wtorek, 24 października 2017

Exclusive stream of new Massgrav's song "Vem har tjallat för chefen?" and interview with Ola and Norse!

      Proudly presents the loudest band from Sweden aka Stockholm Rockers: Massgrav! The release date of their new album is on Saturday, 28th of October 2017. Exclusive stream of new Massgrav's song "Vem har tjallat för chefen?" and interview with Ola and Norse by Andrzej Dumała/ Grindcore Propaganda.
      During the 21 years of existence Massgrav have were a lot of masks and used the words of others, what's behind the Stockholm Rockers masks?
      Ola: I would say this started as an inside joke about the super pretentions (and similar photos) that the Swedish act the Knife used quite some time ago and somehow it evolved into this album cover. We used the same masks and clothes when we did a "rock video" (long story) last year and the photos from that looked great. Unfortunately, they were all lost, so we decided to recreate that photo shoot this year. I'm not 100% sure what you mean by that we have worn a lot of masks throughout the years though, I think this is the first and it's a damn hassle so don't expect us to do a Dr Living Dead anytime soon.
      Norse: And to be honest, even if we're a bunch of handsome motherfuckers, we're not that pretty that our faces should be on a record cover.
      But as you can see, our perfectly shaped bodies are all there to give you maximum pleasure.
      O: Let me take this opportunity to remind us all that Norses face was actually on the cover of the "stampa takten..." ep, so I guess he's the exception to that rule.
      N: Well, that was during my modeling days. Now I'm uglier and more disgusting.
Massgrav. Photo credits: Urban Skytt.




      Massgrav joins forces with TeamxDead, sounds like a good plan for future. You have calmed my curiosity about masks used on the cover, yes, your handsome motherfuckers. Wearing masks is a metaphor, I mean to using the ideas from other artists in your heritage, usually from Scandinavia. Tell us about these inspirations, and the key to understanding them.
      N: Well, we've never been shy about exposing our influences. On "Stockholm Rockers" we steal a lot from Mob47 and Krigshot, mixes it up with some of U.S. finest, such as Hellnation and Infest. Add a bit of good ol' rock'n'roll á la Chuck Berry, Status Quo and voila - there you have it - the recipe to Massgrav.
      Ola, what have I missed? Or forgotten.
      O: The Ramones.
      N: Of course! Our songs have always been much more Ramones than Discharge.
      O: I should also mention Limp Wrist. Every time I listen to them, I want to write new songs. And It's not that I want to steal things (though I'm normally certainly not above stealing) - it's more that their riffs and vocal lines give me a lot of ideas (which, I guess, is the meaning of inspiration). Also, so far we've talked mainly musical inspiration. Let's not forget our main source of inspiration for our lyrics: work. Every day, the workplace throws ten things to write about, right in your face.
      I agree, work is influential, for me also getting to work, by bike, 40km one way day by day. Let's face it, there's only a few humans who understand Punk as we do, we need to struggle with daily life. How work inspires you?
      N: Man, 80 km on the bike every day - are you in the contest for "Mr Poland 2018"?
      Well, I really don't know if we understand punk, but in our jobs we have to deal with this everlasting stream of stupid people telling you to do stupid things. And since its not the best idea to go berserk on them at work, writing a song about them and their stupidity is a pretty good way to let out some steam.
      O: Sounds like your trip to work could be inspiring in a positive way. The only positive about the inspiration I take from work is that it provides lyrics for new songs. It may sound spoiled to complain when you have a cushy office job, but man... The bleakness of the cubicle hell, the endless meetings, reorganizations, passive aggressive emails, futile projects and the sheer incompetence of middle management. It's surprising that the people who DON'T have a band like ours as a vent, don't go postal more often.
      There's a lot of people who love saying stuff like "if Monday is not your best day of the week, you should switch jobs", well... that's fucking easy to say and hard to live by. I guess I'm not prepared to let my kids starve in the nude because daddy's out doing fun stuff instead of working. Let's just face it: most of us would rather NOT work and spend all our time on fun projects instead, projects that usually make no economical sense.
      Sorry about the long answer. That's what you get for not asking standard stuff like "what do you think of Agathocles".
      Are you sure I could take part in any contest with my face? Indeed, it's inspiring, especially when you fight with the nature, asking yourself what barriers your able to overcome, and when you face them your notice there is no barriers, essential. I felt like we were working in the same company but on different shifts. What barriers did Massgrav struggle?
      N: Not with your face, but with your body ;)
      Once we struggled like hell with the great barrier reef. Other than that we've mostly been cruisin' down the fast lane. And with the new album we're puttin in the next gear!
      O: I don't think we'd have much hardship of the kind you describe. The darkest, toughest times have been when our drummers Indy and Ove were forced to realize they would no longer be able to play drums with us, due to physical problems with their arms. At those times, me and Norse didn't know if we'd be able to keep the band going, or even if we should. But we did, and we're happy we did, I think we're better then ever now (though what bands don't say that?).
      One reason we haven't really encountered hardships though, is that we never had any goals except for writing, recording and releasing new songs and hopefully play live now and then. We know what we are and what we're doing and we've never been worried about sales or popularity much, so there's not much to get us down, since there's always been someone who's been more than happy to release our stuff.
      Beeing loyal and truthful to underground is a thing, everyone who knows you will confirm its true. Whats the meaning of manful titles of your albums Still the Kings and Stockholm Rockers?
      O: Normally, I don't want to explain things too much, lots of what we do is done with a hope it'll provoke people to start thinking a little bit (never works though) but I mean... Stockholm Rockers, there's not much to understand - it's what we are. Even though most members are originally from other places, we are 100% a Stockholm band, and it's always been key to us to rock. We want to make catchy and melodic songs, only fast and aggressive too.
      The origins of the title is that a lot of times, when we play gigs, the organizers will write a description for every band on the poster, and most of the time we will be labelled things like "d-beat" or "grindcore", none of which feels like an accurate description to us. Then we played New York and the lovely people in Cat Bomb wrote "Massgrav - Stockholm Rockers" on the poster and it made us really happy. And when the time came to name the new album, it just felt right to use it. It's what we are.       N: I mean, you can never deny a good title. That has always been our philosophy. When we write songs we often start with a catchy or”provocative” song title and then kind of build the lyrics and the song from that.
      And as Ola points out, there is not really any deeper meaning behind those album titles. ”Still the kings” is obviously a statement that I think most people can agree with (Hey, we’re talking Massgrav here!).
      When it was time to name the new album we were playing around with titles such as ”Emperors return” or ”We’re back, your welcome!” but they reminded a bit too much of ”Still the kings” and since repeating yourself isn’t that fun, we decided to use another kind of policy statement – ”Stockholm Rockers”.
Massgrav. Photo credits: Urban Skytt.
       I can count self-sufficent bands on the fingers of one hand. All Massgrav arts are made by band, impressive. I would like to know about inspirations, ideas, technics, making proces...
      N: Im gladly passing this one over to Ola since he is and has always been the mastermind behind all our artwork.
      O: Yeah, the covers. And the shirts. I make them. What can I say? Well, I have no artistic talent and my drawing skills are sadly that of a five year old, so what I do is I borrow and steal stuff and mix it together. Fortunately, my Photoshop skills are decent (which has resulted in me doing EVERYTHING in Photoshop, even layout, which is pretty dumb and takes a lot more time, but in the end gets the job done) so a lot of our artwork is just some sort of collages, with everything made high contrast black and white to fit together (punk/hc scrapbooking). Some stuff is based on my own photos, a lot is just stolen off the internet and altered. We're not big believers in copyright and one or two covers are a bit questionable.
      Making artwork usually takes a very long time for me and a lot of times I head in the complete wrong direction. We have a page called "graveyard" on our website with examples of ideas that didn't work out so great, go have a look at it. But yeah, especially the "this war..." album took me an insane amount of time. Oh, and the "Extra nitad" gatefold cover, that almost drove me nuts.
      I sometimes wish we had our own Arturo Vega who would supply us with great looking artwork and the few times someone else did it (the Blood I bleed split and also the cover image of our split with Kronofogden) it was a great releief, but at the same time I find it very hard to trust someone else to "get us" and we suck at giving artists briefs. When Raf did the skull for "Still the kings", I found it very hard to give him good instructions.
      As for inspiration... I don't know. Sometimes, I guess things I see inspire me, but a lot of times it may just be "what photos do I have on the computer that might be turned into something" too. For the new album, we decided to bypass all that and actually had a good friend take good looking photos of us, and that made everything a lot smoother.
      Another thing I could mention about "techniques" is that I've always found it hard working with fonts and typography. When you want a trashy look, it just gets ruined by just about any font because it looks too orderly and photoshopped. So recently I've started writing stuff myself instead. On the covers ep (Kill your darlings) I just used a marker and left it that way (which we also did on our first CD - Nalpalm öfver Stureplan but then it was Indy writing, his lettering is much better than mine) but for the album title of Stockholm Rockers and also for our 20 anniversary shirt, I've just gone out to my garage and painted letters on a big piece of cardbord and taken a photo of it with my phone and opened it in photoshop. Pretty low tech.
      Sorry, that got long. I could go on a lot longer but I'm sure nobody cares. Let me just say that I get really envious sometimes when I see other bands suuuper slick album covers, bands that have like art directors in their bands. But at the same times it feels pretty good to be self sufficient. Have you seen the old Bad Religion inner sleeve with all lyrics written with marker on a wall and then they've just taken a picture of it? That's a great idea, if I just had a room I could do that to, we'd probably do the same thing.
      Yep I saw How Could Hell Be Any Worse? cover art, this is a great idea, Bad Religion could be the first who made it this way. I wish you to inspired by music, lyrics and arts, like Bad Religion do. Thank you for interview.
      N: Thanx man, take care!
      O: yeah thanks.

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