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.
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?
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’.
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.
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.
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’?
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,