Jeff Martin 2024

Jeff Martin – Seven Deadly Sins

Canadian born Jeff Martin came to the attention of the public in the mid 90s, with his band ‘The Tea Party’ They were an unusual mix of rock n roll, with some very unusual instrumentation and a brooding, ‘Doors” like quality. Jeff subsequently embarked on a solo mission, focusing on acoustic, very much old school blues style music. His father was a Blues musician, who encouraged him to play when his natural aptitude for guitar became apparent soon after taking up the instrument at around the age of 7.
“My father really pushed me toward the blues. It wasn’t a hard push . I loved it, so from the age of 7 onwards, I was listening to Albert King, Freddy King, Robert Johnson…all of the greats, and it was just a great education for me. Then, later on, around fifteen or sixteen, I discovered Led Zeppelin (I was a late bloomer) and that combination of those influences, and my interest in world music became what The Tea Party was all about. Instruments from Morocco, Turkey, India, they all became a part of that sound”
“The Tea Party live is a 3 piece rock band, and it sounds like 8 people on stage, and that has a lot to do with Stuart. When he’s playing Bass, he’s playing keys with his feet, when he’s playing keys, he’s playing bass with his feet. He is just an incredible talent. There are no backing tapes, there are no loops, it’s all there and then. It’s just the three of us, and we just get on with the rollercoaster that is a Tea Party concert.

Now , with ‘Seven Deadly Sins’, jeff has returned to his roots , with a sound that is both reminiscent of, and at the same time completely different to any previous work.

I asked what could be expected from a Jeff Martin concert.
“This machine of a drummer that I met in Melbourne named Shane Russel, who is the drummer for an incredible funk rock band called “Twelve Foot Ninja” will be joining me and we will be performing as a duo. He’s a little like Stuart in a way. Russ doesn’t only play drums, but he has a sample pad that has many of the things I created on my solo record, ‘Seven Deadly Sins’, and he will be triggering them at various stages during the concert. He is triggering as he is playing, so he has to be super, super precise. I’m absolutely in awe of his talent. “
“The sound of the two of us on stage is going to be an electric duo that sounds like a full rock band.”
“The show will be 2 sets. The first set will be a mix of Tea Party stuff, and some of my earlier solo work. The second set will be all about the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ album.

The noticeable inclusion of instruments and themes from Eastern culture in that album lend some power to the darker themes of the album.
“When you have an album called ‘The Seven Deadly Sins’ it’s not gonna be unicorns and rainbows”
“What was interesting was that this album was basically funded by my fans, through a Pozible campaign, but before I even contemplated what kind of album I was going to make, my fans really wanted me to go back to that darker place, and the exotic music mixed with hard rock, and instruments I had collected from various parts of the world. That really inspired my creativity. It felt like home returning to this style”
“I have 64 different tunings for guitar that I use.The tuning on ‘Send her my love’ is the same tuning that is used on an Egyptian instrument called an Oud (A pear shaped short-neck lute-type, fretless instrument with eleven strings) which I translated to my 12 string acoustic guitar.”

Jeff attributes this sense of creativity and incorporation of different instruments and culture into his music to traveling.
“When we got signed to E.M.I in ‘93, we had great success right away. We were these 23 or 24 year old kids, and that’s back in the day when record companies had big budgets, and you could make money selling records. So what I ended up doing was using that money traveling the world and experiencing the culture, and getting right into learning the instruments of those cultures, with teachers that were the real deal.”
“If you want to incorporate world music into a western genre like rock n roll, you can’t fake it. It’s gotta be part of your musical D.N.A. in order to be authentic.”
It does not sound like ‘The Tea Party’ though. Some elements are familiar, but the overall impact somehow inspires visions of Dante’s ‘Inferno’ with songs like “Sehvet Nora” , which basically translates to ‘Dark Lust’, and “So bitter’, which deals with wrath. That track was not penned by Jeff. It was originally earmarked for Alice Cooper, but it was decided that it was perfect for the album.
“I didn’t want it to sound like ‘The Tea Party’. If it’s a Tea Party record, it’s going to sound the way it does because of Stuart and Paul. On this album, I had a very fine drummer from Noosa, Darren Evans play on the record for me, but everything else, I did myself. I’m really very proud of this record, and how it has been received around the world. It’s been very humbling.”

Jeff is a permanent resident of Australia since 2008, and lives on the sunshine coast with his wife, Melissa, but still returns to Canada on a regular basis, and still tours with The Tea Party They are touring major centres in Australia this year. He is currently working on a new project, and we can look forward to hearing what is on offer in the very near future.
You can enjoy Jeff Martin’s own sound at what promises to be an explosive show , where the sum is greater than the parts, at the Tanks Art Centre on Frday the 15th of March.


Tickets are available at Ticket Link.

Noel Keid

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