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Some big news for some of our favorite home-grown musicians: Martin Royle (formerly of Washington Social Club) is heading out on his first solo tour, opening up for STARS, the amazingly emotive band from Montreal. When Martin found out he’d be performing on this tour, he reached into the local talent pool and fished out the adorable Pash and asked if they would be his backing band. Three weeks of practice later and they’re ready to rock ’n roll around the country.

We have FREE tickets to their show at SONAR next WEDNESDAY.
And we caught up with the excited and elated Martin and Meredith (of Pash). PLUS, Martin will bring you an exclusive interview with STARS themselves next week.
Dive in here (and comment below for free tickets):


BYT: I heard a story from a music reporter recently. He was interviewing a D.C. musician and the musician in question actually put the reporter on hold to call a therapist for help on deciding how to answer a particular question. Who would you like to call for help during this interview?

Martin: Can I conference in people? Superfriends or Ignatius Reilly if we’re talking fictional characters. If I actually needed some help, I’d call my lady.

BYT: Stars seem to have a very loyal, sort of warm-and-fuzzy fanbase. What is it like playing for their crowd?

Martin: Inspiring and fantastic. It is great warming up for a band who really put people in a great mood. The vibe is very accepting and lovely.

BYT: What’s the difference between being a solo artist and being in a band?

Martin: It’s definitely weird, scary and exhilarating. It’s kind of like graduating high school, or turning 21.
“You mean, I don’t have to sneak beer anymore, I can just buy one?”
That’s how I feel about the creative process – I don’t have to explain, persuade or convince, I can just do what I want.

BYT: You got Pash, one of our favorite bands, to be your backing band on this tour. What is it like to play with new people after so many years with your former band?

Martin: For me it’s been great. New blood for old wounds, you dig?

BYT: What are your new songs like? Anything you’re particularly excited to play?

Martin:I have four relationship songs that tell one story. I’m very excited to put them all together finally. Two of them I played with WSC but two will be brand new to everyone. I’m also very excited to play “If Time Ran Backwards” – that’s my soft little opus and I love being able to grab people with just a guitar and some good lyrics.

BYT: Everybody knew what to expect at Washington Social Club shows – great songs played at high energy levels from the band and wildly enthusiastic dancing from the crowd. So what will your solo shows be like? Is there a place for dancing fiends? Or will it be more mellow and laid-back (a la the singer / songwriter genre)?

Martin: When Pash are playing, it’s high energy. But in Athens we don’t have a drummer, so it’ll be more of a beer-beside-campfire-scene that night.

BYT: Meredith, how are things going on your Texas adventure?

Meredith: So far everything’s been good. The trip over was hard because there’s not heat in the van…but 20 bucks worth of hand and foot warmers fixed us up. We got to Houston and John dropped his phone in the toilet. Our Houston show was very weird. The wife of one of the guys in the other opening band got in a fist fight with the a girl in the headlining band.

BYT: Wow, that sounds traumatic. We’re glad you’re okay. So the big news is that you’re heading out with Martin Royle and Stars on a BIG tour of the USA. Tell us all the news and gossip on that.

Meredith: We’re very excited that we were asked to go on this tour. Marty had heard us online but had never seen us play. His wife came to our Black Cat show in January and loved it and insisted that he ask us to come on the STARS tour.
Martin was very open to changing the band arrangements of his awesome songs to suit our style. It’s completely different from anything we’ve done. I think it makes all of us better musicians.

We’re excited to go further down south. I’ve never been to Atlanta, Louisville or any of those types of places yet. And we have a lot of fun hanging out with Marty and Jon from Exit Clov who is helping us out on drums for a few shows.

As for STARS, we’re all fans of them. Back when their album Heart came out we listened to that a lot.


Back to you, dear readers.

All you have to do is comment below in one of the following ways:

1) tell us why you love STARS

2) tell us why Pash are adorable

3) answer this BYT back issue trivia question: what is Martin Royles’s favorite strip club in D.C.?

Carry on here: