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The Suburbanite
  • Meet Cody J. Martin, young songwriter gaining a local presence

  • A 2010 Tuslaw High School grad, Cody J. Martin made a strong impression as a vocalist-guitarist when fronting two different bands.

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  • There’s a somber, soulful, even lonesome quality to the music of Cody J. Martin, a young singer-songwriter who is establishing a following at local coffeehouses and concert venues.
    A 2010 Tuslaw High School grad, Martin made a strong impression as a vocalist-guitarist when fronting two different bands, Blackwater Union and Creation in Chaos, in The Repository’s Battle of the Bands at the Palace Theatre in 2009 and 2010 respectively. A warehouse worker by day, he is busily completing his first solo album.
    Q. What kind of music is it that you play?
    A. “I think folk music just about covers it. There are a lot of influences in the mix — blues, outlaw country and roots music.”
    Q. Who are some of your musical influences?
    A. “Bob Dylan is the unavoidable influence in this genre, and I'm no exception to his influence and inspiration.  Besides him, I'd say equal influences would be folk artist The Tallest Man On Earth, Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, Robert Johnson and Hank Williams Sr. There are countless more, but these gentlemen are the first that come to my mind.”
    Q. You seem like a fairly low-key person. Is performing solo for a room of people well outside your comfort zone?
    A. “I can tend to be a more private person but performing is a very liberating thing for me. It's what I believe I'm best at, and it is where I invest the majority of my confidence. Plus, I have the most fun doing it! If I could skip talking to people and just play for them, I think a connection could be found more comfortably.”
    Q. Do you have a favorite show that you’ve played, or a favorite venue?
    A. “Every show is a different experience, honestly.  I have a lot of fun at every venue and have been very fortunate in dealing with a lot of kind people. The thing that sets shows apart are the people that I meet from the audience, and the local and/or touring artists that I share the stage with.”
    Q. How do you write songs? Which comes first, the melody or the words?
    A. “I’m still learning, really. But it seems most times a melody comes first.  The songs I’m most proud of have that origin. It can go either way, though.”
    Q. Tell me about your forthcoming album.
    A. “I’ve been recording with the generous help of my friend and local producer, John Finley. We started recording the final tracks in October and it should be done within the next month. I’m very anxious to complete it. Twelve original songs and pretty sparse instrumentation. It’s going to be a very good representation of how my music is in a live setting.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Q. What was it like playing onstage at the Palace in the battle of the bands?
    A. “Indescribable! Some of my best memories as a musician were doing those. So many people — it’s hard to recall that kind of thrill. Maybe someday...”
    Q. Is it difficult to perform at a coffee house or open a concert, when a lot of people might not be paying attention?
    A. “It can be, but it’s just something that comes with the territory. It might’ve been hardest when I was first starting out but it’s not really an issue at all now. If people are interested, they’ll listen. I get a lot of joy out of the times where it seems that most everybody is paying attention.”
    Q. What are your goals as a musician?
    A. “To just keep working and to get better every day. I want to do as much as possible with everything that I’ve been blessed with. If any opportunity is ever there, I’m gonna do my best to make sure I’m in the position to take it.”