One of only a small handful of bands carrying the torch for the indie rock/punk scene in the Midlands, Oneforall does more than just contribute to the scene musically, their members contribute in a myriad of ways. Fronted by Martin Hacker-Mullen, the bands growth is easy to track, with each recording released strengthening in every area from songwriting to recording as Hacker-Mullen continues to find his voice as a songwriter.
Outside of Oneforall Hacker-Mullen runs label and collective Genius Factory Records, featuring not only his band Oneforall, but also three other up and coming acts in the same vein. As they state one their Facebook page the label is designed to support young local bands, who we all know are fuel for the local music scene.
How did you first start getting into music? Did you start playing guitar first or piano lessons or what?
My parents forced me to take piano lessons when I was a kid, which I hated, but my mom gave me a George Thorogood CD and I got hooked on it, which led me to love classic rock, stuff like Tom Petty, The Beatles, Black Sabbath, etc., and I stuck with that for a long time, until I found blink-182, Rage Against The Machine, and The White Stripes on my sister’s computer and fell in love with modern alternative genres, so I got my first guitar and finally found my place with music.
You’ve got a great way of networking with out-of-town bands and putting on good shows and showing bands a warm welcome. How did you get into booking bands and what are some of the ways you network?
My mom owned a venue called The 145 Club, and I watched her book shows for years, so after learning from her, I booked a small music festival called Summer Time Radness at The 145. It must have caught the attention of a ton of out-of-town bands, because I was getting at least two messages a day from different bands asking if I’d book them at The 145. So, since I go to a bunch of shows and made friends with local bands, I decided to book just about all of these touring bands and get my friends on the bill as well to bring people out. I also looked for bands who were trying to fill a date on a tour and offered them shows when I could. On top of that, I offered every band I booked and saw a place to sleep and a meal to eat. Through all of this, I made great connections with bands, labels, and agents across the country, and I have continued to work with them ever since the first show I booked for them.
What’s going on with Oneforall? I know you moved recently, is that changing anything with the band?
Oneforall is still a thing and we’re still working on new material and playing shows when we can. Being in Asheville has made it tough for me to do a whole lot with Oneforall and my label Genius Factory Records, so I’ve decided to move back to SC after this semester so Oneforall can work on our new EP and LP, and so I can be more involved in helping bands through Genius Factory.
What’s the songwriting process like for you? Are you one to play some loud guitar and just kind of sing on top, or more of a writer and then take that to the guitar or something entirely different from those two ways?
I almost always write music before lyrics, which I know is the opposite of almost everyone else. I also have short lines of lyrics come through my mind all of the time, so I’ll write them down and either piece them with each other or write a song based around one of the lines. Basically, my writing process is usually extremely unorganized, but it’s kind of the only thing that works for me.
You’re a local musician I view as someone who is so supportive of other bands at the same time as making music yourself. Why do you think that’s important?
The local scene should be important to any musician. These are the bands that you’re going to be sharing bills with, maybe even touring with. As a musician, I know the struggles of trying to get people to shows, selling merch, and building hype. I consider almost everyone in the scene a friend, so while I am trying to focus on making my own music, I’m also trying to learn the lyrics to my friends’ songs, go to all of their shows so they have someone supporting them, promote their shows on social media so other people know about them, buy their shirts/CDs/tapes/records/etc., and get the crowd into their set at a show, by doing things ranging from singing along to moshing.