Eric Martin


Eric Martin (2004)

Eric Martin: Destroying Those Monsters.


Eric Martin talks about his current solo album Destroy All Monsters, a new project with Jack Blades, that Mr. Big tribute album and life in general...

It's always good to have a chat with Eric Martin. This interview is pretty loose and laid back – more of a chat than an interrogation, but I hope everyone enjoys it nevertheless.
We'll begin with Eric mentioning the new album….

We should talk about that, eh?
Yeah, we can talk about it, because, I mean I haven't done shit for like 4 months. I haven't done shit. I've been devoting most of my time and energy to my family and friends and I'm bored out of my fuckin' mind. Recently, I've just been getting some new band personnel to play local shows.

I have a pretty good nucleus of a band right now, all new players to go there.

Okay. Mark still with you?
Mark Holley? No, he's not with me.

Oh, that's too bad. He was a good guy.
Yeah he was a really good guy. We still see each other. I just wanted to get someone who was… there's this guy, it's not all set in stone yet, it's all new players and stuff. This guitar player that I have, he sings really good.
Mark's forte was he was more of a classic rocker guitar player, classic rocker, but this guitar player I have is that and much more, plus he was like, not to be vain or anything, but he sings almost as good as me, and we have a chemistry kinda like how John Nymann and I used to have a chemistry. So he's more suited for the job.

You've still got Denise behind the kit?
No, we're still working on a family.
It's hard being in a band with your wife. She played like 4 or 5 songs on the record but mainly now she's just teaching students and stuff as a drum teacher.
And doing my accounting and… pretty much a stay at home mom vibe. A stay at home mom for the future.

Yeah, I understand that completely. I work out of the home and my wife would love nothing more than to get rid of me! haha
Yeah, let me tell you, man, my wife can't wait to get rid of me but I can't wait to get rid of myself. I'm here at the house here 24 fuckin' 7. I'm so fuckin' bored. Recently, I went to… well, this is ironic, but I was telling you the last time we talked that my old friend Jeff Watson from Night Ranger and I were getting something together, well, we're still at the talking and drinking stage of what we're going to do with our lives.

Come on, get it together!
But ironically… I can't really talk about it as much, but I'll tell you as much as I can.
I'm doing a project with Jack Blades.

Oh, really?
I think you're going to be talking to him…

I called him about an hour ago and he didn't answer so I'm going to call back after I finish with you.
Well, I called him earlier, dude, he's so funny, man; I called him up and I go, “Jack, can we talk about the project, I'm going to do an interview with and Andrew, can I talk about this project that we're doing?” and he goes, “Well, the Japanese basically told me that I can't talk about it now, so I don't know about you.”
First, he goes, it's on the answering machine and then I pick it up and like screen it and he goes, “Eric, this is Jack Blades from Night Ranger and Damn Yankees,” and I pick it up and I go, “Dude, do you hear yourself? Do you fuckin' hear yourself?” <laughs> Okay, neighbor. We're right now doing a project for a real popular band in Japan and one of the artists in the band is doing a solo album. Jack and I and a couple of other American players are going to do this solo album. I'm going to sing on it, Jack is going to play bass, and Jack and I are going to write the lyrics, this Japanese guy is going to write the music.

Yeah, it's interesting because basically we're going to get together in L.A. and see if we groove as players. We're writing 3 or 4 songs, Jack and I, and if it works out it's going to keep me busy.
It's like being in a band, it's like being in a Mr. Big situation again. This is how big this situation is.


So this Japanese cat's a really big guy then, huh?
A really big guy.

[News has now been released – it's a solo project for Tak Matsumoto of the B'z. See news update of February 24 for details.]

Awesome. Good for you, mate. I'm really pleased about it. I thought that when you said you and Jack that it might've been a Frontiers proposal to you, but they probably don't have the money to pay for both of you guys.

No. This is a whole different thing. This Japanese company picked me and Jack and 2 other American musicians to be in this side project and that's going to be interesting to write…I think Jack and I get to write a song or two for it but we're mainly just writing lyrics and melodies and stuff.

Got ya.
And I don't even know if we have to go to Japan or not to record it. It doesn't matter to me. I'd love to go over there again.

Yeah. Why the delay between the Japanese and the European release? Is that because the Japanese label had an embargo and then Frontiers…
Yeah.… it always is, if you do anything for the Japanese, you know that if for a month or two then they get it together and they want to just do their own album package and I go, “Sure, let's do it.” Then I had it on my web site and then you put it on your web site, the cover of the Japanese thing. And they kind of freaked out, they wanted that album cover and they didn't realize, I go, “You've got to pay for that,” because I basically had to pay for it.

It's hard doing business these days, isn't it?
You know, I do have something in the works that is definitely a retirement plan for me. There's this boy band out of… they're an Irish boy band, they're huge in Europe.

Westlife. That's it.

They're good…
Dude, they're pretty good. They have a little cheese to them a little bit. But they're really good singers.

They are.
They're all messed up with, I think Simon Cowell from American Idol found them. They're in bed with the devil on that one. They did “To Be With You” on their new album.

Is that right?
Yeah, and they did a really good version of it. A really good version. Kind of folky, poppy kind of thing, but you know, it's a boy band. And then they did a Greatest Hits tour.

A greatest hits tour, the oldest is like 24.

Yeah <laughs>
I just got a copy from England where I just transferred it to our region code and man, their harmonies are as good if not better than Mr. Big. I thought it was great. It's nothing compared to the vibe that Mr. Big got with the original thing, but the singers kicked the shit out of it. There's like 5 singers and they individually they each one of them takes a verse and a piece of the chorus and a little scat and they're kind of like 5 different versions of me. It's cool.

That might result in a good royalty check?
I think so. They sell like 5 million records each time they make a record.

Maybe I should get into songwriting <laughs>.
Ah man, hey look, I write songs for so many people and they always put it on hold and then they say, “Nah, we're not going to do it on this record,” so this one I'm really lucky.

Good stuff.
Yeah. You know, it's like I've had a pretty good year with covers, with this Influences and Connections having Glen Hughes, and Ann Wilson, and Mickey Thomas singing my songs, and then now Westlife, you know. It's pretty good.

Did you read my review of Influences and Connections?
I did. I did. And I read mine too.

You did? <laughs>
It's good.

Did you read the updated one that I did yesterday?
No I didn't.

Yeah, I updated it a little bit.
Hey, look. I'll look at it, but I like your candor and I like your honesty. It's just the way it is.

Not everyone does.
No, look. No matter what you do you spark me to get better and just even fit in sometimes. Sometimes I lose my way and then I realize sometimes I can't please everybody. Not just you, but…I please myself, but then I kick myself when I go, “Shit, the fans like solos, man, give them solos for God's sake.”

I really do like Destroy All Monsters. I upped the points a little bit because this one took a long time to get into.
Right. It's definitely... different. You know what; you've opened up your page a lot more. It's definitely classic melodic rock, but you have a lot of different material on there lately.

I felt really burned out after the I'm Goin' Sane record and even this Destroy All Monsters thing was fun to do but I was so unmotivated to do anything for the last 4 months and I'm bored out of my mind and I want to get back into it again but it's so hard getting back up on the horse every time, you know?

And the fans kinda go, “Dude, what do you do all day?” They go, “Come on, give us something.” And I'm like, “Okay”. It's hard to get up in the morning sometimes. I don't mean that literally, just a cliché kinda thing to say. Well, it's not a cliché, it's just a figure of speech.

Yeah, sometimes I sit here at the computer first thing in the morning and I go, “Fuck, what do I do now?”
I know, and to come up with creative things to talk about and to keep the fans interested and stuff. But your page has so much shit going on. I don't know how you run it. It costs me a couple thousand bucks even to run my web site to get it together and it's still kind of cheesy, but your thing. I don't know the ins and outs of how to keep a web site going, but that's a lot of RAM.

Edit – some chatter about this and that….and back to the interview….

Where's your head at as far as styles and stuff? I mean Destroy All Monsters is pretty modern.
Destroy all Monsters is, I look at it as, it's more modern compared to the classic melodic rock of Mr. Big and that's the only… most people know me from that.

But I like the more… I like the pop rock thing, but I've kind of done it for the last couple of albums. To me, I look at it as simple rock, simple pop music.

Yeah, it is.
It's like me doing it.

It's catchy as hell.
It's catchy. Thank you. But I don't have the luxury of having the Paul Gilberts, I mean, Paul Gilbert to write with… he writes that pop rock stuff but I would love to have a little bit more of the innovative, a little bit more chords than the 3 chords that I write to write with.
I think my next album is going to lean a little bit more towards, believe it or not, I swear to God, I'm so like into Elton John lately I can't believe it.
Yeah, well that type of classic rock, Elton John, “Take Me To The Pilot”, right? And the early Mr. Big stuff. That Mr. Big kinda style. I want to do something like that and actually stick to my guns. I did it on Destroy All Monsters. I didn't want to… I'm Goin' Sane was cool, but Destroy All Monsters was a little bit more… the production to me I thought was a little bit better.

Yeah. I'll tell you the thing I noticed about the album is that from Track 1 to Track 12 it is consistently the same style, isn't it? The same approach, the same…
Yeah, that's the first time I've ever done that to do… the only one was that “I Can Die Now”, reggae thing. I always do that for some odd reason on a record. I'll throw some monkey wrench in there, and people go, “What the hell did you do?” And I went, “I don't know, it's a song I wrote and I needed to put it on there.” But this is the 1st record since like Mr. Big days that I've actually stuck to my guns and I had a thematic thing, you know, just a straight ahead pop rock record. No different type of frills or anything. Will I go in this direction in the future? I don't think so. I think I'll… I don't know if I'm ready to be jumping into the… I don't want to be, I can't be Mr. Big without the rest of them.




People ask that all the time. When is Mr. Big going to get back together? Or, if you could be with one member, and I go, “Hey man, it's all or nothing.”

Yeah, I e-mailed Billy about 2 weeks ago saying let's do an interview for Influences and Connections and he hasn't replied yet.
Yeah, he's not good at that, really.

He's still pissed at me because he thinks I'm on your side rather than just being neutral or whatever.
Hey, look, I'm glad you're my friend, but…It's ridiculous to even… I did an interview today and she asked me, “Do you listen to Mr. Big stuff, their individual music?” And I said, “I have a couple of Paul albums and I have a couple of Richie records. I have Richie's new one, Change. There's this one song on the record, I even said, “I really like, it was called 'Don't Ask'” and I really like that a lot, and I wasn't even going to talk about the other two guys and I went, “It's politically incorrect,” I don't want people to think… I mean, I don't fuckin' hate these guys. We were in a band together and it didn't work out. I swallowed that bitter pill a long time ago, it's like kind of over. If we ever got back together, I sure would like to get back together some day and do something, because everybody is so… I'm so over the problems we had, the stupid miscommunications. It's so much water under the bridge now.

I don't think Billy's over it for some reason.
No, he's not. He's very…he's still bitter. I can't believe… I didn't fuck with his career or anything. Fuck, he's going like gangbusters. He's doing great.

Maybe he didn't like the review I did for the Influences album.
Well, how are people going to think anyway about that Influences album? First of all, you put out a record that you play on. That was your mistake. You try to recreate the old stuff and you don't even get a blessing from your singer that was a member of the band or a blessing of Paul Gilbert.
He was Mr. Big too. You're playing “Green Tinted Sixties Mind” you think he'd get like a quote from Paul, you know what I mean? So already you're putting out controversy, if anybody cares anyway. If you put it out you're alienating a couple members of the band, and you're putting it out, and some songs… some songs are really good. I think it's a good record, but in the age of so many tribute records, to put out a record with minus people on it and minus good spirits, immediately people think that you did it for the money.
I look back at it and I go, what would I do anyway on it? I wouldn't sing on my own… I would've much rather had Glenn Hughes band play.

Glenn did the best track on there.
“Price You Gotta Pay”?

Actually, “Alive & Kicking”.
“Alive & Kicking”. Did he do that?

Yeah. It's not on the Japanese release; it's a bonus track on the Frontiers release.

I have no idea why it wasn't on the original album, because it's the best track by a long way.
I myself, you probably disagree, but I like… I don't like, I don't recognize “Take Cover” because it's got a very slick, but I did like Doug Pinnick's, what was it? It was an emotional, it was an alternative kind of vibe.

Yeah, a few people liked that track actually.
I like that.

The original is one of my all time favorites.
Yeah, mine too.

Man, I love that song. You've got a great vocal on that track.

It's so emotional. I love it.
Yeah, I look at a record, and I go, “I'm honored that all these people did it, but when it says Mr. Big's Influences and Connections, I kind of go, “Well, there's a few of my influences on there.” They're all people that I love.
It's not because it's kissing ass or anything, but I thought Billy Sheehan singing a boogie version of “Addicted To That Rush” was pretty good.
It almost sounded like ZZ Top. He even does that ZZ Top sound in there. It's good, but when people hear Mr. Big, it was more for the muso sense of it than the awesome playing. It's a sign of the times.
I would've loved to have Paul Rodgers do “To Be With You”, a bluesy version of “To Be With You”. Not Paul Rodgers to do his own song.

I must give you a special… I don't know if you've read last year, but every year I do a sort of Best Of 2003 and give out a few awards, right? And this year you're getting the Best Sexual Innuendo Lyric Award for “What's The Worst That Can Happen”.

“Mr. Toad's wild ride….” <laughs>
Yep. Hey, man. That song rocks. Lyrically, that song was… when I was first writing about it, you know, what it's about, I think I said something about social rebellion but it's kind of a song like what not to do. Definitely, when I read it to my mother she said, “It sounds like your life,” because I was that guy, you know, who was so dumb to play with matches and daddy's gun and go, “What do you mean?” I had a problem with listening. Yeah, it definitely has comic relief in it like, “…make out like Bonnie and Clyde” and “show you Mr. Toad's wild ride” and all that stuff.

I just started laughing when I heard that and thought – that deserves a special award. <laughs>
Ah, thanks. It's good to be back on top -- no matter what. Even if I'm wearing the jester hat, I'll take it.

Good stuff. There's some really good stuff on there. Some really catchy lyrics and really catchy melodies.
It's not what you'd expect. People do expect me to sing that energetic Mr. Big type songs because that's the way it is now. I made it famous doing those records. And then me doing something else, and it's not that it's uncharacteristic, because Destroy All Monsters could've been a 415 record. It was something that I had always been doing. It was like Sucker For a Pretty Face or something like that, and with the help of Mr. Big it made me write, I won't say write better, but write heavier songs and more energetic songs like that. It's because of their help. I mean, granted, if I would've had a parallel career as Mr. Big, like you know how Sammy Hagar played his poppy “I Can't Drive 55”, he made it pretty big as a solo artist and then he got in Van Halen and then became a legitimate Rock Star, and now he's back to doing palm tree shirts, and drinking tequila and doing party animal rock.

He's got to give the Hawaiian shirts up!
You know what. I'm not in a contest. I'm writing a record, I'm proud of it, it's kind of poppy and now it's over and now I'm going to tour on it or make a new one but I'm not going to make the same one again. I thought I'm Goin' Sane and Destroy All Monsters was enough of the pop rock thing and now I'm going to take another step up the ladder.

That's cool. You'll always have a really catchy melody and a good voice. I hope enough people get to hear Destroy All Monsters.
Exactly. I hope they do and maybe put away Mr. Big for a minute or 45-50 minutes, however long the record is, and go, “Ah, that's different.” Or get into it. It's so weird, you can't please everybody. I've had kids say, “Who's Mr. Big?” I've told you that before. And I go, “Okay, it was this band I was in.” The thing about Mr. Big that I really miss is that I really miss my premier mileage plus card that I could travel around the world consistently for years. I miss bragging rights. I miss that a lot. Like Jeff Watson, the fuckin' guy's so funny, everywhere he goes he's passing out a guitar pick going, “Jeff Watson from Night Ranger, and this is Eric Martin,” and then he looks at me and he goes, “What should I say?” and I go, “Just say Eric Martin. Don't worry about it, man.” <laughs>. It's okay. It used to be Eric Martin from Mr. Big and that sounded better.

Haha….Maybe, Eric Martin from Watson/Martin.
Even my mother, she'll go, she'll walk up to somebody and go, “Eric Martin from Mr. Big,” and I'll say, “Mom, I'm not with Mr. Big anymore,” and she'll say, “But you were.” Kind of like George Bush, Sr. They still call him the President even though he's not a President anymore. Anyway, I don't know. Kind of a weird analogy.
Anyway, I miss the bragging rights and I miss traveling around the world and I miss being on the big stage and headlining all over the world and opening to bands like Aerosmith and all of that, and it is… I miss that but when I talked to you a year or two years ago, I was going like, “I'm really hoping to get back on that stage as big as that,” Anymore, not really. I know I'm never, I'll have to do another 12 or 13 years of campaigning to get back up their again and sell my soul a little bit to try and be Eric Martin from Mr. Big again. I just want to… I definitely want to come out with a record… I thought I sang really good on this record, but I think I can do even better. I chose keys that were a little higher than the last record, but they could be a little more higher, and I don't mean that like back in the '80s when I'd yell, “Yeah, come on,” and the crowd would all scream, and if I sang a little higher they'd scream even louder, but just a little bit more urgency in my voice. I really need that back.

I tried to get that back with Destroy All Monsters but when you play 3 chord pop rock it lends itself to be more pop.

Maybe you can try something a little different with Jeff Watson if you finally stop drinking.
Well Jeff is such a classic rocker that you can't get around that, there's nothing you can do except play melodic rock. That's him. He is melodic rock guitar player guy. I know you have tons of them, on your page. You write about so many of these people that I don't even know, but now I know. I didn't know, I didn't really pay any attention to Marty Friedman's and stuff like that, but now I know exactly who he is and his Cacophony days and the whole bit. But even some of these European guys that you've written about and you definitely write about… they were like nobodies some of these people back then and now they're somebody.

I appreciate your support.
You appreciate me being me, right? <laughs>

You bet.
For lack of a better word.

No, it's good, mate. I appreciate it. You're a good guy.
Good talking to you, man.

Good talking. Thanks a lot for the review. I don't know if I deserve it, but I appreciate it.

Thank you, mate.
All right, Andrew. Hey, who's your next interview?

Well I'm supposed to call Jack. I might try to give him a call now.
Yeah, man. Try to get the scoop out of him with the Japanese. Just go, “Eric was telling me, he can't tell me, it's some special project that you and Jack are doing and we're doing some sort of trial run in January and if it works it could be really big, and if it doesn't work then we basically go back to our perspective corners.

I'm sure it'll work.
All right, man. I'll talk to ya.

Take care.




Tour News
AVANTASIA Announce Cast For May 2019 Australian Tour
As it was announced late last year that the world’s biggest Metal opera was finally coming to Australia. 20 years after the release of the original Metal Operas, Musical mastermind Tobias Sammet decided to bring the full AVANTASIA stage show to Australia!
As the AVANTASIA dates, inch closer and closer to Australia, set for impact this May, the cast of this once-in-a-lifetime event has been announced! Amidst sheer praise and admiration for 'Moonglow' (Which hit #1 in the German album charts), Tobias Sammet has out-done himself with a world-class roster of singers and musicians that will be making the trek down under this May:
TOBIAS SAMMET - Lead vocals (Edguy, Avantasia)
BOB CATLEY - Lead vocals (Magnum)
ERIC MARTIN - Lead vocals (Mr. Big)
GEOFF TATE - Lead vocals (ex-Queensryche, Operation: Mindcrime)
JORN LANDE - Lead vocals (ex-Masterplan, JORN)
RONNIE ATKINS - Lead vocals (Pretty Maids)
HERBIE LANGHANS - Backing vocals / Lead vocals (Sinbreed)
ADRIENNE COWAN - Backing vocals / Lead vocals (Seven Spires, Winds of Plague)
SASCHA PAETH - Guitars (Producer for Avantasia, Edguy, Angra, Shaaman, Rhapsody of Fire, Kamelot, After Forever and Epica)
OLLI HARTMANN - Guitars / Backing vocals (At Vance, Hartmann)
MIRO RODENBERG - Keyboards (Producer for Angra, Shaaman, Luca Turilli, Rhapsody of Fire, Kamelot and Heavens Gate)
ANDRE NEYGENFIND - Bass (Avantasia)
FELIX BOHNKE - Drums (Edguy)
Having blown crowds away with headline sets at both Wacken Open Air in Germany and Barcelona Rockfest while touring their previous album Ghostlights, AVANTASIAproved they are one of the biggest names in operatic and symphonic heavy music. Sammet is a masterful storyteller, creating epic fantasy worlds that can barely be contained within his sprawling concept albums. They can barely be contained on stage either with AVANTASIA shows typically lasting for up to three hours!
WATCH The Tour Trailer:
AVANTASIA’s eighth studio album, ‘Moonglow’ was released via Nuclear Blast in February and boasts an incredible list of performers including Jorn Lande, Eric Martin (Mr Big), Geoff Tate (ex-Queensryche), Michael Kiske (Helloween), Bob Catley (Magnum), Amanda Somerville, Candice Night, Hansi Kursch (Blind Guardian) & Mille Petrozza (Kreator)
It can absolutely be said that Australia has never seen a tour like this. From the depth of storytelling, to the range of the cast, to the sheer musical brilliance – this is a once in a lifetime tour! Do not miss this!
RSVP & Ticket Links:

May 12th - Sydney, Metro Theatre

May 14th - Melbourne, The Forum (SELLING FAST!)
Presented by Overdrive Touring

The Right To Rock Podcast - ERIC MARTIN & STRIKER

Monday, October 27, 2014
Podcasts & Radio has issued their latest podcast (episode #35), featuring Mr. Big Vocalist Eric Martin.  Eric took time out of his busy schedule to discuss Mr. Big's latest release Live From Milan as well as the current state of the band.  Eric also discussed his European solo tour as well as his current involvement with Avantasia. Interview lasts approx. 60 min.
Join the lads in their latest An Evening With... series as they welcome back Mr. Big vocalist Eric Martin.  The boys recently caught up with, friend of the show, Mr. Big vocalist Eric Martin to discuss the band's latest live release Live From Milan.  Eric also discusses his recent solo European tour, as well as the state of Mr. Big.  Could this be the end of Mr. Big, or is their more gas in that tank?  Tune in to find out.  Lastly, Eric also gives some great stories about the late great Pat Torpey. has issued their latest podcast (episode #244), featuring Striker Guitarist Tim Brown.  Tim took time out of his busy schedule to discuss Stiker's latest release Play to Win as well as the origins behind their sound. Interview lasts approx. 30 min.
The lads have returned with their long lost Halloween show. Join Genghis & Ragman as they hide out on a rainy night during The Purge. Will they survive and possibly take out a few choice pop stars in the bargain? Or will they finally be snuffed out like the two old cigarette butts they are? Either way, with an opportunity to commit any crime imaginable with impunity from dusk 'til dawn, Eddie may want to watch his back...
And be sure to check out as the boys talk with Tim Brown, Canadian guitarist with Striker, as he discusses the band's writing process and tour schedule in support of their latest album, Play To Win. Horns up!

MR. BIG - Defying Gravity (Review)

information persons: 
Produced By: 
Kevin Elson
Release Date: 
Musical Style: 
Melodic Hard Rock
Reviews are back! And they’re staying back. With more than 200 albums to catch up on, the first on the block is the latest from one of my favourite groups ever – Mr. Big.

Let’s cut right to the chase. This is without doubt the worst sounding Mr. Big album ever. I’m not sure why this ultra-toned down bass heavy style was chosen – but with the combined talent of the 4 guys plus production genius Kevin Elson, it had to of been a conscious decision.
The sound gives the impression of a really muddy mix, but everything can be heard clear enough. This took a good while to appreciate, the nature of the music is quite different from the usual Mr. Big sound and quite diverse also. It reminds me of the raw energy and tempo of the debut, which I put a long way ahead of this album.
But there are some real gems here – even if the guys did seem to run short towards the end of the album.
The man in control of this album appears to be Paul Gilbert, as his guitar is truly the driving force, not just in the riffs, but also in the song melodies as best exemplified with the two best songs of the album, the title track Defying Gravity and also the head turning ripping flurry of notes driving Mean To Me.
The album sits in mid-tempo mode for the majority of it’s 11 songs. The groove is, as usual, one of the highlights of playback, I just love these guys when going at it on the opening Open Your Eyes, Everybody Needs A Little Trouble and the two aforementioned tracks.
Interspersed between the grooves is the glorious feel good acoustic rocker Damn I’m In Love Again and one of the band’s finest ballads ever in Forever & Back. It’s a real gem with a killer Eric Martin vocal.
Its followed immediately by another melodic track She’s All Coming Back To Me Now, before a trilogy of groovers. Sadly I could probably have stopped the album here as while 1992 is average, the next two are slow and dull, with only the last 90 seconds of Be Kind proving worthy. If only the instrumental flurry here was more prevalent throughout the album.

Well, there’s several typically fantastic tracks here, which I will add to my Mr. Big playlist, but also several fillers and that production sound.
So while there’s magic to be heard, it’s in the individual tracks rather than the album as a whole.

Double Stop Podcast - ERIC MARTIN

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Podcasts & Radio
In Episode 99 of The Double Stop, Brian is joined by return guest Eric
Martin (Mr. Big)
Eric Martin returns to discuss the new Mr Big album 'Defying Gravity',
as well as his past solo records, Triumph’s cover of “Just One Night"
and dealing with online trolls.
On the new sounds on "Defying Gravity" (16:46) "I actually love it,
but when we did it at first I was second guessing and wondering if
this was going to work. I hoped people were going to dig it. Because
it's a different format than what we've done before. We've always hat
that "Daddy Brother" or "Addicted To That Rush". And the next song is
a middle of the road country rock kind of song, And the next on e is a
ballad. And this one is different"
On Triumph recording a version of his solo song "Just One Night"
(32:20) "I'd written that song with Neal Schon (Journey), and I did
the demo with Kevin Elson. And Mike (Clink) turned it on to the guys.
They did an amazing job of it. A really cool song for triumph. A
different kind of song for Triumph."
Follow The Double Stop on Twitter: @TheDoubleStop

Noize In The Attic Podcast - ERIC MARTIN (Mr. Big)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Podcasts & Radio
Weekly syndicated US radio show Noize In The Attic - Where Your Past Comes Back To Haunt You ( goes in-depth with Eric Martin of Mr. Big.  We discuss the new record, early Eric Martin Band history, the current drama with Journey and much more!
On the new Mr. Big album "Defying Gravity";
"I was frustrated as hell because I didn't feel I had enough pre-production for these songs"..
Listen to the full episode here (interview starts at 16 minutes)



MR. BIG 'Defying Gravity' Formats Announced, Release Delayed

Friday, July 21, 2017
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MR. BIG ‘Defying Gravity' New Release Date
7.21.17 - CD / Deluxe CD/DVD / Digital
8.18.17 - LP / Deluxe Collector’s Edition Box Set 
June 13, 2017 -- Frontiers Music Srl announced full format details and a slightly delayed release date for MR BIG’s new album, ‘Defying Gravity’, pushing it back from the previously announced street date of July 7.
The album will be available on CD, LP, deluxe CD/DVD, digitally and a deluxe Collector’s Edition box set that includes: deluxe CD/DVD, LP, poster, numbered lithograph, T-Shirt, sticker. The box set is strictly limited to 500 copies worldwide. See artwork below.
The CD and LP contain the following tracklisting: 
Open Your EyesDefying GravityEverybody Needs A Little Trouble / Damn I’m In Love Again / Mean To MeNothing Bad (About Feeling Good) / Forever And Back / She’s All Coming Back To Me Now1992Nothing At All / Be Kind
The DVD contents are:
Defying Gravity [music video] / Everybody Needs A Little Trouble [music video] / Making of Defying Gravity [video] / Making of Everybody Needs A Little Trouble [video] / Track by track interview. Total length is approximately 65 minutes.       
The Box set includes: CD/DVD deluxe edition, Vinyl, Lithograph, Poster, Sticker and exclusive T-Shirt (L size only).
The first video from the new record, for ‘Everybody Needs A Little Trouble’, was made available on June 5 and can be seen here: . The group are currently on tour in the U.S. and are planning European dates in the autumn.
MR. BIG - ‘Defying Gravity’: press release
“OK, we’re rolling.” With those three declarative words (spoken by producer Kevin Elson right after the music kicks in on ‘Open Your Eyes’, an instant callback to the beginning of ‘Addicted to That Rush’, the hard-charging lead track on the band’s self-titled 1989 debut), Mr. Big plants the flag between past, present and future with ‘Defying Gravity’, the band’s ninth original studio album.
Recorded in just six days at Ocean Studios in Burbank, California, the album reunites Mr. Big with the aforementioned Elson (Journey, Europe, Lynyrd Skynyrd), who is back behind the boards for the first time since helming the band’s first four albums. ‘Defying Gravity’ deftly showcases that patented Mr. Big blend of crunch and melody, from the freight-train ride of opening cut ’Open Your Eyes’ to the harmony-laden wonderment of ‘Damn I’m In Love Again’ to the nostalgia trip of ‘1992’ (recalling the days when the band was flyng high atop the singles charts with their international smash ‘To Be With You’) to the barnstorming slide-blues closing track, ‘Be Kind’. Overall, the album is prime evidence that the only thing Mr. Big remains tethered to is their ongoing pursuit of achieving creative excellence.
“It’s inspiring to work with Mr. Big,” observes guitarist/songwriter Paul Gilbert, who penned much of the material on the new album. “I know that any ideas I bring into the studio have to go through our long-established band filter, which means the songs all have to rock, have melody, and put a grin on the faces of all of my bandmates to make the final cut.” What that means is Gilbert, lead vocalist Eric Martin, bassist Billy Sheehan and drummer Pat Torpey all have to agree collectively on the finished product — as does touring drummer Matt Starr, who also joined in on the studio proceedings this time around.
That tried-and-true “all for one, one for all” mentality is one of the main things that fuels Mr. Big to reach for new heights whenever they are recording. “That’s what makes a band a band,” believes Torpey. “I think we all feel that way. It’s not one guy’s vision that the other guys all just follow. We’re always kicking ideas around to come to some kind of consensus. And that makes Mr. Big music what it is.”
Adds Sheehan, “I like recording with a sense of urgency. Put a mic in front of us, roll tape, and that should sound like what you’re hearing from us live. When you can create that kind of pressure in the studio in a short amount of time, it makes for better songs — and better performances.”
Once Martin got in sync with Gilbert, the album took shape in a relatively short amount of time. “My music tells you more about me than I can actually tell you myself,” the vocalist admits. “And ‘Defying Gravity’ is about ignoring everybody in life who tells you it can’t be done; that it’s impossible to do what you love. You have to stand your ground whenever someone tells you to give up your dream to do anything your heart desires — whether it be as a musician, painter, dancer, or whatever you want to be — in favour of a life that’s safe and conventional.”
To a man, Mr. Big couldn’t be more pleased to be working with Elson again. “Kevin Elson is really good at steering the ship through rough waters and making it seem like they’re not rough waters,” Gilbert notes. “He’s a very even-keeled guy — mellow, but he still gets it done.” Concurs Sheehan, “It was glorious and fantastic. Kevin creates an atmosphere of ease and creativity. He’s full of so many ideas. Really a wonderful man.” Torpey adds. “We’ve got a lot of history with him. He’s a great guy, super-talented. It’s not like having a dictator for a producer, just somebody who barks commands. He’s got so much experience, history and pedigree — and he’s also a really good friend, so the vibe in the studio was perfect.” Sums up Martin, “I always loved Kevin because of his musical sense, and I love singing in front of him. Kevin has a different approach that’s more cerebral. He has a lot of ideas like a musician and a songwriter would. Kevin’s a huge piece of our recording puzzle. He’s a musician’s friend. He gets good sounds, and I trust his insight and his criticism. Kevin has the golden touch, and he knows how to make great voices sound even greater.”
One of the key tracks on the album, ‘1992’, hearkens back to the glories of much headier days for Mr. Big - albeit with tongue planted firmly in cheek. “That was an incredible period in our lives, right when the rumblings of grunge were starting to happen,” Gilbert points out. “So here I am writing about and tweaking something that was so positive in just about every way, but it did open the world to us. Suddenly, we were playing stadiums in Indonesia, just going all over the place. And to this day, whenever we start a  tour, we end up going all around the world. That whole era, back when we all still had giant hair(!), really opened the door for us. Thankfully, people still gravitate toward the underlying thing that is still important, and that’s the music.”
Sheehan adds his own spin: “It’s a song about its own history. It reminds me of Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the Water’, a song where a band looks back and talks about how it all went down in a clever way. And ‘1992’ certainly pops for me from a philosophical point of view.” Muses Torpey, “Who would have thought we would actually be talking about something like this 25 years later? But I’ve had those thoughts myself. It’s really interesting to reflect back like that and actually have it come out in a song. It’s an epic kind of song that’s got the classic rock stuff, the crazy guitar-and-bass stuff, and the big vocals from Eric. It’s a Mr. Big song, no doubt.”
Speaking of the band’s inherent instrumental virtuosity, there is plenty of it on display during the middle section of ‘Mean to Me’, where Paul and Billy trade a score of hot licks back and forth. “That song came about very quickly,” Gilbert reports, “and the solo was a first take with no overdubs at all; it was done live with the band. The delay I used helped make it twice as fast, but you still have to be dead-on accurate, and play the notes super-staccato so that it doesn’t get sloppy. Billy, however, does it all for real where no effects were necessary. He battles my technology-aided solo with the pure fire from his hands.” Observes Torpey, “The songs themselves are always important, but we always want to come up with the right vehicle to have some gymnastics between those twin towers of rock, Billy and Paul. That’s a big part of what we do, and we utilise it. I hope the fans like it.”
Martin is proud that ‘Defying Gravity’ showcases the best of what Mr. Big has to offer. “There’s something about this band. We’ve been through a lot of stuff together,” he notes, “but there’s a spiritual bond we all share, no matter what. And that raises you up to give the best performance you can for a record that came together so quickly, like this one did.” Adds Sheehan, “This record really seems to fit in with some of my favourite times in music, which were right around ’68 to ’74. The other thing is, Mr. Big is really a singing band, and I love the fact we have that here with the background vocals we were able to add to some of the songs.”
For his part, Gilbert is very much looking forward to bringing ‘Defying Gravity’ to life for Mr. Big fans the world over: “We’re aware that we’re going to be playing this music onstage, and we’re no longer just going to be looking into each other’s eyes — we’re going to be looking into the eyes of the audience. We know our audience quite well, and we’re looking forward to seeing their reactions to the album.”
Torpey has the final word: “The title says it all: 'Defying Gravity'. We’re still here, and we’re still keeping the ball rolling down that hill. We’re still doing it. The album has a positive message, and that’s what I like about it. We can still fly, even after all these years.”
Indeed, Mr. Big’s keen combination of their virtuosic nature with a DNA-infused sense of melody continues to enable listeners the ability to sing along to every word they hear. Not a lot of acts can do that as deftly as Mr. Big does, and ‘Defying Gravity’ finds this still-hungry band collectively leaning into it to push their music into new stratospheres. Climb aboard.
Eric Martin - Vocals
Paul Gilbert - Guitar
Billy Sheehan- Bass
Pat Torpey- drums
with Matt Starr - drums
Produced by Kevin Elson



MR. BIG Return With 'Defying Gravity' Out July 7

Friday, July 7, 2017
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Mr Big's new album, "Defying Gravity" will be released on July 7, 2017 on CD, CD/DVD and Digital.
A vinyl edition will be released as well at a later date to be announced soon.
DEFYING GRAVITY deftly showcases that patented MR. BIG blend of crunch and melody, from the freight-train ride of opening cut "Open Your Eyes" to the harmony-laden wonderment of "Damn I'm in Love Again" to the grateful/wistful nostalgia of "1992" (recalling the days when the band was flying high atop the singles charts with their international #1 smash "To Be With You") to the barnburning slide-blues closer, "Be Kind." Overall, DEFYING GRAVITY is prime evidence that the only thing MR. BIG remains tethered to is their ongoing pursuit of achieving creative excellence.
Original members Eric Martin (singer) (lead vocals), Paul Gilbert (guitars), Billy Sheehan (bass) and Pat Torpey (drums) reunited with producer Kevin Elson (who was behind the boards for the band’s 1989 self-titled debut, 1991’s LEAN INTO IT and 1993’s BUMP AHEAD) for an intensive six-day recording session in Los Angeles. While Torpey was unable to perform some of the songs on DEFYING GRAVITY due to a recent diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, Matt Starr has been filling in for him on a majority of the album. Starr also been touring with the band for the past couple of years, with Torpey able to play a couple of songs at each stop.
“It was great to get back in the studio with our original producer, Kevin Elson,” says guitarist Paul Gilbert. “Kevin recorded all of our original classic albums from the ‘80s and ‘90s, and we immediately felt that magic chemistry with him on DEFYING GRAVITY. We basically played live in the studio. Over the years, we’ve all had a chance to experiment with every recording technique possible, but it’s still always the best just to play together as a band. Most of my guitar solos were tracked live with the band. I’ve worked hard on my improvisation in the last few years, and it really paid off on this record…both melodically, and on the face-melting stuff.”
DEFYING GRAVITY is the follow-up to 2014’s THE STORIES WE COULD TELL (Frontiers Music Srl), which described as “An exceptional offering of accelerated hard rock from one of the more dominant ‘supergroups’ of the late 1980s, MR. BIG return with a vengeance on THE STORIES WE COULD TELL.”
An official trailer for DEFYING GRAVITY can be seen here:
MR. BIG is gearing up for the launch their latest worldwide tour which starts May 31 in Milwaukee, WI at the Potowatami Casino. For all the latest tour dates, fans should check the band’s official website:
“2017 is filling up quickly with tour dates all around the world,” proclaims Gilbert. “I can’t wait to play the new songs, and of course our favorites from the old days like ‘Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy’ ‘Just Take My Heart,’ ‘Green Tinted Sixties Mind,’ ‘Wild World,’ and ‘To Be With You.’”
Here’s the complete track listing for DEFYING GRAVITY:
1. Open Your Eyes
2. Defying Gravity
3. Everybody Needs a Little Trouble
4. Damn I’m In Love Again
5. Mean to Me
6. Nothing Bad (About Feeling Good)
7. Forever and Back
8. She’s All Coming Back to Me Now
9. 1992
10. Nothing At All
11. Be Kind
Check out MR. BIG at any of the following tour stops (MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED):
Leg 1:
5/31 Milwaukee, WI Potowatami Casino
6/2 St. Charles, IL Arcada Theatre
6/3 Wetland, MI The Token Lounge
6/6 Warrendale, PA Jergel’s Rhythm Grille
6/7 Newton, NJ Newton Theatre
6/9 Uncasville, CT The Wolf Den/Mohegan Sun
6/10 New York, NY B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
6/12 Nashville, TN Basement East
6/14 Lexington, KY Manchester Music Hall
6/16 Dallas, TX Gas Monkey Live
6/17 Houston, TX Scout Bar
6/19 Kansas City, MO Knuckleheads Saloon
6/22 Tempe, AZ Marquee Theatre
6/23 Agoura Hills, CA Canyon Club
6/24 Pasadena, CA The Rose

Rock Candy Records Latest - ERIC MARTIN, ZEBRA & LOVE/HATE

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
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The following three new Rock Candy titles are available now from for a discounted price including postage to anywhere ending on April 10.
honesty that infuses the music of Love/Hate. Although they were surrounded at the time by the stylised sounds of big hair rock, their music was decidedly left of centre, and although their appeal was primarily to a mainstream crowd, they nurtured a style that would outsmart their competition by wide margin. By introducing an element of danger and crafting songs that had unexpected twists and turns, they ploughed a unique path, one that has made their reputation grow over the years.
Fronted by wild man of rock Jizzy Pearl, whose twisted vocal is as powerful as it is different, the band courted a similar audience to the cavortings of similar ground breaking street urchins such as Skid Row, the Wildhearts, and Faith No More. This was rough-hewn music, big on monstrous riffs and lashings of guitar work, with Pearl spitting out lyrics that seemed to evoke images of a world in chaos.
Issued in early 1990, and produced by veteran studio wizard Tom Werman (Cheap Trick,Ted Nugent, Twisted Sister) the album contained a brace of rapid fire tracks, spearheaded by the anthemic 'Black Out In The Red Room', a considerable turntable hit and a song that set Love/Hate apart from the competition. Indeed, its execution aligned them to the emerging sound of grunge. Whilst others aligned themselves to dated sounds this albums retains a contemporary edge, giving Love/Hate longevity that still sounds fresh to this day.


ALTHOUGH THE name Eric Martin is synonymous with the platinum selling hard band rock band Mr Big, there was a time when he was just another struggling singer, one of many trying to get a shot at the big time. Eric's calling card was, and still is, a one in a million voice; a golden rasp blessed with a silky smooth delivery that would eventually establish him as a contender for serious chart action.
The Eric Martin Band were initially formed in 1980, under the name of 415 and subsequently signed a record deal with Elektra records, who forced the name change to the Eric Martin Band. Securing heavyweight management, who also handled Journey, the band cut what is now regarded as one the period's best melodic AOR records. Produced by Kevin Elson (Journey) and Rodney Mills (.38 Special) the album contains a superb selection of fuel injected songs, including 'Ten Feet Tall', the Frankie Miller penned 'Don't Stop' and the anthemic title track itself.
Sadly, due exclusively to internal record company politics, the project hit delays when they were sent back into the studio to cut more tracks at the behest of ever changing A&R staff. Critically, on the album's release in 1983, Elektra engaged in a huge cost cutting exercise dismissing key staff integral to the band's survival. With nobody to champion the record the band experienced a body blow that was insurmountable, but left behind one of the best albums of the era.


SOME ARTISTS MAY not have reached the huge sales figures of many superstar acts but their influence was significant on the fan base that they did acquire. Zebra were one such act. A three piece power trio, they were a band that, although selling reasonably well, never quite reached the summit of their commercial potential but attracted a hugely committed following, based solely on the quality of their output' and it is a sound that still has power and presence today.
Signed to Atlantic Records, the band's first album was actually the fastest selling debut in the label's long and impressive history. Their second album 'No Tellin' Lies' failed to capitalise on this unexpected good fortune, but the quality of material was just as impressive. With the obliquely titled third record (a reference to how long it had taken to record it!) the band took stock and pledged to make the best record of their career.
'3.V' is actually an incredible creation. Melodic yet forceful, it moves them firmly away from their Led Zeppelin roots to a unique world, focussing on their brilliant arrangements and great songs. It also moved the band in a far more progressive rock style attracting comparisons to Rush but with their own melodic sensibility. The musicianship is phenomenal and leader Randy Jackson's vocals are wonderfully expressive, demonstrating an extraordinary range. Truly, it is one of the best hitherto underexposed rock albums of the 1980s.


Double Stop Podcast - TOM SIZE

Podcasts & Radio

In Episode 89 of The Double Stop, Brian is joined by Recording Engineer/Mixer Tom Size. He discusses his path into production and covers some of his key projects such as Aerosmith's Done With Mirrors, Sammy Hagar's VOA, David Lee Roth's Eat 'Em and Smile, and the numerous cd's he's worked on for Mr. Big - including solo albums by Eric Martin and Paul Gilbert. He also discusses the new live DVD's by Eric Martin and Mr. Big.

On his name being left off Aerosmith's "A Little South Of Sanity" 18:45 "I was on tour with them for about two years doing live recording and live broadcasts. And recorded a lot of "South Of Insanity", but you won't see my name on the record. You won't see my name on the record for i guess legal reasons. The producer that they hired, they didn't want to pay him and I was part of his team. He was someone that I'd done a bunch of records with - Kevin Elson. And they, for whatever reason, didn't want to pay him or something, you know, legal stuff that I didn't quite understand. But anyway, you won't see my name on that record, but I recorded most of those tracks."

On his early relationship with Eric Martin (Mr. Big) 52:30 "On that record (1989's self-titles debut) we kind of bumped heads a little bit. On the end of (Addicted To That Rush) he says 'One of these days, pow, right in the kisser" - he's talking to me. I just pushed his buttons. Eric and I work together all the time now and we laugh about it."

On the upcoming live Mr. Big DVD 53:08 "We did another live from the Budokan DVD that should be out soon. It's an awesome show - the production is just off the hook. I finished it up last year. It's with Matt Starr playing drums, and Pat was sitting in on a couple of tunes, and singing harmonies. "

Tom Size Online:

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ERIC MARTIN 'Live Over Japan' Set Due November 4

Release Year: 
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
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ERIC MARTIN will release a new live CD/DVD set 'Live Over Japan' in Japan November 4. The 2CD and 1DVD set features Eric's solo concert held on July 14, 2015 at Akasaka Blitz. This edition features digibook packaging with a live photo book.
When asked about the release, Eric gave me this exclusive quote: “I played a 7 night acoustic tour in Japan a month ago. And one the shows at the Akasaka blitz (like a theatre/ night club ) in Tokyo was recorded and filmed. They also filmed a road documentary with interviews and filmed pieces of the other shows. Pat Torpey played percussion/vocals and my mate John McNamara from Australia (Clunes) on guitar/vocals.”
The track listing for the show is:
01           Sucker For A Pretty Face
02           Don’t Stop
03           Fly On A Wall
04           Wink And A Smile
05           Everyday
06           A Rose Alone
07           Voodoo Kiss
08           Superfantastic
09           Ain’t Seen Love Like That
10           Kisses Stain
11           Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy
12           Gotta Love The Ride
13           To Be With You
14           Take Cover
15           What If We Were New
16           Goin’ Where The Wind Blows
17           My New Religion
18           Dancin’ With My Devils
19           Alive And Kickin’ - Encore
20           East/West – Encore
Pre-order the set via CD Japan: 

DEF LEPPARD'S "Hysteria On The High Seas" Inaugural Fan Cruise On Sale Today

Release Year: 
Tour News
Def Leppard's inaugural fan cruise, "Hysteria on the High Seas," a unique, four-day, four-night voyage out of Miami next January 21-25, 2016 aboard the MSC Divina, goes on sale today (6/18).
One of the greatest rock bands of all time, Def Leppard, will sail with their fans aboard the MSC Divina for the entire cruise, as "Hysteria on the High Seas" visits Grand Bahama Island and the private island paradise of Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. Two payment plans are available for cabins aboard the full-ship charter, which are priced starting at $899 USDper person for double-occupancy cabins, and $600 USD per person for quad rooms (government fees, taxes, and gratuities not included). For booking and more information, visit:
This exclusive cruise is a fantasy camp for enthusiasts of Def Leppard, with non-stop entertainment, activities and fun. While this cruise is about all things Def Leppard, the "Hysteria" continues with some of the great names from the 80's and beyond, with an initial lineup that includes: Tom Keifer; Last in Line; Eric Martin (Mr. Big); Ritchie Kotzen; Kip Winger; Eddie Trunk and Luc Carl with more to come.  In addition, passengers sailing aboard the cruise will received complimentary admission to an exclusive pre-cruise event on Wednesday, January 20 in Miami, FL, featuring special guest artists and more (details TBA).
Def Leppard's "Hysteria On The Seas" fan cruise will include:
  • Complimentary admission to the Def Leppard Cruise Pre-Partyon January 20 (Details TBA)
  • Stops at two exciting ports of call, Grand Bahama Island and private island oasis, Half Moon Cay.
  • Def Leppard Theater Performance
  • Def Leppard "Storytellers" Performance and Q&A
  • Def Leppard's Vivian Campbell in Last in Line Performance
  • Eddie Trunk's "Def Leppard, Behind the Music"
  • Daily performances from support artists on four stages throughout the ship
  • Support Artist "Storyteller" Performances
  • Support Artist Meet & Greets/Photo Ops, Jams and Q&A Sessions
  • Special Events, Theme Nights and much more
  • Additional Def Leppard events to be announced
About Def Leppard:
Def Leppard--Joe Elliott (vocals), Vivian Campbell (guitar), Phil Collen (guitar), Rick "Sav" Savage (bass) and Rick Allen (drums)--continues to be one of the most important forces in rock music. With 100 million records sold worldwide and two prestigious Diamond Awards to their credit, the group's spectacular live shows, filled with powerful melodic rock anthems, continue to sell out venues worldwide. For the past thirty years the band's epic live shows and arsenal of hits have become synonymous with their name, leading Def Leppard to be heralded as an institution in both the music and touring industry. For more information visit:, or connect on Facebook and Twitter.  


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