Interview – Martin Reynolds

I recently featured the track The Boy’s Got Rhythm by Martin Reynolds in a round-up review and playlist of country music. I loved the style of music he created on the track and wanted to find out more – read on below for more information on Martin and his music!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a track titled The Boy’s Got Rhythm, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about the album and where can it be purchased?

The album Where There’s Hope was released on June 25th 2021 and can be purchased via iTunes or my Bandcamp page. I recorded the album during lockdown, at the now defunct Silky Studios, which was based in Tamworth. I also did two tracks at Fazeley Park, Digbeth, Birmingham, one being the new single The Boy’s Got Rhythm and the other being The Sea And The Moon. I also did extra little bits at Malham Road Studios, Tamworth, otherwise known as a bedroom. None of these places are studios in the typical sense, they’re more like rehearsal spaces for bands to practice in, so the album was very D.I.Y in that sense.

The album itself is very much a personal affair. I’m not sure if it’s a concept album as such, but the vast majority of the songs were written in that lockdown period, so there’s definitely a theme. I’d say it’s an album of hard-fought optimism, with uplifting pop melodies and honest lyrics, with songs on loss, acceptance, mythmaking and hope.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

I wouldn’t say so no, I’m still keeping as busy as always. I’m forever coming up with ideas in my head and thinking about the next thing. The only thing the pandemic has really hindered is gigs, as there’s been a massive uncertainty hanging in the air over whether they’ll actually take place, so I think the best thing to do is to just keep writing.

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

The writing process is very organic, I don’t try to force things. It happens when it happens, and sometimes they’re some of the best songs you’ll write. I mean, there are times when I’ve spent longer on a song, and I’ve painstakingly gone over lyrics until I’m 100% happy with them. But usually if I write a song and I can’t remember it the next day, then it’s not worth keeping. If it’s still there the next day, you know you’re onto a winner.

Do you plan to release any more singles at any point in the near future?

Yes, the next and final single to come from the album will be I’ll Crawl, and you can expect to hear that around March time.

Have you got any plans to release a full-length album or an EP anytime soon?

I have been writing new material which I plan to start recording very soon. There will definitely be a new single coming out in the summer, which will then be followed by an album or an EP, that bit I’m yet to decide. But you’ll definitely be hearing new music from me in 2022.

What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?

For this album in particular I’d say it was people like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Laura Marling, The Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, Satan And Adam, Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Elvis Presley, R.L Burnside, Robert Plant and The Five Satins. They were all on heavy rotation during that period. As for what I’ve been listening to recently… it’s been Yard Act, Robert Finley, Sons Of Kemet, Yola, St. Vincent, Here Lies Man and Low. But it changes all the time, I’m always looking for new stuff to listen to. I read an article with Iggy Pop recently where he said that new music opens his mind and the element of surprise keeps him connected, making him feel like he’s mining for diamonds, which is exactly how I feel. I think it’s important to keep your mind active and your ears perked, I feel strange if I don’t hear new sounds; I need it to feed my brain. There’s so much good stuff out there, and if anyone tells you music isn’t as good as it used to be, they’re just not listening, or just not digging deep enough.

Whereabouts are you based and what is the music scene like in your part of the world?

I’m based in Tamworth in the West Midlands. But I spend a lot of time watching bands in the Birmingham area as well, some of my personal favourites being Black Mekon, Mutes and Table Scraps. I’d say the scene is very healthy in the Birmingham area, there’s a lot of diversity all across the city which is great to see, and the vast majority of people I know in and around the scene have always been very friendly. I’ve been going to and playing gigs in Birmingham for longer than I can remember, and it’s always been an absolute joy! It’s a huge part of my life.

As for the Tamworth scene, it really used to be a thriving scene, full of some great bands and nights. Recently since lockdown, I’ve seen venues really trying to make something happen again, putting nights on most nights of the week, and having bands on every weekend from Friday to Sunday. With Tamworth Assembly Rooms reopening, I really hope in time it can start to draw some bigger bands in from outside of the town that might help put Tamworth on the map, and really inspire a future generation to pick up an instrument and create. All it takes is one gig for that light bulb to come on, and I’d love nothing more than to see packed out venues in this town again, I know there’s some friends of mine working very hard to try and make it happen.

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

I’m currently working on it, so hopefully in the not too distant future you’ll start to see things happening, so keep your eyes peeled.

What can people expect from one of your shows and why should people come and see you perform live?

Recently it’s just been me and my guitar, very raw and honest. But going forward I plan to be going out with a band, so expect some high energy shows. All I really want is for people to leave having enjoyed themselves and feeling good about life, and me giving it all I’ve got and not leaving anything up on that stage. You can’t ask for more than that can you?

Any last words for the fans?

Yes, a huge thank you to anyone who has streamed my music, bought a cd/vinyl, or been to a show, it is massively appreciated, and I hope to see you out on the road in 2022. Stay safe and look after each other.