Martin Krohne

Musician and Photographer hanging out in Atlanta

I've been learning and playing guitar since I was 14. I was in the church choir while in grade school. I can pick out a melody on a piano very easily, but can't really play one. I was in a lot of bands in Milwaukee Wisconsin in the late 70s and early 80s. Then I moved to the Chicago area, where my focus was Design and Photography. I have a BFA in Design and Photography. Design paid the bills and I got involved in the web very early. After moving to Atlanta in the late 90s, i got back into Music and bounced back and forth between that and Photography. I am now retired from my job in Web World and am pursuing both Music and Photography full-time. I love it.







What is music to you? What does it give you?

Music is life. For me it is an emotional release. It is how I express myself in ways that I cannot otherwise. It is a wonderful opportunity to create amazing experiences with others that can be shared with still more people.

What is your music dream?

I just want to play and have fun.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

I would like to find ways for people to interact with others who are very different from themselves. Music can do this, but it may not be enough. As we spend time with others - including those we have irrational fears about - we learn that we are all part of one big family on this planet. We have more in common than the differences we so often magnify. Much of the world's challenges could get closer to real solutions if we could all do this and learn from each other.

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

From my childhood it would probably be Greensleevees.

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

As I was growing up, The Beatles were the most important group in my life. Living in America, I was fascinated with all of the British groups that made it over here. But it was The Beatles songwriting, the chances they took, the way they combined other influences and their ability to create ever new and exciting music that will always hold a special place in my heart. As I grew and spent more time with other types of music, I fell in love with R&B, Jazz and Blues. Reggae was a mind expander as well. I have always loved classics music and throughly enjoyed symphonic performances - especially live. In Jazz, Miles Davis and John Coltrane were my introduction and remain dear to me. I saw B.B. King live while in my twenties and was swept away by the Blues - which I explored in greater depth much later in life. With all my musical explorations, I look for the emotion in the music. I have little patience for twiddly things that are not much more than virtuoso showpieces. I truly believe that one can be a virtuoso and still emote. The number of musicians who have influenced is long and varied. I have also been excited by some experimental music, from John Cage, Terry Riley, Brian Eno, King Crimson, Devo, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, and many others.

What inspires you to make music?

Music is an abstract way of expressing myself through sound, meter, rhythm and silence. I love exploring tension and release as well as beauty. As I mentioned above, music is my emotional release. It is also a way to create shared experiences that take others out of their daily worries and troubles to find some joy in life. Expressing sorrow through music has such a wonderfully cathartic effect on me and many others. I always remember the person who came up to me on the street once and told me that my band helped him get past a really bad day and helped him reset himself into a better frame of mind. Touching others is such an important part of making music. A great night is when I can tell the group I am playing with has successfully done that.

What is the message you want to send with your music?

Be here now. Embrace what you are and learn to love it. Everything will be alright, eventually. Don't let other people put you down.

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

I love it. I get so much energy from the audience. To me, performing music on stage is better than sex - on a good night.

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

Where I am, it's tough. It seems that the expectation is that music should always be free. When I was younger, it was tough too, but there seemed to be an acknowledgement that the musicians should get paid what they were worth. Of course, that wasn't much, but it was better than now. I have quoted gigs for less than a DJ would charge and still not gotten the gig. I represent a very good band of seasoned musicians that can cover nearly anything. Our singer has a four octave range and is amazing to hear. Now I am trying to bid at a much higher range, but still no luck. The bar scene is worse. Too often, the gigs are pay to play or very close to it. They seem to expect the musicians to fill the bar for them. I watched on video where the musician claimed that it was the musician's job to fill the bar. If all the advertising is up to us, we should get paid. Many bands are talking about just hiring a hall and putting on their own party in order to get paid a decent amount. For my part, I waited until I was retired from my day job career before I could get back to full time musician.

What do you think of Drooble?

I think it's a great idea.

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

Write whatever you want, but realize that simple, catchy melodies are what people respond to. If you can't sing well, align yourself with someone else who can and work with that person. Know that your value as a musician is to make that person sound great. Very few people in the audience care how fancy your playing is. They are looking for an emotional experience from your music. Work with that. Expect to spend many long hours honing your craft. Learn how to listen to the other musicians in the band and be ready to change what you are playing immediately if something changes during a live performance. Flexibility is very very important.