Sunday, April 15, 2012

Trikk/Trick

Trikk (1988)
Clockwise from top: Patrick Smith, Donte' Smith,
Al Martinez, Mark Martinez

Al Martinez interview conducted March 2012.

In 1988 Al Martinez’s life changed forever when he received a phone call from a radio station deejay in Pueblo.

“Magic FM disc jockey JJ Valentine played a record we made, and he said the phones lit up,” he said.

That record was actually a cassette demo of “Tonight You’re Mine,” a song he and childhood friend Patrick Smith put together with Patrick’s brother Donte', and Al’s brother, Mark. The group sent out the demos to local stations in hopes of getting airplay.

Calling themselves Trick (Patrick’s nickname), the Colorado Springs-based group, which formed just a year earlier, quickly released “Tonight You’re Mine” as a 12” single (Upward Thrust - Trick01 - 1987). The disc was recorded at Startsong Studios, in The Springs, and produced Rich Mouser.


Listen to sample of "Tonight You're Mine"


“We shot the cover of the single out at Prospect Lake. The original picture had us standing on the ice in the middle of the lake, but the shot really didn’t work. So we used my 1976 Corvette.”

“Tonight Your Mine” caught the attention of the Aanco record label (which in 1983 released Norbie Larsen’s I’d Rather Be in Colorado). The record brass liked the sound, but not the spelling of the band’s name – changing it to TRIKK.


Side One:
Tears
I Can't Wait Forever
Tonight You're Mine
Do You Like It

Side Two:
Never Say Never
Midnight Lover
I Can't Get Used to This Feeling
Still Waiting

Al Martinez, along with Rich Mouser, produced the group's first LP, Never Say Never (Aanco 28802-1988), and quickly released it to a national audience. After getting favorable attention from Radio and Records magazine, the album would generate three singles from the mellower cuts on the record, "Never Say Never," "Tears," and “Tonight You're Mine," and one of the dance tracks, "Midnight Lover."


Listen to a sample of "Midnight Lover"

“Tears” would go on to be #1 on Magic FM’s countdown,” he said.

The band caught the attention of Bertie Higgins (“Key Largo” fame), who wanted to record the song “I Can’t Get Used to This Feeling.”

“Our record company tried to put that deal together, then Bertie wanted us to sign the publishing rights over to him. I told Aanco, that if Bertie records a demo, and if it’s better than mine, then he could have it. He didn’t take the deal.”

In 1991, A&M records called a meeting with the group in Denver.

“They told us we were very marketable, and that our sound was good, but they were moving more toward alternative music, more grunge. They asked if we could go that route with our music. We tried that sound, but it just didn’t work. They ended up going with the Gin Blossoms and Blind Melon.”

"That same year we went to Seattle and recorded what was to be our next release, This Time."

The LP spawned two singles, “I Love Italian Girls,” and the title cut.

“Both got airplay in Iowa,” Martinez said.

After six years together, the band decided to take a break. Patrick headed to law school; Al got married and opened his own studio. The hiatus would last four years, when, in 1998, Trikk reunited with Eddie Adkins on guitar, and Dave Copeland on bass. The group would soon welcome Dave’s brother, Lyndon.

“About the time we went into the studio to record The Final Battle, I started concentrating on songwriting, engineering and production,” said Martinez. “The band felt that Lyndon brought a vocal style to the group that would elevate us up one more notch—which it did.”

“The album can be best described as kind of a 80s retro sound – stuff that influenced us when we were kids. We put out samplers around the Colorado Springs area, and felt really good about the project.”

But friction among the members started to unravel the group, and the final CD was never released.

“The real issue the group was having, was a divided loyalty over which songs would be on the album. I think Dave felt pressure to side with his brother, Lyndon. Hence you have a lost of interest, and that’s when Lyndon and I began to work on solo projects. I then had an opportunity to get to Los Angeles, and I took it, and that was pretty much it.”

Of the original members, Al Martinez went on to open his own studio (Innovative Studios), where he continues to record his own music. Patrick Smith is a lawyer in Portland. Mark Martinez has his own landscaping company in Colorado, and Donte' is an executive for Popeye’s Chicken.

Last year the band received a resurgence of interest, thanks to – Justin Bieber.

“His fans would Google his hit “Never Say Never” and our song would come up. Of course, they aren’t one in the same.”

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