Interview about Martyr, the Heavy metal from Holland.
Greetings Rick, thank you for your time. Martyr exists since 1982, an old Dutch metal band, you have debuted three years later in 1985 with the album ”For The Universe”.
Thanks for the opportunity. Yes the classic “For The Universe” album was released in 1985 after a few very popular demo tapes were released. Most famous was “Metal Torture” that found its way all over the world mainly by tape traders. It was also sold and distributed by a record store in Amsterdam that also owned a label )Megaton Records). Being no fool and seeing that sales and distribution went well of that demo tape, they decided to sign us for the release of “FTU”
Next album was released one year later, ”Darkness At Time’s Edge” (1986).
The “DATE” album came quite quickly after “FTU” indeed, but it is released on a different label called Metalloid Records. It is an album where you can significantly hear Martyr’s development. Martyr has always been known for it’s recognizable different sound what you can also here on this album.The album did bring us further on the international metal market looking at sales, shows , acknowledegement etc.
You had a long break, being back in forces latr in 2005, then in 2011 you came out with a third release, ”Circle of 8”. Why such a long break, what can you tell me about this release also?
Correct , after “DATE” was released things were going well and some major record label got interested , also due to help of our management at that time. But, youngsters as we still were, we made 1 mistake. We listened too much to that big label that wanted MARTYR to be more commercial and write a “hit single”, which was not what were into really. This is in the time that the more commercial bands like Europe and Bon Jovi were real big bands. So we did some demo tapes for them but in the end it didn’t work out. In 1987 MARTYR broke up to get back together again in 2001 for a , what we thought, 1 time reunion for the Heavy Metal Maniacs Festival (A Dutch Metal Fanclub) and did the same in 2005 for KIT, Headbangers Open Air. After that the rereleases of the 2 cult classic albums came out and we kept on going with tours all over Europe and new albums as well. “Circle Of 8” was the release in 2011 after the 2009 release “Fear” . In the 80’s we released a track called “En Masse” on the famous Metal Massacre series by Metal Blade. With “Circle Of 8” , produced by Jack Nobelen , we were signed by Metal Blade again, so it was sort of homecoming haha. Metal Blade was immediately convinced about the strength of the material and we were very happy to be back. On “Circle Of 8” we have guest musicians from Vicious Rumors , a band we have toured with (amongst others) in Europe but also we re-recorded our fans favorite song “Speed Of Samurai” , a song from 1984, to be on the album again. But it contains more classic tracks like “Afterlife” and “D.I.” and more.
Let’s focus a little on the newest release of this year ”You Are Next”, actually the fourth full-lenght. What does the covert of the album suggests and where have you recorded this album?
When you count in the 2009 2 CD “Fear” album “You Are Next” is actually our 5th album. We have recorded this album again in Jack’s Place Belgium with our producer Jack Nobelen. Never change a winning team so to say haha. He is really the right producer for us and we have the luxury to take all the time we need and so we did for this new album. The songs are very powerful and it is in all senses a big step ahead for us . It contains 10 songs of pure raw energy, pure power, pure metal. For this album we spent arounf 1,5 years on and off in the studio. The writing process took about a year so lets say the album took us 2,5 years to make it . We finished the album end of August when Jack could stat on mixing an mastering the album. And now it will be released March 31. We are very happy with the new unique deal we have now for this release with Into The Limelight Record in cooperation with Pure Steel Records / Promotion, Soulfood Distribution and EAM agency. Nice to mention is that on “You Are Next” again some excellent crème de la crème musicians joined us again like Nick Holleman (Vicious Rumors), Gert Nijboer (Highway Chile), John Jaycee Cuypers (Praying Mantis) , Marloes Voskuilen (Izegrim), Andreas Lipinski (Wolfen).
As you to not be confused with the other metal band Martyr (black metal), same from Holland, you’re a heavy/power metal band, what about your influences?
To be honest I don’t know much about a black metal band with the same name, only that they don’t exist anymore and we were raised already in 82 with the name MARTYR. We are heavy / power even a thrash band as well. In the 80’s our influences mainly came from US metal and especially Japanese metal. A band like Loudness back in those days was amongst our favorites. Form then till now we have developed, listened to a lot of other bands and styles, toured with some great bands and that all can be new influences for us. I think you can hear that on the new album. We developed, we didn’t want to make an album that was like “FTU” for example although we surely do know where we come from. We want to progress and want to make the album we think is interesting and shows that development as musicians and songwriters as well. But it has always been like this, we first must be satisfied 200% ourselves before will bring it on the market. Of course then we hope the rest of the metal community will like it as well.
Promoting the new album, are you going to tour soon?
Before the release we already do many shows. Even during recordings we did. But these shows contain only a few new songs. At the release party on April 29 in De Helling – Utrecht – Netherlands we turn that around and the main focus will lie on the new album. After that we will do lots of shows and be on the road to promote the album yes.
After having that break, how was it to be back?
Excellent, it is so great to be creative and play music and be on the road with the guys.
What can you tell me about the Dutch metal scene, is it growing up?
I think , but probably it is the same everywhere, it is hard. So many bands, so many releases, so many live shows everywhere. It is overkill. Of course I respect every band that is out there, but nowadays everybody can do a home recording , a release, etc . But you need to stand out, be original, bring quality, not drop every fart you create on the market. So it is hard to get heard between all those thousands of bands that are all over the internet, so to say. However , we have some great bands here in the Netherlands and a very loyal crowd.
Any other plans Martyr has?
At this moment we are working on our 2nd video for the new album. Our first video for our first single “Into The Darkest Of All Realms” has been released somewhere late January: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8D0WzMcl_I .The 2nd video will be for the song “Souls Breathe”, maybe the heaviest track on the album featuring Izegrim’s Marloes Voskuilen. We hope to have it ready on April 29 and premiere it at our release party. Furthermore we are discussing some interesting activities for the Asian market.
Cheers, thx again. Do you have a message for the supporters?
Oh yes, thanks for all those years of support you showed us and hopefully will show us for a long time. We really hope the new album “You Are Next” will be a pleasure for your metal ears and to see you on the road somehow, somewhere soon. Visit our websites for all info or join us on facebook to be in touch. We love to hear from you. Cheers!
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