JUSTIN MARTIN AND HIS ENTIRE DIRTYBIRD CREW are a jolt of adrenaline, with them there’s never a dull moment. But behind all the partying and the spontaneity he projects, Justin is actually a very calculated and hard worker, plugging away at his music and and his career with a gravity not often seen.
I follow you on Snapchat and needless to say you are the most entertaining person I follow.
It’s pretty much me being an idiot all the time. It’s something to do to pass the time when I’m traveling or when I need a break from the studio to kinda goof off.
How was Movement for you this year? I saw that you guys had a kind of pop-up store going on.
Yeah we had a pop-up store in a coffee shop in downtown Detroit. We took over for the entire weekend, they had a nice sound system so the Dirtybird family was in there DJing during its hours of operation. Then we had a secret afterparty where we all went back there with a bunch of friends at 5am and locked out till the sun came out. And the next day I had to keep the party there and everyone was super hungover. It was fun.
So tell me a little bit about your tour, I think it started a few months ago?
It officially started early May, but me and Ardy (Ardalan) have been doing tour dates since the beginning of April. I was supposed to be done with my album by then, but I’m still tweaking a few things. We had already booked the tour way in advance so now the it’s more like a “road to the album tour.”
So Ardalan is your tour buddy?
Yeah I did a few tracks with him on the album, he’s my roommate and he’s also a badass DJ. He’s an awesome up and coming creative guy. I had the option to either go and do the tour solo and have local acts open up in each city, or bring someone with me and I just felt that Ardy really gets the sound and the vibe I’m going for.
That’s great that you put him on like that. In fact, Claude (Von Stroke) would do that a lot when he would play right?
Yeah, for us it was weird. Claude was initially my manager in the very beginning of my career, but once he saw he could DJ successfully by some of the lessons he taught me along the way, he just full on skyrocketed and decided to do it himself. So he’s always been my mentor. And he’s done that to so many people, pretty much everyone in the Dirtybird crew. If you really look at the history of the label there have been so many artists who had their first big record on Dirtybird. He’s helped out so many people along the way and I’m trying to do the same thing.
I try to be as inspiring as I can to young producers, to people that really have a talent, a goal and a good positive attitude.
Your tour schedule is absolutely crazy, even by other major DJs’ schedules! How do you manage to stay sane?
Yeah it’s pretty crazy. I’ve been touring a lot for the past 5 years pretty regularly but this one set out as one of the biggest tours I’ve done. I just wanted to say yes to every single opportunity that came my way and I’m in a really awesome position! I feel blessed. At the same time, it’s fun. I enjoy it. There are the very few moments where you’re hungover on the road and you miss your bed, but I just always have to pinch myself and realize that I’m living the dream that I’ve always wanted to achieve. So I’m trying to enjoy it every step of the way.
And your new album “Hello Clouds”… give us the 411 on that.
So “Hello Clouds” is in its final stages, all the tracks are done, I’m basically just road testing a lot of them. And tweaking them to make sure they sound good on big sound systems. We’re looking at a possible September release date with a single coming out in the beginning of July.
So are you happy with what you heard from testing your tracks out?
I’m pretty happy with everything. For me I’m very very very anal. I’m almost OCD the way my music sounds. Every song I try to treat like a masterpiece, like I’m painting my best picture yet. What I tell people that ask me for advice on how to finish music is, “Keep the song as simple as possible.” So my goal is to take my own advice to make it sound as simple as possible, but make it something you can listen to again and again and always hear something different in it.
People have ADD in this day and age, and if you really put the time and depths into the music that you make, then you can kind of pierce through that. My goal as an artist is to make music that’s timeless, and I know it’s easier said than done. But that’s the goal.
Eats Everything is playing Saturday and you’re playing Sunday for Spring Awakening…are you getting in to Chicago that Sunday?
I’m playing six shows this weekend. I’m playing Stereo in Montreal on Thursday, a festival in Toronto on Friday, then an afterparty, then I play a five hour set at Output in Brooklyn and then on Sunday I play Spring Awakening and then the Zedd’s Dead afterparty.