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Artists; a.k.a. Robert del Naja, Grant Marshall and Andrew Vowles
COMBINED NET WORTH Whatever selling 4 million albums worldwide equals
AGES 33, 38 and 32, respectively
ADDRESS c/o Virgin Records America, 304 Park Avenue South, New York, N.Y. BIOS They met hanging out in the nightclubs of the small town of Bristol, England. "There were only a couple of clubs that played reggae, new wave, early soul and hip-hop," says 3D (Del Naja). If you wanted to hear those types of beats, you were bound to run into the same people. Dancing to the same drummer brought them together, and in 1990 they signed with Virgin Records and started what has been a long and challenging career. The group writes its own music, plays it live and then samples from those performances. Their final sound is achieved using a hardware and software package called Pro Tools, which digitally edits and mixes on computers. Technology, according to Del Naja, has been key to the band's success. "For our first album, sampling was a really good way to explore a lot of different sounds," he says. But the union of music and technology can be dicey. Technology "is a part of a chain of other things," says Del Naja. "A computer is a great piece of equipment, as is a sampler, but if you work totally digitally you lose something. We've always kept a good balance between technology and what is music; a nervous balance between organic and technological."
1998 POWER PLAY Massive Attack has made a killing selling 1.5 million copies of its latest album, Mezzanine, released in May. Massive's success includes online music: the group released a piece of each track from Mezzanine on the Virgin UK site (www.theraft.com), which had 1.6 million hits in the span of five days. In September, the trio embarked on a monthlong North American tour, and tickets sold like hotcakes.
PLACE YOUR BETS Ticker tape, tickets--what's the difference? Getting a ticket to a Massive concert is as hard to come by as a sure thing on the NASDAQ. Every gig on the tour is sold out. Get up close to the stage, and both your interest and appreciation will grow.