Q. Who are the members of Joy Electric?
A. Ronnie Martin is the founding and current member of Joy Electric. From 1995-2002, the band was a two piece unit featuring Jeff Cloud who played live synthesizers, handled management and booking duties. Jeff quit playing live shows in 2002, but continues to do booking and management. Todd Gilliland played live drums for the band from 2000 through 2002. Current "additional members" consist of Josh Graham (drums), Andrew Horton (drums), Mike Williams (synthesizers) and Juan Gomez (theatrics). Concerts can include variations of the additional members listed or feature Ronnie performing solo.
Q. Did Ronnie have a group before Joy Electric?
A. Yes. Ronnie and his brother Jason had a two piece electronic dance group called Dance House Children in the early 1990's. The band was signed to Blonde Vinyl Records and released two albums_ "Songs and Stories" & "Jesus" _ both of which have been out of print for years. After DHC, Jason went on to form Starflyer 59 while Ronnie completed one more DHC album called Rainbow Rider before going on to form Joy Electric.
Q. Do Ronnie and Jason have plans to work together again?
A. Yes. In December 2005, they started work on an album entitled The Bros. Martin, which was released on Tooth and Nail Records in January 2007.
Q. What kind of synthesizers has Ronnie used over the years?
A. The earlier albums were recorded with a Roland Juno 1, Juno 106, Juno 60, MC-202, SH-101, TB-303, JD-990, JD-800, System 100, R-8 MK2, Akai S-950, Sequential Circuits Six Trak, Boss PC-2, Minimoog Model D, Moog Liberation, Moog Rogue and a Moog Prodigy. For the Legacy Series, Ronnie recorded the first three installments with a Roland System-100, Space Echo RE-201 and a CR-78 Compu-Rhythm ( the CR-78 was used on "Hello, Mannequin" only). He has recently switched back to Moog electronic synthesizers and instruments to use for all future releases.
Q. What does Ronnie use for live shows?
A. Currently he uses a Moog Rogue, Moog Theremin, Moog 104z delay and Tascam 414 MK2 analog tape recorder for live backing tracks. When Jeff Cloud was playing live he used various synths including a Roland Juno 106, Juno 60, ARP Axxe, Moog Prodigy, Moog Liberation and a Moog Theremin. Andrew Horton switches between an electronic drum kit and an Arrick analogue modular system. Josh Graham plays a live drum kit.
Q. Why does Ronnie only use one synthesizer to record his albums with since he began the Legacy series?
A. Focus. Ronnie has a strong work ethic and prefers to write and record music much more than buying, selling and collecting synths, which he has seen to be a trap that many "electronic" musicians fall into. Secondly, he believes that all analog synths share enough of the same characteristics that regardless of what he uses, he will always create the kinds of sounds that he chooses to create. Finally, he takes a very "Brian Eno-esque approach" to synthesizers in that he likes to get to know what he's using inside and out, rather than just touching the surface of a closet full of synths that barely get used.
Q. What is a monosynth and why does Ronnie exclusively use one for all his recordings?
A. A monosynth is a synthesizer that can only play one note at a time. Ronnie has always tried to pattern his sound after the early electronic music pioneers from the 60's & 70's, when monosynths were all that was commercially available for recording. Secondly, he likes the singular clarity you get using multiple "mono" lines in recording rather than laying down numerous chords.
Q. Does Ronnie use computers to make any Joy Electric tracks?
A. No, there are no computers in the workshop.
Q. Where can I find lyrics for all of Joy Electric's albums?
Q. Where can I find the four videos Joy Electric has made?
A. They are available on a Tooth and Nail DVD video compilation. Go to http://www.toothandnail.com/ for additional info.
Q. Whatever happened to the video for "Made from the Wires"?
A. It was never even shot, for various reasons.
Q. What is The Electric Joy Toy Company?
A. Ronnie's electronic music workshop/studio.
Q. Is the workshop available for outside productions and recordings?
A. Yes. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in doing a project at the EJTC.
Q. Does Ronnie ever do remixes?
A. Yes, he has done various remixes over the years and continues to do them when the opportunity arises.
Q. Does Ronnie ever produce other artists albums?
A. Yes. He has in the past and continues to do so when the opportunity arises.
Q. What albums/bands besides Joy Electric has Ronnie either produced, played on or done a remix for?
A. The Echoing Green - "Defend Your Joy". The Blamed - "21". Fine China - "When the World Sings". The Dingees - "Crucial Conspiracy". Squad 5-0 - "Late News Breaking". The Faint - "The Conductor". Sheltershed - "Breathe". Sanctus Real - "Inspiration". House of Wires - "You Are Obsolete". Norway - "The Essence of Norway". Elkland - "Apart". Starflyer 59 - "Blue Collar Love". Bon Voyage - "The Right Amount". Fine China - "Prosecute, Electrocute". Bella - "Crystal Tears". The Brothers Martin - "self titled". The Foxglove Hunt.
Q Does Ronnie have any formal musical training?
A. Yes. He took piano lessons from the ages of eight through seventeen.
Q. How many releases in total does Joy Electric have?
A. As of the release of "Their Variables": twenty-two.
Q. How much longer will the Legacy Series continue?
A. The Legacy Series ended with the release of The Otherly Opus in 2007.
Q. Which Joy Electric albums are NO LONGER available?
A. Five Stars for Failure, We Are the Music Makers, Old Wives Tales, Robot Rock, The Land of Misfits, Christiansongs, Children of the Lord, Starcadia & The Tick Tock Companion. Some of these releases may be found on Ebay from time to time and Ronnie will ocassionally find leftover units from his label or distributor. Starcadia and TTTC were independent releases and therefore may be reprinted again.
Q. Where's the best place to buy Joy Electric albums?
A. Virgin Records, Best Buy or other similar retail/online outlets. If you have trouble finding the latest release at a retail chain, go to http://www.joyelectric.com/ or http://www.toothandnail.com/ and order online.
Q. How do I find out about Joy Electric concerts and other current information?
A. Check http://www.joyelectric.com/ regularly for updates.
Q. What is Plastiq Musiq?
A. It is an independent label specializing in electronic music. Ronnie started the label in 1997 and signed on to Tooth and Nail Records as a sub label. After four releases and two compilations, Plastiq parted ways with Tooth and Nail in 2000 and has remained completely independent ever since. In January 2005, Ronnie sold the label to Mike Williams, who currently plays synthesizers for Joy Electric during local live performances. Check out http://www.plastiqmusiq.com/ for info on releases and artists.
Q. What is Autobahn Electronic Pop Festival?
A. Autobahn is a one day electronic music fest started by Ronnie in 2001. It is currently held at Joes Java in Wilmington, Ohio every March. Check out http://www.autobahnfestival.com/ for information on next years event.
Q. What is Shepherd?
A. It is a side project that Ronnie recorded and mixed in seven days during February 2002 with Chris Colbert (engineer) and Frank Lenz (drums). It was originally to be released by Tooth and Nail, but they turned it down for various reasons. Northern Records ended up releasing it in June of 2003. The album, entitled "Committing to Tape", can be described as very minimal, very melancholy and features Ronnie on guitars, bass and vocals. To order go to http://www.northernrecords.com/ or http://www.joyelectric.com/
Q. "Is there a hidden spiritual meaning in song x?"
A. Unlikely. Ronnie has said: "Simply put: there are no hidden spiritual meanings behind my lyrics. If I want to say something of a spiritual nature, I'll just come right out and say it. When I'm talking about 'tape' on "Disco for a Ride", it's simply about recording tape. Although slightly embarrasing, "The Cobbler" does not represent God and how he bestows gifts upon His children....it's simply a story about an 18th century shoemaker. I could go on and on but hopefully this helps you and others understand. Now, I'm not saying that the lyrics aren't subtle and vague at times....they are....but always straining for a meaning that can be applied to a Biblical principal is just taking things out of context completely."
Q. "When is Joy Electric coming to MY city?"
A. Joy Electric tours throughout the year, and appears regularly at many of the major festivals. Just keep an eye on the website ( http://www.joyelectric.com/ ), and on the Joy E myspace page for current dates.