Shortly before GRIND TOWER FEST we talked with the guitarist of Mastic Scum, Harry Gandler and we gave an appointment on October 25 at Eightball in Thessaloniki.

Let’s say Harry that someone never heard of Mastic Scum tell us in few words your story.
Hello There! Well, MASTIC SCUM is a four-piece band from Austria, we are doing Death Metal with Grindcore and Industrial influences … some full – on, ear – grinding, brain – smashing scum … straight in the face! We released our 5th studio album “CTRL” on Massacre Records last December. Just check us out on Facebook or Youtube to get some impressions!

Since it’s been already almost a year since your last full length release “C T R L” what was the feedback from the fans? Great … really great!! You know… when u do a new album you never know how your fans and also the press will react on it. On “CTRL” we really did our best on this new album, we went into detail about songwriting and sound production and so on … it also has new influences and some more industrial elements, but it`s still MASTIC SCUM. “CTRL” is quite similar to our previous album “DUST” but we went a step forward in technical arrangements and put more effort in the whole songwriting process. We spent a lot of time and energy in this album, but at the end it was totally worth it. So we are absolutely happy about all these great reactions and also great reviews… also the new material works out live very well and we enjoy every show shredding the new tracks!

Are you happy with Massacre? Or is it better on a small label (that may have you as a priority) instead of a bigger one? The collaboration with Massacre Records is great, nothing to complain … you know, if you sign with a bigger Label you also have a better distribution of your album… that’s of course an important fact. For MASTIC SCUM it was a big step from Twilight Records to Massacre Records, definitely in the right direction. They have a long history, they formed in the beginning of the 90’s and many great bands got signed over the years and so we are really proud to be also part of this label now.

What musical influences do you have? MASTIC SCUM is mostly influenced by 80`s Thrash bands like Anthrax, Testament, old Metallica … and 90`s Death/Grind bands like Napalm Death, Carcass, Obituary … also industrial-metal bands like Fear Factory and Ministry have a big influence on MASTIC SCUM. As I’m working almost every day on music I’m always interested in new styles and sounds! I almost listen to all kind of music … for me I always find something interesting in any kind of music even if it’s just about a song-structure. In this case I am very open-minded to all musical styles but for sure I am mostly into metal, especially death, grind and industrial.

So are you open minded to other kind of music too? Yeah, as I said I´m listening to mostly all kind of music, I’m very open minded about music and I’m always interested in any new genres and sounds … but don’t get me wrong, for MASTIC SCUM I know exactly how it should sound! We grew up with Thrash and Death Metal but later on also got into Hardcore, Punk and Industrial.

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Give us some insight into the album lyrics. Well, the lyrics on “C T R L” are about our society … or better said, about a kind of future vision of our society where everything needs to be developed and controlled… mankind uses machines in order to simplify our daily life activities, but actually, life is getting more complicated and stressful … and sometimes it seems we lose ourselves in this system. Systems have their ups and downs… and all this greed, terror and corruption will not help to further develop the system… also every system has its end as we all know … on this lyrics concept I got also very inspired by Orwell’s work “1984”….this is one of my favorite movies!

In your last effort the death metal elements seem to take over into your sound. Will your next album have even more death metal and less grindcore influences? These Grindcore elements were always and will always be a big part in MASTIC SCUM! We consider these Grindcore elements as our basement and it’s one of our biggest influence … but also technical Deathmetal or oldschool Thrash Metal have big influences so we always try to find a balance in between. I don’t wanna tell too much about the next album but it will be crushing and brutal! There are already some new shredding riffs and structures! And there will be Grind!! Hahahaha

Have you ever though how Mastic Scum have affected other bands? Hmmm … not sure about this… hahahaha!! But, yeah, always cool to hear that somebody got influenced by our sound … but that was never the reason for us doing this music. You know… we are doing this more than 20 years now … there were good times and also hard times… I’ve never expected too big things in running a deathmetal or grindcore band as I always enjoyed what we do and I’ve never lost the focus on creating music, to releasing albums and playing live. It’s always a kind of circle in writing-process, releasing an album and playing live shows. Also to move steps forward in this … and as long as we are successful in it and enjoy what we do, we will do it.

What do you expect when you are releasing a new album? I guess it’s more than a good excuse to tour? (Unfortunately many bands act like this…) Well, I enjoy working on an album and also to play live … each of it has its own process … our goal is to play every show better than the last one and that every album we release is better than the last one. So be prepared for the next one! Hehehe … Of course every band wants to enlarge the fanbase with a new record and shows and so on … but that shouldn’t be the main reason… the main reason should be to find your own success in just doing and enjoying it I think!

What do you expect from your live appearance in Greece this month? Hey man … we cannot wait to grind there!!!! We have a new setlist with some new tracks from “CTRL” but also lot of old songs from all our albums. We will also bring lot of merch and stuff along!! We already had a great experience in Greece 4 years ago when we played in Greece with Vader and Marduk…. so we hope it will be the same intense and crushing. So hope everybody is coming out to grind with us there!!!

Are you familiar with the Greek grindcore scene? I wouldn’t say “familiar” but I know some bands and it seems that there is a pretty good Grindcore scene there … bands like Head Cleaner, Mass Infection, Murder Made God, Erectus … sound totally crushing … also Homo Iratus and Slavebreed, I know since quite a long time… amazing bands!

Any last words for your fans? Yeah … if u haven’t checked out our new album “CTRL” so far, do it now!! Also a huge thanx to our fans out there for supporting MASTIC SCUM all over the years!!!! And hope to see you all at GRIND TOWER FEST end of October!!!!! Blaaaaaast!!!!! \m/