I remember well the conversation between Tim and myself over coffee in a local supermarket cafe regarding the future of Mass Movement given the challenges facing a printed zine in the digital age (the instant nature of digital news, the decrease in advertising as bands and labels exploited the ‘free’ advertising of Social Media, the shift in how people discover new bands, books and films etc.) I felt that a move away from the printed Mass Movement to a digital version made sense on every front, and although Tim took some convincing he eventually agreed and the die was cast. Retrospectively I partially regret my enthusiasm for this transition and although it still makes sense on almost every front (the news items and interviews are more timely, no need to chase advertisers and the ability to share the actual music/videos of the featured artists), I can’t help feeling we lost something in the switch of medium.
There’s something special about holding the printed word in your hands that the digital equivalent just cannot capture, even if the content is identical. The feel and smell of the pages, the tangibility of the words rather than an abstract combination of ones and zeros makes for a much more fulfilling experience, even if you lose the convenience of having a 1000 books on a phone…
So it was with a sense of joy that I found out that Tim was working with Earth Island Books on (at time of writing) two volumes of ‘lost’ digital Mass Movement interviews and features encapsulating the zine’s eclectic content from actors (amongst others – British Horror institution Emily Booth and all round decent gezza Danny Dyer), brewing (Wensleydale Brewery), authors (Joe R. Lansdale, Gregg Hurwitz, Charlie Higson as well as several features written by the awesome UK horror writer Jasper Bark), comic artists (Neal Adams – a personal all-time favourite interview for Tim) and some in depth comic book character analysis from Doug Crill, and of course the main thrust of the zine when it started – the music. Interviews include Barney Greenaway (Napalm Death), Jay Bentley (Bad Religion), Ken Casey (Dropkick Murphys), Gary Numan, Acid Reign, Roger Miret (Agnostic Front), Less Than Jake, Crumbsuckers, Paul Bearer (Sheer Terror) and Metal Blade Records legend Brian Slagel amongst many, many others.
If you missed out on these online gems or fancy refreshing your memory (god knows I’d forgotten even doing some of these interviews) then this is a great opportunity to catch-up and celebrate some Mass Movements greatest ‘hits’. Ian Pickens
UK and Europe folks can order the book here
US folks, it’s much cheaper and quicker to order it here