Chad Bowar: What brought you and Dario back together after nearly a decade?
Tony Martin: Well, we have been working on this album for four years, so it's just been a slow continuation rather than a reuniting thing.
How did the songwriting and recording process work?
Dario sends me riffs in a format - verse chorus bridge kind of thing. I normally have to edit the riffs into a form that I can sing on them. After I have edited the riffs then I create the songs and the stories and melodies and took a long time to make sure these were right, other than "Violet Moon" which I wrote in the studio. Then Dario mixes it all together.
How does the sound of The Third Cage compare to the first two albums?
I think its very similar in form; some ballads, some '80s kind of stuff, some heavy. But I have been able to make the lyrics more modern and melodic this time.
What inspired your lyrics on this record?
It all comes from imagination. Some small parts are from real life, but mostly its made up from the thoughts and stories in my head.
With the state of the music industry today, what are your expectations for the album?
I expect this one to be regarded slightly better than the other two, but on the whole I think it will disappear along with most others.
If we put you in charge of the music industry, what changes would you make to improve it?
Are you serious? You don't have enough space! I will say this, though. Music is a worthless art these days, and I believe any changes have to come from the artist, not the industry. And we have to have a new contract with the consumer. That contract should be an understanding of what it means to be in possession of the product we make. And then most importantly, nurture a new attitude towards music that will last into the future.
What does all that mean? In short: stop giving music away for free! It's not working. Stop working for free! It's not working. Music is not for free. As for the industry, I think its time to lose most of it! In the days when I was able to sign a record deal, we relied on record labels to distribute physical albums around the world.. In this age of internet access and file transfer, it's possible to do that without the labels.
The days when a record company nurtured a band with 5 year deals is gone, advances are gone, A&R is gone. Mostly it's about quick sell and out the door. Hardly any of the people living off the back of music have changed the percentages they take. I favor a more personal direct sale to our fans with a contract of commitment to them. In return, they become part of the control over the product they have.
Just so that you understand the level of interest I have in this and why you don't have enough space, I have asked lawyers, unions and artists to give me reasons and answers for the whole problem we have, and it varies from international agreements on price fixing to the fact that we as owners of intellectual rights uniquely give them away when we sign our contracts with the industry!
Do you have any live shows or tours planned to support the CD?
No. Dario mentioned some ideas he had, but I have not been included in them and have no information on it.
What other projects/bands are you involved with?
I have an album to be released with Aldo Giuntini, and this year I am working with a project called Silver Horses, which is just beautiful bluesy soulful stuff. It's different for me, but I love it. After that I have to see what I can make work. Most people expect me to work for free these days, so I stopped. I may become a recluse and live on a boat somewhere in England!
Will there be another Tony Martin Band album?
If I could make it pay I would love to!
How did you get started in music?
I started when I was 7 years old. I was a guitarist first, and it went from there. It's part of my family and internal inspiration as a human being. I find it very integral to who we are.
Who were your musical inspirations?
Everyone from Nat King Cole to Glenn Hughes to Elgar to Radiohead.
How did you come to join Black Sabbath?
Through my manager at the time, who was a friend of Tony Iommi.
What's your favorite memory of your time in Sabbath?
Meeting the fans.
Which Martin-era Sabbath album do you think was the best, and which is your favorite?
Love them all except Forbidden.
What do you think of the latest reunion and talk of a new Sabbath album?
Don't have any particular thoughts either way about it, clearly it's one of the last reunions with all the original members and that has to be considered! But apart from that I hold no regard, but also no grudge for them. It's all cool.
Are you fans of any of today's current rock/metal bands?
Yeah, lots of them, and some past bands like Reef. I see the excitement in bands like Foo Fighters and Rammstein to the melodies of Radiohead and some indie bands. But what amazes me more is how kids have such an understanding of music and how it feels. My kids are stunning writers, and I cant believe they have those words and melodies at 14 and 18 years old; I never did. It all came to me later in life. Makes me wonder what bands will be like in the future.