Johan: We’ve kept ourselves busy writing a bunch of new songs for an upcoming split-7” with the swedish band Proteststorm. We’re gonna hit Studio Wolfden again in Januari 2018 and then we
cross our fingers for an early spring release of that little nugget.
Also we’ve booked a few gigs for 2018.‘
2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the
Johan: Yeah, “Stockholm Rockers”. It sounds just the way we wanted it to sound. Fast hardcore/ thrashcore with some grinding parts and a massive dose of rock’n’roll.
It’s pretty hard for me to say if the new stuff differs from our old releases. We constantly write new songs and any kind of progression or development is just a natural step for us. You know, we
have our formula and if a song or an album goes in a specific direction its more of a “clue” or “key” to what music we recently listened to or got inspired by.
We’ve never”decided” or chosen that a new album or recording should sound in a certain way or have songs that are in this or that style. Both me and Ola, who writes all the songs, knows the
“Massgrav formula” for a song and we pretty much bring everything we write to the rehearsal. If the song differs too much from how a Massgrav songs “should sound” then we throw it away.
On “Stockholm Rockers” I think there are a few slower, longer songs, and that might be a little unusual for us. But on the other hand we have a lot of total ragers as well to compensate.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
Ola: Well, old fans probably won’t notice a huge change - we’re still writing songs about politics, bosses, religion and idiots (and the frequent times when those things overlap). I would say we’ve gotten a tiny bit more political and maybe a little bit more personal too but in the end, it’s still us taking out our aggression's on our listeners.
Johan: All the things that we hate - like our jobs and the state.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Massgrav'?
Ola: When we started out, we had a really crappy name in mind and we quickly realized we needed to change. Me and Norse made a list each with names we thought would be better, “Massgrav” was on both on them so we figured that was it. This was when Internet was just gray background and blue links so we had no idea there had already been a Massgrav in Sweden, 15 years earlier (not exactly the most famous band of that era, they released one song on a comp tape). Now, the two bands that ALSO choose to name their bands Massgrav after
us, really can’t make the same defence for themselves - either they were too dumb to do a web search or too cool to care. The same thing goes for the canadians in Massgrave.
5.The band has been around for more than 20 years, what is it that motivates you to keep going after 2 decades?
Johan: The lack of any other good, fast bands. Someone’s gotta give the masses bread and circuses.
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Ola: Our performance? We just get up there and play as fast as we can and yell really loud. Since there are so few long parts without vocals, we’re pretty much stuck by the mike stands, so there’s not much of a performance, but we do our best to make it as intense as possible.
Johan: Since we’re a trio I always think we perform better on the smaller stages. When you get up on those gigantic festival stages its kinda hard to fill em up with only three people, one stuck behind his drums and the other two stuck by the mikes. So I’d say you should catch Massgrav at a small club or venue with 100-300 people. At those places you can really work up a spark or a tension between us and the crowd. Our stage banter always gets better when we are in close contact with the audience.
Man, we’ve done quite a few shows during the years but a few that stands out to me is when we played NYC at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn. When we opened for Nasum at their last show ever in
Stockholm. Playing in Russia was fun as hell and insane since the crowd was totally crazy and in to us. I also remember a great gig we did in Hamburg at the Dräschtfest - that was 15 minutes of total mayhem.
7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
Ola: We don’t really tour as such. We’ve talked about it, that maybe it would be fun to do like a week in central Europe but so far, 4 days in a row is our maximum and normally we just do one or two shows at the time. But yeah, like I said, our goal is to do maybe a little more gigging than what we usually do and try to do some stuff we’ve been too lazy to do in the last few years (like playing more shows in Sweden (outside Stockholm, that is).
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of metal and punk?
Ola: Who cares about fans of metal?
Johan:Its has actually always been pretty good. Sometimes though, we kinda get stuck in the middle as to speak. We seem to be too much punk for the metal crowd and to much metal for the punks.
9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Ola: Good question. I think we’ll continue making detours into slower parts/songs but knowing us, we’ll probably write a lot of super short and fast songs too just to make up for that.
Personally, I always think we should probably write more songs people are able to sing along to, but then when it comes down to it, I just love being an asshole when crafting songs. “This part is great - let’s not repeat it, it’ll only occur once in the song” or “let’s play the riff seven times just to piss
people off”, things like that. I don’t foresee any major shifts, apart from an increased focus on guitar solos.
Johan: Absolutely nowhere! I want us to stay exactly the same.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Ola: Bäddat för trubbel, Fredag den 13e, Limp Wrist, Atari Teenage Riot, Sleaford Mods, Dick Curless, Cacka Israelsson, The Dahmers and Eddie Meduza answers both questions I think (except
maybe Curless and Israelsson haven’t had a major impact on our music that I’m aware of).
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
Ola: Well, Fenok plays a lot of pinball. Like, on a competitive level. We’ve thought about sponsoring him, but he needs to do a little better first. We’ll see how he does at Pinburgh this year. Me, I like tinkering with stuff in my garage (some results can be found at soundcarries.wordpress.com) and drinking beer.
Johan: I like to ride my bike, play golf, eat good food, cook and watch the NFL.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Johan: Fuck d-beat, play fast!