Martin Martini catches up with us to explain why the Bone Palace Orchestra are splitting up. We end up getting more than we bargained for…
1. It’s sad to hear you guys are splitting up. Is it on bad terms, and is it a mutual decision?
The bands trombone player James Macaulay wanted to quit music for chess, which I found a little strange – it was only 4 months earlier that I introduced him to the game – highlighting its strengths in how it mirrors life – I said ‘This game got me through my last break up, in every move I make on the board I can see where I went wrong in my relationship.’ So 4 months later James quits the band to focus his pursuits on becoming an Australian Champion and Grand Master – which after a little research I find is impossible – to achieve this you have to start playing chess before the age of 9 – James is now 21 – I guess that was the straw that broke the camels back – it was no secret that the band was in heavy debt – we hadn’t made any money in years – it got to the point on the road where James was practicing his begging techniques so he could eat before a show – Creating music was becoming harder – way too many cooks – every time an idea was put forward musically someone hated it – We all seemed to be heading our separate ways – So I decided to kill Martin Martini and The Bone Palace Orchestra – It had to happen – like a Phoenix rising from the ashes – I had to build myself a nest – and light me on fire – so I could be reborn – ‘first you learn the technique – then you annihilate it – then you rebuild anew’ – so yeah I guess you could say it was a mutual decision.
2. Which shows over the past 5 years do you classify as your best ever and worst ever show?
We had a series of crazy shows in Adelaide about 3 years back – Adelaide was under water – Flooded – We played 4 shows in 24hours – We overbooked ourselves – one venue had all it’s equipment destroyed in the heavy rains – so we played without a P.A in a back room – I lost my voice during that gig – then we went to the next show which was a private party for an arms and drug dealer – we played the gig through a dj desk – he payed us through a hole in the wall – I thought that shit was from the movies – but no he opened up a hole in the wall filled with cash and guns and pills and counted the green backs out for me – he was obsessed with our violinist Xani Kolac at the time – he was later jailed – The next show was a Tom Waits Tribute show in a tent by which stage I had no voice but got through – after that I got some vocal steroids which apparently aren’t too good for you – the last show was meant to be 40 minutes – we played for 3 hours straight – I couldn’t feel a thing – I felt like the gig had just started and I turned to the horns and they’re dripping wet and they’re like when are we going to stop and I am like haven’t we just started.
The worst gig – Williamstown Jazz Festival in it’s first year – We played above a pizza shop – correction only played half a song before the owner complained about the drums – people are trying to eat pizza – and you have drums – all these drums.
3. What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?
Well every band needs a good cook – so make sure someone can cook a good ox tail – a good spanacopita – a good chilli con carne – a good terrine – a good boar – a good quail – a good poussin – a good cod – a good clam chowder – a good scollop – a good crab – a good foie
gras – a good egg – a good mash – a good tart – a good gratin – a good crepe – a good cake – also make sure that the people you choose to make music with can plug in their instruments, that’s important – you need a girl in your band – girls are also important.
4. You have a funeral show planned at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne – what can people expect?
I have asked a whole heap of friends from different musical worlds and backgrounds to come to the Corner Hotel with their own versions of Bone Palace songs – We are going to have a funeral marching band – we are going to haul a piano up on stage – I have asked back all the original members so we can perfom all the old songs that no one has heard for 3 years or so.
5. Any last words Mr Martin Martini?
You should see my winter vegetable patch at the moment – my garlics are coming right up out the ground and the broad bean long pods god help me are sucking the rain right out of the sky – once summer comes I will go to Berlin and Serbia, New York and Croatia for a little escape and then I will probably come back with another band and some new music – that’s the problem with music – you can’t really ever get rid of it – it’s in your body and as long as your in your body – you can’t ever really kill it – it’s a curse – rolling rocks forever – never really being dead.
Don’t miss the funeral at The Corner Hotel, Melbourne on Friday August 14.