– First of all thank you so much for agreeing to do our interview and tell us a bit how is currently the band doing.

Hi Paco, thanks for having us to do this interview for Queensofsteel.com. We are doing fine. How else could it be, our new album Circle Of 8 is out, doing lots of interviews and preparing on lots of live shows to come to promote this new MARTYR jewel, haha.

– You are releasing this new album in this 2011. Tell us a bit how have the recording sessions been and your thoughts on the final output of this effort.

We recorded the “CO8” album in Jack’s Place Studio – Meerle in Belgium. It is done over a total period of 14 months. But keep in mind that we have been touring and writing the material as well in between.It was obvious that when recording and releasing the Fear The Universe album was done , we would immediately start writing and start recording a new album. It just felt as a natural thing and the right thing to do.

Only in between recordings Rusty Cage Records also called it quits. That was bad news for us as we were in the middle of the process for the new album to be released on their label. But we kept on going and fortunately ended up with this beautiful deal with Metal blade Records in which we have a lot of trust and are very very glad to have them as the label to release the “CO8”.

When i look at the final result i think we have managed to capture the vibe that was in the studio during the recordings on this album. There was a great atmosphere where we realized this was going to be a great album.

Interesting to mention is that that vibe was felt by all people involved in this album even our friends from Vicious Rumors who participated on “Circle Of 8” on a couple of tracks !!


– I have had the chance of listening to it and is honestly an album with a great sound and quite updated production, but also quite lyrical in vocal terms. Were you looking something like that or just did everything happen naturally?

It is a natural process i think. We are an 80’s bandofcourse  but we are also 25 years further. After MARTYR split up in 1987 all of us continued

their music careers ,  but still crossed each others paths throughout all of these years. . We have all learned a lot during those years, have become better musicians and have been listening to also lots of other bands that may have influenced us as well. So we took these influences with us as a natural thing . But at the same time we never will forget where we came from , so the 80’s style is still in there as well and that is what you hear on the “CO8” album as far as i am concerned.

Songs like “Insensible Scream”are in the 80’s style, and offcourse we have the re recording of “Speed” on it. The spirit is still there, the enthusiasm has never disappeared, mayve even better than ever before . That is also visible when you come to see MARTYR live.


– I have also dug a lot its cover and the detail of writing an «8» with crossed out bars. How did you come up with the idea? Does it have any special meaning?

Yes, it is nice isn’t it. And yes it has a special meaning because we tried to setup the cover matching the concept of the album or matching the lyrics of the album. As said it is about people in despair , or locked up because of commiting somekind of terrible crime . Mostly you will find scratches on prison walls wherever people are being locked up to protect society or themselves. That is what we integrated in the cover title with the “8”


– Do all your lyrics have a link? What are MARTYR in 2011 talking about? What are the matters that nowadays define your work?

Concerning the lyrics: There is a common denominator on this CO8 album. That is because almost every song is about people or society in despair or committing an act while in despair. Some lyrics are written looking through the eyes of the main character in the song , others are written as a victim of the person in despair who gets attacked, so to speak.


– You have been many years without recording a studio album, what prompted the reunion to record again? What happened with MARTYR during all these years?

Let me tell you the long MARTYR history than you know it all at once haha:

Originally MARTYR is of course a cult classic metal band established in the early 80’s. During the five years that Martyr was alive and kicking back then (1982-1987), the band released two albums that are considered cult in the Metal scene today. ‘For The Universe’ (1985) and ‘Darkness At Time’s Edge’ (1986) are classic Metal. Our style is described as a delight for those who love strong melodies, speedy riffs and a high level of technicality.

When MARTYR started average age was only about 17 years old, but still the band was immediately searching for and implementing their own style. With the urgent wish to be different then the already established Dutch Metal bands like for instance Picture and Vengeance.

Also in those years, Martyr appeared on compilation albums from Roadrunner (Dutch Steel) where we participated with “Snow & Fire” and Metal Blade (Metal Massacre VI) where we participated with the song “En Masse (Stand Or Die) “ . In Holland MARTYR was voted best new Metal band in Aardschok magazine, and toured with several international acts. MARTYR also appeared on Sky Channel’s Monsters Of Rock and rapidly the band became a bigger name in the international metal scene.

Martyr disbanded in 1987, but reunited in 2001 to play the Heavy Metal Maniacs festival. After being asked by the Dutch fanatic fans that could not forget about the band. Four years later, the band revived almost the complete 1982 line up to play the Keep It True and Headbangers Open Air festivals. It was the KIT reunion show that s still very important for MARTYR as it woke up the flame again. There were so many fans from all over Europe that knew all about the band and the old material , that gave the band such a great response and interaction which was almost unbelievable ! The flame has been burning again since these festivals and the band continued to play live ever since. December 2008 MARTYR supported US Shock Rockers Lizzy Borden on their European tour. But also in the years after that MARTYR kept on hitting the European stages supporting great acts like Flotsam & Jetsam , Vicious Rumors, Jaguar, Evergrey a.o.

Meanwhile in 2004 we rereleased our 2 albums on CD on High Vaultage Records. Additional bnus tracks were added ad well.

In 2009 the first new Martyr record in almost 25 years has been released . That’s when the new EP ‘Fear’ was coupled with again a re-release of the classic ‘For The Universe’ album as a double digipack entitled ‘Fear The Universe’ on Rusty Cage Records (RCR0017). When RCR asked us to do the rerelease for the For The Universe album at first MARTYR said “No”. Because it was already out on High Vaultage at that time. After a few years when RCR kept on asking we agreed but with extra and new bonus material which resulted not in 1 song, but in 5 brand new songs to appear on the Fear CD.

In 2010 and 2011 Martyr re-entered the studio between the live shows, by working on the successor for ‘Fear’.

That is the complete new album called “Circle Of 8”, which will be released by Metal Blade Records in November 2011 worldwide. You bet this will be a significant impulse in Martyr’s revival. And by signing with Metal Blade again : “W Are Back Home”…….


– Between 1984 and 1985 you recorded a couple of albums that nowadays are considered cult albums for many underground collectors; what are your memories from that period in a country like Holland?

There were not many bands playing in the style that we did when we started. In fact that is WHY we started, we wanted to sound like something else. The other Dutch metal bands at that time were considered more straigth forward heavy rock, we wanted more technicallity and speedy riffs with strange notes or different measure types or rhytms in it.

I think we managed to do so , afterwards you notices more bands willing to play that style as well in Holland. What is great about that time and the Dutch Metal Scene is that because the country is small everybody kn ew eachother.


– Each time a Dutch band is mentioned, people tend to talk overall about PICTURE, but its also true that during the 80’s there was a scene with bands as yourself, HORIZON, ANGUS, AVALON, HIGHWAY CHILE or VORTEX among others. What can you recall of that scene? Was there a link between all of them?

Yes, we played with a lot with them or other Dutch Metal acts then , and i still consider them friends. Where we could hepl eachother we would do so. The bands mentioned are bands with records out, a lot ofcourse did not at that time. That is why we stood out some more nationally and internationally. Great times , great shows and such great fanatic crowds. People were really into it! I still think the 80’s dutch scene has a great name nowadays because of those bands like us, HORIZON, ANGUS, AVALON, HIGHWAY CHILE VORTEX and of course PICTURE as well.


– Nowadays thanks to the Internet access to unknown bands is a lot easier; have you noticed a bit more popularity due to this?

It is hard nowadays for a band to get records sold as we all know.  And besides that,  the offer of releases is even then still tremendous. Every band can release a CD , compared to the eighties where a band with a record deal or a record out was something unique. On the other side , with internet , social media etcetera you can do large promotion activities and reach many people. But then again it is a challenge no to “get lost” in the amount of news and information fans are receiving nowadays.

So there are pros and cons but as a band MARTYR has to be satisfied with the way things are going now and were going back then. And yes our popularity is growing, but that also has to do , or maybe mainly has to do with doing many and great live performances over Europe and delivering good albums ……


– Coming back to the present, what are the near-future plans for the band in terms or pomotion or tours?

Near future planse are promoting the “Circle Of 8”album by live performances ofcourse and lots of interviews and radio. We are working on more dates to come but will do shows nationally and internationally . We will start on Nov 4th in Holland and will play Benelux , UK and Switzerland to start with in Nov and Dec. Plans are being made for the festivals after May 2012.


– And thinking in your future, what can we expect from MARTYR in the upcoming years? What’s the band’s dream today?

Haha, our dream? Easy! We see a bright future ofcourse with the new album out. If the 2009 Fear album was our rebirth, this album has brought us to maturity again so to speak.

We will start writing new material as we hit the road. There are still plenty of ideas left, so we will work them out.

Hopefully we also will team up again with great bands like we did in the past to support them on several tours (we have some supports for Lizzy Borden in Nov and Dec this year) because on the road with friends is the best there is.

One of our main goals is to finally hit stages in Japan or the US with MARTYR !! And we expect to be around for at least another 10 years haha

But….. we won’t forget where we came from. What happened with MARTYR back in the 80’s is the foundation of what we are now !! Therefor we are very greatful to our old fans from the early days , and we are greatful to still meet them a lot on the road !!


– So nothing else from our side, our best wishes and hope to see you in Spain promoting «Circle of 8». Thanks for your time.

It is about time we come and visit our Spanish fans & friends. We have been touring mainly in mid, west and northern Europe. So really hope to see you all soon. And thanks to all our spanish fans for their loyal support all those years. Hope you will all like the new material , check out our complete new website www.martyronline.nl and give us feeback!! We would love to hear from you. Keep on ROCKING!!!

Thanks Paco!!

Paco Gómez



Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada.

Highslide for Wordpress Plugin