Ruben Zarate spoke with L. Martin about transitioning from a rock and roll band to working alone, paying his rent through Spotify, why each song is simply a fleeting moment in his life and gaining strength and motivation from his hardworking family.
Fear will not cripple me and I won’t be suppressed by the fears others hold. As long as I’m healthy and my family and friends are healthy, then there is nothing to worry about.
I just saw you’re going on tour with Triathlon! Very rad — I love that band! What’s your new set going to be like? Will you have a full band? Just you and an acoustic? Or pull out the laptop with a backing track?
Luke Martin Olson
Hey! I’m bringing along a full band on this tour. It’ll be different from The Walters, naturally, but the energy and spirit will stay intact. I’ll be doing a lot of improvisation and theatrics during this run.
I feel like 2017 was a big transitional year for everyone. You’re transitioning from The Walters — a five-piece rock band — to just you. I’ve been in bands my whole life, and aside from writing songs and playing shows, it’s a lot of managing relationships, schedules, goals, ideas and personalities. On the plus side, you also have someone to share their experiences and lessons with. Now that’s it’s just you, what are you most excited and/or scared about going forward in 2018?
I love being on a team. I was raised playing sports and understand the value of working with others to achieve something greater. I also feel very strongly about who I am as my own artist and I look forward to being able to take chances that may not have been encouraged by a group. Fear will not cripple me and I won’t be suppressed by the fears others hold. As long as I’m healthy and my family and friends are healthy, then there is nothing to worry about.
I don’t put too much importance on a single song; they all are just fleeting moments in my life and I want them to see the light of day without worrying if they are the best or not.
I was first introduced to your previous band through Spotify. I loved it so much that I messaged you guys immediately and said “Let’s play some shows!”. Streaming is both good and bad for artists. What’s your opinion on the power of Spotify? What would you change day one as CEO?
Spotify has been paying my rent. Obviously there are things about how much the artist gets paid that can be improved upon, but for now, I’m just grateful that through Spotify, The Walters and L. Martin have been able to gather a lot of exposure. All I really want is to be able to reach people through my music and it helps do that for me.
Who makes your dream NBA lineup? You can use legends from past to present.
Give me a sneak peek into the process. Do you write songs in bulk, picking the best ones? Or are you writing for survival? Example: These are the 10 songs I wrote, and these are the 10 songs I have.
When I am feeling inspired, I’ll pick up whatever instrument it is and I’ll turn my IPhone recorder on and play it out as many times as I can until I have what I want. I have hundreds of ideas on my iPhone. I don’t put too much importance on a single song; they all are just fleeting moments in my life and I want them to see the light of day without worrying if they are the best or not.
I just try to think about my dad and how hard he has worked throughout his life, and how hard all of my family works. It drives me to continue to push myself.
You mentioned onstage last year in San Francisco and Los Angeles about your past in theater arts. Are you still interested in acting? Small screen, big screen, strictly theater?
I actually just sent out a resume and headshot to a few agencies. I’m hoping I can get involved in all realms of acting at some point in the next few years. I would love to do a Broadway musical and, obviously, being in movies sounds like fun.
I’m not trying to air out all your dirty laundry on this site, but I remember walking backstage in LA and catching you in the middle of a serious meditative pre-show ritual. Care to share what you do before a set to get in the zone?
Haha! I bring along a Bosu Ball that I use to warm up my body and voice. I also like to close my eyes and visualize each show before I take the stage. My dad was my high school baseball coach, and he would always tell us when we are on deck that we should close our eyes and picture ourselves at the plate. If I’m mentally prepared, then my physicality will take care of itself.
This also goes along the lines of taking care of yourself on tour. One thing I noticed about those Walters sets is how much screaming takes place and how much energy you exude. Very powerful. I’m curious on the toll that takes on your mental state. What did you do to maintain your sanity and your voice while on an extensive tour?
It definitely takes a toll, I usually feel like I just got done playing a football game after shows. The good thing is that I also drain out my entire system during the shows, so it leaves me feeling very content. I want to be able to function at a high level every single show I play even when I’m sick, and that takes mental toughness. I just try to think about my dad and how hard he has worked throughout his life, and how hard all of my family works. It drives me to continue to push myself.
Do you cook a lot at home? Let’s say you’re cooking for a special someone. What are you making?
I’ve been making a lot of smoothies. I try to get a nice healthy start to the day. If someone special is coming over, I’ll probably make them some pasta. I’m Italian and my mom has made pasta so many times that it’s literally ingrained in me. I can’t lose on that dish.
Curated by: Ruben Zarate
Conducted by: Email
Edited by: Morgan Enos
Published: February 12, 2018
Total questions: 9
Word count: 952
Reading time: Three minutes
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