Random Last Minute Facebook-Chat Interview w/ Daniel Martinez


Even though the world won’t crack in two pieces and kill us all if I can’t get a Monday blog post up, I do try my hardest to make it consistent when the juices are flowin’. Today’s blog post is a sort of random, but fun one. No one can pull a last minute article out of the air like I can. Sometimes Daniel and I will be chatting on FB about music, or making fun of Gary Numan doing a horrible come back on his famous 80’s song ‘Cars’. Regardless, we have a good time. It struck me randomly last Friday though that I could ask Daniel to share his thoughts on music with me. Coming from a guy who has been in a million bands (one of them named Smokey Banda and the Jerk-offs) I thought he’d have some insight!

N: Ok, tumblr interview GO
What’s up with all these terrible bands making cookie-cutter bandwagon music?
D: hm
Well I think people and people in bands think that’s what will make them “big”. I always hear the “single” of a band and realize that none of the rest of their album sounds like that song. Or the complete opposite, where that one single songs like the entire album. It’s like everyone needs that “one” song.
N: Do you think it gets them big?
D: Sometimes it works, but it’s not long lived. You need to have better music essentially. Like, I was listening to Neon Trees. Both their singles were the same chords
N: Do you think that was intentional?
Also we strangely get compared to them a lot in press I’ve read haha! If you want me to use different chords man…just tell me *sob*
D: Hh man I would tell you.
don’t worry about that
I can’t see people keeping interest in bands that produce the same type of songs though
N: Well…speaking of that..you’ve been in so many bands over the years, and are in a couple bands right now, including your own. You see the writing process from so many angles. How do you think bands get stuck on that formulaic stuff?
D: It’s a lot of things. Band dynamics can change the band as a whole. How I write in PA is completely then my own projects. I feel like if it’s a group of people writing you get more variety; less of the same sound
And if it’s one person just writing everything you get very similar sounding songs (sometimes)
I also feel like bands put themselves in these “boxes”. Where on their first album they’re called a pop-punk band so now they have to be a pop-punk band. They’re afraid of getting out of their “box”
N: Good point! I think what other people say can have an affect on how people think they need to act or sound. Do you ever feel that pressure? You always take me as a guy who just does what he thinks is SIQ
D: I honestly don’t care what people think in terms of writing our songs, and our sound.
If I’m acting like a schmuck then I’d want people to call me out on that. I write what sounds good. That’s it, not because it sounds like some sick dubstep song
N: If someone came up to you right now and said “Your drum style is that of a schmuck!” and it was someone who’s opinion you valued, what would you do?
D: Well if it was how I played my drums, like I was doing back flips and used drumsticks that were on fire, then I’d be worried. I mean I’d try harder to keep things fresh and interesting, I don’t like repeating myself and if someone else notices I used very similar parts then that’s not good, for me at least. I’m speaking of drum beats of course.
N: Well, don’t worry your drum parts are too dope.
D: I hope so
N: A lot of times I see bands coasting on power chords and basic, almost child-like musical skill. But some really sick bands have made music that way. What are your thoughts on this?
D:I mean there’s a time and place for those kinds of bands, but the ones that lasted have matured in a way, like Blink 182, yes they are a pop-punk band essentially, but they tried to keep it interesting over the years. Not too crazy about their newest release but at least it’s not the same 4 chords again. Another example is Brand New, I really like all their albums to some extent, even their early pop-punk songs. But then again they matured and expanded on their sound
N:So you’re saying it’s fine to start out simple, but it’s a good idea to get a clue eventually and start expanding?
D: Yes but that’s really up to the band, I mean there are exceptions, like The Strokes wrote the same album 3 times around pretty much. I mean the writing was basically the same garage rock band sound.
But it’s sick, I love listening to his vocals through amps three times around
N: haha!
N:Well that does bring to another question I had. If the production is more or less the same, but the songwriting is killer, is that the saving grace then, of the song in it’s entirety?
D: I talk about this with my brother a lot, he doesn’t care at all if it was recorded on a portable cassette player, as long as the song is good it will sound good. I’m on the fence with this because yeah the song has to be amazing initially to be good but then again if I heard a Rage Against the machine song on an acoustic it wouldn’t be as powerful as them through all their effects, as well as a band like Mars Volta, can you imagine him playing all the songs on rhodes with all the weird time signatures and jam parts, I guess what I’m trying to say it depends on the genre.
N: Thanks for answering all those random questions
D: yeah man no problem

I hope you enjoyed this little interview! Maybe I can convince the other guys to do the same! More to come (fingers crossed).