in the Category: art

How You Doin': William Markarian-Martin

In this series we track down our former team members to ask them: how you doin'? Our community is ambitious and eager to spread its wings cross continents. We remain curious about what our former colleagues and interns are doing and thought it might interest you as well! Will Martin might be as keen to see the world as it gets: the filmmaker and journalist lived in London, Berlin and Brussels before he recently moved to New York to pursue acting. Almost a decade ago Will wrote for us and helped us out at one of the first editions of Wastelands, although he needed a little help from strangers doing that.

Interview by Milena Maenhaut
Photo shot in New York by Annie Forrest

How are you doing?

Good. I’m in New York. It’s 9.20 and I’m in the East Village in my bed.

What are you up to these days? 

A bunch of different things actually. I’m primarily in New York because I’m doing some training at an actor’s studio in Manhattan. I’ve been here for three weeks now, and I was previously in London and Berlin. There’s a famous acting teacher, Sanford Meisner, and the school I’m in is seen as his direct lineage. So I’m doing a lot of training there and I’m also making films and doing a bunch of writing.

Have you acted before?

I used to do it as a kid and I picked it back up a year and a half ago. I’ve been doing a lot of theater in London. Acting has always been in my life, but for the majority of the recent years the focus has been being behind the camera.

Acting has always been in my life, but for the majority of the recent years the focus has been being behind the camera

I saw your movie Ark, for which you collaborated with a band.

Yeah, I shot that in the States earlier this year with a band called Hælos. I’d been working with them for a while, and this was part of a bigger long-term project that we’ve been planning. We did a six-week tour through the States. We took off in April this year in LA and went all the way along the West-Coast to Vancouver, through the Midwest and down the East Coast. We went around doing a whole lot of interviews with fans in each city. The interviews were based on the themes on Hælos’ album, and we built a narrative around that.

Was it the first time you toured with a band?

It wasn’t the first time, but it was definitely the first time I’ve done a tour as extensively in terms of being on a bus across a continent for six weeks.

Did you like it? 

It was great. If you’re not already, you have to become friends with the people you’re doing something like that with because you’re in such intimate conditions. When I’d been in the States it was always either the East Coast or the West Coast. I’d never really explored much of the middle, so it was a nice opportunity to do that as well.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Brussels. I was born in Brussels and my family is still there. In a weird way it’s still home.

Do you miss Belgium?

A lot less than I used to. I go back for major holidays. I’ll go back at Christmas to see my family.

How did you get in touch with Subbacultcha?

In 2011 or early 2012 I had moved back to Brussels for a period of time with an ex of mine and we started going to the shows. I was working as a journalist at the time and I think I simply sent an email to ask if they were looking for people. They asked me to help out and we became friends.

What’s your favorite Subba memory?

The Wastelands festival in the second year was a really good one. I was doing airport runs, picking up U.S. Girls from Zaventem and driving them to Ghent to the festival. I had only just passed my driving test and my driving was still not so great. I didn’t know Ghent very well and I couldn’t find the festival. I got out of the car to ask directions but forgot to put the handbrake on. The car started moving (laughs). And the artists just sat in the car, they must have been thinking 'What the fuck is going on, who is this guy?'. They were super sleep deprived and it was just a ridiculous situation (laughs). I should never have been driving, that’s the moral of the story. 

I should never have been driving, that’s the moral of the story

What Subba bands are you (still) listening to?

John Maus is definitely a massive one, I’m also still listening a lot to Huerco S, Dirty Beaches, Sun Araw and Sand Circles.

Which records are you playing most right now?

Right now I’m listening to the last HTRK record a lot, and always Arthur Russell, particularly given that I’m staying in the East Village.



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