5 Questions for Lillian Martin

For our anniversary month, we decided to turn the tables on Lillian “Lilz” Martin. Known as a writer for her 5 Questions series and many reviews here at The Lowell Spin, Lilz Martin has been an integral and indispensable part of our operation to promote local music. However, Lilz Martin does so much more beyond just her writing. While she isn’t writing amazing pieces for The Lowell Spin, you can find Lilz continuing to promote music as a DJ for On The Town With Mickey D on WFMO 91.5. The music promotion hardly stops there as Lilz also hosts local music podcast Jukebox Zeroes. With all this time promoting music you’d think that’d be enough for a person involved in the music scene. However, Lilz also currently drums for The Only Humans  and has also played for Surprise Party, Transdusk, smell, and the Knockups. Wow that’s a lot! Surely you’re done with this introductory biology? Nope! Lilz also frequenly djs in Boston with her industrial DJ solo artist act Sawtooth and creates electronic synth pop under the artist name of Fatigue. Let’s see if Lilz even has time to answer….


1. What’s the last GREAT album you’ve recently listened to?
I recently re-listened to Fear Of Music by Talking Heads, which I can recall being the first record that I decided I liked of my own volition. (Which is to say it wasn’t influenced by my parents’ personal musical tastes.) I put it on with headphones and could hear all kinds of layers and motifs that I couldn’t have otherwise picked up on stereo speakers. Suffice to say it holds up VERY very well.

2. What band or artist would you most like to cover/share a bill with?
I could answer this question in multiple different ways: As for covering/writing about bands, I’m kind of already doing that. I’ve gotten more satisfaction and joy out of covering and writing about artists and groups from around New England than I ever have covering national/international acts, so I’m down to just keep doing what I’m doing.

As for sharing a bill, that’s unfortunately all out the window until live music comes back. As I’ve been focusing my creative juices into Fatigue as of late, I would gladly share a bill with any similar one-person electronic-based acts from around the area. Jef from Idol Brain has spoken about doing an all-day festival of that type of artist, and I’d absolutely be onboard to do something like that with him, and other locals of that ilk. (Fomosurfer, Ukuphambana, Journey To The Center Of The Colon, etc.)
As for general collaboration however, I welcome any and all opportunities to cross-pollinate between local music scenes and cliques. Get at me.

But if we want to get into specifics, the artist I’d most like to do something with on a local level is Walter Sickert of the eponymous Boston group Walter Sickert & The Army Of Broken Toys. Their music has always been magnificent, and they’ve been pretty integral in my journey to stop giving a damn about whether or not people think I’m weird.

3. What passions and hobbies do you follow outside of music?
Music-related things are a good 80% of my interests so that doesn’t leave a whole lot left, but I’ve been teaching myself to cook during the quarantine quite a bit, and before it got too hot out I went on a lot of hikes throughout New England. I’m also very big into podcasts. (I currently co-host two music-related podcasts, but I guess those fall under the banner of music as well if you think about it.

4. What’s the one thing about the music scene as a whole you’d like to change?
Winding back to an earlier point: More cross-pollination and the demolishing of cliques. I’ve been guilty of that sort of thing back when I did more booking; of setting up shows with largely homogenous sounds and styles, and as I’ve allowed my musical tastes to expand wider and wider I’ve grown more and more bored with that conceit.

But beyond live show bills, I want to see more of these acts throwing caution to the wind, breaking free of genre constraints, and unafraid to do psychotic shit, which is what I always loved most about Doin’ It Together Fest whenever it happened. Some of the raddest, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it lineup combinations to never happen again occurred during those events, and I don’t think they should be confined just to a single night.Otherwise what’s the alternative? Oh, cool. ANOTHER emo throwback group. Original.

5. How would you describe your writing process?
(This question comes from the previous 5 Questions interview, Dominik Hippolyte)
My writing process is clunky, inefficient, and unpredictable. There are periods where I manage to write, arrange, and produce multiple tracks within the span of a few days, and others when all I can do is stare blankly at my screen for months. I’ve never been able to pin down how to make it work for me. Sometimes I’m productive, but most of the time not.
It’s not a healthy way to be creative, I’ll freely admit.

You can check out Lilz’s latest music releases from this year on Sawtooth’s Spotify and Bandcamp or Fatique’s Spotify and Bandcamp. Stay up to date with the latest news on Sawtooth’s Facebook page and Fatique’s Facebook page. 

– Joel Gray