Introducing one of the more eccentric bands to emerge from the South East London scene, Massmatiks are living up to the hype surrounding their new found success, as they release the new single ‘4AM’. Having just completed a national tour with alt rockers Don Brocco, and soon to set off on their own endeavours next month the four piece are running amok with ambition and passion, for great music.
Alongside ‘4AM’ they have also released a gritty and realistic music video for ‘Gunning For You’, collaborating with close friends Alex Rawon and North Shore Films. One of GIGsoup’s contributors John Gittins managed to catch the lads before they set off on their own headline tour, to talk about influences, ‘DIY’ schemes and band tattoos.
Massmatik’s style of singing and playing verges on the likes of Enter Shikari, RATM, Royal Blood, and even The Streets whilst never totally resonating with any of them. Was this style a natural progression when you all first started to make music together?
That’s some sick acts to be related with! It was definitely a natural progression of writing in loads of different styles, then once we found this sound we felt it represented us best as a band and individuals collectively.
Your approach to getting music out is very DIY, in the sense that you all helped out to edit the enticing ‘Gunning For You’ video. The result is an honest performance that perfectly reflects your tone and style. Do you think the DIY approach is essential for a new band’s success, and did you find as a band you felt unanimous in creative decisions?
It works differently for various bands – some acts are able to get off the ground with the help of others and don’t have to worry about the “DIY” approach. We however have always wanted to have as many elements to our band as possible that we can create ourselves at this stage. That way we can always give off what we feel is the honest reflection of what we are releasing – whether that’s a new single, new video or just a new set of promo photos. Like before, we all know how we want to be represented as a band and individuals, so our creative ideas easily come to unanimous decisions.
You’ve previously said you write your songs for live performance with production coming later. Do you find it tricky to write consistently relatable songs whilst avoiding repetition in your song’s substance?
We’re always finding influence from bands across the board, whether thats 70’s rock or 90’s hip-hop, even to some heavy metal that is released today! We feel it always gives us freshness in our ideas for songwriting musically. Lyrically, taking influence from everyday life will always give us different emotions/situations to relate to that keep our ideas fresh when we’re writing new music.
The band and crew are sporting leg tattoos of the bands logo in reference to your first tour. By the sounds of it, the tour must have bought you all together and sealed some tight bonds; were there any memorable moments from it?
Ha! The tattoo was just a natural decision we took because of the time we were having on the road with Broco. There were several memorable moments (some that won’t be said…), however opening for a sold out Islington O2 Academy two nights in a row was special. We had our closest friends and family there, who have come to their fair share of our smaller shows – so it was great in so many ways. Joe also played on stage with the Broco boys on the second night in London which was mad! One other memorable moment was playing a game involving leaving condoms on people’s shoulders. It sounds a bit random, but its honestly so jokes.
You supported Don Broco on their recent summer tour with two dates in every city. Now that you are embarking on your own headline tour is there anything you’ve learnt and are taking on-board from the Broco experience?
This is the first tour where we’ve had fans up and down the country, and we’ve definitely learnt to respect those who travel and pay to see your band. Some people really have some awesome commitment to a show. We’ve definitely learnt from Broco after watching them for so many shows every night – musically during their sets we were honoured to watch one of our favourite bands again and again, taking in everything they do. Oh yeah, and always bring a pillow and sleeping bag, you’ll never know the weird places you end up some nights……
What are the plans for December onwards; you’ll have completed two tours, and a few singles to boot. Do you have any secret releases up your sleeves or will you be taking well-deserved break?
We just came out from recording some new singles just last week up in Soho with Charlie Russell. We’re excited to release some new music after the Broco tour as we have our fanbase eagerly awaiting something new from us, and we don’t think they are going to be disappointed! We will have a well-deserved break once we have taken over the world… Until then, its writing and recording, touring and striving to be the best band we can possibly be!
This Massmatiks ‘4AM’ Boom! Interview was written by GIGsoup contributor, John Gittins.