Metalcore 5-piece MASSiVE was founded in late 2012 by Craig and Anthony, who were initially starting a pop-rock group until they made the decision to go back to their roots in hardcore. Joey was then invited to audition for the band, as they were familiar with him and his vocals from the local music scene. The trio wrote several songs together, which eventually got the attention of several producers and management companies. Not more than a year later, Rob and Emmett joined MASSiVE as the last and final additions to the group. By blending elements of thrashy metalcore with the high-energy of nu-metal and progressive rock, the band set out to create their own sound, unique among the rest. MASSiVE grabbed the attention of producer Joey Sturgis in the Fall of 2013, who then worked with them on several songs at 37 Studios in Detroit, MI. The band is currently working with director Sam Link on a series of music videos to be released Fall/Winter 2014, with new music in the works, shows, and touring and much more all lined-up! Frontman vocalist Rob Ulshafer, guitarist Craig Johns Jr. and bassist/vocalist Joey Scott DeVito, discussed ths band's latest single, video, and musical abilities.
1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
Craig: Anthony and I first started the band in 2012. We had been doing metal for a while and thought we’d change it up and start a pop-rock band to see where that’d take us, but we ended up coming back to metal. It’s where our hearts are at. Rob and Emmett had been in previous bands with us, not to mention our best friends for years, so their additions to the group were effortless. I mean, I've known Rob since freshmen year of high school, and Emmett used to live with me and my family. We knew Joey from the local scene. He had played some shows with us before, so we were familiar with him and his singing. He fit right in, it was perfect.
2. Why did you pick the name that you did for your band?
Rob: We chose the name "MASSiVE" because we feel it really describes us sonically, as well as our message as a band.
3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
Craig: We’re based out of Nanuet, NY. That’s where Anthony and I live. Emmett’s about 5 minutes into the next town over, and Rob and Joey are less than an hour away. When we were kids there was a lot more of a scene than there is now but most people went away to college or whatever, so nowadays it’s really at a minimum.
Joey: Well, I'm from the little old town of Warwick NY. The scene was pretty cool for a while, there were some pretty good metal shows every now & then. Now it's all folky bands, which is pretty sweet actually!
4. How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?
Joey: Fast, thrashy, and "loud" as my parents would say! I can't really put my finger on any specific bands that influenced our music. We all listen to a bunch of different genres.
Craig: To be honest, our style of music comes very naturally to us. When I’m writing a song, it’s not really about writing like this, or sounding like that. We just write what we want and how we feel. When I was a little kid, I was really into Slipknot and Linkin Park, so I guess you can hear that in the music. We have very hectic, fast, thrashy parts, but we also have those big, smooth choruses.
5. What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media?
Rob: In our earlier days we put out a couple of demos, which were actually what got the attention of Joey Sturgis. Our most recent release being our video/single "Still Alive" which has received some pretty good feedback on the internet.
6. Do you play live as well? What do you have planned in terms of shows and touring, if any?
Rob: We played a few shows before settling down to write for the studio. One of them being a festival called "November Reign" which featured acts like Asking Alexandria, All That Remains, Emmure, and Atilla, to name a few.
Craig: I think I can speak for the whole band when I say we do this, all of the writing, recording, filming, promoting, all of that, just to perform live. It’s what we dream about, it’s what we talk about, it’s what we practice for. There’s nothing like it in the world. Right now we’re so busy with new material, promoting, and preparing for future releases, that it’s hard to book shows. Hopefully soon though!
7. What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
Joey: Well for me to get into a band, something really has to "wow" me... Otherwise, it's just another band that plays cool songs. I feel that our whole sound, performance, image is everything you'd want to see/hear from a band you just found out about. Our shows are going to be killer, man.
Rob: If there's anything I would say people should know about us it's that we're driven by a purpose as a band to leave an impact on others, and make a positive change in an increasingly negative world.
8. What plans do you have for the near future as a band?
Rob: We're currently preparing for another video release as well as getting ready to get back out there and play some more shows.
Craig: Yeah, I can’t wait to start playing live again. Other than that, we've been writing a full length, so we’ll see where that goes!
9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
Joey: You can pretty much just type "MASSiVE Still Alive" in anywhere and it'll come up. Nothing to buy just yet! You can download our single for free on our Facebook or Soundcloud.
10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?
Rob: We've put so much of ourselves into this music, and this idea that we've given our hearts to as a group. If listeners could feel the passion in that, I’d like them to remember that.
Joey: All we want is for people to understand the message we put out there through our songs. Some people really need to hear what we're saying. So, I guess what I'd like for them to remember the most would be the feeling they get when they realize "wait... I think like that too" or "wow maybe I'm not crazy".