Interview with Massive Ego for the release of 'Church for the Malfunctioned.'

Updated: Apr 16, 2019

Massive Ego’s members Marc Massive (vocals, lyrics) Scot Collins (synth, production) Oliver Frost (percussion) join Elektro Vox to speak about their new album released on the 26th of this month titled Church for the Malfunctioned. Having listened to several of the songs on offer I can tell you this already, this album is going to be one of the 'must listen' albums of 2019. It really is a credit to the scene.


Full album released 26th April 2019

Album teaser trailer:

Official video of the brand new single 'Digital Heroin':


Q. Thank you for speaking to Elektro Vox. I must admit I only recently discovered yourselves about a month a go via Spotify when it suggested the track ‘Let go’ on the ‘Beautiful Suicide’ album and it went straight to my driving playlist. How would you describe your sound to people who have never heard your music before and how would you say the new album continues or differentiates in that sound?


Marc:

Glad you found us, what took you so long? lol I understand that though as we’re like a band with a history in two parts, the cover version, 80’s NRG pop band version from the 90s early naughties to the band you find yourself coming across now. I guess with twenty years history we’ve gone through some musical transitions and line-up changes over those years. I very rarely reference or perform any of the old material pre-2014 now as we are a completely different sounding band now from the early days and the line-up we formed in 2015 is the band that has started doing well. Since discovering the dark scene and it’s industrial, goth, EBM elements I completely changed the direction of the music I wanted to make and found like-minded spirits in the form of Scot and Olly and together we took the tentative steps into that scene by signing with German label Out Of Line. Overnight we literally lost the majority of our ‘gay scene’ following we’d had before that and had to start again, but it was very much a conscious decision to leave the past behind. Luckily we had a song called ‘I Idolize You’ which got us signed to the German label in the first place and seemed to prove popular within the dark scene, so we owe that track a lot. We came back after that EP release with a full album ‘Beautiful Suicide’ that shocked a lot of people, I don’t think they were expecting such an eclectic mix of songs. The influences we’re quite identifiable, in that my love of the 80s were there, Scot had a stronger understanding of Industrial which he brought to the table, Olly has a more eclectic taste with the likes of Dead Can Dance and Underworld featuring heavily. There was also Lloyd in the band then who brought a similar 80s synth knowledge as mine to the equation. Lloyd quit before we started writing the new album to concentrate on his own music so we had a little regrouping of ideas and hopes for the album and it was decided we wanted to go harder with the sound, more underground Berlin club, and even darker than the first album, which is no mean feat considering that was called ‘Beautiful Suicide’. 


Marc Massive (Photographer: Kirsty Shoesmith)


Olly:

Although we’ve been welcomed on to the goth scene as a band, I don’t personally feel that goth music as a genre is the main vein running throughout our work. It’s in there, but I wouldn’t say it's the lifeline. Having socialised on the scene a fair bit now in recent years I’ve come to realise that it’s a much more varied scene than what I and others may think of or associate when the term ‘goth scene’ especially that of the past, which is why our music fits in so perfectly. I think the music we discovered as teenagers, listened to in clubs and at home are so far apart that we’ve all had a very different musical education, and I feel that's what shines through in our music. The genres we grew up with cross over of course but ultimately our love and influences are so far apart that we all bring different things to the drawing board and therefore the finished product is hard to categorize in one word. 


Oliver Frost (Photographer: Kirsty Shoesmith)


Scot:

Welcome to the purple side! This is definitely one of the hardest questions we get asked because we have never 100% agreed on the style of our music. Personally, I would say “Industrial Goth Euphoria”. We wanted to create something heavier, more euphoric dance influenced and more exciting than the last album while retaining the same distinctive and clean Massive Ego sound. The feedback so far has been amazing! There are influences in the new album from Gary Numan to Iron Maiden and even Scooter. A personal favourite of mine is “My Religion Is Dark” as I tried experimenting with a melodic kick drum usually used in Hardstyle music but instead mixed that up with the Massive Ego sound. Mix that up with Marc and Olly’s love of 80’s music and you have a really cool sound we are very proud of. 


Scott Collins (Photographer: Kirsty Shoesmith)


Q. Your band has a very unique and refreshing look even in the Goth scene. Is there a recurring theme and message throughout all of Massive Ego’s works and the way you portray yourselves? Also, what points are you trying to get across in the new album with such incredible tracks as ‘Malfunctioning me’?


Marc:

For me I always like to present a vulnerability, a juxtaposition to actually being in a band called Massive Ego. A name that we’re stuck with, that I think initially gets naturally misunderstood by the public until they listen to our songs lyrics and realise that actually we’re all inadequate and suffer from personality disorders such as panic and anxiety issues and issues with self-worth. This a very common theme that runs through the songs, as does the feeling of not fitting in or belonging. This is what the title of the new album Church Of The Malfunctioned eludes to. An alternative to organised religion and it’s archaic preachings, a church where all the misfits, non-accepted, or those that just don’t follow what society expects of them can fit in…the malfunctioned as we’re often seen as in their eyes. I got the idea whilst performing at the Amphi Festival last year, where there was a genuine love amongst all those attending. Their love of the dark scene, music, and fashion felt like a proper family under one roof. A sense of belonging I’ve not felt in any other scene I’ve been involved with over the years. The fact that the band has been welcomed with open arms is a testament to that feeling of being inclusive, and it just felt like we had our own church, and the outsiders who’d not appreciated us could take a running jump.  The album was originally a bunch of songs we’d planned to be an EP. I have a particular loathing of organised religion and it’s destructive ways. The way animals are used and abused in their antiquated traditions. The way sexuality is demonised if it’s anything other than a man sleeps with a woman and all that rubbish. The calls to arms in the name of religious beliefs and land distribution. Many of the songs have a religious title and theme and these formed the first set of tracks until we decided we might as well carry on the workflow and make an album instead. The rest of the songs came pretty quickly, I’d just lost my mum to dementia prior to starting the writing process so this shaped the direction of a couple of the songs. In the days leading up to her passing, after spending a few weeks bedside vigil and watching her get weaker and weaker I made the decision to record her faltering breathing. It’s these final breaths that start the album and end the album, her presence seemed so strong throughout the writing and recording over the year after her death that it seemed fitting she be featured in such a way especially as there are three songs on there about her. 


Olly:

Our name, image and music refuse's to fit into a box, which is fine as we hate labels. Fuck conforming, and adhering to rules of the system, life is for experimenting with, mixing things up is far more interesting than being pigeonholed. Our determination to not be categorised by the way we look also extends into the music we make as well, and as you’ve probably realised, a lot of the songs are about what's wrong with the world and mess humans have made of this planet. As a vegan band, we’re obviously influenced by the injustices across the globe as far as animals are concerned, some of which religion is to blame. Tradition is a very useful thing for those causing the damage to throw up when change is needed. However, Tradition is no excuse for animal abuse. I feel very grateful for the years before the internet. Like so many I’m sure, I often find the pace of modern existence challenging and the way technology controls our everyday life can be exhausting. Everything is initiated online these days. From picking up casual sex partners on your phone whilst walking down the street, to how we present ourselves to the world with beautifying phone apps, and how we orchestrate and design our visual representation online. And when so many of our friends online are miles away, we’re able to live this faux life online as chances are we’ll never even meet half of who are ‘friends’ on Facebook. Which is why the industrial music scene out of the UK is so refreshing because you get to meet so many of the people that befriend you on social media and that feels good. It feels real and reminds me of the social circles that once existed in the underground club scene growing up.  

(Elektro vox: Truer words never spoken! That really does pinpoint why our community is so unique and wonderful.)


Scot:

We are storytellers. Each song has a strong story and personal meaning to us which we have combined together throughout the whole album to create an even bigger story. We feel such a personal connection to our music and lyrics that we hope is reflected in the final product. Our looks are an extension of our artistic storytelling side which we try to show in a really interesting way that looks great on stage and gives us a boost of confidence. When you look great, you feel great. When you feel great, you perform great! When you perform great, the fans have a great time and finally, when the fans have a great time, the reward to us is unmatched.


(Photographer: Kirsty Shoesmith)

Q. Massive Ego has been around over 20 years and seen success in Germany with shows at the industrial pilgrimage festivals of Amphi, WGT, and Mera Luna. Have you played in the UK recently and any plans for future shows or tours now the album is out? (I’d love to see you guys play something as intimate as Elektrowerkz or much bigger such as the 02 soon etc).


Marc:

We have played Electrowerkz many times, in fact, our first gig as the new line-up and sound was in those hallowed walls. Last time was supporting our fellow label mates Solar Fake. I believe there’s something being lined up for that venue again later in the year, a festival I’m not allowed to discuss yet. We supported Covenant last year at the O2 Islington which had long been a venue I’d wanted to play so that was a tick for my bucket list. The UK is a funny one for us, due to the dwindling dark scene over here we don’t get offered the gigs half as much as we do in Germany now. I don’t know whether our look just doesn’t resonate with people over here, or we’ve been put into some weird bracket because of the look or what they think we’re going to be like, it often seems an uphill struggle to be accepted or written about or booked, the politics involved are draining, and some of the promoters seem determined to kill the scene even more over here with their bickering and infighting. The venues and attendance are never going to match that of Germany as it ends up being cheaper to fly to one of those big festivals, see a load of the bands all under one roof then it is to attend a couple of gigs over here.  (Elektro Vox: I really hope to change that and get you guys a much bigger fan base and interest which is very much deserved in my opinion!)

Olly: The UK industrial scene isn’t as vibrant as it once was. Event promoters barely exist anymore. Artists aren’t treated as well in the UK on this scene as they are abroad. Physical numbers through the venue door aren’t what they could be, partly due to bad promotion and partly due to certain promoters taking advantage of artists. Like Marc mentions, people can travel abroad in Europe from the UK and see multiple bands at a festival for the same cost of visiting London for a single show, so why wouldn’t you. Also, people still purchase actual hard copies of albums in countries like Germany, which says a lot about how different things are overseas. Physical giant music stores like Saturn in Germany simply don’t exist in the UK anymore. HMV, Tower Records etc are a thing of the past. Everything is online now, and free streaming means that bands don’t really make any money from tracks listened to in this way, which means bands really rely on gigs to fund their practice and in the UK there are very few promoters willing to pay a fair price for booking so sadly performing in the UK is limited.


By GOD photography

 

Q. Were there any difficulties in making the new album and were there any golden moments that made you grow as a band?


Marc:

The new album seemed to come together so much more quickly this time, written and recorded in just over a year isn’t bad going I think. We had a lot to prove I guess this time, what with it being the follow-up album to what had been a critically well-received first album on Out Of line, and the fact that we’d lost a member, I think people really wanted to see if we could do it again. Fewer cooks involved I think meant compromises could be achieved easier. Lyrically there was a lot I wanted to write about and that seemed to flow pretty well, although it was daunting having a blank lyric book coming straight on the heels of the last album. 


Olly:

I think we're all big characters in our own way. Generally, we're all pretty laid back, If I'm honest though we can all be very stubborn and determined when we want to be, so things are definitely a lot easier with fewer egos to juggle. 3 is the perfect number :) We love traveling as well so it's great that we get to see some of what the world has to offer whilst on the road performing. Although often it's pretty limited when you're in the cycle of traveling, performing, flying and repeat.


Scot:

The new album was much easier to make than the last one since only 3 of us to bounce ideas over to each other. A great moment for us was when we had a great time together at M’era Luna dancing to The Prodigy.


Q. Is there any artists you would love to collaborate or tour with and who has been your favourite thus far?


Marc:

I’ve loved getting to know the Blutengel family and Chris Pohl has been a great voice to learn about the industry from, he’s been very obliging from the start of our journey with our German label and being part of two Blutengel tours has been a revelation and huge learning curve. A Nick Rhodes production or remix collaboration would be the ultimate for me. A Marilyn Manson support slot would be nice as well. 


Olly:

I’d like to with other artists that are not part of this scene, who’d you’d not expect to see collaborating. I think working on the odd track that's unexpected is what makes a band/artist exciting and fresh. Time will tell.


Scot:

I'd love to collaborate with artists like Cradle Of Filth or Angerfist who are very extreme in their genres. We would even be open to visual artists collaborating with us to enhance our live show.


Q. What life lessons has creating and being a part of Massive Ego brought you all?

Marc:

If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try and try again till you get to where you want to be. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, advice and favours and believe in yourself.


Olly:

Think before you act. Keep it real. Don’t take it all too seriously. What will be will be, the world owes you nothing. Keep doing other things that you love. And as hard as it can be at times, appreciate that fact that with that comes the ability to control what you do and put out. So many artists end up being controlled and end up making material for the fat cat and not themselves. Be thankful that you’ve lived and therefore have your own visual and artistic ideas, and don’t have to rely on others to handle your visual persona. And lastly to be open and friendly, but also to know where the line is otherwise others will step over it at high speed.


Scot:

Sometimes you can’t trust even the people closest to you. People usually only do things for others when they want to gain something themselves and rarely act out of kindness, all though there are a few good people. We live in a very selfish world. Sometimes we face either real or perceived threats which we have tried to reflect in the album story.

Q. How did you all first get in to electronic goth styles of music, has any of that influenced Massive Ego?


Marc:

I’ve always had an electro edge going on with the music, goth not so much in the past. I was very much surrounded by the synth sounds of the 80s growing up so the whole pop edge has always been a big part of me. That said the darker sounds of that decade didn’t escape me and I was a huge fan of Dalis Car which I’d been led to via a love of the band Japan, and equally the bone structure of Mr Murphy. Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus both were on my radar as a youth but visually the style aesthetic of Duran Duran and Depeche Mode was a stronger bond for me. Since discovering the German darkwave scene 5 years ago I’ve become immersed in the sound, culture and look a great deal. A wardrobe full of black is a testament to that, although my make-up draw has always had a leaning to kohl eyeliners from the days of trying on my mum’s make-up aged 12. 


Olly:

I’ve always listened to music born of electronica, from underground ’80s to early 90’s dance music and experimental avant-garde. The goth side of things are a pretty recent development in the grand scheme of things for me. Before we went on tour with Blutengel for example, I wasn’t even aware of the band a few months prior. As far as the industrial side of things is concerned, it’s not that dissimilar to the music I used to listen to in clubs in the early to late ’90s in London. Hard house, nose bleed techno and hardcore was my soundtrack for many years so I feel at home on the scene. 


Scot:

I first started listening to Blutengel a very long time ago before I was in Massive Ego. I never imagined going on tour with my favourite band though!


Q. Finally is there anything you would like to say to your fans or potential new fans? (I’m sure you will have many new UK based ones with your newest album!)


Marc:

Let’s hope the new album does bring some homegrown attention for us, it’s all about the album being heard by as bigger an audience as possible, and the hope that my lyrics resonate with people and they can relate to my thoughts and opinions. Ultimately life is about enjoyment and being kind to animals and if we can pick up some new fans along the way then they’re more than welcome to join our congregation. 


Olly:

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Approach all new things with an open mind and you may be surprised, haha! 


Scot:

Play our music everywhere and play it loud. If you see us at a concert, come and say hello, we are not scary and absolutely love your stories about discovering our music and we love seeing and talking to regular faces.


Thank you for your time!


By GOD photography

Below in the press release you can find all of the bands links, more questions and a biography. (PC only)


Massive Ego booking / press: For English speaking requests please email us at contact@massiveego.co.uk For German speaking requests please contact felix@outofline.de For Live Bookings Worldwide please contact aileen@outofline.de

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