U n d e r   t h e   B l a k L i g h t   w i t h   M a r c   M a s s i v e

Marc Massive. My kind of people. Add friend. Click. Accepted. It was around 2016 when I added Marc on Facebook. In my feed, videos started showing up by a band called Massive Ego. My kind of music.  Massive Ego was meant to be a tongue in cheek name created by Marc as ironic wordplay on his personality.  You see, Marc is a sweet and humble man sharing his life with his husband Olly. I first got hooked on a song by this band called, "I Idolize You", and quickly devoured everything that they put out. I was also impressed with Marc’s activism regarding animal rights. Then suddenly in 2022, Massive Ego broke up and all social media and music was taken down. Erased, like they, and Marc, didn’t exist.

Recently I was looking at Facebook and saw that Marc was back. I immediately friended him again and saw that he was releasing a short film as a solo artist called "Idol Lies". It’s a 9 minute 10 second film with new music that “portrays a personal journey, filled with hidden symbolism that accentuates a declining musician’s descent into paranoia, confronting his inner demons on the arduous journey back from the edge”. A beautiful piece of art that is worth several views. The soundtrack has also been released.

I messaged Marc and asked if he was up for an interview which he agreed to. As I was about to send the questions, I felt a tug and a flood of new questions came to me that seemed more appropriate to ask him. I quickly wrote them down and sent them to Marc. We messaged back and forth as he was sitting in his garden surrounded by little birds, tapping away at the questions. What I received back was extremely honest and vulnerable and I am excited to share this conversation with all of you. I am honored to have Marc as a friend. - Adam

First and foremost I want to thank you for taking the time to participate in this. There is a spark in your eyes that I am so glad that has not gone out.

Marc: Not to be over dramatic or sensationalist but the spark very nearly went out permanently as me and Olly had reached rock bottom mentally and thought there was only one way out. 4th April 2021 is a date that will stay with us now forever as we avoided doing something we’d most certainly have regretted. But when life throws one shitstorm after another at you, it can feel like there is no point anymore and no other way out. Thankfully we sought help from mental health professionals and close friends rallied around.

In your film, you emerge from the photo booth reborn as Marc Massive. After the transformation, you give a slight smile and then look out with trepidation before going back out into the world. How does your world look to you now from before?

Marc: As you’ve probably guessed from above, returning to music after taking over a year out and removing all of my social media felt like a a very big hill to get over. When the band (Massive Ego) ended I was forced to remove a 27 year history overnight. I can’t for legal reasons explain the ins and outs as some of that is still ongoing but hasten to add I’ve been portrayed in some quarters as some kind of controlling freak which I refute, but sadly plays into the bands name conveniently for some. I know the truth and I’m at peace with it. If I’m guilty of anything it’s of being passionate, ambitious and protective of a project that took me thirty years to build. The "Idol Lies" short film is significant to that journey of coming back from the brink. The trepidation of stepping out of the Photo Booth after freeing myself from the shackles of my alter ego, that had until that point served me so well for over 20 years was immense and real, that felt like a big unknown step but at the same time the right one. After this I don’t know what lies ahead. There’s no plans made, nothing in the pipeline, no agenda. Just enjoying the moment for being allowed to be creative again and being truly heartened by the goodwill shown to me. Without that, what is there?

What does "Idol Lies" mean to you?

Marc: The film is my journey, as seen through a landscape of an old pier and it’s typical side-show attractions full of surreal symbolism as I face my demons, run away from the past to finally come out of the darkness. I had no intention of returning to music. It felt heavily tarnished and the work I’d put in over the years felt belittled, undervalued and disrespected in certain quarters. But it’s through mental wellbeing strategies, psychiatric therapy, meditation, friends keeping me positive, a hugely supportive label looking after our interests whilst we were not able to, reading books and writing that I felt the creative juices flow again. I made the film for myself really, to draw a line under what had happened and to move on. Forgive and forget. Plus I’m an old ham, so the chance to do some amateur dramatics in the shape of the films characters was rewarding. "Idol Lies" is also the title of an autobiography I started writing during my breakdown, as a tool for unburdening myself of a lifetimes worth of secrets, untruths and lies. The titles obviously a play on my biggest track I" Idolise You", which also covered the idea of our idols, either celebrity or religious, not always presenting a true picture, insecurities hiding behind layers of fake confidence. It’s something that’s always fascinated me and I’ve visited lyrically a lot. So for me the title represents finding the truth in some very dark places.

The songs on your new release are beautiful. I know that many artists like to leave the meaning of the songs up to the listener, if you can tell me, what message do you want listeners to get from "Recite After Me"?

Marc: Thanks, all these tracks were from a solo project I’d started with a guy called Richard Olah, aka Richee from Hungary which got side lined by the last Massive Ego album. I always intended to revisit the tracks one day, and now seemed the perfect opportunity. "Recite After Me" is a statement about our religious Idols and peoples dependence on their message to feel complete and be able to live their lives.


Describe your creative process?

Marc: Well Richee is so easy to work with that we passed the files back and forth, and unusually for me I recorded my vocal parts at home without the need to visit a bigger recording studio and sent the raw files over to Richee. I prefer to write to a music demo, doesn’t have to be complete, as long as it’s got an arrangement I can follow. I have a book of titles and lyrics but I also like to write new specifically for a demo.


What inspires you as a person and as an artist?

Marc: Whilst trying to heal I found myself reading biography after biography, I had an insatiable appetite for music biogs particularly and read about fifty books in that year, unheard of for me. Everyone from John Lydon to Morrissey. Losing myself and my worries in other peoples lives certainly helped me get through. It’s a habit I’m maintaining, alongside writing my daily pages (journals) which I find a great vehicle for getting ideas down. I’ve found a lot of inspiration as a creative soul in ‘The Artists Way’ book by Julia Cameron which not only advised writing morning pages, but also giving yourself ‘Artists dates’, which entails doing something creative on your own, like visiting a gallery, painting a picture or taking a photo. One date I set myself the brief of visiting the pier near my home and photographing only 10 pictures in B&W, no filters edits or effects. These pictures manifested into the "Idol Lies" short film idea. I also set myself the task of watching classic films that had managed to evade me till that point. It was greats like ‘Chinatown’, Nic Roeg’s ‘Don’t Look Now’, 'The Illustrated Man’, everything Polanski , with ’The Tenant’ being a prime example of ‘how have I not seen this film till now?!’ The late 60’s and early 70’s are proving a film treasure trove. I can get obsessed by certain films, reading everything there is to read on them. A case in point is ‘The Man With The X-Ray Eyes’ which influenced my little film hugely, as did ‘The 7 Faces of Dr Lau.


Are there any issues that impact you that you want people to know about?

Marc: Already discussed the main one, but I know I’m not unique in what I’ve been through. I see so many people currently in the same boat I was, it’s terrifying how the recent changes in the world from Covid and lockdowns, to forced political agendas in the form of Brexit snuffing out our freedoms, to a planet creaking under all our pollution and wars reigniting old hatred, it’s no wonder mental health issues are effecting so many of us. I found sitting outside, feeding the birds, meditating, finding my spirit side and just being nice to myself was a huge help. I even took up reading Oracle cards! How bang on perceptive have they been. If you’ve got issues and you’re reading this, fuck…I’m with you and I can relate and it will become better, and the worst you imagine will not come to bear. Tell your nearest and dearest, don’t suffer in silence and get help because the cloud is very hard to shift on your own.

If you and BlakLight had a child, what would you name it?

Marc: Baby Phil aka Massive Big Broken Philament!

Is there anything else that you want people to know about Marc Massive?

Marc: I’m not that person you’ve been told I am.