photo by: Matt Lambert
Inside a run of rock and roots with Dorothy
“Trust that everything is going to manifest for you and there is more to life than we are led to believe there is — by society and the media. When you tap into that its super powerful. It gives your life meaning and purpose. You can bring upon a lot of change when you are living that in your everyday life. You become almost superhuman — spiritually charged, where you carry that message to the next person. That’s how I think we all need to approach our lives, from that foundation. Think outside the box. Believe in something greater. It’s there. I’ve seen miracles happen. I’m really lucky to be doing what I am doing. I pray and I’m grateful. That energy snowballs and opens a lot of doors.”
That was how Dorothy concluded our first interview in early March of 2018, about ten days before the release of her second album 28 Days in the Valley.
Over the past 18 months, that attitude is exactly what Martin has represented and captained to her audiences. Whether it was headlining club shows, co-billing with Greta Van Fleet, participating in countless festivals across the country or rocking the current North American amphitheater tour with Breaking Benjamin, Dorothy and her four bandmates (Nick Perri, Leroy Wulfmeier, Eliot Lorango and Jason Ganberg) have been prolific enough to plug into an array of musical coves. It’s something the 13 songs on 28 Days in the Valley easily allows – giving Dorothy the opportunity to both connect with fans of all interests while simultaneously spreading a constant “Flawless” message of – “We Need Love” and “Freedom”.
With exactly one month remaining on this summer tour, I had the chance to sit with Dorothy two-hours before she took the stage in Boston to discuss how the year-and-a-half on the road supporting this dynamic record has influenced what’s to come.
photo by: Matt Lambert
28 Days in the Valley has been since early 2018, you’ve been touring non-stop, how are you?
I’m good, we are really looking forward to doing a third album. We are going to revisit those heavy roots. Think Black Sabbath – they are a huge inspiration to me. I’m really excited about it. I have no idea who is going to produce it, but we’ve written a few songs. When we get home, we are going to take the holidays to unwind and then sit together and write more.
What has the emotion been for you, seeing how 28 Days in the Valley has resonated and meant so much to many people?
We’ve been touring so much, which is great. It’s been incredible to reach so many people and get the opportunity to connect with different people. We’re going to continue to tour as long as I have my voice. It’s been great to see it all unfold. My two albums are so different. Some people like Rock is Dead better and other prefer 28 Days in the Valley. We wanted to take a risk with this record, and I was letting the guidance happen working with the great Linda Perry. For our third record I am going to take the wheel and do more of what I grew up listening to with Sabbath, Nirvana, ACDC and more Rock n’ Roll oriented music. We want to make the fans happy while at the same time making us as musicians proud.
This tour with Breaking Benjamin must help inspire that?
Oh yeah for sure, we’re definitely on a heavy rock tour. We are the least heavy band here which is totally fine. Touring with Greta Van Fleet really inspired us too, with the Led Zeppelin vibe. But I really want to do what’s true to me as an artist and the musicians around me.
It’s been fascinating to see how versatile 28 Days in the Valley has been. You’ve been able to flex into so many different style tours and genres.
Yes, it’s been interesting that we can go on tour with Greta Van Fleet, Breaking Benjamin and Halestorm. People know this is a rock band, but it’s good to be flexible because it’s opened more doors.
“Flawless” has been a special moment in this chapter – from the single taking off to how much it translates live, it really gives people a moment. How has the “Flawless” experience been for you?
It’s been awesome. I have seen grown-up men drinking cans of beer, wearing our colorful band shirt singing “Flawless” at the top of their lungs with us. This just happened when we played the Trees in Dallas. It’s a feel-good moment, singalong song and having the crowd sing with us each night has made it very special.
photo by: Matt Lambert
How has it been for you to be a part of such a meaningful movement with women in music really standing up for the power of voice, whether it’s Brandi Carlile, The Highwomen, Lizzy Hale and many others – it’s been so inspiring.
I never thought this would happen. There’s always been waves in pop culture and history where women push the boundaries, because we have been held back and this should have happened sooner. In the age of social media, we can’t be bullied or intimidated easily. Everything is documented and there is a tool for us to show this isn’t right and put our foot down. Since the dawn of time, people like Joan Jett haven’t been afraid to stand up. I just like doing music, I never saw this happening. I do speak out quite a bit – it’s mostly about drug and alcohol addiction and recovery. For me, it’s part of my story. If I share it and it helps somebody, then I’m doing something right. I don’t get into a ton of politics, but I am planning on being very conscious of this when making this new record. It’s important to have a say in what’s going on, in a way you are embracing and painting a picture in that moment of time. I lived through this – this administration is a very interesting time in our culture. I feel a need to comment on the things I care about and it’s great to have music to do that. I don’t want to get too wrapped up in that because music is meant to inspire and heal people, make them forget their problems or open their mind up to a better way of living. I think that’s my purpose here. That’s why I’m ready to make a third record and I want it to be as inspiring as possible.
So, you have been writing on the road?
We wrote a lot during the Greta Van Fleet tour because we had a lot of time schedule-wise. It was just us two on that tour. We’ll take some time to reflect and chill out after this tour. It’s essential to do that – it reverse guides you to what’s next. I’ll be in Nashville writing at some point and I love writing with my friend Greg Collins who is a producer in L.A – we’ve done a song together and I loved it because it was very open. You have to let the artist breathe.
With the 28 Days in the Valley cycle winding down, has there been a moment that really sticks out to you in terms of seeing the impact it had on people?
I had a fan write me a very long letter about being in rehab and struggling with substances and self-doubt. It actually made me cry. She told me how she completed rehab and no longer wants to hurt herself in any way. It was just awesome. I still have the letter at home.
Coming full circle here, if you think about all you’ve done with 28 Days in the Valley and heading into the next phase as the summer winds down, what does this chapter in your musical journey mean to you?
This moment in time for me has been all about overcoming extreme challenges. I was really struggling with health and recovery issues. It affected my relationships. I met someone who I love dearly and for a moment it looked like we couldn’t be together. I had to get my stuff together and be willing to accept the help I need. I get emotional just thinking about it. Overcoming that now, I am going to be able to take everything I went through this year and put it in the next record. I feel like it’s going to be even deeper than 28 Days in the Valley. Now, we are happy, both sober and both touring musicians. I don’t know what happened. It was like the universe saying there’s something better, but I had to go through this challenge first. Now I just trust the process. I had times where I truly thought I lost everything, and I was not going to make it, but I did.