Conversations with "The Killer"
Shalom Life chats with Martin Kaye, who plays Jerry Lee Lewis in the North American tour of 'Million Dollar Quartet'.
Manchester, England native, Martin Kaye, wears a myriad of hats: singer, actor, songwriter, pianist. Presently, Martin plays the great Jerry Lee Lewis, in the North American tour of, Million Dollar Quartet. The Broadway smash hit is inspired by the legendary recording session on December 4, 1956, when four icons of rock ‘n’ roll, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis came together at Memphis’ Sun Records. Kaye will be in Toronto, Canada with Million Dollar Quartet from July 10-29, 20012. For more info, visit www.milliondollarquartetlive.com/tour-info.html.
Shalom Life was able to chat with Martin Kaye to discuss music, the future, and what it’s like to step into the shoes of Mr. Jerry Lee Lewis.
You’ve been creating music and performing from a young age. What was the first musical you were in?
Wow, now we're going back! Sweet Charity was my first proper musical; I played the hippy preacher Daddy Brubeck - at the age of 11!
What’s draws you to music and performing?
Oh, everything about it. Its universal connection with the world, its unlimited ability to reach out to everyone. I feel totally and utterly alive when I'm up there doing my thing.
Do you have a genre of music that you’re most drawn to?
I love jazz, and I also love new age type things, very mellow, profound sounds. Love African music, and some pop music. I pretty much love all forms of musical expression, for the reason that it is expression. It might not be something I would necessarily choose to listen to, like death metal or rap, but I appreciate it for what it is.
You landed the role of Jerry Lee Lewis in the National tour of Million Dollar Quartet. What’s it been like playing such a pioneer and icon of music?
It's wild to be playing someone who's actually real, and still alive, and who people actually do have an image of in their mind, so I guess there's a little bit of pressure to make sure you stay true to the essence of his character, but I love it. I relate to his wild abandon on stage.
What did you do to prepare for playing “The Killer”?
YouTube was A GODSEND! I read his biography too, which really helped me grasp where he came from.
Do you have a favorite song of his?
Well, I always loved "Great Balls of Fire" but purely for its showmanship, I gotta love "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On"!
Being completely objective for a moment, who is the best: Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, or Elvis Presley?
In the show or in real life!? In the show, now come on, you're asking me to pick between my friends!!! In real life, I think each had such a revolutionary impact on the music industry that you can't say one was better than the other, they were all equally as influential. But I think for pure and ultimate entertainment...well, it's gotta be Elvis!
What’s next on the agenda for you?
To be honest, I don't know. It's hard to predict what's gonna happen after this show. So I guess we'll just have to take each day as it comes and let the world have its way with me!
Where do you see yourself in say, five years?
Either on the stage of Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square Gardens or Wembley Stadium :)