During Christmas time 1978 Massmedia recorded their first EP at Torkhold, a bombshelter under Västermalms High School, which also hosted the first punk concerts in Sundsvall.
Mats and Torulf Nilsson (bass and guitar) had been in London a few weeks earlier and bought a mixing desk and together with a friend who had a little more knowledge than themselves regarding the knobs, they spent the Christmas holiday in the bombshelter recording four songs live on a borrowed taperecorder.
Unfortunately the batteries of the fuzzbox ran out, and since it was holiday everything was closed so they could not get new ones, which resulted in a very sizzling guitarsound.
But on the whole they were quite satisfied with how it turned out and they sent the master to Dallas, Texas for pressing. From an advert in Melody Maker they had learnt that they could get cheap pressings in the US.
In February 1979 they released their first record on their own Massproduktion label, pressed in 498 numbered copies. A record that now really is a collector item.
Being the most ambitious local punk band at the time they developed fast and even before the release of the first EP they recorded the classical single “Das Jazz/Jag vill inget”, live in their rehearsalroom with Jan Zachrisson from Diestinct, who knew slightly more about recordings. It is still one of the most furious singles from that period with the VU-meters glued to the red area.
The next release was a compilation-EP with Massmedia, Vacum and Förbjudna Ljud. Mats Hammerman, singer in Vacum, had recently become neighbour with the Nilsson brothers and was soon involved in the record business. After the delays that hit Sundsvallspunk EP vol. 1 and the Vacum EP they discovered the advantages of pressing in Sweden and under a few months a lot of local punk band released their debute singles on Massproduktion.
In late 1979 the “label” got distribution through Sam-Distribution (later MNW-distribution) and even more bands started to release records on Massproduktion. In those days the bands financed their own records and Massproduktion collected the money from the distributor and distributed them among the bands.
In 1980 Massproduktion released their first LPs – Vacum, Rasta Hunden & Massmedia. At the same time the Nilsson brothers moved to Linköping for studies and left Hammerman to take over business. In 1981 Mats, together with his guitarist Stephan Segermark and bassplayer Anders Olsson registered Massproduktion as a company and slowly Massproduktion became what it is today.
During the 80ies the punkwave faded and many of the bands that had created the scene split or formed new groups. Massproduktion broadened the musical horizon and since the local scene was not as vivid as it had been during the early punk days Massproduktion also released records by bands from other towns although they all had their roots in the north of Sweden, such as Kretsen and Tugga Terrier.
The most successful band during the mid 80ies was Vacum, Gina Jacobi’s Rummet and Krunch.
Rummets intrikate keyboard-based pop met great interest in Sweden and after one album the charismatic vocalist/keybordesse Gina Jacobi left for a successful solo career. Massproduktion was one of two labels who together, 10 years after the release of Rummet, released her fifth soloalbum in 1995 – Alla Är.
Krunch hardcorepunk was years ahead of its time and resulted in our first exportsuccess and sold in total 10 000 records, mostly in Europe which they also toured twice. Their two miniLPs and three singles is released on CD, with 4 unreleased tracks.
Vacum broke up in 1985 and tired of too many keyboards, Mats and Anders formed Crompojkarna to play guitarbased rock which resulted in three adrenaline-filled singles and one a bit calmer album.
The other band that was the signum of the early 90ies was The Shades of Orange who combined an explosive live act with 60-ies influences without sounding outdated. We released two great singles with them – now remastered and re-released.
By 1993 the label had about 16 bands loosely connected to the label and we were not really happy with the situation. As Crompojkarna split up, Mats got the time and the energy to focus on the label and took a lot of decisions. Massproduktion concentrated on a few band and started to working on long term for them. And it worked.
Interest from abroad…
1994 Massproduktion signed their first foreign deal for Garmarna and in a few years all the band on the label got both more attention in Sweden and foreign record deals..
Guds Spelemän by Garmarna became a major success and sold gold in Sweden and also recieved a Swedish Grammy for best Folk album. By 1996 Garmarna was released in 25 countries but the other bands also had their fair share of fame. The Confusions did well abroad. Their debut CD Being Young, was released by Edoya Records in Japan in September 1995 and and their second album Everyone’s Invited – produced by Peter Svensson of The Cardigans – was released in Europe by German Clearspot Recordings/EFA and got very good reviews from Record Collector, Melody Maker and Rolling Stone among others and it was followed up with a large European tour in February 1997.
The cool ambient jazzinfluenced sounds of Mine with Emma Holmér’s wonderful vocals made the Swedish press go wild in 1997.
During the summer of 1998 their debut-album was released in Japan and Taiwan and it also resulted in a record deal with Universal who released Mine’s second album in 2001.
Left Hand Solution got a deal for Europe and North America with Nuclear Blast who released Fevered which received great reviews all over the globe.
1998 we embarked on a great reissuing project involving some of our, by now historical, punk-releases. Vägra Raggarna Benzin Vol. 1 & 2 was both a critical and commercial success.
1999 was one of our most active year ever and saw the release of new albums by my Orchard, Garmarna, Krämen, Giraffer & andra saker, The Thousand Dollar Playboys and our 20 years celebration CD – We’re only in it for the money. Our hometown of Sundsvall had received from the National Radio Channel P3, the honor of being PopStad in 99 and we gave it all we got. In total we released 11 records during 1999, including the PopStad 99 promoCD.
This took its price on us. Especially as we did not really have the money to pull it through. Early 2000 we realized that we were in deep crisis with large debts and no money whatsoever. It took us more than a year to get back on track. But with patience and help of the people that we owed, the bands, the bank, our publisher and our distributor MNW we finally got a new start.
At the same time as the company transformed into a Ltd with Mats Hammerman as the only owner. And finally we could release all the albums that were more or less finished: Left Hand Solution – Light Shines Black, Garmarna – Hildegard von Bingen, my Orchard – 5 years long and as tall as a dream and The $1000 Playboys – Stay! and many others.
We were happy and proud to still be in business and doing good stuff.
Fall 2002 saw the release of The Confusions forth album Trampoline and the first single The Pilot went straight to number one on MTVs Up North Chart and stayed on the chart for seven weeks. They also got a lot of airplay in Denmark, France, Finland and the Baltic States which they all toured.
2003 saw the release of Garmarna and Left Hand Solution first 7 track EPs – remastered and with bonus tracks. Both band celebrated 10 years as recording artists.
Since MNW closed their distribution we had to find new friends to sell our records and we found the nice people at Bonnier Amigo Music Distribution.
We also released Punksvall 1979-80 with the first 10 singles from Massproduktion and Sundsvall. A great party on the 29:th of September saw and heard unique gigs by Massmedia, Pizzoar and Förbjudna Ljud. To our big surprise Punksvall was nominated to a Swedish Grammy.
2005 meant Lars Bygdén’s first solo album that the press went wild over and received the Manifest Award for best Singer/Songwriter album of 2005.
2006 meant albums with The Confusions and Marble and we got our maybe largest radio-hit ever with Marble’s BAM!
2007 meant album with Traste & Superstararna and The Confusions acoustic album and in March 2008 their brilliant seventh album that the press went wild over and was their biggest success since 1996’s Everyone’s Invited.
2009 we celebrated 30 years in the business with a re-release of Krämen, Giraffer & Andra Sakers first Cassette on CD, my Orchards brilliant farewell album and the fantastic second solo album by Lars Bygdén among The Confusions – A Permanent Marker and our well received compilation of Sweden’s first all-girl-punk band – Mögel.
On the 9th of June 2009 we celebrated our 30 years with a fully packed Sundsvalls Stadshus with bands from all decades playing.
The early 2010 we embarked on the quest to re-release our 90-ies vinyl and unreleased stuff and it resulted in a bunch of double CDs compiling singles, demos and live-recordings of punk/postpunkoutfit Motorjoke, the female postpunk of Tugga Terrier, the postpunkrock of Crompojkarna and the dark folkrockers Kretsen. We also made a double CD with 15 years of songwriting of Lars Bygdén with many unreleased track. To top this we also made a compilation with locals band – Elchock – playing covers of the Massproduktion band of the 90-ies.
We also released the magnificent LB by Lars Bygdén. The animated video to The Hole got nominated to both to the Manifest and the Swedish Grammy awards.
In 2013 to 2016 we became a trio running Massproduktion as Helena Olsson and Tommy Castello joined the team. Being three person – all on part time – ment that we could take on some long awaited projects. We finished the Vägra Raggarna Benzin-compilation with a massive vol 3 and 4 which became a huge success and even took us to top placements on the swedish sales chart. The first pressing sold out on release day.
Sjung för fan! was a 72 pages book with two CDs of unreleased stuff and told the stories of musicians, technicians and other people that was involved in Forsa Studio, situated in a small village in the north of Sweden. It was during a few years a hub that exploded with creativity when the punk wave hit rural Sweden in 1978. Bands like Missbrukarna, Totalitär, Traste & Superstararna, Dagens Ungdom became semi-hits due to extensive airplay by Ny Våg (the only punk-program on Swedish Radio) and became an important influence for what to come.
The studio was also central for the folkrock and postpunk that emerged during the 90-ies with names like Perssons Pack, Sigge Hill and Traste Lindéns Kvintett that became household names and the more underground celebrities like The Bangsters and Brainbombs which both enjoyed international careers.
This compilation covers the important years of 1978-89 and is filled with unreleased gems, recovered during 5 years of restoration of the studios close to 600 master tapes.
We also released several albums and EPs digitally that we found among all the recordings. Records by Panic, Sonny´s Boys (ex Traste & Superstararna), The Rags and Birmingham Jazz Incarnation.
In 2013 we started working with Red Mecca – an electronic duo with an amazing capacity that won a Manifest award in 2017 and we also took up the work with our favorites in Mögel whos Mitt orange Kuvert really became one of the most discussed singles of 2018.
In 2019 we celebrated 40 years in the business and did it in style. We released some 200 track that year from all the 40 years and also a Christmas calendar with 2 hours of new music. You can read more about it here
We also had a fanstastic evening in EQ House in Sundsvall celebrating the music from 40 years.
2020 we released the full catalogue of Vacum – in total 45 tracks and also a new album and the old ones repressed in nice remasterred vinyl. We also released new albums with Imma and one 27 year delayed debut album of Jezebel.
2021 is a year full of albums – New albums by Red Mecca, a double album by The Confusions and also the return of the doomsters in Left Hand Solution.
In 2022 – new albums with Lars Bygdén, Red Mecca and Jan Boholm.