Brief interview with MARTYR

In the early 1980’s in the dutch city of Utrecht MARTYR emerged. A heavy metal band that made quite a name for itself. They’ve visited amazing venues and country’s troughout the years and have never lost an ounce of power. With a new album in the making it was time to talk to Rick Bouwman. Guitarist of MARTYR since its beginning in 1982.

Hey, thanks for taking the time for an interview with Maizter Underground! How are you doing? Covid and all.

You’re welcome! We are doing great! Looking at the situation now ,we are able to do some shows again but most important we managed to record our new studio album during the Covid period.

Next to that we took also the opportunity to promote ourselves in interesting countries by sharing Live Streams , releasing MARTYR music in especially South America, where there is a real good Heavy Metal scene.

How did the band came to excist?

When MARTYR started in 1982 we were  only about 16- 17 years old wanted to form a band that was different and more metal orientated than then the already established Dutch rock bands.

We were immediately searching for and implementing our own style with guitar orientated riffs, high powerful metal vocals , and strange arrangements to stand out.  

Our style is described as a delight for those who love strong melodies, speedy riffs and a high level of technicality.

Can you introduce the bandmembers one by one?

Our current line up is:

Rop van haren – Vocals (original member since 1982)

Rick Bouwman – Guitars (original member since 1982)

Geoffrey Maas – Guitars

Vinnie Wassink– Bass

Rick Valcon – Drums

You guys call yourself MARTYR How did you come up with this name and what does it mean?

We were looking for a short name , a cool name and preferrably one ith a “strange” letter in it like Q , Y , X.  The name MARTYR came along and we decided yes thats the one. At that time there  were no other bands with that name (and now way much to google it 😊). It is a powerful and heavy name, people will associate it with the kind of music we make.

Can you tell me something about the journey this far? Where did the creativity came from for your first “own work” and who (if any) did inspire you?

When we started our main influences were Japanese and US metal. Although NWOBHM was very important as well. But we listened a lot to bands like Loudness , XRay, Vow Wow, Eartshaker from Japan and also Queensryche , Warlord from the US.

The songs we wrote and still write need to be special and need to be 200% satisfactory to  to ourselves.

Our first demos (on cassette) were already quite succesfull and were distributed all over the world, which created much interest from Megaton Records in 1985 to release a first album “For The Universe’ . Nowadays it is a cult classic metal album and already many times rereleased on many different formats. More albums , shows , tours followed till we quit in 1988.

We reunited mid zero’s and are still going , even stronger than ever with tours all over Europe and multiple times in Japan.

What are the (longtime) goals with MARTYR

First of all release the new album Feb / March 2022. After that we will hit the road and we like to explore new countries we havent toured before. We like to develop (as we already do) more and more as a band , be creative and hope our fanbase will grow into that process too.

Are there are singles/ an album coming up?

Yes , the new albuw will be out Feb 2022 on Pt78 records, and licensed by different labels worlwide (for South America we just set a deal) .

We released 3 singles and videos  for that album during covid which can be found on our YT channel, but also on digital streaming platforms like Spotify and even also on physical CD single release at our label.

Do you have any festivals/gigs/shows planned?

Many things are in the pipeline esp for 2022, A big thing is the “De Helling” show in Utrecht March 12th celebrating our release and 40 years aniversary . You can find our tourschedule onour website or on our FB page.

Allright! Thank you for your time. On behalf of the whole team at Maizter Underground, we want to wish MARTYR all the best with all you guys will do in the future!

To make sure you wont miss anything MARTYR releases or announces, please follow them through the following links.


Management and recordlabel:

If you want to know what MARTYR is all about, please watch the video below!

About the Author

Patrick Reos

Patrick Reos
Based in The Netherlands.
Writing journalist.

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