With Martin Stewart Guitarist of the band Terror backstage at the Z-Bau in Nurnberg Germany with Franz and Simon of AWAY FROM LIFE and other members of Terror in the background.
Interview with Terror guitarist Martin Stewart
AFL: Martin, a question of most importance. First, how’s Scott, has his back injury healed?
Martin: He‘s fine, no problems, it’s good. How you feel Scott? (Scott sitting on a couch in the background)
Scott: Terrible! (everyone laugh’s). No, I’m good.
AFL: This year Terror is celebrating 15 Years of Terror. When did you first join the band?
Martin: Oh 15 years; I don’t know about that. I think it’s more like more like 13. Not sure, but its close. My first show with TERROR was the New England Metal Fest in 2006 or 2005. In this time I joined the band.
Scott from the background: This was 2005!
Martin: Ok, 2005. I’ve been around for 11-12 years.
AFL: The current Terror line-up is so far the longest in the band’s history. What makes this line-up special?
Martin: Yeah. Funny thing is we just had a little switch. I know how the standard is now a days. When there is a switch, bands go in Facebook, make official statements and novels about this, this, and that. We didn’t feel the need to do all that because there wasn’t anything weird. It’s just that our bass player David is living a normal life. He’s getting married owns a house, and is trying to be a regular guy, and not on the road all the time. This tour is actually the debut of the guy we got now. He is sitting over there, Chris Linkovich. I originally meet him playing guitar for the band Outbreak and he sings for a band called Crewel Hand. Now he’s doing bass for us.
AFL: Your new EP THE WALLS WILL FALL will be out on April 28th.
Martin: Right April 28th.
AFL: What is the story behind the title? Could it be an emulation of Youth OF Today’s “BREAK DOWN THE WALLS?“
Martin: Oh, lol, that’s not really a question I can answer I would assume that’s in the realm of…
Scott from the couch yells: NO!!!
Martin: Ok Scott, give us a quick answer to this one.
Scott: The quick answer is that after i had surgery I was watching CNN, and I’m really not a political person but to hear Donald Trump talking about building a wall and everyone cheering … It made me feel really sad about the world. So that’s where I came up with the tittle.
Martin: You know what’s funny? I actually didn’t know that, so now I’ve just learned something. But I can comment on this. If you notice every single title of Terror releases takes the word „THE“ followed by three words so that it’s always four words long, so that had to do with part of the title, keeping in line with the theme of every TERROR release. Keepers Of The Faith, On With The Underdogs, Always The Hard Way and so on. Which wasn’t planned in the beginning, but after a while I just noticed that every record title had four words with „THE“ in it, so we’ll keep going with it.
AFL: For the new EP you cover MADBALL‘s „STEP TO YOU“. Why did you choose to cover this particular song?
Martin: That wasn’t my decision; that was Scott’s. I think it was because it’s just a sick song and an old song that they don’t even play. When you do a cover song you want to do something that’s a little different but also makes sense. MADBALL is one of the best bands ever and doing a song that maybe people wouldn’t recognize at first. But then it prompts them to go back and listen to some of the early stuff.
AFL: In your live set, you don’t do covers?
Martin: You know the only time I have covered a song with TERROR was on a whim on the Warp Tour in the US a few years ago. There was one day when every band on our stage did a cover song and we covered BEASTIE BOYS „ Fight For Your Right To Party“. Back in the day TERROR did cover bands like DAG NASTY. I have recorded cover songs, but we prefer to play our own songs live.
AFL: In your live set, what is your favorite song to play?
Martin: It fluctuates. It changes here and there depending on what our set list is looking like on certain tours. Right now STICK TIGHT from the album Keepers Of The Faith is my favorite. Something about it it’s fun to play in my opinion it’s a great song, just the energy of it, and the crowd reacts really well to it. It’s not complicated to play, so i get to have fun so yeah.
AFL: Your EP „THE WALLS WILL FALL“ will be coming out on the Pure Noise and Triple B Records. Why two different labels?
Martin: Triple B is doing just the vinyl. It’s a DIY label of a friend of ours who does it. We just think that what he does is really cool. The bands that he’s putting out are current relevant bands, which is awesome. He’s keeping up with all the new bands, and we just thought it would be cool to do the vinyl with him. And the rest with Pure Noise.
AFL: Your new EP, who produced it? Where did you record it? Can you tell us a brief description of the writing and recording process?
Martin: Well Nick Jett and our other guitarist, Jordan, are the masterminds behind 99% of the song writing and all the lyrics are from Scott. It’s been that same formula for a while now. And this is crazy, because Nick our drummer writes a lot, and there was a time in the band where Nick wrote all the music. But since Jordan is in the band, he contributes a lot. I don’t step into that because I don’t want to mess up what’s working. Because of modern technology it’s a lot easier for these dudes to write a song. They could sit here in this room, come up with a sound record it on a lap top, put some fake drums on it, and there you have it. You don’t have to get into a studio and jam live to write songs anymore. They will each come up with their own ideas and then mash them all together. Stuff gets rearranged, thrown out put back together. By the end of it, you get a list of songs that everyone thinks are good and you go from there. Nick also engineers and records the music. Right now we are doing everything ourselves as a band. Which I think is awesome.
AFL: You will be playing the Black’n’Blue Bowl in New York. The level of anticipation must be high. Are there other bands besides MADBALL that have left a mark on you?
Martin: Yes of course. The guys who organize it are good friends of ours, it’s a perfect time and we’re in NYC. I have a lot to say about NYC. I’m not a huge fan of it. Probably because I’m from L.A. born and raised so …it’s just a little hard for me to digest the craziness of NYC but I do like going there especially for this show. It’s going to be fun especially with REST IN PIECES playing.
AFL: Later this summer you will be on an extensive European Tour with WISDOM IN CHAINS. New this Year is the first Mission Ready Festival in Wurzburg which isn’t far away from here. Is there a festival or club show that you are epically looking forward to playing? Are there other bands aside from WISDOM IN CHAINS that you are looking forward to playing with? Do you prefer to play open-air festivals or club shows?
Martin: Yes, With Full Force, always! It’s one of the first festivals that I remember playing and enjoying at the same time. I don’t want to single those out .We are doing Resurrection Fest for the second time and that’s awesome. They are all super cool and I love them. Just sometimes the line-up is personally more enjoyable form me. You can’t really compare, festivals and club shows they are two different things. We like being able to come here and do both.
AFL: What differences do you find between the hardcore scene in Germany/Europe and the USA?
Martin: Over the years both have changed a lot but it seems like here in Europe there is less of a division between Punks and Skins or just HC Kids and concert goers. At a show here in Europe like this you see a Punk with a Mohawk next to a Skin. Kind of like people think of when this first started and everyone was just into the underground whatever it may be. Wether it’s Punk, Hardcore or Oi! that exists more here than in the US. Not to say it doesn’t exist back home it’s just more visible here.
I like the way things are set up here. It’s like a little compound. You don’t have this at venues back home. I love how it seems to be run by people who care and doesn’t feel like some club just trying to make money. Its run by people who know what the show’s about and they cook for you, you can sleep here they have showers and a lounge. There is a community park outside where people can hang out. I see that here a lot and I never see that at home. It feels more welcoming.
AFL: You mentioned changes over the years.
Martin: I meant I’ve seen popularities of certain things rise and fall. Nothing major nothing negative. You see trends come and go. Over all it maintains the same spirit.
AFL: Martin thanks for the interview. Any last words?
Martin: Yes like we said earlier, the record is coming out at the end of the month. We set up a website thewallswillfall.com. You can pre-order the record on ITunes. We’ll be back in the summer for the festival season with WISDOM IN CHAINS.