An exclusive interview of Martin Hanlin

By Silences.

Thanks to Internet (progress can be gorgeous sometimes!!!) we could get in touch with former Silencers drummer Martin Hanlin a few months ago. Martin now works as music publisher and manages different bands such as "Goudie", and two new Glasgow bands called "Vodka" and "Sly Silver Sly"... (As for us, we can't wait to discover those new bands). We first thought about meeting Martin last June when the latter was in Europe, but unfortunately it was not possible since neither him or us could find some free time. This is why we eventually proposed Martin to ask him different questions through Internet. The next day, Martin e-mailed us these long answers, which we publish here almost integraly. Very interresting answers which should satisfy all those who often wonder about the former members.

The silencers's time..."Some of the best years of my Life".

Silences : How and when did you meet Jimme O'Neill and the Silencers?

Martin : I met Jimme in London through a band called "Pleasure and the Beast". Jimme had written some songs for them, the guitarist asked me to write some songs for the band and also play drums. I wrote a few songs but one called "Act of Love" caught Jimme's ear and we started talking about forming a Scottish band based out of London. The Smiths at that time really had it together (a big influence) so that was a starting point, and after Cha spoke to Jimme about putting together a new band we made the leap from idea to reality. Joe Donnelly had played in a band with me in Scotland and now lived in London so the band was complete, 4 piece rock/pop.

Silences : What is you best souvenir with the Silencers?

Martin : The French Gold Disc for "Blues for Buddha" / Wembley Stadium / Madison Sq Gardens.

Silences : The worst?

Martin : Hearing " One inch of Heaven" on the next album. It was the last real Silencers song for me. We jammed that song for a whole day at Sunday School rehearsal rooms, it was a pure band song. The demo recorded in Cava was cool. Sad to hear it played by other people, a lot of the feel was gone.

Silences : Why did you eventually leave the Silencers?

Martin : It became one man's vision and I loved being in a real band with Joe, Cha and Jimme. It died for me when Joe quit. Jimme had his vision so I decided to leave him to it.

Silences : Do you still have contacts with Jimme? Cha Burns? Joe Donnelly?

Martin : Not much though we do speak now and again.

Silences : What is your favourite Silencers song? Album?

Martin : "I Can't Cry" I can remember when we wrote it and also the recording fhe demo was a point in my life when I knew I was in a really great band. "A Blues for Buddha" it was great to work with Flood. Jimme and I had worked with flood through Metropolis studios about 4 years earlier and wanted him to do A Letter from St Paul but U2 had him on The Joshua Tree so we had to wait.

Silences : Do you still listen to Silencers's music?

Martin : Sometimes when I get a touch of Nostalgia.

Silences : Have you listened to the recent albums (those released after Blues For Buddha")? If yes, how do you like them?

Martin : Not much but when I heard the single " I Can Feel It" I called Jimme up and told him I thought it was a great song and should be a huge hit.

Silences : Generally speaking, how would you define your experience within the Silencers?

Martin : Some of the best years of my life.


Martin since... "America".

Silences : How old are you? Where you born (Glasgow?)?

Martin : 38 I was the youngest in the band when we began just a kid at 25.Yes I was born in Glasgow.

Silences : What have you made since you left the Silencers?

Martin : I played with Indochine on one of their albums. Indochine, the French band : Nicholas saw me play in Paris with the Silencers and asked me if I would play on their album "Le Baiser" (= "The Kiss"). I also played drums on Carol Laula's album Precious Little Victories, a Glasgow girl on Iona Records.

(Indochine used to be one of the most famous french bands until the late eighties. After a long period of silence in the early nineties, they have released a new album recently and it seems that the band is getting successful again in the french-speaking countries (mainly in France and Belgium)).

Silences : For which reason(s) did you leave Britain to America?

Martin : A bigger life and my American wife was fed up with the cold Glasgow weather. I was offered some tour managing and production work in Austin, Texas. Austin is a great town I came for a visit and I never left.

Silences : Did you play with other bands between Silencers and Goudie?

Martin : Not really just what I mentioned. I don't play in Goudie I just manage them along with another guy from Glasgow called Ged Malone. We are putting together a Scottish part of the company along with Paul and Jim Kerr from the Simple Minds.

Silences : What kind of music do you generally like and listen to?

Martin : Always pop/rock. Neil Finn/Rufus Wainwright/old Roxy Music and Bowie. Radiohead/The Blue Nile.

Silences : Do you return to Glasgow or Scotland sometimes?

Martin : At least once a year for a family visit and now some business stuff.

Goudie and the future... "Always pop/rock".

Silences : How would you define Goudie's music?

Martin : Rock/Pop band with a distinct American edge to it.

Silences : How many musicians are there in this band?

Martin : 4 piece 2 guitars/bass/drumsJohhny Goudie / Jimmy Messer / Einar Edersen / Bill Lefler.

Silences : When should the album eventually appear?

Martin : Feb 1999

Silences : Will they ever come to France or Europe for a few gigs?

Martin : They really want to tour Europe, that is one of the main reasons I got involved after the music, the band for me had to be world wide in it's dreams.

Silences : What about those two extra Glasgow band, Vodka and Silver Sly? Are they new bands?

Martin : Vodka used to be Saidflorence who played a few shows with The Silencers, Kit Cummins new outfit. Sly Silver Sly is Mark Kerr the third Kerr brother along with Stuart Brown and Sterlin Gorman who played with Murmur. Sly began its life in Paris.


Silences : Anything else you would like to add? Maybe a short message to your fans (since we have many readers who usually write us and ask us about the former members, i.e.. you, Joe Donnelly and sometimes Jinky...).

Martin : I now work as a Music Publisher pushing my writers to write songs for other peoples albums. Kevin Hunter my main writer used to be in a band called Wire Train, Kevin writes with and for Sheryl Crow / Crash Test Dummies / Billy Idol / Lenny Kravitz and many more. Scott Bryan and Todd Wolfe used to be in S. Crow's band and cowrote "It's Hard To Make A Stand" with Sheryl. They have their own band on A&M called Mojo Son.

Silences : Let's hope it was not too long to answer all those questions... But it should make a great article! Many many thanks...

Martin : Thanks for the great questions if you need any more info do not hesitate to E-Mail them to me.

Thanks again for you interest,

Martin Hanlin

(Interview realized by Silences through Internet (e-mail) between June 23 and July 7, 1998).




Martin's last precision : you can hear Goudie's music on


e-mail received January 4, 1999 :

.../... Goudie are currently mixing their debut album for Elecktra with Fred Maher at the controls. Sly Silver Sly are in talks with Atlantic Records and Warner Chappell publishing. Vodka have just released their indie single "SUPERMARIOLANZA" to the radio and press.

All the best for 1999.

Martin Hanlin

e-mail received May 4, 1999 :

Hi there,

working hard on the new Minds album which started 2 weeks ago. Kevin Hunter is co-producing with Charlie Burchill and Mark from Sly Silver Sly is playing the drums.

If you see Jimme say hello amd good luck with the new album.

Goudie has hit some snags, so we may not be working on that much longer, The Luvies, Sean is in France at Miles Copelands castle doing the songwriters retreat.

We have found a new Austin band called "and you will know us by The Trail of Dead". You can find them on the web if you search around.

I am back in Glasgow May 27th for about 10 days, so I'll catch the Kosovo gig at the SECC with the Minds and Paul Buchanan from the Blue Nile.


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