Graham Massey Interview: Manchester With Love
23 June 2017

Can you briefly introduce yourself? “Graham Massey from 808 State.”

Can you tell us about your relationship and history with music in Manchester? “I’ve probably played more venues in MCR than anyone ever, been doing gigs here since 1977, from prog to punk to rave… All D.I.Y scenes ‘part from a brief period when the world went mad and we had some really odd chart singles. Proud to represent MCR all over the planet.”

Why did you choose to contribute this particular track to the compilation? “Because I had recently found it on my hard drive and was playing it in the kitchen a lot, It was a jam when we got some new equipment a couple of years back.”

What are some of your favourite artists, events, establishments or other entities across Manchester’s cultural sectors? “There is so much diversity in the scenes at the moment , We have a strong improvising music scene for instance and always have had; The younger jazz scene is very active again. The DJ scene is really diverse and some DJs have kept the ball in the air for years by staying open and aware of changes. The Soup Kitchen has been a great venue in recent years, Islington Mill, venues that take chances and aren’t too genre specific. Artists like Paddy Steer who has doggedly ploughed his own route for decades is finally getting some recognition. Some of these artists are lifers.”

What’s the most important thing about music in Manchester to you? “A spirit of experimental belligerence. The Manchester public have embraced all kinds of radical music if you let them at it, the responsibility is with broadcasters. Half this iconic MCR music would not get on commercial radio these days, keep an open door on new music, make a space for it, don’t marginalise it. Manchester music is a fabulous relay race, you wouldn’t want to let the team down.”

[Words: Tayyab Amin]