June 7, 2017 Interview – Dorothy Martin of Dorothy
In the world of Rock and Metal, it can be hard to distinguish yourself from your peers. With a variety of available subgenres, there is no shortage of talent. So, it is especially gratifying for an artist to become distinct and renown among their colleagues for their talent and hard work. This is the kind of honor that has been bestowed upon Dorothy recently. The band, named for Singer Dorothy Martin, has been gaining traction in the music industry since the release of their self-titled EP in 2014. It was also in 2014 they earned the attention of noted music publication Rolling Stone, getting listed as number 14 on the magazine’s list of “Best New Artists of 2014.” Since then, they have toured with Halestorm and legendary Runaways guitarist and Rock icon Lita Ford, as well as released their exciting full-length album, ROCKISDEAD, in 2016. Recently we had the chance to catch up with Singer Dorothy Martin at Carolina Rebellion and find out about their recently released single, “Down To The Bottom,” the power of music, and what it means to have soul.
CrypticRock.com – Back on May 5th, you released the new single “Down To The Bottom.” How are you feeling about the track and were you excited to release it?
Dorothy Martin – I’m very excited. I actually wrote the song with Linda Perry (4 Non Blondes) and our producers, Mark and Ian. She’s been a really big inspiration and a mentor for me, so I’m very honored that I got to write with her and collaborate with her.
CrypticRock.com – That is awesome! So, what were your thoughts on writing the song?
Dorothy Martin – The funny thing about that song, because I’ve done a few with her and we’re getting ready to do our second album…So, I actually ran to Whole Foods to get some coffee and I came back to the studio, because she has this awesome studio in LA, and I was like, “Hey, I got my coffee” and they were like, “Hey, we’ve got a song.” I was like, “Oh, ok. Well, let’s hear it then.” They had this rad riff and it was just a great song and it was very rockin’, and we felt it right away. We felt the energy. She was actually playing drums, and she can play every instrument, she can sing anything. I was just like, “God, I wanna be her when I grow up,” and then I realized I am fucking grown up…I am grown up and it’s so awesome to be working with someone who’s so versatile and great at what they do.
CrypticRock.com – Very cool, do you play any instruments yourself?
Dorothy Martin – I do. I write on piano. I write on guitar. I love acoustic. I’m actually looking at this Gretsch Jet guitar that I would like to bring on the road, and we have some new songs that are very, very vulnerable and stripped down. I’d love to play them on the guitar for everybody. Now, I’m no Lzzy Hale, but I’m gonna try. I’ll try. (laughs)
CrypticRock.com – (laughs) Speaking of Lzzy…
Dorothy Martin – Yes! Yes! That’s my sister!
CrypticRock.com – (laughs) Dorothy toured with Halestorm and Lita Ford last year. How was that experience?
Dorothy Martin – Yes! That was great. It was actually the most fun tour because we did two of them. I learned a lot from both those ladies and I’m just honored that I got to be a part of it and we keep in touch. We’re close friends now.
CrypticRock.com – That is fantastic. One cannot help but notice that you have a very rich, soulful voice. You come across as a very old soul. What are some influences that have helped you develop your style?
Dorothy Martin – Well thank you! I listened to a lot of my dad’s old vinyl records, and I think most of it has to do with just playing live and finding who you are onstage, and there’s no way to teach that. I found that out because I sought out all these vocal coaches and teachers. I realized that in the moment organic things happen when you connect to the audience and you start to find your voice. I think the artist I connect to most personality-wise is Steven Tyler. He’s a very big influence of mine. We’re both Aries, and so is Linda Perry. Yay Aries!
We’re a crazy sign, just a very, very aggressive sign with a lot of energy. So, I just found that it was a way for me to express myself and get out all the problems because you know therapy doesn’t work for me. So, you know there’s got to be a way to make you feel better and music does that, and I really value it. I don’t trust someone who doesn’t listen to music (laughs), first of all.
CrypticRock.com – Amen to that!
Dorothy Martin – I like to have a few drinks and you know, listen to some good music. I always throw an old record on, it really helps ease the pain.
CrypticRock.com – Speaking of old records, what are some you could listen to over and over?
Dorothy Martin – Sade’s Lovers Rock (2000), or any Sade record. I like to watch live performances, so like, her live set is great. She’s a goddess. Then, you know Rhianna and Beyonce, and I also really love the new Kendrick Lamar album, it’s great. Any Aerosmith is always great to listen to, so is Creedence Clearwater Revival. I like Leadbelly and Howlin’ Wolf, and old Blues music. Also, anytime there’s a strong female presence, like Tina Turner or Cher, I gravitate towards that as well; because I am a woman and I like to see their perspective, how they interpret their art, and how they present it to the world. I can’t lie, Cher at the Met Gala in the ’70s was the dopest thing I’ve ever seen. So I’m like, “Cher, I’ll wash your dishes if you tell me how to do that.” (laughs)
CrypticRock.com – (laughs) Whatever you want Cher! Women in music have not alway had it easy and there is a tendency to lump everyone together. So, how do you feel about the term “female-fronted band?”
Dorothy Martin – Nobody ever says “male fronted” so take that shit and shove it up your ass! Like, obviously it’s female fronted, and I never really actually thought about it, so thank you for bringing that up. But I think people…when it comes to gender….like it doesn’t matter. Gender doesn’t fucking matter. We’ve got all these trans kids who need support. Gay, bisexual, homosexual, whatever, it doesn’t matter what you are or what you identify as, as long as you are happy and as long as you feel accepted. Our job as a community and as peers is to make everyone feel accepted.
I think that music has a really immaculate way of bringing kids together, and it’s just something that I’m really honored to be part of. I’m not claiming to do any of that, or be awesome, but I hope that our music does reach people. Really, like it doesn’t matter who you are, just come out to our show and rock out and have fun. You know, like I enjoy all types of music and there should not be genre boxes or lines drawn or anything like that. I like to put Hip Hop influence in our music. I like to put old Jazz and Blues and Soul in our music, and we have fat bass and drums. We’ve got a lot of great influences. There should never be any rules. First of all, Rock-n-Roll is all about breaking the rules, and so is music in general. So, that’s our goal. I say goal, but I just let life inspire me and let it happen.
CrypticRock.com – Those are great goals to have. At CrypticRock, we also cover Sci-Fi and Horror films as well as music. If you are a fan of either of those genres, what are some of your favorites?
Dorothy Martin – I really like Gremlins (1984) and Critters (1986). I like the cheesy old ’80s and ’90s movies. Let me see, um…I don’t like anything particularly too gory. I like stuff that’s really clever and kids can watch and they might be scared by it, but you watch it again as an adult and you’re like, “Oh, I’m good.” I really like the Pirates of the Caribbean films. I know that’s not in that genre, but I’m obsessed with pirates. I don’t know, there’s so many. Labyrinth (1986) is one of my favorite movies of all-time. I never got too much into Sci-Fi, but Ex Machina (2015), with the fembot in the house who was super perfect, was a great movie. It was really creepy. I’m also into games and gaming.
CrypticRock.com – Very cool, what kind of games?
Dorothy Martin – Good old Super Mario Bros., Nintendo, and Mortal Kombat, because I gotta kick some ass sometimes!