Having already impressed many on the new music circuit with their bright and uplifting brand of indie-pop delights, Stamford-based outfit Martini Police have now returned with their latest upbeat offering Seventeen.
Written from their drummer’s perspective of falling in love with a girl that never felt the same way back, Seventeen is a warm and humble ode to the blossoming world of teenage relationships. With its relatable lyrics mixed with an almost Fleetwood Mac-esque aesthetic, this newest delight sees the band bring yet more of that bold and vibrant direction they are building a reputation for.
So with their new single swooning us at every turn, we sat down with them to find out more about their origins and what has inspired them over the years.
What were the first instruments you fell in love with?
Harvey: The first instrument I fell in love with was guitar at 13. My first “proper” guitar was a Rockwood or something like that I paid £20 for at a car boot.
Donovan: The first instrument I fell in love with were the drums when I was 6.
Cameron: The first instrument I really felt driven to play was my Epiphone Lespaul that I got for Christmas in 2014 it was my first full scale instrument and I had a Marshall Lead 12 practice amp to play it through. It sounded amazing but it was short lived as the first day I got it was also the day I got my fingers slammed in a car door therefore I had to wait a few days before I could really play it.
Megan: When I was in primary school, an external music teacher came in and offered clarinet and flute lessons. As a kid I was obsessed with the idea of playing instruments and so I begged my mum to let me have clarinet lessons. Playing the clarinet introduced me to music theory and from there my love of music grew. Because of that, the clarinet has a special place in my heart.
What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?
H: Inspiration musically is an assortment of things, From The 1975, to The Artic Monkeys, To Childish Gambino & To Tom Misch, it comes from everywhere, the fans” they’re all great and I love meeting them and seeing their reactions to our songs when we play live, it’s a great feeling. They inspire me to write more songs. And Richard Mackman my guitar teacher (A guitar teacher who became a great friend and a second dad to me), I wouldn’t be doing what I do today without him, he taught me everything I know and gave me the tools necessary to keep expanding musically.
D: Chasing the feeling after every live performance. The energy I receive from playing has been my main motivation.
C: My most prominent inspiration has been probably listening to a lot of very different musicians play. The basslines and chord progressions I write vary a fair amount. When I meet a new musician and watch them play I notice small details in technique and playing style, I then add them to my own bank of knowledge and try to implement them on the songs I play. I can only learn so much as an individual so it helps for me to pick up technique and learn from others.
M: Different people listen to music for different reasons, whether it’s to relax, get hyped or to feel emotional. I’ve always aspired to write a songs that will resonate with people. The songs that they listen to when they’re feeling low, or the songs they know will always cheer them up. I know that if I keep trying, I could write that song and that’s what inspires me to keep making music.
What kind of music did you love as teenagers?
H: As I’m a teenager still I’ll just use what’s been on my recently played on Spotify and that’s a mixture of 80s and Indie.
C: As a teenager I was not really invested in the world of online music such as iTunes or Spotify therefore all of my music came from my mum which was primarily The Beatles as she was a bit of a fan girl but it varied to Bob Marley, Suede, Elvis and general 80s and 90s pop.
M: I went through my emo phase during my teenage years so I mostly listened to My Chemical Romance, Panic! At The Disco, Fall Out Boy and Twenty One Pilots.
Can you remember the first song that made you want to pursue a life in music?
H: The first song that made me want to peruse music was New Order – Blue Monday, discovered my dads record collection and record player and was instantly hooked, I’ve always been big on music though, being raised on all sorts from Elvis to Motörhead. I then became a “DJ” and did my first “gig” at 11 in a pub called the Haywain in St Ives and we had to get special permission to allow me in after 10. But the song that made me want to peruse being in a band and guitar was Black Sabbath – Paranoid.
D: It’s not a song but I remember my first gig with a band playing oasis covers when i was 15 made me want to pursue it as a career.
C: Bands such as Muse made me realise what can be done within music with a Guitar, Bass, Drums and Vocals at the centre so I started looking into music as a career option which is when I picked it in GCSE. I then hit a brick wall when deciding where to go in college. I decided on Music Technology as I thought there’s a better chance of receiving a job with stable income in that field but then that’s where I met the band Soup, however within then was a soon to bloom Martini Police. The band took me in after discovering that I did in fact play bass and happened to know the song “When the Sun Goes Down” that they were playing and things took off from there.
M: I don’t remember the specific song, but I remember deciding I wanted to pursue music after watching a Queen concert that was being shown on telly at 2 in the morning. Seeing how much fun everyone was having and seeing how much joy music can bring to people made me realise that’s what I wanted to do with my life.
When you wake up in the morning, what kind of music do you like to listen to?
H: Usually something chill, something I can vibe to until I fully wake up.
D: In the morning I usually listen to some relaxed low-fi to get me in a calm state of mind before putting on some records whilst I get ready, usually Catfish And The Bottlemen, Oasis or The Killers.
C: Normally music is the thing I wake up to with my mum blasting it down the corridor, for example last week was hits from Eagles and yesterday was “I’ve Got A Woman” by Ray Charles.
M: When I wake up in the morning I like listening to anything chilled out, my go-to artists are usually Cavetown, Peach Pit and Dodie.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
H: I think most of my/our songs are based on people or interactions with people. Certain things they did or phrases etc., they’re life experiences is what we right about. Ugly is written about an Ex Girlfriend of mine for an example, that wasn’t a good experience, but hey we got a song out of it.
D: Every song I’ve written has been about someone in some way or another. Interactions with Other people are usually the best source of inspiration for me.
C: When I write songs they have no lurking or underlying meaning, if it sounds good I play it, if it is fun to play I play it. To me music is about entertaining others as much as yourself because if you’re not having fun how are the crowd supposed to?
M: I like to write from experience, I find that is makes my lyrics sound more sincere. Because of this all the songs I’ve written have been about people in my life. I’m sure that all the other songs I write in the future will be about people I know as well.
What have been the most memorable moments in your career so far?
H: Getting played on BBC Introducing Lincolnshire is a top one for me.
D: My most memorable moment so far would be playing my first gig up north in Bradford.
C: The first gig in Bradford was certainly a good one, meeting the people was the best part and talking about the things that only musicians would understand. Mostly though it’s got to be our gig in Leeds where we had so many friends and strangers in the audience smiling and singing our songs. It was definitely our best set to date.
M: The most memorable moment for me was the first gig we played outside of our hometown. We went up to Bradford to support a band called Railroads and the energy the audience had was amazing. Seeing people enjoy our music will always make for a memorable gig.
Outside of music, what are your biggest passions?
H: Outside of music my other passions are Classic Motorcycles, Classic Cars and the Pub. Oh and learning, documentaries especially, I love learning about things. I don’t like not knowing things; I’m like a big encyclopaedia of useless shit. (Does my girlfriend count?)
D: Outside of music my biggest dream passions are basketball and traveling.
C: I honestly love cooking; I feel it’s similar to music in the fact that you get to experiment in ways that draw parallels between the two. This obviously makes dieting a problem combined with sitting at a desk playing games with my friends.
M: Outside of music, I really enjoy reading and playing video games.
If you weren’t musicians, what other path do you think you might have taken?
H: Honestly haven’t got a clue, we’ll worry about that later.
D: I think I’ve always known that I’d end up doing music in some form but if it wasn’t performing music I’d like to work with the business and marketing side of music.
C: Probably music technology in my own recording studio helping others achieve their dreams. but the paths are still being built, I’ll pick which one looks the nicest.
M: I’ve always hoped I’d end up doing music, so I haven’t put much thought into what I would be doing otherwise. Even if it’s not playing music, I would still like to stay in the music industry.
And what advice would you give to those looking to start a career in music?
H: As George Michael once said “Cause you gotta have faith” and that’s critical in this industry, you won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, it won’t happen overnight and there are some pretty low moments, that’s life, but just keep on going, because you never know what might happen next, if you quit then that’s your story written. Allow your story to keep writing itself.
D: Honestly just keep going. There are going to be gigs where 10 people turn up and most of them are your family but play them like they’re your last gigs. If you’re good enough and you believe that you’re good enough then people will notice.
C: Start Learning and do it right but do it right for you. Once you learn what you want to play just start learning. Sure it may sound bad and might hurt your hands or fingers but everyone was at that stage. If you don’t see it as a job then it’s not work.
M: To new musicians trying to start your career, I’d say play as often as you can. Starting a YouTube channel and posting your music there can also be a great way of getting noticed because you never know who will see it. Also making friends in the industry really helps, that way you can do gig swaps and support bands in areas you’ve not been to before to grow your audience.
Band Pic: By Izzi Stan