Massgrav goes north

Lately, most of the gigs we're asked to play have been so spectacular in one way or another, it felt good to have a regular gig in Sweden to mix it up with. For a Swedish gig, this one seemed like an unusually good one though as they had a sensible budget (aka didn't ask us to come and play for a can of beans and a tank of gas - apparently a lot of people wanting to set up Massgrav gigs have yet to listen to the opening track of our latest album) and a serious attitude towards arranging things, so we travelled north expecting smooth sailing and a good show. Only, for a while, it seemed as we wouldn't go at all, as the owner of our rehearsal space had changed the opening times without telling us, making us extremely stressed out for a while when we arrived to pick up our stuff, only to be greeted by a locked door. Things worked out ok though and even a train full of obnoxious and drunk Dutch people on their way to the ski slopes didn't make too much of a dent in our good mood.

Sweden is way too big and it takes forever as soon as you're going anywhere in the north, but we finally arrived in Sundsvall where nobody met us at the station. After 15 minutes, our contact Joachim showed up and drove us to the hotel, where we were supposed to eat dinner, only to discover their restaurant wasn't open on Saturdays. Was pizza ok? Sure it was, but only if it's from Biteline (as sung about in an old TKU song, we thought we'd give it a shot). Unfortunately, all tables were booked at Biteline (which seemed really nice), and the rather bitchy waitress had no idea about how long we'd have to wait. The countryside. you'd go nuts in 15 minutes if you had to live there. Joachim took us across the street into a pizza place called Kermit and fuck knows how it happened but we agreed to eat there, although all the warning signs were pretty apparent. As always, we try not to bitch too much in these giglogs, but you know. there IS one pizza place in Gagnef that sucks even worse, but Kermit probably takes second place. Avoid at all cost.

We walked over to the venue, which was very swanky, located in the city hall turned restaurant/bar complex or something. Said hi to Division Hate and Repuked, and discovered that the band beer was luke warm and nobody seemed to be planning to do anything about it (although, when we got a bucket of snow in, nobody was too shy to grab the beer we'd put there (which would have been totally ok, had we not been forced to tell at least five people to for fucks sake replace the ones they took with one of the warm ones. People. )). Repuked is a death metal band from Stockholm and the younger half of the band was already pretty drunk - drunk enough that you'd be worried, had you belonged to the other half (actually, more like drunk enough to kick their asses and drop them from the band, had you been in the other half). It'd be interesting to see how this turned out. As we were playing last, we made sure to hide some beer for later. Foresight - it's just yet another little thing that separates experienced bands from the others.

The place started filling up and initially it seemed like nobody were in the mood for buying merch, which made us feel pretty stupid, as we'd brought lots of it. Pretty soon though, things changed and we ended up selling quite a lot of vinyl and shirts. We'd brought some ultra limited shirts from Selfmadegod which all went in a flash (you can still get them from Selfmadegod though) and also our new Still the Kings shirts. Repuked played and did a lot better than you'd have expected, although half of the band (take a guess which) weren't too happy with the gig. Then Division Hate - the local band, that mixed metal with a tiny twist of d-beat, who had two bass players - one regular and one on upright bass - played and it was apparent what band had the most friends, especially since a considerable chunk of the audience left after they'd played. If I live to be a hundred, I'll never understand that "the band from somewhere else has to play last" idea - let the local band that EVERYONE wants to see play last for fucks sake, we sure as hell won't mind!

Anyhoodle, we got on stage, Division Hate finally got all their fancy pedals out of the way, we kicked the Repuked guitarist, who stumbled around looking for his guitar cables, off the stage and discovered just how much the house amps sucked. We dialed them in as best we could and unleashed Massgrav hell on the northerners. Turned out, not everyone was there to see Division Hate after all - there was a very lively and enthusiastic bunch up front, that made the gig a lot of fun. We had some technical difficulties like Ola losing his bass strap (without the rest of the band noticing - figuring his crane (the bird) stance was just posing for the fans) and the crowd stealing Norse's monitor for a while, but all in all it was a great gig.

Another thing that sucks about playing last, is that once you're done and have packed up and wiped off the worst grime and are ready to paar-tee, most people start leaving. This wasn't as bad as Moscow, when they started mopping the floor before we'd gotten off the stage, but things died down within an hour. We finished the last beers and headed back to the hotel. The next day, we walked around for a bit and then travelled home. Since the Swedish trains and railways have been totally fucked up since they were privatized, naturally the train broke down and it took forever to get home, but that's not a very interesting story, so let's leave it at that.


Sundsvall... a lot of it is damn good looking, to be honest

Then again, other parts are real ugly. Like the inside of Kermit. Fenok tries to find out if his pizza will ever materialize, but apparently, having two occupied tables is keeping the staff WAY too busy.

"Spela snabbare" (play faster) - be careful what you ask for...

Division Hate, rocking it live with the upright bass.

And since the guitarist of Repuked never sent the "great live photos" of us he promised - here's another Division Hate photo.

Signing stuff, like rockstarz

The beautiful view out the hotel window. If there was ever an idea that backfired, it's "let's brighten up that dull wall".

Who the fuck would go to this?

When stuff like this is going on!

Some videos:

Ett korståg... this is where Ola loses his strap, tries to sing with a pick between his teeth and stands like a moron, all without the others noticing.

Three golden oldies

And, for an encore - the Eddie Meduza cover, as requested.

Most of the gig is available on youtube, just search for Massgrav+Sundsvall