Mar 03, 2023
By Mark Redfern
Photography by Tom Marshak
To end the week, we ask Steve Mason some questions about endings and death.
Mason is the former frontman of The Beta Band. Today he has released a new solo album, Brothers & Sisters, via Double Six, an imprint of Domino.
Brothers & Sisters was co-produced with Tev’n and also features British gospel singers Jayando Cole, Keshia Smith, Connie McCall, and Adrian Blake, as well as Kaviraj Singh on the santoor and Pakistani singer Javed Bashir. It is the follow-up to About the Light, which was released in January 2019 via Double Six. That album followed Boys Outside (2010), Monkey Minds in the Devil’s Time (2013), and Meet the Humans (2016).
Mason had this to say about the new album in a press release announcing it: “To me, this record is a massive ‘Fuck you’ to Brexit. And a giant ‘Fuck you’ to anyone that is terrified of immigration because there is nothing that immigration has brought to this country that isn’t to be applauded. Can you imagine what this place would be like without that [immigration]? I mean what would it be like? Cornish pasties and morris dancing?”
Read on as Mason discusses how and when he would like to die, his favorite movie ending, the iconic musician he’d like to be reincarnated as, and the question you should never answer.
How would you like to die and what age would you like to be?
I would be 85 years old, in a high-speed pursuit, driving a car with a V12 internal combustion engine. My last words would be “No Pasarán!!” and they would be screamed.
What song would you like to be performed at your funeral and who would you like to sing it?
“Who Wants to Live Forever” by Freddie Mercury.
What’s your favorite ending to a movie?
The 1981 British film Time Bandits. The final scene is the main character, a 12-year-old boy, standing in the smouldering remains of his parents’ house. His parents are both dead and he’s homeless. The last fireman to leave the scene, played by Sean Connery, winks at him as he hops into the fire engine and drives off after failing to put out the fire which destroyed his house. As a kid myself when I saw it, it was quite affecting.
What’s your favorite last song on an album?
“Coral,” which is the last track on Ken Nordine’s album Colors.
What’s your favorite last album by a band who then broke up?
Black to the Future by Sons of Kemet.
Whose passing has most affected you?
One of my best friends died five days before Christmas Day of last year. I’ve been very lucky that nobody very close to me has died yet so this was a big thing for me. I still can’t believe he doesn’t exist anymore. Sometimes I dream he is everywhere, and in everything, and that he will always be with me, but then when I awake I realize again, he is dead. He was a beautiful and highly talented human, a gentleman in the true sense of the word. And I wish he would come back.
If you were on death row, what would you like your last meal to be?
I would like to cook for someone else, a loved one, and watch them eat whilst having one last chew of the fat.
What’s your concept of the afterlife?
We become one with every atom in the universe and realize true peace.
What would be the worst punishment the devil could devise for you in hell, if he exists?
To whomever is reading this, never ever tell a living soul the answer to this question!
If reincarnation exists, who or what would you like to be reincarnated as?
What role or achievement would you most like to be remembered for?
Demolishing Capitalism and bringing lasting peace and prosperity to planet Earth.
What would you like your last words to be?
I love you.