South graduate heads south to get AwkwardBy COURTNEY MacKAY Correspondent
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Former Nashua High School student Jason Martins packed up his life and moved to Austin, Texas, to begin a musical journey.
Martins, 23, has been writing and performing music since age 9, when he started playing the trumpet. In May 2010, he started to form the band The Awkward Robot with college roommate Javier Martinez, 24, of El Paso, Texas, and manager Matt Bergeron.
“Growing up in Nashua definitely had a great influence on who I am today,” Martins said. “I wouldn’t change it for a thing.”
Martins, a 2005 graduate of Nashua High School South, made the decision to move to Texas when he and Martinez decided they wanted to build a recording studio together and further their music careers.
“Plus, there are Whataburgers in Austin,” Martins said. “That’s the best fast food you could ever eat.”
The name The Awkward Robot was inspired by a piece of artwork created by Martins’ sister Michelle, 27, and the boys agreed it was a perfect name for the band. The artwork is now the cover for the band’s upcoming EP, a demo CD that will be released sometime this month.
“I am excited to be in this band where there’s nothing but respect and positive energy all around,” Martinez said.
Martins does the writing, vocals, baritone ukulele, guitar and kick drum. He is most proud the band’s song “Anthill,” because it’s one of the more personal songs on the record.
“I put a lot of myself and what I was going through at the time in to that song,” he said. “ ‘Anthill’ is really about sticking to your guns and not giving up on whatever is important in your life.”
Martins feels most inspired to write while being alone with no distractions. He said there are benefits to writing with others, but that it’s easier to get his feelings down on paper when he’s alone.
“That way, I can focus on any emotional issues at the time that are really standing out to me,” he said.
Martinez plays the banjo, keyboard, guitar and alternative percussion.
“It’s great to feed off of each other’s musical ideas,” Martinez said. “And that in itself makes everyone a better musician.”
Martins and Martinez graduated from Full Sail University, Winter Park, Fla. Martins has a bachelor’s degree in business entertainment and recording arts, and Martinez has an associate’s degree in recording arts.
When the band started forming, songs that Martins had written started coming to life and, with the help of Martinez, who started playing piano and trombone in elementary school, the two started creating some of their best work.
“One of the best parts about being in a band is having multiple minds working together to make the songs that sound the best they can,” Martinez said.
“They are both extremely talented individuals,” said Bergeron, 23, who also lived in Nashua. “They feed off each other’s energy like I’ve never seen before.”
Bergeron has been maintaining all the social networking sites, making business calls and booking shows.
Bergeron also makes sure they “buckle down” and record and write songs in their recording studio, which is in the dining area in the house the three share.
“Someone called me a glorified baby sitter for adults,” he said, “which I’m OK with because I love what I’m doing.”
The band is planning to tour and perform in Texas in March to promote its CD.
If all goes according to plan, the band will tour either the West Coast or East Coast in November.
“Although it will always be home to me,” Martins said of Nashua.
“I am glad I left to try and reach my goals in life.”
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