Friends of Dean Martinez

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Friends of Dean Martinez
Also known as Friends of Dean Martin
Origin Tucson, Arizona, United States
Genres Post-rock
Instrumental rock
Years active 1995–present
Labels Sub Pop
Knitting Factory
Aero Recordings
Associated acts Calexico, Giant Sand, Naked Prey
Members Bill Elm
Past members Joey Burns
Van Christian
John Convertino
Woody Jackson
Dave Lachance
Tom Larkins
Andrew Gerfers
Mike Semple

Friends of Dean Martinez is an instrumental rock/post-rock band featuring members of Giant Sand, Calexico, and Naked Prey. FoDM music may be described as a combination of americana tunes with bits of electronica, ambient, lounge, psychedelia and dub intertwined with surf rock inspired lead guitars.


The band was originally formed in Tucson, Arizona as an experimental side project by various members of Giant Sand, Calexico and Naked Prey. Originally called "The Friends of Dean Martin," they were forced to change their name after Dean Martin refused to give his blessing.[citation needed] It worked out for the best, as "Martinez" provided a south-western spin to their retro lounge sound, with their debut album, "The Shadow of Your Smile," released with Sub Pop in 1995.

The band has gone through a variety of line-ups, moved to Los Angeles, and are now settled in Austin, Texas. Currently the trio includes Bill Elm on steel guitar, electric guitar & organ, Mike Semple on guitars, and Andrew Gerfers on drums. Originally a guitar player, Elm first started experimenting on the steel guitar with the formation of FoDM. Pushing beyond the instrument's country twang traditions, he pioneered a distinctive new sound for the pedal steel guitar. By using an e-bow it acts more like a voice rather than merely a background instrument.

Cinematic Musical Work[edit]

The "Friends" performed a live score to the silent film masterpiece The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin. Feature film scoring work has included the Richard Linklater film Fast Food Nation and the John Waters narrated feature documentary Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea.

Upon seeing Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea for the first time, Elm recollects, "I felt I could really write music for this. It was a nice fit for what we do, the images, and the story. It felt natural to watch it and want to write music. It was inspiring, and that's the most you can ask for when you score something or write music."

Between 2009 and 2013, Bill Elm and Woody Jackson have created/contributed to the soundtracks for the Rockstar Games videogames Red Dead Redemption, L.A Noire,and Grand Theft Auto V.

In December 2010 Elm and Jackson won Best Original Score at both the Machinima Inside Gaming Awards and Spike TV's Video Game Awards for their work on Red Dead Redemption.



  • The Shadow of Your Smile (1995)
  • Retrograde (1997)
  • Atardecer (1999)
  • A Place in the Sun (2000)
  • Wichita Lineman (2001)
  • Under the Waves (2003)
  • Random Harvest (2004)
  • Live At Club 2 (2005)
  • Lost Horizon (2005)
  • Fast Food Nation OST (2006)
  • Red Dead Redemption OST (2010)
  • Undead Nightmare OST (2010)


  • Atrasar (2001)
  • In the Wire (2001)


  • Polena/Seashells (1995) (as Friends of Dean Martin)
  • Cordova/Monte Carlo (1996)


  • On the Shore (2003; two discs combining songs from Wichita Lineman and Live At Club 2 on disk 1 with Under the Waves on disk 2)

External links[edit]