"Heat expands: in the summer the days are longer."
INTERVIEW WITH MY DYING BRIDE
by Richard Karsmakers
After I had finished my attempt at interviewing the members of
Anathema on that Saturday evening, February 19th, I asked Darren,
their vocalist, if he could perhaps introduce me to the members
of My Dying Bride so that I could have a go at an interview with
them, too. My Dying Bride were in the dressing room next door
(Noorderligt has at least three dressing rooms, which I consider
a lot for such a small venue).
Somewhat enawed and bemused I entered the dressing room where
sat the members of my favourite doom metal band. In a somewhat
secluded corner sat vocalist Aaron, attempting to sleep a bit on
a couch. The other members were just talking, some of them
entertaining a few OK looking blonde girls that were evidently
either some girlfriends or True Fans of some kind. I was
introduced to Ade, My Dying Bride bass player, who was going to
suffer through my questions and leave the others off the hook.
First I had my usual "what's your full names and dates of birth"
question, however, so I even went as far as interrupting Aaron
from his attempt at a snooze, which he either didn't mind or very
well conceiled the irritation of.
Ade: I'm Ade, full name Adrian Richard Winfield, born June 12th
1970, and I play bass in My Dying Bride.
Aaron: He just used up most of your tape with his full name.
Anyway, I'm Aaron. I was born in '68. November 12th.
Andy: I'm Andy, I play guitar in My Dying Bride, and I was born
18-7-70 (originally he claimed having been born on 6-6-66, which
seems to be some kind of standard joke in the world of Peaceville
music, much to the amusement of all present as usual).
Calvin: I'm Calvin, I play guitar in My Dying Bride, and I was
born on the 20th of October 1970.
Martin: I'm Martin Powell, and I play violin and keyboard in My
Dying Bride. I was born on July 19th 1973.
In retrospect I was struck by their young ages; I had previously
assumed them to be my age or something. Their drummer, Rick,
wasn't to be seen anywhere until I saw him when they started
playing, about two hours later.
Ade and me sat back in some seclusion, opposite Aaron who
couldn't care less and seemed to doze comfortably despite our
talking and Sad Whisperings' continued playing not at all far
off. Ade acted a lot more professional than the Anathema band
members. He also seemed as sober as a Buddhist Monk.
Well, Ade, thanks for wanting to talk to me. To form some kind
of picture of you, I'd like to know, for example, what the first
album was you ever bought, and what album made the biggest
impression on you as a whole.
Ade: My first album was AC/DC, probably "Back in Black" or
"Highway to Hell", when I was about 15. I've got a lot of
favourite LPs. I got into Joe Satriani when I was about 16; his
guitar work made a big impression on me, he puts a lot of feeling
and expression in his music and stuff. I also like a lot of
classical music that influences me in various ways. But I haven't
got a specific definite LP that made the most impression on me.
You have just released an EP, "I Am The Bloody Earth". Is there
any chance of you being able to tell us something about your next
full-length album already?
Ade: We have to write it first, because we are still very busy
after the last LP. We've done a six week tour at the end of last
year, we're going to eastern Europe in April, and there's a
possibility of going to Australia in June/July time. We don't
really have a lot of time to sit down and write new stuff at the
moment, so when we have time we're gonna write some new songs and
see what we come up with. And then we'll just take it from there.
Most probably not this year, not unless we rush it which we're
not likely to do.
OK. On to the 'favourites' department. What's your favourite
band, food, bass player, writer, drink?
Ade: My favourite band must be a choice between Voivod and the
Swans at the moment. My favourite drink is bitter, a kind of
English beer. I like most Italian food, or curries. My favourite
bassist is Stuart Hamm (who played with Joe Satriani on some
tours, and who has released three solo albums, ED.). I saw
Satriani and Hamm on the "Flying in a Blue Dream" tour in Leeds.
It was absolutely amazing. My favourite writer currently is Greg
Bear, a science finction author. I got about six or seven of his
books and they're really excellent.
My Dying Bride does a lot to the genre, innovation and all. Is
there a genre that you can't at all relate to?
Ade: I don't like basic cabaret type music, the kind of stuff
you get at holiday camps. Jazz has me a bit confused, too; I like
some of it but most of it just seems like absolutely rubbish. It
sounds like they're all...the drummer is just drumming about and
the guitarist is just playing...it's supposed to be really
technical and intelligent. But most of it hasn't got a definite
tune to it, it just sortof flows on, you know, and does whatever
it likes. I like a little bit of jazz but that's about it.
Right. On to the "words to react to" bit.
Ade: I haven't got it [at home], but "commercialism" springs to
mind. I think the only bands that get on MTV are the really big,
successful bands. Bands like ourselves, we do a new release and
our video only gets played 2 or 3 times. MTV also seems to be a
perpetual advert for itself. Between every video or two you get a
10 second advertisement for itself, and you're watching the
bloody channel! It just gets in the way and the presenters are
crap and they just seem to repeat the same loop of records.
Ade: Nice guy, and our boss. he's very helpful towards us. If
there's anything we want we just have to go up to him and ask him
and he'll do his best to help us out. Obviously he helped us
initially to get the money to get the band together and do our
initial recordings. He's really a good lad, he's more like a
friend than a boss. You couldn't ask for a better boss. "Hammy,
we love you."
Ade: They're all right. We've had some disagreements sortof in
the past with them. But that was just sortof bickering, you know,
we ripped something from them, they said, and we wrote something
back and that's it really. Maybe one of us just got the wrong end
of the stick. It was a bit pointless and it's all sorted itself
out. We'd like to be friends with them because they're from the
same area and play the same vein of music. I like some of their
stuff, especially the recent stuff, it's very good.
Ade: I love Holland. It's great. All the people are really
friendly and all. It's a completely different world to England.
In England all the pubs close at maybe 11, but in Holland you can
go out all night and get a coffee late at night, because you
don't wanna go out all night every night and get pissed and drink
loads and loads of beer. Here you can sit and have a coffee even
late at night.
We're at the subject of beer now. What do you think of Dutch
Ade: It's nice! I haven't got a favourite brand, I like it all.
No specific brand sticks to mind. White beer is quite nice.
Ade: I'm not politically inclined at all. I think politicians
are just bickering. I think they should get together and sort
things out instead of just shouting at each other. The house of
parliament is just like a zoo. It's sad.
Ade: It's good fun. We enjoy touring. Last tour we had to travel
in vans, which was a bit of a mistake on our part as it's a bit
uncomfortable with nine people sitting in a Transit van for 5 or
6 hours. But we enjoy touring and seeing different places and
meeting all kinds of different people and stuff.
Ade: I enjoy interviews. We don't refuse any interviews at all.
If somebody writes to us we reply too. It's a way of
communicating our feelings about the band, our music, and stuff
Is there a question you've never been asked but would really
like to be asked one day? You must have had zillions of questions
but not THAT particular one.
Ade: I don't specifically want question. We just answer the
questions that the reviewer wants. I am not requesting them to
ask anything. I think they usually ask intelligent questions most
of the time. So, no, there isn't one really.
Last question - are your songs wholly or in part
Ade: Calvin and Andy write most of the music, and Martin writes
the violin and keyboard parts, of course, and I put little bits
in, and Aaron writes all the lyrics. They're not particularly
autobiographical. We don't set out to make a certain point about
anything. We don't say "you must do this" or "you must do that",
or "what's going wrong here" or anything like that. There's a lot
of feeling and atmosphere in a song though.
I ended by asking them whether please, please they would
consider doing me a favour and play their "Symphonaire Infernus
et Spera Empyrium" in full. Apart from the fact that he explained
to me that actually this means "Symphony of Hell to the Spheres
of Heaven" he had to disappoint me. They had many songs to play,
many of them quite long, so it was out of the question.
Too bad, really.
After the interview I got into the concert hall itself, where I
witnessed the last five minutes of Sad Whisperings. The rest of
this concert experience is covered in another ST NEWS article.
Here I'd just like to mention that the next day, on my way back
from Tilburg to Utrecht, I saw Herman Brood (of Herman Brood and
his Wild Romance, "Saturday Night") in the train. No kiddin'. He
was carrying three paintings and looking as if his mind was
That weekend I had definitely had my share of celebrities.
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