Industrial metal hasn´t been a popular genre for quite a long time, but chance led us to discover a group that follows the path iniciated by GODFLESH, and they have little to do with with the genre’s stereotypes. Its music it’s neither suitable for dancing, nor for gothic’s raves, nor any kind of similar embarrasement. MASS HYPNOSIS‘s music is agressive, cold and negative, and they come from Croatia, a country of which we know little about its music. After being impressed with their second and latest album, Sanctimonious, I had to meet those who, with this work, may contribute to restore the genre’s dignity, which was taken away. This is Leo Boljeešić, singer, guitarrist, and leader of the band, who is going to speak with us about the band’s details, their works and their hidden ideas.
Subterráneo Heavy: First of all, I’d like to know a little bit about the band’s history, how did you get started?
Leo Bolješić: The idea of this band started in early 2006. The plan was that we were going to be playing melodic death metal with some light metalcore influence because the guys who played with me were crazy about the bands like KILLSWITCH ENGANGE and AS I LAY DYING, and I was only the vocalist at that time, so I did not have any control how the music was going to sound in the end. The result of that is our first album Disin4mation. I’m not completely satisfied with that album but what is done, is done.
Subterráneo Heavy: By the way, is the band’s name taken from SEPULTURA’s song?
Leo Bolješić: Yes, I will not run away from that fact, I was indeed a really big fan of SEPULTURA as a teenager, but that is not the only reason why I gave that name to my band. The term Mass Hypnosis have pretty big weight as a term itself, it really describes what I am trying to tell in my lyrics, covers and videos. I would like to say that we as a human race have few big problems and I rather write my lyrics about that instead of zombies, vampires, magical realms and Satan. Also it is easy to remember, the guys from SEPULTURA promoting my band since 89.
Subterráneo Heavy: In your debut album, Disin4mation, you were quite different from what you are right now. It was closer to melodic death metal, specially influenced by AT THE GATES. What can you tell us about that album, what caused you to transform your music into cold industrial metal?
Leo Bolješić: That was really easy, I just started to write all music and lyrics, and I also invited my two good friends in the band, they both are house music DJs and producers, one of them has a really long history playing in all kinds of crust punk bands and the other have no connections to metal music at all, he is a neurofunk artist, so I call that an experiment.
Subterráneo Heavy: Although Sanctimonious was released on 2014, some tracks such “God complex”, “Novus ordo seclorum”, “Inevitable desaster”, “United state of coma”, “Monotheist” and “Codex alimentarius”, were released before on various EPs (I do not mean “Adress to the nation” because it’s almost a sampler), Were they meant to be in a future album?
Leo Bolješić: Yes, we made some of the tracks before we made album. The making of album is a process, especially when you change the whole concept of music along the way.
Subterráneo Heavy: Are they the same versions that we can find on Sanctimonious, or have they been re-recorded?
Leo Bolješić: No, we recorded all songs again with better equipment and we made some small changes in riffs and samples too.
Subterráneo Heavy: It draws my attention that Sanctimonius is only available on digital format, I didn’t see the option to buy it on physical format. Furthermore, the album can be downloaded for free on your Bandcamp. I assume you have proceeded that way so you can reach more people. But, why did you decide not to release a CD/Vinyl version?
Leo Bolješić: Oh, that is very simple, we don’t have money to print cd’s, and I also believe that technology is so advanced right now that the printing big amount of CD’s is uneccesary. We make some physical copies so we can sell them on our gigs, or if we have to send someone on demand but that’s all. If we sign for some label and if the label want to print CD’s I will not have problem with that.
Subterráneo Heavy: Sanctimonious’ cover is such a poweful collage, the Vatican, missiles, a blindfolded saint who is about to shoot himself… Can you tell us more about the meaning of the cover? Who is the author?
Leo Bolješić: The idea of cover is mine, but the artist who put my idea on paper is my friend from the australian band NE OBLIVISCARIS, his artist name is Svartwerk. Well…. I think that the Vatican is the most evil criminal organization in the world, they have their tentacles in all wars and all banking cartels. If you just take time and read about their past you will see that their methods are still the same as they were in the time of the Emperor Constantine, but now they don’t have to burn people in the midle of the street, now they have the other brainwashed imbeciles on the payroll who do their dirty jobs for them. And in the meanwhile they invent napalm and tactical ballistic missles, so now they can throw it on the children hospitals and other civil facilities from the great distance.
Our Lady Mary is the black lady because I would like to crush the stereotype of the holy light and I’ve never seen a black person as a saint, I think that is racist. She is blindfolded cause if she ever exsisted, she would not like what the Vatican made of their character. And also she is going to make suicide because as the mother of our savior she is guilty for milions of deaths that Vatican has done during the inquisition.
Subterráneo Heavy: You’re a three-pieces band in this moment, actually you don’t have a drummer, but were the drums in Sanctimonious were real or programmed?
Leo Bolješić: Yes, we are three-piece and we have a drummer, but he was not in the band during the making of this album. Also the Dj’s are not always on our live shows. Yes, the drums on the album are programed.
Subterráneo Heavy: Your latest release is the EP Codex Alimentarius which includes a new intro, the homonym track in two versions (the album version and the video edit) and a version of DISCHARGE’s “Drunk with power”. Was that version recorded during the Sanctimonious sessions or was it specifically recorded for the EP?
Leo Bolješić: “Drunk with power” was recorded in 2010, but we never put it out ‘till now. By the way that track and “Codex” video edit is recorded in real studio with real drummer. “Drunk with power” is actually recorded in one take because we wanted that crust punk vibe on that song.
Subterráneo Heavy: Is there any b-side song that you’ve left out of the album?
Leo Bolješić: Yes, they are few songs actually.
Subterráneo Heavy: What I love the most about your latest work is that it’s kind of cold, harsh, industrial metal. It doesn’t sound like RAMMSTEIN or MARILYN MANSON, those kind of groups that people used to associate with the genre. To me, your sound is more like GODFLESH, FEAR FACTORY or RED HARVEST, but which ones were your influences for this record?
Leo Bolješić: I would like to say that our sound is mixture of GODFLESH, MINISTRY and first STATIC-X album, maybe even SEPULTURA (Chaos A.D. era).
Subterráneo Heavy: Some of your lyrics’ targets are the organized religions (specially the Christian one), and USA, because of their imperialistic foreign politcs (that’s why they are the “police of the world”). But I’d like to know why it hasn’t been your own country targeted with your lyrics yet. What do you think it’s wrong with Croatia, what would you change?
Leo Bolješić: Croatian government, as the all governments in small countries like this, is under the boot of U.S.A, especially after we signed the contract with NATO. Also the Coca Cola Co. is buying our water supplys here, so we are in the deep quiet occupation here. And in the end the Croatian policy is not our policy and all our politicians dance like they are said, so the root of the problem is there. These puppets here are just scapegoats. By the way, our premier is in jail right now, so what to say about a country like that.
Subterráneo Heavy: Let’s keep up with Croatia. Even you, being from the capital (that’s what Metallum says), do you have any difficulties to tour in your country, or the nearest ones, like Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Hungary…?
Leo Bolješić: Originaly none of us are from the capital city, but it is true that we are gathered here. We do not tour so much because we don’t have a fan base here, people here do not listen to the type of music that we are play. They are all mostly into Iron Maiden, Metallica and Slayer mode, so we don’t fit there. I have to be honest with you, we have never been on tour yet.
Subterráneo Heavy: I heard that this summer you’re going to play on Metaldays festival in Slovenia, but besides that, anything else planned?
Leo Bolješić: No, that is the only gig what we have this summer, I tried to organize few gigs but, as I said, we don’t play metal that people listen here. The plan is to start making a new album.
Subterráneo Heavy: What about the metal scene in Croatia, what good bands do you have there?
Leo Bolješić: I believe that we are not the part of this scene, you will have to ask someone else who is about it because I really don’t know. But yes, they are few good bands here.
Subterráneo Heavy: This one is a tough question, but reading your lyrics, and knowing that crust punks like AMEBIX and DOOM have influenced you, what do you think about the resurge of fascism and national socialism on East Europe? I guess you don’t have much sympathy with those movements?
Leo Bolješić: No, I don’t have sympathy about any agressive people, and especally if they have a movement where they are displaying their ideas in the street. They can be nazis or Jehovas witnesses, they will not have any of my sympathy.
Subterráneo Heavy: About live shows… You do use a lot of samplers and effects on your albums, is it hard to reproduce them live?
Leo Bolješić: Yes, it is hard because you have to play in sync with the computer, and computers are pretty accurate, so if any of us misses one tone everything is fucked up. It is good that it’s only three of us.
Subterráneo Heavy: Why should we see you live?
Leo Bolješić: Why not?
Subterráneo Heavy: Well that was the last one, is there anything you’d like to say to our readers before we finish up?
Leo Bolješić: I would like to thank to all prople who reading this, and I hope that they will take few moments to check our music. Peace!