10 Fragen / 10 Antworten
1. When and why did you become a musician
(MARC) I started the band with an old school friend back in 1996. We were living in a big house share in the then very trendy Camden Town in London. The house had a musical history as it used to be the home of 70’s boyband the Bay City Rollers, so something of that pedigree seemed to have rubbed off on its inhabitants at the time. The 90’s Brit Pop band Menswear also lived there at the same time. So it felt like there was a real buzz happening around us all the time. I couldn’t play an instrument so it was natural I’d become a singer. Massive Ego was born out of a bedroom in that house.
I’d been a model before that, but had become increasingly disenchanted with that world as insecurities began to take hold so I was looking for another creative outlet that I could get involved with, that ended up being the band.
2. What are your characteristics? What makes you special?
(MARC) I think the current line up of Scot, Olly and myself works really well as we’re all coming from different places musically. I’m an 80’s kid who grew up with the pop sensibilities of bands like Duran Duran and Depeche Mode so there’s always going to be an electronic synth sound to the band, whereas someone like Scot comes from a more 90’s dance edge and industrial EBM base. Olly is completely more left field and experimental. That produces the eclectic mix of sounds we have in the band. We always try to make the albums quite varied in styles, and each album has been different. Church For The Malfunctioned album is probably the hardest sounding album to date, and that was a conscious decision to toughen the sound up a bit. That’s not to say the next album won’t be a completely different beast…maybe an album of Japanese flower arranging music!
Five years ago I put together a new band line-up and moved away from the pop sound we had been know for previously, and started to get into the darker music scene a lot more. It became obvious that many of the bands I was starting to listen to came from Germany, so that’s where the band set its sights.
I suppose visually we stand out as being somewhat different. I’ve always been into the ‚look‘ aspect of bands, and the majority of my favourite pop stars have had a strong look alongside their music. Luckily the dark scene positively promotes guys in make up and the theatrics, but I think we bring something unique to the table. We’ve always been in viewed as the freaky outsiders in the UK so it’s quite nice to actually fit into a scene for once.
3. Who and what inspired you??
(MARC) Originally it was the electronic synth bands of the eighties that first caught my attention as an impressionable teenager. I’m thankful I grew up in such a rich and colourful period musically and that all rubbed off on me immensely. It was a time when as much care was taken over the album covers aesthetics as the music, and the two worked in harmony. This has always been my biggest inspiration. Pop stars looked and acted like musicians in the eighties, pretensions ruled and auras were felt. What do we have these days ? Ed Sheeran and the likes don’t really cut it for me I’m afraid.
5. How do you imagine listening to your music? Where do you like to listen?
(MARC) A dark dimly lit seedy basement club in Berlin preferably, that would set the tone and fit the ambiance of Massive Ego just fine. I prefer listening via headphones whilst out walking or taking our dog Squeaky out for a walk, especially if I have lyrics to learn, or write for new songs. I get lots of song ideas whilst out walking and have a vocal recording app on my phone for when inspiration happens.
4. Who are your most important role models and why?
(MARC) Nick Rhodes, Andy Warhol, Jean Cocteau, Breaking Glass (film), Victoria Principal, George O’Dowd, MC Kinky, Pete Burns, Pink Narcissus (film), monster and 70’s disaster movies, 90’s London gay club culture, all played a part in making and shaping me.
6. What role do social media play in your career? How important is YouTube or Instagram for you?
(MARC) These days you have to be in tune with social media to stand a chance of being heard. It’s a very different beast to what it was when I started in the 90’s but very early on I realised the band needed a presence. I remember working on a very early website for the band probably in the late 90’s early 2000, with a html designer and it was all about having animated flame gifs and was all very basic looking. The first Massive Ego social media presence was through Yahoo groups and then of course My Space. I’ve always liked to be personally in charge of our social media, but then Scot is also very good with apps and Instagram. We’ve always had a You Tube presence, although now the majority of our official videos go through our label Out Of Lines channel, which produces much larger view reach for us.
7. Do you actually do anything besides the music?
8. What has been the best performance you’ve seen so far?
(MARC) Currently music and touring is taking up the majority of my time. We are on a tour at the moment, and have several festivals lined up for the rest of the year, it’s proving to be another busy year for the band. We are planning to start writing the next album towards the end of the year. With Brexit in the UK happening right now, we sadly have no idea yet how that will effect us touring the EU after this year, so we have decided to start writing instead and concentrate on new material till we can see what damage has been done by the UK’s stupid decision to leave. We are very pro Europe and always will be. Why would a country choose to vote for closing our borders and stopping its citizens travelling the World? I feel so let down by my own country right now, and were I able to speak German I would move there tomorrow.
(MARC) For me playing M’era Luna was a professional high, we’ve been very lucky to have played many of the big dark scene festivals since signing with Out Of Line in 2019, and playing M’era was the icing on the cake. This year sees us play in Poland and Finland also…for me it’s all about playing in new countries and reaching new audiences. I’ve also really enjoyed being the support on two BlutEngel tours now, and learnt so much from Chris Pohl and the gang about touring and performing. They took us under their wing and sharing the nightliner across Germany felt very much like we’d arrived as a band.
If you mean another bands performance, I’d have to say watching Duran Duran masquerading as The Krush Brothers for their secret gig at the Kentish Town County Club in London in 1988 was pretty awesome.
9. Who should play you when your life is filmed?
10. Last question: What do you want for the next 10 years, what do you need for it?
(MARC) I’d like Andy Biersack from Black Veil Brides to play a younger me, but no doubt he’d be far too busy deciding who should be playing him in his own biopic. They’d need to add lots of prosthetics to age him for the latter depiction on my life.
(MARC) Well I’m not so sure if the band will still be going in 10 years time, after all I’d be in my early 60’s by then! Maybe it will but be less of a live band and we just release albums, that’s if I’ve still got something that fires me enough to want to write about it. I’d like to have some facial surgery if I’m going to keep performing.I’m not adverse to plastic surgery procedures and if it enables you to have the confidence to carry on performing in the public eye then I’m all for it. A lot of my lyrics reflect on the superficiality of life, so I quite like the idea of becoming a victim of that in later life. I’ve always followed the life goal of ‚getting old disgracefully‘, and only recently had two tattoos done, so I’ve started ticking that box already.