Oct 12, 2016
It was a cold, rainy night fifteen years ago in San Francisco, and I was partying at the Lower Forty-Eight's record release party. It was a historic night - I heard the Mass for the first time, and I was blown away: crazed avant-garde proggy metal with saxophone? It was a sound I hadn't heard before.
These guys are older/slower and more annoying. They are set to release a brand new album - Ghost Fleet - in December 2016, after eight fucking years in hibernation. Here they talk about the decision to get back together, make out, and create some mayhem.
Matt Waters (sax/vocals/synth)
Tyler Cox (drums)
Andy Lund (bass)
Tom O'Donnell (guitar)
What inspired you guys to get out of your wheelchairs and start making music together again?
Matt: We were still bros from the previous incarnation of the band. At some point in 2014 we all realized that we were all bored. It was kind of a "let's just jam and see what happens".
Andy: I figured we're all still friends, all still in the Bay Area, all still alive so why not get together and play some of the old "hits" for friends. It then snowballed into writing new music.
Tyler: For me it's a futile attempt to not go postal living in the bay area.
What has changed from your last album to this new recording?
Matt: It's surprisingly similar how the writing stayed the same since we were writing years ago. The difference now is that none of us has the time (or energy) to get together and write songs for 10-12 hours a week. Now, we've got maybe one session per week to hash out ideas and start to make something that resembles a "song".
We used to be able to crank out a lot of music and put out an album every year or so. The newest album took more than 2 full years and it's only 5 songs, granted one of them is 20 minutes.
We were much more deliberate and honest about these new songs. We had them all finished about a year ago, then we went back and re-wrote pretty much every one of them. The writing in the band is very much by committee, for better or worse and usually we like to find a consensus where everyone is stoked on the tunes.
Tom: Same basic approach but spent more time keeping the songs more focused.
Andy: We spent a lot of time (2 years basically) working out these songs and how they should sound. I think our music listening habits have changed a bit in 8 years but we're still the same guys so the outcome is what you would expect from us.
Tyler: We spent a lot more time crafting the songs. I think the music on this record is more focused more fully developed than our previous stuff.
Who in the music world impresses you?
Matt: Dawn of Midi
Tom: Mikael Akerfeldt, Watkin Tudor Jones, Bjork, Melvins, David Eugene Edwards
Tyler: Jamie Saint Merat
What ultimate goal do you want achieved by the Mass?
Matt: To die in peace
Tom: Rock till we drop, or at least for a few months.
Andy: It's mostly short-term goals: play a show, finish new songs, record new songs, release album.
Tyler: I just want us to stay active. Even that much feels like an uphill battle.
What's the point?
Matt: An old naval base in Alameda
Tom: I don't understand the question.
Andy: There may never be one.
Tyler: I don't know what people are into these days. Everyone seems to have lost their mind. Take it out leave it.
Matt: Yes, Fuck you
Tom: That's not nice.
Andy: Of course!
Tyler: It is all my fault.
PRE-ORDER the album and immediately download the track ‘Neuronic Channels Driven to Agitation’.
Accompanying album art in December by the infamous Jon Wayshak: http://www.scrapbookmanifesto.com/