MassMatiks have mastered that difficult knack of writing songs that have you instantly hooked. The south east London trio’s relatable and engaging lyrics, combined with their big rocky sound, have led them to self-label themselves as “a true band of the people” – and for good reason.
To further cement that claim, the band today releases excellent new single One Foot In The Club. It kicks off with a fast-paced guitar riff, then George’s almost spoken vocals come in with the lyrics: “One foot in the club and I wish I was back in my bed, Stuck socialising with some people that think they’re the Kray twins.” The line “I drank too much at pre-drinks, It’s all downhill from here” precedes a chorus that describes exactly the kind of club you love to hate.
The big opening riff returns after the second chorus, followed by a cool section of spoken vocals with light guitar support, with frontman George Peploe saying: “Get along with the rockers, get along with the rude boys, get along with the gangsters, get along with them all.” That builds into louder vocals with repeats of the “get along with” message, with heavier guitars that dive back into the chorus again. It closes out with George shouting “Why the fuck do I come any more?, I don’t like the music, I don’t like the atmosphere, I don’t like the people.”
It’s big and rocky, with brash, exciting vocals, and we love it. In George’s words: “I am so excited to release this song! People are going to be jumping around letting go and shouting the chorus at the top of their lungs. It’s about that moment you step into a really bad club and regret it instantly. I don’t know why people, including me, keep ending up in these places but everything is over priced, the music is rubbish and the atmosphere is dead. We got to stop doing it, we’re better than that, aren’t we?”
Massmatiks’ previous music further cements this ‘music for the people’ feeling. Case in point is last year’s excellent Blank Wall, with lines like the screamed “You read this and that on social media, That don’t make you a leader of this subject my son” and “Suddenly everyone is a critic, but what do they even know about this?” summing up their immediate socio-political catchiness. Debut single Gunning For You shows the band at their raw, rocky best, while follow-up track 4AM is a delicious track with a huge singalong chorus that will stay stuck in your head for hours.
George told us: “I would sum up our sound as raw honesty and deep felt passion, everything we write has to come from a place that we feel really strongly about. Socially I just want everyone to be good to each other and be happy for themselves. We are creatures of habit and see so many people stuck in the habit of putting themselves or other people down. Hate is such a strong thing at the moment and I suppose we stand for the people who won’t be put down. We deliver our music aggressively but it always comes from a positive place.”
George tells us the band met at college and started living together with another four people who were also in a band. He explains: “It was a mad lifestyle, especially as Joe (Turner) and Martin (Linch) were living in the same room. We had loads of house parties and became a really close group. We loved it so much Martin ended up with big tattoos of the house number on his legs.
“I’ve been writing music since I was 15 for open mics and when I met the rest of the boys they had the same ambitions and aspirations as myself. It was a no brainer really. If I remember rightly, Joe’s first gig with us was in Inverness. I remember driving throughout the night to play two shows up there. We all bonded over Foals’ first album Antidotes on that drive.”
MassMatiks are very much set on doing their own thing. They’re keen to avoid the obvious comparisons between other rap-rock acts out there, and that also relates to the personal inspirations behind their music.
George tells us: “Finding influences to write music is one of the trickier things for us. We never want to write a typical love song and always want to have our own take on situations. I find influences from my everyday life: the pub I go to, things I see on the Internet, problems I’ve had with myself or other people. I tend to have a week of something really bugging me and that always invokes a song. Once the topic is there the lyrics come naturally.
You can see the band for yourself very soon as Massmatiks will be out on tour across the UK, beginning on 16 September at The Owl Sanctuary in Norwich. They’ll then be taking in gigs in Glasgow, Newcastle, Birmingham and Southampton before finishing up at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen in London on 22 September. Full info on their tour is here.
And if you still need convinving that you need to go and see them live, then take it from George himself: “Going on tour and living the band life is what we are all about. We have met many bands that hate it but we have such a close team it makes everything so much easier. We are very excited to have our good friends Youth Killed It with us – such a fun band and I know our fans will love them. Our live show is going to be packed with energy. I fully expect to be in the crowd, on the bar or climbing up whatever I can find. Our fans definitely know how to have it and the atmosphere will be electric. There is no better feeling.
There’s plenty more to come from Massmatiks too. As George tells us: “People have been asking for more music from us, so we plan to release another track quickly and get back out on the road! There are quite a few places that we love playing that we have missed on this tour, so we are definitely hitting them up on the next one. Also a few fans can’t come to our 18+ shows, so were going to sort out a London date for them.
“We appreciate everyone’s support and love meeting people at our shows that believe in what we do and feel the way we feel. That connection to the lyrics and music means so much to us. Keep supporting and in return we shall give you our best.”