Massive Wagons Interview / “A Top Ten album is worth it’s weight in Gold”

‘House Of Noise’, the fifth album from Lancaster’s anthemic Rock five-piece Massive Wagons, was released 12 July 2020 and immediately smashed in the midweek charts at number seven, with MetalTalk’s Dave Bonney acknowledging the piece as an album of the year contender already.

Dave spoke with the band about their favourite curry house, what happened to the cucumber in the ‘House Of Noise’ video and how the Highway To Hell success helped to propel the band to where they are now.

Dave Bonney: After the chart success of ‘Full Nelson’, I’m convinced ‘House of Noise’ is heading for the Top 10. Where would you like to think a Top Ten album could take you?

“I mean for a band like us a Top Ten album is worth it’s weight in Gold! We have the awesome backing of Earache Records and the hardest working, most creative management team a band could ask for. But without some of worlds biggest industry teams guiding us you’d think, we’d think, we stood no chance.

“This week we are up against Ellie Goulding, Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi, Jarvis Cocker to name a few, and to elbow our way into that lot when Rock bands of our ilk aren’t even a thing in the big scheme, really makes a statement and stamps on some feet.

“If this album hits Top Ten, that and the 16 achieved for ‘Full Nelson’ really makes a statement about Massive Wagons and the juggernaut that is the true British Rock scene.

“We don’t get our albums on the shelves of the big stores, it’s all independent stores and the relationship we’ve built up ourself with the awesome HMV. It’s sold online to proper hardcore Rock n Rollers, not picked up by mums in their droves from Asda.”

Massive Wagons House of Noise album cover

‘Billy Balloon Head’ has just surpassed an impressive two million plays on Spotify. What song on the new album do you think has the potential to eventually beat that?

“Hmm now yer asking!!  Well to be honest it’s taken ‘Billy’ two years to hit that and in three months ‘In It Together’ is about 250 thousand already! So it’s travelling twice as fast, so yeah if I were a betting man I’d say that, hopefully followed by four or five more haha!!”

Baz, you seem to have got a lot of things off your chest lyrically. Was this always the intention before writing these songs, or did the words just start to flow once the writing process began?

“I always have a bunch of ideas for songs before I start writing them, things I want to talk about, some topics are serious, some personal and some might be a bit throw away. Just whatever is interesting to me at the time really.

“I might have an odd lyric pre written. I’ll generally write that next to the song idea maybe weeks or months before a song starts, but yeah the words generally just happen as they happen. It’s nice to just brainstorm as I write, I love the thinking process, pushing my imagination is what I love doing.”

Massive Wagons
Massive Wagons. Photo: Eric Duvet/MetalTalk

You won the HRH ‘Highway to Hell’ battle of the bands competition in 2013, with a contributing vote from yours truly, earning yourselves a multi album worldwide deal!

Has that been crucial to where you are as a band right now, or did you always have a plan that would eventually take you on to arena stages?

“Ah well Thankyou! The Highway to Hell competition was a hugely pivotal point in our bands journey. Yes, it was the highest profile thing we’d ever done up to that point, we took it incredibly seriously. The other bands I remember were outstanding!

“We just did what we do and yeah luckily enough won one of the top prizes. Working with the OYR label gave us a wealth of experience and a huge step up from where we were. It just opened so many doors, bigger stages, bigger crowds, support from the industry, it was huge for us yes.”

Massive Wagons
Massive Wagons. Photo: Eric Duvet/MetalTalk

Baz, your phrasing and in particular your diction are exemplary, is this something you consciously strive for or is it something that just comes naturally to you.

“I am extremely conscious about both of those things when I write lyrics. I say and sing lines over and over to make sure they work as well as they possibly can. Make sure they are interesting and fun to sing. Certain letters can’t appear in too many words etc that kinda thing.

“I think I am good at it yeah. Does it come naturally? I don’t know, but I enjoy the attention to detail and creating the final lyrics. There are lyrics, especially from early albums, I wish I could go back and change haha!!

“But they are of a time and served their purpose.”

If you could do a world tour with any band past or present, who would it be?

“Hmmm, tough one!! Airbourne, Volbeat. Adam has always said he’d love to have toured with a prime Van Halen, myself maybe Scorps back in the day. They were absolutely killer!! Ultimate showmen.”

Did your tour manager ever reap his revenge after your dastardly but hilarious April Fools trick in Germany with the ‘stolen van’…?

“Haha!!! I’d say he’s still to fully reap his revenge to be honest. He hasn’t forgotten that for sure!

“People keep on reminding him haha!!! He’s had a few digs, wound me up once about losing my tartan suit.

“He got me too haha!! But I’m still waiting for the big revenge trick.”

Massive Wagons
Massive Wagons. Photo: Eric Duvet/MetalTalk

Is it true that Baz had a job offer from Mr Kipling after his recent appearance on The Great British Rock N Roll Bake Off?

“Hahaha you’re joking aren’t you?!! Did you even watch it!?

“He made what was supposed to be a wagon wheel, it looked more like a giant cow dump! His baking career was over before it started I’m afraid haha!!”

What is each band members favourite Lego character (not yourself) in the Bangin in Your Stereo Video?

“Haha well to be honest, obviously Noddy is the main man, the Noddy appearance is a classic!

“Baz likes the fact that Paul (who made the video) had the Bootyard Bandits figures in from his original Lego video in. Great touch that. Predator is very popular too haha!! Love that it’s just a random who’s who really, keeps it interesting.”

Has Baz ever completed a hat-trick of the on stage hat throw?

“Haha! Definitely two, maybe not three. It’s been that long since we played a gig to be honest. He got pretty good at it, but the new hat stand is black instead of white and to be honest it’s harder to see haha!!! I think another white one is in order.”

The Curry Song is one of the ‘hottest’ on the album. What’s the bands favourite curry house in Lancaster?

“Well, just outside Lancaster is the Far Pavillion which gets a mention In the song! It’s a superb Indian, food is outstanding! I’d say if you’re in the area give it a visit.”

In the making of the ‘House of Noise’ video, was Roy’s cucumber a Tesco ‘yellow sticker reduced section’ jobbie and what became of it after the final take?

“No no, it was fresh and full price!

“He doesn’t skimp on his greens, Roy! As for what happened to it, he brought some tuna down and made himself some sarnies! What else would you do with a half used cucumber!”

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