Interview – Marty Zylstra

Vancouver, BC-based singer-songwriter, Marty Zylstra has unveiled his first single from his second album, Boom Chicka, entitled “Rattle The Glass”.

With an electricity that pulses through gritty instrumentation, coupled with a sense of timelessness to deliver a sonically melancholic experience, the track’s musical craftsmanship and a spiritual self-awareness guide the follow-up to Zylstra’s deeply personal 2018 album, The Dragonfly and the Spider.

Boom Chicka and the songs within it are a love letter to the sights and sounds of the anti-war and peace movements of the 1960’s Flower Power era. While his influences are clear, as the album channels legends like Lennon and Brian Wilson, in particular, Boom Chicka was carefully crafted and conceived as a sole artistic vision with no details taken for granted.

Zylstra himself explains,

“I wanted to make sure that the songs held strong meaning to me before making any decisions on the final tracklisting.”

The infectious energy of Boom Chicka is the perfect post-pandemic cocktail of anthemic vocals, catchy guitar licks, and exceptional production. The positivity that radiates from every musical note blends effortlessly with Marty Zylstra’s message of hope delivered as sincerely and raw as only he could…

After facing a string of unspeakably tragic losses during the recording of his last album, he would rise from the ashes to deliver a fresh new outlook on what matters most in life.

“Writing an album in the middle of pain or grief or turmoil can capture a certain audience,” he shares, “but having come through to the other side, I have a new perspective on love and life.”

Check out “Rattle The Glass” below, and find out more about Marty via our mini-interview.

First off, care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hey everyone!  My name is Marty and I am a singer-songwriter in Vancouver.  I write and record songs with themes of hope, love and light but to be honest have written songs from the darkness within – specifically at times grief.  I really hope you’re getting through these dark times and would love to meet you – please feel free to send me a message on socials – i love to meet new music fans from all over the world

Tell us about the recording process behind “Rattle The Glass”?

When I started planning the follow-up to my previous album the Dragonfly and the Spider I felt that the instrumental and production elements should be understated.  I felt that the elements “dream pop” or “lo-fi folk” or “chamber pop” style really spoke to me being such a big fan of artists like Elliott Smith, Mazzy Star, Blur, or solo Lennon.  That being said, I’m a huge huge hockey fan in my personal life and also loved big stadium 90’s rock bands as a kid – Soundgarden, Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine and as we started working on this track it become obvious that it was going to be a big, loud, brash rock song instead of understated in any way.

In fact, Daniel from Vancouver’s Brass Camel added such incredible bluesy electric guitar, and Chelsea from Vancouver’s Old Soul Rebel added such massive chorus vocals that the song became an entirely different track than I even imagined!

What keeps you going? How do you not want to quit when things get tough?

honestly – my family.  I have two girls under the age of 6 and they give me and my wife so much joy.  I’m sure you can attest to that when things get tough like they have in the last year and a half that you need to continually be reminded of love and laughter, and that’s certainly what the girls do for me – a lot of laughing and a lot of dad jokes

Got any fun stories hanging with Metric, Tegan and Sara, or Hot Hot Heat?

I am really lucky to have shared stages with incredible artists from all over the planet including Metric, Tegan and Sara, and Hot hot heat.  Watching those artists’ careers grow from then to now has been truly inspirational.  I think my main takeaway from those bands and all the bands that I’ve been lucky to play with is that you never forget your time with them, sharing a laugh or a moment on stage and I really respect all the working musicians out there for continuing to bring their craft to all of us music lovers!

What do you still listen to that’s considered classic? What music/records do you put on you’ve had the longest?

I am a die-hard Beatles fan.  I have a library of various books on their career and most of their records on vinyl.   I also listen to a lot of music.  Like a lot.  Especially local/Canadian/indie bands.  My big big passion is finding undiscovered bands from other places or genres but yeah I always find myself going back to the classics – the Beatles, The Beach Boys, 60’s Motown – Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, Elton John, Queen – huge songs that you can sing along to while dancing and cooking dinner after work, right?

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