Multi-instrumentalist Martijn de Kleer may not be a very well-known name, but most readers of this page will have likely heard his work, either with Holland’s prolific LEGENDARY PINK DOTS, or with the elusive Dots project THE TEAR GARDEN, both featuring Martijn’s guitar, violin, drum, and bass contributions. With the very limited private release of his first solo CD, “Flow: Songs & Pieces” (which will be getting a much-deserved major release through Soleilmoon in the US soon), Martijn showed his skills at producing a modest and honest brand of experimental yet highly melodic folk music, with accents of Appalachian folk and country–quite a surprise and change from his darker work with Ka-Spel, Silverman, Moore, and company. “Flow” is a very impressive, emotional, and beautiful album that allows the listener to really get an idea of exactly what de Kleer brings to his work with the DOTS and TEAR GARDEN. GODSEND’s Todd Zachritz was so enamored of Martijn’s solo disc that this interview ensued. Interview conducted in December 2000/January 2001.
godsend: first, how did you get started making music, and how did you learn to play so many instruments?
martijn: I started out as a guitarist in a punkrock band at age 14, soon I started to play bass and drums also mainly in rock bands. The other instruments, I picked up in the past few years. All was self taught.
godsend: what led you to become involved with the Legendary Pink Dots?
martijn: i was asked to replace bob pistoor for a european tour cause he suddenly got ill. In the middle of the tour he died of lung cancer. I never got to meet him.
godsend: your solo cd, ‘flow’, shows a definite influence of folk and even country sounds. any particular artists in this vein you admire or relate to?
martijn: in folk music I admire bert janch,davy graham and nick drake as guitarists, generally I can get into any kind of music that is played with heart and soul.
godsend: your thoughts on working with the Tear Garden.
martijn: i am proud of the work I’ve done with the tear garden. Lately it has become a bit complicated to continue working with this project. Reasons are personal.
godsend: any other projects you have been involved in (besides the Legendary Pink Dots and Tear Garden)?
martijn: I’ve played in too many bands to mention, none of them did anything other than pleasing a lot of friends within the borders of holland.
godsend: how was the response to ‘flow’, looking back at it? do you plan more solo work, possibly with greater distribution?
martijn: the response to flow has been surprisingly good. I didn’t know what to expect cause my own music is completely different from what I do with the dots. I’m busy with a new CD that features me on 4 track and also leftover dots recordings with me and ryan and cevin jamming. Flow will come out on soleilmoon in february of this year and I have enough new songs lying around for a new solo CD
godsend: your closing comments or words to address to your fans (existing or future)..
martijn: thanks very much for your appreciation, hope to see you all soon, let music be a guiding light in these mysterious times.
Special thanx to Martijn for his time and attention in presenting this interview.