Massive Wagons interview
By Bec Simpson || Photo from instagram.com/massivewagons
Regular readers of Unfazed may remember we reviewed the new Massive Wagons single, ‘Billy Balloon Head’ a couple of months ago. Now, the band are back, with their fourth studio album ‘Full Nelson’, and we had chance to put a few questions to ‘wagoner’ Adam Bouskill about his band, their new album, and their plans for the future...
Your new album, Full Nelson is out this week. How excited are you?
Immensely! Excitement, relief, anticipation, all sorts of feelings and emotions build up before a release! The expectation has been massive this time around, so we've all worked extremely hard to go above and beyond them!
How long has it been in the making from conception to release?
The writing process for us is a continuous thing, even now there are new ideas being thrown about for the next set of songs. So for Full Nelson it's been since we released our last album, Welcome to the World, so it'll be just shy of 3 years!
Are there any running themes or concepts across the album?
Social media gets a few mentions in this album, it's a huge part of todays culture, impossible to avoid! There's mentions of conspiracy theorists and digs at bullys and bigots. There's even a song about a 101 year old skydiver! There's no set theme when we start the writing process, it just happens.
"Billy Balloon Head", one of your singles, is quite a political number. Do you think it’s important for bands to use their platform to promote social justice, positivity and question our leaders?
I wouldn't say it was specifically political, it's aimed at the human race, wether you're in a position of power, be it politically, processional, rich or poor, male or female, we should all just be nice! How much simpler would things be? "Billy Balloon Head" is a dig at narcissists, racists, bigots and just nasty folk in general. But of course musicians and bands should preach any form of good! If you have the ability to reach out to people and promote positivity just do it!
What kind of topics or events inspire your songwriting?
Every day life! Things around us, social media, exceptional human beings, regular people, friends. You name it, it'll inspire Baz to magic up some lyrical wizardry. I have no problem saying he's one of the best songwriters around.
Although this is your third studio album, it’s your first on Earache. What’s it been like transitioning to a label so far?
It's been brilliant, as soon as the contracts were signed we got straight to work. It's been hard work as well, which is great, as it works both sides, if we're having to graft, it means the guys and girls at Earache are as well. Our manager works super close with them, she's an absolute godsend!
You played Download recently. What was that experience like?
There are no words good enough in my vocabulary to explain the feelings before, during and after the set at Download. Walking out to a packed tent, people chanting "Wagons Wagons".. just unbelievable! And I have no shame in saying we smashed it!!
Did you manage to catch any of the other bands on the line up?
Oh yes! Ozzy, In This Moment, Rise Against, Black Stone Cherry, Parkway Drive, Anchor Lane. I Managed to stay all weekend so it was great!
What would you say the main differences were between your live shows and your performance on record? Do you "stick to the script" or do things differently?
There's no script, we decide the live sets based on time constraints, venue/festival and area. It's a show live, we don't play the songs exactly like the record, it's lairy, loud and heavy. Baz is a whirlwind on stage and he drags the crowd in and involves them.
How would you describe your music to someone who hadn’t heard it before?
British Rock…..it's simple but we don't stick to a formula. Try not tapping your foot!
You guys all hail from Lancaster. What’s the scene like over there at the moment?
Lancaster has great music history, the biggest for the city being John Waite getting a number 1 single with ‘Missing You’. But the local scene is rammed full of great musicians and bands, every night there's something on, from jam nights and open mic to full on rock bands and folk bands! Great mix of styles.
Speaking of scenes, what would you say makes you stand out from other bands on the scene?
Songs and graft. Not that other bands don't have great songs and don't work hard, but we've built this band from the ground up and it constantly evolves, the songs are written to entertain and make people smile and rock out and behind the scenes, for eight years we've just done what we can to get it out there. It's now paying off!
Are there any up and coming bands from your hometown that you might tip for success in the future?
A friend of mine called Jamie Brewer, he's a solo acoustic guitarist, similar style to Andy McKee. And a band not that local to us, but great friends, Those Damn Crows!
Finally, aside from touring to support the new album, what comes next for Massive Wagons?
Back on with the song writing. Booking next year full of gigs! Seeing what we can do in terms of travelling into Europe and where else we can, that becomes the most difficult part as we all have full time jobs! The future holds great things I'm sure. Full Nelson is just the foundations!
Check out Full Nelson out now via Earache Records!