Alistair Martin - Bass

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Alistair Martin

Alistair Martin - Bass

Biography

It's time for another biography. Next is numerically-challenged Ali on bass and backing vocals who has played with a kilt-wearing Rik Astley and poured a pint for Roger Taylor from Queen... not that he recognised him. Want to know more? Then read on!

Describe yourself in three words

Very bad at counting.

What is the first photo saved on your phone?

This was the first thing I cooked on the paella dish my brother bought me for my birthday.

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Paella

What is your favourite Pink Floyd album?

Tricky. I've been listening to Pink Floyd a lot during lockdown and love the Dark Side of The Moon / Wish You Were Here / Animals trio of albums, but if I really had to pick one then it would be Dark Side - I still keep hearing new things in it.

What is your favourite Pink Floyd song?

Hmmmm... I think it has to be Time with the Breathe reprise for good measure, it's got a bit of everything that is classic "Pink Floyd" in there: the drums are massive, the bass line bounces, Richard Wright's keyboards and vocals are exquisite, a classic David Gilmour guitar solo and then the segue to Breathe... love it every time.

Which Pink Floyd song do you enjoy playing the most?

Shine On You Crazy Diamond - it's such a wonderful song with so many moments in it and if I can get to the end of a thirteen minute song without twatting it up then I know I'm having a good gig.

What’s your most favourite place you’ve toured?

I really enjoyed Kazan during my last tour, it was probably the only place where we actually had a proper day off so I was able to explore the area and get some souvenirs for the family.

What’s your most favourite show you’ve ever played?

It has to be Abbey Road Studios. My band was running a team building exercise for an international marketing company during the day, got a tour of the studios and performed a show in the evening. It's a simply magical place with so much history.

Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met?

Rick Astley - our bands were opening the Rewind Festival a few years ago and we managed to get a photo together backstage (yes, he was wearing a kilt). I also met Roger Taylor from Queen once when I was working behind a bar. I wasn't too sure if it was him at the time so I simply asked him if he could play the drums to which he answered, "Yeah, just a little bit."

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Rick Astley

Who or what made you want to become a musician?

I remember seeing Level 42 on TV playing Wembley in 1986, watching Mark King play bass and thinking, yeah, I can do that. I got that one wrong.

Outside of Pink Floyd who are your biggest musical heroes and influences?

So many. Although Mark King inspired me to play I think it was John Taylor (Duran Duran) who influenced me the most, but I also love listening to anything with Bernard Edwards (Chic), Normal Watt-Roy (The Blockheads), Chris Wolstenholme (Muse) or Guy Pratt (every other band in the world). I've also just discovered Wojtek Pilichowski, a staggering talent that makes me feel like giving up.

If you could play in any other band, past or present, what would it be?

Duran Duran for sure, but Andy Taylor has to be playing guitar.

Give us a quick rundown of your gear?

I've had my custom Status Series II bass for nearly 20 years now, it's never let me down. Effects wise I'm always chopping and changing but I'm trying to get all my compressions and modulations into my Helix Stomp (with Calum's help... he's programmed a wicked delay and tremolo for One of These Days) plus I also have an MXR octave and EHX Bass Balls. I'm currently using Ashdown amps and cabs.

What’s your most favourite bit of gear?

I recently picked up a Guy Pratt Betsy bass from the Bass Centre and, I have to say, it's so much fun! There's only one Betsy though, so Durga has christened my one Lizzy.

What advice would you give to any aspiring musician?

One gig is worth a hundred rehearsals.

What was the first album you ever bought?

Once Upon A Time by Simple Minds. Still love it.

Desert Island Disks: which one album and three singles would you take?

Tough. I think I'd choose Rio by Duran Duran (album), Enjoy The Silence by Depeche Mode, Edge of Seventeen Live by Stevie Nicks and Speak Softly Love by Andy Williams.

And who would you want to be stuck on the island with?

Tony Stark. He built the first Iron Man suit in a cave with a box of scraps so I fancy our chances in broad daylight with a few coconuts.

What totally pointless super power would you like?

To teleport off desert islands.

Would you rather be in bed on a Sunday morning or on holiday on a tropical beach?

Tropical beach please. I'm normally working on my laptop in bed first thing in the morning so it'd be good to get away and work on a tan.

Would you rather be incredibly funny or incredibly clever?

People say I'm already a shining wit...

Would you rather be a famous inventor or a famous writer?

A famous inventor.

Which song do wish you wrote?

Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade. I can't stand the song but will happily bank £500,000 in royalties every Christmas.

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