ACL Music Fest Interviews

ACL Music Fest Interviews

Massive Attack

Saturday, 8:30pm, AT&T stage

Death. Destruction. War without end. And, as ever, Massive Attack. The hits – and wars – just keep coming, including the UK collective's newest, career-spanning Collected, which ranges from 1991's woozy Blue Lines to the narco-love of iconic "Karmacoma." Hardly warlike beats, but with Bush and Blair's coalition of the clueless frantically lashing out at both crown and colonial citizenry who dare to question the foggy rational behind collateral impact craters and the inertial creepage of daily Orwellian doublespeak, it's a wonder Bristol's purveyors of dreamy, downtempo trip-hop haven't been permanently disappeared by a MI6. You can just see the Fleet Street banner headlines howling, "Massive Attack Thwarted. Morcheeba, Portishead Detained. Robbie Williams Cackles."

"That's exactly what the headlines were when our first album, Blue Lines, came out in 1991," recalls Grant "Daddy G" Marshall. "They thought it was a 'massive attack' on Iraq! And at that time, there was quite a lot of censorship in the media on anything having a connotation to the war. We were definitely singled out because of our name. We were relatively unknown during that first dustup with Iraq, and many people were quite wary of marketing something that didn't seem radio or media friendly, and certainly the name didn't help matters."

So how is this playing out under the new war's footing?

"Well, we're quite a bit more known, and I think now people recognize that there's no connection at all between our name and the war. It's quite funny, though, that it seems as though every time we release a record there's some sort of major conflict going on in the world."

Yeah, mate. Funny like a "Teardrop."

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