How did the original recording project that Haywire Hopefuls came out of begin?
I played in an original acoustic rock band for almost 10 years called CrashFour. We were based out of Boise and played around the Northwest from 1998 to 2008. After that band ended I married CrashFour’s violinist Rebecca and we moved around the country for a bit. We lived in North Carolina, Texas and eventually ended up in Hailey. I was still writing music but because we moved around for a while, it was difficult to form a band limiting my ability to take my songs to the next level. I always tell people that finding the right band members is like trying to find the right husband or wife. There is a musical connection that few understand. Sometimes it takes a while to find the right fit. I began to explore other options and found an online community called groovezoo that allowed me to collaborate with musicians all around the world.
GrooveZoo is a FREE collaboration site specifically designed for musicians and songwriters. It’s the perfect place to collaborate or hire musicians, mixing engineers and mastering engineers to produce music that is ready for sale and/or licensing. Easily find or match to other members, transfer recording files, post session discussions, and manage contracts – all in one unified system.
I uploaded my song “Stop and Drop It” and Leandro Chernicharo a guitarist from Rio de Janeiro contacted me and said he liked the song and wanted to add to it. He graciously added a guitar hook, leads, and rhythm to the song. From that point I realized that I could still record full band songs even if I didn’t have a live band to work with. I later uploaded more songs to groovezoo and met more musicians who added to The Haywire Hopeful recording project. These musicians include:
- Leandro Chernicharo a guitarist from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Smokey FennelI a steel guitar player from Edmonton, Alberta
- Jay Carros a drummer from New York City, NY
I also used Facebook to contact musicians that I knew who also added to the recordings. These musicians include:
- Rob Hill a bassist from Boise, ID
- Harley Wright a drummer from Boise, ID. One of CrashFour’s drummers
- John D Stefan a drummer, guitarist, keyboardist and bassist from Boise, ID
- Rebecca Martin a violinist from Twin Falls, ID and my wife.
How did it go from that to an in-person band in Hailey?
Rebecca and I moved to Hailey in 2010. During this time I was still recording with people online. I set a goal to write, record and produce a video for 1 song a month for 10 months. I created the website kellyjmartin.com where I released the videos and music from that project. These songs later became the foundation for the live version of The Haywire Hopefuls. In 2015 I met our lead guitarist Harry Schultz at an open mic at The Silver Dollar in Bellevue. He had recently moved to town from Colorado. He was a great guitarist and I kept a mental note that if I ever started a live band he would be at the top of my list. A few weeks later I was playing an acoustic set with Rebecca at diVine in Hailey and met our drummer John Thomas. Thomas had just moved to the valley from Maine. My usual line when I meet new people is “Do you play bass or drums?”. To my surprise he was the first person to ever say yes. I finally felt that I met the right people to start a band. We began to practice the songs that I had been recording for the past few years and it went very well. We have now written 4 songs as a band including our latest song “Circle Back” that can be found on our website haywirehopefuls.com.
How did you first get interested in music? How did you go from CrashFour to Haywire Hopefuls? (Is CashFour still around?)
I have been playing guitar since I was 12. I have been writing songs since I was 14. We had a typical high school 90s rock band, wrote songs and played talent shows and battle of the bands. In college at Boise State I met Rebecca and the other members of CrashFour. After nine years, four albums, playing over 400 shows, performing at SXSW, being sponsored by Budweiser and Bose, being represented by The College Agency, and sharing the stage with Collective Soul, Phantom Planet, Sugar Land, Ben Lee, Left Over Salmon, Young Dubliners, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Built to Spill, moe, and REO Speedwagon we decided to end CrashFour and move on to new experiences.
Do you guys play originals, covers, or a mix? Who writes the songs (lyrically and/or musically)?
We play all originals. From time to time we will play a cover song for fun. Everyone in the band writes. That was another common bond we all have in that we all write, arrange and produce songs. It makes it a fun environment knowing that we all have a band with fellow songwriters to take our songs to and develop them.
How did you guys settle on/discover the band’s sound?
I don’t believe we have settled on or discover the band’s final sound yet. So far we been told that we sound a bit like Live and The Dave Matthews Band which mostly stems from my background. The more we write together as a band the more I believe our sound will evolve. Schultz and Thomas both bring a different sound to the band ranging from singer songwriter to blues to funk to math rock. We have also begun playing with Ellen Sanders a cellist from Oakland, CA who plays in the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. She brings a deep classical feel that plays very well Rebecca’s violin. The band is always evolving. The band is named Haywire Hopefuls just for that reason. Writing and performing music is highly dynamic. Being in a band is very time consuming so we never know who will be available to play the live shows or who will be on the recordings. Trying to make it all happen can go very haywire and we are hopeful that it will come together in one form or another.
How did the album coalesce? Did you set out in 2015 to make an album or did the idea come later?
Our debut album “About That Time” consists of the songs that I recorded with my online band members. The live version of The Haywire Hopefuls now play these song along with the new ones that we all have written together. Since we already had these songs recorded and have these great shows this summer, we felt we should create an album with them to get our music out. We plan to write and record the next album this winter and release it next summer.