It is day two of the Leeds leg (Automatic night) of Don Broco’s double day tour and by all means it’s looking like everyone has managed to survive the first night. I want to introduce you to a band called MassMatiks – a 4 piece band from South East London with the energy of the Beastie Boyz and the charm of Just Jack.
Tell us about the genesis of the band
MassMatiks – We all met at university, all studying music. All from the off wanted to be in a proper band to tour and started hanging out.
We remember sitting down together and listening to Priorities together so it’s a bit surreal to be working with them now.
Where do you get your influences from?
Joe – In terms of riffage: Deftones, Rage Against the Machine, Foals and Tame Impala. Not necessarily the music itself sometimes but the vibe there.
Really anything that can get your brain going. It doesn’t have to be the same genre as long as it gets us thinking.
George – For me it’s hip hop and grime but I’m a rock kid at heart. So when I write that comes out. Skepta, Wiley but Kano is one of my favourites. Chance the Rapper is also an amazing artist. I lock onto one person and listen to them intensely for a while.
Josh – Police crossed with the Deftones. The weight of what the Deftones do.
With this being your first big tour in many ways – does it make you anxious or nervous?
Joe – We’ve been so hungry that we just want to put every ounce of effort to be where Don Broco are. We see them smashing these gigs and it gives you the confidence to get to there. We’ve sat down and talked with them and they say they see a lot of similarities in where they were 5 or 6 years ago.
How did this tour come about?
Joe – They (Don Broco) just asked us, really.
George – It’s probably the best thing that can happen to us at the moment – where every day and every gig is sold out and then play the next day where people can go home listen to the songs and come back.
Joe – It’s like the most perfect tour we could have dreamed of
George – We’ve never played these types of shows before either but it doesn’t matter where we are we’re gonna do what we do no matter what.
Martin – The first one in Manchester had us filled with adrenaline
Joe – But we were confident we could deliver
George – One of our main things is writing for live shows
Joe – We try and keep it as raw and as powerful as we can
Martin – the production will come in time
How does the writing process work?
Martin – every song is written different really
George – For my vocals, it’s about having a subject worth talking about that people want to hear about that I want to sing about. Having an opinion on something that isn’t the norm like ‘4am’. I was getting calls from my ex and all this stuff, that’s where that stemmed from. I was angry and hurt. But it brings a passion that so many people can relate to on both sides of the story. That’s what we’re looking to do.
It makes it easier on stage, being myself. This is how it is.
Joe – It makes it easier to deliver an energetic performance. Whenever George comes up with an idea we don’t have to ask about the song we just get it because we can all relate.
In reference to the two different nights
Josh – It’s good as well cause with two nights you can convert people by the second night getting an added 30% volume from the crowd.
George – We didn’t get it in Leeds but people are usually a bit blank to us on the first day. But first day in Leeds, with us being so close to the crowd, it was great.
Josh – to be a part of those people outside waiting for Don Broco it’s cool. They’re the bread and butter of the music world.
Have you found with the people outside that on the second day there is some more attention?
Martin – Well we quite like just going out there ourselves and starting the conversation. Cause without them we’re not doing this.
George – We like the idea of it being all one community –l earning from Don Broco, who are fantastic with their fans.
Josh – People will wait hours for them after the show too, that’s amazing.
George – you can see the disappointment in their faces when we walk out
I doubt it boys.
The energy on stage is amazing. Tell us about that…
George – Well it doesn’t matter what kind of music you’re playing you have to move to fit it. Adele controls a room in a specific way because of the tone of her music. If you’re playing music like ours and you’re standing still, you might as well go home.
Joe – When me and Josh were first in the band, we were all at university having a good time, we would play shows looking left and right to see your best mates and have the best time ever. That’s comfort. You don’t have to worry about it
Martin – we used to have to egg it on a bit but now we just know
The MassMatiks boys delve into a story about Jaap Stam and some of their pre-show rituals. I think it’s best for you, the reader, to ask them about it when you catch their next show. It’s a brilliant story.
Let’s talk the future. Where do you want to be in a year?
Joe – This time next year we want to be playing festivals
George – Packing out venues
Martin – Capitalising on these last few weeks really
George – The key is to be getting music out there really, it’s difficult because of the money situation but we’ll figure it out
Give us a rough 5 year plan
Joe – We want to have an album that comes out and smashes it
Martin – You only get one debut album at the end of the day
All of the world’s music has been removed from memory. Your band and 4 other acts are left to recreate the world’s music – who do you choose?
Josh – Sting. That’s all you need.
Martin – Biggie Smalls
Joe – Linkin Park – that Nu Metal scene was amazing
George – Bob Marley (which definitely wasn’t a forced answer from the other guys to make sure they had a rounded selection)