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WESTERLY-After years in the music industry, musician Flav Martin sat in Perks and Corks, a coffeehouse he had performed at many times during his career, to talk about his new duet with studio owner, producer and musician Jerry Marotta.
The two talented musicians had been told to collaborate from friends before, but after recently meeting for the first time they instantly clicked and realized they had a whole new project on their hands. Initially Martin was headed to Marottaâ€™s Dreamland Studioâ€™s in New York to record some tracks for his second album. After meeting with Marotta and playing together they took off in another direction and it became obvious from their similar musical taste and how well their talents blended together that a duet album was in their future
â€śâ€ťWe stayed at the studio for a long time, we connected really quick it was like twin sons from different mothers,â€ťsaid Martin. â€śAt that point, the project stopped from me walking away with a finished project, but it was the very beginning of a new project.â€ť
Both Martin and Marotta have been involved in the music scene for most of their lives, and their strong musical backgrounds add a twist to the style and sound of the music they will be producing.
â€śI have a broad spectrum of music that I do and that I like,â€ť said Marotta. â€śIts interesting the way we work together and the way our influences coincide.â€ť
As far as musical influence goes, Martin grew up in New York and was immersed into the musical world by his family, a long line of talented musicians.
â€ś My grandfather was a classical composers and me and my brother kind of had the pressure to go in the classical direction but we both went towards rock,â€ť said Martin. â€śI used to sneak into the basement when my brother and his band were practicing.â€ť
During his musical career Â he played in many bands, most memorably a rock band Arrowheads, and after taking a break following the birth of his daughter, here returned to the music scene to record and perform. He recently released an album at John Bolducâ€™s studio titled â€śNot What it Seemsâ€ť in March, and the blend of Italian and Latin sounds that Martin produces combines perfectly with Marottaâ€™s percussion skills.
â€śI have sort of a weird mixture of flavors having played for so long in so many different bands,â€ť said Martin. â€śMarotta is just a genius the way he records and produces.â€ť
Marotta is no stranger to the music scene himself. Born in Ohio, Marotta started playing in 1975 and hasnâ€™t stopped since. With an impressive musical background as a drummer in multiple bands including New Orleans,Arthur, Hurley & Gottlieb, Peter Gabrielâ€™s band, Hall & Oates, The Indigo Girls, Sevendys and The Tony Levin Band among others, Marottaâ€™s talents bring new sounds to the album collaboration. Along with Dreamland Recording Studio, Marotta also owns Jersville Studios and Â is working on another project as the musical supervisor and composer for a new show â€śSmall Miraclesâ€ť.
Through the many projects, Marotta has remained an active participant in the music world and Martin explained how he actually listened to Marottaâ€™s music for years before they met, only emphasizing their musical connection. Â
â€śWe instantly clicked,â€ť said Marotta. â€śOur personalities, background,our taste and musical knowledge; it just worked.â€ť
After re-opening Dreamland Recording Studios with owner Joel Bluestein in 2008, Marotta toured and recorded with multiple big names including Paul McCartney, John Mayer and Stevie Nicks among others. However his talents donâ€™t stop there, but they compliment Martinâ€™s sounds as well. Â
â€śWhen Jerry put in his sort of deep pocket roots, it changed the sound and made it kind of a little more unique,â€ť said Martin. â€śI was just in heaven I was listening to the music like wow this is a whole other league.â€ť
After spending a few days recording, the duo laid down some drum tracks and some temporary acoustics, and decided to take their time in finishing the album, hopefully by early fall. In addition to a new album, the two will both be featured in a documentary filmed by Martinâ€™s daughter and upcoming filmmaker Laura Martinelli. After the albumâ€™s completion the two plan on taking their collaboration on tour in Europe, where they can experience their common Italian heritage in addition to other performances and anything else that may come out of their collaboration.
â€śIn the end we decided to go into the studio just the two of us and see where that takes the music,â€ťsaid Marotta.