Moving toward a weighted resume with a style becoming heavier
A long time music lover, Martina Nixe comes from the land where music ‘Tastes like Sugar’. Given the roller coaster of emotions she experiences through her own written lyrics, her influencers and future projects in head, she is bound to be heard more about in forthcoming years. So it’s worth glimpsing through her vast world through the following brief interview.
How long have you been involved with music?
Almost 20 years. I started playing the guitar when I was about 8 years old and began playing the classical guitar until about the age of 13. I then switched to the electric guitar alongside with the classical in order to relax myself and go through a “classical music experience”. But even before, I’ve always been a music lover, thanks to my parents. When I was just a little kid, I remember myself dancing in the living room with the music around the house. Queen, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd and many others were played out loud on our stereo, and it’s thanks to the love of music that I decided to learn to play an instrument.
Do you play for any bands? Who? Did you join/form them?
I play the guitar in Killin’ Baudelaire, an all-female metal band from Italy. I am one of the two members who founded the band in early 2015. After some line-up changes and releasing an EP called “It Tastes Like Sugar”, we finally reached the perfect combination of members and released our first full-length album “Vertical Horizon”.
Have you been self-taught or studied music academically?
I’ve always taken private lessons or attended music schools in my area. I met many guitar teachers during the years and experienced different ways of learning. When I left high school and started university, I slowed down a bit and kept practicing alone. At the moment I’m taking lessons just once in a while.
Have you composed any songs/albums?
Yes! I’ve never composed all by myself so far, though. Usually, I start with an idea (a riff, a line) that then is refined with the other band members. In terms of lyrics, I write many. I really like the feeling of putting your emotions in a song, it’s like telling someone your life and thoughts but in a more artistic way.
Do you have any near future or further plans for your music? Whether a project on your own or any other music related collaboration? Where are you going with music?
My immediate plan is to tour with my band and bring our album “Vertical Horizon” as further as possible. Then, if time allows, and when I feel totally ready, I wish to focus on a solo project. But obviously it’s just an idea and it will take some time to define it.
“I really like the feeling of putting your emotions in a song, it’s like telling someone your life and thoughts but in a more artistic way.„
Tell us about your favorite musicians/bands. Who were your main influences?
This is always a very difficult question. I’ve always been into rock music thanks to my parents, and the more I grew the heavier the music I listened to was. When I was a kid I loved Queen, then in my pre-teen years I switched to Nirvana, while during high school, Marilyn Manson took all my attention and opened to me the doors of metal music. Now I listen to many bands within the metal scene but not only. I can be easily amazed by artists from the pop/techno/folk scene. And so on!
What does music mean to you and what are your expectations?
Music is an all-embracing experience. I would feel lost if I didn’t have it. So important that it is too difficult to even describe. When they say music is there where words can’t reach, they’re right. It’s given me the strongest feelings in my life.
How do you get inspired to make music?
“Art never comes from happiness”. Sad but true. Most of the songs I composed were born in difficult times, when my life was shaken by anger, sadness or hatred. But now I’m grateful for those feelings, because they made me feel alive. And I cannot mention enough that the irrational inspiration for a melody or a lyric always comes in less appropriate moments: while driving, taking a shower, or during my sleep!
How do you see your audience? What do you wanna tell them and what do you expect from them?
The first thing I wish I could tell my audience is “thank you!”. It’s always a pleasure to be appreciated for what you are and what you do. This is one of the most unconditional feelings ever: a true fan will like you without expecting anything in return. And this is fantastic. I really look forward to sharing my music with them and creating a stronger bond day after day. My desire is also to see more girls and women in my fanbase, because I believe female solidarity is great and fundamental to have success. I do follow many female guitar players as well, I really love their attitude!
Where do you think rock n’ roll is today and where is it going
I think rock n’ roll has been constantly expanding and creating connections with many other genres. Sometimes contamination is a great way to create something new and original. That’s where I see rock n’ roll now: in a process of evolution.
“When they say music is there where words can’t reach, they’re right. It’s given me the strongest feelings in my life.„
What are some of the challenges as a musician, especially a female musician?
First of all, living on music can be very challenging. That’s why a lot of musicians have a regular job apart from music, me included. Secondly, there will always be people expecting something from you: to play the perfect riff, to say the right thing, to always be like they want you to be. And, besides, everything you’ll do will always be judged and taken more seriously than normal. That’s the price of being more exposed. Now imagine all these things when the musician is a woman. Not only will you have to deal with that, but also with some men telling you that you’re not enough! But hey, fighting prejudices and stereotypes is our specialty, isn’t it?
Do you believe in paying to see an amateur newly-formed band even though you can pay the same money for a much better performance in town?
Money is a way to buy an experience. If I’m interested in a newly formed band and they ask me to pay for their show, why not? At the end of the day, I would be satisfied. In addition, giving money to someone who needs it to improve would make me feel better as opposed to paying for some famous band who has tons of money already, that’s for sure.
Do you believe in bad music? If so, what is bad music?
At first glance, I would have said “Hell yes, bad music does exist!”, obviously because that is my opinion on certain music genres / musicians (which I wouldn’t mention here!!). But then I stopped for a moment and asked myself “what makes music bad?” and I couldn’t answer it. So, as there will always be at least one person who can appreciate something, I think the concept of “bad music” should remain a subjective matter. And it should be translated as “music I don’t like”.
When and where were you born and raised
I was born on February the 12th, 1993 in Como, Italy. My hometown is a teeny tiny center along Como Lake, so I was raised between the mountains and the water. That helped my isolation, but I grew an independent attitude so I’ve never been away from my friends.
Apart from music, what studies and jobs do you have or have had in the past?
I have attended classical studies in high school and then I got a degree in literature. Now this background is more a hobby to me, because my job experiences don’t have much to do with that. At the moment, I work in the logistic management of Levi’s Footwear & Accessories. I really love my job, because it’s perfect for my methodical personality, and I really love the brand, which I frequently wear.
“Some men always tell you that you're not enough. But hey, fighting prejudices is our specialty, isn't it?„
What are some of your hobbies (obviously apart from music)?
Apart from playing guitar, I spend my free time watching movies and tv series (I’m obsessed with the horror/thriller/action genres) and going to the gym (I need to be trained to be athletic on stage!) mostly. I also enjoy going on daily trips visiting museums, castles, medieval towns (and much more) and going out walking in the woods nearby my house, with my dog.
Who are your main supporters as an artist and how do they motivate you?
To be honest, I never had someone motivating me actively to do what I do. My parents paid for my music lessons and I will always be grateful in that regard, but it’s always been my own choosing to play. If I decided to stop, no one would be able to make me change my mind. Ever since I have been playing, it’s only because I wanted to keep playing. So, I must thank myself first. Of course, there have been people concretely supporting me through difficult times and which taught me how to face them. During the path to become more independent, it’s not rare to ask for help and to find it in trustful people.
Whose concert that you’ve attended has been the most memorable to you?
The most memorable concert I’ve attended so far was Steel Panther’s. During their concerts, they used to call the girls in the front rows to join them onstage for the last few songs. I saw them twice and I managed to get up on stage twice! It was both hilarious and exciting and every girl that was dancing on the stage gained one backstage pass. Once the show was over, a small group of people including me and my friend were allowed to see the members in order to get autographs, photos etc. The funny thing is that after that my friend and I went to this famous pub in Milan (called “Rock N’ Roll”) and the rest of the band arrived shortly after. And, instead of talking with fans, Mike Starr (the singer) spent all night sitting at the table with us, drinking water (no joking!) and eating our chips! And when the pub kicked us out because they were closing, we ended the night talking in their tour bus. I know what you’re thinking: well, nothing happened, clearly! Eventually they took us to the car, checked that we were all right, and recommended us to drive safely. Probably my mom would have been less worried than them! It was one of the most amazing experiences in my life and I recall it every time with great happiness.
Are you the kind of musician who wants to change the world? How?
No, I’ve never been such an ambitious and brave person. For sure, I’d like to change my world and make it better every day, with the help of music. But there’s one thing I really wish was different: stereotypes. That means I wish they didn’t exist. They are useless ideas of how we want things to be, or how we’ve been taught they are. I don’t know if I will be ever able to change this perception but in my small life experience I will always try to consider people on a practical basis instead of letting my eyes or my previous knowledge decide.
Photo credits: DigitalTustk.it\Monelle Chiti\Matteo Musazzi\Shadowphoto