Tag Archives: Martin Atkins

The Passing Of Charlie Watts And The Art Of Drumming

“Sometime, somewhere in the not too distant future, the Stones will be on stage, in the middle of the show when Mick will turn around and see Charlie is not there. It will be like a punch in the gut!” That’s Martin Atkins on the devastating blow the passing of Charlie Watts will have on the band he joined in 1963. For Martin, losing a friend, a bandmate, and the pillar-of-strength that held the Stones together for over half a century has to be unimaginable. Unlike Mr. Watts, Mr. Atkins is widely known for his crazy antics behind his kit. Yet, although Martin has pounded out the beat for a litany of raucous bands including, Brian Brain, PiL, Ministry, Pigface, Killing Joke, and more, his appreciation for the understated style of Watts is almost devotional. Atkins, a drummer since the age of nine, knows what the art of drumming means, “Charlie was as close as you could want to a drum machine, for precision. And, as far away from a drum machine for organic engagement and appeal.” On the thought that the death of Charlie Watts also signals the end of an era, Martin Atkins has a lot to say about the importance of legacy. For a moment, he takes a slight tangent to report he faces this head-on with the determination to not leave the memories (legacy) of his participation in rock and roll for anyone else to interpret, including his children. “I’ve created The Museum Of Post Punk & Industrial Music, he says. Martin’s unbridled enthusiasm for everything he does, always shines through, as does his obvious sadness that a giant in the art of drumming has passed.  

Show 438

The Atkins Diatribe + New Music

Martin Atkins’ list of credits and accolades are more than most of you have had hot dinners. After all, the drummer extraordinaire has played with Killing Joke, Ministry, PigFace, and many more including PiL – Public Image Limited. Martin pounded out astonishing rhythms alongside John Lydon and Keith Levene on an album that remains shrouded in controversy, Flowers Of Romance. Now on the 40th anniversary of the release of an album that was scornfully panned by the critics and remains to this day a raison d’être for musicologists to argue over. Mr. Atkins in his usual candid tone asked to set the record straight about the recording of Flowers Of Romance. He begins by noting that famed bassist, Jah Wobble had left PiL as the sessions were about to start. Martin then continues with surprising details, most never heard before. These are stunning revelations about an album that now has been rediscovered and newly appreciated. Martin Atkins always charms us with his anecdotes, his sincerity way out front. In setting the record straight, Atkins uncovers the suspicion that making records is not in any aspect glamorous. This is history, a true story, told by a man who shares his memories with poignant honesty.

Also in the show, new music, starting with Blue Tomorrows with Neverendless from the LP, Future Proof. This is the work of Portland, Oregon-based Sarah Nienaber. She began the project in 2018 when she was already in Candace and Web Of Sunsets, but seeking a solo outlet. For the recording of Future Proof, Sarah Rose joined in on bass and vocals, with Michaela Gradstein rounding out the troupe on guitar. Do check out the whole album. Los Angeles-based Carson & Erik Lund make excellent music under the moniker of Mines Falls. Their new EP, Once I Was You is all reverent covers, including, Can’t Get You Out Of My Head featuring Sabine Holler on vocals. They tell me a new full album is on the way, they deserve your attention – alternative radio, are you listening? Josh Idehen has to be the busiest man in the music biz, he is always involved in a new project and each and every time he makes yet more cool music. This time Josh has teamed up with bass producers LV to give us Ancestors, you’l hear the radio edit. Full marks! Next, Clearcutter by Cameo Blush from a 3-track EP on the Unknown Untitled label. Splendid music. Play loud, listen carefully say the label. Agreed! Jon Jones of Roots Garden Records pointed me to Waggle Dance Records out of Bristol who are releasing super modern reggae with references to the Jamaican classics. Here then, you’ll from Perkie & Beanie with The Thief & The Liar from the compilation, Beating The Doldrums – The Co-operators & Friends.

Enjoy!

A Conversation On Life In Isolation With Five Creatives. Plant Love. Healthy Skin.

Perhaps you have become acclimatized to living through a pandemic? Maybe you have rearranged your everyday life to accommodate social distancing? Or, are you going stir crazy? These are some of the questions we asked five of our favorite creative guests at Life Elsewhere –  author, educator, Anna Dorn; musician, educator, Harry Stafford; author, educator, Mark Haskell Smith; musician, poet, educator Joshua Idehen; musician, author, educator, Martin Atkins. The conversation was conducted via Zoom, connecting to Stockholm, Manchester, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Their responses ranged from the need for physical contact to being content with a little solitude. And, as expected, all of our creative guests were eager to share their thoughts. Hosting a talk show remotely over the internet may well be the new normal when this pandemic is finally over. If it is, then this edition of Life Elsewhere proves how engaging it can be.

                                               

Also in the program, Summer Rayne Oakes, an urban houseplant expert, and environmental scientist has managed to grow 1,000 houseplants in her Brooklyn apartment (and they’re thriving!) Her secret? She approaches her relationships with plants as intentionally as if they were people. Summer joins the show to talk about her book, How To Make A Plant Love You: Cultivate Green Space In Your Home. Plus, James Hamblin, a  preventive medicine physician and staff writer for The Atlantic was curious about the new science of skin microbes and probiotics. He discovered that keeping skin healthy is a booming industry, and yet it seems like almost no one agrees on what actually works. In his new book, Clean – The New Science Of Skin, Hamblin explores how we care for our skin today. He even experimented with giving up showers entirely. His conclusion on the meaning of “clean” may be surprising and at times, humorous.  

Show #384

Another Conversation With Martin Atkins

Best known for his work in post-punk and industrial groups including Public Image LtdMinistryNine Inch NailsPigface, and Killing Joke, drummer, Martin Atkins has many fascinating stories to tell. In the next edition of Life Elsewhere, Martin shares never before revealed intrigues of his time in and out of Public Image Ltd. He talks of his often uneasy relationship with John Lydon and the mutually volatile association with Keith Levene. With his charming Midlands brogue, Martin Atkins recalls unexpected moments – when backstage at a concert two of his (then) very young sons had giggly-fun pulling back the ears of an atypically docile Mr. Lydon. And, he blames Sir Paul McCartney for Public Image Ltd not being able to play in Japan, (listen for details). The question of age comes up in the conversation,  Martin suggests that to have survived all these years of the non-stop rounds of a rough and tumble life on the road with an often motley cast of characters, is quite possibly a miracle. Martin’s buoyant energy and enthusiasm for life and rock ’n’ roll permeate through the airwaves as you enjoy one of the best raconteurs in the business. 

Show #356

Legendary Music Interviews.

Norman B‘s interviews are legendary, since the late 70’s he has chatted with rising stars to superstars, unexpected newsmakers to career politicians, revered celebrities to aspiring entrepreneurs. His thoughtful and inquisitive approach has led to a vast archive of memorable and revealing conversations, especially with musicians. Yet, artists from the world of music are not always forthcoming or willing to divulge their “real” opinions, but Norman B has a knack of getting his musical guests to talk openly. Here then, is a small selection of recent interviews with musicians who have comfortably disclosed more than the usual talking points:

Wreckless Eric best known for penning the iconic Whole Wide World, spent over three hours offering up his well-considered opinions on almost everything, from religion to The Rolling StonesSir Mix-A-Lot, the man who revealed in the early 90’s to the MTV generation how much he liked Big Butts, has proven many times, through his dialogue with Norman B, that he has strong, and sometimes surprising views on everything, from racism to gay marriage. The sadly departed, Ian McLagan enthusiastically chatted with Norman B about not only his early days with the Small Faces, but also the break up of the Faces, touring with The Stones and the importance of a muse in his life. Ian McLagan and Norman B had attended the same art school in London, so the two silver-haired Englishmen had a connection that went way back to make the interview even more poignant after Ian died. Back in late 1979, Norman B was the first DJ in America to play the unique Turn to Red EP by Killing JokeFrom that moment on he became an ardent fan of the band. So it was only natural that many years later, Martin Glover, bassist and founding member of Killing Joke, was invited for a lengthy chat. Glover also known as Youth, has gone on to make his mark as a much sought-after producer. In the in-depth conversation with Norman B he talks about the future of music, what he enjoys listening to and offers advice on making a career in the entertainment business. Canadian singer-songwriter-poet, Barzin caught Norman B’s attention with his emotive and beautiful music. The shy, humble musician talks about his influences and explains how he comes up with the hypnotic music he creatively produces. Multi-talented drummer, producer, author and entrepreneur Martin Atkins is one of rock’s legendary drummers, his stellar resume includes playing with PiLBrian BrainMinistryPigfaceKilling Joke and Nine Inch Nails. He is an engaging raconteur, but Norman B was able to take the interview to where Martin’s real-life anecdotes lay bare, the rarely-heard thoughts of a major rock star.

Life Elsewhere airs:
Sundays at 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  

Mondays at 7.00pm ET at WROM Radio
Mondays at 5.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio

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