Behold the Bride
An interview with England's My Dying Bride
by: Adrian Bromley
Few bands of the gothic/doom metal variety have stirred up as much press and critical acclaim than English sextet My Dying Bride. The band has worked hard to gain fans worldwide with each release, and as the years go on, the band also manages to shapeshift their sound, making minor adjustments on the way to perfecting their sound and style. Their most recent transformation: _Like Gods of the Sun_.

"We had a natural progression happen with this record, something that always seems to happen with the music of My Dying Bride", reveals guitarist Calvin over the phone from Mayhem/Fierce offices in New York when discussing the change in _LGotS_. "We didn't have any guidelines or instructions of what the next album was going to sound like. There was no real conscious effort to change the sound of My Dying Bride." He adds, "I think this is our heaviest album we have ever done in regards to the production and overall sound of the album. It still holds a lot of the imagery, atmosphere, and emotions that have been carried throughout early MDB releases, but with a harder edge to the overall sound."

Since forming in 1990, the band has released many EPs and numerous LPs. Following two successful demos in 1990, in 1992 the band released their first full-length LP, _As the Flower Withers_. The band gradually moved onto releasing their sophomore effort _Turn Loose the Swans_ in 1993, a collaboration of all EPs entitled _Trinity_ in 1995, and in 1996 we saw _Angel and the Dark River_ released. About not fitting into one set style or sound, Calvin says, "We have done that since the first few demos or releases. We have always done what we wanted and never really catered to anyone or even the record company. We never went out to find or produce a hit single. We just created music close to us."

Calvin, along with the other members of the band - Aaron (singer), Andrew (guitar), Martin (keyboard/violin), bassist Adrian and drummer Rick - are concerned with one thing right now: touring. Seeing that the album was released in October 1996 in Europe, the band has already done some shows in Europe in support of the new LP. As singer Aaron had mentioned in the last interview with My Dying Bride (CoC #8/March 96), the band has had a hard time cracking the U.S. market or even tour here. While the band is a huge force in Europe, Stateside it is almost nothing. That may change, says Calvin. "I think the success of many acts in territories is the live aspect, being able to get out there and play to people no matter how many show up to the show. You have to show respect to the people that have supported you. When we started going out on tour in the beginning in 1991 or 1992 throughout Europe, the shows were small, but you go out and you hope to build up a fan base. Over the years, with luck, the crowds get bigger and you are able to release albums and tour. That is the only thing that we have not been able to do in North America, and maybe why we aren't as big over here as we are back home. Hopefully that will change this year." (The band is said to be opening for Ronnie James Dio on the second leg of his North American tour in March/April.)

Unlike where the band has been able to toy with emotions or symphonic sounds on past release, _LGotS_ shows off a more vibrant and emotionally charged My Dying Bride, a more passionate and soothing element that seems to work quite effectively. Completing material for this record was a challenge as Calvin will explain. "It was very difficult for us to write material in 1996 when we were beginning to write this album. There was a lot of anger in the band", reveals Calvin. "We have always been content with each other on other releases. But this time out it was a struggle to get material and ideas to surface. We had writer's block I believe. I don't really want to use that expression but I think that is the best description of what happened to us. It depicts what went on." He continues, "It took us almost three months to sift through and create new music for the album. We weren't happy with what we were writing. Then we began to get our act together and something happened and then we came together and were able to create music for this album - all within the span of four weeks", states Calvin.

One of the most interesting aspects of the band's latest LP is the reason/story behind the use of the title _Like Gods of the Sun_. Calvin explains. "It is about the relationship between two people, whether they be a man and a woman or whatever. It is about their love and passion for each other. It is that strong and if you could imagine what the gods of the sun would be, then the size of their passion would be that size too."

As most bands change style and sound, so do the people that create them. When asked the question, 'How have you changed as a musician?', Calvin had to give it a bit of thought. "I think we have all matured over the years. When we started we were more of a death metal-influenced band. Now we have changed, and as a person I have changed. I am now married and I settled down into a house. Everything that you do in your life affects your writing and music. We are more content and calmer in our lives so we can focus more clearly and effectively on our writing now. It is easier to write what we feel."

"Music has now become a full-time profession for us now", notes Calvin. "We don't have to hold any daytime jobs. We can now concentrate on creating music all the time now and working on material. It's great. We are now doing what we always wanted to do with our lives and not do music as a hobby anymore. To be able to do this is an unbelievable accomplishment for us."

(article submitted 9/4/1997)


CHATS
7/3/2002 P Azevedo My Dying Bride: Thus Spake the Wretched
1/14/2002 A Bromley My Dying Bride: The Hand of Doom
12/9/1999 P Azevedo My Dying Bride: The Bride Returns to the Bleak Rainy Moors
11/19/1998 P Azevedo My Dying Bride: The Bride No Longer Wears Black
3/14/1996 A Bromley My Dying Bride: Dying With Pride
ALBUMS
11/27/2012 P Azevedo 8.5 My Dying Bride - A Map of All Our Failures
6/15/2009 K Sarampalis 6.5 My Dying Bride - For Lies I Sire
7/13/2008 P Azevedo 7 My Dying Bride - An Ode to Woe
10/23/2006 P Azevedo 7.5 My Dying Bride - A Line of Deathless Kings
9/26/2006 P Azevedo 7.5 My Dying Bride - Deeper Down EP
12/17/2005 Q Kalis My Dying Bride - Anti-Diluvian Chronicles
10/10/2005 P Azevedo 9 My Dying Bride - Sinamorata DVD
3/23/2004 P Azevedo 9 My Dying Bride - Songs of Darkness, Words of Light
7/3/2002 P Azevedo 9.5 / 9 My Dying Bride - For Darkest Eyes DVD
Anathema - A Vision of a Dying Embrace DVD
7/3/2002 P Azevedo 10 My Dying Bride - The Voice of the Wretched
10/19/2001 P Azevedo 9 My Dying Bride - The Dreadful Hours
8/12/2001 P Azevedo 8.5 My Dying Bride - Meisterwerk II
1/10/2001 P Azevedo 8 My Dying Bride - Meisterwerk I
12/9/1999 P Azevedo 9 My Dying Bride - The Light at the End of the World
11/19/1998 P Azevedo 7 My Dying Bride - 34.788%... Complete
2/4/1997 P Azevedo 10 My Dying Bride - Like Gods of the Sun
3/14/1996 A Bromley 8 My Dying Bride - The Angel and the Dark River
GIGS
7/3/2002 P Azevedo My Dying Bride / Mysterium Catharsis in Doom
3/13/2001 V Anderson My Dying Bride / Katatonia / Soundisciples / Beyond Dawn / Thine The Snow in Their Hearts
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