Interview with MARTYR

We got to do a small e-mail interview with Dutch heavy metal legends MARTYR! The interview was done by Tamar with Rick (Guitars and main songwriter).


‘’How are you all doing?’’

Rick: ‘’Doing great, thanks!’’


‘’Let’s start with a little presentation. Who is MARTYR and how was the band formed?’’

Rick: ‘’MARTYR was formed back in 1982, so we have quite a long history already. In fact I by asking some friends  from my hometown to start a band which was different than the bands that were already there in the Dutch hard rock scene at that time. I wanted to develop a band more into technical metal , with great riffs and breaks.’’


‘’How did you come up with the name?’’

Rick: ‘’We wanted a short yet powerful name. There was no band at that moment , at least that we knew of, called MARTYR. We founded the word watching some kinda movie i remember, and said that's it.’’


‘’What band(s) / artist(s) have inspired you to become musicians?’’

Rick: ‘’The main influence for MARTYR, strangely enough is not NWOBHM , but US metal and especially Jap metal. Our favorite bands at that time were Loudness, X Ray, Bow Wow, Earthshaker. Personally when i started to play guitar age 15, i started with blues. But my main influence later on and still my favorite guitar player is Randy Rhoads.’’

‘’Do you have any musical training?’’

Rick: ‘’Yes, i was teached blues first after which i continued in theory. But i think you learn the most in playing and writing music by doing it in a band and listen to each other , and start jamming.’’


‘’How would you describe your music to someone who doesn’t know the band?’’

Rick: ‘’We have quite a legacy. We are a cult classic metal band, BUT we developed and did not stand still. Nowadays we are a modern , maybe even more Thrash metal band. But we will never forget our roots though. That combination and development is what makes us unique and gives that unique MARTYR sound in our opinion.’’


‘’What is the main inspiration behind the music?’’

Rick: ‘’Being creative, to start from scratch and came up with an awesome song or songs in the end. We get inspired by all kind of artists that create beautiful things , whether it is paintings, books, songs, music, photography etc.’’


‘’What is your favorite song from the album, and why?’’

Rick: ‘’I think all the band members have a different favorite. I guess that is a good thing. Mine is “Monster”. Because it is powerful and has an outstanding chorus, maybe even catchy.’’  

‘’Who is the main writer in the band, or are you all equally involved in the creative process?’’

Rick: ‘’Rop (vocals) and myself are the songwriters. We write the songs in our home studio, record the basics of the song and bring it to the other guys to develop it more before we hit the studios.’’


‘’Is there going to be a new album soon?  What can you tell me about it in terms of lyrical content, musical styles / influences and production?’’

Rick: ‘’We are currently working on some new songs. I don't know it it will be soon or not, we always take our time to do it 200%. We are not a band writing theme albums, every song is one on its own.  Our influences can come from everywhere , what we see, what we hear , what we experience. Our last 3 albums were recorded in Belgium with our producer Jack Nobelen. Chances are big we will do the same again for a new album.’’


‘’Is there anything new on this album that makes it special? Did you do something different in some way?’’

Rick: ‘’Oh yes. The songs are not standard song structures you know like ABABCB, we always try to experiment and do surprising things. We have several guests again on the album , just like we did with our previous one “Circle Of 8” (on that album we invited our friends from Vicious Rumors to join) . This time to name a few Marloes Voskuilen (vocals)  from Izegrim, Nick Holleman (vocals) from ex-Vicious Rumors, Powerized, Gert Nijboer (guitars) from Highway Chile , John JC Cuypers (vocals) from Praying Mantis and some more guests joined us.’’


‘’Do you have any touring plans?’’

Rick: ‘’We have, yes. For 2018 shows are booked for Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. We just came back for a management meeting , shows are in the making for US, Greece, Poland, Brazil , maybe Japan again , as well. So we are working on a “world” tour.’’

‘’Tell us something about MARTYR that we might not know…’’

Rick: ‘’In the 80’s MARTYR only existed for 5 years. So since our reunion 2006 we are already kicking more than twice as long your asses than in our cult classic years.  We alway say we are 35 years old, but we had quite a break. What people might not know about MARTYR is that since day one, and with every line up, it has always been about friendship in the band and with the people we work with.  That is the only reason in our opinion to keep going.''


‘’What is the best thing that happened with MARTYR until now? What is your favorite memory/show/moment?’’

Rick: ‘’There are too many. Ofcourse the release of a 1st album (“For The Universe”) is a favorite moment as is the release of every new album . The reunion show at KIT in 2006, the Lizzie Borden , Flotsam and VR European tours with all the fun that is happening on the road , Supporting great bands like Saxon , Trivium, Evergrey , Iced Earth, Raven to name just a few. And all the friendship that comes with it.’’


‘’What was your favourite concert? Best venue? Strangest venue? The worst concert?’’

Rick: ‘’My favorite concert personally you mean ?  I look back at a lot of concerts , I am going to concerts since a teenager so must have seen hundreds, maybe over a thousand, I don't know. Memorable ones were Iron Maiden supporting Kiss in the early 80’s, Loudness Paradiso 1984 , Ozzy last week in Oberhausen , too many to mention honestly.  My worst concert or most disappointing ones are the ones you go to because of the memories from the past but when you find out the singer or band cannot deliver anymore. (we know the examples, only exception for me is Ozzy, but that is a personal thing )

Best venue or at least maybe the far most hospitality we ever achieved with MARTYR and still talk about is Treibsand in Lubeck Germany. What a cook .  Maybe also the strangest venue as the 1st time we arrived we totally did not expect this to be such an amazing and great place. It looks like a “besetztes Haus” from the outside but it is simply a killer venue.’’

‘’What do you think about the way music affects people’s lives, even changing them?’’

Rick:’’Isn't it wonderful ? Music is a beautiful thing, it connects people and influences our lives.’’


‘’Outside of the business aspect, how has music affected you, personally?’’

Rick: ‘’I am always influenced by it, listening to it, thinking about it , working on it. It is difficult sometimes as it is always in my mind so to speak. So sometimes when you have to give your attention to something or somebody else it interferes haha’’

‘’What type of music do you generally listen to? Name some of your favorite bands / albums / songs.’’

Rick: ‘’In fact i am a simple metalhead. I do listen to other music on the radio f.e.  but at home i only have metal albums. My favorite bands are Pantera, Van Halen, Lamb Of God , Slayer, Testament, Raven, Ozzy Osbourne (esp. the Randy era) , Joe Satriani, Loudness, Unearth. Maybe not even always of all their material but also of the live energy  like the Raven shows f.e.’’


‘’How would you continue the sentence “Music is…”?’’

Rick: ‘’Life’’


‘’Is there anything else you would like to add? Something I might have missed?’’

Rick: ‘’We are working with a new management team since recently. We have many great ideas and plans in the making, a new live show, new songs , new tours. Our live show is called the MARTYR eXperience. It is something you must attend and have to experience. Our intention is to give the best , always , to make sure people enjoy it, leave with a smile on their faces. So come see us , when you can. We have a lot to gain still , we have lot of fans to experience MARTYR live still. We hope to extend our MARTYR family with all of you.’’

‘’Do you have any kind of live advice for our readers & us?’’

Rick: ‘’Yes , Always do what YOU wanna do . we made that mistake listening to big major labels who wanted to make money and influenced us so we took wrong paths in the past. Don't do it. Always make sure that what you deliver is what YOU want to deliver 100% , no make that 200%.. If other people like it too , that is awesome. But you must be the first to like it yourself.  


To complete the interview let me say we are more than proud to have such a loyal fanbase, from the past and from the present and , as said,  we hope for even more in the future. We are working hard for this but we cannot say anything else than a BIG thanks to all of our fans for the continuous support during all these years. Simply amazing ! Hope to see you somewhere on the road. Be in touch with us , write us , follow us on our social media like Facebook ( We will write back ! Cheers’’


By Tamar