Introducing: Martin King
The other half of Oscar + Martin is ready to ramp up his solo output.
Martin King has been synonymous with forwar-thinking music for some time now, first as a founding member of much-loved acts Oscar + Martin and The Harpoons, and more recently working with Banoffee on her brilliant Do I Make You Nervous? EP. A magnificent talent to be sure, and one that is ready to take things to the next level solo wise under his own name. To mark the release of his latest single, The Way We Crush, we flicked him a few questions to find out a little more:
Tell us about about yourself?
Big question but ill have a stab: Well obviously I'm a musician, and I've always done music in various iterations, but I learnt most of it at art school, which has meant that everything I make is pretty confused. More often than not I'm better at tearing things apart than making them. Lately I don't do so much visual art, but I am a picture framer, and in the privacy created by the sound of saws and my dust mask and earmuffs, I do a bunch of singing practice.
What’s the vibe music-wise?
My solo work is basically a smooth blend of everything I've ever listened to. Those influences that stand out in this track particularly is one of my earliest musical influences, Savage Garden’s seminal self-titled album. I spent a lot of hours at my cousin's place wearing out Truly Madly Deeply, To The Moon & Back and Shake Me, Break Me. Of course balanced out with a little of Michael Jackson’s greatest hits and which ever year of So Fresh it was that had Bomfunk MC’s Freestyler and Limp Bizkitz' Rollin' on it.
Pretty confused/convoluted at this stage. It's like I'll make a bit of drums, then I'll sing a bit, then a bit more drums then try and plonk the rest of the song in wherever it'll fit. It's definitely not ideal, but I didn't really grow up playing guitar and singing covers, mostly I played drums back when The Harpoons was a rock'n'roll band, and in an "experimental" five-piece called Psuche. So the songwriting thing is kind of something I'm still working out. You gotta work with what you got though, and I think my process can make for some "interesting" music lol.
Can you tell us about your new single, The Way We Crush?
I started this track years ago, it just had the bass line which was from another beat that I had scrapped. I kept developing it slowly over time, and for ages I just had this piece with the new beat and structure and all the choruses but no verses. They came eventually, but it wasn't until I changed one lyric from the word "touch" to "crush" that I felt that it finally meant something like what I had intended. In one way the track is literally about how you act and feel when you got a crush. And about the anxiety of wanting to take a relationship to the next level.
On another level it's inspired by the film La Jetée by Chris Marker that I came across in art school, and which I've always found really inspiring. It's composed almost entirely of stills and it is about people in the future trying to send a criminal on death row through time to find an answer to all the problems of their dying world. Only the method/apparatus of sending them there is not a time machine, but a process administered intravenously and through a shock treatment and kind of creates an ambiguity around whether the protagonists experiences are physical and therefore "real", or purely within the mind, and more of an internal journey.
I like that the concept in the song; a willingness to only invest one's body but keep the mind and feelings at some reserved distance, kind of resonates with both of these concepts at once.
What's the rest of the year have in store?
My band The Harpoons are getting pretty close to putting out our second album!! It's been a long time coming, it's called Amaro and it is both bitter and sweet.
I'll be putting out a hand full of tracks through my deconstructed record deal with Good Manners music; so far each track I've made has sounded pretty different from the last, so instead of doing an EP with them, I'm gonna do a series of different singles, provided I can get my shit together to write some decent songs. Also I've got another track in the pipeline with Juliet Row, who is a beautiful singer and great songwriter, and who I've done stuff with before.
Where can we hear more of your music?
SOUNDCLOUD's good. Also this (that's me on the drums):
Follow Martin King: FACEBOOK