Abandon-ing the group for a solo music career

Abandon Mansfield group
Abandon Mansfield group

Abandon’s former lead guitarist, Martyn Stone, has been very busy after leaving the local group. Since going solo Martyn Stone has been working on a new album with plans to stretch his musical potential to the fullest. James Jupe reports after a visit to the studio.

Trying to rub two pennies together can be difficult for a would-be musician. Many will get by on second-hand strings and nervous enthusiasm in the pursuit of their ‘destined’ dreams.

After popping into Martyn’s studio in Mansfield Woodhouse for the afternoon it’s clear that money is one thing that won’t be getting in the way of his passion.

“That’s an industry standard recording kit right there,” he said while pointing towards an ensemble of musical goodness. “Here you have the power conditioning. There you have the amps for the guitars and on this software right here you can record anything from a dance track to a rock orchestra. It’s all you need.”

The 23-year old had originally started playing guitar at 15 but was keen not to jump into the business right away. After turning 19 Martyn started giving private guitar tuition and saving money to carry on funding for essential equipment while living with his parents to save money.

“I started learning skills I didn’t even know about through teaching others. It’s really complimentary to my work because it’s still music and it’s a constant industry. You can have the same student coming to you for two years and earn £20 an hour. But it’s also a great way to improve yourself and help take others to where they want to go.”

Despite being committed to his music it was not until 2008 that Martyn joined Abandon and started playing across the country with four other band members. Having lived in Mansfield Woodhouse all his life, he was able to play at local venues and make invaluable contacts in the area.

He then reflected upon their greatest moments, including their ’30 gigs in 24 hours’ challenge that raised thousands for Cancer Research.

“When the drummer’s granddad died of cancer he came up with the 24-hour challenge and we all went with it. We split it across two days and played about 15 minutes per venue, before finishing with a two-hour set at the Mansfield Palace Theatre. There must have been a good 300 people there because it was basically full. All the gigs were local but it was still a great experience and one of our best moments.”

Since leaving, Martyn has concentrated on producing an album and writing all of his own songs, which he believes is the true soul behind the music. His new direction is aimed towards being as original as possible, but with a distinct blues feel and an acoustic, easy-listening sound.

Much of his time has been spent on producing a new album and writing the lyrics, without rushing the creative process.

“It’s taken a long time because most of it has already been done before. When Sabbath started out there was no Sabbath sound and they were able to produce albums much quicker. Now there’s a lot more to contend with. Since going solo I’m in control of everything and it’s about finding your feet, seeing what works and knowing about what subjects to write about.”

Despite being away from the live scene Martyn did manage a casual trip in March to Austria, testing songs from the album to over 300 people in Spittle.

Smiling at the memory, he then confessed that he was not really expecting the attention that it had received and was hoping for a smaller audience.

Currently 10 songs have been recorded and the album is undergoing final production, with talks with managing companies being formalised in London.