Nearly all Met fans are familiar with “Meet the Mets,” the fight song of the Amazins playing since the franchise’s beginning. Then there was “Get Metsmerized,” a rap performed by the members of the ’86 Mets that didn’t quite have the popularity of its predecessor, the “Super Bowl Shuffle.” And more recently, there was “Who Let The Mets Out,” a remix of the popular Baha Men song, “Who Let the Dogs Out,” released during the 2000 playoff run. But Lori Martini’s “Believe (Featuring Nick Javas)” is different.
“Believe” does not name drop players’ names, does not mashup a Top 40 track-heck, it doesn’t even mention the Mets. But you better believe it, “Believe” is about the Mets. A native of Brooklyn, Lori has a diverse background to say the least, which includes working for Honda, selling Beanie Babies and roles in television shows such as Third Watch and Law & Order SVU. But most importantly (well to me anyway), Lori is a die hard Met fan, who has visited every MLB stadium as well, and has converted her passion for the Amazins into an upbeat, anthemic track that will be performed by Kassy K and Nick Javas (who produced a YouTube series of NFL Rhyme Reels this past season) prior to the game vs. the Phillies on May 27th. I had a chance to speak with Lori, Nick and Kassy about the song, their careers and of course, the Mets.
Rising Apple: Lori, you’re a native of Brooklyn whose father was a die hard Yankee fan. How did you wind up a Met fan?
Lori Martini: My dad had no choice than to be a Yankees fan. He arrived in NY from Italy when he was 12 in 1958 and the Yankees were the only team in town at the time. My dad is a sports enthusiast in general. He’d flip between Mets and Yanks games. Not only did I find the Mets more exciting to watch, but I also was in the era where the Mets were doing well. The thing that solidified it was in 1981 when the nun, Sister Lawrence (RIP) at Immaculate Heart of Mary chose several students, including myself, to take on a school trip to a Mets game. She would bring a giant bell and ring it every time they got a hit or made a great play. I thought this was the greatest thing ever. I’ve been loyal ever since.
for. Do not get me wrong though-when I’m at a game for a particular team I get into it and get excited!
RA:. Attending about 40 games a year as you do and being lucky enough to witness a game at every stadium means you’ve seen a lot of baseball. Lori, is there a particular game or moment involving the Mets that sticks out in your mind?
LM: WOW there are SO many moments that stick out in my mind. You might mention a game within the past 13 seasons and I’ve most likely been to it. The beaning of Piazza by Clemens at Yankee Stadium. I had gone to the day/night DH. That June 30, 2000 game vs. the Braves where we were down 8-0 and came back in the 8th with 10 runs. I said that was the turning point of the season at that very moment and it was. I also caught my first and only foul ball at that game, not to mention it was fireworks night. It was magical. I was at the Bobby Jones one-hitter playoff game vs. SF. I was at the John Maine 1 hitter vs. FL on Sep. 29, 2007. I was at the Grand Single game. I was at the game where Reyes hit for the cycle in July of 2006. I was at games 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the NLCS in 2006. Yes, I went to St. Louis. Game 7 was supposed to be destiny and dynasty. Shea shook like an earthquake and the crowd roared like nothing I’ve ever heard. Last June I was at a game in June vs. the Twins and my friend Mike Spizzeri caught a foul ball off the bat of Ike Davis that made every MLB Highlight Reel.
RA: Do you prefer Shea Stadium or Citi Field? Do you have a favorite concession stand at Citi?
LM: I miss Shea, but Citi Field has grown on me. I loved the Loge back rows [at Shea] that the Mets reps nicknamed me Lori Loge Back Row. Now I’m known to friends as Citi Field Empire Party Suite gal. I book about three of them a year and sell the tickets to my friends so it is cost effective for everyone and well worth every dime. The t-shirt toss always ends up in there and the occasional foul ball too. I love Shake Shack HANDS DOWN!
RA: Lori, who is your favorite Met of all time and who is your favorite Met currently on the team?
LM: This is another tough one. I had a crush on Nails, but I truly loved the entire 86 team. I emulate Lenny in the sense that I play hard and gritty when I play softball. An umpire actually calls me Nails. Piazza of course is another favorite. He just carried that team on his shoulders and was always classy. The current team players I love are Reyes (they better not trade him), Wright, Santana and Davis. I even have a soft spot for Murph. I didn’t have much faith in him defensively, but he has worked hard to improve his game and has come around.
RA: The lyrics of “Believe” feature some prominent Met references, such as “You gotta believe” and even the word “Amazin” but isn’t so blatant as “Who Let the Mets Out?” What inspired you to write a song about the Mets and in such a way?
LM: I honestly got tired of people writing songs for the Yankees and them getting all the love all the time. The Jay-Z/Alicia Keys song “Empire State of Mind” is one that represents the Yanks, but really only references the Yankees once. I just saw so many songs that get outdated because the players are no longer on the team that I wanted something that stood the test of time and was more modern and people could be singing for years to come. I wrote the lyrics to subliminally use key Mets words that fans could identify with, but that the average listener wouldn’t know and also cross-over to Top 40. I also feel it is inspirational. I wanted the beat/melody to be anthem like. I think the Black Eyed Peas got that rock jock anthem thing down pat. “Let’s Get It Started,” “Boom Boom Pow,” “Tonight’s Gonna Be A Good Night;” those are played at every sporting event imaginable. That was my goal, but for the Mets.
RA: What would you say is the goal of your new album Lori Martini? What do you want your listeners to take away from it?
LM: The goal is to get myself out there as a songwriter and hopefully get a publishing deal or a signed artist cut on the tracks and essentially get it on the radio. Right now I just have a demo vocalist, but I’d like to work with talented artists in the future who are looking to break into the industry. I have lived a lot for my early life and I’ve gained so many experiences and I wanted to share and express them with the rest of the world and just make people happy and dance. If people start singing along and I affect and/or inspire someone, that is just an incredible feeling.
RA: How did you come up with the idea for the “NFL Rhyme Reel?”
RA: Would you ever consider doing something similar to “NFL Rhyme Reels” for MLB?
RA: Lori, you’ve done a lot of different things, from having your own paper route, to interning at WDAQ in Danbury, CT, to selling Beanie Babies and are now in the entertainment field. How would you say your past experiences have shaped you into who you are today? How have they shaped your music?
LM: I don’t regret any of my past experiences because they were all great and I met some great people who I continue to keep in touch with. You can’t limit yourself to just keeping industry contacts. People are interesting from all walks of life and I know my mom said never to talk to strangers, but I kind of didn’t listen. The thing people forget is that it is mostly a “business” and need to treat it as such. You have to have a game plan and I think working in business and just having a business sense is just as important as talent. You need to be able to market yourself in such a way and work hard at it every day in order to get recognized. Record labels aren’t always going to do it for you. You can’t rest on your laurels. Madonna, Prince, Lady Gaga etc. did not get where they are today by waiting for something to happen. They were out there every day doing something.
RA: You also wrote, produced and are starring in a new film called Caught, which debuts at the Staten Island Film Festival (June 10-11) and is already nominated for Best Director, Best Actress and Best Drama Short. The film is about a girl, Hannah, who is seeking affection from her mother and respect from her brother while finding solace on the softball field. How did you come to make this film?
LM: I grew up in an Italian household where the boys are always treated better than the girls. I think a lot of people can relate because it is very real. I also was the oldest and seemingly the only responsible one to this day. I took a lot of little experiences in my life with different people and melded them into this story. I find it fascinating how sometimes art imitates life. I’m extremely proud of this piece and I have two other fully written screenplays along with a TV Pilot and a short written that I’m hoping to get funding to produce eventually.
RA: Lori, your song is being performed at Citi Field on May 27th prior to the game against the Phillies. How did you arrange that?
LM: Kassy K along with Nick Javas will be performing. I will be on the field and my name will be announced. The Mets were extremely accommodating and helpful. I couldn’t believe I got the gig-it is a total dream come true. Most artists would say they’d want to play at the Garden; I’d prefer Citi Field. They’re extremely fan friendly as are the Brooklyn Cyclones. The Cyclones just confirmed us to do a pre-game performance on June 20, 2011. Nick Javas will be throwing out the first pitch. It is also Angel Pagan Bobblehead Day-it looks awesome and it has Angel wings!! All of this is overwhelmingly exciting. I’m actually quite nervous. I want it to go over well and make a good impression with the organization and the fans.
RA: Are you excited to see your song performed in front of thousands of Met fans? Does it mean more to you since the game is against the Phillies?
LM: I’m extremely excited to have it performed especially against the Phillies during the first visit to Citi Field this season on Memorial Day weekend. I’m sure the attendance is going to be high, which is going to be AMAZIN’ to reach so many fans even if there will be Phillies fans in attendance.
KK: I’m excited and nervous!!! I used to do a lot of musical theater and random vocal gigs such as singing the national anthem for my cousins’ pop warner football league in Hillsorough, NJ, Montclair State University basketball, baseball, and football teams, the Plainfield, NJ Pilots baseball team and the NJ Nets in 2001.
RA: Lori, do you have any predictions for the remainder of the season?
LM: My realistic prediction is about 85 wins. My optimistic Mets fan mind would like to believe that they’ll win 89-90 and make the Wild Card.
RA: Lori and Nick, what projects are you guys currently working on?
LM: I’m focusing on promoting the CD and Caught, but I also have other projects in the hopper along with plans to shoot a music video for “Believe.” Stay tuned!
NJ: I’m currently finishing up my “summer soundtrack” mixtape “DE-TOUR”, which will be available for download on May 27th at www.nickjavas.com. I’m also currently working on my debut album, Destination Unknown, which is scheduled to drop this fall.
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