Mass Worship was a great surprise on us. Combining the raw power of crust/punk with the spirit of metal, this new endeavour sound as fresh as if we were listening this mixture for the first time. Although being formed only in January 2018, this self-titled debut album sounds already classic to our ears. World Of Metal reached out to Fred Forsberg (drums) and Claes Nordin (vocals) to a quick little chat, that you can read below. – by Fernando Ferreira / Photos by Monika Polus
Hello guys and welcome to our World Of Metal. I guess the best way to start this interview is to introduce you to our readers. How did Mass Worship came to be?
Fred – Hi, thanks a lot for doing this. Mass Worship is the result of years of grinding in the underground scene under numerous projects and constellations. In a lot of ways, all of our individual careers have led up to this point, and we can finally utilize all our experience and creative efforts into this one dark, massive production that is Mass Worship.
“Mass Worship”, the album, has a huge influence of swedish death metal but also crust, punk and even hardcore. If you had to say what would be the influences that are shown on this set of songs?
Claes – The inspiration for this album is quite wide and even though we find some inspiration in Swedish Death as well as classic Swedish d-beat bands, it’s the rawness and honesty of these bands that we are appealed to more than riffs or song arrangements. Mass Worship is a progressive band, as much as we love punk and death metal we love bands like Meshuggah, Mastodon and Neurosis equally as much. All of them got a very specific sound but yet always progress.
To release a debut album by Century Media Records it sure isn’t for everybody. How did you get to them?
Fred – We’ve built up a lot of good connections throughout the years through touring, doing bands in general and working in the music industry, so even though this band in particular is fairly new, we’re not really strangers to the music scene, and fortunately we’ve made some good friends through the years. Our friends in Tribulation helped us present the record to Philipp Schulte at Century Media. A couple of weeks after we sent it, Philipp wrote to us that even though we’re not yet a well established band, the record is too good to turn down!
Despite being your first album, you’re not strangers to the heavy scene. Even so, this debut album must feel like starting over. Is there a clean slate feeling with Mass Worship?
Fred – For sure! Some of us have been playing together for years in different constellations, and we’ve gone through some lineup changes since we started Mass Worship. Releasing this record and starting a new touring cycle with a new lineup feels like a fresh start. Not to minimize what we’ve done prior to this, but we’re finally in a position to go all in and do everything we want to do – we’ve got a really solid lineup, Century Media backing us up and a fresh record coming out that we’re very proud of – all we want to do now is tour heavily and continue to perfect our craft.
Normally, crust/punk has a strong message do deliver. In Mass Worship’s case, do you think this is also the case? What came first, the lyrics or the music?
Fred – The music is without a doubt the most important part of this band, it’s what we write first and we try to match the lyrics to the feel and theme the music brings. On surface level the songs do not communicate any clear cut, direct message the way punk usually do, I’d say our punk background is more an intricate part of our perspective – we’ve all been politically engaged our whole lives and we’re deeply rooted in punk, so our lyrics are inevitably going to be from that perspective, but this band is less about preaching, and more about giving our perspective on things and explore the darker sides of life through music.
The sound on the album is really raw and bringing back the memory of the finest swedish death metal. Did you had a clear objective to get this sound?
Fred – We wanted to blend all our influences, Swedish death being one of them, but we also think it’s important that our sound has integrity and that it’s as organic as possible. The songs usually dictates the direction of the rest of the production process, so we try to be open minded and not be stuck to one idea. The guitar tone has a clear hint of Swedish Death without a doubt, but there’s tons of non-conventional and not so genre specific decisions that become very obvious once you delve a bit deeper and start to peel of the layers so to speak, both in the way our songs function and the sound and production itself.
Feedbackwise, how have been the reactions to the album?
Fred – Overwhelmingly good so far! I mean, the record haven’t hit the streets yet, so it’s mainly press, the label and our close friends that have given us their feedback as of now, and people seem to be digging the two singles we’ve put out so far.
Should we expect to see you on tour? If so, what are the plans that you have, to hit the stages on Europe?
Claes – Yes we have an ambitious tour schedule ahead of us and it’s an important part of this band to be out playing and supporting the album. Currently in the van on our way to Prague. After the album is out we will do some Scandinavian weekends as well as teaming up with Implore(Century Media) for some shows. We’re supporting Brutality Will Prevail on a European tour in November/December which we’re very much looking forward to! We can’t say anything specific about 2020 yet more than that we’ve got some confirmed festivals and some tours that we’re working on.
To finish, what are the expectations for Mass Worship and its future?
Claes – We’re hoping that the reaction of the album will be as good as the reaction for our two singles and from there we’re just gonna keep playing and writing more music. We’re pretty humble about the position we’re currently in and the fact that we got some pretty amazing people on the label supporting us. We wanna get the best out of the position we’re in, and that of course means that we will have to work hard. We’re gonna take this band to the next level, whatever that may be for us.