You could say that since MASSIVE EGO has been around since 1996, they've had their material released under a wide range of genres and styles. Starting now, however, as many have noted, the band has begun anew with a sound more aligned with industrial mechanics. This is in part due to Marc Massive's own drive, as well as longtime member Oliver Frost's dedication, but also realized thanks to new members Scot Collins and Lloyd Price. With that said, I was able to get the chance to interview all four of these gentlemen in regards to the latest additions to the roster and their latest EP, "Noise in the Machine".Jun 10 2015
You guys are new to this site as this is your first time being featured. So, in a standard
introductory sense, would you introduce yourselves and your band?
Lloyd - "Hi, I’m Lloyd Price. I’m responsible for programming and synths."
Scot - "Hello, I’m Scot Collins and I’m also on programming and synths with Lloyd."
Marc - "I’m Marc Massive I do wigs, make-up, but underneath all that I also sing and write lyrics."
Oliver - "Hi there I’m Oliver Frost and I bang drums and play percussion."
I know that you have met a bunch of famous and legendary men and women within the
music and fashion industry in the past. Would you be able to list those who have influenced
you the most in regards to the band's imagery and musical style?
Marc - "I grew up in the 80’s so that was always going to be a great source of inspiration. Without a
doubt the Duran boys out shone everyone else in my tentative teens. From the music right
through to the look of the product, merchandise and videos all of which had a huge impact on me
and although my band’s videos don’t come anywhere close budget wise I think the desire to
make the best imagery possible for zero money comes from my Duran schooling. Musically, in
the early days of the band, I was inspired by the pure 80’s pop aesthetic and even now with this
new stage of the band I can still hear those references filtering through into my songwriting. I
remember my earliest brushes with a darker sound coming when Depeche Mode released their
'Black Celebration' album and it was a bit of a game changer for them and an eye opener for me. I
think this along with Pete Murphy’s work especially his side project Dalis Car with Japan’s Mick
Karn all had positive effects on me. Coming from a small town in the North East of England, the
music I loved and the fashions associated with it all helped side-line and alienate me from the
locals even more but I’m glad I danced to a different beat now. The year’s of bullying for looking
different seem like a journey I had to make to shape me into the person I am now and the music I
make. I’ve since met or got to know personally and worked with several of the key 80’s players
and am still inspired and enjoy their output some thirty years later. It was a sad and poignant day
attending Steve Strange’s funeral a few months back, surrounded by his fellow iconic 80’s music
friends and giving him the send off he so richly deserved. It brought back so many happy
memories as a child spending hours just looking at and devouring every inch of the latest Visage
12” sleeve or album cover and then meeting the man himself at the Limelight club in London
one night in the early 90’s and forming an instant friendship with someone who was a style
leader and inspiration on me. A genuine bloke who loved life and lived creativity to the max and
I’m glad I was a child of his generation."
Oliver - "As a child I lived on a road in West Kensington, London that was also the home to a major
recording studio that a lot of 80’s artists frequented, so from a young age hanging around outside,
I got to see a lot of famous people from that period, which I guess installed the the idea that
make up, looks and visual imagery went hand in hand with music. As a result, audio that's really
had a profound effect on me tends to be stem from iconic works of film, performance and
theatre. From Beethoven to John Cage, and Kraftwerk and contemporary electronica. Films such
as 'A Clockwork Orange,' 'Dandy Dust' and 'Eraserhead.' Dance and performance art by Michael
Clark, Emilyn Claid, Mathew Barney. And music by Daft Punk, Underworld and Bjork (for
example) all of whom’s live performances and music are so interconnected and inseparable that
we’re now used to receiving a package as opposed to a single art form."
I understand that there are two new guys in the band named Lloyd and Scot. New
talent is always lovely and can bring new taste to an already outstanding roster; how did
you guys meet? And when was it that they joined up?
Lloyd - "I first met Marc when I was working with Martin Degville, ex singer of the 80’s band Sigue
Sigue Sputnik. Marc approached Martin to record a cover of the Hazel O’Connor classic 'Eighth
Day'. The project never really took off but Marc and I stayed in touch and I ended up remixing 'I
Idolize You', which has in fact turned into the version that you’re now hearing and is part of
'Noise in the Machine'. I produced 2 more tracks for the EP and when my work finished with
Martin, Marc asked me if I’d like to join the band full time, which I was very happy to do."
Scot - "I had put an advert out on a musician classifieds and Marc emailed me after seeing it. He
said I was the only one who had industrial influences listed and he also liked the demo I had
uploaded. We met up a few weeks later to discuss his ideas for the band and what he was trying
to achieve. Since we both got on really well and had similar tastes, Marc decided to include me
in the band."
Marc - "The new line-up of the band for me has come at exactly the right time. After years of
many line-up changes too numerous to mention it’s something of a relief to at last have like
minded musicians to work with who have drive and want to succeed. To be honest recently I’d
come very close after years in the pop wilderness of self releasing tracks to finally closing the
book on Massive Ego . It was becoming a struggle keeping my own interest going after putting
tracks out on my own label and just not being able to get them to a wider audience and pushing
myself to carry on with it. These guys have reignited my passion as has finding a proper home
with the Out Of Line label."
Lloyd, Scot, Massive Ego already seems to be dripping with a different musical
direction than a lot of other bands out there. What do you think you'll each be able to bring
to the band as a whole that will push all of you even further?
Lloyd - "Well as I mentioned, I produced the current version of 'I Idolize You' and without wanting to
blow my own trumpet Marc has credited me with the new sound and direction of the band
which really is a great honour for me. Personally I’m never, EVER happy with what I produce. I
listen to things on loop for weeks, tweaking/modifying every element until I can’t stand
anymore! I think that drive to make everything the best it can be will take Massive Ego to
another level. I don’t give less than one hundred percent. I can’t. I have to know I’ve given my all."
Scot - "I started getting into music seriously after listening to the album 'Midian' by Cradle Of Filth.
Martin Powell was my inspiration but he left shortly after that album. Not long after that, I
discovered Assemblage 23 and then a whole load of other industrial bands. In fact - I think the
first CD I bought was from Aesthetic Perfection when he first started. A few years later, I started
going to commercial dance raves and partied with glow sticks and wore ridiculous costumes. I
absolutely loved the atmosphere and the sounds the dance producers used, it was really euphoric.
In the music I produce now, I like to ask myself, how does it make you feel? Does it feel spacey?
Does it sound huge? Is it an experience? I like to create a huge sound like I had listened to from
the raves I went to and mix this with harsher sounds to create something noisy and atmospheric
and this is what I hope I convey through the new material."
And, not to make Oliver feel left out, as you have been involved in the band for the past
10 years, how do you feel about the changes made recently to the Massive Ego line-up? Are
you excited for the future of Massive Ego?
Oliver - "I'm very excited for the future of Massive Ego, the new musical direction that’s been
progressively unfolding over the past few years is more up my street now than it’s ever been
during my time with the band. Although growing up in the 80’s definitely had an affect on me, it's
early 90’s dance music sound that really had an impact, as I spent pretty much 10 plus years going
out clubbing every weekend on London’s hard house, progressive house and hard trance scene,
so Massive Ego’s current sound connects perfectly with my ingrained love of hard and fast beats,
and all things experimental."
You've had a long history of making music since 1996 with many different line-up
changes. I do wonder if you'll ever think about putting out every Massive Ego song in a
giant compilation, perhaps via Bandcamp or some other medium. Would you ever consider
Marc - "It’s a nice idea although probably contractually impossible as the tracks were all released
through several different labels over the years, and much of the earlier material I don’t own and
equally it wouldn’t fit with the music or audience we appeal to now. I’m very much thinking
about the now and the future so for me the older material is probably best left on YouTube."
And, now, let's get onto something much more important; your signing to Out of Line.
You've been involved in the music industry for quite some time, have put out your music on
multiple labels, and have even put out music on your own label. Tell me, why did you
choose Out of Line as your new home?
Marc - "Last year I sent out some old school demo packs, you know CD, DVD, press release and
even threw in some band t-shirts into the pack. I really made an effort to make us look a viable
prospect and a lot was pinning on it. It was for the EP that’s coming out now on Out Of Line.
The day I got an email back from André at the label felt like a real achievement and I was
delighted as Out Of Line were the ones I really wanted to go with as I’d loved their output with
Blutengel and the fact they were based in Berlin, had their own actual record shop and produced
in-house merchandise, they ticked so many boxes. Like I said having released our tracks via our
own label was good in the respect of being in charge of what came out, it just got really
frustrating that it didn’t get heard by enough people. It wasn’t about lack of sales but more about
lack of awareness for the releases.
To be honest over the years there’s been very little in the way of contracts or paper work for
much of our early releases and it still amazes me even today when I come across some of my
tracks on weird dance compilations or strange aerobics workout exercise CDs and I think to
myself, hang on, I was never told about that or even asked let alone credited correctly so that
leaves a bad taste. Signing with Out Of Line just seems so natural and feels like we finally found
a home that can nurture and develop us, which was something André said to me in his first email
that he only takes on bands that he can work with and develop over time and this resonated with
me and I’ve been impressed with how they're promoting us."
Your latest EP, "Noise In The Machine" will be released via Out of Line. Tell us a little
about the EP. Are there any real themes or messages struck within the album? And why the
title "Noise in the Machine"? Where does that come from?
Marc - "It’s a fairly dark bunch of tracks. We’d had the lead track 'I Idolize You' ready for quite some time, it had previously been released as a single through my own Public Disorder label but as I said
went relatively unnoticed after it’s release. The band’s hardcore followers at the time didn’t
really get it as it was such a change in direction to the pop stuff we’d released prior to it. But it’s
become something of a favourite now over time and with Lloyd’s re-vamp mix which is the one
being released on this EP it’s having something of a new lease of life and has had lots of cool
comments. We’ve had the track remixed by Aesthetic Perfection who I met last year when they
performed in London, Daniel Graves was a really nice fella and I first thought of getting him to
remix after he commented on the original video complementing it and asking why it hadn’t had
many views. We’ve also got a great remix from Leaether Strip on there. The other tracks are of an
equally dark and gothic nature but I wouldn’t say there’s any particular themes on it. The 'Noise
In The Machine' title comes from an industrial/Ebm/Goth/ New wave radio show of the same
name I was presenting last year for a small internet station. I’ve had to hang up my radio DJ hat
as there’s just no time to record the shows but it’s something I’d like to return to one day as I
quite enjoyed spinning alternative music and talking about nothingness in between the tracks."
Again, I understand that you've been involved in writing music for quite some time and
you are all talented people. However, was writing the music for this album tough? Or did
the music come naturally as you went along?
Lloyd - "For me, writing this album has been a breeze. I’ve recorded albums in the past that have felt like the most difficult, tiring thing to do. The process of writing the new Massive Ego album is
just so pleasurable. Sometimes it might be me putting ideas out there, sometimes Scot. We’ll
upload basic instrumental demos and get everyone’s feedback. Luckily for us, everything we’ve
submitted so far has had positive feedback. We’ll then home in on one particular idea and usually
I’ll take the elements that Scot gives me and I’ll work them into an arrangement. On the flip side,
Scot takes my basic ideas and then adds synth parts to lift the demo. After that we throw it to
Marc for him to do his thing. This all happens by sharing files and chatting on line.
Scot - "I am very lucky to work with Marc and Lloyd, they have some amazing experience and this
helps us all understand each other musically. I like to create something unusual and try and make
it work for a song – this has previously involved loading up a drum kit, bashing several keys on
the keyboard, adding several layers of distortion, chopping it up and making it in to an awesome
beat. To make noise into music is a beautiful thing indeed! I would usually upload the parts I
create as stems and Lloyd will work his magic with arrangement. As Lloyd said, we chat online
about the ideas everybody has and this works perfectly (even if Marc is getting fed up of my
Same question when it came to the lyrics; were they easy to write out, or did you have to
sit and think on them a few times?
Marc - "There were too many years in my music history where song writing had gone out of the window in favour of releasing cover versions and I felt through those years I was really missing out so getting back into writing over the last few years has been cathartic for me. It’s not a process that
comes terribly easy but equally so far the lyrics have been flowing thankfully especially when
you have an album to write. I always find it easier to write from a personal view point. There’s a
track on the EP called 'Low Life' and this is dedicated to my friend and past member of Massive
Ego who sadly took his own life almost ten years ago now. He was such a bright, creative and
tender soul and I know that he’s helping me write lyrics and find themes, his mum has been to a
clairvoyant and she told her that that’s what he was doing, helping his music friends find
direction. He certainly helped me write 'I Idolize You' and directed us away from releasing cover
versions. I also love going on little breaks or holidays as so far every time I’ve done that I’ve
returned with a fully written track so I’m due another holiday soon to help write the album. It
doesn’t have to be anywhere amazing, in fact I find caravan holidays particularly conducive to
writing a good song for some reason."
When it came down to finally putting the lyrics to the music, mixing and mastering, and
all the other fun production stuff, were you impressed with the final product? Or was there
some timid behaviour in regards as to whether or not you thought it was good enough?
Lloyd - "As I mentioned earlier, while I’m actually in the moment of working on a track I never think
it’s good enough. Having said that, when I listen back to 'I Idolize You' I think it’s probably one of
the best things I’ve ever done. I’m really proud of that track. It ticks so many boxes for me, what
I like to hear in a track."
Marc - "I’m naturally an un-confident person and I’ve always has issues with whether anything I do
is good enough. This is another reason why being in a band called Massive Ego is such an
unnatural fuck up and something of a huge juxtaposition to who I am as a person. It’s a real
contradiction but quite an interesting one at the same time. There was another band in the 90’s
who we did shows with that went by the name of Persecution Complex, and I remember seeing a
flyer for a gig we were both on and I thought I should have fronted their band and them mine as
they had far more conviction at the time then I did."
Now, I know that back in April you released the track 'I Idolize You' on YouTube, which
quickly assimilated a lot of views. I would expect many good things have been said about
the song so far, but have you had any negative comments regarding it so far?
Marc - "We’ve been bowled over by the amount of views it’s had in such a short time, and that’s
the power of of being signed to a decent label I guess. The video is a re-edit of the original one
with more footage of our beautiful cavorting lady dancer and artist Honey Manko added, she’s
amazingly sexy and such a great mover so it was only natural that she should feature heavily.
The video had zero budget and was put together by a bunch of mates who all put their time,
energy and talent into it. There’s one scene that’s homage to a certain 80’s album cover that some
eagle eyed viewers have picked up on. It does seem to be a bit like you either love it or loathe it
if the amount of thumbs up and down are anything to go by, but either way it’s always better to
be creating a reaction then none at all."
You and the band have always had a very different and odd look and vision to yourselves
even in a field filled with self proclaimed freaks. Did you choose any specific sort of
imagery or style to go hand in hand with "Noise in the Machine"?
Marc - "My look used to stand out a fair bit, but as you point out on this scene maybe It’s not so
odd to see a guy with a hairstyle that’s a cross between Mickey Mouse, Princess Leia and a
Geisha! I’ve done the look for many years now and I’ve done other looks in between but always
come back to him, I guess he’s become quite identifiable and he’s very approachable. He is
however very high maintenance - especially on nights out, but after the fifth pint of lager it ends
up not mattering and he’s very approachable. The label designer for the EP sleeve has captured
perfectly my inner goth spirit and I hope to carry that theme through to future releases and the
Oliver - "Ultimately I’m a visual artist whose interests and practice covers many fields so the look of
the band is of great importance - from how we look to the the artwork, live shows and videos.
My background is in dance, performance, and fine art so in order to fuel my passion about
what we do the visual aspect is a major component, and stimulation for me. Bringing my
experience as a visual artist to the band with looks and ideas, and my time drumming whilst at
dance school is of course of value, however its about creating a balance as the music is of course
paramount and fundamentally what we're about. Although that said I’m very much looking
forward to seeing where the band goes visually as the sound develops and travels through time."
And, I also remember reading that future collaborations may be in store for the future; are
there any further details that you could shed on that? Or is that something you're
remaining tight lipped about?
Marc - "My old friend Mr George O’Dowd is writing a track for us at the moment with a band he’s
currently managing and writing with called Brando. All I know is it’s fairly Bowie meets The
Doors and electro sounding which I think passed through Massive Ego’s industrial goth filter
could turn out to be really interesting. It’s certainly nice for George to suggest this and brings
everything full circle for me as I first started in the entertainment industry dancing for him and
his Jesus Loves You project in the early 90’s. I also really want to do a duet with Saffy from
Republica whom I’ve got to know recently and is up for a collaboration so I’ve earmarked a
couple of tracks I’m writing for the new album that I want to run past her. I just love her energy
and punk aesthetic plus she’s big on animal rights which I am also. We’ve just done a track with
Holly Pearl on vocals. She has been involved with the band in the past having appeared in the
video for our Depeche Mode 'Master & Servant' cover and doing live shows with us but she’s got
a really great voice and is going to be singing on more tracks on the album and coming out live
with us next year, so she’s very much going to be part of the band equation."
Lastly, I would like to ask if you have any gigs or live shows planned in support of
"Noise in the Machine".
Lloyd - "The new line up is kind of in its infancy at the moment and we’re really focusing on getting
the album done. I think it’s too early for live shows yet. Once we have the songs that we’re
currently working on ready I’d love to try them out in a live environment and see which ones
work best. I think that would be a great way to figure out what should go on the album."
And, thank you for your time. It was a pleasure for having you on this site and I can't
wait to both listen to and personally review "Noise in the Machine”.
Marc - "Thank you for the opportunity to chat to Brutal Resonance, it’s been a pleasure and we
hope your readers will love the EP."
(MASSIVE EGO Logo done by Jack Leeson, photo credited to Matt Spike)
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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