An Eclipse is coming and it’s originating in Whitehorse, Yukon. Along with this Eclipse comes heavy metal artist Rick Massie and his new music video for the epic track “Following the Rain.” Believe it or not, they do metal far up in the northern part of the Great White North and Massie is living proof; he’s a man who knows how to jam his guitar so loud it’ll blow your mind and your ears. While he most often writes music situated within heavy metal, Massie has been known to stray from the path into very experimental territory where he frees himself to run a little wild. While a lot of heavy metal tends to lean on the cynical side of life, Massie is all about hope and positive vibes, with themes veering towards love, joy and success. As you’ve probably gathered by now, Rick Massie is not your typical metalhead.
Consisting of eight songs and over one hour of new music, Eclipse, due out May 1st, is both expansive yet accessible. All it really requires is an open-minded listener because there’s a lot you’ll hear that will catch you off guard. The reason being is that the music does not resemble any other current metal artist in any clear way. It’s not quite black metal, certainly not death metal, nor power metal, and you can forget about thrash. If you’re a freak for categorization, then you could put Eclipse within the space of progressive metal where it would fit within some capacity.
We hope you’ve set aside some time, because “Following the Rain” and its music video run for over fourteen minutes of epic experimentation. The video combines glimpses of Massie riffing away on his guitar with some shots of the beauty of nature and our planet. Fortunately for us, Massie set aside a few minutes to discuss “Following the Rain,” its accompanying music video, and his own personal interpretation of the song.
Rather than asking you what “Following the Rain” is about, let me ask you, what is your own personal interpretation of the song?
Rick Massie: “‘Following the Rain’ is about the feeling of having a rain cloud constantly hanging over you, no matter where you go. However, even in the worst of storms, there is magic and life that springs up when the rains finally leave. Mushroom, flowers, bugs, and sunlight reflecting from crystalline dew drops. The song is meant to be a musical and lyrical representation of how beauty can arise from the darkness. The world is currently in a major rainstorm. It’s hard to see, but there are little glimmers of magic happening, even though it feels like the world is drowning. There are people helping others, donating to good causes, looking past differences, and giving up life’s pleasures for the benefit of all. And once this storm passes, we will surely see some unexpected beauty and light that emerges, directly as a result of this terrible storm.”
In what time period did you write “Following the Rain?” Is this a song that you recently wrote?
“The song was written and recorded in my small apartment in Whitehorse, Yukon, on a 24-year-old guitar, with 14-year-old strings. I’d given up playing for fourteen years, but some recent life changes brought music back into my life, so I felt it fitting to write and record the album with the same strings I left off with, all those years back. It started off as a fairly simple song, but soon turned into a long, strange journey.”
Musically, the song really starts to pick up about eight minutes in, with you riffing away on your guitar. How did you integrate this ‘harder’ section into the song?
“The middle ‘black metal’ section came to me as I was laying in bed. I wasn’t able to record at the time, and I played the riff over and over in my head for hours, so that I would remember it when I woke up the next morning. That day, I started writing the second half of the song, beginning with the riff that had appeared in my head the previous night, which then took the song into many places that I didn’t expect when I started writing it.”
How was the music video made? Did you make it entirely on your own or did you collaborate with anyone?
“The video was shot and edited entirely by me in my small apartment, and at various scenic locations around Whitehorse. I’d previously created one other music video, for a short hard rock song, which was composed of simple shots of me singing and playing guitar. With ‘Following the Rain’ I knew there was no way I could possibly keep a music video interesting for over fourteen minutes if it only included performance shots. So I spent some time shooting some unusual footage that represented both darkness and light. The video has a bit of performance and singing, but it is mostly focused on visuals that create a mood. It’s not really a visual storyline, but it’s filled with what I like to call ‘mood enhancers,’ to illustrate what the music felt like to me as I was writing it.”