Mass Worship from Sweden only formed last year in 2018 and have already signed with heavyweight label Century Media. The band have an exciting and different dark metal sound so are definitely an up and coming band to have on your radar! They have just unleashed their massive self-titled debut so we caught up with Fred (drums) and Dadde (bass) to find out more about their sound, the album and future plans…
So you formed last year, how did the band start?
Fred: We have all been playing a lot in previous bands so we kind of all met through touring or mutual friends and playing in bands around Sweden and we wanted to get a group of people together that wants to do a band on a high level and high-level dedication so yeah that’s how we got together.
For those that aren’t familiar with your sound how do you describe it?
Dadde: That’s always a hard question, I mean we have a pretty broad spectrum of music we enjoy but we just want to do the kind of music or metal that we would like to hear ourselves. I hope that we can get this semi-original sound. It’s like metal but there’s a bunch of other stuff in there.
Fred: It feels a bit cheesy saying it but we really feel like we’re doing something that is fairly unique and in our own way. I mean we are listening to a bunch of different bands and all of us are fans of the Swedish classic bands like At The Gates and stuff like that.
Dadde: But we also like newer stuff like Meshuggah and Mastodon and that stuff too, we can’t see ourselves being in the middle of it all, we’re not trying to be something special or artsy or something like that, we just want to do the music that we want to hear and it just happens you know to do come out the way it does and I think there’s like this clear metal tone to it but there’s also a lot of punk coming through and I think that’s because I’m previous efforts like we have been playing punk for all of our lives so that kind of happens naturally being an intricate part of the sound.
So you mentioned some of your musical influences already, do you have any other notable ones or even just creative influences?
Dadde: well I’m a tattoo artist in my day job and that’s a creative one but I think music is the main creative output all of us have.
Fred: all of us listen to a wide range of music not only metal, we have just decided more or less that this band is supposed to be a metal band and we frame it as a metal band but since we’ve all been playing punk and listening to different music we are trying not to put ourselves in a corner too much. We don’t want to be another clone of an already existing band, there’s too many of them out there. It’s deliberate in the sense that we have like a strong identity and we want to do things our way, it’s not about trying to be different but more about that just happens that way and I think a part of that is actually getting influences outside of the metal sphere so to speak.
So how did you actually come up with the name Mass Worship?
Fred: It’s a play on words more or less, like mass murder, mass worship, it sounds cool and we leave the rest of the interpretation of the listener but there’s a lot of different in different ways you can read it but we thought it sounded cool and it looks cool and you can apply it to wider range of interpretations.
How does it feel to already have members of At The Gates, The Haunted and Katatonia as fans?
Fred: Yeah amazing, some of those guys are good friends and that’s mainly how we got in contact with them but it’s amazing and same thing with signing with Century Media, it gives you a confidence boost you know you’re doing things right you know you’re moving in the right direction and hearing people like say good things about the music just adds onto that feeling.
Can you tell us a bit about your latest single ‘Proleptic Decay’ and what made you choose this as a single from your debut album?
Fred: We wanted to try to represent what we are doing as broad as possible and we felt like those two songs (‘Celestial’) are a good representation of what we do and not only that, one is fast and a mid-paced one but they display two different sides of his band.
So obviously you have just released your debut self-titled album via Century Media, can you tell us a bit about the writing and recording for this?
Fred: So most of the writing process, I come up with the foundations of the songs and then together we discuss what elements we want to incorporate in the sound and where we want to take it next and what we find exciting. I usually send the guys some draft of a song and we see if people get excited about it, if not just throw it away and start again with something else but yeah most of the time it’s pretty clear that we’re all on board or not and then we just take it from there and discuss what we want to do and what elements are incorporated in the sound and how we want to evolve out of that, that’s more or less that.
Then the recording processes were trying to do as much as we can like yourselves and keep it within the band so most of the recording is done by ourselves and mixing by us. We just hire people or studios for whenever we need it, like for this record we got in touch with Spinroad studios outside of Gothenburg to record the drums because that studio has a really good sounding room for drums and we get some help from the main technician Pedro who works there and the rest we try to do ourselves as much as we can. Like out of the simple reason that we want to make sure our songs are presented in the right way from songwriting to actually releasing it, we want to be our way, not something that is easily duplicated. Yeah, it really feels like you’re doing something that is ours and yeah like I said it’s harder to duplicate it and yeah it’s really rewarding.
What are the main lyrical themes explored if any on the album?
Fred: Yeah I’m basically seeing this band as a sort of a underbelly of reality of sorts, like you know if you see it as a balancing line and if you take a wrong step on this line everything falls apart and whether it’s you know a political crisis, financial crisis, environmental crisis there’s a lot of things that have a huge potential going wrong right now and that’s that sort of where we want our music to live and breathe and we want to give the listener a chance to face it full on and not be able to brush it aside, like you put on the record and you feel this urgency and that’s you know deliberate within the song writing within the articulation of the vocals, within the lyrics and everything, we wanted to be in your face and if the listener wants to dig deep in to the lyrics, there’s definitely depth enough to do that, but we are trying to keep it kind of open and not reveal too much of our own personal emotions and thoughts about individual tracks but that’s the main thing, like we feel this band is living in this alternative reality of sorts and we want to give the listener a chance to the face that full on, not just have it in the back of your mind trying to ignore it every day.
What was the most challenging part of creating the album?
Fred: We have been doing this for quite some time now, like I think all of us have been doing music for half of our lives and a bit more, even so, yeah, of course, it’s like challenging always, but it’s also you know already you’re going to see the end of the tunnel eventually like when you go into the studio for the first time as a band or when you start recording yourself, you don’t know if it’s going to end up good, there are so many variables that can go wrong, but we are confident enough to go into this and know that okay we put this time and effort in and we spend like a year writing and recording it and we know it’s going to turn out good, it’s not going to be some shit, with the intention of having high goals and releasing it with a big label and that’s what we succeeded in doing, so it’s rewarding getting to that stage but it’s hard to pinpoint what the hardest part is, there’s always hard parts during the process but you get through it.
So the album artwork is really cool, how did that come about and who designed it?
Fred: We have a guy called Alexandra Gourlay from Canada who is doing most of our graphic stuff and we worked together with him to further express that alternative like dark reality of sorts and we wanted the artwork to stay in line with the lyrics and with the theme of the songs and build on top of the same thing. Yeah, we are really happy about it.
Dadde: It further expresses the lyrics I guess.
As you already mentioned you signed with century Media, how’s it going with them so far and how does it feel to be with such a big well-established label?
Fred: yeah it feels amazing and they are amazing people, they really helped us a lot from the very start, they have been really really great all the time, but it’s hard because you, of course, get this confidence boost, being so early in a band to sign with such a legendary label and that’s great, you know that you’re moving in the right direction and everything but the hard part is that we are still a fairly unknown band, we still need to grind it, we still need to get out on the road and do the dirty work so to speak because there’s not a lot of people who know us and that’s on us, so we are very eager to get out and play as much as we can and we have high goals of touring as well as recording and releasing music but we want to tour extensively and that’s where we are right now, trying to figure that part out and set a path for us where we can build this band long term and really grind it.
In November your heading out on a European tour with Brutality Will Prevail, how excited are you for this and what can attending fans expect from your show?
Dadde: We are super excited to be able to get out there and tour with a band that has an audience so to speak, we haven’t really had the possibility to show ourselves that much yet. So far, when we have played people seem to really get into it, I mean, to be honest like people have been pretty blown away from this massive sound we have and that gives you confidence once again. I mean I hope their audience is going to win us a few more fans, it’s something we look forward to.
Fred: Yeah we just had another interview an hour ago and we talked about the fact that we’re kind of in an underdog position and I think we’re all very comfortable with that, we are really eager to prove ourselves and to win people over and it’s kind of a nice place to be in, as long as you get the chance to tour with other bands of course but we like that position of being the underdog and we want to prove ourselves and we are confident in what we are doing. We are really excited to get out and excited to play that tour with such a cool band as Brutality as well.
It is like what we talked about in the beginning that it is hard to define the genre, we all know we do metal, internally we know what we want to do but we can’t decide how people choose to interpret the sound and everything so it feels exciting to see what kind of packages we can be added onto as well and what kind of bands we can tour with, I think Brutality Will Prevail is representing one side of the crowd that we can reach out to and then there are other sides as well and yeah, it’s just a cool start
Dadde: We are kind of humbled to the fact that we hopefully we can be able to tour alongside all kinds of different bands within I guess alternative hard music.
What else have you got planned as we reach the end of this year and sort of looking ahead to the next year?
We have a show with Implore in Stockholm on the 14th November and then heading out on the tour with Brutality, we wanted to do more this fall but it’s been pretty hectic getting everything right with the record and getting that out there and the music videos and all that stuff so that’s pretty much what we have time to do this year but we have some plans to record some like playthrough videos and stuff like that to just to keep it going all the time and create new content.
Dadde: We have like this goal to next year to try and play at least a 100 shows just to get out there, like something we are aiming for.
Is there anything else you want to add or say?
Fred: Please check out the record and make sure to follow us and let us know what you think.
Dadde: Talk to your local promoters, there is this cool Swedish band.