Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with Ally from unsigned duo Massa Confusa to find out more…
Who is in the duo, how did you meet, where are you from and how did you come up with the name?
Ally Morton: Vocals, Guitar, Programming and Production
Matt O’Brien: Bass
Massa Confusa is Ally Morton and Matt O’Brien. We’re both from Durham and met at Wet ‘n’ Wild Water Park in year 7 to celebrate a mutual friend’s birthday. The name Massa Confusa came from a series of paintings I was making based on alchemy. The term itself is latin and roughly translates as ‘Mass Confusion’. It describes a confused chemical state before a chemical change is finalised. As our music is a mash up of ideas, I thought the name was quite fitting. You can view the original painting here or here.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
My obsession with music stemmed from being around my Dad and my brother Tony. I remember borrowing a lot from my brother’s music collection which included bands like Nirvana, Feeder, Beastie Boys, Massive Attack and Fat Wreck Chord’s style punk and ska. My Dad listened to a lot of Northern Soul and The Police. I remember my brother’s friend lending us a Smashing Pumpkins 1991-1998 promo CD. After that I became obsessed with the Pumpkins. I’m still a fan today, but my obsession has simply spanned across even more genres and interests. I support a lot more independent and unsigned artists now.
How would you describe your sound?
A mix between drum-machine punk, post-punk, alternative rock and trip-hop.
What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
A reworking of a single we released in November 2018 which features Pit Pony’s vocalist Jackie Purver, who has collaborated with us a few times both as Massa Confusa and on my collaborative side project ‘Five Pence Game’. The new version is called ‘Price Redux’ and is much more dancey than the original. It is based on how it is performed live.
The track itself is about overconsumption, the mistreatment of animals, and how we are not the only creatures of importance on this planet.
What’s your local music scene like?
As I moved to San Sebastián on the North Coast of Spain in 2017 my music scene changed overnight. Two years have passed and the scene here is pretty healthy, but as the city is even smaller than Newcastle (where we were based) so many emerging bands and artists look to play in neighbouring towns and cities instead. Matt moved back to Durham and we swap ideas over the Internet when we can.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
We’re currently working on a new EP, which may or may not become an album. There are no festivals planned as of yet, but I’ll definitely be performing some solo shows over here in autumn.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
If I could choose absolutely anyone at this point in time, I’d choose Björk. She’s such a visionary artist and I have a lot of respect for her. In general though I particularly enjoy working with vocalists and as I said before I also have another project called Five Pence Game, which is based primarily around collaborations. If anyone is interested in this project, then get in touch at email@example.com. Massa confusa can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
Not especially, although our live show includes interludes and samples from videos, TV and film, which can be quite silly sometimes.
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
That we have a huge amount of material on our Bandcamp, Soundcloud and Spotify profiles that most people are unaware of.