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Listen Here: Dom Martin Interview
Craig Garber (00:00.88)
Hey everybody, this is Craig Garber. Welcome to Everyone Loves Guitar. Man, I’ve got a great guest. A guy I’ve been looking forward to talking to since I got turned on to him a few months ago with Dom Martin. Real quick, Dom’s from Belfast, Ireland. In my opinion, and I have never said this of the 920 guests I’ve had on the show, this is the hottest blues artist I have heard in many years. And if he can get a few breaks, I really, look at him, he’s like bashful and shit. He’s a really nice young kid.
And I’m just, Oh, that’s what I’m calling him a kid. Uh, anyway, he deserves it. So I hope he gets a few breaks. He deserves. He’s a phenomenally talented guy, man. And again, I haven’t said that about any artists that’s come on this show. His songwriting is original and he knows how to make you feel something. More importantly, whether he’s playing electric, acoustic, or slide. Since 2019, Dom’s released a live album and three studio LPs, including his latest album, which just came out called buried in the hail.
I’ve listened to his catalog many times in the last few months since I’ve been familiar with him and he’s gotten me through many workouts, car rides, walks, and maybe even a biblical encounter or two with Mrs. Garber. So that being said, Dom, let’s start. Thanks for coming on the show, man. I appreciate your time.
Dom Martin (01:12.088)
I’m a little embarrassed about your introduction, but it’s very complimentary. I’ll take it back. Thank you.
Craig Garber (01:16.2)
Yeah, man. And it’s sincere. I wouldn’t say I don’t say anything. I don’t believe. All right. Let’s start with your acoustic playing because this is interesting. I generally prefer almost always listening to electric, but not with you, man. You’re you’re just a you have a very unique style. You’re a terrific acoustic picker picker. And I was just curious what you did to get such a command of the acoustic guitar playing blues in that unconventional style. And also.
Dom Martin (01:20.098)
Craig Garber (01:44.336)
I thought your acoustic playing might be rooted in Irish folk music. So if you could elaborate on that.
Dom Martin (01:49.634)
Yeah, well, you know, the main thing was that through the frustration of playing the instrument when I was very young, I never gave up. You know, a lot of people at the very beginning when they pick up an instrument, they start and they get incredibly frustrated because it’s, you know, you’re challenging your brain to kind of do something that you don’t know about yet. So I always had a drive in me to figure it out. I was always playing for myself. I never really…
Like even doing the gigs and being a musician, I never really wanted to do any of this professionally. I always did it because I felt like I needed to do it for myself more than anything else. And it was, my dad always played, he always had a guitar in his hand. He drank a lot and he did a lot of this and a lot of that. It wasn’t really a conventional upbringing by any means, but I learned a lot from him. I learned a lot from watching. When I was about 10, I realized how good he was. And I realized…
Craig Garber (02:42.74)
as a guitar player.
Dom Martin (02:44.03)
Yeah, as a guitar player, I realised just how gifted he was as a guitar player. And I just watched what he did and I learned as much as I could from him. You know, I was never shy to ask him, can you show me this? Can you show me that? Can you teach me this? And the only way I can describe my dad as a player is if Tommy Emmanuel and Ralph McTel had a baby. My dad had a baby, you know, that’s the only thing I’ve got to describe him. He was that good. Yeah, yeah.
Craig Garber (03:02.284)
Craig Garber (03:07.936)
So he, that’s amazing. So you’re kind of like, in a sense, like a Tiger Woods, the golf player. And like, you know, people say, I would like to be as good as, I don’t know shit about golf, but I’ve heard people say, but you know, I mean, you gotta start when you’re five to get that good. So it’s the same as you sort of.
Dom Martin (03:19.15)
I don’t know what they’re like, but I…
Dom Martin (03:25.406)
Yeah, I guess so. I mean, my dad held me over a guitar when I was born and I’ve been scratching it and crying over it my whole life. You know, it’s been my only outlet and my only therapy. And it’s always it’s just always been there for me, you know, always.
Craig Garber (03:29.878)
Craig Garber (03:41.748)
Very cool. Well, you may need more therapy after this interview, so don’t give up. Don’t give up yet. Um, how did you first get your career started, especially in light of you said you weren’t driven to do this as a career was just, you know, for cleaning your soul.
Dom Martin (03:44.706)
Dom Martin (03:56.042)
Yeah, I needed money. I didn’t have a job. I’ve got no qualifications. I got no GCSEs. I never did any exams. I never went to school. I went to school to get lunch because the lunch was free. I walked in at like half 12 in the afternoon. I got some food and then I walked home again and listened to records with my dad all day. You know what I mean? It was that kind of thing. But about six years ago, five, six years ago, I was doing a couple of, you know, a handful of bar gigs and stuff around Belfast and really struggling, like really survival mode.
and I ended up on a radio show. It was like a dance music, like a rave music show. It’s like the Beat 106 or something, the city side radio and this guy Chris and he’s like, listen all these beats and all of a sudden it’s like, oh, the Dom Martins come into the studio to play this song for us. It’s just me playing an acoustic song in the middle of these rave songs, which was just the most contrasting.
thing I think I’ve ever done. And it was recorded and Fenton and Audrey here, my managers and my friends here, they heard the song and it was a song that came from the Spain to Italy album, which wasn’t even thought of by them. And when Fenton heard it, he got in touch with me and he started giving me a couple of gigs here and there. And it just grew into a great friendship. And these guys have been fighting.
Craig Garber (05:07.307)
Oh, great track.
Dom Martin (05:23.234)
the industry every day since then to try and get me somewhere. You know, it’s kind of, um, I feel like, like they’re obliged to help me in a way that, uh, they just won’t give up. Do you know what I mean? Like anybody else, but I mean, back then I was drinking and I was, I was a wild man in comparison to what I am now. You know, I was a completely different person back then. And, um, they kind of lovingly broke me down and built me back up again. Like nobody had ever done before in my life.
show me things like human compassion and empathy and yeah, they’re just really beautiful people and you know, watch out because they’re not backing down, you know what I mean? I’ve never seen so much drive and will and like it’s not even like fury or anger, it’s like beyond that, you know, it’s like a beautiful, it’s a thing that most people would strive for, to have in them, that fire in your belly, you know what I mean? That I will win, I am going to win.
even if it kills me, I’m still going to win. You know, and I’ve watched them do that and it’s kind of brushed off on me as well because I never really had that drive. You know, I was just happy, go lucky, you know, didn’t really think much about the future or of myself or you know anything and they’ve done a hell of a lot for me. I’d be dead if it wasn’t for them, honestly. Yeah, I owe them an awful lot. I’m aware of how much I owe them, you know, which is another thing.
Craig Garber (06:24.938)
Craig Garber (06:42.72)
That’s awesome, man. That’s very touching, man.
Craig Garber (06:50.784)
That’s really cool, man. We have a lot in common actually, you and I. Oh, I know so from listening to what you just said. What was your first break outside of them? What was your first like music business break?
Dom Martin (06:54.176)
You think so? Yeah. Do man.
Dom Martin (07:05.562)
Oh, you know, there was one, but we kind of all had a fallen out. So I’m not going to say it. I don’t want to give them the publicity. But I guess we did the Joe Bonamassa cruise a couple of months ago. Well, about a month ago now, maybe, when it was in the Mediterranean. And I guess that was a break. That’s a pretty big break for anybody. We’re very lucky to get even to Greece, never mind on the on that ship. You know, so.
Craig Garber (07:14.164)
No, it’s cool. Totally cool. Yeah, yeah.
Craig Garber (07:27.488)
Dom Martin (07:35.566)
Craig Garber (07:35.732)
Well, he was lucky to have you, man. I listened to a lot of blues, dude, let me tell ya. I think he was lucky to have you.
Dom Martin (07:41.366)
Yeah, I’m serious. I mean, it comes with the territory, doesn’t it? You’ve been doing this for a while.
Craig Garber (07:47.628)
I’m old. I’m also old. I haven’t listened to music since I was like five. So here’s what’s interesting. When I listened to your first album, the thing that I was most impressed with that number one, all the songs were your own compositions. And I literally can’t think of a first blues album, especially in the last 15, 20, 30 years even, where there wasn’t at least a couple of covers on there.
Dom Martin (07:52.632)
Craig Garber (08:16.424)
And I was really impressed with that because I think that it took a lot of belief in yourself for you not to go down on that same path, but I would have to bet that was a deliberate decision on your part or your no.
Dom Martin (08:32.026)
To be completely honest with you, I never even thought about it like that whatsoever. Not even for a second. I went into the studio, I had these songs, you know, and I never wanted to make an album even. It was never my intention to make an album even. It was just, I had these songs and I wrote them at particularly dark and bad times in my life as a form of therapy and a form of trying to explain what had happened and trying to kind of move on from it.
Craig Garber (08:35.914)
Dom Martin (09:00.742)
I never wanted anybody to hear those songs. They explained to Italy and all those songs. It was never my intention for anybody to listen to them. But unfortunately or fortunately, Fenton and Audrey heard some of the songs in passing and probably me drunk or something one night at a friend’s place just brought these out of the hat. And I guess they thought I had something to say and it was maybe worth trying to make an EP just to see if it would go anywhere.
And so that’s what we did. We made an EP called Easy Way Out. And we, they went to the British Blues Awards one year in the UK with like a goodie bag. And it was like the EP was in this thing and a couple of other wee bits and pieces. And they gave it out to people at this, this blues awards. So people have got the word got it was the smartest thing. Like it’s smart. It was a really, really good idea. And that I suppose we got a couple of gigs from that. And then we went on and we made the album. But, I mean, I was
Craig Garber (09:48.744)
Yeah, it’s very smart.
Dom Martin (09:58.938)
heavily drinking back then when I was making that album. I mean, every day I was drinking. I was going into the studio at maybe nine o’clock in the morning with a few bottles of wine, you know, and it was just like, I can’t remember most of it to be honest. I really can’t. I was not in a good place.
Craig Garber (10:10.624)
Craig Garber (10:14.408)
If you’re uncomfortable answering this, that’s totally cool. I’m only gonna ask you because you mentioned, are you sober now or?
Dom Martin (10:17.834)
No, no, no. Yeah, no, I’m completely sober now. I mean, I’ve got my nicotine and I got my caffeine and that’s my two main things that I can’t do without anymore. But yeah, I used to take a lot of drugs as well. You know, I was on meth for a very, very long time and cocaine and the only thing I didn’t really go near was heroin, although I sniffed it once and it messed me up.
Craig Garber (10:22.86)
Wow, good for you.
Dom Martin (10:45.542)
a couple of hours but it was all right, you know, I wasn’t gonna get sick or anything. They didn’t have to do like the pulp fiction thing where they stick you with a needle and all that. None of that happened. It wasn’t nice but it was, I mean I hang about, I used to hang about with crazy people, you know, murderers and drug dealers, create criminals. I was in a bad crowd for a long time and but I was a different person. I was able to put up with that a lot more. I had a thicker skin back then or something, you know, and I didn’t really care about much.
I’m a lot more sensitive than I used to be, which is nice. I think I feel a lot more, you know, I have a lot more empathy about me, I think, in the world, which is something I always wanted, I guess, you know.
Craig Garber (11:16.948)
Yeah, that’s good. That’s really good.
Craig Garber (11:26.632)
Man, pat yourself on the back because you’re a young guy to get sober like that, to have been in so deep, that’s very unusual because I’ve dealt with lots of addicts in my life. And really, man.
Dom Martin (11:36.01)
Yeah, yeah, I know I’ve got to see a lot. And I think I just got lucky. I think I just, I outgrew it. I’ve outgrown all that stuff, I guess. And a lot of people didn’t, and I did ask a few people to come with me when I was leaving, and they didn’t want to, they weren’t ready to stop or whatever, which is fine. But yeah, I feel very lucky that I got out pretty, and we were just talking about this earlier on today, I got out pretty much unscathed. Got a couple of kick-ins here and there, and you know,
Craig Garber (11:53.866)
Dom Martin (12:05.358)
But overall, there was a couple of times that probably should have been killed and I wasn’t very, very lucky to be alive now. Every day was a good day, you know.
Craig Garber (12:13.996)
Man, good for you. That’s really good. I’m, yeah, man. I’m happy to hear that, really happy. I wanna talk a little bit more about your writing. And just the way you even express that is probably night and day from the way you would have communicated, I don’t know, 10 years ago, whenever you were deep in it. So really pat yourself on the back. That’s a pretty fucking major thing.
Dom Martin (12:21.587)
Dom Martin (12:32.875)
Dom Martin (12:38.082)
Thanks, Gaurav. Thank you.
Craig Garber (12:40.068)
I want to talk a little bit more about your writing. You’ve got a really strong footing in the blues and this is why I love your music, though you don’t write like usual conventional blues songs, but that’s not common. How did you develop or what influenced? I don’t even know what the right question to ask you is there. It’s just like your writing style is awesome, but it’s so unusual.
Dom Martin (13:00.726)
I just, even from a very young age, I was just so self-aware that the lyrics of some songs that I was listening to, particularly in blues, were boring, repetitive, and just they didn’t really explain why they were feeling bad or why everybody was taking everything away from them. They had nothing, but they were taking that too. But why were they taking it too? I want the explanation. I don’t want to hear about, you know, why. I don’t want to hear that you feel upset. I want to know why you feel upset.
Craig Garber (13:29.236)
Dom Martin (13:29.954)
in your blues song, you know, or whatever it was, explain it more. I want the explanation. So I became critically aware that I don’t want all the lyrics to have to rhyme and have to fit a certain way and even to the detriment of some songs, I just, they just had to, they had to mean something, had to be really meaningful for me to be able to play them on a stage, you know, I couldn’t, I’ve wrote loads. I used to think it was hard for me to write a song.
It’s actually incredibly easy for me to write a song, but it’s actually hard for me to write a song that I want to play every night on a stage. And that’s the difference. You know, that’s the difference. I mean, for that latest album, I had 513 voice memos on my phone to go through to make that album. And I wrote the album in two days.
Craig Garber (14:05.129)
Craig Garber (14:22.24)
Wow, that’s phenomenal, man. How did you, your changes or your chord change, it’s like you always know where you’re going as a listener, like chord change wise, but it’s not like, not everything’s a 12 bar blues, it’s nothing like that. I was like, how the hell did you do that? That’s very unique.
Dom Martin (14:23.978)
Yeah, man, I thought that-
Dom Martin (14:43.126)
I guess, you know, it’s just a lot of trial and error, I guess. And it’s being open to being yourself and to try and not be influenced by what’s come before you, because listen, Stevie Ray Vaughan may have been one of the best guitar players in the world. And we were talking about this earlier on as well, me and Audrey. He inspired so many people that everybody that we listen to in a blues festival all sound like Stevie Ray Vaughan, every single one of them.
They all have the same tone, they all play a strat, they all sound exactly the same. And it would have been so easy for me to just start a Rory Gallagher tribute band and that would have been it for the rest of my life.
Craig Garber (15:19.076)
Dude, I’m so happy you didn’t go down that road because you’re like, your blues guitarist, your Irish. I was, you know, I was really happy that you didn’t do that.
Dom Martin (15:25.678)
It would have been so easy to just slip into that tribute life and just forget about all the other stuff, you know, and I probably would have made a lot more money. I would have got a lot more gigs and I would have got a lot more respect for it because Rory, his music is so untouchable to so many people. Not a lot of people can pull it off. And I’ve watched him witness a lot of bands rip his songs apart and I felt so embarrassed for them and I felt so embarrassed for Rory because I’m not saying anything bad, but there’s a standard of musicianship that Rory had.
Craig Garber (15:30.826)
Craig Garber (15:40.105)
Dom Martin (15:54.934)
And if you’re not at that standard, you can’t, you should not be playing those songs. You know, that’s, yeah, that’s the same with any other artists. I’m not just talking about Rory. That’s the same with any other tribute band that just are in it because they just love that music. You know, they just fucking love it so much that they just have to play that music. And that’s all that they know. And that’s all that they can do, you know, but they’re not doing it right. You know what I mean? There’s something.
Craig Garber (15:59.381)
Craig Garber (16:16.62)
You know, I totally know what you mean. And I was like I said, I said to myself, God, this guy could have done like every, you know, Rory Gallagher trick out there, but I’m so, it was really impressive that you didn’t actually.
Dom Martin (16:28.058)
There was a weekday gig in Glasgow, guy shouted out, play Shadow Play. And I was like, I hate that fucking song. I’m not playing Shadow Play. He’s like, what about Bad Penny? I’m like, listen, I’m not a Rory Gallagher jibby band. I only play the Rory songs that I really love to play. I don’t play the songs everybody loves. I’ve never played A Million Miles Away in my life. I’ve never learned it. I’ve never played Daughter of the Everglades or Shadow Play or any of those songs because I can’t stand them. I definitely can’t. I’m a massive Rory fan, but there’s a limit. You know.
Craig Garber (16:38.028)
Craig Garber (16:42.165)
Craig Garber (16:45.76)
Craig Garber (16:51.707)
Dom Martin (16:56.066)
There’s like from like 1967, 68 to like 1979, that’s my Rory era. Anything after that, I have no time for it. It does nothing for me, you know? I think Rory had changed. He went really heavy and more rocky than I love his acoustic stuff. I love that stuff and taste, all that jazzy stuff and taste back in the 60s. That was amazing. I don’t think he ever really found another Richard McCracken or another John Wilson. He never filled that void, you know?
Craig Garber (17:04.872)
Craig Garber (17:13.384)
Dom Martin (17:23.566)
from that first Taste band, that’s Mark II, it was Eric Ketteringham and another guy before the Belfast lads got on Taste. John would always call them the unsung heroes, John Wilson, the unsung heroes of the Rory legacy were those first, that Mark I of Taste, I always liked John for that. Yeah, you should. It’s amazing stuff.
Craig Garber (17:32.608)
Craig Garber (17:43.628)
It’s funny, I have that in my queue to check out sometime this week, the old taste stuff. I just downloaded it, yeah.
Dom Martin (17:50.018)
But yeah, that early Rory stuff was amazing. He was only like 16, 17 years old when he was writing songs like Railway and Gum, What’s Going On, Laundromat. He was a kid when he wrote those songs. He was a baby. It’s just the guy was intelligent, musically intelligent. He just had a high IQ for music, which was just from a guy from a wee small village in Ireland to take on the world like that. He left a hell of a footprint for the rest of us that live here musically.
Craig Garber (18:00.116)
I didn’t realize that. That’s amazing.
Craig Garber (18:19.163)
Oh hell yeah.
Dom Martin (18:20.262)
And it’s been a pleasure for me over the past, I don’t know how many years, every stage I’ve been on, I’ve always played Rory songs. You know, I played my own stuff too. There’s always been room for a bit of Rory. But it’s slowly phasing out now because I’ve got enough material of my own that I’m happy with. Yeah, it’s getting big enough to do a full show without having to rely on anybody else’s music, which is what I want to do. I’ll always pay homage to Rory and try and spread his name and keep his…
Craig Garber (18:35.356)
Yeah, your catalog’s getting big. Yeah.
Dom Martin (18:48.866)
keep his music and his legacy alive as much as I can. But to be honest with you, I used to think it was only me that listened to Rory. And then as I got older, I realized everybody still listens to Rory. I don’t have to carry the torch anymore. You know, I don’t have to carry the Rory torch anymore. I can pass it on to somebody else. Somebody else can have it. I don’t want it. I never wanted it. I’m not trying to be Rory Gallagher. I don’t want to be Rory Gallagher. I love the guy to death. I love playing his songs. His music has saved me and it’s got me through so many things. It’s the least I could have done was to just…
Craig Garber (18:56.104)
Everybody listens to that guy. Yeah.
Dom Martin (19:17.718)
play some of his songs at my gigs, you know, but I don’t want to be him. Nobody can be him. Thank you. That’s all I can do. That’s all I can do. I’m glad we cleared that up.
Craig Garber (19:21.524)
Well, you do Don Martin pretty well, so I’d stick with him. Yeah.
Craig Garber (19:28.892)
Yeah, man. Hey, I want to talk about some of my favorite songs of yours. So from Spain to Italy, you get a song on there called Mercy. What a fucking amazing song. It’s like an A minor blues, I think, but it’s so smooth. It’s so, it’s almost like, you remember that old, that song secret agent, man? Uh, it’s, so it’s like a real smooth song. And I always felt like when I listened to mercy, I’m like, well, if
Dom Martin (19:36.162)
Dom Martin (19:48.394)
I do, very vaguely.
Craig Garber (19:56.068)
Secret Agent Man was a blues song, it would be Mercy, because it’s just so smooth, man, it’s just so cool. What’s the backstory to that track? I love it.
Dom Martin (20:05.878)
I was living on the streets in Belfast and an acquaintance, a friend of mine, we used to work in a bar together up in Antrim town which isn’t far from Belfast city. I met him when I worked in this bar and years later I found him in Belfast. So I’m walking past his house on the Woodstock Road one morning and the rain’s coming down. I’ve nowhere else to go, I’ve nowhere to be, no time to get there, I’ve no house.
He left his, he left his front door open. I seen him walking out of his house. You know, it’s like the lock that you got to pull the handle up and turn the key at the same time to lock it. You can do that. And I, I noticed him and he left. And if you’re, you see an acquaintance or a friend leaving a house unlocked and you’ve got nowhere to go and he leaves, you’re going in, you’re going inside. You’ve got no other choice, but to go. You know what I mean? You just naturally, you just have to, you’re breaking the law, but you got to do it. So I went in and.
Craig Garber (20:55.948)
Especially if it’s raining. Yeah.
Dom Martin (21:03.334)
and I made myself a cup of coffee and some toast, you know, kind of sat in a chair and looked out the window, kind of fantasized what it would be like to have a house, you know, a door and stuff like that. And for whatever reason, he whenever I heard him coming home, I ran upstairs and I hid in the attic. In the loft space up at the roof, you know, and I fell asleep and the next day when I woke up, he was gone. He’s way to work or something. So I have no idea why I did this to him.
Craig Garber (21:13.932)
Dom Martin (21:32.962)
But I went down and I kind of suddenly started rearranging his furniture, you know, like moving pictures from stuff like that, you know. And then when I bring him home, I’d run back up and hide in the attic again. So he eventually found me up there and we had a good fight about it. We’re still friends to this day, you know, but that’s when I was up in that attic. I wrote a couple of songs. One of them was The Rain Came and the other one was Mercy. Yeah.
Craig Garber (21:36.881)
Oh my god.
Craig Garber (21:57.088)
That’s how long did you do that for? How long you in his house for?
Dom Martin (22:00.206)
I was up there for about a month like… Right, I was around his house going, who left this here? He lives alone, like he’s going crazy. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time, but looking back on it, it probably wasn’t the right thing. I wasn’t in the right mind either, you know, as a person back then, but there was no harm done.
Craig Garber (22:02.88)
Craig Garber (22:10.204)
Oh my God, that’s creepy as hell, dude. Oh my God. Wow.
Craig Garber (22:18.755)
Craig Garber (22:23.816)
Craig Garber (22:29.096)
No, that’s awesome. What a story. Holy shit. That’s the most original songwriting story I’ve heard in like 920 songs, not in 20 episodes. You have EP, I think it’s A Savage Life, Here Comes the River. I just love the sound of that recording. And it felt like it’s just you and your electric. And it felt like the space in the room really enhanced.
Dom Martin (22:45.282)
Dom Martin (22:54.391)
Craig Garber (22:56.2)
the quality of the recording in that track. So tell me about the track and also what guitar are you playing, because it was so clean, man. I was curious.
Dom Martin (23:03.018)
Yeah, it was done on a 53, a 52 reissue telly butterscotch one. I got it because I started listening to Roy Buchanan. And yeah, it was just like that. I just, you know, he did things to my soul that I can’t even explain anymore.
Craig Garber (23:13.301)
Craig Garber (23:23.366)
Dom Martin (23:23.554)
When I first heard him, I just couldn’t believe what I’ve been looking for something. I had no idea what it was. And when I heard it, I was like changing strings or something. And this playlist was on YouTube. Like it always is in the background. I’m changing strings and I heard him play. It’s Roy’s Blues live at City, City Limits in Austin. And I stopped what I was doing and I went and I glued myself to the screen and watched him for like, it was like an eight minute song. And as soon as it was over, I had to go and lie down the process. What I’d just witnessed. I couldn’t believe it. I was like, I finally found something worth my time, you know.
There’s like an original guy playing original, just doing what he does. There’s no bravado, no ego there. Guy just had it. He just had such a talent. The saw the same, you know, was and was awful. You know, an awful end.
Craig Garber (23:55.787)
Craig Garber (24:09.652)
Well, dude, did you cleaned up? Cause that might’ve been you. Yeah.
Dom Martin (24:12.858)
Well, that’s where I get this from. You know, I look at Tom Martin, I look at Rory, I look at Roy, and I look at all these guys and I’m like, fuck if, if I, if I make anything from this, I’m dead. I’m dead, like in a week, if I ever, if I get a good payday or something, I’m gone. You know what I mean? I’m not going to survive. So, yeah, I had to knock everything in the head. I’m glad I did. But yeah, here comes the river. We we booked a studio in Belfast to record that album, the Savage Life album.
Craig Garber (24:33.576)
Dom Martin (24:42.854)
And after a couple of maybe recorded maybe six or seven songs, and after that we realized that we’d booked the wrong place with the wrong guy. And I mean, how hard is it to hit record? You know what I mean? How hard is it to just hit a record button and leave it alone? It was just, I mean, whenever I first met him, I asked him, can you, what I need is a rock studio and an acoustic studio. Can you do that? And he said, yes. So I put my confidence in him that he could.
He could set up a studio for a rock band trio, and he could set up a studio for an acoustic guitar, which he couldn’t do. So everything sounded like crap. Everything sounded awful. I was in a horrible place after that. I wasn’t talking to anybody. A good friend of ours was down at cancer as well. That’s when the Maxwell Shuffle comes in, and that’s why the parting glasses on there, that’s for him. And so I just shut down. I didn’t want to release any of the songs. I wanted to put it in the bin, and all the money was gone for the album.
So we couldn’t start again, we couldn’t start fresh. So the album was a complete train wreck, pretty much from start to finish. And luckily we met two guys in Dublin who actually did the new album now and we’re gonna try and stick with them, which is Chris and Graham, the production suite, sorry, in Dublin. And they were able to fix what they could and we re-recorded a couple of songs and one of them was, Here Comes the River.
So I brought my amp down and they put it in a box. They put the amp in this big box chamber with the lid on it and everything. And the thing was overheating, like it was burning up in there. But I did that song through that amp in that box and that telly, that 53 telly on the neck.
Craig Garber (26:13.686)
Craig Garber (26:27.708)
Yeah, that was great. It really enhanced that the room space was just, I mean, the way they recorded it was just phenomenal, man. It really.
Dom Martin (26:35.626)
I was kind of a bit skeptical about the amp and the box thing, but the way it turned out was perfect. And I think there was a tremolo or a reverb on it. There was a thing I got on Amazon for like £14. It was the cheapest pedal I could find that would give me a reverb-y tremolo sound. That’s that sound. There was no tremolo. It just worked.
Craig Garber (26:47.788)
Craig Garber (26:54.184)
Phenomenal. All right, so your latest album’s called Buried in the Hail. I wanna talk about that track. It’s fucking very heavy, very serious lyrics, and you don’t have to answer this question if you’re uncomfortable. But when I listened to it, I said, man, he wrote this about his dad. Is that accurate? No, okay, okay. Because that was.
Dom Martin (27:18.322)
No, it wasn’t about my dad at all. No, no, I don’t think, I mean, I don’t think it was. I didn’t have him in mind when I wrote it. It’s about a, I guess it’s about many things, but it boils down to knowing that you have to do something that’s going to devastate somebody else’s whole life and not really sure how to go about doing it. You know, like say if you’re in a relationship with somebody and they love you, but you don’t love them, you know.
And you gotta tell them that because you’re living a lie, you’ve been living a lie for years with them, with this person, you know. You’ve been, they’ve been going, I love you. And you’re saying, yeah, I love you too. And then you’re going, fuck it. And I say, I don’t feel any of this. You know, I don’t have those feelings for you. You know, I haven’t for a very long time. And I mean, you’re torturing yourself trying to fake it. You know, you’re trying to fake your way through it. And then you just pretend everything’s all right. But after years of it chipping away at you, you just, you kind of.
you lose a bit of yourself somewhere along the line. You know, especially if you’ve got kids, I’ve got a son as well, I had a son with this woman too, and she had a daughter from a previous relationship, so I devastated the whole family, you know, sacrificed everything. Just, yeah, it was a horrible, horrible time. Still is, you know, it was pretty recent. No, that’s fine, you asked the question. All I can do is give you an honest answer, and that’s definitely part of it.
Craig Garber (28:30.837)
Oh my god, that’s…
Craig Garber (28:38.048)
Craig Garber (28:42.932)
Craig Garber (28:46.202)
Dom Martin (28:48.47)
You know, I was really, I was heartbroken in a way that I wasn’t being devastated by somebody. I was actually on the other side for the first time in my life. I had to be the one to say that I don’t love you and I still want to be, I’m still, we’re still very close and stuff like that. You know, we’re always going to be in each other’s lives no matter what. We’re bonded by that. Next is my best friend really, you know, at the end of the day she is my best friend. Like, but at the same time I can’t show her these
feelings of affection and I can’t show her love the way that she could show me love because I just don’t have those feelings. And I’m really sorry about that. I feel guilty as hell and I feel bad, but I also feel like a man because I was able to tell her that. A lot of people that I know have just stayed in relationships because they feel that they have to or I don’t know why. I don’t know why people stay in relationships when they’re not happy.
Craig Garber (29:25.108)
Craig Garber (29:46.42)
I don’t either, man.
Dom Martin (29:48.054)
Yeah, that’s definitely a part of it. And I mean, she hits this album. She knows where all this stuff’s coming from now. You know what I mean? So, thank you.
Craig Garber (29:55.85)
It’s a beautiful song there, man. I mean, it’s very heavy. Thank you for sharing it. That was very cool of you.
Dom Martin (30:04.266)
Yeah, you’re very welcome. I hope I don’t get in shit for this. I don’t want to get any… I mean it’s awful dark in this hole I’ve just dug for myself, you know what I mean?
Craig Garber (30:11.404)
Hey man, you’re not listen you’re being honest You know, what are you gonna do? You can’t like
Dom Martin (30:17.687)
It’s the truth. It’s the truth. I can’t do anything about it. There’s nothing I can do.
Craig Garber (30:25.536)
the slide guitar in that song. Was that like a regular acoustic or like a resonator maybe? Or…
Dom Martin (30:30.846)
Oh yeah, it’s a resonator. Yeah. I mean, I got this, I got this, it’s an Ozark, you know, it’s, um, these guys, they make them in China. They’re not, it’s not a national or anything by any means, but, uh, I had a, like a wooden body resonator, you know, like a spider bridge one for a long, long time. I did every gig in Belfast with one of those. And, uh, it eventually just kept breaking. And every time you went over a bump in the road, you’d have to reset the whole thing. And it was a, it was a pain in the arse, you know.
Craig Garber (30:34.087)
Dom Martin (30:57.51)
And so Audrey, my manager and my good friend Audrey here, she got in touch with Ozark and over the over a couple of months they were able to finally, you know, give me one at cost price. And so when I got it, it was this big shiny thing. I didn’t realize how shiny it was going to be. When I opened the case, it was like Pulp Fiction. And when they open up, it’s a soul or it’s gold or whatever it is. And I was like, this is so shiny. I was like, oh, fuck, I hate it. So I spray painted all these different colors. I added white and blue.
Craig Garber (31:14.464)
Dom Martin (31:27.426)
black and all sorts of colours and I finally settled on green. Green and gold for the plate. Yeah, it’s just such a lovely guitar. It’s just such a great guitar. I’m still figuring out pickups and I have a Classic 57 that I got from an old 339 out of that. Very nice pickups. I wish I probably shouldn’t have swapped it.
Craig Garber (31:49.152)
Those are great pickups, my favorite Gibson pickups. My favorite Gibson pickups, yeah, I love them.
Dom Martin (31:56.426)
I should have just left them in that 339 because they were great, but I have the neck pickup in that resonator now and it’s brilliant. It’s really nice. But the feedback’s a problem. So I’ve stuffed the resonator or the empty cavity of the body full of cloth and tiles and all sorts of stuff to try and stop it from feedbacking, which did help a lot. Yeah, it’s a lovely guitar. Lovely guitar.
Craig Garber (32:13.772)
Craig Garber (32:17.132)
sound. Well, I mean, you know, you were saying how you’re playing these cheaper guitars, but you’re no one’s sitting there. No one’s sitting there listening. Said, man, Dom’s got a really cheap guitar, which just goes to show you as far as guitar, the tone is in your fingers, man. Cause I, I never thought about, man, that’s a, I just like enjoyed everything I heard from you. So yeah, that’s
Dom Martin (32:27.594)
Yeah. It is. It is.
Dom Martin (32:35.826)
Yeah, the trick of that song and I knew I knew to do this. I don’t know how I knew how to do this or why I wanted it done this way. When we got to the studio, I knew that the resonator had to be mic’d up and also the amp with the distortion also had to be separately mic’d up in different places. You know, so the guitar was here and then it was a big screen. The amp was like walled off with all these things that they brought and put in front of it. So I knew we needed the core sound of the resonator. But we also in the background, we needed that.
distorted resonator tone also. And then we blended together and I was like, this is what needs to happen for these songs, you know? And that’s why you can still, you can tell it’s a resonator, but there’s also that under, underneath it, there’s this really distorted and ugly and harsh and angry.
Craig Garber (33:08.012)
Craig Garber (33:22.364)
I wouldn’t call it ugly man. Nothing about that. That song is ugly, man. That’s a That’s an awesome track. You can In midway in the middle of the song you have like the sound of rain pouring down And in the background it’s you know, you could hear kind of people talking loudly and I couldn’t tell but it sounded like it Was a heated conversation What is? Yeah, tell me about that
Dom Martin (33:25.8)
Dom Martin (33:42.294)
Yeah, I wanted an argument in there, you know. And I had to have the rain because the buried in the hill, you know, there’s the sound of this thunderous weather. I mean, it’s all to do with going in your mind and digging up some stuff that you maybe have to face and actually just facing it, you know, instead of trying to hide anything, you just kind of, you just run at it. Like if you see a ghost, you don’t run away from it. You just run straight at it. You know what I mean? If I seen a ghost,
Like for real, I would run through the fucker. Like I’d be like, let’s fucking go. You know what I mean? I wouldn’t go, oh my God, there’s a ghost, I’d run away. You know, I’d be like, fuck yeah, let’s go and hug the ghost. You know, even if it’s danger, you run towards danger. I don’t know if it’s like fucking savage thing or whatever, but I’ve always run towards the danger. You know what I mean? I loved it. I love that. So yeah, there’s a heated argument in there between a man and a woman. Pretty self-explanatory, I guess, you know.
Craig Garber (34:17.728)
Craig Garber (34:40.052)
Yeah, now. Yeah.
Dom Martin (34:42.218)
And there’s all sorts in it. There’s weird stuff in the background. And, you know, it really is about just your sanity slipping a little bit, you know, but you’re allowing your mind to break. You know, you’re letting the natural process kind of happen instead of trying to fight, you know, and trying to be normal, like normal. You know, like nothing’s happening. Just just let your mind break. Let your mind bend and see if it snaps. You know what I mean? It’s the only way to do it.
Craig Garber (35:08.428)
I like that man. Great track. Government, it’s another heavy song, just you and an acoustic. What prompted you to write that one?
Dom Martin (35:11.011)
Dom Martin (35:18.484)
There’s many meanings for that.
Craig Garber (35:20.989)
I’m like uncovering the whole thing here today. Share whatever you want.
Dom Martin (35:25.61)
Well, one of them, one of them, one of the reasons behind government was I seen that there was a billboard outside place. I lived in Belfast and it said, um, it was like over the COVID period, you know, where everything was starting to open up again. And it said something like, uh, John, John is a, John was a musician, but now he’s a plumber, but he just doesn’t know it yet, you know, something like that.
And I was like, John’s a musician, but he’s a plumber and he doesn’t know it yet. I was like, geez, that’s some governmental slogans right there, man. They’re going after the music business and anything to do with cash, you know, anything they can’t tax and they’re not really sure. But this is an excuse for them to do that. Yeah, I couldn’t believe it. I was like, this is an attack.
Craig Garber (36:12.368)
Oh, that’s what that was about. Holy shit.
Dom Martin (36:18.126)
There’s a big attack on musicians or anybody that’s in the arts who may be getting paid cash in hand, you know, from a bar or from a club. Nobody’s getting taxed on this stuff. So it was it was a massive campaign in this country. I don’t know how far it went, but that’s that just made me sick. It made me sick to my stomach, you know. And so. Hi. Why are you going after the little guys? You know what I mean?
Craig Garber (36:38.613)
Why don’t you go after investment bankers like somebody has money?
Craig Garber (36:46.014)
Dom Martin (36:46.886)
Making like 50 pound a gig. Why are you taking that away? Why are you trying to take that away? You know, it’s crazy. Like crazy. Going after anything that you can do with your heart and with your mind to become, you know, I get it. You know, you can get a trade, become a plumber and stop playing music, but, you know, we have to have creative arts in the world. Has to be there.
Craig Garber (36:53.644)
Craig Garber (37:06.412)
God yeah. That’s nuts, man. Great track.
Dom Martin (37:10.83)
Wow, it was awful. Awful.
Craig Garber (37:13.772)
And then I want to talk about Daylight I Will Find, again, off the new record Buried in the Hail. So to me, that’s a great example of what I was talking about before about your writing. Like I think a lot of people would have done that song maybe like a blues shuffle. Right. But you made that blues into a really fun song. People could sit and clap to it when they’re there. And I don’t even know if this can answer this question, but how did you approach writing that song? Because it’s.
Dom Martin (37:27.734)
Yeah, I agree. I agree.
Craig Garber (37:43.272)
Nobody writes the way you write blues, man.
Dom Martin (37:46.23)
Yeah. I don’t know about that, man. I’m just, you know, it comes and goes, the writing thing, you know? I mean, it’s when you when you play blues and listen to a lot of blues, you can’t become quite down, you know? And even when I was when I was writing Daylight, I was like, you know, how can I make this a fun song that I would like to play every night on a stage, you know, and although the subject material is that I actually haven’t found.
The daylight, yeah, you know what I mean? There’s nothing in the song that suggests that there’s a happy ending. There’s nothing in the song that suggests that I’m having a good time, but it’s a good song, you know what I mean? It’s still a very good upbeat and a happy song for blues. I thought it was a great start to the album, you know, it really did. I was just glad that it, I’m glad that it worked out, you know? Just really, I’m glad how it got recorded and-
Craig Garber (38:19.66)
That’s all right.
Craig Garber (38:35.693)
Fantastic. I really love that track.
Craig Garber (38:41.473)
Dom Martin (38:45.486)
There’s nothing that jumps out at me and says, oh, that was a mistake or anything like that. So I’m very proud of that. You know, that whole. Oh, yeah, all I hear is the mistakes, you know, I say the first two albums were not a true representation of what I am, what I’m about and what I. Very, very good. But the first one, I was drunk and I don’t remember doing it. And the second one was a complete train wreck because the guy ripped us off for thousands and thousands of pounds. You know, and he didn’t have it. He didn’t. He wasn’t honest with us.
Craig Garber (38:52.02)
Are you a harsh critic of your own stuff?
Craig Garber (39:00.948)
Frisbee albums are really good though. Yeah.
Dom Martin (39:15.178)
what he knew. So they were tainted. The first one was produced by a great guy, a great mind, Cormac O’Kane, and I think he did a fantastic job, but I would have done it differently if I had another knowledge and I had been sober.
Craig Garber (39:31.496)
Well, being sober is you’re going to do everything differently. Everything from the way you pick up the guitar to the way you sip your coffee. You know.
Dom Martin (39:39.022)
I think there was a lot of missed opportunities on the first album, like, easy way out, shoot him in a great track, shoot him in a brilliant track, and it just wasn’t. It just turned out shite, you know. It’s not the way it should have been, you know, it’s not the way, it’s not even the way I played it in the studio, I don’t know how the hell he changed it, like, I don’t know what he did to it. It was very soft or something, you know, there’s a lot of softness in it that just, uh…
Craig Garber (39:49.491)
No, I disagree, but yeah.
Craig Garber (39:59.296)
We’ll do another version of it then on your next record or on a live.
Dom Martin (40:07.17)
It’s not a true representation. This album’s more true representation because I had a very hands-on approach on it. I knew exactly what I wanted. Even before I went to the studio, I knew exactly what I wanted to do and how it should sound and how it was to be recorded. And I stuck to my guns all the way through it for better or for worse. And at the end of the day, it says Don Martin on it. It doesn’t say Don Martin and. At the…
Craig Garber (40:15.008)
Craig Garber (40:34.149)
Dom Martin (40:36.234)
be selfish with it and I’m really glad I was actually because I can listen to that album from start to finish and not feel anger or frustration or embarrassment or anything like that. You know, I don’t have any of those feelings towards it, which is just one of the best goddamn feelings a musician could have in his whole life. It’s true. It’s a good feeling. Yeah.
Craig Garber (40:56.05)
It’s a great record, man. It’s a really good record. Your voice, you’re probably like in your early or mid 30s, I’m assuming. But your voice sounds like you’re more my age. You have this deep voice that’s such a good asset. Was your voice always like that?
Dom Martin (41:01.678)
Dom Martin (41:07.755)
Dom Martin (41:16.002)
Um, you know, it’s something that comes and goes at the minute. I’ve got one of these UK flues, you know, so my voice isn’t great. Even the talking voice is hard. My nose is all blocked up. Damn with the flu. We’ll go away. But, uh, yeah, the voice thing, I mean, it, it really does come and go, you know, sometimes it can be really, really difficult to sing and other times it’s just the air, you know, and you’re like, oh, there, there’s my voice again. I’m glad it showed up.
Craig Garber (41:43.179)
Dom Martin (41:44.926)
You know, I’m just glad to be here when it shows up. I don’t think. But when it’s working, when it’s the way it should be, you know, I think all the drugs and stuff and all the smoking in my younger, my younger days and all the shouting and the screaming and the bars and the fights and the clubs and stuff, you know, it’s all taken its toll. And I think that’s given me that voice over time, which does come and go, you know, when it’s there, I think it’s we’re lucky in the studio it was there, you know, I’m glad.
Craig Garber (41:47.145)
Yeah, yeah, I get it.
Craig Garber (42:05.685)
Craig Garber (42:13.585)
Oh, it’s an asset for sure.
Dom Martin (42:15.15)
I was definitely an asset. Yeah. And I love Tom Waits and there’s been a lot of these kind of like this song is a bit Tom Waits. You know, like, fuck yeah. I mean, I always talk about collaborations with people who are dead, but Tom’s still alive. You know, I don’t have a chance to do a collaboration with one of my idols, which is Tom Waits.
Craig Garber (42:22.9)
Craig Garber (42:29.675)
Craig Garber (42:34.028)
Dude, let’s put it out right here. If anybody could hook Dom Martin up with Tom Waits, make it so, make it happen. Contact his management. You can go to his website. Dom Mart. Dom it’s D O M A R T dot I N it’s Dom Martin with an I. Yeah. Hook them up with Tom Waits. Let’s put this out. Let’s put it.
Dom Martin (42:50.35)
Yeah, yeah, Tomar.in, yeah. Tell him I said thank you, if you can get talking to him, tell him I said thank you for what’s he building in there. Even that’ll do it. Just get a thank you to him from me. Thank you very much, that’s lovely.
Craig Garber (42:59.636)
There you go.
Craig Garber (43:05.424)
Hey, which of your personality traits do you feel have contributed to your success most? And I don’t just…
Dom Martin (43:11.01)
You should probably ask me which one of my personalities of…
Craig Garber (43:16.061)
You can answer that if you’d like. Which person, wait a minute, which personality is going to answer that question? No, I don’t just mean success like in music. I mean, like just, you know, getting sober and like, you know, making it. Let me tell you, man, I’m really big into personal development because I had a fucked up life in my, in my youth. So I’ve had to.
Dom Martin (43:22.034)
I don’t know man, I don’t know. You don’t want to be in here like this, right?
Craig Garber (43:41.204)
because I had no choice. I didn’t wanna be that person, right? But very few people make the change. Very few people make the change, but you made a lot of changes. What do you, which characteristic of your personality, or which of your personalities did it?
Dom Martin (43:45.667)
Dom Martin (43:51.426)
Dom Martin (44:00.534)
I, uh, for a long time I wanted to die, you know, I kind of lacked the constitution for suicide so I could never, I knew I couldn’t do it myself. I just knew I didn’t have it in me to do it myself, you know, or I would have, I would have checked out a long time ago gladly. And I ran around the place screaming for people to kill me. You know, I was a wild man. I was a crazy person. I ended up in places that you really don’t want to be in, you know, I was kidnapped by a loyalist faction as well.
This one time they kept me for four days, you know, there was a guitar in the corner of this house and I played them too much alcohol by Rory Gallagher and they fucking loved me after that. They were my best friends and kept me around like a pet feeding me drugs all night, you know, and all this stuff. Play the song, play the song again. It was terrifying, but I was standing there, you know, hands were steady, not breaking a sweat. I was like, he’s going to kill me or what’s going on? Because I’m ready to go. You know, is it, is this it finally? You know, I’ve been looking for you guys for a long time. He’s going to kill me now because it’s, you know, I’m ready to go.
Craig Garber (44:42.7)
Oh my god!
Craig Garber (44:57.324)
Thanks for watching.
Dom Martin (44:59.79)
It just didn’t happen, it just wouldn’t happen. And I continued on like that for a while. And I got this really bad kickin’. I was walking home from a party at four in the morning and I had my guitar. And I got jumped by like four or five guys, and they smashed up my guitar, and they kicked me in the head, man. And I nearly lost an eye. I had this big scar going on my, this guy. I don’t know, you can’t really see it. I got this kick in the face, man. When you get kicked in the face, you know when you see like cartoons, they see stars.
Craig Garber (45:27.484)
Dom Martin (45:27.498)
You do see stars when you get knocked out. You know, you, I woke up in the back of this police car and the policeman had just copied, like, he’d kept like the headstock of the guitar was the only bit left, like the little headstock with the tuners on it. And he gave it to me in the hospital. Came to see me when I got out a few days later when I was home and I mean, I was in pretty bad shape.
And he was like, this vigilante cop, you know, he was like, we need to find these guys, you know, we need to bring them to justice and all this. I was like, man, forget about it. It’s fine. Brown, you’re never going to find out who it was. I have no memory of it, you know, and all that stuff. But it was, yeah, I guess I just woke up one morning and like it reads like a blues song, you know, woke up one morning and I just I said to myself, I’ve had enough of this now, you know, I’m done with this now. This is it’s over for me.
I wrote the song Easy Way Out and then I left, hon, for good. I woke up one morning and I wrote Easy Way Out and then I just left and I didn’t even say goodbye to anybody. You know, everybody that I used to know, they’re just, I don’t know. It’s like it is like a Bob Dylan song. They’re an illusion to me now. You know, I have no idea what they do with their lives. I really don’t. I don’t know if they’re dead or alive or if they’re good or bad or happy or, you know, and there was a lot of them.
You know, all party animals, you know, we stayed up for six days in a row, just doing loads of drugs and getting up to all sorts of crazy stuff, meeting the weirdest of people, ending up in the strangest of places. And I’m glad it’s all over now. You know, I’m a lot more steady. I’m a lot more open minded to life. And I’m definitely a lot happier. I’m definitely a lot happier. I have a lot to be happy about. You know, I don’t really.
Craig Garber (47:01.408)
Craig Garber (47:07.328)
You gotta be a lot happier. God, I don’t mind it, yeah.
Dom Martin (47:15.69)
I don’t know what the hell I was doing in my younger years. You know, I don’t know what the hell I was looking for. So when my dad died, like I wrote that album, Spain to Italy for him really, you know. And when he died, I just became a magnet for psychopaths. Everywhere I went, there they were, you know. I couldn’t get away from them. If I tried, I lived alone for four years after that and still they’d find me. You know, wherever I went, they were there with drugs and the drink and the thing. I just became a magnet for crazy people. And it was great fun.
You know, there was a lot of good times there too. You know, there was a lot of crazy experiences and drugs can do some weird, wonderful things to you too, you know. But a lot of it was crazy. A lot of it wasn’t the best time, you know. And the company you keep, you know, it’s a reflection on yourself as well. Oh my God.
Craig Garber (48:02.14)
Oh, 100% man. Yeah. They say look at your top five friends, closest friends and tell you a lot about who the guy is. Yeah. Yeah, sure.
Dom Martin (48:10.207)
Yeah, that’s you, you know. So I was lucky to get out. I have a lot of material for songs and stuff from that life now, which I’m using to my advantage. And I mean, all the songs mean something, you know. There’s no like, oh, I need two extra songs to fill this album. I better write just any old thing and that’ll do. You don’t wanna get the album finished. There’s none of that. So I’m very lucky, very lucky.
Craig Garber (48:15.315)
Craig Garber (48:21.409)
Craig Garber (48:37.716)
You are. Let’s talk about gear for a minute. Tell me, what’s your go-to guitar right now and what other two guitars would round out your top three?
Dom Martin (48:46.01)
Oh, that’s a good question. That’s a great question. Guitars. I got this loud and I got this loud and it’s handmade in Ireland. It’s an Irish guitar, fully Irish guitar. Loud and I’m going to go and double check that for you. Hold on. Just.
Craig Garber (48:55.156)
What’s it called? L-O-W-D-E-N.
Yeah, bring it back. Bring the guitar, man.
Craig Garber (49:10.86)
Should I edit this part out or should I keep it in? I think I’m gonna keep it in.
Dom Martin (49:26.855)
Craig Garber (49:30.972)
Okay. So that’s made in Ireland. It’s like a boutique. It’s like a boutique guy. That’s cool, man.
Dom Martin (49:37.206)
Yeah, yeah, I mean there are thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of pounds, you know what I mean? Like thousands and way beyond anything that I could possibly even imagine to spend on a guitar of any kind. It’s crazy money. But they were, I mean they were open to working with me, you know, and we just, we just met up one day and we’re like, you know, here’s what I do and what I’m, what I’m doing and here’s what’s coming up.
Craig Garber (49:43.082)
Craig Garber (49:57.863)
Dom Martin (50:06.31)
And I don’t want a Gibson, I don’t want a Fender, I don’t want these big companies, I want an Irish made guitar, because this is where I’m from, this is where my heart was made, you know? Where my soul is. So I want a Loudon, I want to be associated with Loudon, and I want you to build me a guitar, is there any chance you can do that? And I’m very aware I’m gonna be paying this off for the rest of my life, because they’re not gonna give you a guitar for free, but they’ll…
Craig Garber (50:16.928)
Craig Garber (50:31.133)
Dom Martin (50:34.838)
They’re certainly open minded and open to… They realize musicians are making thousands and thousands of pounds, you know. Most people that buy a loud and there are people that keep them in the case. I battered the hell out of that thing. They’ve had to put other scratch plates on the body so it doesn’t get all messed up from me playing it. And they’ve been amazing, absolutely amazing to work with. And I mean, the guitar is brilliant. The guitar is fantastic. I think so.
Craig Garber (50:44.191)
Craig Garber (50:58.696)
Yeah, well, that’s a smart move on their part, man. Guy with your acoustic talent playing that guitar, that’s a no brainer, to be honest with you.
Dom Martin (51:07.31)
It’s a joy. It’s a treat every time I pick it up. I’m like This is mine. You know, this is my guitar I can’t you know, it’s like you look at your younger self and you say I told you I told you get a guitar Someday, you know what I mean? I Love that. I got a I got a I got a vintage brand, you know vintage They make this I’m not too sure maybe I know this one does not come from Nashville. This one came from Korea or China or somewhere
Craig Garber (51:15.061)
Craig Garber (51:19.444)
There you go.
Craig Garber (51:26.716)
Yeah, yeah, sure. I think they’re out of Nashville here. Yeah, yeah.
Dom Martin (51:35.914)
or maybe in Tunisia. I got it for like £300 brand new, you know, and it was a tribute for Peter Green’s Lemon Drop. It’s a Les Paul copy, but I stripped it, I took all the paint off it and I took off the veneer to make it look like the tiger stripe across the body. So it’s just green. And I dyed it black on green. So it’s a real greeny, you know. That’s the one I’ve got to say.
Craig Garber (51:35.922)
Craig Garber (51:43.524)
Okay, so it’s a less Paul then.
Craig Garber (51:54.493)
Craig Garber (52:01.78)
It’s a really cool. I’ve seen you play that. I saw some videos after cool looking car, guitar.
Dom Martin (52:05.878)
I’ve done so much work on that guitar. It’s created such a custom Les Paul. These guys called House of Tone Pickups in the UK, they got in touch with me and I got them to make me the Peter Green set, the PAF. Honestly, I’ve never noticed a difference between different pickups before and I’ve swapped out a lot of pickups, right? Now the 57 classics like we were talking about, I noticed the difference when I changed from them to something else, I noticed the difference. But everything else, not really. When I got their pickups from House of Tone, I noticed the biggest difference in pickup.
Craig Garber (52:16.984)
Dom Martin (52:34.91)
in pickup changes that I’ve ever noticed in my entire life. They’re perfect. The guy is meticulous. He has meticulously found this PAF, this PAF tone, this 59 tone. His pickups are perfect. I can’t stress that enough. So much so that I’ve said to him, listen, I know you made me this set, and now we do a bit of work together. But I only want your pickups and all my guitars that I’m using in the studio.
Craig Garber (52:35.104)
Craig Garber (52:38.56)
Craig Garber (52:49.888)
House of Tone, I’m gonna check that out.
Craig Garber (53:02.429)
Dom Martin (53:03.81)
I don’t want anybody else’s pickups. So he’s right now making me another two sets for the other guitars I use. And that’s the only pickup I’m going to use.
Craig Garber (53:10.26)
That’s awesome. Well, dude, plenty of people are going to be hearing you talking about them on shows like this. So it’ll pay for the guy. The guy get paid back for sure, man. Yeah.
Dom Martin (53:15.658)
Yeah, I hope so. I hope so. I really want to do that for him. You know, I want him to get some business at least. And I said, if I ever make any money in this business, I’ll pay him what he wants for the pickups, whatever they are. They’re like 200. They’re not there. They’re not the he doesn’t or they’re not like 500 pound, like bare knuckle pickups. You know what I mean? They’re like 200 pound a set. And he’s there. They’re perfect. They’re perfect. Absolutely. So there’s.
Craig Garber (53:31.86)
That’s extremely reasonable actually.
That’s very reasonable. Hey, what’s your? No, go ahead.
Dom Martin (53:43.902)
No, there’s a third one. You want to… Yeah, there was a guy in Florida called Izzy, Izzy Buholzer. He has a company called Golfcaster Guitars. And he got in touch with me whenever I was on tour with Eric Gales. I was supporting Eric Gales last year, maybe the year before that. We only did six shows. It was a very small support thing. It wasn’t massive.
Craig Garber (53:45.237)
Yeah, go ahead.
Craig Garber (54:05.344)
That’s actually a really good combo you and Eric I had him on here. He’s absolutely hilarious. Right. He was
Dom Martin (54:10.362)
I know he’s a good guy. He’s a very good, very nice guy. I didn’t feel like I missed an opportunity with Eric because I never really got talking to him much, you know, and I never really gelled with him. So I feel like I maybe missed out, but we were both that busy. We just kind of decided I want a fanboy this guy, you know, this guy has everybody talking to him all the time. So I was like, I’ll just leave him alone, let him do his thing and I’ll do my thing. We didn’t really gel as much as I thought we would have. But he’s a good guy.
He’s a great musician and he’s a great guy. He’s come through a lot as well. You know, I can see that. So, you know, you got to give him his dues and for just for getting up every day and keep going. That’s tough for anybody. And yeah, I have a lot of respect for Eric. But this guy got in touch with me after one of the gigs and he said, Dom, I love your stuff. I want to, I would like to build you a guitar. I build guitars right here in Florida.
Craig Garber (54:39.156)
Yeah. Oh yeah, absolutely.
Craig Garber (55:01.78)
We’re in Florida, because I’m in Tampa. I never heard.
Dom Martin (55:04.202)
I’m not sure exactly where, but I’ll send you a link. If you get in touch with me on Instagram or something, I’ll send you a link. Golfcaster Guitars. Look him up, the guy’s an absolute genius. He, yeah, that’s that telly, yeah. He specializes in making telly. I said to him, listen, I have no money. I can’t buy, I can’t just get you to build me a guitar and pay you because there’s no fucking money here. You know what I mean?
Craig Garber (55:09.621)
What’s it called? Golf? Okay.
Craig Garber (55:16.172)
And that’s your jelly that you have.
Dom Martin (55:32.246)
He said, no, you don’t understand. I love your stuff. I want to help you. I’m going to build you a guitar. What do you want? You know, when I said, well, imagine if, um, Rory Gallagher Stratocaster, you know, cause I’m not a Strat guy as much as I want to be a Strat guy. I could just never gel with that instrument. I said, imagine Rory Gallagher Strat was always a Telecaster. That’s what I want. That’s exactly what I want. And he built it. I couldn’t believe he did it. He did.
Craig Garber (55:38.86)
Craig Garber (55:56.076)
That’s really cool.
Dom Martin (55:59.63)
The strangest thing, it got held up in customs and it turned up in my doorstep on Rory Gallagher’s birthday while I was doing a tribute festival in Holland for Rory Gallagher’s birthday. I couldn’t believe the timing of that. The coincidence was huge. You know, to turn up on his birthday like… crazy. That’s my three main squeezes guitar wise, definitely.
Craig Garber (56:11.468)
It’s pretty cool.
Craig Garber (56:16.18)
Yeah, that’s pretty cool. That’s awesome, man.
Craig Garber (56:26.08)
Do you have a favorite song that you wrote?
Dom Martin (56:30.828)
Craig Garber (56:33.612)
Tell me the most embarrassing or funniest thing that’s happened to you on stage or in the studio.
Dom Martin (56:40.594)
Oh I’ve fallen over a couple of monitors, I know that for sure. I’ve had a few fights on stage, I got the… Oh yeah, I nearly broke my guitar over a guy, he came up, he’s a drunk guy, you know, with his friends, he’s always doing all these fucking crazy things, and after a while he got frustrated because I wasn’t really giving anything back to him, you know. And he came up and he grabbed the mic, the mic stand, and he jabbed me in the face with it, you know, so I fell over, I blotted, you know, everywhere.
Craig Garber (56:46.782)
Craig Garber (57:07.168)
You’re kidding me!
Dom Martin (57:08.054)
and I grabbed my guitar and I was about to smash it over his face and I was like, no, not the guitar! And I kind of took it back and I just jabbed him in the face with the headstock. Boom! You know, like right in the nose. Ah, it’s a Belfast mentality bar gig, you know. I had a Christmas tree thrown at me one year as well. There was this big real Christmas tree beside the front door of this bar and I was in play one night and I don’t know, I’d leave the student.
Craig Garber (57:15.94)
Oh my, he must have been lit to be doing.
Craig Garber (57:22.821)
Dom Martin (57:33.858)
guys, you know, they walking past, they just thought it was funny just to lift this fucking tree up and just wing it at me. So I just kind of on the floor, you know, with my guitar and this fucking tree on top of me, all that the Christmas lit up and everything, you know, like the fucking angel and everything. I find it hilarious. I mean, to be honest with you, I seen the funny side of it. Like I would have probably done the same thing if I was them. But I loved the crazy stuff, I guess over the years, somebody tried to steal my shoes one time.
Craig Garber (57:54.964)
Craig Garber (58:01.344)
Your shoes, not your guitar, your amp, your shoes.
Dom Martin (58:04.071)
the shoes yeah no idea
Craig Garber (58:05.772)
Is that a thing over there in Belfast or something? Oh, fuck. That’s a first.
Dom Martin (58:08.914)
it must be somewhere like that. Some family tradition long forgotten you know.
Craig Garber (58:17.973)
Dude, tell me your top three Desert Island CDs.
Dom Martin (58:22.142)
Ooh, ah, I should have thought more about this one.
It’s a great question.
That’s a great question. Live in Europe, Rory Gallagher, B1.
Dom Martin (58:43.251)
The Beat Club Sessions, another one would be Rory Gallagher, The Beat Club Sessions, there’s a German TV show back in the 60s and 70s, maybe 80s too, called The Beat Club Sessions. I don’t even know how to explain it. Rory’s playing and his fury was immeasurable on that album.
And it was all live. It was all TV, you know, cameras and stuff. I don’t even think there was a crowd there. It was just them in a room. And, uh, you talk about slide plan, man. That is a fucking masterclass of slide plan. If ever I seen it. And he was like 21, he’s like 21.
Craig Garber (59:23.916)
Everything that guy did was master- I mean, you said it earlier, you said he set a certain standard of musicianship.
Dom Martin (59:29.898)
He had it, you know, his intelligence, his IQ level musically, playing guitar was just far beyond anything I’ve ever seen. It was just, I can’t even describe it. That there’s two. There’s not a day goes by where I don’t listen to songs from these two albums. Like every single day of my life. There’s a Highland Wolf album with it. I can’t, I think it’s just a self-titled Highland Wolf album, but it has, it has Spoonful on it and stuff. There’s the Rockin’ Chair one. I can’t remember what it’s called, but it has that.
Craig Garber (59:35.664)
Off the charts, yeah. Yeah.
Craig Garber (59:45.477)
Dom Martin (59:59.374)
rocking chair on the front cover and a guitar leaning up against it. I have it on my wall somewhere, I can’t remember what it’s called, but it could even be just a best of Muddy Waters, or Island Wolf, sorry.
Craig Garber (01:00:11.432)
How the wolf yeah, there’s a really good documentary on YouTube, but it’s like five parts ten minutes each about how the wolf is really interesting Yeah
Dom Martin (01:00:17.946)
Is that right? I was reading the book, Moaning of Midnight, and I got through the first two chapters and I was in tears. You know, I just felt, you know, horrible. I mean, you know, fucking horrible upbringing. I couldn’t believe it. It was, I mean, I knew the songs had to come from somewhere, but it was, no, I couldn’t finish it. I couldn’t finish it. I must get back into that book. But Hyde and Wolfe just, his songs are more
Craig Garber (01:00:25.384)
He had a rough time. His, he had a rough. Yeah, yeah.
Dom Martin (01:00:46.314)
relevant today than they’ve ever been. You know what I mean? Even back then, they’re more relevant today. They mean a lot more today than they ever did. People need to listen to this stuff. They really need to start shooting into this stuff because this is what’s going to help the younger generation. Not the fucking music that’s out today. The music that’s being made today is destroying people’s minds. That old…
Craig Garber (01:00:55.679)
Craig Garber (01:01:05.922)
between the music and this fucking thing here, the phone.
Dom Martin (01:01:09.034)
Oh my god, I know, I know. It’s crazy. It’s frying people’s brains. You know, and people are thinking that this is enjoyable. But it’s not. There’s no meaning to it. There’s no substance to it. You know, it’s just completely mindless. It’s crazy. It is.
Craig Garber (01:01:12.488)
I know man, I know.
Craig Garber (01:01:22.404)
It’s terrible, man. It’s awful. All right, tell me, oh, this is gonna be a tough question. Tell me what you like most about yourself.
Dom Martin (01:01:31.19)
I like that I’ve overcome everything that tried to overcome me. And I was able to, I was able to get past everything without it being my excuse for everything that I do now. You know, yeah.
Craig Garber (01:01:46.464)
Good for you, man.
That’s an awesome answer.
Dom Martin (01:01:51.288)
Craig Garber (01:01:52.524)
You have any hobbies outside of music?
Dom Martin (01:01:54.978)
Craig Garber (01:01:56.072)
Not one, you’re not like a fly fisherman or something like that.
Dom Martin (01:01:59.635)
No, nothing. I’ve always tried to do stuff but I’m like I could be playing guitar right now. I feel like this is a waste of my time. I could be writing or doing something musical right now.
Craig Garber (01:02:06.085)
Craig Garber (01:02:12.652)
Tell me the toughest decision you ever had to make.
Dom Martin (01:02:17.842)
Oh, there’s been so many. I guess staying with my dad when he got really sick was a good decision. It was a tough decision, but I kind of witnessed him kind of just deteriorate over a couple of years and I guess that was our decision because everybody else could, you know, more or less leave where I kind of stayed. I had to like, I felt like I had to stay, like even people going to see him in the hospital and stuff and we were all leaving.
I could never leave him in the hospital even, you know what I mean? They all just kind of went home and I was like, I have to stay here. I feel like I’m obliged to stay by this guy’s side until he dies, you know? So I did that.
Craig Garber (01:02:59.632)
No, no, no. Was he sick from the drink?
Dom Martin (01:03:02.634)
I had the drink and all the drugs. I mean, the guy went on self-destruct for like 10 years, you know, and he just would not stop. Like he just like, just, he just wouldn’t stop for one second. Like, and eventually it took its toll. He died at 46, I think 46 years old. But he seemed no fuck. It’s fine. He just, he seemed so much older. You know, he seemed, you know, he was always an old soul.
Craig Garber (01:03:20.304)
Oh my God, I’m sorry. Wow, fuck. Sorry, I gotta go through that.
Dom Martin (01:03:31.306)
You know, I guess, you know, he would make, he just, he was an old writer, you know, he just was writing constantly and he wrote books and poetry and he made so many albums just on tape, you know, he just recorded his songs. And he would make chess pieces out of bits of wood and using like a Stanley blade and a bit of sandpaper, you know, he was just so creative. And he would make board games, he would take the Scrabble and take, you know, flip it upside down, like the board. And he would just create his own board games for all his kids and stuff.
He’s a genius. He was just, I’ve never witnessed a genius before. And he was just such a genius at everything he touched. He was so wise and philosophical. But he was completely unschooled. It was just, he was like me. He never went to school and stuff like that. He had no education. He was dragged up through the streets in Belfast when it was a fucking war zone. So there was that. I don’t know how or why he existed.
Craig Garber (01:04:25.436)
Oh, God. Yeah.
Dom Martin (01:04:30.194)
or anything, but yeah, I cherish those times we had. They do, even the bad times.
Craig Garber (01:04:36.032)
Thank you, man. Thank you for sharing it. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given and who gave it to you?
Dom Martin (01:04:38.35)
You’re very welcome.
Dom Martin (01:04:43.958)
Be yourself. Don’t ever try and impress anybody else. Don’t ever try and be anybody else. Don’t ever wish to be anybody else. Nobody is really who you think they are. Everybody. They’re just easier. You know, they’re better at hiding their shit than you are. That’s all, you know, you may think that they brought it together. But I always wondered like why Joe Bonamassa was so much better than me on guitar or like Eric Gales was so much better. Cause I’ve got like 25 to 35 years on me still, you know, there’s a lot of catching up to do like.
I used to think like that. I’m glad I got over that way of thinking. No. Yeah.
Craig Garber (01:05:17.884)
Yeah, you can’t, you know, this is expression. Compar, comparison is the thief of joy.
Dom Martin (01:05:24.226)
It’s true. It’s so true. You know, I mean, a lot of people think that they don’t have anything to offer, but you do. There’s loads that you can offer people. It’s crazy. The best advice I ever gave myself was that, and I give this to a couple of people that have come and go, you know, during the band and stuff and people that want to leave because they’re doing a travel and stuff like that. I’ve always said to them, and I don’t know where I got this from. I just kind of woke up with it. If you can explain this to me, I’d love to hear where it’s actually come from, or where it originated from.
But I used to see myself in the future, like my future self looking back at me, saying, fuck you, you know? And I used to carry that with me, my future self looking at me going, fuck you, Dom, this is what you’ve done to me, you know what I mean? Whereas now my future self looks back at me and says, thank you. And when our last drummer was leaving, we were in Romania and he was saying, I don’t think I can do this anymore, you know, with the traveling and everything, and he just couldn’t hack the life.
And I said to him, John, you know, when you’re, when you wake up in the morning, you have to, you have to look at your future self and you have to see if your future self has sent fuck you or if your future self has sent thank you. Is it, you know, tomorrow morning, what’s it going to be? Is he going to be sent? Thank you. You know, and that’s, that’s a perfect question to ask somebody at any moment in life is your future. I think it’s brilliant. If I haven’t come up with it, I’m sorry for whoever the hell I’ve stole it from, but even if it is a stolen thing.
Craig Garber (01:06:42.12)
Yeah, that’s a great. Yeah, it’s really good.
Dom Martin (01:06:52.918)
I’m glad I carry that with me everywhere I go, you know.
Craig Garber (01:06:55.252)
Yeah, it’s really, it’s like a, I don’t know, whenever I have a problem, I always, it’s, it puts distance between yourself and the issue. Like what I do is I always say, if this was my buddy, what would I tell him or her? Which is what you’re doing here. It’s like, what, what is you’re taking yourself out of your head and you’re giving yourself a way to look at yourself objectively. Yeah.
Dom Martin (01:07:08.522)
Dom Martin (01:07:17.098)
Yeah, exactly. You have to be open to do that all the time. I think I have another Zoom meeting waiting here.
Craig Garber (01:07:24.104)
Alright, hold on man, we’re almost done. One more question. What’s making you happiest right now? What’s giving you the best joy?
Dom Martin (01:07:27.147)
Dom Martin (01:07:32.17)
It’s having the freedom to do this music thing, you know, just the time to just sit in a room and just fucking write, you know, just play the music, just play the music, put the time in, you know, perfect the chords and the way you want to play them and express myself without worrying about what people are thinking and feeling. It’s just absolutely zero pressure, you know.
Absolutely zero pressure. This is the first time in my life I’ve felt no pressure whatsoever, you know, and I’ve no It’s a brilliant way to live You can’t go with a smile on your face, you know and There’s no competition feeling here and there’s no I’m not out to impress anybody People don’t like it. I really don’t care, you know I never wrote any of these albums for anybody to listen to if you do listen to them and you like them Thank you very much If you don’t, you know, it’s your problem
Craig Garber (01:08:04.416)
And ain’t that a nice way to live? Ha ha
Craig Garber (01:08:30.656)
Yeah. Absolutely. Right on, man. Tom, let me tell people where to find you. And thank you very much for everything, man. You’re a frickin rock star. And I appreciate everything you’re doing musically. Buried in the hail is Dom Martin’s new album. Check out his whole catalog. This guy’s a brilliant blues player, is a phenomenal guitar player. I mean, you just you’d be enjoying him if you’re a guitarist.
Dom Martin (01:08:30.794)
It’s not my business what you think or what you feel. That’s really not me.
Dom Martin (01:08:43.722)
I don’t know about that. I’m too wrong to start.
Craig Garber (01:08:57.696)
Uh, he’s going to do about 30 dates in the UK coming up right now. So if you’re over in England, make sure to check them out. It’s well worth your while. I will give you your money back if it’s not. And, um, not really, but I think you should do it because it’s a good thing for him. Where’s your address? Uh, and check out Dom’s website. It’s it’s his name is Dom Martin. So it’s Dom Martin, except you put a, it’s not dommartin.com is Dom Martin, but the
Dom Martin (01:09:11.142)
I’m gonna be sorting you left right and center. I want my money back.
Craig Garber (01:09:25.856)
Dot is between the I and the N. So it’s dommart.in. I think he had a meeting when he was back drinking and he said, what’s the most difficult website I can come up with to represent myself? Ha ha ha. Oh dude, just enter DomMartin in Google, you’ll find him and it’s well worth your journey. Hey man.
Dom Martin (01:09:36.13)
Dom Martin (01:09:40.842)
You’re right there actually.
Craig Garber (01:09:49.728)
Thank you for everything, Dom. Hang on one second. Everybody, thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this, share it on your social media channels. We appreciate your support. Thanks very much to Dom Martin. Honestly, man, I don’t get so worked up about an artist coming on the show too often as I was with this because his music is phenomenal. And I’m a blues guy right up my alley. He’s a brilliant writer. And most important, remember that happiness is a choice. So choose wisely. Be nice. Go play your guitar and have fun. Until next time. Peace and love, everybody. I am out. Dom, thank you, brother.
Dom Martin (01:10:19.822)
Craig Garber (01:10:21.529)
Hey, was that okay for you, buddy?