Andy Martin, 36, is one of the most popular guitar players ever to appear on the Internet. His blistering speed and relentless accuracy have made him an Internet legend. He’s not playing classical music or jazz-he’s shredding – performing mind-boggling runs at breakneck speeds that would likely leave even Eddie Van Halen panting for breath.
Martin was born in Los Angeles but grew up in Israel after his family moved there when he was just four years old. “I’ve always loved music,” says Martin, who began taking lessons at age five, “and soon discovered that I really liked playing the guitar.” But it wasn’t until he heard Yngwie Malmsteen (the undisputed King Of Shred) that he began to take the instrument seriously. “I grew up on a kibbutz in Israel,” says Martin, “and there was a cassette machine there, and every Friday night, I would go into our music room and record some of my favourite songs from MTV.” That’s when he first heard the magic of Yngwie’s playing on Black Star and Gates of Babylon by Rainbow. He never dreamed he’d be able to play like that one day… but taught himself how while listening over and over again to those two cassettes for months!
In 1998, Martin moved back to Los Angeles, where his career as a guitar player really began to take off. In May 2000, Andy captured the #1 spot on MP3.com with his band, Altered State. His recent exploits have won him glowing praise in publications like Guitar World, Guitar One and the Los Angeles Times to name a few. He’s also performed on stage with an eclectic collection of players that include blues legend Billy Price, former Ozzy Osbourne bassist Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot), ex-Dokken drummer Mick Brown (Jeff Pilson Band) and Meliah Rage vocalist Carl Albert. Andy’s unique style has made him one of the most talked-about guitarists on the Internet today.
With all of Martin’s success online, you’d think he’d be out there selling digital downloads or CDRs left and right, but it turns out he does neither! “I haven’t released a CD or anything like that,” explains Martin, “because I want to make sure the songs are an accurate representation of what people can expect from me.” He says he has no problem with sites like imeem, and imeem even encourages it, but Martin is leaning towards releasing CDs at some point in the future. “It will probably be just one album, though,” he adds, “and then it won’t be for sale!”
Andy’s fans have been clamouring for him to put out a regular release since they first heard his music on MP3.com. Whether he does or not remains to be seen, but there is certainly no doubt that Andy Martin is one of Internet music’s biggest hits!