Interview with bassist Adrian Butler
Interview conducted by Michel Renaud
Date online: August 15, 2001
Mourning Beloveth is pretty much what resulted from the breakup of a Death Metal band named Traumatized. Can you tell us more about the history of that band and what lead to the breakup? Was anything ever released?
Traumatized had the seeds of and we reaped the fruit for Mourning Beloveth-ha ha. Our drummer joined Traumatized then soon after they broke up and Mourning Beloveth was formed soon after with Tim on drums ,then Frank on guitar and then Darren took over the bass players job of vocals then he left and Brian took over bass- a couple of years after I joined on bass and Brian went onto guitar-That's the basic details of the history of MB.
Traumatized had 2 demos and played a few gigs but the rest I can't remember much else. It was cool there a few weeks ago when we supported Cradle of Filth in Dublin. The old bass player was at the gig unbeknown to us and we met him after and he was delighted to see us again and delighted to see we were still going .He said as we were coming on stage(he didn't know at the time we were supporting COF) " I know that bastard and him . what the fuck? " He couldn't believe it. It was a nice reunion.
The first MB demo had 3 songs of 3 different genres (black, death and doom). Were you guys kind of "searching yourself", not really knowing what direction to take? What lead you to finally decide that MB would be a death/doom band, rather than a death or black band?
Well the first demo 'untitled" had 2 songs with a piano interlude and the next demo "Autumnal Fires" had songs with 2 piano interludes. It was really a natural progression for us that took a few years to complete. It wasn't decided at the start that we were going to end up playing what we do today. We just let the music progress naturally and let it take its course. Getting used to each other's playing and styles I think has a more true eventual feeling. We found in the beginning that slow heavy death was a comfortable for all to play. Then again this progression was underway before I joined.
I joined after the recording of the 1st demo (which was recorded by Alan from Primordial (Hammerheart -Holland) and myself at a music college we were at.I think Mourning Beloveth have found their sound now but you know as always more you can do/more melodies/better structures/dynamics-all that comes with professionalism and being together as a band.
As you know from my review of Dust, this was my first doom album. I have to say I was in for a shock. The first time I listened to it, I fell asleep at work. The second time I wanted to kill myself. The times after that, things were a bit more moderate, it just made me get lost in my thoughts. Alright... What the hell is this? What's your... "objective" or goal as to what you'd like those who listen to your music to feel?
We take that as a compliment. Some people might listen to the CD but won't hear it, if you know what I mean. The fact that on your 2nd listen you wanted to kill yourself means to me that it tapped into the miserable, dark and suppressed feelings every one of us has inside. I think everyone should listen to Doom Metal at some time in their lives. I suppose the best situation I noticed this was at a gig we played about 5 years ago in Dublin. There were only about 50/60 people there and as we were playing there was no movement in the crowd -which is normal enough anyway but someone said to me afterwards that it was cool watching us from the crowds perspective and being part of the trance-like state everyone was in, and all attending sharing in a dark solemn mood that was being pushed from the stage. That gig has helped since then to keep us on track. One might think it wrong to be distracted when watching a band but when the music taps into your brain there is nothing you can really do-It means it has caught you and slowly strangles ..Mental Suicide I suppose you could call it .
Ok so the weather sucks in Ireland, I guess that helps create this music, but there's got to be more.. How do you come up with such depressing stuff? Is your life that miserable? LOL
Misery has touched us all at some time in our lives , as it has with anyone. We take the depressive elements of our experiences and combine them into a common train of thought to write our music-be it together in practice or just talking about what we want to do next. Finding that most miserable chord or note makes it all worth it.
I don't know much about Ireland, other than U2 (back when they didn't suck) and that you guys are stuck alone in the Atlantic. Do you feel isolated? Here I can drive a little over an hour and poof, I'm crossing the border to the US Despite the similarities between Canada and the US, it's still quite different, so it provides an escape. But you guys can't really do that that easily... I guess I'm pretty much asking you to describe your country and the life there a little bit.
Well I suppose more commonly when anyone asks about Ireland most will mention the North of Ireland and the IRA (Irish Republican Army). This situation will go on forever I think. There is a new Council set up where all the political parties there are trying to get together at the same time to talk about what to do. The republican party Sinn Fein want England out of the north and the Unionists want them to stay. There is no end in sight-the violence continues-bombs-punishment killings-Protestants Vs Catholics. Its all shit. If the English handed the north back to Ireland, the majority of Ireland would be happy but then there is the British/Protestants community in the north and this would be a problem. I have a lot of good friends in the north of Ireland and there are some great bands there-Waylander-Honey for Christ-Scald- Hexxed -many more ..It's a pity this shit exists and adds to the paranoia.. Only recently bands from the North and South have started to play across the borders and this is really positive.
There is no religious animosity here that I am aware of between the bands North and South. There is a big group us all traveling to Wacken festival in Germany together and we are setting up an Irish camp with everybody from Ireland.
Anyway there is more to Ireland than this. Yes we are on the most westerly edge of Europe so we are isolated a bit I guess. Life here is not too bad except for the government .The tax system here is shit-Up to 41% tax on your earnings!!!!!!!! (We're familiar with that in Canada ;) -ed.) There is always tribunals etc investigations into swindling in the government-they are so shit and corrupt you wouldn't believe it. You get a nice picture of Ireland from abroad but underneath that picture postcard image, its crap enough. There is virtually no support for music here. The Arts Council give the same money to the same shit every year.
As for the Country. We do have a beautiful country all the same-places like Kerry-Donegal-Wexford, all have some breathtaking scenery and things to do.Ahh I'll stop moaning now I think, next question.
Alright, you thought you could escape this one but nope: Could you please introduce yourself and the other members, a give the history of MB from the post-Traumatized days (no pun intended) up to this day?
Ok. Darren- vocalist. He used to play in Pathos years ago
who had Tim and Brian also-Death Metal.
Darren recently left Karnayna-They play a Celtic Death with medieval influences-keyboards-Amorphis
Frank-guitars/vocals. Frank used to play in Hemlock-
a band I started in 91', it was a Thrash outfit.
We must have played about 35 gigs in 3 years before we broke up.1 demo.
Tim-the only original member of the first draft of Mourning Beloveth-also played in Pathos
Myself-Adrian-Hemlock-Atavist(1 gig) - Kingdom(left earlier this year-Black/Doom/Death). I play session bass in Arcane Sun (Ars Metalli-Ger).
I think you've played a few gigs in Ireland. How's the scene over there? Any Irish bands you like that we should be aware of?
We have played a fair few gigs in Ireland now-I think any Metallers here would have heard of us or would know our music. Saying that -I wouldn't be talking about the Nu-metal fans. The problem here and I guess it's the same everywhere else, young kids being targeted by wealthy record companies and are told what to listen to. Then they get older and realize: "This Manson and this Limp Biscuit is shit' and either look for something harder or give up metal altogether. The scene here suffers because of that. There are a lot of really good bands here in Ireland. Primordial-signed to Hammerheart in Holland and have 4 albums out, Cruachan also on Hammerheart and have a new album coming out and a single with Shane McGowan from the Pogues on it. Abaddon Incarnate play brutal Death Metal and are in Sweden this week recording their 2nd album with Miezko from Nazum producing. My new record label Sentinel signed Abaddon Incarnate recently after they decided not to continue with Seasons of Mist-this release will be out in September.
We at Sentinel also released a Double CD Compilation with 19 Irish bands this year. Check out www.sentinelireland.com for all the bands. And BUY IT!!!!!!!!!!!
Bands to Look out for in the future when they get signed are Kingdom- black/doom/death,Primal Dawn-Death Metal.. Waylander -releasing 2nd CD with Blackened UK.
Have you ever played outside your country, or are you planning to? Without a supporting label I suppose this is not easy financially?
We played in Bradfords's The Empress in May. It was our first and only gig abroad. It went really well - We played one of our best sets yet and there was a great crowd response and one of the biggest crowds there for a gig apparently. We did have to pay for everything but we made a weekend of it and say the Ozzfest the next night - Great gig too!!!!.
Please describe what people can expect from a live MB show.
Check out the answer to question 3. The atmosphere we created at this gig is something we live up to now. Expect the music to be very very heavy, the air heavy with gloom and doom. We don't just stand on stage and try to look moody all the time-We do the occasional headbanging in unison with each other for the odd fast piece. Other than that we grab your attention, tapping in to your dark side, squeezing the misery from within your soul , opening your mind to all that is miserable and allow you to wallow in our pool of gray waters.
"Dust" is a self-release and has been out for a few months now. Have any labels shown interest in MB?
We've had a few. Valgalder in Norway, MetalAge in Slovakia, DragonFlight in the USA. Nothing really promising. We're basically getting offers that we could probably do better ourselves, especially now that we managed to release the Dust CD ourselves. We don't want to sound big headed by claiming this but I think if you can do it all yourself - within reason of course, go ahead and do it. It helps you see another side of how things are done in the scene and its good fun too- getting reviews sent back - making great contacts - keeping the web page updated - organising your own distribution etc...
I understand that you guys are a bit slow releasing new material... Are you already at work for a sophomore release? And if yes, dare I ask if you have set any release date?
We have been a bit slow releasing stuff true enough, that is not to say we cannot come up with the goods. We just put a lot of effort into the stuff we write-You know there are not that many riffs in our songs , especially the earlier ones and it pays off to seek out the best melody. It might be a section a few seconds long but it might take a while to get it right. We are extreme perfectionists I guess and we suffer from it. But saying that I am speaking for the earlier days. These days we write songs that bit quicker and have a good bit ready for our next journey to the studio in April 2002-year of the Euro.
There are clean vocals and "death-like growls" on Dust. My understanding is that there are two members doing the vocals. How did you come up with the idea of mixing the vocals and using two different persons? Did it happen sort of by accident or what?
Darren is the main vocalist in the band and Frank (guitar) also sings backing and some main vocals.
This was an experiment on the 2nd demo with the Song Autumns Fires (in somnolent harmony) and we used it again on the Album and re-recorded that same song. It has its benefits too. Some Doom fans like the Clean singing more that the Growls and Vice versa. It is a good mixture we think and to blend them both on a CD is rare these days-as rare as Doom is almost.
Frank is a good singer and can really get to those high ends/almost operatic at times. He also growls but its no way as low as Darren can go. His growling fits right down there with the heavy riffing and carries well over the melodies.
So your lovely weather has an influence on the songwriting, what about the actual musical influences?
Well, living in Ireland does make you depressed .I'm glad its not like Finland with the lack of Daylight most of the time. That would suck altogether. The part of Ireland that I come from (Laois) has the highest suicide rate in Ireland-that was my passport in to the band-ha ha. We all come from the countryside-no Concrete Doom here!!! This helps in the writing process.
We take influences from many sources. We have listened to a wide variety of stuff for years-from Black metal to 60's rock. We all like Doom Metal - more the early 90's style than the likes of Pentagram-ST Vitus although Darren is a big fan of this Doom . Some of it I like too. Myself, I started listening to music from very early age and was about 17 before I could afford to buy tapes/CD's (Appetite for Destruction was my first tape). Bob Geldof was the first poster had on my wall-Oh the shame - I was about 10. Main influences in MB would be- Anathema-At The Gates-Skepticism - My Dying Bride-St.Vitus- Autopsy-Paradise Lost(Early)-Thergothon-Neil Young-The Doors- and lots more various stuff.
The music on Dust is very slow, with some short fast parts here and there. Is that a common characteristic of doom music, or do you see the possibility of somewhat faster compositions in the future? (Without reaching high-speed levels, of course..) How do you see the Mourning Beloveth music evolving in the future?
The common characteristics for Doom Metal are slow riffs, brooding vocals, depressive melodies, simple song structures and maybe the odd fast part here and there. Then you get different types of Doom-Celtic Doom- Stoner Doom( I won't mention anything of this shit)-and the list goes on. It is still a limited genre but like many styles-it has many branches.
The promo booklet doesn't specify who writes what. Is the songwriting a team effort, who writes the music and the lyrics?
All ideas are shared and talked about in the band. Darren does write the majority of the lyrics but takes ideas from us and Frank has his input too, especially in the parts he sings. Riffs these days are brought to rehearsal and worked on instead of being there and waiting for something to happen. I bought a 4 Track a while ago which has been our saviour and it gets passed around between us and has helped immensely in the writing aspect.
Are your demos still available? What about Dust, where can people purchase it?
There are not that many demos available now, just about all gone. We got a lot of orders for demos recently after some people had bought the CD. The demos are going to be released on CD by a label in Japan called Weird Truth productions in September.
For a doom newbie like me, or even for longtime doom fans, what doom albums would you consider are absolute must- haves?
My Dying Bride -Turn loose the Swans
Skeptisism - Stormcrowfleet
Anathema - Serenades
Paradise lost -Gothic
Ok I'm out of questions, thanks for your time! Would you like to add anything else, plug some merchandise, etc..?
Thank you for the interview. And thank you from Doom Metallers the world over for taking time out to study a style of music that is new to you. Doom on. I hope the answers are Ok.
Merchandise-We have new Dust T-shirts available now
front/back print $11 inc P+P
Dust CD $12+2P+P
Remember to check out Sentinel www.sentinelireland.com for the best underground bands Ireland has to offer.
Anything else? Keep it Miserable
Check out these Irish Sites:
|Other information about Mourning Beloveth on this site|
|Review: A Disease For the Ages|
|Review: A Murderous Circus|
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