Congratulations to your new album „A Map of all our Failures“! I think it´s a strong album, that (after the special releases „Evinta“
and “The Barghest o´ Whitby-EP“
makes sure, that the „soul“ of your music, how your fans know and love it, has not changed through the years. Was this kind of your intention and how are the reactions so far?
Andrew- we have always tried to be very honest with our music, no matter what phase of life we were in and this l.p. is no different from that respect. After Evinta and The Barghest O Whitby we knew where we were musically and had very strong, focused idea’s on where My Dying Bride was heading. My Dying Bride
doesn’t really do anything else but this type and style of music so a change would have not been to our tastes, this is the music we like and want to play hence not really changing that much to do it. The reactions have been overwhelmingly positive, despite the music.
What meaning lies behind the title „A Map of all our Failures“
While we were choosing titles for the songs we all thought that A Map Of All Our Failures stood out as a potential album title and when looking for title it was unanimous that this should be it after little debate, as we felt the music on the l.p. was good enough to carry a title that left us wide open to cheap remarks from people who wanted to, it is also a great song and a very reflective sorrowful composition. It summed up our attitude towards the music as a whole.
The whole coverartwork is amazing and the booklet illustrates every song very well. Is there a further meaning or story behind the pictures, or a tale of which the songs are part of?
The inner artwork links to the story being told in some way, whether it is an emotion or a direct reference to a line in the song, they add to the overall sounds capes we are creating. They are not meant to be cryptic in anyway and should be fairly recognisable to each song.
The lyrics in „Like a perpetual funeral“, „Hail Odysseus“ and also the beautiful bonustrack „My Faults are your Reward“ somehow refer to the ocean. Is there a connection between them? And how did you come to pick up the Odysseus-Theme?
I think it’s just a great metaphor to use, the sea is a powerful, mysterious, menacingly deep and let’s not forget a lonely life taker. It’s a gain just another tool in Aarons arsenal of thoughts to project the stories further into the minds of the listener, these are not simple rhymes to be forgotten in seconds they have a meaning and structure that needs an understanding of emotions and we try use interesting words to colour the music. The Odysseus song came about on a flight back from Greece a few years ago now, we played Athens the day before and on the plane back the idea of a stowaway calling Odysseus to his doom seemed very appealing, I wrote out the whole idea on my Ipad and there and then passed it to Aaron who said email me that we’re doing it. That was it once the seed was sown Aaron took the helm (more nautical references) and made the lyrics what they are. A great success we thought and a great story with a real twist at the end.
„The Poorest Waltz“ is one highlight for me on the new album. The Violin-solo seems to have a slight folk-touch in it, is traditional music an inspiration for you- like „Scarborough fair“, of which you made a wonderful version for the „Bring me Victory“- EP?
The pace of that section of the song is what drives the ever so subtle folk element, it was not deliberate but it’s there alright. I don’t listen to a lot of traditional music so i can’t say it’s big influence on us. Scarborough Fair was just something i had wanted to do for a long time and when we had the opportunity i ran it passed the guys and they thought it was a great idea and that was it we just went ahead. We never really thought about folk or traditional music influences though we just thought it would be a good project and again it seemed to work.
There has been a line-up change, since „Bring me Victory“ the violin is played by Shaun MacGowan. How did he join the band / how did you find him?
He has always been close to us in the local metal scene and was not really playing violin in the bands he was in him was playing guitar. It was Dan Mullins who introduced us to him and it was a real find too as he is a good lad and a real asset to the band. We just offered him a shot at the violin and keys as he has trained on them and he said why not. But probably used less word!
The Drums on the new album are played by Shaun Taylor Steels again as a studio drummer. Are you looking for a constant drummer for the future?
To be honest no, we have had enough of drummers so we will just use who-ever is available at what ever time we need them, we presently have 3 drummers working for us and between them we can function we need to.
What about the song writing process, who of the band members esp. comes up with the first idea for a new song, or are there first the lyrics?
The music is created mainly by me and Hamish now. The idea’s for lyrics as i explained earlier can come from all the band but to be fair Aaron is mainly responsible for that. We now tend to write the songs without any lyrics, just the idea of what the songs is about Aaron then panics locks himself away after realising that we have once again written a full l.p. and he now has to do his bit.
Has this process somehow changed through the years and line-up-changes?
No as it happens it has been this way for a long time. So no change.
From the fact, that your deeply melancholic kind of music makes some people happy while listening to it, and at least touches them in a positive way- while others would just think of hanging on the next tree and rather listen to reggae music;-), is there an inspiration or characteristic that all band members share?
Ha ha, yeah of course My Dying Bride by their very name create inspiration that is only dire. We love to write music to be mournful too, we are however quite the opposite as people and this music does indeed make us smile quite a bit. Reggae would have me quite depressed though.
…and what kind of music do you listen (nowadays) to „in private“, while not working on MDB-Stuff?
Black metal, Iron Maiden, Dio, Lana Del Rey, Dead Can Dance, Behemoth, Old Ozzy, AC/DC if the mood takes me.
What comes next- are there already tour plans for the next year (especially in germany)?
Andrew-We ahve a small tour planned for the December and we do play in Germany check out http://www.mydyingbride.net
for the exact date. We will be filming a video for The Poorest Waltz at then end of this month. After Xmas we will release a new EP and maybe do some more shows.
Thank you very much for the interview!
I would just like to say thank you very much for the interview and interesting questions. And a big thank you to all that follow My Dying Bride we couldn‘t be miserable without you. All Hail!
My Dying Bride / Live in Deutschland 2012:
09.12. Rockfabrik - Ludwigsburg
14.12. Batschkapp - Frankfurt
- - - Dieses Interview hat IlonA mit Andrew Craighan (guit.) via E-Mail geführt.
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