The New Wave Of Aussie Rock continues to toss up a raft of exciting new bands boasting a killer attitude and monster riffs – paying homage to their hell-raising forefathers. HRH Mag’s Simon Rushworth caught up with the mighty Massive in the latest in our Aussie Invasion series.
They say home is where the heart is but if your heart’s in rock and roll then you’ll pitch up just about anywhere. And that’s exactly what Massive did earlier this year when it became clear their future lay far beyond Melbourne’s familiar and stifling music scene.
“It was an easy decision,” said frontman Brad Marr. “Honestly, it was. Our bass player Aidan couldn’t wait to get out of Oz. He actually left straight after our final gig down there. He was in the UK for two months before the rest of us!
“But we’ve got management in Germany and our label also has an office over there. We’ll be splitting our time between Europe and the UK but it’s good to have a different base other than a British one. We’ve toured all over in 2016 but we want to try and build Europe as well. That’s the idea behind it and we will see what happens as it goes.”
Marr might sound as if he’s making it up as he goes along but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Massive are a band on a mission, a band in the zone and a band with a plan. On the surface they’re four Aussie mates having the time of their lives but this killer quartet are deadly serious about the road ahead.
“I think we were all sort of sick of the hard treks you have to do in the van around Australia,” he added. “It’s 10 hours to each major city – either north and west – so we thought coming over here permanently would be a lot easier. Three hours’ drive from city to city is nothing to us. It’s like a walk to the pub. Everything is a lot closer and more populated. Sometimes we play gigs in between the major shows and those little towns still remind us of where we’ve come from. Those shows keep our feet on the ground.”
Not that Massive need to be grounded. They’ve put in the hard yards, slogged their guts out for years and done their time taking every available opportunity back home.
“Earlier this year – before we left – we did 40 dates up and down the east coast of Australia and we did 22,000km in a van,” added Marr. “The van wasn’t a big van. It was pretty uncomfortable you know. After that tour we took stock. We played good crowds and were supporting a big band but it was just like what are we doing? We are banging our heads against a brick wall here. Radio won’t touch us over in Australia. Media is not that great you know. The biggest magazines in Australia are the ones produced over here. So we might as well come to them.”
Making the UK and Europe their base might have been a Massive step for Marr and his buddies but it brings the band closer to their musical influences and, therefore, closer to home.
“Yeah this is where rock and roll was invented really,” added the band’s pocket rocket frontman. “I mean some of the biggest bands in the world- the biggest rock and roll bands – came from the UK and Europe. Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Scorpions – the list goes on. It’s just the music that we bloody like. So here we are!”
Massive might aspire to match the success of fellow hellraisers Airbourne and become Australia’s next noisy export but they’re already the leaders of their home nation’s new breed. Headliners on 2016’s Aussie Wrecking Crew tour, they set the bar for Black Aces and Tequila Mockinbyrd on a run of shows rich in camaraderie and intense competition.
“We were probably the most experienced band but we definitely weren’t looking after anyone,” added Marr. “In fact they were looking after us! We are not the most responsible band in the world. That’s no secret. I’m glad we had the T-byrds in tow because they were booking a room for us each night. Otherwise we just literally wouldn’t book one. We would forget and we’d be sleeping on the bus or on a mate’s floor.
“So it was pretty good having some people around who could organise that shit. They also taught us how to use a washing machine. It’s useful life skills like that which make them such good mates. The Aces are mechanics and bricklayers so that always comes in handy. Other than the music I’m not sure what Massive bring to the table mind.
“It’s actually kind of cool because it didn’t feel like a tour. We have toured with Tequila Mockingbyrd in Australia and we have known the Black Aces for a decade and we’ve toured with them over and over.
“Coming over to the UK and Europe with those guys was just like hanging out with mates. It wasn’t like a headliner and two supports. It was just 11 – can I say dickheads? Eleven dickheads running around making a mess of the place.”
And 11 dickheads who might just be the future of balls-to-the-wall rock and roll.