I have been following the canadian rock band The Tea Party since the late 90s since their Triptych days. Jeff Martin was and has been very lucid about the Tea Party break up and reunion and although announced a mere few weeks ago, it is official the Tea Party are back together. After such a harsh, public break up, everything has to be taken with baby steps. With one stateside show here in Buffalo, NY this summer in Lockport this July as part of the Canal Concert series, this will hopefully prove to be an everlasting Tea Party.
Dubbed as the band that created Moroccan roll, Martin wants to see the Tea Party, the second time around, to do everything “on their own terms” and looking back on his past, there’s mistakes he made that he was willing to share exclusively with Modern Frequency. I sat down with Martin to talk about the reunion of the Tea Party and more.
What prompted the Tea Party to break up in 2005 and what prompted this reunion to occur?
Stuart Chatwood, Jeff Burrows, and I had some very strong personal differences between us and that’s what caused the break up. I also wasn’t as happy with the direction or the way things were going with the Tea Party at the time. The last record didn’t seem to me as a Tea Party record to me. It was a trickled down attempt to be more commercial and it didn’t sit right at the end. I didn’t see a future for the Tea Party and if I didn’t leave then, our legacy would be lost.
We didn’t speak after that; it was not amicable to say the least. Over time wounds healed and honestly I thought it would take a lot longer. I met with both Chatwood and Burrows and it felt like the time was right. The Tea Party was not a 90s thing, it’s timeless and we feel like it’s time to celebrate it again. If the audience enjoys it and we enjoy it, maybe there is a future after all for the band.
Bob Rock produced the Seven Circles album and you admitted that it was a mistake to work with him.
It definitely was a mistake; it’s something that should have never happened. We are NOT Metallica.
Did you have any other regrets with The Tea Party or even with your own solo career?
I would have preferred to be more lucid with Interzone Mantras. I have to take most of the blame for that one. We lost our manager, who passed away from cancer at that time and I didn’t realize how emotionally drained I was after that. After that point, I was very very scattered. I wished I could have mixed Interzone much better.
What do you think was your best work with the Tea Party?
Our first four albums. Interzone was a great record, but I could have put more of my heart into it. I think the work I just accomplished with my new band 777, The Ground Cries Out, stands out. I think I have more passion for music than I ever did now.
Would you want to break into the states with Tea Party at this point?
If we did it on our own terms, that’s fine. I think this band deserves respect for what we accomplished in our past and I am not going to play any games to get into the American market.
You have a lot on the table right now.
I got four careers going on—my new band, 777, I’m producing new bands, my solo career, and now the Tea Party is getting back together. So I am wearing a lot of hats right now, but am blessed to be back with The Tea Party.
For more info on the Tea Party reunion visit their web site: http://teaparty.com/