As you may be aware, we arranged this interview a while ago, and planned to make it a two-part one, with the second batch of questions being based on the initial answers. However, after receiving them our editor Venitia, who was conducting it, mysteriously disappeared without a trace. We're sure she'll come back to us one day and we'll be able to finish this, but with the material contained in this interview being very time-sensitive, we decided to go ahead and post whatever we have right now. (And we've had it for a couple of weeks already).
This part of the interview consists entirely of Potrokh's questions to Andrew, MDB's main guitarist and composer. Our apologies to all who aren't going to see their questions here, we'll post them eventually.
Potrokh: I can't help asking what your response has been to the latest events in America? Are you with the majority who favor war? Do you think it'll make the world safer?
Andrew: I don't think all out traditional style war is the answer here. I mean, where is the enemy exactly, are all talibans terrorists?
I do believe though in a covert side to it track key people and kill them, i also think stopping the flow of drug money from these countries who favour terrorism is good and agree whole-heartedly in their destruction. Then close down the from the outside all those who actively speak out in favour of terrorism.
I do think it totally ironic how the Americans are flying the world flag of anti terrorism now, considering how a great deal of them have helped in keeping the IRA's bomb cupboard full for quite some time. Remember this next time the tin is shaken.
P: Correct me if I'm wrong - was it Bradford where serious ethnic clashes happened just a month or two ago? Do you feel those might be all parts of one big picture - Bosnia, Chechnya, Macedonia, and now the World Trade Center attack?
A: I don't see the idiots in Bradford at that scale just yet, but in time that is exactly what will happen. They cheered a lot when the news broke about the terrorist attack, and fired fireworks in the air. They make me fucking puke!
P: You are obviously old enough to have witnessed the drastic changes the world has gone through in the past 10 - 15 years - demise of ideologies and tyrants, collapse of empires, great hopes in the beginning and bitter disillusions by now... Don't you find it ironic that after ALL that big fuss it looks like it's all going to end in a clash of the oldest (and, after all, the most ultimate) ideologies ever - religions? That after some 800 years of renaissance, revolutions, science and political correctness the cycle has ended exactly where Richard Lionheart and company started it? Does a prospect of living in such a world make you feel disgusted? Are you pessimistic or optimistic about it?
A: If you want blood and all that... we should allow them all to marytred it's what they would like after all.
P: Speaking of ideology - is there such a thing as "My Dying Bride ideology"? Let me elaborate, to make my point clearer -- most of you have been together for many years and don't show signs of anymosity toward each other, which suggests you are more than just "guys playing in the same band". Therefore, there have got to be things that bond you as friends and partners! (Or is it just booze? :)) Most doom bands are known to be on the "hippie" side, After all, label names like Peaceville don't just happen out of the blue! Do you believe in any kind of stuff like that? Also, I know you are not big fans of religion, is that common with you all, as well?
A: We don't have a set philosphy in the band that has to be adhered to, we do fortunately follow similar mindsets regarding the execution of our music and what we as people choose have around us. We like dark music and yet are not dark people.
We do beleive that if you remove religion there will be not a great deal to divide us by, as a race of people on one planet.
P: There was one exception, to the hippie looks, however - Calvin looked... (a bit too trendy, maybe?) to mix in, am I right? Do you think he wasn't too interested in what you guys were doing at that point already?
Could you provide us with some details on what led to the departure of three out of six founding members? We all know Rick got sick (you ALL looked very tired at that Dio show, yet played like gods despite that!) and you guys don't like talking about it, but - is he OK, at least? Are you still seeing each other? Is it the same with Martin and Calvin? Are you still friends? Are they playing anywhere?
A: Calvin rebeled against the band in that way, it wasn't that he wasn't with us at that time mentally he just chose to be different. I can't really talk for Calvin as he may want his private life, you know private. But we are still very much in contact as he does our tour managing now. He left us at that time as he was simply burnt out and not interested in MDB anymore it was not a fall out or anything like that. Rick too was a bit disillusioned with the band after the American tour with Dio he saw the band putting in serious hours to very little back from the record company and no financial gain. (We don't live from this) and chose back then to leave, his departure was not so pleasant though but we have since got over that and are moving on. We are still good friends with Martin and wish him all the best with Ladle of Pils his new drinking band.
P: You once said that the experimental nature of "34.8.. complete" wasn't exactly your fault, and you're perfectly happy returning to the heavier roots. Was it mainly Calvin's influence, then, given that you two were the primary composers in the band at that time? And what is the situation like now? Do any of the other members write music? And is it because of you that we're starting to hear more and more black overtones? And if so, are we going to hear something similar to Cradle Of Filth in your next work? :)
A: Yeah, 34% was not something i would take on again. It was a very difficult time for the band and not everybody was involved in the recording of the l.p. I myself only played on one track and Calvin did the rest. We did write the l.p. together though, but difficulties with Bill caused me to take a step back, something i have lived to regret but will never repeat. It is a strong record for very different reasons though, and it is surprising how many people who were unsure back then, now rave about it, simply because it is so different but they still have the dark doomy MDB to fall back on.
I prefer the darker songs I admit but you have to see some light just to know where the real darkness lies. I wrote 99% of "The Light at The End Of The World" but the new guys get some bits in on the new one, simply because they have good idea's. No Cradle though for me, I like their racket but I consider MDB to be a lot more eloquent and with more sublety than them.
P: I likened you to the "doom" ilk above, I know it might sound wrong, as you're much more than that, but - what do you classify yourselves as nowadays? You denied any gothic influence in the past, yet now that the term has expanded tremendously, you admit to it. At the same time, doom doesn't just mean bands like Cathedral anymore... Is "Gothic Doom" an appropriate definition?
A: I think Dark Metal is pretty much where we dwell now, as crap as it sounds on paper. We are not straight Goth or Doom not even Death metal works for us anymore can we not just be a metal band.
P: Ironically, whatever it is, MDB certainly wins fans' credit for being THE true metal band after all these years, yet another cycle that brings us back in history... you used to call yourselves a METAL band above all, and that's truly what you are - I can't think of a bigger and more respectable one! And here we come to another comparison from the past. I remember, a few years back everybody liked to compare you to your "older peers", namely, Paradise Lost. Do you think they may have made a wrong turn back then? I can't tell for sure from across the ocean, but what's their situation now? Are they big? Better known? Made more money? Do you think you might want to follow suit? We know of at least one other band of the "British Big Three" who did... (I still can't stop laughing thinking of Aaron cringing whenever that band's name came up in our conversation!)
A: Right then, Metal band it is. Considering the tone of this question. Regarding Paradise Lost there can be no doubt that they have made some fucking very good decisions, both musically and financially. They were a top metal but i have to admit in not knowing a lot about their music even though I regularly see Gregg in the pub. Talk of the other band is simply that we think they are avante -garde. Nuff said.
P: Well, being the kings of metal alone still doesn't make you a living. Or does it? Is your new contract with Peaceville going to provide you with a nice retirement package after all? I was shocked to learn that Aaron quit school at the age of 15, is it similar with the rest of you? Have you always known you'd be a rock star and never bothered with education or a daytime job? And do you hope to be doing this until you are the Rolling Stones of metal, or have you considered any other options like Aaron and his art, for example?
A: Kings of nothing. We work hard for a living and the band is not it. We have secret lives. We are educated enough now but never thought we would become rockstars and never will. No matter how many records we sell we will still be mad as fuck punters getting in your way after the gig at the bar. You ask anyone.
On the question of art, I think a lot of it is just rich kids shit, the rest is poor kids shit. But what do I know.
Ok if you want to elaborate on one or two points I am willing to bore you more.
And Darkest Regards