Glaswegian Musician Martin Leary reveals his musical influences growing up, the message behind his latest release and being nominated for The Weekender’s Video of the Year Award….

by Chelsea Ness

This week, I caught up with indie rocker, Martin Leary to learn more where his love for music comes from, what local bands he’s been listening to and the release of his latest track, ‘ Watch The Sun Burn Your Eyes’. Find out more below…

1. When did you discover your love for music? 

Tough 1st question this, my Dad always had decent tunes on which helped build a good foundation, ELO, Queen and Eagles were on all the time. I remember in Primary 4 one of my friends, “Keezy” brought in a guns and roses video, can’t remember if it was last day of school type days or something but I remember getting engrossed in that before the teacher switched it off because it had explicit language! I became obsessed with music and got my 1st guitar the following Christmas. We ended up forming a band some 7 years later but I was rhythm and he was the one playing like Slash!

2. Who were your musical influences growing up and what drew you to them? 

Guns and Roses and Bon Jovi when I first got right into music, the lead guitar and anathematic energy of the songs drew me in straight away! I had “Crossroads” and “Appetite for Destruction” were on all the time.

I used to always get those Now compilations for like birthdays and Christmas’s, think everyone listened to them coming through the school years at the time so I listened to a lot of different stuff, some good and some utter rubbish looking back! The first album I bought was actually “Performance and Cocktails” Stereophonics…. “Hurry up and Wait” was on one of those compilation albums that everyone “Hits2000” or something and stood out a mile for me of the kind of music which I began to love. His voice, the guitar sound and a good melody you can sing to. Oasis, Stereophonics, Travis and the Verve with Libertines coming along a little later but I’ve always had a wide range of music from Dr Dre, The Beatles to Scooter (well maybe not Scooter so much now but it has its time and place!)

3. You recently released your latest single, ‘Watch The Sun Burn Your Eyes’ – what was it like releasing a single during lockdown and what’s been the general reaction to the release?

Unfortunately for me it’s been the norm to be honest, I released my 1st EP (The Fear) November before the 1st lockdown with a view to get a band together after it. Lockdown put the brakes on that but made me write more tunes. Released another EP (All in Good Time) and a few singles in between. Makes you hungrier to gig though, can’t wait to get at it!

The reactions been amazing, lots of positive comments and for my level anyway good exposure from local radio stations, social media and just passed the 5K streaming mark on Spotify. Just last Friday there I was the “The Rewired Radio Show” introducing band of the week and the following day Robert Carlyle (legend!) also shared it on Twitter!

4. Can you tell us more about what the track is about and where the influence came from? 

It’s about the frustrations of modern day life, finding ‘real love’ right now, is going on dating apps and to me that filtered cv dating is brutal. The title itself has lots of meanings just depends on your take on it and perhaps what mood you’re in at the time. Watch the Sun Burn Your Eyes…. You’re desperately looking for hope so long it hurts? Perhaps the future’s so bright you can’t take it? Or you’re prepared to take the pain in hope for better?

5. The video for Sleep Alone was nominated for the Weekender’s Video of the Year – was there a particular message you wanted the video to represent? 

Perhaps one for your Instagram “influencers” or anyone who’s addicted to likes, desperate for the perfect selfie and live life through a lens in a digital world of their own creation. Scott and his team from Mallard productions done an amazing job capturing it, coming up with some clever sketches and actress, Nicola Clearly, plays the part so well her expressions are priceless! There’s some humour in how relatable some of it is and unfortunately in the other hand how lonely it can also be which could be masked.

6. What venue are you most looking forward to playing when gigs return? 

I’d jump at the chance anywhere right. Live music and pints is a dream just now. It would be good to be playing at King Tuts and if I’m being ambitious then Barrowlands!

7. You are based in Glasgow, what Glaswegian bands are you currently listening to? 

There’s a lot of good Glasgow based bands at the moment! My producer, G Man from HQ Glasgow, also works with Hippy, I’ll give those guys a shout out! – check out “nice to hear your smile”, cracken tune! Declan Welsh & The Decadent West are brilliant, got right into their stuff lately!  Can we claim the Snuts? Buzzing for their album dropping soon and got tickets to see them in June although doubt that will still go ahead on that date but here’s hoping!

8. What advice would you give to musicians who are just starting out in the industry?

If you’ve got some decent songs sitting there, then get them out to the world! It’s never been easier and who knows who will like it and where it can take you! 

9. What are your hopes and ambitions for the future? 

Keep it going, get bigger and better as it continues hopefully! I’ve got more songs lined up ready to go so I’m feeling optimistic about it! Who knows, the guitar based music might be coming back to take over those charts again!

Get a band together as soon as this lockdown lifts – In between the lockdowns I’ve had a few jams with my mate Calum Doherty who has been playing lead for me (In Your Ears Radio sessions for McMillian Cancer Support acoustic set recently) so when it lifts again well start with a few semi acoustic gigs until the band materialises.

Keep up-to-date with Martin Leary via his socials…

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mlearymusic

Twitter: @Mlearymusic

Instagram: @mlearymusic

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