Interview by: Marianne Jacobsen
Jim Martin – guitarist, giant pumpkin farmer, philanthropist and overall probably one of the coolest and most honest human beings on the planet. You might remember his greatness on a few albums back in the day with a band called Faith No More (insert sarcasm face). I got very lucky and saw Faith No More in 1992 with Metallica and GnR, so this was a very cool interview for me.
And with that…HEEEERE’s Jim Martin!
MGM: What was your first musical instrument?
Jim: Guitar is the first one documented. Got a picture somewhere 3 yrs old or so cowboy hat and guitar
MGM: Where did you grow up?
Jim: Hayward California USA.
MGM: What was your first band?
Jim: First Rock and Roll Band I was 12 or 13 yrs old, just some kids from the neighborhood. We played some school dances and backyard parties. They liked playing crappy covers. I started bringing in my compositions and that is where we began to part ways.
MGM: What were some of the highlights of your experience as a musician over the years?
Jim: Jamming with some of my influences, to get close to the source like that leaves you altered.
MGM: What are you up to these days?
Jim: Some secret shit.
MGM: With veterans/ rememberance day right around the corner – can you tell me a little bit about the philanthropic work you have been doing for veterans?
Jim: A good friend of mine is a WWII vet. Marine corps pilot, flew corsairs in the pacific and Korea. I took him on a trip with the Honor Flight Bay Area to Washington DC
MGM: How did you get involved in that?
Jim: I heard about it on the radio. it would put me right at the source, to be there with all of them, the last members of the greatest generation.
MGM: How can people get involved and help this cause?
Jim: Pretty simple. It’s a USA nation wide network. They are looking for volunteers, donors, sponsors, participants. Simply search “Honor Flight”, find your nearest hub and call them up. Their mission is to take vets to their memorial in Washington DC all expenses paid. WWII and the terminally ill currently have priority. If you know a WWII vet or terminally ill vet, please call right away and get them on the next trip. Here, have a link: https://www.honorflight.org/
MGM: A while back you did a few one off shows with suicidal tendencies – will there be any more impromptu appearances?
Jim: Time is passing very quickly now. Human frailty? Wait and see.
MGM: You have many fans that say FNM is not the same without you. What would you like to say about that?
Jim: I say thank you. It is gratifying to know someone remembers where it comes from.
MGM: I was told at one point you were pumpkin farming. Is that still the case?
Jim: No, it never was. I grew some extreme pumpkins for competition, and it was not a farming operation, it was a gardening experiment.
MGM: Do you still play your guitar?
Jim: Yeah I play that fucker.
MGM: If the right situation came along would you be willing to join a musical ensemble?
Jim: That’s an “if” that makes almost any question appealing. Yeah, I guess I would.
MGM: What’s your favourite Halloween candy?
Jim: Almond joy
MGM: If you could hang out with one person (besides me) who would it be and why?
Jim: HAL the computer. When I got tired of hearing it talk about itself, I could unplug it.
MGM: Do you think that music has changed since the 90s? And is it for the better or worse?
Jim: Pop music is for little kids. The consumer thinks music sucks, they keep supporting a bunch of old shit. I think things are worse. The great recordings captured a great performance. Now the machines will do it for you, timing pitch, everything.
MGM: What is your proudest moment as a musician?
Jim: Playing the Cow Palace in Brisbane CA
MGM: What is your proudest moment as a human being?
Jim: I don’t know yet. I’m holding out for more.
MGM: Any last thoughts from Mr Martin that the fans can chew on until the next time you come up for air?
Jim: One of the best things I ever heard : “everyone gets everything they want… I wanted a mission, and for my sins, they gave me one. Brought it up to me like room service.”
November 11, 2015 is Remembrance Day here in Canada. Don’t forget to wear your poppies proudly and thank a Veteran.
Thanks Mr. Martin!