On March 1, 2017, Side Stage Magazine got to conduct an interview with this generation’s Queen of Blues Rock, Dorothy Martin. What was discussed was the ROCKISDEAD tour, the Rock industry and women’s place in it, being a role model and plans for a new album to be released. This is one interview you do not want to miss out on reading.
Side Stage Magazine: Hi, How are you?
Dorothy Martin: I’m good; we are on the way to Nashville right now
How has the tour been so far with this being your first major tour and most the shows have been sold out all over the US? So how does that feel?
It’s been awesome. I mean just with touring it can be agony on your voice and body, so we try to stay mentally positive and very focused and bring a positive energy to our fans. So it’s been awesome through. I did not expect as many sold out shows. I’m blown away.
I heard people talking at the show the other night (New York City, please read show review for more details) stating “Oh, my gosh, I saw them (meaning Dorothy) with Halestorm and they just rocked it”. So I think that’s where you got the fans. I think that’s why the tour has been such a success.
Yeah, we owe them a big thank you for putting us out there with their fan base on tour twice. It was so fun touring with them. We owe them big time.
This goes into my next question. Last year you embarked on tour with Lita (Ford) and Halestorm. The tour kinda made history with an all-female line up of singers and guitarist playing with their respective bands, of course. How important was it for you being the opening act and viewed along such strong woman in the industry who have paved the way for so many artist and bands?
It was awesome. I was honored to be a part of it. It was really exciting. I got to learn from each of them and they mentored me, just watching them on stage and how they interacted with the crowd, how they handled the road, total pros, totally strong, everything. And in a male dominated industry were just surrounded by nothing but dudes all day, so it’s actually fun. There are women who can handle the road and women who cannot handle the road. And the women I noticed who can handle the road are tomboyish a little bit, like they get along with the guys. Their laid back, there’s no diva-ness going on, there’s no whining. So I learned a lot from them and also they looked at me as “You are this generation” and Lzzy (Hale of Halestorm), was like you need to carry the torch and keep it going, and I’m like wow I didn’t consider myself to be that. I feel she’s like the big sister I always needed. I’ve learned a lot from her.
Right now how important is if for you to be a role model for young female artist in the industry especially the Rock industry? How important is it for you to viewed that way?
I feel like, and I’ve heard people say “Oh, I never want to be a role model, blah, blah blah…” and it’s like you’re doing entertainment and so you have a lot of fans looking up to you. You’re going to be looked up to whether you want to or not, might as well make it the most positive thing we can and be empowering to young fans. I might have a sailor mouth, curse and be rambunctious but at the end of the day I’m really encouraging especially young women to really go for their dreams, not doubt themselves; that they are extremely capable of more than they think. You know I never thought I’d be touring and singing back to back shows. I thought my voice would give out. So you have to develop a really strong positive mindset. I want them to know they are worthy of themselves. Don’t second guess themselves. That’s how you go for your dreams because you have one shot. You might have past lives or future lives but you’re remembering this one now so make the most of it. And do I want to be a role model, no I don’t want the pressure but it comes with the territory so I do try to put as much positivity out there and encouragement.
This kinda goes along with your stage presence it’s a mixture of sensuality and powerhouse performance. Where did you get your style? Is it something you developed over time or has it always come naturally?
I use to feel really awkward on stage. I didn’t know what to do with my body and when you’re too self-aware it gets in the ways, it gets in your head too much. I learned it; you just keep growing into who you are. Playing on the tour and when you play a lot of shows you find out what makes yourself powerful, sexy and comfortable and what makes you feel weird. A lot of different factors come into play like the audience their energy, the sound, your mindset, how you wake up in the morning. I know Beyonce said she hopes someone pisses her off before the show so she gets more energy when she’s mad. Sometime that’s true too. The road has made me.
Your music and style seem to welcome a Rock n’ Roll lifestyle and spirit with that “sex, drugs and rock n’ roll” mentality, not necessarily that you endorse any of that though. Do you embrace the idea that Rock music should have that edge and do you think it’s missing in today’s scene?
Rock n’ Roll is about the music. The lifestyle is up to whoever the person is. The ‘80’s were crazy. The Sunset Strip ya know, The Classic Rock area was crazy. You don’t see that kinda debauchery any more, people won’t work with someone who’s a loose cannon as much. If you want a career that last a long time you have to take care of yourself. I think it’s a stereotype. I think that Rock n’ Roll and the passionate Rock n’ Roll comes from the energy of the live performance, the songs that you write. It should always be about the music not about what someone thinks a stereotype should be. My band and I have a good time. We’re grownups. We have fun, but nobody’s shooting up in the bathroom and we don’t endorse that behavior. I get concerned for people when they go that route because it’s sad because of the addiction taking hold of someone because if you need to drink that way you do it can kill you. It’s something we don’t advocate at all. Will have a beer after the show but that’s harmless, ya know.
I wasn’t really saying you were promoting that, you are a free spirit on stage and have that Rock n’ Roll sort of edge. I think a lot of bands are afraid to kind of maybe explore on stage. They are more mainstream so that’s what I meant.
I know, The aggressiveness, the intensity on stage, the edge, and some people are more chill. Some people don’t like to move around as much. Some people don’t freak out as much as we do (laughs) but it’s the songs that gets everyone hyped.
Your latest album ROCKISDEAD which came out last year is full of Blues and Hard Rock tunes. What was the writing process for you and where did you get your inspiration?
It was a mixture of things like I’d sit in the room with the producers Mark and Ian when we had our writing seasons. Then I would have ideas on my own. I’d write on the guitar and piano, but I like hearing them when I make a track. Mark would play a guitar riff and build a track and add to that. You know when something going to be a good song. You kinda just know if you’re trying to force it and it’s not coming together you scrap it and move on.
This goes behind the meaning of the title ROCKISDEAD. Do you really believe “Rock is Dead”? (laughs)
No, No…we were being funny. I just thought it was very tongue and cheek. Everyone hated it so I thought it was perfect. It’s the perfect title I love it.
So what are your plans after the tour and for this upcoming year? Will we expect any new music from you?
Yeah, when we go home we’re gonna go into the studio and keep working on the second album. And hopefully put a new single out in the near future. And I might take a vacation.
Yeah, that would be a good idea take some time off. This is the last questions. So, who are some of your favorite musical influences? How have they shaped you as a performer and artist that you are today?
I love Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Dolly Parton, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin…I listen to a lot of oldies as a kid. I think it slips into your subconscious. I find myself pronouncing some words like John Fogerty. I’m like why am I like that because I listen to him so much so it influences you subconsciously that way. So that’s just a few I listen to every to.
That’s great. I appreciate you taking your time.
Thank you so much