New Massive Attack Book

Thanks to the online magazine LSD, London Street art Design for this article:

Massive Attack – Out of the Comfort Zone Book Release

Melissa Chemam 

New Massive Attack Book

The book discusses, analyses and presents the unique development of the band Massive Attack, the group’s gestation in the inner city cultural melting pot that was the Bristol of the 1970s and 1980s, and the scene that consequently emerged with and after their first album, Blue Lines.

Melissa Chemam’s book charts their rise out of the uniquely inclusive communities of urban working class kids, British with Jamaican, Irish, and Italian immigrants who were particularly productive in Bristol. This hybridisation was partly to do with the city’s geography and underground clubs that meant most communities tumbled into each other easily.

The book first details the coming of Bristol’s music scene, from the 1960s to the making of Massive Attack’s groundbreaking first album, Blue Lines, as well as the impact of their following records, including Mezzanine, which is 20 years old this year. 

From the 1980s, Bristol’s youth of different backgrounds with a passion for music could meet the interesting musical mix of punk, reggae, soul, funk and later hip-hop, with the notable collective known as the Wild Bunch, composed of the DJs Grant Marshall, Milo Johnson, Nellee Hooper, soon joined by MCs Willy Wee and Robert Del Naja, then DJ Mushroom and
sometimes a rapper known as Tricky.

A group of artists as much as musicians, the Wild Bunch were also instrumental in developing the Bristol’s graffiti scene, Robert Del Naja working early on under the pseudonym of 3D, working with the likes of Goldie and the Americans of Tats CRU, inspiring Inkie and later Banksy.

Melissa Chemam retells this musical and artistic mix through interviews with key Bristol musicians and scene stalwarts, members of the early punk and post-punk scene in Bristol and in particular the Pop Group, reggae pioneers from Black Roots and Talisman, the duo Smith & Mighty, graffiti artist Inkie, as well as Tricky, Portishead, Lupine Howl, Alpha, and Roni Size, singers Tracey Thorn, Martina Topley-Bird, historians, and many more.

Central to this book is the unfolding story of Massive Attack, their art, their politics, their reflections on their own identity and the development of their astounding music that has had an impact all over the world. Key to the story are also the band’s greatest collaborators, from Horace Andy, Shara Nelson, Madonna, and Elizabeth Fraser, to Sinéad O’Connor, Martina Topley-Bird, Mos Def, Young Fathers, Adam Curtis and many others.


Banksy in the Rebellion

This graffiti appeared in Marble Arch, London, after the latest Extinction Rebellion protests, on Thursday night.

Suspected Banksy!


More soon.



Melissa On The Road

Hello dear ones,

as you may know or have noticed, I work for many different media, and I've chosen to do so and remain independent because in today's world, information is always about control... 

We cannot afford to be controlled however. 

We're here to tell to truth and to spread knowledge!! There is so much to share every day to counter-balance the general apathy and the headlines always putting the light on political leaders and "V.I.P.", or so they're called, "very important". According to whom? 

Well, we are the people and the news should always reflect that. And the truth.

This is why I post here not only my own work, but what should be making headlines according to me.
I also write in English most of the time because then many more people can understand and follow...
I could post way more... But it has to remain sustainable! Not everybody can read as much all day...

Thanks for everyone anyway following this page on Facebook.

And share if you care!



Extinction Rebellion will voluntarily end the London blockades on 25 April

Expect more actions very soon...

BREAKING: Extinction Rebellion – The world has changed

BREAKING: Extinction Rebellion – The world has changed

Extinction Rebellion will voluntarily end the Marble Arch and Parliament Square blockades tomorrow (Thursday).  There will be a closing ceremony at 5pm 25 April at Speaker’s Corner, Hyde Park. 
We will leave the physical locations but a space for truth-telling has been opened up in the world. 
We would like to thank Londoners for opening their hearts and demonstrating their willingness to act on that truth. 
We know we have disrupted your lives. We do not do this lightly. We only do this because this is an emergency. 
Around the planet, a long-awaited and much-needed conversation has begun. People have taken to the streets and raised the alarm in more than 80 cities in 33 countries. People are talking about the climate and ecological emergency in ways that we never imagined. 
This space for telling the truth has opened because of the tens of thousands of people who have participated, and the more than 1,000 people who have willingly sacrificed their liberty to block – with peaceful and joyful nonviolent resistance – five high profile locations in central London:
  • Marble Arch – This is an Emergency
  • Oxford Circus – Tell the Truth
  • Waterloo Bridge – Act Now
  • Parliament Square – Beyond Politics
  • Piccadilly Circus – The Heart where Extinction Rebellion Youth blocked the roads.
We offer gratitude to all the truth-tellers who have played a role in this extraordinary phase of the rebellion – whether it is those who have put their bodies on the line, provided arrestee support, cooked for thousands of people, kept the sites cleaned, performed on stage, as well as those currently in prison awaiting trial. 
We also thank Greta Thunberg for her visit and the pivotal role she has played in putting the future of young people at the heart of this international movement for change.


Greta Thunberg in Marble Arch, on Sunday 21 April
photo by Melissa Chemam


The time for truth telling has begun

Now it is time to bring this telling of the truth to communities around London, the regions and nations of the UK, and internationally. 
In this age of misinformation, there is power in telling the truth. 
We all need to look within, recognise our own power, and face what is happening together. 
Last November, 6,000 people came together on five bridges in central London and then decided to go back to their communities and spread the truth around the world. This April International Rebellion has seen tens of thousands take part.
It is now time to go back into our communities, whether in London, around the UK or internationally. This movement is not just about symbolic actions, but about building the necessary resilient and regenerative culture that the world needs now.
The truth is out, the real work is about to begin. The International Rebellion continues.

Expect more actions very soon.

Get involved
Get involved in Extinction Rebellion’s other events
Notes to editors
About Extinction Rebellion:
Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction and abrupt, runaway climate change. Societal collapse and mass death are seen as inevitable by scientists and other credible voices, with human extinction also a possibility, if rapid action is not taken.
Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.
Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:
  1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  3. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
International website: https://xrebellion.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ExtinctionR hashtag #ExtinctionRebellion
Declaration of Rebellion: https://rebellion.earth/declaration/


About Rising Up!
Extinction Rebellion is an initiative of the Rising Up! network, which promotes a fundamental change of our political and economic system to one which maximises well-being and minimises harm. Change needs to be nurtured in a culture of reverence, gratitude and inclusion; whilst the tools of civil disobedience and direct action are used to express our collective power.

"Welcome to the Rebellion!" - in film

 "Welcome to the Rebellion!"

Produced and directed by All Hands On

The 10 Working Principles of Extinction Rebellion https://Rebellion.Earth/who-we-are/#p... 1. We have a shared vision of change 2. We set our mission on what is necessary 3. We need a re-generative culture 4. We hopefully challenge ourselves, and this toxic system 5. We value reflection and learning 6. We welcome everyone, and every part of everyone into Extinction Rebellion 7. We actively mitigate for power 8. We avoid blaming and shaming 9. We are a non-violent movement 10. We are based on autonomy and de-centralization World Map of XR Chapters: https://tinyurl.com/XRchapters DONATE? https://fundrazr.com/Global_XR Join Us: https://Rebellion.Earth/contact/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/ExtinctionR #ExtinctionRebellion Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRe... Website: https://Rebellion.Earth Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ExtinctionR... Climate Factsheet for Rebels: https://Rebellion.Earth/the-climate-f... Rebellion Overview Document: https://goo.gl/91cFn4 International Signup: https://XRebellion.org/ Southampton: https://www.facebook.com/XRSouthampton/ Bristol: https://twitter.com/XRBristol Sheffield: https://www.facebook.com/Extinction-R... Lancashire: https://www.facebook.com/XRlancs Frome: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRe... Glasgow: https://www.facebook.com/XRGlasgow Scotland: https://www.facebook.com/XRScotland Sweden: https://twitter.com/XR_Sweden France: https://www.facebook.com/xrParis/ Germany: https://twitter.com/ExtinctionR_DE Netherlands: https://twitter.com/NLRebellion Denmark: https://twitter.com/ExtinctionRDK Denmakr: https://www.facebook.com/groups/20207... India: https://xr-india.weebly.com/ Australia: https://AusRebellion.Earth/ North Qld: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRe... SE Qld: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRe... NorthernRivers: https://www.facebook.com/XRbundjalung NSW: http://www.facebook.com/xrNSW VIC: https://www.facebook.com/groups/xrVIC... SA: https://www.facebook.com/xrAdelaide WA: https://www.facebook.com/AusRebellionWA New Zealand: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRe... Nelson NZ: https://www.facebook.com/groups/XRnelson USA: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRe... SF Bay Area: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRe... Sacramento: https://www.facebook.com/Extinction-R... Los Angeles: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRe... New York: https://www.facebook.com/Extinction-R... Wash DC: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRe... Boston: https://www.facebook.com/ExtRebMA/ Chicago: https://www.facebook.com/XRchicago/ Tampa: https://www.facebook.com/xrtampabay/ Central Kentucky: https://www.facebook.com/XRebelKY/ Savannah: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRe... Austin: https://www.facebook.com/XRAustin/ Yellow Springs: https://www.facebook.com/groups/34179... Grand Rapids: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRe... Minneapolis: https://www.facebook.com/groups/50371... Colorado: https://www.facebook.com/groups/28394... Denver: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRe... Wyoming: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRe... Montana: https://www.facebook.com/extinctionre... NewMexico: https://www.facebook.com/groups/58244... Seattle: https://www.facebook.com/XRSeattle/?r... Eugene: https://www.facebook.com/XREugene/ Bellingham: https://www.facebook.com/XRBellingham/ Hawaii: https://www.facebook.com/groups/extin... Canada: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRe... Alberta, Canada: https://www.facebook.com/groups/35689... Cowichan Bay, BC, Canada: https://www.facebook.com/groups/74587... British Columbia, Canada: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRe... Nova Scotia, Canada https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRe... Howe Sound, British Columbia, Canada: https://www.facebook.com/Extinction-R... Vancouver, BC, Canada: https://www.facebook.com/xrvanbc/ Ontario, Canada: https://www.facebook.com/extinctionre... World Map of XR Chapters: https://tinyurl.com/XRchapters


Feature / When Bristol music went 'Out of the Comfort Zone' - Epigram

My interview with Joe in Bristol for the online music magazine, Epigram:

Feature / When Bristol music went 'Out of the Comfort Zone'

By Joe GoreckiDeputy Music Editor

Massive Attack's trip-hop defining album Mezzanine came out 21 years ago today and the band are still the biggest group to have come out of Bristol. Epigram Music sat down with the group's biographer Melissa Chemam to talk about their origins and her new book Massive Attack: Out of the Comfort Zone

Bristol has been returning to its recent musical past twice recently. First Massive Attack, the biggest band of the ‘Bristol sound’, brought their ‘Mezzanine XXI’ tour to Filton Airfield to celebrate the 21st anniversary of their band-breaking trip-hop masterpiece Mezzanine.

At the same time as these homecoming shows, a new biography of the group and of the wider ‘Bristol sound’ was released. Massive Attack: Out of the Comfort Zone by Melissa Chemam which charts the history of the ‘Bristol sound’: bands like Massive Attack, Portishead and Tricky who all emerged from the south-west to worldwide acclaim during the 1990s. The book, she says, was only supposed to take six months but four years later, it has finally been published in English by local publishers Tangent Books after the French edition came out last year.

I caught up with Melissa, a French journalist and African affairs expert at the BBC World Service currently based in London, before the packed launch of her book at Rough Trade. We met the afternoon after Massive Attack’s first Bristol date at the ‘Steel Yard’, the temporary arena erected just for them on Filton Airfield. About the gig, she says it was a good performance but for her was surpassed by their sold-out appearance at Paris’ Le Zenith the month before, where the atmosphere, she says, was even better.

The book, however, is an intricate historical panorama of Bristol’s music scene from punk and reggae in the 1970s to hip-hop in the 1980s and trip-hop and drum and bass in the 1980s so I wanted to ask her why it was that it was Bristol that produced so much talent in such a short span of time.
‘Everyone I interviewed mentioned the size. Bristol is quite small and was always too close to London so for a long time nothing was happening, all in the same venue, all the hills, all gathered in Park Row a bit of the magic happening the melting pot all the migration, and that’s what I cover as a journalist.

‘I lived near the Carribean [in Miami], I lived in Africa and my parents are from North Africa so I thought it was an interesting very modern story because the migrants are the heroes and this relationship changed the city and made it better. Usually we talk about migrants when they are unemployed or when there are riots but in that situation it’s the other way around.’

What drew Melissa to wanting to write about Massive Attack and their Bristol origins was the same thing that has given the band a renewed sense of purpose: their social conscience.

Massive Attack use their light shows to make political statements with their Mezzanine XXI making use of graphic footage to raise awareness of the ongoing Syrian civil war and refugee crisis.

‘Before my book was out,’ Melissa says, ‘I was mainly focussed on the refugee crisis. I went to Calais, to northern Iraq, Sicily and the border between France and Italy and then I came here as well. Massive Attack travelled to Lebanon five years ago and visited refugee camps there, they took a journalist from the Independent with them so that they would focus on what was happening there instead of focussing on their shows. [It showed] what kind of band they were, not promoting anything, no new album. I started my research around that point.’

Over the course of writing the book Melissa managed to interview most of the key players of the Bristol scene and trip-hop movement but I was keen to ask what it was like meeting the band, duo Robert ‘3D’ Del Naja and Grant ‘Daddy G’ Marshall, seeing as they prefer to remain elusive and only rarely give interviews. ‘[It was] surprisingly casual, I came to the studio and they were really cool’.

The bizarrest thing about it, she says was that ‘we couldn’t stop talking – I thought they would be grilling me with “what do you want?” [but] 3D has an amazing memory and his main worry was about representing [the whole scene] and everyone.’

‘At the time the Wild Bunch [Massive Attack’s precursor collective] were being completely revolutionary in the Dug Out and the graffiti scene was so big and it seemed to be happening by magic, so I was trying to find out how it was possible. I wanted to ask them ‘how did that happen?’ but obviously when you’re the ones doing it, it sounds so normal to you.

‘Also, how Banksy and the band work together. I was very surprised how people are still writing about the rumour that they’re the same person.’
I ask her if she’s not convinced by the rumours that 3D is actually Banksy which was seemingly confirmed by Goldie in 2017. ‘It’s not that I’m not convinced,’ she responds incredulously. ‘It’s obviously not possible. When Banksy was starting out, he left Bristol for East London and hardly anyone knew him and he was graffitiing intensely.

‘[At that time] Massive Attack were touring the world – they were super famous and best mates with Blur and Kate Moss and were in Japan and America for months, definitely not living in a dump in Hackney’.

At the book launch, Melissa confirmed that she had not knowingly met Banksy personally but that she couldn’t be sure. Before letting her go and begin signing books as the buzz for her book launch builds at Rough Trade, I wanted to ask of all Massive Attack’s diverse output, which album was her favourite?

Many would go for their first 1990’s Blue Lines an astonishing genre-defining album which somehow still sounds fresh or Mezzanine and it’s industrial rock-imbued darkness.

‘It’s really hard, I love them all but I have a special love for 100th Window which is funny as it’s not really appreciated here. I think it’s their most experimental and daring, but also their most gentle.
‘It’s also their post 9/11 album and inspired by all the changes [brought by] the internet in politics and society but it’s the redemption album: you dig down and then find yourself again, it’s something really deep.'


'Massive Attack: Out of the Comfort Zone' is out now from Tangent Books

Extinction Rebellion - Day 7

Extinction Rebellion in London, Day 7

21 April 2019


Waterloo Bridge

Parliament Square

Procession towards Marble Arch for the species risking extinction

Marble Arch
Greta Thunberg, people's assembly and music