Brisbane rockers Smoking Martha have built an almost cult-like following in their Australian homeland since emerging in 2014 and now, for the first time, they’re gearing up to bring their crushing live show to the UK.
The quartet is led by the seductive, powerful vocals of Tasha D, who tells us she began living out her childhood dream of fronting a rock band through a shared love of rock’n’roll with guitarist Mick Broome. They were soon joined by Matty Mulheran on bass and drummer Jordy Poynter, and cemented their standing in the Aussie heavy rock scene with last year’s debut album In Deep. Now they’re ready to spread the word, with the UK-wide tour beginning on 8 November at Hard Rock Hell Chapter XII in Pwllhelli, Wales.
As Tasha tells us: “This is our first UK tour and we are so pumped for it, we don’t really know what to expect which makes it even more exciting! I definitely can’t wait for all the gorgeous scenery but also to experience the different live music scenes in each place.
“Our live shows are pretty raw, full of energy and passion, I’m looking forward to seeing how tight we actually get by the end of such a log run of shows.”
The band describe their brand of energetic rock as “sultry” and, in Tasha’s words: “A diverse blend of rock, metal and punk with chunky riffs and smoky vocals.”
This comes across in the album’s lead single Say You’re Mine, which opens up with palm-muted guitars that continue under laid-back vocals through the verse, then it explodes into life in a chorus of powerful vocals “Say you’re mine, Say it to me, Say you’re mine, You know I won’t stay, Waiting for something before it’s too late, Say you’re mine.”
A cool little riff kicks in, then fun repeats of “I just want more” that build into a big guitar solo, before one final blast of the chorus. Check it out in the video below:
While a personal favourite from the album is third track To The Stars, which opens up with cries of “I’ll follow you, You follow me” dropping into a laid-back verse, then gradually building palm-muted guitars feed into cries “I’ll follow you, You follow me, To the stars” over a funky guitar riff. A quick solo blitz gives way to big chugging guitars that suddenly drop down into palm-muted chords, then huge vocals come in ahead of a final chorus.
The album is jampacked with more of the same rocky goodness, but the band also has the ability to mix things up. One Night is more angsty and punk-fuelled, with Tasha’s raucous vocals supported by driving guitars and funky bass twists, while next track Baby Let Me Go sees the band go all mellow on us with light guitars and cello supporting Tasha’s deliciously delicate vocals.
As Tasha explains: “Baby Let Me Go is my favourite song on the album. This track is very close to my heart, we wrote it acoustically a little while ago and it was my way of dealing with death and finally letting go.
It was my chance to strip back and bare all vocally and emotionally. We kept it acoustic and added string instruments by guest instrumentalist Chris Carmichael from Stonehurst Studios to bring out the emotion of the song. While it’s tender and not the ‘typical’ heavy rock side of our sound we have had great reviews from it, hopefully proving we can win you over just as easily with our softer side.” Check it out in the video below:
We’re loving what we hear from Smoking Martha and their album is a real treat of rocky goodness, which has been shaped by their shared love of classic rock, which includes everything from AFI, Black Sabbath and Van Halen to Tasha’s love of No Doubt, Janis Joplin and Divinyls.
On what inspires them to write music, Tasha tells us: “We are forever growing as a band and our sound has evolved over time from experience and new inspirations. Music, art, what’s going on in the world, but mainly for me real life worries and desires inspire most of my lyrics. Once I write about something that’s weighing me down, it leaves me, so it’s a really therapeutic way of letting go.
We think Smoking Martha are going to be well worth your time checking out on their maiden UK voyage. As Tasha adds: “We are keeping it real and sticking to our guns, we don’t follow trends or rules but our own tastes and interests. We are just doing what we love and we are so excited to be able to share our music with the world!”
The Smoking Martha UK tour begins on 8 November in Pwllhelli, Wales. They then travel to all corners of the country, taking in Oxford, Blackpool, Ipswich, Nottingham, Crumlin, Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham. They close out with two London gigs, of which the latter is at The Fiddler’s Elbow with our boys in AT THE SUN on 2 December, which should be a cracking night. Check out all their gigs here.