Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the exclusive premiere of "Bom," a new song and video by progressive/world fusion pioneer Felix Martin.
The Berklee-trained Martin is quite adept at blowing minds with his 14- and 16-string multi-fretboard wizardy. Martin, who began shaping his technique at age 13, mixing metal, jazz, progressive, world and Latin music, performs and records with guitars he designs himself—but that are built by different manufacturers.
You can check out Martin's guitars here, including the ones he used on his new album, Mechanical Nations, which will be released February 24.
The disc—which features "Bom," "Bom Continues" and 13 more tracks—was produced by Martin and mixed with Jamie King (Between the Buried and Me).
“For 'Bom,' I wanted to see drums and guitar as one instrument, writing grooves for both instruments in a way that would make sense,” Martin says. "This was the very first song I wrote using this guitar you see in the video (FM-907), which is a nine-string and a seven-string together, making it a guitar with 16 strings on one wide neck.
"I wanted to add that low nine-string open string (which is the lowest note I could possibly play) in a way that would sound heavy and big. I do this by slapping the guitar with my hand open.
"Several tracks on Mechanical Nations are inspired by South American traditional melodies and locations that were then 'mechanized,' so to say, in a progressive format," Martin adds.
“'Barquisimetal' is a good example; it's a place in Venezuela that inspired melodies, and the landscape brought out that creative spark. Many South American countries, especially places like Venezuela, are heavily industrial-based economies. The hard work of the people and how it shaped the countries seemed fitting for a progressive rock record. In the background of the artwork [see it below], you can see Petare, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Caracas, but one of my favorite places in Venezuela, my home country.
“The goal with this album was to discover unique and new sounds from the electric guitar and to make an instrumental rock/metal record with a Latin spark that sounds band-based. The music ended up being more melodic and accessible for a broader audience (from the metal, to pop, to jazz, etc.).
"I also challenged myself to not use distortion, play solos or even lead-solo melodies, as I wanted to focus on what makes me different on the guitar and put the whole band—Kilian Duarte (bass) and Victor A. Carracedo (drums)—under the spotlight.”
For more about Martin, visit felixmartin.net.
Martin recently announced a tour of the North East U.S. with Consider the Source, beginning March 8 in Pittsburgh. The tour will hit 10 cities, coming to an end March 19 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Check out all the dates below.
FELIX MARTIN with Consider the Source
3/8 - Pittsburgh, PA @ James Street (Ballroom)
3/9 - Akron, OH @ Musica
3/10 - Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s
3/11 - Dekalb, IL @ The House
3/12 - Indianapolis, IN @ The Hi-Fi
3/15 - Raleigh, NC @ The Pour House
3/16 - Washington, DC @ Gypsy Sally’s
3/17 - Asbury Park, NJ @ The Wonder Bar
3/18 - Albany, NY @ The Hollow
3/19 - Bridgeport, CT @ The Acoustic
Mechanical Nations track listing:
3. Eight Moon Headdress
4. Nomadic Tree
5. Da House Cat
6. Cosmo Basket
8. Bom Continues
9. Cardboard Roofs
10. Santos (feat. Angel Vivaldi)
12. King Zartman
13. Four Handed Giant
15. Bridge Clock Disparity