IAMDYNAMITE = ’SuperMEGAfantastic’ rock duo
The TNT combination of lead vocalist/guitarist Christopher Martin along with Chris Phillips' energized drumming and harmonies provide large and powerful sounds created just by the two performers. IAMDYNAMITE is definitely a crowd pleaser during their live shows as well and the guys are now smack dab in the midst of their 2012 summer tour.
EDGE Media Network spoke with both Christopher Martin and Chris Phillips about the debut album, exploring the sometimes hidden depths of the song lyrics and also showered the duo with a few compliments about the new work.
As those teenagers used to say on American Bandstand, "It's got a good beat and I can dance to it," yet the two musicians have put a lot of energy and talent into every song on their debut, aptly titled "SuperMEGAfantastic."
EDGE: Several songs make you want to really move and dance when listening to "SuperMEGAfantastic." I felt a definite 1960s vibe where you could imagine women in go-go boots stomping and shaking to those beats. Did the groups of the mid-1960s have any influence on you as musicians?
Christopher Martin: Somewhat...yeah, of course. I listen to pretty much anything. I don’t know if I thought of that in particular, while we were writing it but we love anything that’s from that period and danceable from that era. We wanted to have that type of music that moves people.
Chris Phillips: (laughter) Yes and no... we both actually taught for a couple of years with our perspective instruments, so it was nice to get a wide range of musical backgrounds between the two of us. We actually both have different tastes in music. When I went to school, I had to study jazz and percussion and stuff like that. I think with everything we do, there is a huge spectrum and we always try to stay as current as possible. Old stuff... new stuff, it doesn’t matter. We draw from everything we can.
EDGE: There are two songs Christopher, on this where your vocal quality reminds me of Sting. Have you heard that comparison before?
Christopher Martin: Yeah! I have. There was a time where I really loved The Police. I still love The Police. Their sound always comes through somehow in the music. I totally didn’t mean to do anything like that on purpose.
A very pretty song
EDGE: It’s definitely a compliment. The final song titled "Annie" is sort of a different breed than the rest of the songs. Will you share a bit about writing that song?
Christopher Martin: "Annie" was created in a little recording studio and I made that song kind of in one night by myself. The sounds were done in a totally different way. Instead of writing the parts down and singing it with your band... it was just me "by myself" kind of a thing.
Chris Phillips: Yeah, it was one of those late nights, out there all hours, dark in the country and he just did it. Then, it was brought to the table that maybe we could do it as a band. It’s definitely a song that mixes it up a little bit and something that worked out in the studio for sure.
EDGE: It’s a very pretty song.
Christopher Martin: Cool, thanks.
EDGE: Chris Phillips’ drum work provides such a primitive, slamming and driving touch to a majority of the music. How would you describe the effect on you as a singer, when you are performing?
Christopher Martin: This highly energetic feel is what we are mutually going for... it’s just what we need to insure the show’s high-energy. As a singer, the drums and the vocals are the whole base of the songs. The drums are really what I’m singing over as opposed to the guitar parts.
Chris Phillips: Yeah, we make that apparent. A lot of music is simply rhythmical so you don’t play anything that is complicated in any way. Rhythm pretty much drives everything. It embellishes more and more what it’s behind. That’s the thing that drives everything.
EDGE: Christopher, you definitely have an animal magnetism, even when you wear a bowtie and those "Buddy Holly" glasses.
Christopher Martin: (laughter) Thank you.
EDGE: Yeah, you both really get into it when you are performing. The lyrics on one track that was your first single, "Stereo," there are the lyrics, "She died in the bedroom of the last man’s son." I’m Just curious as to "why" that lyric in the song?
Christopher Martin: That’s a good question. Actually, we get asked about that lyric in particular, all the time. Truthfully, I think that song sort of has a narrative. I like to have lyrics to sort of paint a vibe and a picture. It’s not always one story about this specific thing... mood is important to me when I create the lyrics. I usually like dark-sounding moods. So, in the case of that particular lyric, it doesn’t have a specific meaning, it just sounded cool to me at the time and we kept it... it just provides that mood. If it means something to some people, that’s awesome.
EDGE: I really appreciate the way the band’s lyrics are laid out in the CD booklet. I get so tired of having to use a magnifying glass sometimes to read artist’s lyrics. The design for that is really inventive.
Christopher Martin: Oh cool. I’m glad you like it. A guy named Brad Bond does all our artwork. He always does a great job and we talk to him about it too but he always does a really cool job. I agree. It’s fun and engaging as opposed to a bunch of tiny little words.
Chris Phillips: He was proud of that artwork and it was exclusive to IAMDYNAMITE. I give him mad props for everything he did.
A dark tale
EDGE: I definitely felt a darker side on a few songs. "Ms. Jones" almost has a touch of a Jim Morrison song with the primal chant at the beginning. That song and the one, "OEO" kind of has a violent streak to them.
Christopher Martin: Yeah, I love those really old 1930s blues songs that are sort of a murder ballad kind of a thing. Like Bob Dylan at times, he was just doing his version of those kinds of songs. "Ms. Jones" for sure is just a dark tale of stuff going on. "OEO," I don’t know if a lot of people pay attention to the lyrics, so I don’t know if everyone picked up on that. Some people listen to lyrics more than others and wonder why all the lyrics are so dark but it’s sort of fun...you know.
Chris Phillips: You know what’s funny? You’re one of the first people to pick up on that. That’s right, it’s a little darker. A lot of people don’t dive into lyrics, so when you actually read the lyrics and listen... it is a dark song.
EDGE: Uh huh, definitely. How was touring Germany?
Christopher Martin: Germany was awesome. We’ve been to Germany twice on tour and this last time was our first time co-headlining with another band. It was really great. We love traveling and seeing other parts of the world. It’s a beautiful country and awesome people. It’s just what you want to do when you think; "someday I want to be in a band" is tour parts of the world and play for people all over.
EDGE: Thank you both and continued success.
Christopher Martin: No problem.
Chris Phillips: We appreciate it.
IAMDYNAMITE tour continues on July 20, 2012 at the House of Blues (w/The B-52s) in North Myrtle Beach, SC. Among the cities the group will be traveling to this summer are Minneapolis, MN; Chicago, IL; Boise, ID; Seattle, WA; Los Angeles, CA and Denver, CO. For a complete list of the band’s tour dates, visit the IAMDYNAMITE website.