Here's my interview with singer Marty Nolan
How'd you get started in music?
I have played acoustic guitar since about the age of 16. I’m now 61. At 16, I learned a handful of chords, then I would write down lyrics to songs I liked, and then try to figure out the chords that went with lyrics. As to when I started recording and posting songs, that has only been in the last year or so, hence the name “Late Start Productions”. Really, because we were not going out much during Covid, I had time on my hands and started pulling out old songs I had written during my teen years and in my twenties. Over the years, in between raising three kids and everything going on in life, I still would write songs now and then. In the last year I have written many more and I enjoy doing it very much. It is a great to have an artistic outlet very different from what I do for a living. During Covid I also pulled out an old banjo I built back in my 20’s. I can play that a little bit but was never very good. I’m a better guitar picker.
Who are your inspirations or influences?
I grew up on Rock & Roll. My friends and I were into bands like Aerosmith, Rush, Led Zeppelin. Then, once I started playing acoustic guitar, my influences were artists like Neil Young & Bob Dylan. Eventually I discovered singer/songwriters like John Prine and Townes Van Zandt and they blew me away with their storytelling and simple deliveries. I would say that would best describe most of the music I create – singer/songwriter. I change up a few songs now and again according to my mood. Today, I am in awe of the Avett Brothers, the Lumineers and spend some time listening to Kenny Chesney’s No Shoes Radio.
What advice would you offer aspiring performers?
Explore. In my youth there was nothing like what exists today for new artists. No Spotify, YouTube. Today, you can post music so easily and connect to other artists that you find interesting. People will even include you on playlists sometimes and help you promote your music. In the end though, keep it fun. You can enjoy making music your entire life even if you never sign some big contract. You can find peace making music alone, you can do it with just another friend or two or you can put together a band. Making music is great therapy. Make some music, get it to where you like it and then post it on sites where someone might listen to it. Again, nothing like this was possible 10-20 years ago.
How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers?
Lyrics. It has to be the songwriting. I have an “OK” voice, so it will not be that setting me apart. And, candidly, there are just so many notes one can use to create a song. You have to change up the tempo or the combination of notes to make something original. Certainly, there are artists who stand out musically and I love them. I am an admirer of them. But I am not that gifted. I am a pretty good guitar picker and that’s where it ends. After that, it has to be the lyrics or how I arrange my songs that carries me along.
Any new gigs or albums in the future?
Haha, I have never done a gig. I was pretty cautious just putting my first music up on YouTube. I’m not a shy person but I was so timid about it I used the name Late Start Productions and used an old picture of my grandparents as my cover photo. But, after a year or so, I am not embarrassed by my music and I think some of it is pretty good. My brother and I trade songs back and forth and we often comment “I have heard worse stuff than this on the radio”. So, the future will be continuing to release my songs under the name Late Start Productions. If I have get the opportunity to perform live I will share that on one of the sites where I post my music. My biggest hope or wish is that some artist would hear my song, like it enough to want to record it, and then put the resources behind it to really produce and mix it. I fly by the seat of my pants and do what I can. I would like to hear one of my songs done by someone who really knows what they are doing. That would be really fun to hear.