DEUCE GIBB - Guitar/Vocals
MIKE MEAD - Bass
REJ TROUP - Drums
With any luck you've already got your hands on a copy of THE MARTINI BROS. long-awaited Fatback Records sophmore release Trans*Mission. Three years to the release date of the Harrisburg-based trio's acclaimed Fatback debut Portable, the follow-up finds the band coming full circle.
The album reintroduces frontman DEUCE GIBB, bassist MIKE MEAD along with drummer REJ TROUP to the fierce loyal following that made them a thing of local south-central Pennsylvania legend, fueled by a ferocious live show and a very strong word-of-mouth publicity.
Trans*Mission was completed one year from its outset at Tongue & Groove Studios in Philadelphia. The record was produced and mixed by Mike Musmanno (who was behind the board for Portable) with additional mixing by Shelly Yakus. Steve Fallone mastered the disc at the renowned Sterling Sound Studios in New York City. Michael Moppin of Art Boy Products did the uniquely creative layout, which perfectly compliments the overall feel of the CD, exclusively for the band.
"This record was produced with the same gear as the big boys," GIBB confidently assures when prompted about the arduous, yet ultimately fulfilling recording process, "I'll put it up against them any day."
"Our first record was done on two tracks and recorded live in one day. On the other hand, we spent many a weekend in the studio and I think everyone will be really happy with what we have to offer them," GIBB says. "There are alot of elements that we were able to add in the studio that we can't do live, all the way from the extra percussions to the Hammond B3 organ."
Included within Trans*Missions' borders are live favorites such as "Beer Shot Beer", "Hillbilly Polka" and "Get Your Wheels Shined Up," a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Commotion" and instrumental favorite "Lava Lamp." Also surfacing on the 11-track record is a sure-fire hit from the pen of Nashville, TN resident (via New Jersey and college in Elizabethtown,PA) Joe Pisapia and his "Spining On An Axis." GIBB also found himself sharing songwriting duties with Jeffrey Gaines (a Harrisburg native) for the aptly biographical "Nightmare Party On Wheels." From all-out smokin' rockabilly with a pop infectiousness to an off-the-beaten path cover, Trans*Mission is true Martini magic.
"On a personal level, I don't think the record could have turned out any better," explains Martini frontman and guitarist DEUCE GIBB recently on the completion of Trans*Mission. "Sonically, it's bangin' and, just like the last record, it's about thirty- seven minutes of damn near as perfect a record as we could come up with."
Many bands have a shelf life significantly less than the aforementioned time, so what gives with a band that waits three years to follow-up the snowballing success and critical endorsement garnered by such a strong debut?
"We lost a drummer," GIBB candidly admits. He alludes to the tragic passing of founding Martini Brothers drummer Chad Matson, who passed away in October 1997 following the release of Portable. "For a while it was a very confusing time for myself, Mike (Mead) and everyone involved with the band."
The group took some time to regroup, think things over and subsequently arranged a local benefit show featuring members of York-born and bred superstars (and longtime Martini associates tracing back to their inception) LIVE to establish a trust fund in the name of Matson's young daughter. The Martini Brothers brought one of Matson's favorite local drummers in REJ TROUP to fill in the spot he had vacated behind the Martini kit.
Contrary to baording themselves up in their own unfortunate circumstances, The Martini Brothers were reborn with TROUP providing the bass-drum style kick in the creative backside. Live show after live show allowed the band to slowly develop and ascend back to their rightful place among the local elite.
In the meantime, The Martini Brothers were also the subject of independent filmmaker Steve Wylam's feature film: One Night Only. The film featured four years worth of compiled footage and serves as an emotional release of the Martini past viewed from their increasingly bright future. The film was debuted at the Moviate Film Festival in Harrisburg,PA and at the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema in Spring of 2000.
On something of a cinematic roll, GIBB also found himself opposite Angelina Jolie's Academy Award winning role of Best Supporting Actress with his brief cameo in Girl, Interrupted playing, of all things, according to him, a "seedy" looking guy. The film was shot in Harrisburg.
Highlighting their live run, The Martini Brothers found themselves the opener on LIVE's homecoming gig at Hersheypark Arena and the following night at the Asbury Park Convention Center in New Jersey.
The Martini's visited Los Angeles to debut in June and late Summer and Fall of 2000 they'll be showcasing in New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore/Washington. Readers can visit the boys at martinibros.com and check out their "Spinning On An Axis" video shot by Doug Stoup on location at Venice Beach. The band also has music on their site and at MP3.com/martinibros, as well as photos from exclusive band snapper Sean Simmers, tour dates and all things Martini.
Check out the artist's website:
1. get your wheels shined up
2. spinning on an axis
3. nightmare( party on wheels)
4. groove on
6. soul outro
7. beer shot
8. hillbilly polka
9. dirty sanchez
12. lava lamp