Tony Martin interview
By Steph Perry
July 5, 2012
Tony Martin’s Headless Cross project will be performing on July 27 in Birmingham, England. I interviewed Tony through email and he shared his thoughts on the upcoming Headless Cross show, the Mollo Martin project, his late friend Cozy Powell, and much more.
This is the third album for Mollo Martin. When and how did you and Dario Mollo originally hook up?
Well we met by accident through another artist called Aldo Giuntini who i was working with at the time and Dario was the engineer at the studio, he gave me some riffs of his own to listen to and we eventually got working together.
The video for “Wicked World” is pretty graphic. The subject matter of the song is obvious, that we should stay out of fights in foreign lands. What were your thoughts going into production for the storyline in the video? Are you pleased with the video and the fan response?
No i hate it! …. its just ridiculous self indulgent technical wizardry that is very clever but doesn’t portray the feeling of the song at all in the slightest!!!! ……… I guess you can tell its not one of my favourite things!!!! 😉 ….. i did 5 complete video performances for that video and was under the impression we were trying to get a performance based video with graphics cut into it…. it turned out to be a nightmare to watch… i counted 100 clips by the time of the first chorus!!!! The SONG is awesome!!!!! … and the sound of it is excellent…. i spent a LONG time working those lyrics and melodies out .. i just wish the video represented what i was trying to put across… but it doesn’t!
The song “Violet Moon” has a very bittersweet vibe and the lyrics represent feelings of longing. Is there any additional challenge for you to write ballads that seem so personal?
No not really .. i suppose i am a bit of an EMO when it comes to the bitter and longing side of life hahahaha!!!. No its not so hard… its only hard to come up with something no one else has used before….. how many ways can you keep saying those things….. as it happened. THAT song came to me in a flash, and i sang it at the microphone.. i didn’t even write the words down…. it just came to me and apart from one maybe 2 lines that i had to re phrase the rest was easy.
Speaking of ballads, one of my all-time favorites is “Feels Good to Me”. There are a few lines that really stand out for me: “Where can we run to now, when will we learn?” and “But that don’t matter no more, now that I found out the truth.” There are so many ways to interpret this but I was wondering what you meant there.
Oh its just the THOUGHT that there is no where else to turn and yet there always is!! … another door always opens and life goes on.
The album Tyr is my favorite Black Sabbath album, so I hope you don’t mind if I ask another question about it. Can you tell me about the overall concept and inspiration behind this album? What message were you intending to convey in the lyrics?
The album name came after we had recorded it and the manager at the time turned up with a big grin on his face cause he had researched the idea of the viking god TYR…. who was Odins second cousin on the dogs side of the family or something i don’t know…. anyway … he persuaded us to use it …. but there were songs about russia on the there “heaven in Black” for example … and other stuff that wasn’t Viking related…. it was just the way the management wanted to sell the album at the time ….
The Headless Cross show is scheduled for July 27 in England. Do you hope to book any more shows, and possibly in the States?
We are always looking for an opportunity to come to the states .. even though everyone says its dead for rock…. there may be a route for us since these songs and these people can only be seen together… i just need a promoter i can trust and i’ll be over there faster than a vampire in a blood bank!!!!
You recently commented on your Facebook page that the late Cozy Powell “would NOT be resting in peace!! He would be tearin it up and finding a way to play practical jokes on God himself!” Can you share a personal story or memory about Cozy?
Not many that you can print no ….. erm ….. let me think ….. He out rode a police chase once!!!!! …… he got clocked at some ridiculous speed on his motorbike and managed to find a way off the motorway onto an industrial estate and dropped the bike threw his helmet in trash can and walked casually out of the estate while the police cars were speeding in and looking for the rider….. he was quite proud of that as i recall …
On your first solo album, Brian May played guitar on the song “If there is a heaven”. Brian is another favorite musician of mine. Do you have a personal story or memory you can share about him?
Well it was at the time just after Freddie had died so it was all still a little sombre but Brian being the gentleman he is still did the session for me and was very amicable… I have always felt comfortable in his company and he foned me a couple of times to find out how to sing!!..
Your vocal work and lyrics have inspired many musicians and fans. Can you tell me a story about you meeting or getting to know one of your own personal heroes?
The few heroes that were prominent in my days growing up turned out to be the people i worked with so it was a surreal experience really and i am not sure they really appreciated that. I did manage to tell Cozy that he was a hero of mine and he was very happy about it … but that was years after i met him.
What’s your favorite instrument to play and why?
right now its piano.. just cause 10 fingers makes more chords than 5 and it has lifted some great melodies for me… but honestly i love messin with all kinds of instruments …. its great to get the kids and give them all something and play the heck out of stuff. very cool.
Can you tell me about the Silver Horses project, such as– who are you working with, what progress is made so far, and what theme is it based on?
Its finished, all recorded, artwork is done, we have an expected release date of the end of September and its a bunch of Italian musicians that sound VERY English … it’s a kind of blues/zeppelin sound… and i love it!!! different kind of vocal for me so i’m a bit nervous but i just love it.
Is it more challenging for you to be a rock star or a dad?
GREAT QUESTION!!!!!!!!!!!! …. its MUCH more challenging to be a DAD because it is life long … not for just a few years. …. but i love being a dad and i am very proud of my kids they are all very cool people and we have some great times.
Is there anything else you would like to talk about?
The main point of this really is to promote the show that i have on 27th July and to arouse awareness that it is happening and the gravity of its uniqueness…. so thank you for that … we would love to RAM it full so to spread the word of the Tony Martin’s Headless Cross concert is our main concern …. other than that keep an eye open for Tony Martin related stuff cause there is lot of it emerging over these next few years. Thanks for your support and hope to meet you all along the way.