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My Dying Bride interview: Andrew Craighan and Hamish Glencross

My Dying Bride interview: Andrew Craighan and Hamish Glencross
BANDS : My Dying Bride

Metalfan: So, last time we talked was at Sziget 2004, I interviewed Hamish while you were giving interviews at another table [looking to Andrew]. Anyway, back then you had just released Songs of darkness, words of light and you were working on the Sinamorata DVD. You released this DVD that featured the Antwerp show and it gives a very good picture of what My Dying Bride is on stage. I want to ask you: who picked the fan contributed materials?
Andrew Craighan: I think Aaron did. I mean, we all had a saying in what went on, but Aaron receives most of it so he had the best collection of things to use and it was pretty easy really to pick up the better ones and then use them as a merely thank you back to the fans, so that we could prove that we do look at them, we do receive them and we do enjoy receiving them and also to make them a little bit famous for a short time. To see their names on the DVD was quite a good way to thank them and it seemed to have been a very popular idea. If we do another DVD we'll probably do that again.

 

Andrew Craighan and Hamish Glencross

 

Metalfan: And how is this DVD received?
Andrew: So far, everybody that is into My Dying Bride kind of has it. I think that, just from a bound perspective in the world of musical DVDs, it's one of the better ones, it was very well filmed, it was very well planned. I don't think the show is the best one we've ever done, because the cameras make you quite nervous, but I think that overall it was a good project, it was well executed and we're still very happy with the way it went and we're still proud to be something we've done. There's always room for improvements, there's no question about that, but we're very happy with it - and the fans seem to like it too.

Metalfan: And you also released a triple CD entitled Anti-Diluvian Chronicles. Was it your idea?
Andrew: No, that was a record label type of thing. I mean, we don't have any control there, you know, the contract says they can do all they want. What we actually do is try to make it "legitimate", to justify the release. Rather than just let the record label release these things and don't have any saying in what goes on, we get heavily involved. As much as we really wouldn't... We don't like that kind of thing, you know... 'cause we can see that the record label is just trying to make more money and we don't want to rip the fans off, so we try to make it as good as... I mean, if they're going to do it anyway, we might as well make it as good as we humanly can. So we went at the studio and said we would remix some tracks, to give them something new. Actually me and Hamish prefer the remixes now [laughs]. So, it was going to happen, we just tried to make it so if the fans - I mean if there are any quite die hard My Dying Bride fans who must own everything - to make it special to them, rather than just another record label release. We tried to add at least some of the true band into that and we made it as good as we could, again. Basically is like a catalogue of 12-13 years of My Dying Bride.

Metalfan: There is a problem with compilations, because every fan has his favourite song.. Do you feel like you've left out something? Any particular song?
Andrew: No....  I don't... maybe...
Hamish Glencross: I'm not sure, I just have to think what the tracklisting is, 'cause whenever I think of that box set I think of the remixes principally and try to remember what else is on them. I think it's a great overview of history up to that point, because we're very fortunate to still get new fans coming to us, when we played at the Donington festival last week, we've seen younger fans as well as people who have been with the band, you know, quite a few years. Obviously, some of the younger audience are getting into the music via a band like Cradle of Filth or something like that and then start looking for something with a little more substance, and that's were we come in. And, so, to these newer fans who maybe only have A Line Of Deathless Kings or Songs of Darkness, than this is a great gateway into the past history without having to buy a number of albums.
Andrew: And I respect that.. I mean that's probably the only positive aspect of this. If you don't know if you would have liked My Dying Bride before but you like these last ones and you don't want to risk the expenses of buying all the old stuff, you can buy the compilation, and if you like it you won't risk a great deal by buying the rest of the CDs...  and if it's not your cup of tea, as they say, then you haven't lost a great deal either.
Hamish: I mean, as much as I...  I really don't frown on what record companies do... I mean... they just... they're not into... I mean Peaceville are better than most, they do believe in music, which I think is obvious, but it is a constant at the end of the day and that they want to sell My Dying Bride as many times as possible, which is not something to... as he said, we don't do it for the money, we do it because we love this, we love coming out to places like this...

 

 

Metalfan: Yes, but the record company has to sell, to recover what they invested in you and to have money to get you back into the studio...
Hamish: Yes, funds still coming for the next album because, you know, it's part of the risks with this "downloading culture" - there's no budgets for future albums, and that's going to be real shame, because it's a very creative time when we're in the studio and we are writing right up until the end of mixing in studio, because there's so many great ideas flying 'round and about and we like to develop every avenue we can explore, everything, because these albums are going to be with us... you know... forever, basically. We want to be completely proud  of them and as we will be we don't chase scenes or follow any restrictions, you know, we do what we want. So, if we were to find ourselves in a position where we have very limited studio time it would be a shame that we wouldn't get to explore...

Metalfan: Then, perhaps it could be a good idea to build your own studio...
Andrew: It's easier now than it was let's say 5 or 6 years ago, because technology is now very small, it's not... I mean we have thought of that, Dan has a small studio at his house, but I prefer going somewhere to record... it feels more like doing something, so... until we'll get to be like the size of Iron Maiden and we'll be able to build our own studio, I think we still have to go to the studio. It's kind of a tradition for me to go to Academy were we always recorded, it wouldn't actually be right if we didn't do something in the Academy...  it's kind of a "good charm".
Hamish: I think it gives you greater focus, as well. Really, when you're going to the studio it really puts you in that "creative mode", while if you're doing it at home you end up in the front of the telly, with a beer and watching the Simpsons or something and you start going over one particular part so many times over and over and you end up loosing the original magical influence of it, because you have the luxury of it... I think the studio really refines the work we do.

Metalfan: You haven't released an EP, I believe, since 1994, but you released one now. Why?
Andrew: I think that's a change in the contract, to be honest. In the very beginning we had, I think, 3 LP or 4 LP contract with Peaceville and in that contract it was stated that between the LPs we had to release an EP. We were happy with that, we didn't mind doing that, we had plenty of songs, plenty of ideas. In the second contract Peaceville changed the focus on how they release things and the EPs stopped and we stopped recording. And then, with the recent releases, I think the focus is - because the world has changed - the singles, they're more popular now. Mainly, the single is used, obviously, to promote the LP and metal didn't require that for many years, it wasn't necessary to release any 'cause nobody bought them. So, again, it's mainly back to the record company and the contractual requirements but we don't mind that, we have plenty ideas, plenty songs and I think that, I actually genuinely believe they do go, because, again, you can get a small amount of radio play and you can focus people - a small promotion for the LP.

Metalfan: On the EP you have, besides a live version of A Kiss to Remember, a new song -  Child Of Eternity. What's the story behind this song and why did you put it on the EP and not on the album?
Andrew: Again, I mean I don't know what's behind the song, only musically, but for the lyrics it's probably Aaron you need to talk to to get the info there, but it's quite an evil trick to put a song that's not on the LP on the single to make people want it, and you must know that and I know that, so I'm not going to pretend it's any other reason behind that... that's again the music industry doing it's best to make sure people understand there's a single out and it's worth having because it has an exclusive track. It's quite cruel, in many respects, it forces people, genuine fans, it forces the hand back into their pockets, which is not what My Dying Bride is about. We try to be honest with people, but the record company is the record company and I'm afraid that's how it is...

 

Hamish Glencross

 

Metalfan: You could not survive in this industry without a label, so...
Andrew: Well, no, I mean I don't want to moan to much about the record label, 'cause we need them as they need us and they've been very good to us. I must admit, it's been a great relationship, it's just the nature of the business that is...

Metalfan: And how would you describe the sound evolution  from Songs of Darkness to this album?
Hamish: Songs of Darkness was created in quite turbulent times and very difficult circumstances. The album was mostly written by Andrew and myself away from the band and that gave it it's own kind of atmosphere, you know, a particular angle, whereas this time around we had a different drummer and that enabled us to thrash the songs out in the rehearsal room. It was a very positive vibe and the circumstances of writing and creating were just very, very productive. It was a real pleasure to do, you know? For such a brutal and miserable music it was created in a very positive... surroundings [laughs]. So that was a quite big difference which I think does reflect in the music. Aside for that, I think, this time we wanted to really bring a lot more contrast within the album, you know, really go far down the crushing doom roots but then to also have great huge layered sections elsewhere, just really turning up the contrast controls, going from one extreme to the other. Songs of Darkness is very atmospheric, very very dark, which is... but they're very different.

 

Andrew Craighan

 

Metalfan: Do you consider A Line Of Deathless Kings to be more like “back to the roots” or a new approach?
Andrew: Well, what it did do, it took us back to the roots in one respect, but I don't think it was musically... it was more like, how Hamish mentioned, it was how we wrote the songs, Dreadful Hours and Songs Of Darkness were written very much "on the fly" so to say, we didn't rehearse a lot of songs because Sean was injured a lot of the time and it made it very difficult to practice together, as a band. Consequently we wrote together, then took it to the studio and then put the drums there and there, it was very different. With the latest one we rehearsed a lot of the songs - we never finished them, we always go to the studio and finish them out there - but at least we had 6 or 7 songs, we knew what we were going to do, we never had that luxury. And that's the main difference,  it took us to the roots as in the fact that we rehearsed like a band and now it sounds like a band. I think it's very different from Turn Loose or As The Flower Withers, those kind of songs, but still, obviously,  you can tell it's My Dying Bride for good or bad, you can certainly tell. I think if we have this conversation in 18 months time the new one might be closer to the roots than a lot of people are expecting and that will be deliberately. I'm kinda' focusing on just having a lot of fun with the new one, no pressure, you know... Well, there's never any pressure, to be right, but we really want to shock people, I think,  a little bit with the next one and it's really exciting, we really want to get back to it and start this process.

Metalfan: It must be different now that you have new members. Will they be involved in the creative process?
Hamish: Well, having Dan is really going to open up a few avenues with us as well, because, I mean, he is such a talented drummer and he blasts, he's got real speed and accuracy and he really is quite impressive and that's just going to expand our sound. He'll totally be there,  he just can not... as simply as that.
Andrew: And Lena is very keen, because she's never been in such a band, she's never done gigs like these, I mean we played biggest festival in England last week-end and that's.... two minutes ago she was playing nowhere, she was just rehearsing with her band awaiting for gigs... and then we plucked her out of that and dropped her into this mad world and she's desperate to show that she can play the bass 'cause girls in bands are sometimes... you've got to prove that you can play - and she can play, there's no question about that - and she wants to show that.

Metalfan: Most girls in bands play keyboards, so I guess she has to fill some big shoes...
Andrew: Yeah... Adrian was an integral part of the band, and he was for a long time, so she's got quite a space to fill. I think she does it very well, I have to admit, there's no question marks there. She will add something - I'm kinda' looking forward to that 'cause I don't know really what is she going to bring - but the way she approaches the old songs and she practices for the shows... she's very professional and she wants to do it absolute. She's "note for note"... perfect - even Adrian didn't do that, and he wrote the fucking things! And he messed things up, but she doesn't. She's very, very precise and I expect to see some of that on the new LP. And plus she plays a 5 string bass and she tunes down to B, which makes it interesting to watch, as we tune to C sharp so when we're all doing sorts of things she's in a completely different place on the neck and it looks good and she gets a real thunder on some of the lower notes.
Hamish: She's got a wider range available which we might see and get some use of, with these lower notes that could add some depth to the weight, which could be really good. But also it's kinda' influential where we'll go next, 'cause... just purely because we've got a lineup where everyone is so enthusiastic and is so pleased to be here and just so keen to be here, you know, in My Dying Bride and made it everything that it can be - and that...
Andrew: It's very visible, without change. I mean they might not have brought anything new musically just yet, because we've, obviously, been doing songs that we wrote, but the attitude that they brought, you know, the freshness and the eagerness and they're so... pleased to be doing it. We - I mean we write misery music every time -  but we are very happy right now, the band has never been better than this, we're doing some great shows, we're out in Romania, you know...

 

Nebelhexa vs My Dying Bride

 

Metalfan: We've been waiting for you for some years so...
Hamish: Well, this... I mean the chap we just spoke with just now - he asked us: “Why Romania? Why now?” Truth is we haven't been here before because the gigs haven't been here. Our sort of people back in England who work in London organizing these things are very professional and if an offer comes in that is not very professional he won't send us because we'll only complain when we get home. He's even here with us, so that proves it.
Metalfan: Nick Peel?
Andrew: That's right.
Metalfan: We've worked with him last year when we did a Tiamat show.
Andrew: Absolutely. He knows this area, he knows it's worth doing - and for him to come as well it means it's worth doing - 'cause he won't go if it's rubbish [laughs]. So we knew this was going to be a special day, a special couple of days and we've traveled a long time and it's now right for My Dying Bride to be here. We feel very welcome and I'm glad we waited so long and now everybody made us feel extremely welcome. We just hope everything goes ok on stage and we play a good show and...

Metalfan: Really, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't...
Andrew: Like I said, we practiced, we had a warm-up gig at Donington [laughs]

Vezi galeriile trupelor: My Dying Bride

   June 16, 2007  | 9 Comments  | 13668 Views « BACK

Comment on: My Dying Bride interview: Andrew Craighan and Hamish Glencross

  • in timpul concertului WT Aaron, Andrew si Lena au venit in public in zona tribunei cu scaune albastre. am avut sansa sa stau de vorba citeva minute cu Andrew; mi-a zis ca nu se asteptau sa fie atit de bine primiti si ca vor reveni cu siguranta. la multumirile mele pentru ca au cintat "The Snow In My Hand" piesa mea favorita de pe cel mai bun album "Turn Loose The Swans", mi-a spus ca sint norocos si se bucura ca m-a facut fericit. concertul a fost exceptional: mi-a amintit de frumoasele vremuri de acum 14 ani cind eram student, ascultam MDB si jucam bridge pina dimineata cu naveta de bere linga masa...

    1. Posted by grig | 29 Iunie 2007 23:42
  • Cine e curva aia de la masa? aia care le ia interviu

    2. Posted by Gandacelul mincinos | 30 Iunie 2007 16:50
  • Frumos interviu.....abia astept sa revina MDB ca headlineri!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3. Posted by CRISTESCU VICTOR | 02 Iulie 2007 10:31
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