“Martyr Art Comes To 188 Liberty St.” Interview and Show Preview
by Anna Lillian Moser (Mid Hudson Times)

Here’s a suggestion. Meet JD Gagliardi before you actually listen to his music. Gagliardi is intelligent, soft-spoken, unassuming, and perhaps even sweet. His music? Not so much. Instead, try loud; try dark.

Gagliardi performing under the name of his one-man band Martyr Art, will be playing at Club 188 at (you guessed it) 188 Liberty St. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. “The music I play is a variety of styles, you know, a fusion of jazz, blues, punk, funk, reggae, classical, metal, industrial, pop,synth pop. The list goes on. It’s just mixing different elements to whatever fits the composition,” explains Gagliardi.

Gagliardi has been playing music since he was 7 years old, playing piano before deciding to pick up the guitar at eight after the band Metallica “destroyed” his mind. Gagliardi’s been playing as Martyr Art since 2004. He’s tried the band route, but conflicting personalities amongst bandmates led to Gagliardi’s decision to branch out on his own. He says he’s recently tried to audition new members, but he has yet to meet a fellow musician that can follow this unique style, switching from metal to punk, classical or pop, then back again.

Listen to Gagliardi play, and you’ll know that his influences are as varied as the music genres he taps into. There’s Metallica of course, as well as Depeche Mode, and soundtracks, especially those attached to Tim Burton’s films (credit for those goes to the musical brilliance that is Danny Elfman). Gagliardi’s major influence, however, has to be Faith No More.

“They’re so dynamic with their different styles of music, covering the Bee Gees, then ABBA, and just being really out there,” said Gagliardi, adding that Faith No More’s singer, Mike Patton, has been a huge influence to him (Patton’s the singer in about 13 bands, each one more varied and dramatic then the next). “Just how he sings is like an instrument in and of itself.” Currently, Gagliardi says he’s been rediscovering a lot of music, retracing his steps and finding influences from groups he could never appreciate when he was younger.

“It’s just kind of like I’ve tried to sponge everything up, the knowledge and tastes [in music] and everything else. The more you observe, the more you take in, the more it’s going to diversify you.” Being only one man, touring has its limitations, so Gagliardi’s created video pieces to go along with his compositions. “I’ve compiled together some things I’ve created, but there are also things that I’ve seen, or pictures that are burned in my head in a sense. It make me seem schizophrenic to some people, but it makes sense to me”, said Gagliardi. Gagliardi says that his lyrics mostly concern introspective things: love, hate, religion. “Sometimes I also include things that I’ve witnessed, or just try to write things from an outer-body experience type of thing, like an unbiased point of view,” explained Gagliardi. A major literary influence is, of all people, JK Rowling and her Harry Potter series.

Gagliardi sees himself as an artist who stands alone. Although he says there’s a lot of great music coming out of the Hudson Valley, “It’s mostly centered around hip-hop or some punk, and although he says his music gets respect from both sides, his style isn’t like anything else emerging in the area. “I’m just kind of out there by myself, like, hey,” said Gagliardi. Martyr Art can be seen Friday, October 12th at 188 Liberty St. Doors open at 5p.m. For more info, call (845) 562-3086