Aidan Martin: Rock ‘n Roll Isn’t Dead

Aidan Martin has just released his latest single “No Kind Season” off of his forthcoming sophomore album. We caught up with the rock ‘n roll artists to talk about his lead single “Refugee” and the associated music video, the state of rock ‘n roll in South Africa, and some of the deeper meanings to his music.

Let’s first talk about the music video for “Refugee” and the whole narrative featuring the trio of runaways – what was the inspiration behind this and what made you decide to go with this story of three people trying to find refuge?

I wanted to bring in the concept of ‘Refugee’ by looking at it from a different perspective. The narrative concept was formulated by the producers and as soon as it was pitched, I was sold.

What struck me as interesting is in the bar scene – the trio is represented as not being there and as being invisible. What is the meaning of this? Is it a subtle commentary on how the world looks at rock ‘n roll music?

Sort of yes. We aimed to show how life could be so very different, by contrasting two dimensions. One where you might chose to follow your passion and pushing through the hard times and another where you just live life blindly, moving along without a specific ambition or cause.

 Tied into the music video, and I suppose the song, is a theme revolving around how rock ‘n roll music is finding it difficult to mould itself into a format that suits the consumption of the current music market. What are thoughts on this? Why is it becoming so difficult for rock ‘n roll to find a place in modern society?

To me, the lyrics were not meant to comment on this. It was something more personal, innate and existential.  Yet the music video definitely brings that across. The producers pitched the idea of juxtaposing the heavy subject matter with a ‘caper-crime’ plot, which opened up the narrative to hint towards something deeper yet still leaving it open to interpretation.

To answer the last question… I feel we live in an era of detachment where people battle to truly connect to something real and in the moment. Rock ‘n Roll is raw and exposed. Yet the market for Rock ‘n Roll is still alive and well. Unfortunately, it’s just not that big in South Africa.

Actually, let’s clarify things. When you say rock ‘n roll – are you referring to a specific genre or the broader rock scene general, or is there not much of a difference?

I don’t really like to limit myself or my music to only one genre. Also, I feel that Rock ‘n Roll is, in fact, open to different influences and originated from various genres.

 Blues rock is a rather niche genre globally and even more so in South Africa where publications often apply the label of “rock” to what are essentially indie bands. Do you ever find it difficult to create your music as a result of it possibly being poorly received by a broader audience, or is your career more built on intimate experiences?

That’s funny you should say that as I think my manager would agree. Although authentic, “Rock Music” is a very broad term and often if your music does not fit into a specific category that has a distinct sub-culture attributed to it, it can be difficult to catch the attention of a prospective target market. Honestly, though, for me… it’s all about the music and nothing else.

 Seeing as you do comment on the nature of rock music in your single – what are your thoughts on the South African rock scene? Also, where do you see it going in the next decade?

I feel that there is space for the scene to grow as there is a great amount of talent that is not being heard at the moment. Live venues are scarce (yet there are some gems) and people are reluctant to pay entrance. With new venues opening, hopefully, they will further support the musician’s cause and so remind people of what good music really sounds like, created from true passion and hard work.

 “Refugee” comes off of your forthcoming sophomore album – can we expect more songs with subtle commentaries on the world around us, or some of the songs going to be more personal?

The new material features a bit of both. Looking forward to releasing some of the new tracks between now and December.  So keep your eyes open and ears on the ground.

 

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