Q & A
WITH LIZZY BORDEN and LEGACY BASS PLAYER MARTEN
interviewed by Yahoo - Joseph N. Frezza.
2000 Joseph N. Frezza
Joe: You always been a bass player? And any influences
Marten: I actually started out playing guitar at about the age of 12,
but I realized then that bass was actually the instrument for me. I
have always played guitar on the side since then and I actually played
rhythm guitar on my solo album Legacy. My influences are everything
from Michael Schenker, Judas Priest, and Thin Lizzy. One major
influence was Gene Simmons. This is a guy that has presence, very
happening bass player and an incredible entertainer.
J: When was the first time you ever heard of Lizzy?
M: I have heard about Lizzy Borden for a long long time. I
remember hearing Love You To Pieces around '87 or so. There was a lot
of buzz going around this crazy band and the lead singer that had his face
painted silver. It was not until the Master Of Disguise album that I
was sold on them, loved that new side of the band, killer production, etc.
J: How did you first become involved with Lizzy's band?
M: I was giving bass lessons to a bass player named Kim Neilsen.
She was the bassplayer for an all-female band called Phantom Blue(Shrapnel
Records & Geffen) She was a good friend of the band and she was
doing some bass work for Lizzy and he had asked her if she knew any bass
players that she could recommend to him.
J: What was your first meeting with Lizzy like?
M: I remember I had to cancel the first audition/rehearsal because I
was staying with a psycho bitch that totally freaked out on me a few days
before the audition. I found all my bags and stuff locked in her place
and she was nowhere to be found. At the time I had no car or nothing,
GREAT!! I figure.......Here goes this gig. Well, to make a long
story short, I finally got a hold of her a few days later, got some of my
shit back, plus I still had no car and I was broke. So, I bought the
Recycler, borrowed $500 from a buddy of mine, bought a shitty car, and rescheduled the audition, still
hoping they had not found anyone else yet. I got the car, I worked on
the songs for about a day and took off to rehearsal. I figured the
guys in the band were sorta pissed off at me for canceling the first one, so
I really had to make sure my playing was great, as well as showing them that
I wasn't another of those Hollywood flakes. Of course I should've
known that something else would go wrong. I got lost on my way there
and I kept thinking in my head "Is Lizzy going to show up with a silver face and
container of blood?" By the time I finally got there, I was an
hour late and at that point I said fuck it. Well, to my luck there was
a note on the door saying "We are running about an hour late, so just
hang out." About 10 minutes later, Lizzy and the rest of the boys
showed up and they were actually apologizing to me for running late.
We ended up rehearsing on 2 different occasions before Lizzy said "You
Got It!!" 2 weeks later, I was on
a US tour.
J: Is there a Lizzy song you find
challenging and harder to play than some of his other songs?
M: That's the cool part about the songs, they have such a different
feel to each and every song. But it still sounds like Lizzy and the
common trademark of Lizzy Borden. I like to play songs such as Sins Of
The Flesh and Council For The Cauldron because of the cool bass licks,
aggressiveness and great vocals they have. But I also like to play
songs such as Visions and One False Move because of the cool feel and the
mood these songs carry.
J: What was your first concert with
M: Well, I remember I was a little bit out of synch with the
rest of the band and I did fuck up on a few different occasions. Lizzy
took all this into consideration however, with me being a brand new bass
player, and as I remember the band itself had not played live for a while,
so he had us booked at some "Hole in the wall" clubs for warm
up/pre-tour shows, before we went out and actually did the important shows.
J: How did it feel playing the Bang Your Head '99 show in Germany?
And what was that like?
M: We did a press conference before the show and there was at least
photographers there going "Over here! Over here, guys! Look
here!" It was insane. Germany was great. It's just
awesome to play in front of tens of thousands of fans. We were the
first band to get to Germany and the last one to leave as well. We had
a great time over there the entire time. Let me give you an example of
how big metal is over there still. We wanted to check out some bands
that were playing after us like Dio, but we could not walk out to see them.
There were tons of people waiting outside and wanted our autographs and
pictures taken. We ended partying our brains out with Hammerfall, Motorhead, and all the other crazy people hanging backstage.
J: Have a funny story to share relating to Lizzy?
M: Man, we got so many great stories from the road and so forth, but
this is at the airport in Germany back to the US. I include it because
it's a classic. This is on the way back to the US from Germany after
playing the Bang Your Head festival in the summer of '99 as told by Lizzy
Arrested at the airport in Germany!!!!!
At the fucked up airport in Stuttgart, they would not check all of our bags,
even after we gave them 150 american dollars!!! And told them these
were the very same bags that we came to Germany with in the first place, and
they didn't care. So I had to carry my wardrobe bag on the plane.
When they ran it through the x-ray machine, the lady asked to look inside.
She slowly unzipped the bag. What did she see? A fresh,
dripping, bloody axe. She jumped five feet back with blood on her
fingers. In a hysterical voice, she pulled out her walkie talkie and
within seconds, I was surrounded by six or seven German police. They
forcibly escorted me through the airport into a little room, leaving the
band to make a plane that was taking off in ten minutes. The door
slammed behind me and they put me in the center of the room and took their
positions all around me. And they said "Give me your
passport!" I had this mean looking German cop my passport and the
bloody axe dripping down on his desk. I then suddenly realize that I
still have makeup, jet black fingernails, and wild hair from the night before. The cop
then asked "What have you done?"
I said "Nothing. It's a prop. Show business! Show
business!! "Where did this blood come from?" I said in a serious
voice "I played a show last night. I'm a singer in a rock band called Lizzy Borden. "Where did this blood come
from??" In a serious and angry voice "It's fake blood. I use
it in my show. I said "You know, it's not worth it to me.
You can take the axe and just let me make the plane. "Don't you
understand that this is a weapon? Why did you think that you could
bring this weapon in the airport? It's the same thing as having a gun,
maybe worse. It has blood all over it. I don't know what you've
done to have blood all over it? What is this thing? What do you
call it?" I said "It's an axe!" I finally convinced him to let
me go after I promised him I wouldn't come back to Germany any time
soon. They escorted me to the plane, without my bloody axe.
J: Did it take you a long time to learn Lizzy's music?
M: Well, some songs took a little longer than others, but I get a kick
outta learning 'em plus each song is so different in style and feel, so it
never gets boring.
J: How does it feel playing for Lizzy after not having played with the
band in some time?
M: Well, Lizzy is excited. And we are all pumped and ready to go
especially after playing some great shows in Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles,
and San Francisco. I am very excited and can't wait for the new album
to come out and the world tour we are doing immediately following the
J: Any stories from the road to share
relating to Lizzy?
M: Well, at a recent signing, somehow the penthouse of the Hilton
Hotel turned into a playground of the damned, causing several thousand
dollars damage. And yes, the obligatory television out of the window.
J: Is there any specific kind of guitar you love to use?
Anything you recommend?
M: I have the opportunity to be endorsed by ESP Guitars/Basses and
Hammer Basses. I have a few favorite basses I use more than others.
They are: A black ESP bass - J4 with EMG pickups, a white
Fender Jazz Bass special and I have a brand new Hammer 12 string bass with
EMG pickups being made for me as we speak. I used ESP guitars to play
the rhythm guitars on the Legacy album.
J: Have a fave movie?
M: Yes, one movie I really dug was The Matrix. Great special
effects and a whole new way of thinking as far as script and
J: Fave Actor/Actress?
M: Sandra Bullock -- This woman doesn't only have charisma, but
she is also one the nicest women I ever met.
Salma Hayek -- Beautiful. Killer body and accent.
By Joseph N. Frezza
(c) 2000 Joseph N. Frezza.
Any unauthorized use of this interview without
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