Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Massive Assault Interview

1. Can you tell us a little bit about the band for those that have never heard of you before?
We are Massive Assault and we play Death Metal, haha!
No, serious,
 Fredde, Rob (our first drummer) and I started jamming in 2002, while also playing in other bands.  At the beginning of 2003 we shifted our main priorities to the band we would rename Massive Assault. The name Massive Assault also fitted our musical outcome. We released our first demo in 2003 through the web. This demo had a limited run as a remixed CDR in 2004 entitled "Promo 2004". After that we released another demo through the web + some cover-recordings.
The "Conflict-EP",  was the first official release through a label, followed up by the "Dystopian Prophecies"-full-lenght and last year we released the "Slayer-EP". And now FDA Rekotz is unleashing our second full-lenght "Death Strike".

2. How would you describe your musical sound?
Massive Assault is a mix between the old British, Swedish and Florida-styled Death Metal + D-Beat Crust. Our guitarsound is highly inspired soundwise by a Swe-death character due the use of  the Boss HM-2, which is also the reason why people like to label us Swedish-styled Death Metal. But nowadays we can not be pinned down musicwise to one style because we are somewhere in the middle of  Death Metal and Crustcore, as you will hear on our upcoming release Death Strike.

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
On "Death Strike" the lyrics are about war, internal struggle and misery.
The first song "Driven Towards Death" is about the horror those men had to face in the trenches during WWI.
In "Cycle Of Violence" I sum up some patterns I see while reading or watching documentaries about serial killers.
"Operation Anthropoid" is about the nearly failed attempt of taking the life of Heydrich, the butcher of Prague.
The lyrics of "Finished Sympathy" is about something personal (read it I'd say).
A part of the Korean War is penned down in "Turning Tides".
"Pride" is written by Jos and is about the judgement people do onto others.
"Dismal Life" and "Aggressive Depression" are about internal struggles.
My views on war in general is written in "Chained".
And lastly, another lyric by Jos, "Plead Not Guilty" is about how we will be eaten by rats in the end.
So, I guess I can say that our lyrics are about "struggles" in general.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
We needed a name that fitted our style. That’s what the name Massive Assault does. Massive sounding, and lyrics about war, violence and misery. We first named ourselves  Mortar but it didn't really sound right for us. Add to that, that back then there were a few more bands that were also named Mortar. I do know that our guitarist Fredde did get some mails from time to time stating that some people from the US have some problems with it, due to the conflicts in Afghanistan. It seems that the words “massive assault” gets a negative weight by US news from time to time, mostly during conflicts. But we are not a political band, and we didn't see any reason to chance our name.
The name Massive Assault fits us well!

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
We have done many shows over the years and to name some of the best is kind of hard. Most are played in Holland, but also played in Belgium and Germany. One special show that comes to mind was one of the first we did.  We played at a bar and people literally crowdsurfed from the front to the back, but people also ended up in the toilets or in the streets. It was chaos, because it was packed stiff! Some other shows that come to mind are the ones we had with Tragedy and Entombed and the shows we did in June and December in Germany last year.
Our stage performance is described as very energetic, because we give everything we can. It's also good to mention that the guitarsound is great on stage everywhere we play. Somehow Fredde always manages to get this brutal crushing sound on whatever the venue uses. I guess it's because he's also a producer (Dirty Bird Productions) and knows his stuff.

6. Do you have any touring plans for the new release?
We are planning to do a small tour in June where we will focus ons middle europe, but I can't say much about that now at the moment. We will be playing on Gahlen Mosht and Protzen Open Air this year, aswell as some confirmed shows in Belgium and Holland. It would be great to do some more weekend-tours in the near future.

7. On a worldwide level how has your music been recieved by fans of death metal, d beat and crustcore/
We get good responses about our releases and see that there is interest from all over the world. Also very good responses when we play on a metal or punk event, We have mainly focused on Holland in the past, and are just exploring the realms outside of our country for a few years now.  I think I can say that with me coming back to this band a few years back, we broadened our focus a lot more, because I have more contacts with people outside of Holland then the other bandmembers have.
It's all D.I.Y. Last year these contacts brought us more shows in Germany, all with good response.

8. Are there any side projects besides this band or is this a full time line up?
Massive Assault is our main focus, but we all have other bands and projects on the side as well. Jos, our bassplayer also plays in a Hardcore-band (Dirty East GVD), which has released two full lenghts. Gideon plays in a Metallica-tribute band. Fredde, our guitarist and I are also playing in a project called Slegdehammer Nosejob, which could be labelled "Crust-Rock". Before my return to Massive Assault, I also had another project with Fredde, but because I missed playing live I came back to the band that I left in 2005.

9. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
Massive Assault will always be playing music that all members like, and with this band the red line will be Death Metal. We have changed the sound a little from time to time. Also in the past every new member gave this band some new ideas. We started out more melodic, which can be heard on our demos. Both the first EP and the first full-lenght are a lot more raw then those demos were. The songs on the "Slayer-EP" are more thrashy then on both the first full-lenght and our new full-lenght. I guess "Death Strike" has a little of all prevous releases, but at a higher pace. We haven't really thought about what direction we will be going to in the future.
The songs come as they come, so to speak. 

10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
It's no hidden fact that Massive Assault is influenced by bands like Entombed, Bolt Thrower, Dismember and Obituary. But we are also influenced by Crust and Hardcore, aswell as Motörhead and AC/DC. I think you can hear that in our music as well.
We listen to all types of music nowadays.
My personal playlist changes from musicstyle day to day, but some (okay, very few) of the metalbands that have been returning these past weeks, next to the 90s masters of (Death) Metal are Entrapment, Nailgun Massacre, Bodyfarm, Undergang, Entrails and Vallenfyre. Furthermore I'm listening to a lot of crust (Driller Killer, Krush, Skitsystem, Disfear and the likes) and grind/powerviolence (Suffering Quota, Blood Duster, etc) again lately.

11. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
I'm a real fanatic when it comes to movies. I collect all kinds of movies and it doesn't matter if they are from 1915 (the earliest title I own) or from 2012. I do however mostly own horror/thriller. Another thing I like to watch are documentaries about various subjects, mostly about wars, serial killers and occult stuff. Those topics fascinate me the most. Those are also the topics I read about the most, next to fiction and biographies. Though I do have to say that I don't spend as much time on reading as I like to.

12. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Pick up "Death Strike" and bang your heads to it!
You can find info and news about Massive Assault on www.facebook.com/massiveassault
 and http://www.myspace.com/massiveassault
Thanx for this interview and good luck with the zine!

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