Mitchell Martin on reaching the Gozzy Rock Grand Final:
“My heat was an awesome experience. I was very excited to get to perform amongst such great Perth musicians and I went into the competition just trying to perform to the best of my ability and to try and have as much fun performing as possible. I was so stoked when I found out I reached the finals. I stayed and watched everyone who performed in my heat on Sunday and everyone was so good so I was absolutely ecstatic when I read that I was one of the acts that made it through. I am so excited for the final on Sunday and am spending the next couple of days preparing so that my set is as tight as possible when I perform – I can’t wait!”
Until he was 13, Mitchell Martin’s musical adventures extended to the school choir. Then he picked up a guitar and by the time he was 15 was playing and singing in several bands.
By the end of Year 12 he was writing his own original songs, pursuing a career as a solo artist and teaching guitar at the school he’d just graduated from, Bunbury Catholic College.
“I did that for two years and was teaching four-days-a-week and doing paid performances twice a weekend where I played background music at different venues,” he recounts. “Whilst doing this I was also writing and recording a lot of original music with my goal set on releasing an album by the time I was 20.”
Martin moved to Perth to study at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts and true to his aim, on his 20th birthday, March 26, 2017, he released his debut album, Into The Light. The music video for the title track now has over 25,000 views on his Facebook page.
Mitchell Martin gets things done.
“I started out with a fairly acoustic vision in mind for my music,” he explains. “At the time when I first started writing songs I was just playing acoustic guitar and singing. However, as I grew as a musician and my live show started implementing the use of a loop station I started trying out other styles of music and my album ended up being fairly eclectic using a fair bit of electric guitar and full band recordings.
“Looping is still a very new part of the live music scene and I do it in a way that is different to other looping artists as I loop a guitar, vocals and I use a keyboard to get drums, bass, keys and synth sounds. I also can loop an acoustic and an electric guitar so I get a large variety of different sounds that I can make which allows me to play most genres of music.”
Looping is a precise art, even more so that Martin utilises keyboard for other sounds, effects and rhythms over the top of his guitar. Even this, however, is heading towards a new evolution.
“I feel like at the moment I am happy with how I am playing the songs live with my loop station to create a band sound in a unique way that is entertaining for the crowd to watch,” he says. “However, in the future I would like to have a band for some songs. In my ideal live show, I would start the show solo with the loop station and then bring a band out to play the second half of the show and possibly would mix looping with the band.”
In a relatively short career, Mitchell has enjoyed many highlights: a nomination for WAM’s 2016 Folk Song of the Year; performing at the Fairbridge Festival; appearing on the main stage at the Mandurah Crab Festival in 2016 and 2017; performing twice at AFL games at Domain Stadium to 40,000 people and selling out his first ticketed headline show in Perth at Ellington Jazz Club.
From here, it’s a simple case of more-of-the-above and getting more done.
“I’m planning on recording a music video for another single off my album and to release that before the end of the year and to organise a single launch at a live music venue in Perth,” Martin states. “I’m writing a lot of songs at the moment and am planning on going into the studio with the best songs I have written and to start recording some new songs to be released as singles over 2018, then I’m hoping to release a new album in 2019.”
The 30th Anniversary Gozzy Rock Grand Final happens from 2pm on Sunday, August 27, at the Don Russell Performing Arts Centre with Mitchell Martin, J.F.K, Farraday’s Cage, Choking Stanley, Hibiscus and Sweet Surrender, with guest sets from previous winners, Young Robyn (2016) and RAKSHA (2014).