Billy Martin’s Occult Archives

Occult Archives

This next interview is one I am quite excited about. It is very interesting and encouraging to see how the guys from Good Charlotte have embraced Cardano and CNFTs. We’ve had the Clay Nation and Good Charlotte collab drop, then bass player Paul Thomas was involved with Veggiemates and now we have this project from Billy Martin.

As someone who has just entered his 40s and spent a considerable amount of his early/mid 20s at festivals like Download, Good Charlotte is a band that I grew up with. So it is a proud personal moment to have chatted, over email, with Billy Martin from the band about his CNFT project; Occult Archives.

If you are new to NFTs and you have no idea where to start then we have a little guide here. We are also very open to helping with any questions you may have on getting started, just reach out here or on Twitter.

If you are on Twitter and want to know more about CNFT’s then there are a few people I can recommend you follow (other than ourselves of course). Try following CardanoMan, CNFT Connoisseur, Cardano Salad, Nemo and Lucid. There are many more but I can’t list them all and this will give you a good start.

Lets get into the interview now and find out more about Occult Archives.

Tell us a little about Occult Archives, what type of artwork is it, what size drop?

Occult Archives is a hand drawn project based on the paranormal. I have been working as a freelance artist for Marvel, Disney, Nickelodeon and Hasbro for the past decade or so. I wanted to bring a comic book style art project to Cardano.

Instead of a unique PFP project I chose to do a smaller 1,000 piece drop. Within the set I staggered the rarities with alternate color variants for the rare collector appeal. I also wanted to make it possible for several people to collect a complete set which is why it’s not a unique 1 of 1 series.

Although I included a 1 of 1 “GC” variant for each of the 5 characters. Which has my band (Good Charlotte)’s logo hidden in the art. The first set is all Vampire themed and I plan to release subsequent chapters featuring a different creature with each set.

Where did the idea for the project come from?

As a creator working in mediums that tell stories (comics and animation) I saw this as a great opportunity to do something unique. I created the concept of an organization named 0CCV7T that is creating an online database of known supernatural creatures.

By minting, you are aiding the effort. Think of each mint as your submission to the database. So, by collecting them all you are “submitting” your photo evidence to them. I then created some lore and background story about each of the creatures you were hunting in the first series.

Tell us about the musical aspect to the project. We understand each NFT will come with a musical score too?

I’m always trying to find ways to combine my music and art. One thing that sets the tone of an animated movie, or any movie really, is the soundtrack. I wanted to create a separate theme song for each chapter.

So, I wrote and recorded a piece of music that would be fitting for a score of this project. I know that is something that sets me apart from a lot of creators. Being able to work professionally as a musician and an artist, I wanted to make sure that was a big part of the NFT launch!

What about the team behind the project? Tell us a bit about the team and what has lead you to start this project.

As of now it is a one-man team, haha. I am doing the whole project myself. The art, the music, the video content, the promo etc. I did have the NFT Maker pro team run my launch!

I wanted to make sure the technical aspects ran smoothly on launch day. I met with Patrick and Krisitan from NFT Maker Pro and they built my site and loaded all the art for the minting. They have come up with an amazing product and I was lucky to have them help me out!

What is the long term vision for the project? Is there a roadmap at this stage or will you be building as you go?

I definitely see this launch as the first step. I have the next chapter’s art and music done and ready to go already! I have a roadmap that talks about a digital comic book NFT for holders upon selling out.

I also do a lot of comic con appearances where I sell prints of my art. I plan to have special items that will be free to holders of any of my NFTs to giveaway at those.

What got you interested in Blockchain and NFT’s?

Paul, the bassist for Good Charlotte (and part of the VeggieMates project) has been pitching us on blockchain tech for years. Little by little we all started listening and got way into it!

As a digital artist I was always looking for new ways to share my art. He explained NFTs to me and I immediately starting thinking about what I could do with them!

Why did you choose to launch on Cardano?

There were a few reasons actually. We did a Good Charlotte collab project with Clay Nation in Oct. 2021. That was my first experience watching the mint process and all the excitement around it. So, I already felt a connection to Cardano and the community within.

Then again with VeggieMates. I also know a lot of the band’s fans would be interested in this but were really new to it. Getting them onboarded to Ethereum would be tough because the price point would be much higher due to the gas costs. Cardano offers a much easier entry level into buying NFTs.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far with this project?

I don’t have a promo team and getting the word out is hard. I would say 90% of the band’s fans or fans of my comic art are either not interested in NFTs or don’t understand them. Which is understandable with it being new to everyone. Finding the specific audience is tricky. So I’m bouncing around Twitter Spaces and Discord trying to find the balance of annoying shilling and spreading the word about this, haha!

What project would you ideally love to do a collaboration with?

The first NFT project that caught my eye was 0n1 Force. That’s the one that made it all click to me. The lore was cool, the art was great, the presentation was very professional looking. I would love to do something with them.

There have been a lot of people in the CNFT world that have shown me love right away, like the ADA Army and Fettuccine and his Angel Baby Hit Squad. So collabing with people who are cool to you is always the best!

Do you guys collect NFT’s too? What’s your favourite?

Yes of course! My good friends in the band Avenged Sevenfold just released their project the Deathbats club and I had to get in on that. They have some great utility attached and I’m really stoked on that project!

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