My Dying Bride were formed in Bradford in the north of England in June 1990 after guitarist Andrew Craighan and drummer Rick Miah co-formed the band after they had split from Abiosis, joining vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe and guitarist Calvin Robertshaw while ending Abiosis. After six months of rehearsing, the band recorded and released their demo, Towards the Sinister, which was produced by Tim Walker of Voltage Records. Its title was taken from a line in the song "Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium". The band would soon release their first single, "God Is Alone", on a small French label called Listenable. After the single had sold out almost immediately, they were picked up by Peaceville Records, and they could release their first EP, Symphonaire Infernus Et Spera Empyrium, which also featured their latest recruit, bassist Adrian Jackson. The EP was soon followed by their first full-length album, As the Flower Withers.
As the Flower Withers was followed by a big tour in the UK and the mainland Europe, and in 1992 they recorded their next EP, The Thrash of Naked Limbs. Another tour was planned, but cancelled when their current drummer had a bad fall while shooting the accompanying video. In 1993, Martin Powell joined as My Dying Bride's keyboardist and violinist, and they started the recording of their second studio album, Turn Loose the Swans. With the joining of Martin Powell, the usage of violin increased even more since their As the Flower Withers album. The album was followed by a tour and the release of another EP, I Am the Bloody Earth, in 1994. 1995 saw the release of My Dying Bride's next album, The Angel and the Dark River. The album was followed with a successful tour with some of their first festival gigs, and soon after the fans saw the release of their first compilation album, Trinity, a collection of songs from their first three EPs. In the end of 1995, My Dying Bride travelled on a three month tour with metal band Iron Maiden.
Like Gods of the Sun continued in the direction of The Angel and the Dark River, in that it did not contain any growling vocals by Aaron Stainthorpe. This was the fourth, full length album of My Dying Bride featuring songs like "A Kiss to Remember", "For You" and "For My Fallen Angel". "For My Fallen Angel" is strictly an orchestral composition with sections of violin and synth. It is also the last MDB album to feature a violin, until For Lies I Sire. The somewhat experimental 34.788%...Complete was next, which, along with the following The Light at the End of the World, polarized fans over the band's new direction. My Dying Bride entered a hiatus after this, releasing two retrospective albums Meisterwerk 1 and Meisterwerk 2. The Meisterwerk albums are compilations that contain previously released and rare material from My Dying Bride. At the end of the hiatus Calvin Robertshaw left the band to become their tour manager and was replaced by Hamish Glencross. Originally released in 2001, The Dreadful Hours featured new material with the seventh release. The album was again engineered by Mags and co-produced by guitarist Andrew Craighan. Between 2003 and 2004, the band's label, Peaceville, re-released their entire back-catalogue in digipak format, with bonus tracks consisting of demos, remixes, and live performances added to each release (except "The Light at the End of the World").
2004's follow-up Songs of Darkness, Words of Light showed a band continuing to expand and refine their sound and purpose. A substantial increase in live performances — once an unheard-of rarity — has led to much greater recognition by a new generation of fans. The band's next release came in May 2005, when they released the fancifully titled Anti-Diluvian Chronicles, a fully-fledged best of box set featuring three discs and thirty tracks. The band spent the winter of 2005/2006 writing material for new studio album A Line of Deathless Kings. The album was released on 9 October 2006. It was preceded by the EP Deeper Down on September 18. Shortly before the release of A Line of Deathless Kings, Shaun Taylor-Steels announced his permanent departure from the band due to persistent problems with his ankle. In early 2007, Jackson announced his departure and session-drummer John Bennett from The Prophecy could no longer stay, citing a lack of time due to work commitments. Replacements were found in Lena Abé on bass and Dan Mullins on drums. In November 2008, My Dying Bride began work on their tenth studio album, entitled For Lies I Sire, which was released on 23 March 2009. Due to Sarah Stanton's pregnancy, she had been replaced on keyboards by Katie Stone, who was announced on 27 June 2008 as an official member of the band; she performed violin on For Lies I Sire. Soon after the album's release, she was replaced by Shaun MacGowan.
On 26 October 2009 saw the release of My Dying Bride's new EP/DVD, Bring Me Victory. Except for the title track and its video, it also includes a doom metal cover of the traditional song Scarborough Fair, a cover of Failure by Swans and a live version of Vast Choirs (originally from As the Flower Withers), performed at Graspop 2008. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of My Dying Bride's existence, the compilation album Evinta was released on 30 May 2011. Evinta featured previous My Dying Bride material re-worked as neo-classical and ambient songs. Soon after, the band announced the release of the EP The Barghest O' Whitby, which was released 7 November 2011, and consists of a single, 27-minute track. On 17 April 2012, it was announced that in a one-off show in Leeds, My Dying Bride will headline the Jagermeister stage at Damnation Festival 2012. The report on the festival's official website also stated that new album material would be premiered during the show. In May 2012 a list of European tour dates was announced for December that year. On 27 July 2012, the title, artwork, and tracklisting of the forthcoming 11th studio album, "A Map of All Our Failures", was announced on the band's website. It was stated that the album would be released 15 October in Europe and 16 October in the USA on CD, double vinyl & special edition CD/DVD. ( Stolen From Wikipedia )
Greetings Aaron and thank you for taking the time to do this interview. How are things?
Aaron: Hello, it's a pleasure. Things are very well with myself and the band right now, thanks.
It's been 3 years since you last album (excluding the extremely killer Evinta) and a year since your last EP, how do you feel this album compares to 'For Lies I Sire'?
Aaron: As we have matured over the last 3 years so has our music and song writing ability which I think is evident when listening to the new LP. It's a quality, mature piece of work which has evolved beautifully since For Lies I Sire.
You new album has a fairly unique title, even by your standards, where did it come from and why aren't you using your regular logo?
Aaron: Titles, as well as lyrics often just pop into my head so I scribble them down so as not to lose them. I felt a shiver when the words "A map of all our failures" made themselves known so simply had to use them for the new LP. The logo is not a precious corporate commodity for us and comes and goes as we see fit. It looked a little out of place on the new cover so we got rid of it - for now.
I was fortunate enough to hear 'Kneel Till Doomsday' and it's amazing. Once again you've managed to reinvent yourselves. It sounds like a mixture of your older sound with your current sound; never sounding too much like one or the other but rather a perfect amalgam, was this intentional or accidental?
Aaron: Sort of a bit of both. The writing and the music are very much contemporary but the recording style was more retro using valve amps, speakers and mics rather than plugging instruments straight into the recording equipment, which gave us a more older school feel, which I think works well.
Aaron: We will certainly be touring Europe and we'll do our best to come to the States - we've been badgering out promoter to get us back there for a while now as it's been ages since the Dio tour. We had a blast touring the US in 1996 so are very much looking forward to returning as soon as possible. Keep checking www.mydyingbride.net for details.
Taking break from the new album, I absolutely love Evinta. Do you think you'll ever try something like that again?
Aaron: Most certainly as Evinta represented the first 9 albums of MDB and so similarly the next Evinta will represent whatever comes after that. It will be a few years away but it's certainly coming.
You've produced a few DVD's of live shows and promo videos, will you ever have one about the bands history?
Aaron: Funnily enough the special edition of the new LP comes with a DVD with interviews with each current member discussing their views on touring and generally being in a band and as Andrew and myself are on it too, we naturally talk about the early days with plenty of old photo's to give people a laugh. It's not exactly a history of the band but it's better than nothing. Perhaps a stand-alone DVD of the History Of My Dying Bride is something we should work on for our 25th anniversary....
I loved '34.788% Complete' and was wondering when you're going to make the other 65.212%?
Aaron: It's a killer LP for sure though it's taken a lot of people several years to realize that. If we do something similar I think it might be an EP rather than a full LP as these smaller recordings are much more flexible when it comes to experimentation.
Aaron: Certainly not a concept - I can't see a thread and I'd be amused and somewhat astonished if someone could create a narrative throughout the whole LP which made any sense. I quite like concept albums but we've yet to create one - perhaps an idea for the future.
I've read that 'The Barghest o' Whitby' was originally going to be a series of EP's, will you try to make a series of albums or EP's at some point?
Aaron: That's incorrect actually. It was going to be in 3 parts on the same EP but was never going to be three records - that's pushing it a bit. I doubt we'll do anything quite a staggered as that. We'll leave that to Peter Jackson!
What would your ideal gig lineup be?
Aaron: Dead Can Dance, Celtic Frost, Candlemass, Bathory - but I'm guessing that'll never happen.
Thank you again for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything else you'd like to say to the miserable masses?
Aaron: Cheer up.
Cheers - Aaron
Interview By Michael Ventura.