Congratulations with the release of 'Dystopian Prophecies'. Are you happy with the result?
I'm very happy our album, absolutely! We wanted to make an album with song diversity, heavy as hell, groovy, cool twin guitar parts, and rocks from the beginning to the end. Our influence comes from different styles like Old British death, Scandinavian death metal, crustpunk and hardcore. 'Dystopian Prophecies' is like a rollercoaster ride trough all those music styles. The cover art is hand painted by Marald who has also drawn the covers for Wolfbrigade, Kylesa, Victims, Pisschrist, Severed Head Of State and several others.
You did not have much budget making it, did you?
We didn't need much for recording because al songs were recorded in my studio for free. We only had some costs for end mastering by Jochem (Textures) at Split Second Sound.
Wow, that's great, that you get him for the job. What was the part of Crashlanding Records?
Crashlanding has brought out this album. The people from Crashlanding are friends of our singer Jozze, and while they were seriously interested, they also came up with the idea for bringing out an LP.
That's great. Now you guys hail from different parts of the country (The Netherlands). Do you actually get together a lot, or do you write and wait with rehearsing until you have something ready worth the travel?
Right this moment it's a once a week practice in Hoogeveen. That's on a regular basis, so enough time to jam with the possibility to work songs out together in our practice room. We record new ideas while jamming. In most cases I will work out these ideas at home and send is at my fellow band mates trough e-mail. Jozze work out lyrics at home. With our former members we practiced once a month. Their distance from the practice room was further, so we were making songs (on computer with drum first) at home, that we polished at practicing together.
Who lives in the nicest place?
I live in Hoogeveen. I'm probably the only person in the band who thinks that Hoogeveen is a nice place. We have our practice room and studio there.
You use the description “diesel truck grinding guitar sounds”. Could you tell us why?
A person who reviewed our first demo came up with this description “diesel truck guitarsound”. We thought it was cool and used it as a “slogan” for our biography. This guitar sound is also called “buzz saw” sound by some. The Boss HM-2 pedal we used on all our recordings is responsible for that almost diesel engine alike sound.
Just a Boss pedal? Well, thank you for revealing that. The music is pretty straight forward and not too complicated. It is very catchy, on the other hand. Do you just play to your abilities or did you actually agree to keep things organized?
Keep it simple was our concept for this album. However, we are able to play more technical, more difficult and faster stuff. We just wanted to make songs that sound good without filling it with extra stuff. We didn't like that much blast beat for our music style. D-beat is a better! It gives more swing to the songs.
There's a lot of bands that seem to have manifesting technical abilities as a main goal, why I still think that skills are a means to an end, rather than a goal. What do you think of very technical metal bands?
For some individuals in a band it's sometimes more interesting to show their technical ability to others. This seems to be a good thing for enveloping as an instrumentalist. And for some bands this will work out great. However, I can be impressed by some technical bands skills, in most cases I'm not impressed by their songs. It doesn't need to be technical to sound good. Most bands that impress me aren't technical at all.
Well, that's about the exact answer I was hoping for. What are your favorite bands at this time?
Rise And Fall, Hatesphere, Wolfbrigade, Entombed (still the first three albums), Bloodduster, Disrupt, Extreme Noise Terror, Nirvana 2002, Driller Killer, Coffins (Japan), Fleshcrawl, Primus, Interment, Prong…
Could you tell me something about the topics of the lyrics?
Most lyrics are written by Jozze, I try to give it a short description. Here are the songs:
1. 'Forever War': Like the title says, about war that never ends.
2. 'Come With Me': This song is fast with dark melodies (very oldschool death metal) but wit a positive (metal/hardcore) message about having respect. This was an unexpected lyrical move from Jozze, but the hardcore lyrics fitted perfect within the death metal song.
3. 'World Destruction': Can be seen in many ways.
4. 'Weigh Up': Murdering angriness, this song is the most melodic, with the most violent lyric this album has.
5. 'Man-Kind!?': These are lyrics from our first vocalist Carl who also did vocals for the 'Dystopian Prophecies' album for this song. It's about the human race in “beast” behavior.
6. 'O.S.D.M': Like AC/DC has lyrics about rock, this is a short description about us playing old school death. It's over the top hehe….
7. 'Swallow My Venom: These lyrics are about one figure threatening humanity… Could be Satan?
8. 'The Rival Believer': Spitting disgust about fundamentalism.
9. 'Dystopian Prophecies': A dark prophecy and we can blame humanity again for it.
Are there any lyrical topics you think are too degrading to use?
Hey, it's death metal, lyrics can be humiliating and shocking. Movies and books also can be degrading. It's a form of art, and in most cases it's sarcastic.
Yes, I am totally aware of that. A lot of things sung about in death metal are exaggerated, often with a smile, to a degree where it usually is getting far from the actual behavior of the one who is singing it. Yet, are there topics, let's say child molesting, racial issues or anything like that, that will never be sung about in Massive Assault?
In Massive Assault we all agree that there are no boundaries with lyrics generality. This doesn't mean that we have the need with this band Massive Assault to say everything. Child molestation will never have our support! Same with racism, we don't judge people by the color of their skin. However, a personal opinion can be insulting for someone. This is almost impossible to prevent with all those different backgrounds in society.
Why did you decide to pick the name you have, Massive Assault?
Because Nuclear Assault and Massive Attack where already in use. Hehe… We think that Massive Assault is a cool name for a death metalband with a massive sound
Hahaha, I should have seen that one coming when I asked it, mea culpa. Thanks for the answer anyway. What is the main objective of this release, scoring gigs, having something to boast your kids later, or maybe even scoring a big deal in the future?
For us being creative, the rest follows as you say.
We are now at the beginning of a new year. Do you set yourself any new goals, in 2010?
For the band, most important now is to get our new line-up ready for gigs. Doing shows and planning to do some mini tours in Germany. We also work out some new songs and pre record those for an album. For myself, I hope to record more bands in my studio.
Where should interested individuals apply?
People who are interested buying the Massive Assault full length LP or CD or booking us for shows, just mail email@example.com. For those who are interested to record their band, at my studio, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Besides recording and mixing, I also do mastering and re-amping. So it's also possible to send in elsewhere-recorded material to me at Dirty Bird Studio.
Apart from the goals of the band, what would be your biggest dream come true?
When I was young, I wanted to have the guitar sound like Entombed. When I began with Massive Assault, I wanted to play a gig with Entombed. Both “dreams” came true. I can quit now hehehe. It would be nice to do a split with Entombed, Dismember or Bolt Thrower. Or a tour with one of those bands I mentioned.
What has been the band's highlight, to date?
Holding the 'Dystopian Prophecies' gatefold LP in my hands. I was blown away how the artwork and layout looks. The CD is nice too, but the LP is more special I think, maybe because it's not that common in the metal scene anymore. I also wanted to note: besides Marald also www.hrodger-design.nl did a terrific job for the layout. Well done both!
Is that the same Hrödger who plays bass in the band Deluzion?
Yes, we talk about the same freak hahaha.
I think the concept of making an LP is very special indeed. Not only in metal it starts to become less common in metal, I think in general they aren't being printed that much anymore. Nice one for your grandchildren. My son asked what that thing in grandpa's living room was, pointing out at a turntable, as I got all my ancient Venom, Celtic Frost, Motörhead (and so on) LP's stacked. What made them decide to do this, does the decreasing CD sales have to do with it, or was it an estimation of how fans of old school death metal behave?
There are people who think that a CD is not that special anymore, even with all its benefits. Throughout the Internet whole albums are easy to download, which can be put on cdr an mp3 player or many other digital formats. Buying an album cd, is actually the same as their downloaded version on their cdr, there for giving a normal cd not a special value anymore. Actually, for some it's not like collecting albums by download it only. That way vinyl can be something special, by having a cover on a big picture, with a more collectable worth by its exclusivity. The 'Dystopian Prophecies' CD is unlimited available. But, our 'Dystopian Prophecies' LP is limited to 300 numbered copies.
When a booker is interested in having you for a show or festival, what do you offer in return?
Then he gets the number one oldschool death metalband from the Netherlands. Offering an energetic slap in the face show. After this experience the audience will be overwhelmed and will know the meaning: Massive Assault!
That's all for now. Happy new year, thanks for your time, until the next time I wish you and your band all the best. Is there anything you would like to add to this interview?
Thanks for your interview, it's cool. Good luck with Lords of Metal. And for those who are interested buying our full length LP or CD or booking us for shows, just mail email@example.com