The Boss Martians are a new wave act based in Seattle. First forming in 1995, they began life as a largely instrumental surf act, but with frontman Evan Foster's vocals becoming increasingly prominent in the sound and keyboards dominating much of their music, they have since expanded their sound. They were recently described as successfully combining "the energy of Punk with the unmistakable sound and swagger of Northwest Garage Rock, English blue-eyed soul, and the pure pop sensibility of a young, sneering Elvis Costello"

The group's latest album 'The Set Up' came out at the end of last year and they also at the same time toured Europe for the first time, including playing two dates in London.

Pennyblackmusic spoke to Evan Foster about the Boss Martians' influences and history.


PB : Evan, when and how did the Boss Martians form?

EF : The Boss Martians were formed sometime around 1995 by Nick Contento, myself, and two other friends while we were at school in Tacoma, WA (USA). We got together because we were obsessed with 60’s Surf and Garage records at the time. It was a pretty pure 60’s style in the beginning when we got together. Lots of power-pop and punk has crept in over the last few years as the sound evolved.

PB : Your music uses a lot of keyboards. They work really well in the band. Whose idea was it to put keyboards into such a raw sounding band?

EF : We all just really dug the sound of Vox, Farfisa, Hammond, & Wurlitzer organs and old analog synths -- especially in the bands we loved (and still love). Standells, Sonics, Wailers, Mummies, Untamed Youth, the Attractions, Joe Jackson, The Cars -- the list goes on…

PB : Who would you say the Boss Martians' main influences are?

EF : So many… The Jam, Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds, the Damned, the Kinks, the Who, Small Faces, the Faces, 999, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Iggy, the Sonics, Dr. Feelgood, Eddie & The Hot Rods, Chocolate Watchband, Real Kids, X, the Clash, Ramones, Cheap Trick, Sex Pistols, New York Dolls, the Kinks, the Undertones, AC/DC, the Dickies, the Cars, the Cramps, Thin Lizzy....

PB : What band would you like to support if you had the choice?

EF : Tough one – so many of them. Would love to go on the road with a rock and roll killing machine – someone like Iggy Pop perhaps – to scare the hell out of us and put the rock and flame to our lilywhite asses. The Ig makes us insane. Would also love to support Guitar Wolf, the Hives (don’t care what the purists say we love those guys). Maybe the Dirtbombs – that would rule. The list again goes on…

PB : Evan, what’s the best thing that’s happened to the Boss Martians?

EF : Good underarm deodorant, strong breath mints, powerful air freshener. Playing with Iggy, the Strokes, Raveonettes and being introduced by Bruce Springsteen at Little Steven’s International Underground Garage Festival was good too.

PB : ....and what’s the worst?

EF : Bad underarm deodorant, weak breath mints, wimpy air freshener. (7 weeks in a van or bus...) Breaking down in an ice storm in Iowa in the dead of winter also was a drag but other than that we’ve been pretty damned lucky.

PB : What would you say your favourite song is?

EF : You’re trying to drive me insane. Changes everyday. Yesterday I was obsessing over Dave Edmund’s version of Elvis Costello’s 'Girl Talk' – fucking excellent. Today I’m obsessing over the Dolls’ 'Trash'. Tomorrow something tells me I’ll be obsessing over something belligerent and sleazy, we’ll see – who knows maybe I’ll be freaking out on some Jobriath song or something I don’t know. I, however, will not be obsessing over a whiny-ass Bright Eyes anti Wal-Mart or McDonald’s rant – that shit bums me. Life is short -- put on a Thin Lizzy record and cheer the fuck up...!

PB : What do you think of the punk/indie scene in the UK at the moment?

EF : Honestly I’ve not spent enough time in the clubs there seeing and hearing bands or meeting people to be an accurate judge but I will say there are some fucking excellent bands making records over there now. I’ll come out and say it, I was a Libertines fan – they were drunk and fun. There seem to be lots of great bands coming out of the UK now. It's hard to keep track…

PB : ....and what do you think of the punk/indie scene in the USA?

EF : There are lots of great records coming out – definitely some duds as well but I tend to blow off the shit I don’t like.

PB : Are there any venues in the USA or over here in Britain that you really like playing?

EF : Yes, tons here in the States (Emo’s in Austin, TX, Duffy’s in Lincoln, NE, Spaceland in LA, CA, the list goes on) but we’ve only played two in Britain – ‘Water Rats’ and ‘Club Metro’ which were both great also. We had great fun in London but the pubs shut down too early! Can’t wait to get back.

PB : If someone was to ask you what the Boss Martians were like how would you describe them?

EF : Equal parts pop, equal parts Garage, with a dash of Punk Rock, a dash of Hard Rock, and a dash of salty, nasty sweat and danger (when intoxicated) – essentially living, breathing rock and roll.

PB : What would you like to go on to do next?

EF : Rock and roll – then buy a mansion and a Rolls Royce that I could drive into the oversized swimming pool shaped like a kidney bean and filled with champagne or something.

PB : Thank you.















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