Interview with Marty of The Smoking Prophets

By Andy Thunders

Hey Marty, thanks for the opportunity, it’s been too long, how the fuck are ya man?

It has been a while mate! I am pumped and feeling like I can take on the world again!!

How’s the Mrs? 

She is very well, thanks for asking! Currently training to be a Motorsport Engineer.

When did you decide you wanted to be in a rock band?

I don’t actually remember, I was obsessed with GreenDay when I was growing up. Dookie was big and American Idiot come out a just the right time for me. I got my first guitar around 13 and been on a mission ever since. Just seems like the right thing for me to do, like I am meant to do it.

Who are some of your biggest influences? 

Well I grew up during the Pop Punk thing and love GreenDay, Good Charlotte etc. They really remind me of being a kid. My Dad introduced me to Guns N Roses and their are a pretty major influence to me. I am obsessed with the 70’s New York punk scene, I have an unhealthy obsession with Johnny Thunders! Recently I have got into stuff like the Libertines and the Strokes, that kinda garage band revival. Heavy Indie I call it. Anything with attitude!

Tell me about your beginnings in Hollywood Trash, how did that come about? 

Ah right, we are going way back. So after playing in a college band and doing some acoustic stuff I decided I wanted to do a proper full band, influenced by the 80’s LA thing. Bands such as Guns N Roses and Motley Crue. So I grabbed a few friends and advertised online and got a band together. Big hair, guitar solos and riffs!

You had a lineup change if I recall correctly, and then the singer you had, quit to do studies here in America, can you tell me about that period? 

So when we first started up the line up changed a fair bit, going through people to find the right fit. Find people that are committed, I take music seriously its not a hobby to me. So Adrienne replaced our original singer and gave us a more sleazy Scandinavian influenced sound and a much more professional approach. Bands like Crashdiet and Hardcore Superstar etc influenced us at the time. Adrienne then got accepted to Berkeley College of Music and moved back to America. Which left us singerless again.

Then you came back as Bitter Trash, and had some difficulty finding your place again, was this a hard period for you?

The problem back them was that I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, we didn’t know where we fitted in and we made lots of quick decisions as we just wanted to keep playing music! We went through various band members getting to this point. I then done a handful of shows as the singer and we were surprised how well it worked! So this period was a bit random as we were just testing the waters however, it made me try being the frontman and gave us a new sound. Sometimes you have to give things a go to see what might work.

Out of the ashes, you started fresh with The Smokin Prophets. How did that come about and tell me about recording singles like Let It Rest and the double Aside Today My Way. 

Yes that’s right, so we teamed up with another local musician to start something a little more punk, more attitude and to give us a fresh start with me as the front man. Let it Rest and Today My Way were just the first two songs we wrote as the Prophets and we needed to get some new music out there so went into the studio and recorded them. We done 3 tracks over something like 2 days, it was sort of rushed but we like the raw, rough vibe and that continues till today.

You ejected a guitarist from The prophets, continued to write, tour and record. What made this move necessary? 

Well it was a matter of what people wanted from the band and where we wanted to go with it. For some of us we would/ will take any chance or opportunity to make it whereas other members already had other careers. So in the end the band split in half. We then went through a process of making things work with two new members, we had shows booked so we made it work. Then Jayke wondered back into the world and we got him back on board. At this point we have the main Prophets line-up. I had to keep going because I cannot stop, it doesn’t matter what is going on, I just keep going!

Then after some time, you disbanded the Prophets, starting a three piece with Marty Mayhem. And The Liabilities, which was a shock. What made you do this? 

Well there is a story here that will be told one day, but basically there was a bust up and everyone left. I remember sitting there thinking that i’m the only member left! At this point I didn’t think it was right for me to start with new people under the Prophets name so I grabbed my brother and carried on…. again! I had shows booked, I had people expecting us to play, we had commitments. So I started a new band, used my new material and went head long into it. The Liabilities was the most punk I have gone. A full on Johnny Thunders inspired band.

You made the live ep with The Liabilities, and then reformed the Prophets as a three piece. Why this call, and what made you get back together? 

Yes, we actually had our first show recorded live and sent to us so I made use of it and put it out for people to hear. So during the Liabilities it was myself and my brother and then the idea was to have other musicians join us as and when they are free. We had a bassist called Sian then an old friend called Dexter filled in on bass. By the time we got to the end of last year I asked Jayke to fill in for a couple of shows as my hands were tied and no one was free. Luckily he agreed and we played a show under ‘Marty Mayhem and the Liabilities’ but with the Smokin Prophets line up. So over Christmas we discussed how well it worked and what an impact we made at that show, and we agreed to get going again as the Smokin Prophets. Sometimes you need a little push! And a sold out sweaty rock n roll show, possibly one of the best we have ever done is enough to make you make the right decisions.

Tell me about recording Deceived Diseased, and are you pleased with the album, and the response to it? 

This was actually recorded before we split, and was recorded at Quay West studios in Gosport. We then recorded at the Smokehouse Studio’s London a year after, put together by the Rock Den and 3M’s music. When we come back this year I thought it would be cool to take some of both recording sessions and put it out as an album. Again both times it was recorded relatively live, Smokehouse was completely live over an afternoon. We did 3 tracks and just over dubbed the vocals.

What’s next for The Smokin Prophets? 

A lot! We are in talks with a label and plan to record a new album this year. We may be hitting the studio over Easter to record a single. We have a lot of shows booked, more to be announced. We have major radio, magazines, endorsements, etc etc all in the pipeline and all giving us a lot of support. We can’t announce anything yet, but its coming!! This is the best position we have ever been in and have a lot of opportunities if we take them. I have written a lot of new music, the sound is ecveolving. We are sounding more and more like the Smokin Prophets. We are finding our feet more than ever and preparing to take it to the world!

Anything else you’d like to say? 

Its been a bumpy road, but stick with us because the best is yet to come! Its time guitar driven rock n roll music dominated once again and we will lead the charge. We have fought and are still fighting our own battles but we can use our experiences to hopefully help other people out.

Hope that’s ok mate. You literally know the whole timeline lmao

thanks

Marty

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