Two weeks ago we were talking with Aaron Stainthorpe, singer of the British doom metal band My Dying Bride, about their brand new album titled “Feel the Misery”.
Here is the complete intervew.
First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to answers my questions. We are keeping you busy, aren’t we? (laughs)
Yeah, I have 6 more coming after yours (laughs).
Ok then I will go straight to the point. You’ve just released a new album called Feel the Misery. How is it going so far? Did you had any time to read any review?
It’s going really well. Of course with every record you release you hope that everything will go well and that everyone will like it but this one it’s been especially welcomed.
I’ve seen a lot of reviews, much better than we expected. It’s everything going fantastic! Because sometimes when you’ve been around for a long long time, you think that maybe you are not relevant anymore and when you read all the reviews, with a good average mark and that people are still taking the time to really listen to the album completely… it’s great. I’m very happy.
Well, in my opinion I think it’s a good album and I liked it even more than the previous one but I believe you need to spin it a few times to dig it completely because is less accessible than A Map of All Failures.
I’m glad you liked it more than the previous album but I’m surprised that you think that is less accessible because we think totally the opposite. But, of course, everyone has its own opinion and taste.
Maybe is more accessible for a newcomers, but you are using new vocal styles, especially on the clean parts, and for someone who has been your fan since the beginning, it can take some time to adjust.
Well, I have to be very careful and not to do the same thing with every record we made. I think it’s important to expand the vocals a little bit and try to reach new different and interesting styles. The voice is everything I have since I don’t play any other instrument so… ¡this is what I do! (laughs)
I see. Anyway, it was a good change.
And how was the writing and recording process?
Oh! It took a lot of time. It’s been the longest so far. The thing is that when we finished, we walked away from it and then we returned to listen to it and see if we still like it. But we didn’t so we changed it all and it was a long long process. Luckily the record label had a lot of patience and they didn’t push us to write the album and I think all the time we’ve spend on the album it’s been worth it. We are happy with everything. Then we went to record it and that went very smoothly. So the writing process took a really long time and the recording took a while as well because well, it started on October… last year! But we didn’t want to be under pressure and we record it in a very relaxed way. So yeah, it’s been a really long time, but it went brilliant!
Has the return of Calvin Robertshaw affected the album in any way?
No, not really. Because unfortunately when Calvin came back most of the album was already finished. He came with some riffs, melodies and harmonies but really it was 95% finished so Calvin couldn’t make much more. So we have to wait until the next record to see what Calvin can really do.
I read some time ago that Andrew always write the music first and then you write the lyrics all alone without listening to the music first. Is this still happening?
Yeah, actually yes. Of course Andrew also asks me to write him some lyrics for inspiration, to compose what he feels reading the lyrics. And then he will give me the music back and I will see if I can fit my lyrics with the music. Because you have to see if it is an aggressive song or it is a slow one. You have to coordinate the mood of both, the music and the lyrics. And this is actually the way we’ve been doing the things. But really the music comes first and then the lyrics after.
This album is quite long, it’s more than hour length. Do you remember having any difficulties finishing a song? Or do you have any special one? For example, in my opinion, “To Shiver in Empy Halls” is the best one. It is amazing, long and deep. Profound I must say.
Oh, thank you very much. Actually we are going to play this song live. I haven’t thought about it yet… perhaps “My Father Left Forever”. Is very special for me and It’s a great song. I also like “I Almost Loved You” and well, the whole album is quite special for me and it’s only been finished for a few months now so… I don’t know. (laughs) I think will wait until we have to play live and see what songs we like the most.
And any difficulties having to finish any part of the album?
Not really. Because we took so long to finish the album, everything went perfect. We really assured that all the songs were 100% complete. And yes, there been songs more difficult than others but we’ve been doing this for so many years and all of this is a challenge to see that we can do an album better than the previous one. And we all are professional on it so… no, nothing particularly difficult. I think we are quite good at what we do.
Ok. I get it. It was a really long process but everything went very smoothly.
So you said before that you are thinking about what songs are you going to play live… and I have to ask. It’s been ages since the last time that My Dying Bride came to Spain. Do you have any real plans to come in a near future?
Well, we are having a tour next year for the new album, it was already too late for this year, but we are really looking forward to it. It will be around April or May next year. And yeah, we are aware it’s been a long time without coming to Spain. And we really want to go back because we have great memories. The weather is lovely and of course the food is excellent, is a wonderful place to go. I will mention it to our promoter because I had a few Spanish interviews these days so I don’t think it will be a problem.
This year is the 25th Anniversary of My Dying Bride. Do you have any special plans to celebrate it? Maybe a show to commemorate your career?
No. (Laughs) We kind of ran out of time. We don’t have a manager to arrange those things and we’ve been very busy with the album and it just skipped from our minds. We don’t even have time to arrange a private party. This is kind of silly because it’s 25 years! It’s worth to celebrate. I guess we will have some private event and, well, the next mark will be 30 years, maybe I have to start planning it now so I will not miss it again! (laughs)
So before we end our chat, because I don’t want to take more of your time since you still have 5 more interviews.
I always ask this question because I think that musicians sometimes are very busy creating music that they don’t have time to listen to new records. Do you have any favorite album for 2015 so far?
Well, I’ve listened to the new Lana del Rey album, which was released the same day as My Dying Bride. I really like Lana del Rey, she is quite melancholic and I love melancholic music. And… that’s it. I think I prefer to listen to older material rather than new music. I think that the last one I bought was Push the Sky Away from Nick Cave. Nick Cave is also melancholic (laughs)
I guess that you are too busy making new tunes that then you prefer to refresh you with old music.
Yeah, exactly that.
Well, then that’s all. Do you want to add a few words to your Spanish fans?
I apology for not being down there more often, we are gonna change that and we are going to make sure next year we are coming to play in Spain. Just wait until 2016 where we can all sea each other!
Interview by Xell