My Dying Bride interview (10/2005)

With: Aaron Stainthorpe [Vocals]
Conducted by: KwonVerge
Published: 26.10.2005

Band profile:

My Dying Bride

- First of all Aaron I'd love congratulate you for your latest official full-length release, "Songs Of Darkness, Words Of Light", and the new DVD of My Dying Bride, the exceptional "Sinamorata".

Aaron: Thank you very much. We put a lot of effort into these projects and it's nice to get complimented for that.

- Would you mind telling us a few words concerning the recordings of "Songs Of Darkness, Words Of Light"? How much time did you spend in the studio and how did you feel recording the successor of a great album, "The Dreadful Hours"?

Aaron: Actually, the recording is always a bit boring because you have to listen to the same song over & over again and it gets very dull. We knew we had to top The Dreadful Hours and I think we achieved that with a more mature approach to song writing.

- So… "Songs Of Darkness, Words Of Light", the title is quite obscure, poetic though, since there are no words of light in the compositions for the lyrics drown in sorrow, hate, despair, pain and other doomed emotions. The songs are of darkness, truly; how do you conceive the "words of light" part of the title?

Aaron: It's temptation. We lead the viewer into believing there may be a ray of hope in the recording somewhere, but when they listen to it from start to finish they realize it was all a lie. Like the Sirens that lure sailors to their doom with promises of delight.

- Concerning the cover of "Songs Of Darkness, Words Of Light" now. It is one of the most beautiful covers you ever had, not that simplistic as most of the covers of your previous releases, yet affected, dark, sinister, poetic and with its very own morbid beauty. How do you think it paces with the overall atmosphere of the album?

Aaron: It fits well with the overall feel of the LP although it is looking a little dated already. It's a 'nice' cover in a very morbid kind of way.

- The production is wonderful for one more time and it helps the overall haunting and darkened atmosphere of the album become more vivid and expressive and also makes the, for one more time, fabulous and inspired compositions sound even greater. Would you consider it as one of the best productions you ever had?

Aaron: I think so yes, an so it should be. If your production gets worse then you are doing something wrong. With each release, a band should be getting better.

- "Songs Of Darkness, Words Of Light" has a more raw sound if you ask me and the guitars have a more sharp approach in the way they sound in the album, without losing in expression and, also, without leaving behind the more emotional or more atmospheric moments that have always been a part of My Dying Bride. Did you want to achieve such a sound or it just came out this way?

Aaron: I leave all that up to Andrew & Hamish. It all sound the same to me but those guys love it.

- I, personally, think that with this album you took your sound a few steps further by achieving a more various face as a band with some songs flowing as if you were watching a theatrical play, songs like "Catherine Blake" that is and flows like a story with your vocals varying on the way you express yourself making the dramatic touch more and more intense. What's your point of view on this?

Aaron: It's true that I am trying to suit my vocals to different characters in the songs that we write these days, which makes sense really. In the past I mostly screamed the vocal no matter what or who the character was. It's good to get into character because it adds another few levels to the songs.

- The album flows beautifully as one and there in the middle lies a romantic ballad-like composition, "My Wine In Silence", a composition sounding a bit different from the overall feeling of the album, yet pacing so beautifully with it in a unique way, evoking a deeply serene and, at the same time, melancholic feeling in the heavy air. Would you mind telling us a few words about this composition that I so deeply adore? And also, could you please give more light in the parts of the song where you scream in a psychotic way?

Aaron: Well now, I generally don't go into my writing too deeply because I like the listener to create a vision in their imagination of what that songs is to them, but I can say that I wrote that song when my woman was far from me and my heart was aching. The screaming part I did not like and so deleted it from the re-mix which is on Anti Diluvian Chronicles.

- As I said above, this is probably the time when you experiment the most with your vocals. Whether you recite, whisper, grunt in a more brutal way or a more howling one, sing or even recite in a movie-like way you sound utterly expressive giving meaning to every single word you utter. What should someone expect from Aaron Stainthorpe as a singer/actor/poet in the drama of My Dying Bride in the forthcoming future?

Aaron: Well those are very kind words thank you. The future will be similar to the present but hopefully with even more originality and better, well constructed songs. The emotion will always be there as I simply cannot perform in a mediocre way.

- Would you mind telling us a few words concerning the lyrical part of "Songs Of Darkness, Words Of Light"? For one more time you pour yourself in a world of emotions only you can express in such a vivid and expressive way losing yourself there where only you can find the ideal words to express in the most ideal way what lies deep in you. When is the ideal moment for you to pour yourself in your lyrics that are pure poetry to my eyes?

Aaron: It may sound a little cliché but I only write late at night with a bottle of red wine and lots of candles. Why? Because the house is always quiet and no-one will disturb me, and the wine eases out the emotions that lay dormant in the dark area's of my mind. I cannot write during the day. This is for living. The night is for other matters…..

- Let's move to "Sinamorata", your new DVD. What does the title mean and why did you choose it?

Aaron: It's from the word Innamorata which means to be in love with a woman, but we added the S to make it slightly more Sinful.

- In my opinion this DVD is a must-have for all the My Dying Bride fans that didn't have the chance to see you live yet since the band interprets the compositions perfectly on stage and you, Aaron, seem to be living every single moment of the show, every single word you utter, every single move you make. I, personally, remained speechless when I saw your interpretation on "A Kiss To Remember", I couldn't believe my eyes. How is it for you when you are on stage?

Aaron: It is a terrifying place to be for me and I would prefer not to be there at all! When I perform, I get myself into the same mood as when I wrote the lyrics and that's not an especially happy place to be. I am literally dying on stage and I would prefer it if we never had to play live but the rest of the band love it so I go along with it.

- What do these symbols that are painted on your hands mean to you? Do they have a specific meaning or they are just abstract shapes?

Aaron: I only paint my hands 20 minutes before we go on stage, when my mind is going crazy and my heart is ripping itself apart. Those symbols mean nothing but are expressions of my inner thoughts at that time. I am in a terrible dream-like state when I do it so I suppose there must be some meaning there.

- Why did you choose to dress in utter white at the show instead of black? I, personally, liked it and it gave me an intense sense of insanity and twisted despair.

Aaron: I always wanted a pure white stage outfit (as well as a black one of course) and "…Words of Light" allowed me to do this. I am the vocalist and so words of light (from the outfit) pour from me. And it looks rather cool too.

- The songs you chose for this show come from your latest releases, without forgetting though some glorious moments of your history that come from the past of the band. I bowed in front of the band when my eyes attended the grandeur of "Sear Me", one of the most recognizable My Dying Bride compositions ever. The choice of compositions is wonderful and you interpret them in the most appropriate way. Why did you choose mainly songs coming from the latest years of the band?

Aaron: Naturally it gets more and more difficult to pick the set list with each passing LP because the songs count increases so we always have problems. We do try to include at least one song from each LP but even this small offering is sometimes not an option. We try to please ourselves first, then the public but inevitably will miss out something the fans love.

- What "bothered" me enough up to an extent were the reactions of the audience. Well, there were moments that there was headbanging and the audience was more upbeat, but… most of time the audience seemed to me lifeless, just starring at the band. They could have been more alive and be a vivid audience, your music is not only for starring at the band, but also headbang and enjoy yourself in more dynamic ways. What's your point of view?

Aaron: I don't even notice the audience. They can do whatever they like and it will make no difference to me. Our music is quite varied so I imagine not a lot of movement happens as we're not Slayer. Everyone knows what to expect from us and a mosh-pit is generally not part of that.

- What I really adored concerning "Sinamorata" was the fact that you used material that the fans of the band made for you. I respect the fact that you showed your respect to those following you for years now and feel the band so deeply. Not everyone offers music videos that were made by fans. Generally, the bonus features were something wonderful to be a part of "Sinamorata". All in all, it's a wonderful offer for the fans of the band.

Aaron: Yes, we thought we'd give something back to the fans by including some of their My Dying Bride inspired work on the DVD, and they loved it. Some of it is good and some is not so good but it's the fact that we inspired them to get creative that is the important thing.

- Not only you are an utterly emotional and deeply expressive interpreter, not only your lyrics are pure poetry, you also are an artistic spirit when it comes to artworks, having designed artworks of My Dying, but also other artworks that never became part of the band, yet they are wonderful, some of them mourning, some others abstract, others obscure or melancholic. Would you mind telling us a few words about this artistic part of yours?

Aaron: The art is created very much in the same way as the lyrics; late at night with a few glasses of wine. If I can't think of a good subject to write about then I get visual and try that angle. Most of my material is very abstract because that's what's running through my mind when I create them, and I often look back at some of them and wonder what the hell was wrong with me at that time. I like dark and erotic art and am continuing to add to my portfolio all the time. Have a look at but be warned; it's all a bit weird. It's my personal thing so I don't expect people to enjoy looking at things they don't understand.

- Would you mind telling us, concerning your musical preferences, who is your favorite non-metal artist and which is your most beloved non-metal album?

Aaron: I adore Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and especially "Murder Ballads" but I also love Dead Can Dance "The Serpents Egg" and Swans "White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity".

- What lies in the depths of Aaron Stainthorpe's world?

Aaron: Even I am not privy to that information. I'm not sure any of us really know what's deep inside but it's certainly an experience finding out.

- Aaron, how do you feel when you look back in the past? Which where your dreams when you formed My Dying Bride back in the birth of the 90s and how do you feel nowadays seeing that you have come so far and you have become a milestone name in the world of the 90s doom metal scene?

Aaron: When we first formed we naturally wanted to make a record and that was one of our goals. Then, to play live in Europe too. We were very lucky in that we achieved both in the first 2 years. I honestly don't have any goals any more for My Dying Bride as we have done everything I ever wanted, for which I am very proud and happy.

- Well, some time has passed from the moment "Songs Of Darkness, Words Of Light" came out, are you working on new compositions? What should we expect from My Dying Bride in the forthcoming future? Any plans on the horizon for a new album? And if so, could you give us any clue of how it may sound?

Aaron: We have only just begun writing the next LP and so it is far too early to tell you anything about the sound and structure yet, however we have booked the studio for next April so hopefully the next MDB outing will be October/November 2006 with a European tour to follow.

- Almost three years have passed from the moment you played live here in Greece, I guess the time has come for you to pay us another visit, you can't imagine how many people are waiting to see live for the first time and, at the same time, how many are dying to live once again how it feels to see the doom/death metal colossus bearing the name My Dying Bride! Any plans for Greece?

Aaron: We had a great time before and were due to come back earlier this year but couldn't make it sadly, but we will certainly return. The people we met were very friendly and had a vast knowledge of My Dying Bride which was great.

- Aaron, I'd like to thank you wholeheartedly for this interview, it was an honor interviewing one of the greatest personalities of the metal scene for me. Thanks a lot for the beautiful music throughout the years, may you keep on filling our nighttime with intense emotions! "Sleeping with the earth, My Dying Bride". End the interview in any way you like…

Aaron: Well, thank you for you uplifting words. They are very much appreciated. We do hope you all continue to enjoy the things that we do and hopefully we'll get back over to Greece in the not too distant future.
Many thanks

Many thx, to Aaron and Lisa of Peaceville. Pictures by Lady Morgana


Posted on 26.10.2005 by "It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."

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