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Erik Mårtensson

Eric Martensson VP

Erik Mårtensson, best known as vocalist with Eclipse, and his involvement with W.E.T. and Nordic Union expands on his singing career and what the future holds with regard to new music and live gigs.

Who were your influences in the early days and have you always wanted to be a singer?

My early influences were the bands my older brother listened to. Motley Crüe, WASP, Twisted Sister etc. The first album I bought for my own money was “The Last Command” by WASP. I still own it today. I never wanted to be a singer to be honest. I just enjoyed listening to music and my first love was and still is guitar. When I was a teenager and started my first bands no one wanted to sing so we took turns in singing the songs. I sounded terrible but the other ones were even worse so I ended up singing all the songs and after a while I started to sound okay. I still feel I evolve as a singer for every year that passes. I guess that's the good thing when you're not a massive talent [laughs].

Have you ever auditioned for the vocal spot in any notable bands?

Never. I have no wish to sing in another band than Eclipse to be honest. That's more than enough!

You have appeared on a great number of albums. Do you have a favourite and why?

I guess the first album that my vocals sounded okay was Bleed & Scream (Eclipse). After that record I stopped saying that we need to find a proper singer for the band. But I think my best performances are without a doubt the latest Eclipse album that coming out September 1st. It's not that only, it's the latest and greatest album. It has more got to do with how I change (hopefully for the better) as a singer. Also, good songs really help the singer.

Do you still get the same buzz out of singing live as you did in the past?

I actually enjoy it a lot more now. When I was younger I was so obsessed with singing in tune etc. Nowadays I don't care as long as it's fun and the band and audience have a good time. That change in attitude has made me a way better singer now than ten years ago. I used to have in-ear monitors but I stopped using them and just blast monitors like rock bands used to do. Much more fun!

Some vocalists are on strict dietary regimes or gargle with special liquids. How have you kept your voice in tip top shape all these years?

The less I think about my voice the better I sing. I do warm up properly before every show. That's really important. I want to be ready 100% on the first note of the first song. Other than that I usually gurgle whiskey before I hit the stage. It might happen that I swallow it too. Like every time [laughs]. But the voice has good days and bad days. You just got to accept that's the case. Some days it's super easy to sing and other days it's a struggle just like everything else in life. And of course the voice gets worn down when you're on tour but it's the same for everyone.

Are there any musicians that you have not worked with, but would like to in the future?

Of course. I could make a list of 50 people and musicians I would like to work with but at the moment Eclipse really is my main focus and what's taking up much of my time. I also mix and master a lot of albums in my studio between gigs. It's like having two full time jobs.

Is there any unreleased recorded material from any bands or projects you’ve been involved with that could be released?

I guess there is a lot if I would start searching for songs and versions. But it's usually a reason why songs don't end up on a record. Every time you get the deluxe version of an album with added unreleased songs they are most of the time not that good. But it's sure fun to listen to them so who knows. Maybe when I'm old and grey I will start looking for hidden gems in old (hopefully working) hard drives.

Have you ever thought about releasing a solo album?

Never. I have more than enough artistic freedom with Eclipse. We can more or less do whatever we want in the band. And I'm not old enough to do my “Tom Petty” album that every singer seems to do somewhere down their career. Ask me again in ten years [laughs].

You appear to be very busy. What do you enjoy doing on your downtime?

Hanging out with my family. I got two kids and a house in the country side so I got more than enough to do when I'm in between projects and gigs. But in the winter I love to ski. Off piste if possible so I ski with my family a lot every winter. In the summer it's more relaxing and maybe take a ride with the motorcycle. And travel places of course!

I enjoyed your set at Winterstorm in November last year with Eclipse. With the live circuit opening up again, is there a possibility that we could see you performing some live shows in the UK with any of your other bands/projects?

Thank you! Well of course. We have no booked dates at the moment but be sure we are coming with Eclipse to the UK!

You have done some production work for other bands, is this something you enjoy?

I really like it. It's always nice to take a step back from being the artist, writer and musician. I really enjoy mixing and mastering, but also producing other bands coming up with different ideas and ways to do things.

Do you have anything in the pipeline at the moment that you would like to share?

Just finished the brand new Eclipse album. I got mixing and mastering work coming up for several bands and artists in my studio in the coming months. Almost I’m fully booked for the whole year. Also I have started talking about a new W.E.T. album together with Robert Sall and Jeff Scott Soto! Let's see what happens.


Interview by Stuart Dryden


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