Interview: Massive In Their Own Backyard

It’s always an honour talking to Aussie bands, especially those that rock out like Massive.

Hello guys. Thanks for your time. It’s very much appreciated

. Let’s start with the easy one… what’s the inspiration for Massive to make the music that you do? Who are the bands that encouraged you to make music?

“Since I met Brad in high school, it’s all we’ve wanted to do. I can’t see myself doing anything else with my life. I love every aspect of being a musician. From creating the music, recording, playing live, being on the road and seeing new places and meeting new people every night. It’s the perfect way to live. Why wouldn’t you want to do this forever! 
Bands that made me want to make music? Well that’s easy. Led Zeppelin.”

The first album, ‘Full Throttle’ really took off, and Massive hit the ground running, getting to the US early, and getting the name out there. Looking back to the first album, and the audience reaction, what’s the overriding memory from those first few months after the release?

“It all happened fairly quickly. We put the album out within 12 months of starting the band. The reaction straight off was really great! We were touring around Australia in our van playing as many shows as we could. We got signed to our management team, Third Verse, and from there Earache signed us to a five album deal. It was a dream start for a new band. On paper… Behind the scenes, it was a lot of hard work, line up changes due to drug/alcohol issues, and all the fighting and drama that comes along with that. But I won’t delve into that right now [laughs]. We’re in a great place now, with all four members absolutely keen and committed to taking over the world!”

Talking of fighting, there was nearly a cage fight in the office to review your new album, ‘Destination Somewhere’! How easy was it to go back in the studio and belt it out?

”We were all really keen to get back into writing/recording mode after touring for such a long time. Bringing in new lead guitarist Brendan Forward and Aidan ‘2doggs’ McGarrigle, who had joined just after ‘Full Throttle’ was released. It felt like more of a real live band going into the studio this time around. We’d been all around the world and had so much more live experience and stories to tell. We all contributed riffs and songs and it just felt natural and real.” What has pleased you most about the album. Whats the standout – where is it taking Massive?

 “Destination Somewhere’ could be my favourite Massive song ever. That chorus is really uplifting, and the lyrics sum the band up so perfectly. We don’t plan on going home. Ever. We don’t want to be stuck in one place. We’re on the move all the time and living on the road playing rock n roll. It’s the dream!”

What’s the track on the album that you most look forward to playing live. The title track sounds like a corker to play in front of an audience.

“My favourites to play live would have to be ‘Blood Money Blues’, and ‘Sinking Ship’. Both are just high energy, and they always get us and the crowd pretty pumped up. 
’Beaten Dog’ is another fun one to play. Brendan’s slide playing is killer, and it’s a really different song for us. It takes the live show to a whole other place rather than just blowing people’s heads off for an hour.” 

So, you’re back on the road again, drinking your way across Australia with The Screaming Jets. How the hell do you plan for that, or do you just hit the road and see what happens?

“We don’t really plan anything we do. The ‘Jets tour is a fine example of that. We kinda have this rule in Massive that we’re not going to waste money on accommodation. We need that money for beer, fuel, food, and beer. 
Last year when we toured with the ‘Jets we slept in the van, or a girls house, or a bowling green, or a girls mum’s house, or sometimes the ‘Jets boys would let us crash on one of their hotel room floors… This time around will be no different. It saves us a lot of money that we don’t have, and you meet some amazingly generous people! So it’s a win/win!”

No pressure, but looking for tips on the Oz setlist. Can we rely on you knocking out ‘DanceFloor’ and ‘Bring Down the City’? These must give you a buzz to play live, so…no pressure….

“Those are two absolute favourites, both for us and the crowd, so you can count on hearing those live. It’s fun having two albums worth of material to choose from when writing the set list. It means we can mix it up on any given night and play completely different sets, but there will always be someone who misses out on hearing their favourite song, or whatever.. Oh well, come see us again and we’ll play it just for you!”

The guys at DGM in the UK got pretty excited seeing you at Hard Rock Hell. Epic tales of drinking and greasy rock. What are your memories from that one?

“That was one of the greatest days/weekends. So many killer artists from all over the world. It just so happened that our brothers from Melbourne, Electric Mary were there playing as well. It was great partying with everyone over there. They’re all there for the same reason and everybody was in such good spirits. Needless to say the after party got fairly loose.”

Rumour is that you are heading back to HRH again this year, and sharing the stage with a belter of a line up. Looking forward to seeing anyone in particular playing live?

“My pick, apart from Massive of course, is your mate Glenn Hughes, as he is still knocking it out.
Yeah, I’m keen to see my old mate Glenn belt it out again. He has probably the greatest rock voice in the world. I guess that’s why they call him the ‘voice of rock’ eh? He is an incredible live performer, and has such a great catalogue of music. Living Colour are another band I’m keen to check out. Known about them for years but never really got into them until I saw them in Oz with Alter Bridge a couple years back. Freak musicianship, and cool as fuck songs.”

On a more serious note… is there anything we can do to stop the UK selling beer at room temperature? How the hell do you cope with lukewarm beer on tour?

“It’s fucking horrible. I hate it. Unless it’s Guinness… But other than that, get stuffed. Whenever I’m ordering a beer in the UK, I just ask for something cold. I don’t care what it is, as long as it doesn’t feel like I’m drinking a cup of tea!”

Thanks for your time, gentlemen. It was a blast.

Watch out for Massive, as they’ll be on tour somewhere near you!

Interview: Craig Grant


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