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  • Tracy Heck

Earshot working on new music, ready to get back on stage

L.A. rock band Earshot recently released a double shot of new music with singles "You + I" and the acoustic version of their track "Tongue-Tied (Unplugged)."

"You + I" was written by Wil Martin, Andy Stafford, Aaron Fink, John Novak and Michael Sylvia. The song was produced by Wil Martin & Aaron Fink, mixed and mastered by Allen Terry.

"Tongue Tied (Unplugged)" was written, produced and mixed by Wil Martin and mastered by Rob Brill. The song was previously released on their second album TWO.

Rock Life recently caught up with vocalist/guitarist Wil Martin, who spoke about how the tracks evolved and what's next for the band.

Rock Life: Just before the pandemic hit you were just starting out with your new lineup, was it difficult to get things back up and running?

Wil Martin: Yeah, I mean we were slated to all get back together and meet up in Florida at our drummer's house because he has a nice recording studio there. So we were slated to meet there, but the pandemic happened and threw a wrench into that.

The good news to that happening was that it taught us how to leverage technology. We all have our own recording studios so we just had to figure out how to work together efficiently and communicate. We figured out a number of ways to do that and were sort of able to skate around that obstacle.

We definitely like it much better when we are able to all get together in the same place! However, I am really a lone wolf so I don't mind doing it on my own and I've mostly done that on all of the records so it doesn't bother me, but I know the other guys like the camaraderie of getting together.

RL: There were a lot of bands and projects that fell by the wayside over the last couple of years. You've been with Earshot since the beginning and have chosen to stick with it. What is it about this band and this lineup that keeps you wanting to push forward?

WM: Well, aside from the personalities of course, I just feel like it's a different mindset than the previous outfit we have.

When I think back on the early, early days, the original bass player, who was one of the founding members that I started the band with, was really in charge of the band as far as musically. I had some participation in that, but that was pretty much the block that he planted his flag on and once he was unfortunately let go from out of the band, shortly before our first record came out, I became the primary song writer and it was a mix with the rest of the guys.

I think now, a lot of that pressure has been taken off of me with regards to having to write music and lyrics and produce. Now I have guys that I trust and are able to write not only things that they know I like, but also things that challenge me as a artist. I think that's the really big difference between this lineup and the previous one.

RL: Just looking at the recent singles, it definitely seems like everyone had roles in putting it together.

WM: Yes, it's definitely way more collaborative. I'm genuinely okay with that and I like and respect a lot of the ideas that they have and the way that they give them. That helps a lot too.

RL: So how did the singles, "You + I" and "Tongue Tied (Unplugged)" come together?

WM: So, "Tongue Tied" is a song off of our second album, which was one of my favorite songs off of that record. When I first met Andy [Stafford, guitarist] back in 2014 or 2015, I had a solo project that I was working on at the time called the Wil Martin Project.

It was an acoustic project; there were no rock songs at all. I had some shows booked in a few different cities scattered about the country and I called him up to see if he was into doing these shows with me and he did. Before we went out, he recorded on his phone "Tongue Tied," a acoustic vocal.

I remember it was really cool how he did it and how he played it. So, when we were getting ready to release "You + I" and we'd decided to release it on Valentine's Day because the track is, for all intents and purposes, a love song, I knew that the day is not celebrated by all people across the bored so the acoustic version of "Tongue Tied" was so that we could have something for everybody. It was for all those who didn't have significant others or don't have a positive outlook on that day.

That's how that came about and they did a fantastic job with that. I've got to give credit to those guys because they stylized it with the acoustics and then I sang on it.

"You and I" was a track that Andy wrote and I think I recorded a scratch idea on it maybe a year and a half ago. It had maybe a verse melody and maybe a piece of the chorus and that's what I oftentimes do when I get new songs so that we can determine whether it's something worth working on or not. If not, it goes to the back burner and if it does then we record.

We were kind of going through all of the material that we have and wanted to start working on and that was one of the obvious ones that jumped out at us. We just went yeah, we've got to get this one done and out.

It turned out really great and we're really happy with it.

RL: And what's next for you guys?

WM: The question is often asked about when is the new album coming out? The answer to that is that I don't think we're going to be doing albums; I think we're going to stick to the singles, maybe a pair of singles together every month or two months. That's the plan right now.

I just don't think that listeners take in music the same way we used to back when CD's or tapes or LP's were a thing. There is so much streaming out there and there's only so much time in the day and I think we'd rather just release a couple of tracks at a time rather than 14 that no one has time to pay attention to.

We're working on new music already and hopefully, we can get out to do some shows. We don't have any tour plans yet, but we may do some shows here and there and maybe pick up something in the Fall or worst-case scenario in the Spring of next year. That's kind of where we're at now. That's the plan, but as you know, plans' change!

RL: Has there been something that you've enjoyed getting to do while you haven't been out on the road?

WM: Well, I also help with a number of other projects as well. I also just finished completing all of my coaching certifications so I am now a world-certified life coach, executive coach and organizational development coach.

That's actually something that I've done behind the scenes my whole life and I just took the time during the pandemic to go through all of the schooling and certifications. It was really interesting being back in a classroom environment and interacting with people, especially considering the fact that I always hated school!

RL: It seems like the singles have been going over well. Have you been happy with the fan response to the new music and all the fact that the fans have continued to support you through everything?

WM: Yeah, the fans have been great. We put out a couple of other things, a cover of Alanis Morrissette's "Uninvited" in 2020 and then we put out another track called "Been A Long Time," which was our first original track as a band with this current lineup last year. They both did well and it seems like with each release, it does a little better than the last one.

We're really trying to reach out to new fans now. That's our mission at the moment and hopefully, we're releasing stuff that they love just as much as our fans that have been with us for a long time.

RL: Would you say that's the biggest goal moving forward?

WM: Yeah, that's really the biggest one, but also just not putting out music that sucks!

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