"I was obsessed with music videos growing up, getting to make them is a dream come true" We chat with Christina Martin
Hey Christina, how the devil are you doing?
Hi there. I’m pretty good. We just finished 45 tour dates in Europe, and are flying home next week. I'm a bit stressed because our well needs to be dug up back home in Nova Scotia. It’s probably going to cost a lot of money.
Where are you right now?
I’m driving on the A8 between Munich and Stuttgart.
What have you been up to today?
This morning I went for a run in the countryside near Munich, and now we are driving six hours to Hannover.
Tell us about yourself.
The other day I said to my husband “I’m starting to feel like myself again.” to which he replied very quickly “Which self?”. We laughed, and it reminded me how stressed I’ve been lately. I feel a lot of pressure to succeed I guess. Apart from that, I’m a singer-songwriter based in rural Nova Scotia, Canada. I’ve been writing my own music for 18 years, and music became my full-time gig around 2007. Since then, I’ve toured North America and Europe, and made music with my best friend, Dale Murray, for the past 11 years. It’s pretty awesome and stressful.
What can you tell us about your new album, Impossible To Hold, in two sentences?
As a whole, this album is my most diverse, which I’m quite proud of. In the studio, I campaigned to honor the individual sonic visions.
If people could hear just one song from the album, what would you choose for them?
'Impossible To Hold'
How did you go about writing and choosing which songs to record?
I spent time writing new material for this album back in 2016 and then fine-tuned lyrics and arrangements in 2017. ‘Noise and Toys' was a song that was cut from my 2015 album It’ll Be Alright, but I felt it had a home with this new album. I chose songs that I felt had important personal stories, messages with meaning, and also consulted with my producer/engineer and guitarist Dale Murray.
What’re the biggest differences from when you made your first album?
My voice is stronger and I think I’m a more consistent songwriter than when I started. It’s only with my recent two albums, It’ll Be Alright and Impossible to Hold, that I’m finally writing songs for my voice. However, I think even with my first album Pretty Things, I can hear elements of pop and rock, flashes of where I would eventually take my music.
The video for your latest single, ‘Always Reminding’, has a pretty specific aesthetic, how did you come up with it?
I didn’t, it was all Ryan Thompson, the filmmaker. He is so incredibly talented and was a delight to work with. Check out his website.
How fun is making a video?
On video shoot day, my job is pretty fun! The crew typically have all the stress. I love dressing up and getting my hair and makeup done. I love working with other creative people. I’ve worked with fabulous directors, and the crew are usually super excited to be involved in making a music video. I was obsessed with music videos growing up, so to be able to make them is a dream come true.
Obviously, there’s a lot of talk about equality in the film and music industries at the moment, have you ever felt you were treated differently as a woman?
At one venue recently, I felt I was treated differently by the sound technician when I explained that my guitarist's vocals would be mixed lower than my lead vocal. The sound person responded by rolling his eyes and making a dumb comment about how ‘Yeah yeah, the women's vocal is always louder than the man's vocal’. I discussed the situation with my agent, and we decided never to return to that venue.
When was the last time you were starstruck?
Bryan Adams – 1997 – He pulled me up on stage to sing with him at a concert in Halifax NS.
Can you tell us the best and the worst thing about your hometown?
The best thing about my hometown of Port Howe NS, is that we are only a 10-minute bike ride to the beach. The worst thing about living in Port Howe is, because it's very rural, you can’t walk to a local bar to have a drink or meet up with friends.
And the difference with the UK?
We don’t smash our peas.
You’re pretty active on Twitter, what’s your “strategy”?
I’m least active on Twitter, more active on Instagram and Facebook. The strategies are always adapting, but in general I try to post regularly, and I work with people who help coach me with this. I’ve learned that my fans like to see behind the scenes photos and videos, and they also like me to just be myself.
You’re touring at the moment, what’s the best thing about being on the road?
I’m with my best friend, my guitarist/producer/husband Dale Murray.
And the worst?
It’s hard to stay healthy! I miss routine and being in one place. It’s really hard to find balance when you are on the road constantly. I find it exhausting and the WORST part is when I get sick and have to perform.
If you could recommend one song to hear this week, what would it be?
Impossible To Hold
What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?
Why do you make music?
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
French press, decafinated, one honey, one cream
Thanks so much for your time Christina.
You can stream Christina's new album from all good streaming services, you can also buy it if you still buy music - and you should. To find out more about Christina visit her website, follow her on Twitter, like her on Facebook, or see her on Instagram.