New York-based MARTYRD is what happens when you combine DREAM THEATER, FATES WARNING and NEVERMORE influences. Spawned in 2003, the band has released two full-length albums and has toured fairly regularly, recently completing a successful opening jaunt with Swedish guitar maestro YNGWIE MALSTEEEN. The band has reemerged with their newest single/video, ‘Faceless,’ its first newly-recorded material since their 2012 sophomore release, The Mortal Coil. Comprised of vocalist Aaron Pollard, guitarists Michael Andreas and Mike Kitsos, bassist Brian Nichols, and drummer Randall Lee, Martyrd have put their best foot forward on its new single. With one listen, It doesn't take long to discover that the band means business.
“With the single ‘Faceless,’ we really pushed it out because we wanted to do something for our friends and fans,” Michael said. “We wanted to give them something before 2013 was done. We went in and recorded the song and did the video. We have about 85 percent of the next album written already. At this point, we’re going to try and get in the studio around springtime and do all the tracking so we can get the album done.”
The Mortal Coil showed a lot of promise, but the new material is headed toward a heavier, darker direction Michael says.
“The Mortal Coil has a lot of progressive stuff on there, whereas ‘Faceless’ is a little heavier and a little more direct in a lot of ways. We don’t want to repeat what we’ve already done. We want to grow and change. Even though we have themes and ideas that we’re going to expand on from The Mortal Coil album, we’re going to in general pursue a heavier direction. I want to mix what we are, and what we’ve been with what we want to be. Before we had a lot of influences from bands like Dream Theater and Symphony X, but now we’re getting some NEVERMORE influences in there; just a little heavier, a little darker. I’m really excited about it and I can’t wait to show it off to the world”
The recording process for ‘Faceless,’ as well as the experience of shooting the video was well worth the time and effort according to Michael.
“We did both with the same people. We did the recording at Westfall Recording Company out in Long Island with producers Anthony Lopardo and Raymond Marte. They did The Mortal Coil so we knew them and how they worked and we get along with them really well. The recording of the song went smoothly. We had an idea of where we wanted to go but we were really floored when we heard the final product and it really came together nicely. We shot the video with Anthony himself in this warehouse in Queens by where I used to work, it’s this dirty, grimy warehouse and we went in and jumped around and made a lot of noise for a while. He came back with this awesome video.”
Since the release of The Mortal Coil, the band has put in their time on the road supporting well-established bands such as CHILDREN OF BODOM, BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, SONATA ARCTICA, GOD FORBID, TESTAMENT, DEATH ANGEL and ENSIFERUM.
“We did a lot of playing out to support the album,” Michael said. “We did some touring around the East Coast a bunch of times on our own. We went out with Yngwie Malmsteen. We went up to Toronto, down to Miami, Chicago, Texas. We hit wherever we could within driving distance. I mean Texas was probably the worst driving experience, which took about 26-27 hours to get there. We’ve been playing out a lot. I love writing and recording music, but at the end of the day, you have to play in front of people and we want them to know we exist. That’s really what we’ve been doing lately. Just going out and playing for people, getting the name out there and making a lot of new friends.”
The band is focused on doing some extensive touring in 2014 after the release of their new album, which they are currently writing.
“We’re going to try and record it in the spring so we can have a new album out to tour on it in the summer. We have a couple of things in mind that are still pending and we’re looking to go out with other established bands for something in early March that would put us out on the East Coast.”
Slowly but surely, things are headed in a positive way for Martyrd. But as Michael concludes, the band is hungry to show the world what they are about.
“We’re making progress but I always want more. I’m always hungry. It’s like ‘Chasing the Dragon’ as they say. It’s the same thing. We’ve opened for a lot of bands from Children Of Bodom to Sonatica Artica on one hand to DEICIDE and the MISFITS on the other hand. We’ve played with so many different bands in so many different genres of music, but we always want more. We want to get out to the West Coast. The more we can do, the better. We just want to reach as many people as possible. We want the whole world to hear what we have to say.”