Is the singer, guitarist and principal lyricist of the Canadian rock band, The Tea Party.
Born Jeffery Scott Brill on October 1, 1969, it is a mystery to Tea Party fans worldwide as to why we now know him as Jeff Martin. His picture in the yearbook from his last year of high school states that his name is “Jeffery Brill,” however, the jazz band picture lists him as Jeff Martin. Rumor has it that his mother remarried and he took his step-father’s name, but that is, after all, just a rumor.
Jeff started playing guitar at age 9, when his father bought him his first Les Paul. Growing up in Windsor, Ontario, the scarcity of left handed instruments meant that Jeff was learning on a right handed guitar, but he is left handed. Interestingly enough, bassist Stuart Chatwood uses a left handed bass, and has played acoustic guitar on occasion to back up Jeff Martin, using a left handed guitar.
In 1988, Jeff graduated from Sandwich Secondary School, and went on to study music at the University of Windsor. His studies did not last long, as he got into an argument with one of his professors concerning the emotional content of his guitar playing, and soon after, he left school permanently. The argument started as a good natured conversation regarding the merits of even assigning a grade, based on emotional content. Jeff felt that it was a ridiculous system; that the professor didn’t know him and didn’t know anything about his life and that it was unfair to try and assign a number to feelings. It escalated into a heated argument and Jeff did not return to the University of Windsor.
Somewhere along the way, Jeff married an Australian woman who now goes by Nicole Brooks-Martin. It is rumored that Jimmy Page was to serve as best man at the wedding but couldn’t arrange his schedule to take part.
Jeff is an avid fan of all things artistic. His lyrics often contain interpretations of things he has taken from books, art, religion and philosophy. He admits to being an avid reader of everything from Orwell to Hesse to Friedrich Nietzsche.
When Jeff was ten years old, one of his cousins gave him a copy is the Beatles classic Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band for his birthday, and he fell in love with the George Harrison composition, Within you Without you, which explores the infusion of eastern music elements into western music. Jeff has successfully applied these principals to some of his own recordings, using over 30 instruments on the Tea Party’s second major label release, The Edges of Twilight. Some of the instruments in his personal collection include:
Jeff has recently added a Transperformance guitar to his arsenal of live instruments. He sent one of his Les Paul’s away to have a computer and electronic tuning heads installed, so that he can use several different open tunings while playing live. When he pushes a button on the body of the guitar, the tuning heads will automatically wind to the new tuning in exactly 1.5 seconds. He uses it principally in the song “Cathartik” from the album the Interzone Mantras, released in November of 2001.