b i o

C h a r l o t t e   M a r t i n

Charlotte Martin's main bio can be found on The Official Charlotte Martin Web Site. You won't find a better bio than the one on Charlotte's official site. However, the following are exclusive interviews with Charlotte for darkest-limits.com. They will help add color and fill in some of the blanks as we get to know this fascinating artist. This is just a part of Charlotte's story...in Charlotte's own words...

"in this afterlife" with charlotte martin
The Definitive Charlotte Martin Fan Site Interview

november 2008 - charlotte martin has her hands full. she has just put out a new EP called 'Orphans.' she is working on her fourth studio album set for release in 2009. she co-writes for other artists. she is preparing for upcoming shows in NYC and Los Angeles. oh, and she is a wife and a new mommy to a now 6 month-old bouncing, chubby-cheeked, adorable baby boy named ronen. working musician. writer. wife. mother. last i checked, there were only 24 hours in a day! charlotte makes it work. to her legions of fans she is our char mar superstar. she is probably this to baby ronen as well although the meaning is slightly different. hers is a life that is not normal and yet filled with everything that makes life worthwhile. darkest-limits interviewed charlotte earlier this year, just before ronen was born...so we decided to check in on char, her baby ronen and what the future holds for our favorite rockstar...'in this afterlife' (as she sings in her new song 'galaxies' from the 'Orphans' ep). thank you to charlotte for taking the time to connect with your fans. pork belly, baby poop, cheeks, orphans, new music and beyond, the way only charlotte martin can describe it. :)


1) favorite time of day
dawn - that is a new one since motherhood! i see a lot of sunrises! it's the best part of my day. the house is cold, dark and quiet...and i put on the coffee and ronen and i watch the sun come up.

2) favorite food
that is so tricky. pork belly...crispy on the outside. roasts of all kinds, tomatoes and salads with salt, and now i'm back into reaaaallly good sushi. nozawa nozawa nozawa!

3) favorite comfort food
that is a good question. for now, chicken and dumplings...in my crock pot. banquet classics! bring on the sodium people!

4) favorite drink
VINO - i'm into rose right now...

5) favorite dessert
blueberry pie with french vanilla bean icecream- actually, all fruit pies will do.

6) favorite music (or what are you listening to now?)
the radio department
glacier hiking
bow wow wow
darker my love

7) favorite tv show(s)
so many...but my most most faves are true blood, dexter, entourage, jon and kate plus 8, real time with bill maher, top chef (love it love it love it)

8) describe the perfect day
i am not sure what that entails anymore...because i love all my days and they are so different. a perfect work day is when i write something worth keeping, everyone emails me back and all my checks come in on time! ha!

a perfect ronen day is lots of cuddles and play time, him doing something new (which is all the time), going to our music class, park play dates, watching him with the doggies, the laughing is the best. if i can get him to nap in his crib that's a particular plus, that just doesn't always happen. :)

at the end of both kinds of days i enjoy a nice dinner and glass of wine with ken. we put ronen down to bed and then we have our time (unless he's teething). those dinners are a little hard to come by all the time between working and mommyhood.


1) what's the last fun thing you bought that made no sense and had no real purpose other than the fact that you wanted it?
the skull ring i'm wearing on my finger as i type this.

2) what's over there?
my hot pink iPhone!

3) what is on your mind right now?
my writing session with arrica about to start in t minus 5 minutes...

4) what 5 words pop into your mind when you think of your new baby boy, ronen?
cheeks, bliss, moment, poop, and cheeks.

5) what's up with your pups, boris, hugo and pinot? how are they with the newest member of your family?
hugo brain does not care at all. he is rather disgusted. as long as he gets fed and has a blankie he keeps to himself. bowis is particularly concerned with ronen and guards him all the time (see photo on right). pinot loves him. ronen is starting to really get into the doggies. he loves to watch them eat!

6) what's on your shopping list?
nuk pacifiers, very strong coffee, breast milk storage bags, eye cream, candles, coffee mate, rack of lamb, floss, pureology conditioner, cookies for kenny, nail files.

7) what are some things that make your heart skip a beat?
ronen ronen ronen and receiving fan mail, getting surprise texts, augmented chords.

8) if you wrote one song right now, what would it be about?
the necessity of barack obama becoming our president.

9) what's one thing you must do every day and if you dont do it, the day will feel horrendously off?
have one glass of wine with dinner.

10) you're stranded on a deserted island forever. pick 5 things you need to survive.
ipod, bible, lip gloss, lighter, and a bra (trust me on this one).


1) congratulations to you and ken on your new baby boy, ronen! a beautiful, unique name. at one point, ronen was a max...at what point did you realize max was ronen? :) what were you feeling before, during, and after the arrival of little ro?

i love this section! well, we picked max out before i even got pregnant. he was always max max max. the night i went in to get induced i was having dinner beforehand in pasadena with raven, ken and my mother-in-law...and a man walked up to me with his infant son and asked me when i was due. i said, "tonight, and i'm naming him max." the guy became a complete jerk and told me HIS son's name was max. max is a very popular name this year with hollywood. that didn't bother me. what bothered me was this random mean man. so i took it as a sign and we all went home 3 hours before i was to be checked into the hospital and searched for a new name on our laptops. ken found ronen. he was going to be named atticus for a second, too. then he came out and so wasn't a max. nope.

2) you're a mom! in what ways has motherhood changed your life...or has it? when did you know that you wanted to be a mom and that you wanted to have a child at this point in your life? what do you notice about yourself now that is different?

i was so ready to have him, ready to be his mommy. my clock was going to explode. it was feb 2007 before the pete yorn tour took off, i woke up one morning and looked at ken and said, "i need to get pregnant, like, yesterday." and we couldn't really try as we were both going to be on tour! when i got back from veruca salt and he got back from his tour we tried and i got pregnant right away but we lost that baby at about 9 weeks. i took the summer off and we tried again in august and here we are. parents. crazy.

life is different. i wake up at 6 or 7 am. that is new! he has a wonderful nanny that comes in 3 days a week so i can do some music. i nurse him though and see him every couple of hours which is awesome. i've also become good friends with her which is nice. we both obsess over ronen constantly and try to figure him out! our nights are much different. we don't eat dinner at 9pm anymore! more like 6! and i find it very exciting to take him to his music class. i'm not as interested in movies or restaurants...but ken and i do get out every now and again.

3) what is the best and the hardest part about being a working mom? what is a typical day like for you now?

i think most mothers say that they work to find a balance between working and being a mom. i have to admit there are both days where i want to quit music and move to the woods and hide out with ronen, and there are other days where if i don't get into the studio i will bust. there is no balance. i just do the best i can and try not to feel guilty. monday, wednesday, and friday i do music with our nanny here. i still see ronen quite a bit but i have help so i can work. tuesday and thursday i have ronen all to myself and weekends of course. i found ronen's nanny when he was quite young which worked out well because now he knows her like he knows me and ken. but i could not have gone back to work full time. i still can't. i'm lucky i am my own boss and can take this part time schedule so i can be with him as much as possible.

4) tell us about ronen...at 6 months, what is he like? what's his personality? what does he like and dislike? favorite toy/activity? is he into music yet? and what's up with his incredible cheeks?! :)

he is trying to crawl! i know! he is very serious, but he does laugh and smile. he just likes to figure things out and you have to really entertain him if you want a laugh out of him. he is very loud. he discovered his voice in music class a few weeks ago and just yells through most of the class. he thinks he's singing. he likes to be outside, he loves milk, he likes to pinch my face, he loves the doos, and ken, he likes the piano and guitar.

he hates the car right now and going down for a nap. those really are the only two things he really fusses over. he's just delightful.

5) you, mom, are a total foodie. what are you planning for ro's first mashed up, big boy meal??

i see his doctor soon. im thinking sweet potatoes. eeeeeeeeeee! i'll have some sweet potato fries for myself as well, thank you.

6) there is no doubt that ronen has enhanced your life, but in what ways does he inspire you as an artist? has the spit up changed your view on life? :)

at first it was hard to be creative, i have to admit. i just had no desire until recently. i am so fulfilled on so many levels...but that longing is slowly creeping back. there is plenty to write about if i just open myself up to the world. i just didn't want to when he was really little. now he inspires me to see things more child like. im concentrating even more on lyrical details. sometimes cliches are powerful and make me cry. i feel like an open wound a lot of the time. raw like when i wrote 'your armor.' i am just figuring out how to harness and channel those feelings again.

i recently got new management and i took ronen to one of the meetings and he pooped up his back! that was a new view on life for sure.

7) its a very important time in our country now...with a very fragile economy and the upcoming election. what are your feelings about all of this and how does being a mom affect your feelings about the world we live in today?

i'm especially concerned about the environment. i want to leave our children with an earth that can support life. i worry. i do what i can. in our family, we are going as green as possible. ken and i want to eventually build a solar power home. as far as the economy goes, i'm super pissed at the whole thing. the debt from the war, the collapse on wall street due to the big whigs being irresponsible and now we're paying for it.

8) if there was one quality about yourself and one quality about ken that you could instill in ronen, what would those qualities be and why?

to love people. always to remember to need people and to be there for people in return. community is the greatest gift and having friends and family that love you, well, that is what it's all about in the end. not the stuff, the bigger house, the awards, the cash. although the chicks are nice.

9) if you could have a full conversation with ronen right now, with him being able to express his thoughts/feelings in words, what would that conversation be about? :)

honesty, i am thinking it would be about food. i am thinking he's going to be a foodie like me.

10) what do you want ronen to know about you? as a mom, you're an automatic teacher...but what is ronen teaching you?

i want ronen to know that i love him. i will make mistakes but i love him. as far as the lessons i learn from ronen...they are not to sweat small stuff and to slow WAY down. for the first time in my life i am forced to live in the moments and not wishing for the next phase. i like this phase. i like them all. the newborn phase, the cutting teeth phase, and on and on.


1) charlotte martin music. you have a new ep out called 'Orphans'. what is the premise of 'Orphans'? what kind of songs can we expect? where do these songs, such as 'is this called desire' and 'galaxies,' fall in respect to your catalogue? which albums were these songs intended for?

these are masters that almost made it to records at some point. even 'the stalker song' almost ended up on 'Stromata' at one point. i was in a weird place then. i would expect all the styles i've covered to be on it as well as a couple tracks digging deeper into the electro thing. 'is this called desire' and 'outerspace' were meant for a band/project i formed with tommy walter called 'exceptional birds of flight.' we just got too busy with our own careers to really get the thing off the ground so we decided it would be better that our favorites come out and be heard in some way...this way is perfect. none of the songs have to be cohesive in style or lyrical content. they are well representative of my growth over the past 10 years as a writer and musician, i think.

2) the 'Veins' ep was a bridge between 'On Your Shore' and 'Stromata'. so then, would the 'Orphans' ep be a bridge between 'Stromata' and your next album? if so, how would you describe the relationship?

yes, you could call it that. but it's not so much as an appetizer to the next record sonically the way 'Veins' was between 'On Your Shore' and 'Stromata.' it is more of an afternoon snack. does that make sense? it in no way projects the sounds or sentiments that will be on album 4. that one is slow and it's taking time to write. i'm plugging away though. gosh i hope to be able to be in the studio in january with ken but im not sure the songs are there yet.

3) how has your 'sound' evolved from album to album? what do you think is the constant throughout all the releases that connects your catalogue of music? which album or combination of albums would you say is the 'definitive you' and why?

i think the constants are the vocals, the layers, and the keys...but the way i present them evolves. i like the simplicity in some songs and then the crazy layers in others. i guess i just try and follow the songs and hopefully pick production that best emotes the lyrical meaning. 'stromata' had to have the grinding hard sound. it's an angry song. 'little universe' has to have 5 different meters in it. the universe itself and the relationship i was writing about were too complex for it to be simple. 'the dance' had to be epic...and had to sound big. we are all in this big dance if you think about it.

4) how do you feel about being an independent artist in the music industry today? taking into account the growing trend of digital music and iTunes and such...do you feel it is still about the album as a whole when a fan can just download a song or 2?

i like the challenge of creating an album. it's difficult for me because my brain is all over the place. at this point, im still into making albums and if it's the listeners choice to only go for a couple songs, that's their right. i would like to believe everyone was still into buying albums and that just isnt the case anymore. i can only hope that there is enough variety on my albums that someone will find a song or 2 they really connect to.

5) we are so looking forward to new music from you...first with the 'Orphans' ep...and the already much anticipated album 4. how many songs have you written for the new album? what is it sounding like? when can we expect it? throw us a bone!

i've written quite a few songs for album 4. a lot of them are shit. :) i'm working on it. it's much much slower this time but it will get there. i honestly can't tell you where it's headed except the plan is to record a lot of it live early next year...with the songs i like at least. i'm still searching.

6) i think i can safely say that, while you are a new mommy and your new little boy and family come first, the fans miss you. any plans or even a hint of when we will see you on tour again? what kind of show would you want to do?

i'm thinking solo. and hopefully early next year. im not ready to do a full tour as ronen is just too little but i think we can handle some one-offs or short runs until the next album finds it's home. i miss the fans so much. i miss playing a lot.

7) what is happening with the Digital Noise Academy project? from what we have heard on the website, the sound is eclectic, a bit harder...we want to hear more! when can we hear more?

the record is almost done. i've been saying that for 3 years! ha ha. no it really is. it's been listened to and our team is trying to figure out the best way to release it. there are so many possibilities these days.

8) would you consider sampling ronen on a song? what sound of his do you think you would sample?

ha ha! well right now, his sample would sound something like this....goji berry goji berry goji berry. that is ronen talking with his binky in his mouth.

9) will you be doing another rarities collection? would you consider releasing a complete, live album/cd? and if so, where would you record that show? :)

i will continue to do rarities until i run out of rarities! eeeeeeee! and yes, i would love to do a live album. i would love to do another live dvd with fernando. i would LOVE to record it in some obscure theatre. not sure where. oh, i know where, the new Doudna Fine Arts Center in Charleston, IL where i grew up. the facility was just finished and it's totally incredible. i already know the theatre. ah! the acoustics are set up for classical performances but have studios and recording capabilities now. what fun that would be.

10) what does 'success' mean to you and your music? has it changed from when you first started in the music business?

when i first started i was very naive. i thought all my records would come out, that naturally i would get promoted, that of course everyone would like me and that's just not the case. my success has been defined by this statement- i'm still here! everyone would like to have more listeners but i'm very grateful for the audience i have and how supportive they are. they literally put food on my table and that is success in my book. i make my living writing songs. enough said.


1) how is your cooking coming along? perfected dishes? ready to be on 'top chef'?

ha. not much cooking since ronen came along...although last night my friend sharin foo came over with her new little daughter molly, and i dried out a perfectly good roast for all of us! ha ha. i made a sauce to hide the fact the roast was overcooked. it's hard to cook dinner with my teething, nursing, pooping, gorgeous bundle of joy-baby monster in the kitchen! i did make my famous mashed potatoes. i really like cooking with entire sticks of butter. butter makes the world better.

2) did you see any of tina fey as 'sarah palin' on SNL? thoughts?

i did. i laughed my ass off. go tina. my favorite was the rap that amy poehler did with sarah palin on the show herself. i almost wet my pants.

3) 5 things you would get right now from Trader Joe's!

opal rack of lamb, sweet potato fries in the frozen section (they have crack in them i swear), carrot ginger soup, freekah, garlic chicken stir fry.

yet another sampling of questions from the proust questionnaire as answered by char mar.

1) favorite qualities in a man...
someone that accepts me for who am i and finds my brain interesting. a decent palate is a big plus.

2) favorite qualities in a woman...
sensitivity, the ability to multi-task, sense of humor, and i love women who follow through, the non-flakey ones. the reliable women friends who are just there when they say they will be there.

3) what do you appreciate most in your friends...
that they put up with my neurotic tendencies.

4) your idea of misery...
to never have had ronen.

5) your idea of happiness...
to always be with ronen.

6) a motto or saying or belief you live by....
"Art is a kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument. To perform this difficult office it is sometimes necessary for him to sacrifice happiness and everything that makes life worth living for the ordinary human being." Carl Jung

if you look back at the interviews here with charlotte, you can definitely see a change, an evolution. the priorities are different now. the music she creates and releases is evolving. it's all a part of growing...as an artist, as a woman, as a human being. charlotte continues to reinvent herself in her music, sharing her experiences and feeling every lyric she writes. and we, as listeners, find a connection to her music and to her. she is your friend whether you're seeing her live (soon!) and she's giving you a hug or you put on one of her CDs and get lost in her music. her intelligence, openness, candor and humor are refreshing. her genuine warmth and kindness makes her being a mom meant to be. just ask ronen! :) she is living that Jung motto above; she is not an 'ordinary human being,' but extraordinary.

'Orphans' EP is available now at the Charlotte Martin Official Store on MusicToday, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3 and most digital retailers.

all photos by jules h for darkest-limits.com
interview posted November 11, 2008

The Definitive Charlotte Martin Interview
it is january 21, 2008. i have a lot of questions for charlotte martin
...and charlotte martin has a lot to say. it was about time darkest-limits.com had a new interview with charlotte! surely things have changed since our last back and forth about 2 and 1/2 years ago. what has not changed is charlotte's refreshing open-ness, humor and unflinching honesty. like all char mar fans, i have read pretty much all of charlotte's interviews that are available. yet, in the following interview, she surprised me...again! see jules ask charlotte about everything under the son...um...sun. :) check out the random questions as we catch up with some of charlotte's favorites and obsessions, what charlotte thinks of her releases...in short order, charlotte martin and her fans (ie. her extended family), and how she survived more than anyone should have to in life. read the following interview; charlotte is about to touch you again...


1) favorite time of day
between 5 and 8pm. emails and phone are quiet and i can work. my doggies are sleeping. 8 is also incredibly special as it's usually dinner time, though lately we've been eating as late as 10pm. last night it was 10pm. a nice bowl of spinach lasagna and harry potter in HD.

2) favorite food
this is a rotating list as well. since i cannot list sushi at this juncture, i would have to say, In and Out cheeseburgers. i know, healthy of me right? i can eat like 10. i also have an unhealthy relationship with cupcakes at the moment.

3) favorite comfort food
my mommy's hamburger pie. with canned green beans. they have to be canned or it's all wrong.

4) favorite drink
wine. but i can't drink it right now and my palate is off anyways. so it's sparkling pomegranite juice. the closest i can get. i learned this from watching Simply Wine with Andrea Immer. i am a geek.

5) favorite dessert
fresh pineapple (i normally dislike fruit, by the way)

6) favorite music (or what are you listening to now)?
i am really into the LADNA record we are working on right now. i'm also super obsessed with this band 'stars of the lid'. also listening to Sweeney Todd. i have always been a Sondheim fan. it's a brilliant musical.

7) favorite tv show(s)?
i'm a late bloomer with this one, but Heroes is awesome. others are...Californication, Weeds, Entourage, The Tudors, Top Chef, Planet Earth, Enjoying Every Day Life, House

8) favorite movie(s)
these always change- the kite runner, ghostworld, american beauty, gattaca, knocked up, gladiator, there will be blood, juno, amadeus, the waitress, drop dead gorgeous

9) favorite chef
greg bernhardt from 750 ML in south pasadena, CA. although i think he is at a new restaurant now. if you are into french bistro style, this guy knows his stuff. amazing trout, amazing pork shoulder...the sauces make me want to cry. he also gave me special finishing salt. i love him.


1) what's the last fun thing you bought that made no sense and had no real purpose other than the fact that you wanted it?
a wonder bra. i wanted to know what the fuss was all about. i've never even worn it in public.

2) what's over there?
framed fan artwork all over my studio walls. send away folks, we LOVE it. i love original art.

3) what's up with your pups, boris, hugo and pinot?
hugo is almost 14. he is still humping his stuffed pug. he is monogomous with his lovers. this one has lasted 2 years, stuffing and all. boris just started prozac as he has some issues. and pinot is still 5 pounds and follows boris everywhere.

4) what's on your shopping list?
milk, bananas, canvas and acrylic paints, LA times, Mac blush baby.

5) what are some things that make your heart skip a beat?
feeling my son kick. i am growing a human. it is weird. last week, a song i wrote with tommy (walter)...we both were skipping beats. freaking out. i'm really excited.
ken telling me i'm a beautiful pregnant woman (when really i feel like a beached whale), it's very romantic.

6) what's one thing you must do every day and if you dont do it, the day will feel horrendously off?
read my bible and pray.

7) you're stranded on a deserted island forever. pick 5 things you need to survive.
pictures of my family, bible, books by phillip k dyck and madeline l'engle, my lucky turquoise manolo blahniks, slippers


1) please describe/comment on each album in 5 words of less:

mystery, magic, and seeds:
infantile, heartfelt, necessary

one girl army:
scary, experimental, piano driven, heartbreaking, fire engine red

test drive songs ep:
electronically experimental, demos, freaked out, grey

in parentheses ep:
appetizer, amuse-bouche, tease/soft white

on your shore:
epic, classical, important, liberating, childbirth

darkest hour ep:
depressing, horrifiying, tunneling, out of control, black

veins ep:
experimental, appetizer, searching, questioning, brave

experimental, strong, fearless, connective, conviction

something like a dvd/b-side:
indulgent, dessert, necessary, explanatory

painful, sad, survival, rain, death

2) two years ago, we were waiting for 'stromata'...now that it is out and you've taken it on the road, how do you feel about it? is it what you wanted? have the songs changed from what your expectations and feelings were when you created the songs?

i am very proud of Stromata. i felt uninhibited throughout the entire process and at the same time extremely convicted. my head split several times. making this record took a lot out of me. it is exactly what i wanted. i wouldn't change a thing about that album. the songs continue to morph each time i play them. every audience takes something different out of the songs every night. sometimes i tap into that, sometimes i am clueless. sometimes people really feel the power in stromata, sometimes i can sense that people are extracting the uncomfortable pain that was present when i first wrote it. "pills" was a most important song at the time the album came out as i was taking a lot of pills that had quite a stronghold on me. couldn't sleep without popping ambien. my insomnia and nerves were always on edge. it was a dark time. now that i don't take anything, "pills" seems like another person wrote it.

3) your all covers cd, 'reproductions' is a fabulous collection of 'music lover' songs. classics that, i think, show the influences that go into your sound. you've also taken a personal experience and made it palpable and universal. how did you choose the songs and were there songs that didn't make it? in what ways did this project change you, and itself, as you went through recording it?

cover albums are tricky. i could have picked songs that everyone knew universally, but that didn't interest me in the studio. i could only cover songs that moved me in one way or another. and at the time i was picking songs and demoing, i knew that something was wrong with my pregnancy. the doctor said the baby measured small at 6 weeks..but i hung on for another 3 weeks hoping with each passing visit we would detect a heartbeat. it was horrible. then the hormone testing came. if your hormones don't double within 24-48 hours, the pregnancy isn't growing and is not viable. i recorded 'song to the siren' waiting for my doctor to call me with my hormone test results. he called and told me it was over. i then proceeded to finish 'i am stretched on your grave,' 'urge for going,' 'i never came,' and 'constant craving'. the way i was to finish the record seemed very clear. i was also in the process of working with peter dawson on photos and the video. we are very close friends, and i felt comfortable sharing with him what was happening as it was happening...and we decided to morph the visuals into a story about the loss of a child. it was very powerful and horrible at the same time. i still have a hard time watching the 'elderly woman' video. when the lion is running after the baby zebra and the mother zebra cannot save her child...i sob. and i sob some more. and ken sobs. it wasn't that long ago, so the wound is still quite raw. my heart goes out to anyone who has lost a child. i've lost lots of dear people in my life, but this was an accute pain i have never experienced. when you lose something that you've made...it's hard to describe. anyways, with all this happening, all i cared about was survival...and the survival turned out to be 'reproductions'.

4) if you wrote a song at this very moment, what would it be about?

cave people falling in love

5) what is your next album going to sound like? when can we expect a new record (because there can never be enough! :))? would you do a remix album (and which songs and/or album)?

the charlotte martin record..i'm not sure. i have about 30 songs but i haven't decided on a direction..i've been toying around the idea of writing a sacred record. currently, i am in the studio writing and recording a record with Tommy Walter (Eels, Abandoned Pools). we are forming a sort of band i guess you could say. it's hard to say what that sounds like...granola and yogurt? i would do a remix album, but BT would have to clear his schedule. and he's working on his record right now (which i wrote a song for called 'feed the monster'). i am also very very busy with the LADNA (Los Angeles Digital Noise Academy) record. we are getting close folks! after 2 years...it's getting close to being finished. i am most proud of 'synemy'. wait until you hear that song. sweet lord in heaven. i am also writing for various projects and other artists. i got picked up by nettwerk and now they are managing my songwriting/ composition..which is amazing as they send over some really cool writing opportunities i wouldn't know about on my own. there is a lot going on right now.

5a) **what is a 'sacred record'? and if you were to do a sacred record, what would yours sound like (if you have any idea of that just yet)? how do you feel about being an artist who is capable of touching on so many different types of music?

I am happy to respond to this. First and foremost, most know I'm a very spiritual person who happens to be a Christian. But I never want to impose my beliefs on people through my music. Sometimes they come out as they are a part of me naturally. I never felt called to catapult my beliefs through music. I'm an artist who happens to have certain beliefs. That being said, I also embrace and celebrate many faiths and religions. When I used the word "sacred", I was referring to classical sacred. Contemporary Christian music and Sacred are not the same thing to me. When I think of sacred I think of Benjamin Britten's "Rejoice in the Lamb" or Arvo Part's "Passio." I think strictly classical. I personally never want to be classified as any one type of artist. On Your Shore was pop but also classical in many of it's elements. Stromata was electronic but also classical and singer/songwriter at times. i even explored opera on that album. the fact remains i sing and play keyboards and compose, and i like to experiment through different sounds. i don't plan on becoming a preacher :). that's not my calling. art is my calling.

Right now it's too early to tell the direction for an album. I have a few operatic pieces floating around and some songs that sound like they are from the Shore era and songs that sound like I'm two-timing the postal service and Bjork. Even stranger, I have some folk songs. I'm in the experimental phase. I never get hung up on genres either. With Stromata, I tried to cross many genres. Maybe I'll do that again? Or maybe I'll have to release 3 records....yikes! :) Pregnancy makes me write things. :)

I hope that helped to answer some of your questions! Thank you all for supporting me through the different music I've released over the years. I try to keep it from being boring...xoxo

6) your rarities .4 cd sold out in about 5 hours. that is awesome. thank you for making these 'rarities' available to the fans! can we expect a rarities .5 soon? when is the rarities box set coming out? ;)

yes...i will probably release another rarities later this year. i LOVE them. they are raw, unmastered, unleveled, little gems from the secret vault of char mar. i could see a box set some day....but i have rare songs coming out my ears so that will be awhile. i could see doing a proper b-side release before a rarities box set. b-sides could be considered "almost" released or on major record cuts. does that make sense?

7) you said in recent interviews that you are doing a lot of co- writing with other artists and in various projects. what's it like to write for others? is it harder or easier than writing for yourself? what are a couple of projects you are working on? who are some artists you would love to work with?

i am writing for an animation/musical with composer John van Tongeren. we have been working on it for the past few months. it's been so much fun. and it's very classical and quirky at the same time. i have also been writing with Arrica Rose. She has such a cool voice. as i mentioned, i'm making a full album with tommy walter, and i'm writing for tv stuff with the sleep detectives as well as Sharky Laguana (creeper lagoon). i did some writing with amy powers who writes a lot of children's music as well as musicals. she is an incredible lyricist. and i recently started working with Ron Aniello (lifehouse, sixpense none the richer). i am not sure where our last song will land but it's slammin. definitely not a charlotte martin song...but i could hear kelly clarkson belting this out. it takes pipes. all these collaborations take me out of my realm which is a good thing.

8) you were touring non-stop since the last time we had an interview. has touring changed for you at all?

i have always loved touring. i love the gypsy life i guess. it hasn't really changed. the newness is still there. once you have the bug, you have the bug.

9) what is the appeal of 'the road' for you? and how does that appeal connect to your fans?

the fans are the appeal. i love the road. i'm not done touring, it's just going to be awhile before i go out again. i really feel as though there is a family out there waiting for me and i am coming home when i see everyone. i'm addicted to it.
[ed. see how her answer comes to life on the right. :)]

10) what would you like to say to readers of darkest-limits.com, your hardcore fans that listen to your music and come to see your shows?

there would be no music without you. thank you for supporting me all these years. i am so grateful.


1) in your interview with jonathan sanders for 'in headphones' you said you wished someone would ask how you survived your battle with anorexia. charlotte...how did you survive your battle with anorexia? when did it happen? what do you think brought it about? when did you feel something was wrong and how did you bring yourself out of it to become the adventurous foodie you are today? what parts of 'something like a hero' are about your past eating disorder?

my disease showed up around the age of 16. it started with obsessively working out...then it moved to cutting things out of my diet...first they seemed like normal things...ice cream, fast food..and then i started to cut out everything. i was also entering myself in the miss illinois teen usa pageant for the first time. i was so thin...i didn't win that first year. i just became obsessed. i got down below 80 pounds and my hair fell out. after that, i decided i needed help. i sought out a therapist and support group. this was maybe when i was 17? but i struggled with weird eating habits through my early 20s. i got into distance running which helped me but it wasn't until i moved to los angeles that i was over it. i had forbidden foods from 16-22. so naturally, when i moved to LA and started going to all the different restaurants- i became a foodie. i hadn't eaten anything with real flavor in years! i was that much more into food because i deprived myself for so long. and you know what, eating never made me fat. there are so many times i catch myself diving into a huge plate of pasta or savoring a rack of lamb thinking- i am so glad i love myself enough to enjoy this. something like a hero...all the verses were specifically about me struggling with wanting to be this super thin image. that only this thin girl was worth anyone's love or attention. i moved to LA leaving the disease behind, but upon my arrival, i noticed so many people here are obsessed with their bodies and it inspired me to write the song. i mean, who is the big bad judge of what we should look like? when i am on my death bed i won't be thinking "i wonder if i was thin enough for everyone".

2) so...just how good of a cook are you? and what are your specialties? what do you love to cook? what are ken's favorite char mar dishes?

i'm not that great of a cook, although ken and i are taking some cooking classes on weekends starting soon with some other foodie friends of ours. but i love to cook big savory meals. not much of a baker. i make a mean pomegranite mango rack of lamb with herbed mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. i love to make different pastas and i make a cool artery clogging stuffed fried pork chop. i am going to make home made pizza this week. probably start with spinach and goat cheese. i made a cherry walnut stuffed turkey breast on saturday for my girlfriends. that was a big hit. my friend karen could take me down anyday though. the girl can cook. so can ken. he's amazing.

3) congratulations to you and ken on your upcoming arrival...baby max! :) how was it touring while you were pregnant? did you have to do anything different? while most women would take it easy, you went on a 22 city tour! why did you want to tour at this time?

well i have to tell ya, it sounded better on paper than actually going out and touring...nauseous and freaked out. i worried about second hand smoke..although all the shows were smoke free. my tour manager, jamie, had to police all the club crew people at load ins and say there was a preggo lady here and to please not smoke. the smell of beer in the front lounge of the bus got to me, but the first wave guys did their best to clean up after themselves. the shows were amazing. a couple of nights wiped me out but for the most part, i thought it was really cool that my kid was on stage in utero! i don't regret going. i needed to see the fans and play. my doctor flat out told me to go. he said 'this is what you do and your life doesn't stop because you are pregnant'. i agree with him too. i needed to do this tour. i'll never forget it. ken and i may never get the chance to ever tour together again. i think that was it. we'll always have those memories now.
and yes, baby Maximus! we are thrilled. i got to hear his little heartbeat for the first time on the thursday before we were to leave for the tour. it was so relieving. our doctor said, once you hear a strong heartbeat, everything is looking good and he told me to enjoy my tour.

4) are you all ready for max? have you baby-proofed the house? how are boris, hugo, and pinot reacting to the news?

we are slowly getting ready. most of his furniture is here. his nursery is BRIGHT green. not pastel. crazy bright. we have the gates up and ready. and we have baby proofed the kitchen. we are keeping him out of the office and my studio always...and bought all the stuff for the outlets and bathrooms. as far as the doos go, i think they will be fine. a lot of our friends bring their kids over and it's not a big deal. boris might be a little jealous but i know he loves kids. brain is old and cranky. not sure if he will care or not either way.

5) as a first time mom-to-be, how are you feeling today? any interesting pregancy cravings? aww. max. :)

i have had some cravings but nothing weird like bone marrow or anything. i hate fruit but now i love fruit. i craved apple juice on ice for a month. last night i was craving starburst. i do eat a lot though. i am also walking a lot and doing prenatal yoga. i still love salt and butter. that hasn't changed. right now i want a turkey sandwich. and i can eat entire salt and vinegar chips. i so wish i could eat sushi. that is TORTURE.


to wrap up, i thought i would end this interview ala james lipton and his show 'inside the actor's studio'...i present the Proust Questionnaire with Charlotte Martin.

1. What is your favorite word?

2. What is your least favorite word?

3. What turns you on?

4. What turns you off?
liars and manipulators

5. What sound or noise do you love?
my prius navigator's voice

6. What sound or noise do you hate?

7. What is your favorite curse word?

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
food critic

9. What profession would you not like to do?
i would not like to work at a slaughter house

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
well done charlotte

charlotte has said that she likes to top herself with every thing she does. i realize now it's not really just a cool statement of fact, not just about getting more amazing and artistically confident with each CD, each show, each tour, but it is her story of survival. every song is something she has been through and felt completely. and if you're grabbing onto any part of her songs, you are experiencing her life and she has touched you; and there is the connection between charlotte and her fans. it's always nice to know you are not the only one; just take out any of your charlotte martin CDs and listen. so why wait for the pearly gates? well done, charlotte.

all photos by jules h for darkest-limits.com
interview posted January 28, 2008

**follow up question and answer added February 9, 2008

22 September 2005 - The 'Definitive' Charlotte Martin Q & A ;) -
Charlotte graciously, good-naturedly, insightfully, humorously...answers some of my random questions for darkest-limits.com. Look out, it's Char-time...in her own words. Much thanks to Charlotte. Enjoy all. :D

Favorite time of day
morning with the doos and coffee and jesus tv. next time is 8pm when i finish my snowflake calls and crack open a bottle...fire up the grill girls!

Favorite food (wondering if this has changed, lol)
how's about top 3 favorite meals
1.nozawa's chef special
2.nishimura's chef special
3.pf chang- KUNG PAU SHRIMP EXTRA SPICY...i know where every pf changs is in the united states. very important part of my touring. lol.

Favorite comfort food
ramen noodles...but i like 2 sauce packets in there to make it EXTRA salty.

Favorite drink
sanford 2001 pinot noir

Favorite dessert
Norm's cinnamon apple cake, moonstruck chocolates, girl scout cookies.
cookie dough just plain old raw cookie dough

What's on your shopping list?
contact solution infusium leave in treatment
birthday card
greenies for the doos
doggie carrier-for pinot
wee wee pads
beta 87 mic
9 volt batteries
gel pens
pick up prescriptions

Favorite Music
at the moment....iron and wine, arcade fire, LADNA, blinker the star, flaming lips, beck, tortoise, swans...

Favorite Movie(s)
sideways, the upside of anger, the crow, the sea inside, closer...too many to list here...

Favorite TV Show(s)
SIX FEET UNDER (how can it be over), carnivale, simply wine with andrea immer, birthday, medical incredible, animal cops houston, every day italian, iron chef, enjoying every day life

Last trend/fad you reluctantly tried?
ooh that's a hard one because i don't know what the fads are now...i guess, hmm i cut my hair a bit... so it would hang more in my face. i want to be ken when i grow up. he's the godfather of hip.

What is one thing you must always have with you?
eye drops and phone

Current loves/obsessions:
pinot the chi, VIRUS SYNTH, the ice cream man in our new hood, little tokyo, andrea immer, this dvd project, rehearsal times, nishimura, ken, mommy, leaves, mousse, my neighborhood...new taco place called MY TACO, mountains, red bean mochi

What's the last fun thing you bought that made no sense and had no real purpose other than the fact that you wanted it?

What's that over there?
come here pinot you little dummy. he's not with us yet. we don't get him until oct 9th but i visit him and got his little red collar and some puppy food for him. he's such a doo. so doo.

What's up with your pups, Boris and Hugo? (arf! :))
hopefully they won't kill the new doggie. they are really good. we moved this month to a new house and they love it here. there's lots of doggie gangs though. hugo is slowly working his way up the chain and becoming in charge of our local park.. boris is in love with this neighbor chi named Lily. and Pinot Noir is living next tour to Lily. Pinot's mom and dad are Pepe and Chauncy. i know every dogs name on the block.

ken is so lucky he gets to potty train pinot while i'm on tour.

Breakfast cereal that best describes your personality:
lucky charms

What makes you angry?

What makes you laugh and smile?
the dooooooodies.....all my friends...emily raven erins li...my family

What brings tears to your eyes?
Hurricane Katrina

What makes your heart beat just a little faster?
ken wearing eyeliner

Describe the perfect day...
coffee, reading, coffee, taking doos to the park, lunch, music time, call mom, reading, grilling fish with ken and then watching a dvd.....

What do you think about when you take the stage and you first look out into the audience?
who i recognize....:)

What motivates/inspires you and how do you sustain that?
i can't control what is going to sink in and come out as a song...but the drive of being an artist is there because it just has always been there. i can't turn it off. what motivates me is the inner drive i guess and my love for music...what inspires me are the muses and energies around me that eventually decide i'm going to be the one to say their message. i can't force myself to write, i tried when i was younger..i don't know how to do that anymore. it has to just come.

How does a thought/feeling/emotion/etc. become music, a song in your process? What's the longest a song has marinated before it's fully cooked? (sorry, food analogy)
every time it rains took a very long time...years to get it right. other cookers were chasing a shadow and something like hero. the whole album, on your shore was just one big crockpot of ideas...lots of layers. i like food analogies!

If you wrote a song at this very moment, what would it be about?
letting someone go...

How is the new album coming along? would you consider doing a double cd? :)
the new album is coming along well. we worked a lot on it from March- May, then i toured..and then in July i finished Veins and a few more tracks for the album. the album has been titled Stromata. not sure if i could pull off a double album because i get too anxious and release EPs. eeeeee.

Witnessing your interaction with the fans is like watching you fall into a sea of pillows. :) How do you see this connection you have between you and your fans?
my fans are the electricity to what i do...i drive but they keep the motor running. i was going to talk about oil here but i really want to get an hybrid car. :) The fans are the reason i tour and the reason i keep touring. i miss you guys.... one reason i wanted to do 'something like a dvd' is so i could kind of meet the other fans overseas since i haven't made it there yet. i wanted everyone to be able to take the tour home with them. we have a world together at these shows and with the music.....i am trying to connect each and every one of us. music and word trees are the way i try to do that.

The other day, i made up a word. propertorial (property +territorial). :) i make up words all the time in conversation. being the word- connoisseur you are, do you make up words and if you do, what are a few words you've made up?
noonie - i think it means greenie in doo language !!!!!!!

Please put your Ipod/Itunes on shuffle. What's the first song that comes up?
pagan poetry by bjork

You're on tour at a rest stop. You've got the munchies. You've only got $5 to spend in the convenience store. What do you buy?
a 44 ounce fountain diet coke (mixed with dr pepper)
peanut butter m&ms

that is the meal of a champion

Oh i have a six feet under question: what did you think of the series finale? favorite part(s)? do you see any message(s)there? (sniffle)
i think i was in shock. the last 3 episodes just blew my mind. when nate died it kind of went nuts. seeing them all die one by one...the car ride across the desert which i've done many times. life is an adventure and a gift. and those who can embrace the moment have figured out what each day is about... the journey and joy in walking it out...or in some of our cases riding it out. i am so glad it ended the way it ended. they closed the chapters of their lives on this earth. i personally don't believe it ends here with earth though...but we only get one shot here. one day that is today. no tomorrows...only right here and now... live in the moment.

Did i ask enough questions?
noooo! i want more.

a few words for the die-hard char fans visiting darkest-limits.com? :)
i love you.

Exhale! Thanks so much for answering any and all of these random questions, Char. I appreciate it so much! Much love.
thank you so much....xoxoxoxoxoxo