Pop Quiz: Massive Attack

Aidin Vaziri | You can’t rush Massive Attack. It took seven years for the British duo to complete its fifth studio album and nearly as much time to get one of them on the phone to talk about it. In both cases, it was well worth the wait. “Heligoland” is dark and moody, rife with the kind of wobbly beats and atmospheric funk passages that have kept the band in business for nearly two decades. Like Massive’s previous recordings, it also boasts a dazzling, unexpected array of cameos, including TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, Martina Topley Bird, Elbow’s Guy Garvey, Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval and Damon Albarn. Meanwhile, when we finally had a chance to chat with Grant Marshall (Daddy G), who records with Robert Del Naja (3D), he was all, like, “What delay?”


Daddy G of Massive Attack
Q: Why have you been avoiding America for so long?
A: I’m always looking forward to it. We’ve got a great show. We want people to see it. We’re ready to rock. America has always been a hard slug. We’re slightly bewildered as to why we haven’t really cracked it.
Q: Maybe it has to do with your leisurely work pace?
A: Without a doubt. We’re not the most prolific band in the world. We’re not into rushing. Probably, if we put out the albums at the rate people expected, it would be all over by now.
Q: So, are you guys perfectionists or just lazy?
A: It’s a bit of both. In the first years, it was laziness. For us, it’s been this thing from going to a DJ-based thing to a group thing. The first album was us exorcising our demons from our DJ days. That was where all our ideas came from. Over the years, we’ve evolved to where we started getting involved with musicians more and became more organic. We’ve evolved into a band now.
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