They are young, but smart; siblings, but they actually like each other; and they are quite poor, for now, but dreaming big. One Red Martian is a four-man band consisting of three brothers — Ben Woodul, 22; Jimi Woodul, 21 and Joe Woodul, 18 — and Dan Dekalb, 21, who is like a brother, says Jimi. They all live together in a two-bedroom apartment off Greenville Ave. and earned money to record their first full-length album, “Spit My Brain”, waiting tables in Lower Greenville’s bars and restaurants. (OK, OK. They also got a little help from Mom, which frontman Jimi admits doesn’t sound very rock ‘n’ roll).
Tell us a little bit about your bandmates and yourself.
We are from rural upstate New York — a small town called Newport that is about one hour away from Syracuse, N.Y. Dan and I have been friends since first grade. Since middle school, we’ve played piano together. Piano is still a big part of what we do, but our style has evolved since then. My brothers joined the group, and we moved to Dallas in 2008. I am the singer and guitarist. Dan is on the keys and backup vocals. Ben plays bass, and my other brother, Joe, plays drums.
For those who haven’t yet discovered One Red Martian, could you describe your music?
We can’t help, like any serious songwriter, but be inspired by bands like Muse, Ben Folds, Radiohead … but we don’t set out to sound like anyone or anything specific. We still love piano, but with heavier sounds — the phrases “heaviest piano band ever”, “intensely lyrical ballad rock” and “genre-busting piano metal” have been thrown around.
Where is your lyrical focus? Do you sing about your own life or what?
Not so much about my own life. I think there is too much use of ‘you’, ‘me’ and ‘I’ in today’s music. Our lyrics are more about observations of the world at large.
Why did you decide to settle in Dallas?
People ask us that all the time. I really have no idea. But I think we ended up in a good place. Dallas once had a strong music scene. It’s not so happening now, but maybe it could be …
I hear you put on a good live show.
I love performing live, standing in front of somebody, and inspiring awe. Like when I watch a clip of James Brown performing “Man’s World”, and I’m just blown away — that’s how we want to make people feel. We’re much more proficient with our instruments than we were [before making ‘Spit My Brain’] and much tighter as a live band.
So, you guys seem to be living a bit of the starving artist lifestyle right now. Is that fair to say?
You could say that. We all live in a two-bedroom apartment where we’ve had some roach problems. We are hoping to get out of there soon. It is a struggle to support yourself and raise the money — $12,000 or so — to record an album. We earned a lot of the money waiting tables. My mom is an investor. She did help quite a bit. I know, that sounds real cool (laughs).
Is it tough living with each other in close quarters?
We really get along very well. Sometimes there is tension, but it’s normally about stupid things and not about band stuff.
Explain the album title, ‘Spit My Brain’, and your experience recording it.
I guess the theme of the album is seeing yourself as outside of yourself and having everybody else see that very pure view of yourself — you’re spitting your brain outside of your body. This album is the best work we’ve done to date. It is special — it’s what we’ve wanted to make since we were 14 years old. The recording actually took about 10 days and was completely nerve wracking. It was stressful because you only have so much time, which costs money to record and you are worried about how it will sound. It was mixed by Beau Hill, who has done work for the likes of Alice Cooper and Ratt. It turned out well.
Visit oneredmartian.com for show dates or to purchase a CD.