Melting Pot Massacre are an Auckland-based punk band who write about things like the male oligarchy in music and the issues of immigrants and ethnic minorities in New Zealand. They are releasing their debut EP, Diaspora this week and playing CLITfest this weekend, and UTR caught up with the band to discuss the political issues close to the band’s chest.
How did Melting Pot Massacre form?
Melting Pot Massacre formed in 2011 when a bunch of Asian feminists, who happen to be friends and can play music, got really bored with the overcrowding of white male machoists in the music scene and a decline in political punk over the years. Plus even in politicized spaces, no one seemed to be creating music to connect the rage and experiences of people of colour in Aotearoa. It was just about bloody time.
Did you have an idea of the sound you wanted to achieve when you started out or was developing it a more organic process?
I think it was definitely a more organic process. I don’t know if this is what other bands do but we spent a whole year figuring out what our personal influences are, not just in music but in terms of life in general, and we did a lot of thinking of the impact we want to achieve as a band, rather than the sound we want to be known by or whatever. We definitely were into mixing it up a bit and not wanting to get stuck in any particular genre. Having said that, we were sick of seeing crazy good female bands get immediately labeled riot grrrl in hardcore/punk just because they were female-oriented. So we decided that we would state from the start that we are a hardcore feminist punk band and thereafter people would just have to deal with whatever sound that comes out of us!
You guys are also quite political: was part of the reason for forming to get your political ideologies across?
“Quite” is probably an understatement. Aside from a few of us being involved in various social justice causes and activist movements, we’d like to think that the very nature of our band being visible and self-determining as people of colour, amongst other things, is a political statement in itself. I think when we first started out, myself and MZ the guitarist definitely had intent to write and perform our music to raise awareness on some of the socio-political issues that exist, but it was never intended to be just about that.