A cold new misery
My Dying Bride’s ‘Feel the Misery’ sees a notable return to the band’s own trademark heavy, dark and majestic. Featuring the return of original guitarist Calvin Robertshaw to the fold. The band comments on the themes of ‘Feel the Misery’ “Contained within are all the grandeur and mastery of the melancholic one would expect to find on a recording from this group of musicians. The crushing of hearts and the solemn farewells to friends and lovers twinned with the destruction of flesh and the passions of cruelty are laid neatly for the listener to devour and savour. Eight new compositions detailing the path of life through dark doors and the burdens we all must endure simply to make it to the end, My Dying Bride have returned with a foreboding new album which may enlighten, delight and consume the soul in one epic sitting”.
My Dying Bride has been the leading light of doom metal since their debut album “As The Flower Withers” was released on Peaceville Records back in 1992, and the band’s heavy atmospherics and expertly crafted compositions make them among the most essential and legendary acts of the gothic doom/death genre.
HMA: Three years on since ‘A map of all failures’. ‘Feel the Misery’ continues the melancholic ritual of My Dying Bride wistful vision. Described as “very well executed, classy, and moving doom album”. What are your thoughts?
Aaron Stainthorpe Yeah, it’s ok I guess haha. We did put a hell of a lot of hard work into the new album so the reviews are most welcome. Misery and melancholy are what we do best and the evidence is right there on the new record.
HMA: Also marks the return of original guitarist Calvin Robertshaw since ‘34.788%… Complete’. Can you tell us about this reunion and how did it affect the band?
AS: Calvin came back after Hamish left and slotted in just nicely. He gets on very well with everybody and is comfortable again with performing live. Sadly most of the new LP was already constructed when he rejoined so there wasn’t a whole lot he could add, but what he did, sounded lovely. There will be much more of Calvin on the next release.
HMA: What was the inspiration for ‘Feel the Misery’?
AS: There is never any single inspiration but flutters and driftwood from films, songs, photographs, sculpture, paintings, poetry and the people we meet and places we visit. Something rubs off all of these and sits in the back of your mind until you tap into it and develop it into a coherent track.
HMA: The video for ‘Feel the Misery’ what is the visual story and how did you get the ideas together?
AS: The director James Sharrock was inspired by the painting “The Raft of the Medusa” which depicts the aftermath of a shipwreck which he felt leant itself to the feel of the song so he created the visuals and I simply went along and acted out the part of a lone hermit scrounging a living off what he finds on the shore. After discovering a drowned woman, he feels she deserves a dignified send off so carries her to his own chapel and lays her before the altar and offers her spirit to God.
HMA: Matthew Vickerstaff made ‘Feel the Misery’ I believe, what was your input and steer?
AS: Andrew and Matt worked closely together on the cover which came out really nice and looks especially appealing on the larger vinyl format. We have spoken about a stained glass window design for many years but could never quite find the ideal one so created it instead. There are several personal elements woven into the main image which is a rather nice trick.
HMA: How important is art for your audience to experience your music?
AS: I’d like to think it is very important because it is vital for us! We spend forever trying to get the right look for our releases because it goes hand in hand with our music and the lyrics. When I see some bands artwork and its just a blurred photograph I think ‘well, they don’t really give a shit do they?’. Even in this digital downloading world today, I believe the artwork is still integral to the entire feel of the album and without it, you’re losing out.
HMA: What was your earliest musical memory or influence that really had an effect on you?
AS: Early Iron Maiden because they had the great looking covers and backed them up with shit hot metal songs. Then when I discovered Death metal and Black metal I saw a different outlook and that really inspired me to want to actually create a band and join in the fun.
HMA: As well as being a talented vocalist, I believe you are also a visual artist? How would you define your style and vision?
AS: Ah, if only I was a musician. Sadly, I cannot play a single instrument which is why I have such a varied approach to my vocal style but I am very much into photography and the visual arts which is why album covers mean a lot to me. I know I shouldn’t but I often judge a band by their cover and if it’s poorly thought out and badly executed then that’s how I see the tunes. I dabble a bit and have a site that could do with an update www.azzron.com where I stick my visual thoughts and interpretations of my dreams. It’s all very dark and weird but that’s just how I like it. I have just returned from the Bram Stoker International Film Festival in Whitby where they also have a Dark Arts Gallery and the featured work there was superb. I shall be going next year and hope to show a few pieces too.
HMA: You have also done artwork for My Dying Bride so I would imagine you are the creative director when it comes to briefing artists?
AS: I do love to get involved but took a back seat for the new LP because my father selfishly died on me and my mind was elsewhere. But I will certainly be involved in designs on future releases because they are often tagged to one of the tracks where I have composed the lyrics so I know them better than anyone. Saying that, if there are any budding artists out there who fancy a go, get in touch via our Facebook www.facebook.com/My-Dying-Bride-Official-uk-282179138510618
My Dying Bride ‘Feel the Misery’ is out now on Peaceville
Interview by Alex Milazzo – Copyright 2015 © Heavy Music Artwork. All rights reserved.