Martin and James Interview.

A day at the beach: the waves crash against the rocks,
the sky colours the water light blue,
people lay in the sun and relax,
children run around and collect sea shells,
couples walk along the beach,
a family takes pictures for the family albums,

and a few people build a house.
A house in the sand.
And as they build it, they talk about things,
things that go on in their lives.
And you are invited to listen to them.

Hey guys,

with those words I want to welcome you to the first part of my interview series. You can not imagine how much this means to me and how happy I am to present you this post.
I've always dreamed about interviewing musicians. And kicking off this series with my favourite band means the world to me.
(note: there will be a new category at the top of this post called "interviews" added soon!)

Let's get into it now.
Martin Kelly and James O'Neill - band name: Martin and James - are two incredibly talented musicians from Scotland. They are signed at "Universal Music Germany" and live in Berlin, Germany. To describe their music they would use words like folk, acoustic and pop. (and add punk, death metal and jazz as a joke.)
Martin and James supported many bands and singers like Milow, Taylor Swift, Amy MacDonald, Ellie Goulding, James Morrison, One Republic, etc.
They released 2 EPs (2008: Bad Dream | 2010 Wrong Directions) and their selftitled album (2011).

Find out more about them by reading the interview:

house in the sand:  Guitars, drums, piano, harmonica, songwriting, producing, … - You do pretty much everything. That sounds like a lot of work and practice. Is it easy to stay motivated and keep on carrying on?

  Martin and James: We’ve been playing music for so long now that a lot of it just comes naturally, just like if you were a carpenter or a teacher or something. We’re still constantly learning about music and songwriting so there’s still a lot to take inspiration from. I guess that’s the beauty of music. We just try to keep our heads down and work as hard as we can on improving our songwriting. It’s all about the songs at the end of the day.

house in the sand: You filmed three music videos (Wrong Directions,
 All Over The News, Tides). 
What is the process like? 
How did you get the ideas for where to shoot it and how everything should be like? Did you write the story board? What’s behind it?

Martin and James: It’s a funny process actually. We send the song to many different music video directors and they listen and write what they think the video should be about. They then send their ideas to us and we choose what we think would fit the song best. We always have an idea of what we want but it’s good to get a directors input because he/she does that everyday so they might think of ideas we wouldn’t e.g. We wanted the Wrong directions shoot to be in the Scottish highlands and to feature train tracks and other means of travel. The director then put all that into place like a jigsaw puzzle. The All over the news video was really different. We went into a studio for three hours and left. The director did everything else. The tides video only cost €500 and it fits in with the other two just as well. That was the best one to make as it was really sunny and we just ate pizza and drank beer all day. Haha!

house in the sand: You’ve known each other for about 15 years now, that’s really impressive. But that also means you’ve gone through a lot together. – like the teenage years, the whole growing up process, … Did those things make your friendship even stronger and make it easier to work together?

Martin and James: We grew up together first in school playing football, underage drinking and hanging out with other crazy friends. As the years went on, we lost most of the other friends, as our interest in music was a common bonding factor. When we were younger we never really thought about music as a serious job. We were just having fun being in the same bands and competing with all the other local bands around Glasgow. Again, as time went on, it naturally became more serious as our songs got better and we got more experienced as musicians/songwriters. We respect each other a lot, not just as friends but also as musicians so that makes it easy to work together. It’s like being in a football team with only two players. Well three if you include Ryan. Haha!

house in the sand: Talking about your friendship – please describe each other in three words.

   Martin on James = Really really cool!
   James on Martin = Also really cool!

house in the sand: If I mentioned the band “The Silencers” – what is the look on your face like? James, did your father inspire you to start making music? And Martin, did he influence you as well?

   James: Yeah I grew up in a crazy house full of creative people. My Dad was a big influence as he is a songwriter and is always writing his own music so I would always hear new music, and be around instruments that I would always pick up and play. I guess my Dad being a musician made the dream a little bit easier for me, as I knew it was possible. I still go to him for advice because he’s been in all the places I’m about to go.

Martin: I was a big fan of the Silencers before I even met James. My brother took me to a Silencers concert when I was younger and I loved it. It was really cool to be in James’ house growing up cause there was lots of instruments so we’d sit around and use his dad recording equipment to record new songs and ideas all day.

house in the sand: Tell us what comes to your mind when you hear these words:

- Scotland - M&J: Kilts and Irn Bru!
- Germany - M&J: Berlin and Bratwurst!
- Ryan the roadie - M&J: Couch and gypsy!
- your fans - M&J: Loyal and great!
- touring - M&J: Love and home!

house in the sand: So you are working on your second album right now. Is there anything you can already tell us about it? How is it going?

Martin and James: It’s going really well so far. We’re working in a way we’ve never worked before. We’re taking a lot of time in between studio session working on improving existing songs/ideas. This was our producer’s choice. On this record we wanted a producer to take a little bit more control so he suggested working in blocks where we work three days on then like two weeks off. It’s strange to work like this but you get time to reflect on what you have done so that’s been eye opening. Also we’re going to Los Angeles in October to finish the rest of it so we’re really looking forward to that. Ah sunshine! But we’re just looking forward to getting it released so we can tour properly again. That will be fun!!!!

house in the sand: Please complete the following sentence: We are Martin and James and we …

Martin and James: hope you like our music!

house in the sand:  Is there anything else you want the houseinthesand readers to know?

Martin and James: Watch this space because we’re planning on having some surprises in the run up to the record. Also we’re going to be more active on Facebook putting up new videos and songs soon to get some interest generated for the new record.

At this point I want to thank Martin and James for answering all of my questions. I want to thank them for always listening to my ideas and helping me in so many ways. 
Maybe I wasn't there to support them from the very first second on but I'll surely be there until the end. 

Now that you read a lot about them it's time to listen to their music as well. Here are the links to find the two scottish men on in the big world of social media:

And if you're still here - maybe you want to visit my facebook page.

Like usually I hope you enjoyed this post - I'd love to know what you think. : )
Stay tuned for the next interview which might be online sooner than you think.

x Vanessa.


  1. Amazing interview <3 Love it!
    I'm your 33 follower if you like my blog too I'm waiting for you <3


    1. That means so much to me! I hope you also listened to Martin and James. :)
      Thanks for following, I'll follow back :) x

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  4. Great interview! Well done! Its the first step on that journalism ladder for you, emjoy yourself!
    Daisy Dayz

    1. Thank you sooooooo much! :)
      Yes, it was a huge step actually. And I am so honored that M&J helped me making that step. :)


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