• Maila-Kaarina Rantanen

Interview with Eric Martin

Eric Marting gave me this interview during his break with Mr.Big, before coming to Brazil on tour together with Richie Kotzen.

Maila-Kaarina: How would you describe this moment of your career?

Eric Martin: It is like a breath of fresh air. I am almost 50 years old and feel as if I were 25 again. I used to think that after Mr. Big, I had done everything it was possible to do as a TV star who gets on the scene for years, and then has his shows canceled until he is forgotten by most of the people, and remembered by an only a few.

Well, my life has been renewed... I did some solo albums, wrote the song for the primary fight of Pride FC, sang as a backing vocal in several albums for many artists, composed and played with TMG (Tak Matsumoto Group) from Japan, became the father of twins with my wife and manager Denise, and will very soon be on tour around the world. Life couldn´t be better... even at my age...

Maila: How long have you and Richie Kotzen been touring together, and how has it been?

Eric: Brazil is the starting point of this tour in South America and it´s the first time we´ll be sharing the spots since 2002. I´ve been a fan of Richie´s talent for years. Even before the short period, we played together at Mr. Big and did "Get it Over and Actual Size. Richie - besides being an excellent guitarist-, is also a fantastic singer and that´s why I had the idea of doing duets with him. We could share the choruses and sing in harmony. I´ve always thought we completed each other as singers. At this time he is the star, and I´ll be warming up his concerts. I´m pleased about it. He is the star in South America, and I hope to be a star on the go and being discovered. It´s a new beginning, and I love this job.

Maila: Talk a bit about the tour.

Eric: Well, we´ll be playing on the same stage, but with two different bands. Richie has a new album to promote, and I´m promoting the one which was released in Japan and being re-released in South America. Actually, my intention is to push myself as an artist letting the fans know that I´m still alive ("I´m still alive and kicking"). I´d say that this tour is a reunion of old friends and bandmates.

Maila: You´ve been to Brazil before but not in Rio de Janeiro. What do you know about Rio, and what are your expectations about the fans?

Eric: It is funny that you´re asking me this cause Mr. Big should have played in Rio, but the concert had to be canceled and, for that, we had to do a concert for 100 thousand people at Santos Beach, in São Paulo, the day after of what our show was supposed to have happened. Well, unfortunately, Mr. Big wasn´t able to play in Rio, but I believe I am at least a quarter part of a good thing that will happen now. I am very excited about this tour with Richie, and playing in Rio is like reaching the top of it. Now I´m hungry!

OK, where to start? Copacabana and Ipanema beaches (long live to Astrud Gilberto for singing that beautiful song... thanks Antonio Carlos Jobim for writing great songs), The Christ, bossa nova, samba, Milton Nascimento, Paulinho da Viola... The music and the spectacular songwriters and interpreters. Carnaval (even though I know I´m gonna miss this one), the night clubs... Gosh! There is a lot to see, and I know there is much more I can imagine. I really don´t know what to expect from Rio fans, but I want to make it clear that I won´t bite (maybe) and if you get out of your chairs and get opened to the fun, I will be just a man who is there to give it to you. I promise to sing the best I can and will be loving the fact you´re there to listen to me...and perhaps shake it up a bit.

Maila: What do you do to keep in shape? Which advice would you give to those who intend to follow your footsteps?

Eric: When I´m on the road I don´t drink alcohol (OK, sometimes I have to confess that I do it), I don´t smoke and don´t stay up ´till very late at night. I know...I fu#king boring, huh? Well, I think my fans and friends are paying expensive to hear me singing. If I spoil everything because of having too much fun, my reputation will fall apart. Of course, I´ve already gone to parties after concerts and have overdone it a few times. I used to think I could manage, and sometimes I messed it up. This is why Mr. Boring will slow down this time. All of your future rock singers pay attention, OK? Are you ready? Here we go...

No heavy drinking and get to know your limits. Avoid talking during concert days (don´t whisper cause it´s worse), don´t put lemon in your tea (unless you really have a cold), cause lemon dries out the throat. Try to use throat sprays and teas. Always use things that can keep your throat hydrated as gums and, obviously, drink a lot of water (without drowning, of course!). The key to a great concert is a good night of sleep. Sleep as much as you can until you are completely rested. If you didn´t have a good night of sleep the night before the concert because of stress or anxiety, it would surely be a challenging concert for you.

Maila: Which moment of your career do you consider the worst, and which one is the best? Why?

Eric: I´d say that the worst was when my father (who was also my best friend) passed away, my wife left me, and the band broke up, all these almost at the same time. The best was when my song To Be With You reached the top on the same day in 15 countries. Man! The band got to heaven that day, there was no worry, and nothing else would matter that day. Great rock moments!

Maila: Have you got other projects going on? A new cd, new partnerships?

Eric: I have a new solo album in which I´ve been working for a long time, and as soon as this tour is over, I hope this flame is still on in my ass so that I can finish and release it in 2008. Before going to South America with Kotzen, I spent a month in Australia. After South America, I´ll take some days off to kiss my wife and babies, take some rest and then, hit the road again. This time to Europe, India and finally some concerts around the USA. Then I´ll take some days off back and Europe once more.

Maila: Have you ever had a job not related to music? Could you tell us what?

Eric: I´ve been an ice cream truck driver... Man, what a hard job! But I really enjoyed seeing the children, well, some of them (laughs).

Maila: Please, use this topic to say anything you want, leave a message to your fans.

Eric: Thanks a lot to all of you for keeping me and my music alive and kicking…and don´t forget, call your moms and thank her for everything. See ya!

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