Volume 95, Issue 74

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

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Winnipeg's Weakerthans wanna be your Valentine

Martina likes to get hands-on

Exaggerating extremes
Body fails to float in life's wake

Outside the Box

Cope debuts on top

Porn o' Plenty

Martina likes to get hands-on

By Andrea Chiu
Gazette Staff

At first glance, Martina Sorbara may seem like just another one of those singer-songwriters with a pretty face.

Sure, she sings about boys on her album The Cure For Bad Deeds, she plays the piano and guitar and she's certainly cute. But, thankfully, there is no hidden agenda Sorbara isn't out to save the world and doesn't carry a huge political statement when she performs.

Gazette File Photo
It's about her love for music, creativity and invention things that are an intrinsic part of her.

"The only way I'm really happy is if I'm making things. It doesn't matter what it is. Like anything clothing or drawings or songs. If I'm not making things I'm just really dissatisfied and very unfriendly," Sorbara jokes.

"That's one reason why being on the road is a little bit hard. I always bring paper and some pencils, which the guys in the van insist on making fun of me for. I just can't wait to go home and have my sewing machine and my stuff," she says.

The need to constantly create might not be normal for some, but for Sorbara, it makes sense. It's something she has grown up with.

"I grew up without a TV. I always had to find other shit to do to keep myself occupied," she explains. "My whole family is sort of like that. We all love projects. We love cooking. Like, my whole family built a treehouse last summer in the backyard."

Another creative outlet for Sorbara is woodworking.

She learned the basics at a young age and has since developed the art enough to build her own guitars the very ones she takes onstage with her nightly.

"I finished a guitar a couple months ago and I have it on the road with me and I love it," she says proudly. "I had a woodwork teacher who knew what he was doing and he had built one guitar and so he showed me how to do things and how not to do things."

Although Sorbara has been relatively successful as an independent musician, she is looking forward to developing her musical career with Nettwerk Records. She signed with the label last summer, but insists it isn't the be-all and end-all for her music career. She admits she's not the most business-minded person, so she's taking it one day at a time.

"I'm trying not to be too freaked out by it. I met with some [Nettwerk] people in Vancouver last week and they're so comfortable."

While many of her fellow musicians have a more cynical outlook, Sorbara remains optimistic. "I've kind of prepared myself because I've heard 101 horror stories of record labels but, for every bad story, there's good stories too."

In the past few months, Sorbara and Nettwerk have already recorded new songs to add to The Cure For Bad Deeds, which is set for re-release on April 9. This may be just the beginning of exciting new changes in her life, but ultimately, Sorbara doesn't really care if she ends up playing in intimate coffee shops or large capacity stadiums.

"The ultimate scenario for me is to have people who want to be there listening, instead of people who just came to play pool and wish you would shut up. So, anywhere where there's people listening to you picking up your energy and giving you back energy [is great]. That creates the atmosphere that I like it doesn't really matter what the place looks like."

Martina Sorbara plays tonight at the Outback Shack at Fanshawe College. The show starts at 9 p.m. and admission is free.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002