Masses | Aperture Needle

by Eric Gonzalez

Aperture Needle is a photo blog that exposes the stories behind musicians' ink. Our subject this week is Shane Brandt, drummer for Lincoln band Masses.
Describe Masses in 25 words or fewer:
Masses can be described as an experimental rock four-piece that makes loud, aggressive music that rumbles bowels and eyeballs.
The band began in 2009. 

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What influences do you feel you bring to the band's sound?
I think the best way to answer this question is to kind of throw in some of my main influences that have always shaped the way I approach music, along with a few of my more current interests. My all time tops would have to be At the Drive In, The Appleseed Cast, Queens of the Stone Age, Do Make Say Think and The Mars Volta. More recently, I’ve been getting into more riff-heavy music like Big Business, Baroness, Battles and East of the Wall.
Who did the album artwork for the new ep, Smother Nature?
Adam White did the artwork for the ep, which turned out really well. I’ve always been particularly fond of neon apocalyptic wastelands and giant Cerberus-esque demon heads. 
We recorded at FUSE studios here in Lincoln with Andy Koeneke over the course of two days. It was quite the whirlwind of setting up the day before and getting everything laid down and recorded entirely in one day. It made for a couple long days filled with pizza, catnaps and bourbon (by the way, bourbon is a surefire cure to any type of burn molten pizza leaves on the roof of your mouth). After the initial recording, Andy did the mixing up in Minneapolis and then we had it mastered by Doug Van Sloun at Focus Mastering in Omaha. 

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Plans to tour outside Nebraska?
We definitely plan on doing some short tours here and there outside of Nebraska. Being in Lincoln and playing with touring acts has definitely afforded us the opportunity to meet some awesome people that we can hopefully play with again, either here in Lincoln or in their hometown. 
Your tattoo(s)?
My first tattoo is a picture of IG-88. He’s an assassin droid given a brief amount of screen time in Star Wars, the greatest movies ever made (4-6 of course, none of that new-era George Lucas crap). I got the droid when myself and two other friends were in Colorado and decided to go with some tattoos that illustrated our shared love of Star Wars. My second tattoo is the White Tree of Gondor from Lord of the Rings. Yes, I’m a huge nerd. 
How old were you?
I was 22 when I got my first one. 
Name that shop.
The first was at Twisted Sol in Denver. The second I got here in Lincoln at Seductive Ink. 

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Future tattoo ideas?
I’ve got a few ideas for a few new ones. They all need a little more deliberation or “fleshing out” before I decide to get any more work done. 
How do you feel about face tattoos?
I guess they’re OK. If you really want a face tattoo, then get one. Plus, other cultures have been tattooing their faces/bodies for thousands of years. So, like other facets of popular society, we’ll continue to enrich our cultures by borrowing from elements of other cultures. 

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Do you really think Kimberley Vlaminck passed out?
I find it hard to believe she fell asleep while having a vibrating needle continually used on her face. I'm calling B.S. on that story.
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