Besides encoding their iconic album, Mezzanine, in both DNA and spray paint forms, Massive Attack have been setting out on a new, reconfigured tour of the 1998 record. Robert Del Naja (3D) has recently discussed the retrospective tour in an interview with The Guardian, looking back on the band’s troubles, but also forward to a more hopeful future.
“I don’t think I’ve got a problem with nostalgia, because a lot of the time things are self-referential,” says Del Naja, though it must still feel weird to revisit the album that effectively split up the band. Asked if it still feels raw, he says “yeah, it is to a certain extent,” but also that it projected Massive Attack’s members to greater things.
The new tour isn’t all about looking back, though. Adam Curtis, who is providing video for Massive Attack’s immersive performances, signals a forward-thinking approach in the interview, saying: “Everything is not only cliched, it’s knowing these days. It’s about time idealism came back. Really, I’m being serious about that.”
And Del Naja, too, speaks with hope for the future. “I have total faith in the next generation,” he says. “Looking at their response to climate change is really interesting and, again, that’s the power of social media at its best, to mobilise people. I think that’s a real positive. I think the negative is our generation and the generation above us that are still the problem because they don’t want to change.”
That statement definitely holds up in light of recent activism, with young people skipping school across the UK to protest for climate action.
Not that that’s stopped him preparing for negative change as well. Specifically, he’s brought a bread maker, “because everyone’s going to ramp up the hysteria before Leave” and he’d like to know he’s not going to run out of food. Fair enough.