My Dying Bride Interview


Hey, hello!

Hello, how’s it going? 

Oh, thank you very much, quite fine! How are you?

Very well, thank you!

So – hi, this is Zsolt here from the Hungarian metal webzine, and it’s a great pleasure to talk to you on a video call! It’s been a long time since you started the band – and it’s always a pleasure to see something new from My Dying Bride!

That’s an interesting background that you have!

Oh yeah – I’m glad that you like it!

I didn’t say that 🙂

Anyway, to this day, most metalheads jump on their feet, when they hear your name – and it’s a great thing, and great pleasure! Is this what you wanted to achieve when you were a little child? Back then, did you think that one day you’ll be able to influence so many people and play in such an influential band?

No, I had no concept of that. Absolutely not. When I first got the desire that the sort of… really, that sort of fire was lit to be in a band, I just wanted to be in a band. I didn’t really think any further than that, I have to admit! And while being in a band very early on with, you know… with My Dying Bride and a small demo band before that, we all had these strange dreams of being basically Iron Maiden and, you know…, and those kind of things, and Metallica of the day. But we didn’t really expect – I mean, we haven’t become those, you know…? But we never really thought any further than that. And we never really expected – I certainly never expected – to be this far in, you know, 30-40 years I think it is now, and I certainly wouldn’t have expected anybody being influenced by what we were doing. We were being influenced by other bands, we understood that. But I never thought it would be the other way around!

And the band has been around for more than 30 years. In such a long time, a lot of things might have happened in your life and these kind of things had an impact on your musical creations. I wonder, how many Andrew Craighan has created those 15 albums (including the current one), paralleling the story of your life? How tight would you describe the connection between the music and your life?

Well, the music that I create in many respects is part of my life, it is intrinsically linked to me. How many different versions, as we go through time? That’s a good question. I wouldn’t know that! Potentially, maybe 15 different… ’cause each album’s different. So, I would imagine there’s a different “me” on each one, but obviously they all… they’re very much linked – there’s no denying that or trying to escape that. It’s a good question, it’s an interesting question! But I reckon I am this type of music, now I am not pretending this! I mean, we never really were, but if I was to be dropped out of My Dying Bride and say „let’s start another band!”, it would sound like My Dying Bride straight away! There’s no… I mean, it just what…. this is all I do. Thankfully, it fits in a realm that we call do metal and that kind of thing, and heavy metal. So, I kind of… I don’t know, if it was by design, or God’s grace, or just natural selection of riffs – whatever you want to call it. This music is me, and I am it. 

I understand you. Actually, you and Aaron are the founders and masterminds of the band. Can you tell me a little bit of the relationship between the two of you? How is it that you guys can work so well together? What kind of values would you highlight in the connection between you?

I think it’s a tricky one, because we do very different jobs in the band, if you know what I mean. I obviously do, well, pretty much… most of the music, and I do all of the behind-the-scenes work as well. And Aaron comes in and does the face of the band and the vocals… most of the vocals and obviously, all of the lyrics. So, I think it’s the… between the two of us, there’s no… I’m not stepping on his toes; he’s not stepping on mine. The very different jobs are that simplify things. And what also makes it easier, I suppose, is that we know, I think, since „Turn Loose the Swans” and „The Angel and the Dark River” that going back in time, we understood pretty clearly, I mean, didn’t always go this way, but we kind of had an idea – I certainly did – what My Dying Bride should be and where, how far we can push this, you know, musically and those kind of things. So, we understand each other, I mean, I do my parts, he does his – it’s very straightforward, it’s… there’s no sort of ethereal magic to it. It’s very… well, I won’t say „mechanistic”, but it’s quite pragmatic, you know? I sit here and dream my dreams and create the music based on those. I know what type of lyrics are coming, I know what type of titles are coming (in fact, some of the titles on the new album are mine), I mean, so… We write to my titles and then bring the lyrics in later on. So, it’s fairly easy – it’s… I don’t know, it’s like two different parts of the same machine, I mean, you don’t want certain parts doing that job, because they’re not ready for it, or prepared for it, or geared properly for it. So, it’s very straightforward!

I understand. If I’m not mistaken… let’s just talk about a little bit about your guitar. It’s a Mayones Regius guitar. What would you say about this guitar? How loyal are you to this particular manufacturer, and what do you feel when you hold this guitar in your hands?

Well, I love them – if truth be known, I think they’re brilliant! And I don’t have to say that: I’m not endorsed by them officially, I just use them now. I was endorsed by them many years ago, but they became very big and My Dying Bride is very small, so we don’t do that no more. But I just love them: I wouldn’t change guitar even if I had the opportunity. I just think they haven’t lost the… in my opinion, they haven’t lost touch with the guitarist yet. Now some larger companies will sort of focus on very famous guitarists and be very attentative to them. And I can name a company that’s not being attentative to Neil, the other guitarist, whereas my own is still at the size where each guitar (because I have about eight of these now or something like that)… but each guitar feels special to me, as if it was built just for me (and some of mine were built just for me, but that’s not the point). And I just think they’re well made. I just think they’re well put together: well crafted – robust, because we have to have… they get bumped around a bit, because we have to fly everywhere, and even though they’re in special flight cases… I love them. I think they’re excellent pieces of equipment and I, you know, as far as I’m aware, I have no desire to change. None at all. 

Compared to the ’90s, there are considerably more bands around in the world – but it can still be said that there is no one else like My Dying Bride! That’s actually my personal opinion and I find it a very big deal that you managed to preserve your uniqueness. Also, a lot of people love you, right from the very beginning. My question is in what extent can you agree with these statements? What do you think?

I tend to believe that, but I don’t know why. Because My Dying Bride is not a particularly difficult band to copy. You know, we play deliberately simple riffs. We’re not trying to be overcomplicated, but we’re certainly not Yngwie Malmsteen or anything like that, you know? We’re not trying to be, you know, better or more sort of virtuostic guitarist, stylist than we are. We’re a solid doom metal band. Anybody could do what we’re doing. Why or how we’ve managed to? The claim is that we are still very unique. I mean people have been saying „we could tell it was My Dying Bride straight away” and you think: „well, is that good or is that bad?” Now it works for AC/DC when you hear AC/DC, you know it’s AC/DC and same for Slayer and… Which is good. I mean, I enjoy that, but it would be difficult for me as an insider to honestly and genuinely believe that we are so very different in that way. But this is what we get told, and I quite like the idea. So, I’m not going to argue with these people! 

My Dying Bride Cover240316

I see. Your current album is entitled “A Mortal Binding”, and it will be released on the 19th of April. And it was… also already two videos have been made for the album. Of course, we get touching melancholy and melodies by listening to the new record. What would you say about this new album and the new songs?

Well, the two songs that have been released don’t completely represent the music on the album – but… I mean particularly „The 2nd of Three Bells”: that’s the only one like that on the album. The rest… we deliberately wrote the album with a little bit more teeth, let’s say. There’s a little bit more ferocity in some of the riffs. It’s not… – no, I mean it’s not Cannibal Corpse or anything like that: I mean we’re still My Dying Bride –, but there’s a bit more… you know, we decided that we wanted heavier riffs, so we… and also that we wanted riffs, like… On „The Ghosts of Orion” (the album we released 4 years ago now), there are some big atmospheric sections in that, and dark ambient moments, and we didn’t want to go there again on this one. So, we’ve written quite deliberately what hopefully had good riffs, big riffs, and kept the harmonies to a minimum to allow the violin to breathe a little bit, and also in some places removed the guitar and just replaced it with feedback to allow the bass guitar a little bit more space. Just so we’ve got an all-encompassing, and we wanted it to be a band: two guitars, bass, you know, drums and vocals. Well, we keep some violins. There are no special effects, no special musicians, no extra female vocals. It’s not quite rock’n’roll – it’s our version of rock’n’roll and it.. I guess to summarize, I probably should have just said that we’ve tried to go back to basics. To keep it… even though we didn’t realize it that like the first couple of albums are fairly simple really, and we don’t need to, you know, play around too much. We did a lot of that on „The Ghost of Orion”, so we didn’t want to do it again, so we just went back to basics. But one of the things I will say is we deliberately try to fashion the riffs so they would suit death metal vocals, because we are – the musical side of the band particularly – still very fond of death metal vocals. And we tried to trap Aaron into having no room for clean vocals, but it didn’t work. Anyway, we tried, but… So, we deliberately guided some of the riffs to be heavy, you know, powerful. Which demanded in our mind… it demanded death metal vocals. We think we got there. In fact, I think the balance is pretty good. 

I see. Talking about the new release: which previous album would you compare it to the most? Do you think it can be appropriate if I describe it as some kind of a mixture of “The Light at the End of the World” and “Like Gods of the Sun”?

I never thought about that. Actually that would make sense, if you could pour the pair of them into one glass to manage this. Yeah, I can see why people might say that. I would struggle to say which ones were, whether that would absolutely be true, though. For me, I think it’s probably closer to a mix of the last two, where „Feel the Misery” and „Ghost of Orion” kind of get, brought together and I made a little bit more broader, you know, a little… not as dark and not as atmospheric and a little bit punchier, but… „Like Gods of the Sun” and „The Light…” that works – that would be a good album!

Actually, how does it feel to see all those My Dying Bride albums on your shelf? Do you still look at them, hold them in your hand a lot? If yes, what kind of memories do they bring back?

Yeah, I don’t do that. No, I mean, obviously I’m constantly reminded (I mean the band), there’s no avoiding that, but I tend to – and this might sound strange – I have a normal job, so I go to work, and I come home like everybody else. So, I forget. I honestly… you just do normal things and then you’ll walk past something that reminds you that you were in God knows where, doing a gig to 10,000 people – you think well, yeah, we do that. I do that, you know. And so, they become very normalized and very grounded. So yeah, they don’t. I certainly don’t feel like a rock star or any different from anybody else. But when… there are certain moments, like I accidentally… I was looking, I was preparing for these interviews, and I was looking for some stuff and I remember that „The Ghost of Orion” was. And I thought I forgot about this. And there’s a couple of songs on there I haven’t listened to for a while, so I had a quick listen and I thought, you know, what they’re actually… I forgot how good they were. So, I do. It’s not because I’m old. Well, it might be. I just tend to… We’re so busy all the time, I just forget…. you just forget how busy you’ve been. You know, 30 years is a long time! And it shocks you sometime, it shocks me just how busy and how sort of, you know, fruitful that this band has been really with the albums we’ve done, and what we’ve done. But I tend to look back – just to answer your question – with mostly fond memories. It’s been very hard that behind the scenes, it’s been hard work in places, but you know… I think Bon Scott said: „It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll” – listen to that song! We’ll understand that it’s tough being in a band, but overall, I can’t complain!

This year you already participated at a big event, the 70000 Tons of Metal festival. How would you describe your experiences about it? How did it feel to hang out with the fans on that cruise ship? How would you describe those days?

Well, hanging out with the fans is easy, ’cause I look like everybody else on that boat: just some guy with a beard and long hair. We all look the same, so nobody knows who I am. And some of the girls look like me as well – and nobody knows who they were. So, for me, it’s easy: I just wander around and no one cares. So, but the cruise is phenomenal, it’s… it’s difficult to fully wrap your head around. Yeah, the size of a ship – that’s… I mean, I’ve never seen anything like: it’s like a spaceship! It’s enormous – there isn’t a word describing it: it’s fucking massive! And then when you play, we played on the top deck, which is outside and then we played inside, which is almost like a London theatre. It’s so well put together and you can’t tell the ship’s moving: you can’t tell, it’s so big. But playing outside on the top deck is interesting, because it’s in the wind and all those kind of things. But you just shake your head: I’m still flabbergasted that there we were on this gigantic ship out in the Caribbean, with all these heavy metallers. And it’s… if you, if whoever gets a chance to go, if they get a chance to go, trust me, go man alive! It’s something else!

It’s a bit. It’s a bit further from Europe, so it’s not easy, but yeah. 

No, it’s not, and it’s a long-long, boring flight there and a longer-longer back, but it’s worth it! It’s worth the trouble. And if you’re in a band, especially go! All right, look, there are some bands that might not necessarily enjoy. There’s no backstage, so you’re out with everybody else. But unless you’re really famous – and My Dying Bride isn’t – you don’t get… I mean, no one…. I think I was recognized once and the guy said: ”Are you? Are you Andrew from My Dying Bride?” And I said yeah! He says: „Yeah, because you look like him!” I said: „There might be a reason for that!” 


Yeah, but it indicates that a lot of people in Europe and all over the world love you. I’m sure that a lot of people will be curious to hear the new songs live – not only in the cruise ship, but everywhere in the world. How many concerts are you planning this year? Where do you plan to appear? Are you looking forward to the Brutal Assault festival?

Well, it it’s gonna be tricky because some of the…. well, we don’t do many gigs anyway, so there’s also that. And the gigs we have sort of… People are, you know, we’re always looking forward to trying new places and that kind of thing, but we tend to play the same places, because that’s where the good festivals are. So, for us it’ll just be very much, I don’t know, I think business as usual. Like I said, we work for a living, so we won’t be…. there’s no sort of a „Mortal Binding World Tour” or anything like that. So, at the moment we just… we take the gigs as and when they come, and if we can get there, we can. And if we can’t, you know, sadly we can’t. But it’s difficult for us, particularly, well, having full time jobs and some of the other members of side projects as well now, which is you have to balance the time, which is getting trickier. I mean, it is what it ever is. Lots of bands are side project bands now. So, we have to balance that as well. So, I think the gigs might – particularly for this year –, they might get slimmed down a little bit, but then we’ll pick them up in 2025.

I see. What do you actually expect from the current album? How successful do you think it will be? What are your feelings about it?

Well… Let me answer that this. I’m under no illusions of what My Dying Bride is, and certainly under no illusions of what the world… where we fit in the musical world. So I expect it, I would at least be pleased with if it’s at least well accepted by the My Dying Bride fans themselves. Any wider acceptance after that from the sort of „greater heavy metal world” will just be a bonus. I mean we have to be cognizant and and aware of that we write a very particular type of music that’s not for everybody. And I don’t really understand why this type of music attracts the people it does, but there’s an element out there that love it and there’s an element out there that don’t understand it at all – which is fine. So I’m hoping, or hopeful rather that it’s at least you know, at least as long as the MDB fans understand it and don’t think we’re doing anything stranger that will do for me. But Nuclear Blasts seem very happy with it, the band are happy with it, I’m happy with it. And considering we’ve been going for 33 years, I reckon we have a rough idea how we should go about these things. So I think, I mean it’ll be OK, but I’m not expecting like awards or suddenly for, you know, tours with Metallica and those kind of things. We know, where My Dying Bride sits in the world, you know, we we pop out under our rock every now and then and then we go back under and we always sit and we’re happy enough with. 

I’m sure that you will do very great results with the new record and actually I wish you all the best for you and for the band! I still remember when your first EP came out! Oh, it was 30 years ago… Jesus….

Yes, I talked about that earlier today – I’m still trying to… I’m surprised that I still remember the title complete. So, it’s, I mean, it was a strange song, strange times, but it worked. It certainly got the band going. 

Actually, it was a dream come true to be able to talk to you. For me, it was a great pleasure and I would like to thank you for the interview. And I would like to wish you all the best for you and for the band and have a very great evening and and all the best to you! 

Well, thank you. It was a pleasure, thank you! 

Thank you very much. Bye bye. 

Bye now!






The interview was taken with Andy Craighan on 04.04.2024.

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MY DYING BRIDE – release new single and video ´The 2nd Of Three Bells´


MY DYING BRIDE announce new album ‘A Mortal Binding’ + release single/video ‘Thornwyck Hymn’


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