded material?
I have released two EPs of original material which you can buy for about £1 each at my gigs or at www.martinwainwright.bigcartel.com plus I have a whole host of demo recordings on my laptop which I'll e-mail out to anyone who wants them!
YMC: What are your main plans for this year?

Over this year with my acoustic project I'm just trying to keep playing away from home and branch out to play new places really. I work on new material constantly so the next EP is never too far away, but I dont have plans to do another one in the next few months so we'll see what happens.

Also though I'm starting up a new band which I've started practicing with called Kings of Wishful Thinking. Its in a very similar vein to my solo stuff, but bigger, faster and louder really! I'm hoping to get that off the ground relatively soon and push as hard with that as I am doing with my solo project so keep an eye out for that!

Find out more on http://www.myspace.com/martinwainwrightacoustic

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