It pretty much sucked when Fastrack called it a day. But you can't keep good rock down, and vocalist/guitarist Brad Marr is back with a new outfit called Massive. Massive's sound isn't a million miles removed from the down and dirty rock that made Fastrack so much fun, but there's something else going on in Massive, that indefinable quality that adds purpose and impact to the energy. While Fastrack excelled at youthful energy and bravado, Massive seems to allow themselves more distinctiveness, more dirt, more considered songwriting and more of a direct line to the same mojo that populates the best LA hard rock.
So what happened to Fastrack? "I guess in the end we weren't exactly happy with things," Marr explains. "We were just losing our love for music. It was a pretty hasty decision to split and go our separate ways. It wasn't a horrible break-up or anything." But even with the sound of the closed door echoing in Fastrack's collective ears, Marr realised he still had the muse. "The day after Fastrack broke up I called a few mates and said 'let's jam!' So I hooked up with Jarrod Medwin from a band called The Deep End and we sat in his attic and jammed for a couple of days." Boosted by the change in scenery, Marr and Medwin wrote five or six songs during this initial session. Brothers Ben and Aaron Laguda complete the lineup. "They're the most monstrous musicians you ever heard, man," Marr says. "I've never seen anyone play like either of these two. We all just quit what we were doing at the time and put all our focus on this band."
The band's official live debut is at the Espy on Friday July 27, but they've already played a few gigs on the sly. "We did a couple of secret shows under a fake name," Marr explains. "They were great! We did it kind of like the Living End do when they call themselves the Long Necks or the Safety Matches. We opened for a couple of mates' bands - Attack Of The Mannequins, Nat Allison… We didn't tell anybody until the day, and everybody was like, 'Fuck. This is rock n' roll'."
Massive is upfront about their influences - Motley Crue, Guns N' Roses, AC/DC, Foo Fighters - but good luck spotting any borrowed riffs or purloined rhythms. They manage to somehow sound like they belong to the lineage of those bands without actually sounding like them. "We try to get a bit of a mix," Marr says. "We don't want to sound like an ‘80s band or any of our influences. We want to sound like ourselves, and we think we're getting there. It's got that LA vibe but it's still got that Australiana, four-to-the-floor, badass rock sound."
Next up, Massive is taking on America. After recording with Ricky Ray (check out some of the results on Reverbnation), they've booked a 50-show tour of Canada and America already with tattoo/burlesque fashion show Miss Ink. And Marr hints at something else the band has booked, 'the biggest thing I've ever done in my life,' which will see the band exposed to a potentially vast audience. News of that little venture will be officially announced in a couple of weeks.
A video for One By One will be online soon too. It was supposed to be a low-budget affair, with the band bringing in their own lights and editing it themselves to keep costs down, but somewhere along the way it got a little more expensive than they'd planned: "We broke two Gibson guitars in one day." Marr says. "It was stupid! Ben was supposed to throw his guitar off camera and I was going to catch it but I was still putting my guitar down. He threw it and it bounced off the wall and broke in half. I thought I could top that, so… y'know those wankers on YouTube who try to swing their guitar around and they fail and it flies off? Yeah. I'm one of them guys now. I smashed a Gibson SG into a drum riser."
BY PETER HODGSON
Massive perform at The Espy on Friday July 27 with Heaven The Axe, The Prophets Of Addiction, Arcane Saints and Three Time Thrill.