Interview by: Kirk Thurmond
Video Directed by Jon Todd Collins

Jonas Martin just dropped a new single and video for Let Them Drown. Dallas based Soul/R&B artist Kirk Thurmond agreed to sit down with Jonas to talk a little shop as guest interviewer for GoodBAMMSho!

KT:
So the single “Let Them Drown” is part of a crowd funded album. Did you have a good feeling about reaching your goal when you started, or did it come down to the wire?

Martin:
To be honest, I didn’t really think it out. I should have but what went on in my mind was, “I just recorded a really cool single! I have to make an album to go with it IMMEDIATELY! I need a lot of money and quick!” If anyone out there is thinking of doing a Kickstarter, I HIGHLY recommend doing some research and thinking it through more than that. After the first week, I wanted to quit music. I had like 12 backers and maybe 4% of my goal reached. I genuinely thought this was an indication of failure on my part as a musician and songwriter. “NOBODY LIKES ME!” But I very quickly picked myself up (with help from my fiance) and realized that my failure was assuming that “If you build it, they will come.” Not true. You have to work really hard for it and I’m glad I figured that out before it was too late. Once we got over the halfway mark, I felt like I could breathe again.

KT:
You blew your goal of 10k out of the water by $2,000. What does that say to you about the people supporting you and your music, and where does that bring about any new feelings about the release of “The Color Scheme”?

Martin:
There are no words that can describe the gratitude I have for everyone that helped out. And that includes several people that couldn’t necessarily afford to pledge but were willing to spread the word for me by sharing it via Facebook, Twitter and word of mouth. I’m really lucky to have a wonderful group of people supporting what I’m trying to do and wanting to see me succeed. All I can say about the album is that I’m excited as hell! I already had a feeling that this is going to be the record that turns heads and now that I have the funding to really work on it, well it’s quite a relief. Hopefully, this will get the attention of some labels so I won’t have to campaign for funds next time.

KT:
You and I have recently switched places in the Solo/Band situation. What ups and downs have you seen since leaving Goodnight Ned?

Martin:
There are so many pros and cons to both, that it’s a hard question to answer. But it’s basically like the difference between being single or having a girlfriend/boyfriend. When you’re single, you can do what you want, when you want, where you want and that’s great! Individual freedom! But you’re also sort of alone. When you have a girlfriend/boyfriend, you’re in it together and that person always has your back . The drawback is that you have to compromise on everything. I miss the “We are all in this together!” camaraderie that came with being in a band but I don’t miss the compromise. I like to be able to make a decision and act on it without having to argue with anyone. Fortunately, the guys from Goodnight Ned and I agree that this is a better situation for all of us and I still consider them my best friends. It would have been a LOT harder if I had lost them.

KT:
Right from the jump of your single “Let Them Drown”, I got the feeling that you are going to use music to say a lot. KTAM tries very much to do the same. With this single, or with the new album in general, what are you trying to get across to your listeners?

Martin:
Let Them Drown is about social apathy in our society. “I don’t care about them, I’m worried about me and mine and that’s it.” The world is a screwed up place and there are people that need serious help. And most people ignore them. Most of the people that do have compassion really don’t do enough. You have to do more than donate to KONY to solve the many problems in Africa. You have to do more than just boycott Chick-Fil-A if you want to stand up for gay rights. And look, I’m NO better! I have a smart phone and a TV and I just raised $12K for a totally selfish reason. Almost all of my songs reflect on frustrations I have with myself. But I still have a lot of frustration towards our government and our society and as an artist, I feel an obligation to express that frustration. However, I try to cover the whole spectrum of my human experience. In the new record, you’ll hear a lot of love songs (I’m getting married in May), loving tributes to my parents, possibly some kooky songs that make no sense and yeah, a couple of politically-driven songs. Let Them Drown just happens to a serious song that is fun to listen to so I liked it as a single.

KT:
The one show we played together was at Prophet Bar with Emotion Brown. It was an awesome night, and KTAM is still very grateful for letting us share the stage. Given the chance to share a bill again, who’s the perfect band to put a KT+Millennials/Jonas Martin Bill?

Martin:
Ha! Well, easily… Larry g(EE)! He’s a good friend of mine, we’ve been on the road and played many shows together and, in my humble opinion, his is one of the strongest live shows in Dallas. And shit, we all got soul. That would be a fun night. If we’re talking beyond the local scene… with our two bands? I’d be kinda scared to share a stage with him but D’Angelo and The Vanguard would be… unbelievable.

KT:
I’ve spoken with a lot of artists from all genres in this city, and everyone can feel that the scene in general is about to make some big moves. Do you feel like something huge is on its way for Dallas music, and why now?

Martin:
First of all, I love Dallas. I’ve lived here my whole life and I think we have a wonderfully supportive group of truly talented and hard-working musicians here. However, I think I’m a little more pessimistic about the situation than some others. My pessimism stems from the industry though, not the musicians. Locally, we hardly have an industry for music and the opportunities to be seen are pretty limited. The biggest recurring music showcase in town is sponsored by Red Bull. Why don’t more Dallas-local businesses or the local indie labels have showcases going on? I’m not talking about festivals. I’m talking about shows where the underdog musical community has a chance to perform in front of people that can help them take their careers further. You go to LA, NY, Nashville and even Austin and they’ve got things like that going on every week. We have Red Bull once every few months (which is great but I don’t think it draws a lot of industry folk) and then ONE major local showcase per year thrown by the Observer. So I guess, my feeling is that if “something huge is on it’s way for Dallas music”, it better be more industry people. Because without them, the Dallas scene will never go beyond the borders of Dallas.

Jonas Martin will be with us live at Opening Bell Coffee for our 3rd #HowlAversary on Friday, October 30th in Dallas, TX! FREE SHOW come join us! Info >> https://www.facebook.com/events/838689586248039/

More on Jonas Martin:
http://www.jonasmartinmusic.com/
https://www.facebook.com/jonasmartinmusic
https://twitter.com/Jonas_M_Music
https://instagram.com/jonasmartinmusic/

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