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Interview

My Dying Bride Guitarist Andrew Craighan Discusses "Feel The Misery" And The Band's Legacy

Last month, British doom metal legends My Dying Bride released their twelfth studio album, "Feel The Misery," (reviewed here) and this year also sees the band celebrating their twenty fifth year as a band. To get a clearer idea of where the band stand on these matters and indeed their state today, guitarist Andrew Craighan was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions.

Diamond Oz: First of all, thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions. I suppose the bestplace to start would be with your forthcoming new album, “Feel the Misery.” Having witnessed your set at this year’s edition of Graspop Metal Meeting, I have to say the title perfectly sums up a live performance from yourselves. Was this where the record’s name came from?

Andrew Craighan: Not entirely, but I can see why you might say that. Also that particular Graspop show was special, they don’t always go like that. Our shows do have a certain angst attached to them sometimes. But the title comes from a sense of despair that we are all genuinely doomed. Feel The Misery is a sort of tongue in cheek dig at established religions…well the fighting ones anyway. You can’t preach love and peace while using and RPG, for example, but you can deliver misery with it. We avoid overly political lyrics and art, but this is more or less where we stand on this and without giving away all the cover’s secrets is what it basically represents.

Diamond Oz: The title as a mission statement is a very successful one. “A Cold New Curse,” for example, left me with my head in my hands and my hyperactive dog lay down with a forlorn expression throughout the album. Do you feel this is your most miserable album to date?

Andrew Craighan: No, I think “A Map Of All Our Failures” was that. This is by no means a sunshine beach party classic, but as for out and out misery paradoxically, no. It has more to offer – stronger more direct songs, more hints of death doom through fog cloaked slithering ambience. It’s a more colourful record even if they are mostly hints of colour that’s actually bleakness.

Diamond Oz :Given your reputation as one of the most depressing bands in metal, what is it about despair, and more aptly misery, that has spurred you on for twenty five years now? Do you feel that the emotion is inseparable from the band?

Andrew Craighan: I have no idea how it came to this to be honest, we just do what we do and it somehow is always doom. I’m not saying I’d change that however, but as for having this type of emotional attachment, it seems pretty much part of our musical repertoire now.

Diamond Oz: As I mentioned, the album marks the band’s twenty fifth anniversary. During this time, you’ve been recognised as one the most crucial aspects in launching the death/doom metal sub-genre, headlined festivals and released twelve (studio) albums now. What to you is the most significant aspect of reaching the quarter of a century mark, and what’s kept My Dying Bride continuing as strong as ever for this long?

Andrew Craighan: I personally enjoy doing this, so I think the most significant part is probably the surprise that we got to 25 years, followed by releasing a good record we all enjoy too. On a more personal note I always wanted to be in and band when I was a kid and got to do that fairly early on. As long as I am able and happy doing it I’ll keep at it. I guess that’s the same for the others two, well the older ones. We would keep doing this on the pay we get if we didn’t like it, and there’s no one to ask for a raise from so we best just shut up and crack on for another 25.

Diamond Oz: During this whole time, you’ve only been with Peaceville Records. What’s the secret to such a fruitful partnership?

Andrew Craighan: So far they have always been the best label for the band, simple as that. They leave us alone to do our thing and do their job for the best part of it without fault. They’re not perfect, but who is? It’s a label for bands to be free to be what they want, we like that ethos.

Diamond Oz: Having been around for so long, do you still hope to attract new fans to your music or do you feel you’re secure enough that new listeners are a bonus and that your ultimate aim should be to satisfy yourselves first?

Andrew Craighan: Well we now firstly make sure we are prepared to stand by it. If we can’t 666% say we love what we do, it’s difficult to expect anyone else to. As for new fans, we seem to be doing quite well in that respect too. I mean we’re not Kiss or anything but considering what we’re actually doing it’s going well.

Diamond Oz: You’ll be participating in the popular 70,000 Tons of Metal tour next year. Having played on it before, I assume you find it an enjoyable experience? Did you have any reservations about how well your bleak music would go down on a cruise around the Caribbean?

Andrew Craighan: Well I’ve said this before but it’s worth saying again, the irony of playing a song called “Feel The Misery” on that cruise is not lost on me one bit. As for how well we would be received, after the last time we played I would say people like being reminded that there are lots of metals styles and the one My Dying Bride play from England is called Doom. We had two great shows and both were well attended by basically a global beach party of all things. Wonderfully inappropriate attire for a My Dying Bride gig.

Diamond Oz: (At the time of writing this, 70,000... is the only tour date listed) What do you have planned in terms of live shows following the journey? Do you feel you have the opportunity with this album to reach countries you’ve never played before?

Andrew Craighan: We’re seriously looking into Australia (again) for definite and we are presently preparing a small European tour for 2016, amongst some rather top level festivals. To be honest gigging is the only part of My Dying Bride we have no real control over. We can only go when the time and opportunity arise. And as much as we get lots of emails saying, “play here or there, you would sell the place out” the reality is the local promoters (quite wisely) don’t always agree and we can’t force that issue.

Diamond Oz: Thank you once again for speaking to us. Do you have any parting words for our readers?

Andrew Craighan: Thanks for the interview. Please keep a close watch on our web page and Facebook too…we may be playing near you (probably not).

For more information on tour dates and more, you can check out My Dying Bride's official website at MyDyingBride.net or their official Facebook page, which can be found here.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

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3 Comments on "My Dying Bride Guitarist Talks 'Feel The Misery'"

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Rex_84's avatar

Writer

1. Rex_84 writes:

Excellent interview, Oz. In my opinion, My Dying Bride is the absolute best doom band on the planet. I loved your question about their music being so sad and despair driven. That violin weeps audio tears.

# Oct 7, 2015 @ 3:52 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
RememberMetal?'s avatar

Writer/Reviewer

2. RememberMetal? writes:

I've been following this band since the 90's and they've been one of the most consistent and compelling acts of their genre. A Map of All Our Failures is a tough act to follow but I've been saying that since The Angel and the Dark River. :)

I actually haven't had the time, money, or presence of mind to pick up the new one but I will be shortly. An album buying binge draws near and this will be the first I grab.

# Oct 7, 2015 @ 10:42 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

3. Diamond Oz writes:

Cheers Rex!

# Oct 8, 2015 @ 4:00 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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