Interview by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
It might be something to do with the formidable environment and the fact that it has more deadly creatures per square mile than anywhere on Earth, but Australia has birthed more than its fair share of brawling, tough as nails, rock ‘n’ roll bands than practically anywhere else you could name.
From The Angels, through to Cold Chisel, Rose Tattoo, Airbourne and of course (with three fifths via that other untamed land Scotland) AC/DC the continent has produced some of the finest, rough-arsed and unstoppable crews to ever pick up a six string or batter a drum kit.
Melbourne bruisers Massive have proudly joined those legendary ranks and anyone whose ever witnessed one of their balls out live shows know that these guys are 110% committed to tearing roofs off and partying until the audiences are left bloodied, battered and grinning with mile wide smiles.
Road warriors to make Mad Max seem agoraphobic, the four piece are constantly touring and seemingly spend most of the year laying waste to Europe, jaunts to this side of the globe an increasingly regular occurrence.
With three albums of blistering boogie under their belts and more time spent playing live than virtually any band you could name, Massive have been going places in both senses of the phrase. Front man and human dynamo Brad Marr lays out how he’s been keeping busy away from the insanity of the highways and byways of this water covered blue dot in the cosmos and how the band are taking Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey on at their own game.
First off, and most importantly: How are you doing?
I’m doing fine. In regard to the virus all I can do is try not to get it and try not to spread it. In regard to the mental side of being lockdown for 3 months. I try to ignore social media as much as I can. That place is a swamp for negative feelings.
How have you been keeping yourself busy?
We had a lot planned for 2020, all postponed, but no chance were we gonna sit on our hands for a year. Nope. We have written a ROCK N ROLL COOKBOOK! Full of home recipes and each page has an album you can listen to while you cook. And it’s out in time for Xmas! Perfect little stocking filler![youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSr-CjZh1nM&w=560&h=315]
Have you been doing any online live shows or seen any good ones?
Yeh myself and Ben Laguda have done a few little online festivals but my own online gigs from our Facebook page were insane. I turned my lounge room into a stage. Got the gig banner out, hung it up in the lounge room, then set up a PA behind the couch, then got out the Christmas lights to give it vibe. Neighbors loved it…I assume.
Have you had to change your way of writing material?
To be honest I haven’t written much Massive material during the lockdown. Can’t force it. We have a stockpile of new material ready to go. But in regard to the method, it’s exactly the same. None of us live close to each other. We never see each other unless we’re on tour. We don’t rehearse unless we’re about to start a tour. Our writing method has been via drop box for a long time now.
Do you keep in touch with your fellow bandmates / other musicians much?
Massive have a Facebook group. It’s 10% band related and 90% stuff we shouldn’t talk about in print. The shit you find on the internet. Yeh it’s all in Massive’s group chat. As for other muso’s yeh it’s a close-knit community. We all know each other so check in with people every now and then.
What plans have you had to change this year?
2020 was meant to be a busy year. We had studio time booked for album number 4 – we had hired a whole film crew and were putting on our largest headline show ever in Melbourne for a DVD filming, and of course we had a full tour booked. All postponed. So, 2021 will hopefully be a busy year – pandemic pending.
What do you think of the social distancing gigs (like the one that happened in Kansas recently – 229 people in a 1,100-seat venue) or the thought of drive-in gigs?
I think people are just trying to cope and find a way. People are forced to get creative. There are now outdoor social distancing gigs, they attempted drive in gigs, the online gig has become the norm, bands more than ever have to use their creativity to keep going and keep relevant. Here we are becoming rock n roll chefs in our down time ha-ha.
How do you think the music industry will have changed after this period of lockdown?
I don’t think many bands will be getting signed between now and 2025. Venues will close, the big industry will tighten any loose ends, bands will be forced to get creative. I’m sure life will bounce back like it always does.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQGOcgWUFYk&w=560&h=315]
What plans have you got for when the isolation finishes and gigs start back up again?
We have a tour booked for January. In April when we postponed our tour, we couldn’t imagine the world would still be in lockdown for so long. Fingers crossed we can tour and sell some of the truck load of merch we are sitting on. But otherwise. It’s material. We are a rock n roll band; we make music and no world event will slow that down.
How can people support you during this time?
You can support us by pre ordering our rock n roll cookbook. It features a tonne of recipes, it also features a tonne of rock n roll bands, it’s a cool unique Xmas present and it would really help us if we could pre sell as many as possible (you know so we can actually afford to keep doing what we do) �Pre order here: www.massiveoz.com
Massive – Australian Rock N Roll