Chris Dorman and I go way back. Back to when Sanctuary South Bay was the place to be every Sunday afternoon.
Metal heads worshiping Jesus Christ Almighty. Seeking wholeheartedly and becoming rooted and grounded in the Word. Those who were fortunate enough to be in Los Angeles during this very exciting time all have a deep connection. Chris and I are no exception.
“Roger, I am inviting you to join a group of gentlemen who are very excited about a musical project,” Chris said. “Me, Scott Herrin, Don Waite and Nick Layton.”
Don is in the brotherhood of Sanctuary South Bay also. Once again, the connection is deep for us pioneers. “This is indeed interesting,” I thought to myself.
I had met Scott at a Sanctuary International social event. Liked him.
But who was this Nick Layton? Turns out to be the guy from Seattle who recorded background metal tracks for WeAreMetalWeAreFamily.com. I’ve always wondered who did those crunchy guitars.
So I called Nick and introduced myself. He sounded nice and very professional. We chatted business for a bit and established the songwriting and production team of Layton and Martin. Oh yeah.
We began work immediately. Within a couple of days I am laying down bass tracks for “A Mighty Fortress”. Nick is such a pro. I learned that he was a former worship director at his local church, and I got very excited because I played the Nashville church circuit from 1994- 2016. I have worked in that musical arena for awhile and have a ton of experience working with worship leaders. As long as you have the fundamentals of music down you can work with these guys.
So it was wonderful working with Nick. Chord charts were used, lines were spelled out, musical notation and tabs. Nick is hardcore and shreds like a big dawg. Awesome tone. When he bends a string into pitch, he nails it. For you musical freaks, Nick will sometimes cram 8 separate triplets into one bar. “Just to throw a little heat on it,” says Nick. Ha!
Our focus: Traditional Christian hymns — set in a blazing rock format. No holds barred and no boundaries. Trap beat? Yup. Punk rock upside your head? Mm hmm. Texture like crunchy peanut butter? K. And inspired musical moments? Without a shadow of doubt.
Our goal of being finished recording by Christmas Day was accomplished on the afternoon of Christmas Eve. All because of the love and prayers that we shared amongst the team.
Verily, verily I say unto you. I am proud of this album. It will melt your face, homie…
— Roger Dale Martin