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A Dirty Dozen with SCOTT MARTIN from BULLETPROOF MESSENGER – May 2021

 

According to a recent press release: “Bulletproof Messenger released their brand new single “The Divide” to all digital outlets! This will not only mark their first release in over a decade, but a return of the explosive, energetic, and hard hitting rock music fans have come to love from them, coupled with a newfound maturity as a result of the adversity and challenges which they have overcome in their later years. “The Divide” is only the first song of a new line up of tracks that will knock you out with their exuberance, their raw power, and – let’s face it, their punctuality. BPM is ready to share this new chapter in their lives with their loyal and dedicated fans, while making many new ones.” We get Scott to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release. What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Well, this is the first tune we worked on together in a long time – it was around the beginning of COVID, and I got a call from Voley (the other guitar player, as well as the other Martin in the band) and he had spoken to the guys and had some songs worked out that he was interested in us getting together again on. It’d been a damn long time. Of course I said “Hell yeah!” So, what’s really cool about this one is that you are hearing a lot of different intricacies and layers coming together from five guys (with five different styles, too boot). So there’s a lot going on in there, instrumentally – a lot of push and pull taking place. Put on a pair of headphones and you can really hear what I’m talking about. As far as nuggets or Easter eggs though, nothing (that I) know of… though if you play it backwards it might say “Paul is dead” or something. Mix issues, man.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Absolutely. I’d been into music probably since I was old enough to be conscious of listening to it – and my folks always were listening to bands like Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, the Beatles (of course). I distinctly remember that I used to love being able to stay up past my bedtime to watch televised concerts — the Highwaymen, Kenny Loggins, and even Yanni. But the moment that I realized that I HAD to be a musician – I was about thirteen and my older cousin Doug gave me a copy of R.E.M.’s Eponymous… a greatest hits compilation. I suddenly was hit by this overwhelming need to not just be able to enjoy the music and sing with it, but to learn and understand how it was made – to be able to create my own. So I “borrowed” my Dad’s old guitar and started learning everything I could.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Oh man, so many. But I can definitely say that if R.E.M. got me hooked, as I learned about more and more guitarists and albums, my influences kept growing. I learned all about using delay by listening to The Edge from U2… he had me mesmerized. Listening to Santana evoke a magical amount of soul from his guitar early on really blew my mind, especially as I was only barely banging my way through power chords at the time. I think he was the first live show I ever saw, too. The same goes for Pink Floyd. Zeppelin. Aerosmith. Stones. It goes on. But honestly, that’s just the first year or so of me playing… this list could get real long, real fast otherwise!

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

R.E.M., Tom Petty, Prince, U2, and Keith Richards.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Man, I would have called Tom in a heartbeat. In fact, I dreamt once that he and I wrote a song together. But alas. Same thing with Prince. In fact, if you haven’t seen them perform “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” live — do yourself a favor and hit that up on YouTube. It’s quite possibly one of the greatest musical moments of all time.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I just call it hard rock, modern rock, electronic rock, maybe. I’m not really too invested in agreeing or disagreeing with anyone’s opinion – whether they dig it or not. If there’s a comparison I’m not feeling, or they’re not feeling the music, that’s basically just a “oh, that’s cool, man” moment for me. People have all sorts of different tastes and draw comparisons based on what they know.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Freedom. No, seriously. It’s like being an entrepreneur… and just as damn difficult – but worth it.

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Well, it’s been a hot minute since we’ve hung out together, and last I remember none of us are particularly good at the whole chef thing – but we’re all pretty skilled at getting the drinks in. Cracking out the acoustic guitars for a singalong, probably also not so much – for me, personally, when I’m not playing I’m good to just hang out and do whatever. It’s already in my hands most hours of the day, anyway.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

I honestly can’t remember. I think it’s a little different between meeting your idols and meeting a famous cat – like, I’ve met lots of folks, and if they’re cool, they’re just cool and you get along, have a drink and maybe talk a bit. Maybe not. Depends on the person. But I haven’t met any idols – put me in that position and I’m probably gonna need a second to realize that I’m actually living in reality.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

A pirate, most definitely. It’s kind of very rock and roll. But being as I’m a few hundred years late on that (tip of the hat to Jimmy Buffet here) – I’m a pretty voracious reader, so I think a gig as an author would be fantastic. Building worlds out of words – well, that’s kind of like one half of songwriting, anyway. Still making magic, just a slightly different kind.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t
change your current situation?

You know, I’m really not sure on this one. It’s like – everything I’ve done has got me to this point, and this is a pretty good point to be at. I play music for a living, and whether it’s onstage with another artist as a sideman, or in the studio, or with the boys in Bulletproof – every step has gotten me here. Do I wish maybe it had all happened faster? Maybe. But then again, I might not have had handled it all so gracefully when I was younger (and far more foolish).

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Abbey Road, 1969. Last record the Beatles ever did together…and I mean, my god. What an absolute monster of an album. The whole segway of tunes on that last half linked together and ending with “In The End?” Genius. And the final words you ever hear the Beatles sing on a record being “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make?” Dude, come on. It doesn’t get better than this. I get chills thinking about it. It’s just that kind of record. I can’t even imagine.

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Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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