Richie Martinez is a freelance and session drummer, clinician, and educator currently based in Nashville, TN. He recently started a band with some buddies called Arch Echo, a Progressive/Fusion/Djent band.
Pocket ProTechTours: How long have you been playing and when did you know that drumming was going to be a significant part of your life?
Richie Martinez: I started playing drums at the age of 2 on my Mickey Mouse drumset, but the moment I decided to pursue music was when I was 12 and my mom told me about this school called Berklee College of Music. I knew I had to work to get there and I had desired to play on the road. I got accepted to Berklee with a good scholarship, but I ended up deciding that was not the best choice for me.
Pocket ProTechTours: Who are some of your musical or drumming influences?
Richie Martinez: The most influential band that molded the way that I play is Mars Volta. Growing up I was also influenced by the “greats” like Dave Weckl, Steve Gadd, Vinnie Colaiuta, Buddy Rich, and “Papa” Jo Jones, but getting older I have been into Thomas Pridgen, Tony Royster, Matt Gartska, Jojo Mayer and many more.
Pocket ProTechTours: What has been your favorite country or city to play in so far? Why?
Richie Martinez: Playing in Guatemala really stuck with me. It was not so much the amazing show or huge crowd, but having an opportunity to see the way people lived in the country. Central America has a different vibe than most countries. Puerta Vallarta, Mexico was cool as well because we got to play on the beach.
Pocket ProTechTours: What is your most memorable performance thus far?
Richie Martinez: When I was about 13 or 14 I used to play in a Christian Hip-Hop Band and we got play a retreat in Utah. It was a cool experience to travel and play music with my friends when I was that young. It was also memorable to play the Dodge Arena in Valley Texas which no longer exists when I was 16.
Pocket ProTechTours: What was your most awkward moment on stage?
Richie Martinez: I was doing a drum solo and I wanted to take it to the next level. I had tried it the night before it went off fine and was cool. So I was playing my drum solo and I stood up on my throne and it collapsed from under me and I fell. I get up and attempt it again and the throne begins to wobble so I decided that it was not a good idea. My solo sucked and I almost died on stage.
Pocket ProTechTours: What musical accomplishment are you most proud of thus far?
Richie Martinez: I take a lot of pride in my practice methods and developing my technique. From a personal standpoint I take most pride in the meticulousness and the detail work on what I do and try to do.
Pocket ProTechTours: Who are your favorite bass players to play with?
Richie Martinez: Two guys that are not just great players but they are also great people and fun hangs. Omar Moran and Mike Meade
Pocket ProTechTours: If you were only allowed to play one genre of music what would it be?
Richie Martinez: It would probably have to be Progressive music. I love the intricate aspect of the music but I like experimenting and trying new things within my playing.
Pocket ProTechTours: How long have you been in Nashville and what inspired you to relocate there?
Richie Martinez: I have been in Nashville 9 months and I moved here because my peers and colleagues advised me to move to a city that was promoting music.
Pocket ProTechTours: What is your favorite thing about the city so far?
Richie Martinez: I love the food, the coffee and the fact that the city is pretty small. I can get anywhere I need to go in about 15 minutes. The weather, the outdoor
Pocket ProTechTours: Least Favorite?
Richie Martinez: I truly don’t think I have one. Most people say traffic but it is nothing compared to Houston, L.A. or larger cities.
Pocket ProTechTours: Favorite place to eat in Nashville?
Richie Martinez: My “go-to” is Martin’s and I get the brisket sandwich.
Pocket ProTechTours: Favorite place to hang out in Nashville?
Richie Martinez: Barista Parlor or Steadfast, they are both cool coffee shops.
Pocket ProTechTours: What advice do you have for drummers or musicians considering to relocate to Nashville?
Richie Martinez: You need to have a plan or at least a goal of what you want to do and a method to achieve that goal. Respectfully and professionally reach out to individuals that are in or familiar with the area about what to expect and what to do. Your playing must also be solid before you arrive. Opportunity can come knocking at any time and you don’t want to open the door and be caught in your underwear. You want to be packed with your bags ready to go.
Pocket ProTechTours: If you had the power what is one thing that you would change about the music industry?
Richie Martinez: I wish people would be genuine with who they are not act a certain way just to achieve a subliminal goal.
Pocket ProTechTours: What can we expect from you in 2017?
Richie Martinez: I’ll be doing a summer tour with Rivers and Rust opening up for Matchbox 20. Arch Echo is working on an album to be released May 18th. I am truly excited about it. It’s musician music. I am also going to be getting more involved on the clinician side of things so stay tuned for dates and locations.
Pocket ProTechTours: What brands help make up your sound?
Drumdots and Meinl Cymbals