Most people on metalstorm.ee probably don't know you yet,
so can you sum up Mourning Beloveth's history so far?
Mourning Beloveth began from the ashes of a death metal band some ten years ago. We recorded our first demo in 1996 with Adrian as engineer and he later joined on bass where we quickly recorded our well-received second demo Autumnal Fires. We played some gigs in Ireland and recorded our debut album Dust in Academy Studios in 2000. This was a self-financed album and we released it ourselves in 2001. We played some gigs with Cathedral and later with Cradle of Filth and in 2002 we recorded our second album. The Sullen Sulcus, again in Academy. In the meantime we re-released Dust on Sentinel Records and when our latest album the Sullen Sulcus was recorded we released it with a Norwegian label Aftermath Music. In February 2003 we embarked on the Doomination of Europe with Morgion and the Prophecy, 2 weeks across Europe. August 2003 we brought the Doomination tour to America for 4 weeks. We have had the same line up since our second demo (Darren-vocals, frank-guitar+vocals, Adrian-bass, Brian-guitar, Tim-drums) and we have just released a new song on a split 7" with fellow countrymen Lunar gate, it has been released on Sentinel Records. 2004 sees us on tour with While Heaven Wept and playing the Doom Shall Rise festival in Germany as well as writing and recording our third album.
That is the shortest and least boring way I can give it to you.
You probably would come all the way down to France to beat me if I asked about your influences, but what do you guys usually listen to? Do you have any idols?
As we have grown older our musical tastes have grown too. I think in the early days we were very narrow-minded people only listening to the most extreme of metal but nowadays we can go from Iron Maiden to Skepticism, from WASP to Bethelehem, most good forms of not just metal but music in general. Some of my favourites at the moment are Green carnation and In the woods.Anything played with a lot of emotion and feeling will get regular turns on our stereos.
Our influences obviously range the same but the closest our sound began with was the works of My Dying Bride, Anathema, Paradise Lost.. along those lines.
You seem to appear but a few times in concert... Is this a new form of laziness, or is it hard for you to find opportunities?
I think you are wrong here. It is true that in the early days of the MB existence we probably only played one gig a year but over the past couple of years we have managed to get a lot more gigs. We have begun to enjoy ourselves on stage and it shows because 2003 saw us on two tours, the Doomination of Europe for two weeks with the Prophecy (UK) and Morgion (US) and it was carried on to the Doomination of America in August for four weeks so 2003 was the most gigs we have ever played in one year. The tours were amazing and just another form for us to express our music through. We met so many people and had such a great time that I think the touring thing has ignited a flame in us and we will continue playing live for a long time. The reason we do not play live very often in Ireland is that the scene is so small that people get bored very quickly seeing the same bands so we limit ourselves to a few gigs per year in our own country.
Besides the Doom Shall Rise 2004 with Orodruin and While Heaven Wept, have you planned other live dates?
The Doom Shall Rise is going to be an amazing event, two days of doom…what more could you ask for. We did the Doomination of America with Orodruin and we met While Heaven Wept on our travels in America so it will be like meeting with old friends and we know a lot of people too from our tour around Europe. We will be doing a weeklong tour with WHW after the DSR2 gig and Pantheist will also be playing. It will mostly cover Germany with a gig in Holland too and it will end up one week later in Belgium at the Belgian Doom Night that is in gent this year and at which WHW and ourselves will be playing alongside Esoteric and many others. We are also trying to get on some festivals this year but nothing confirmed yet. What we are mostly concentrating on is the finishing and recording of our third album so there will be no long European or American tour this year. Hopefully 2005 we can do a 3-4 week European tour and play some of the places we missed last time.
I have never seen a doom concert... I guess it has to be quite different from any other metal show, as it is more based on the feelings than on the furious headbanging of the crowd... Has it ever happened to you to be kind of insulted by people who were not in your trip? Usually, what is the reaction of the audience?
We have always seemed to get a good reaction from the crowd when we play. I remember one of our first gigs where it was really dark and people didn't know our music we played a gig in Dublin and the stage was covered with dry ice, a friend of ours came up afterwards and said that everybody in the crowd seemed to be hypnotized by the music. These are the general reactions we get when we play a set and we never get insulted if people do not care for what we play as long as they listen to it that is all we ask for. We played a gig in Ireland recently at a festival and during one of our songs a guy came up on stage and sang some of the song with us, it was an amazing feeling to see we could invoke such passion in someone to do that.
I think for our section of doom to work on the live front it needs to be played with passion and conviction and the audience generally sees and feels this so there is almost like a connection between band and audience
I think the clean vocals on The Sullen Sulcus are amazingly powerful and breathtaking, but as I am a bit stupid, I've not been able to find out who sings on these parts... Tell me more please...
I do the growling and spoken passages while Frank does the clear vocals. It just happened one day at rehearsals for our second demo, my clear vocals were not working and Frank said he would try it and it worked. We have incorporated the clear vocals more and more with each recording as we feel there is a good contrast to the deep deathly growls and they help us to express a lot more
What can you tell us about the writing process of the next album? Can you reveal us some songs names? Are there already any obvious changes compared to The Sullen Sulcus?
Well since the release of our second album we have recorded a new song for a 7", which was released on Sentinel Records. We had to force ourselves to write a short song and it brought out the best in us, when we went into the studio there was no album pressures so we went in and had fun for two days recording it. It is simply entitled Part 1 and it brings in some new elements to the MB sound which we could try in the studio. I think this song is a good reflection of where we are at the moment. Since we have come back form America we have had some time off and we are really just getting back into serious rehearsals. At the moment we have 4 songs in the works with two more coming but no names yet I think the problem is we haven't set a date yet for the next album so we are dragging our feet. When we see the finish line that is when we get worried and start to rehearse 2-3 night s a week, it seems we work better under pressure so things are going just like the music at the moment, very slowly.
The lyrics on your albums are quite profound. Is this an aspect of the band you will keep in the future, or do you plan to stick to more matter-of-fact topics?
Thanks, I think our music and metal music in general does not and should not become say political or matter of fact. I write all the lyrics for MB and they deal with our inner torments, our inner fears, the realization that each breath we take is one closer to the grave where everything ends. I wrap my lyrics in, sometimes, bizarre imagery and try to paint a picture with them of some obscure scene that has been floating around in my brain. I think if I was writing about the state of our government or our roads they wouldn't sit very well with the music being played so I think they will stay along these lines for the foreseeable future anyway
Doom metal is by definition a depressive style, do you think (just a supposition), that one day you could write a quite happy song? Or, like lots of bands, do you think the purpose of metal is to reflect the darkest feelings of mankind?
I think a lot of our lyrics and music is very personal and sometimes, if my may say so, profound but they are not depressive for us they are almost a purging of the body and mind so we see something very uplifting in our music and lyrics. I don't think we will ever write a "happy" song though because good thoughts stay with you forever. We write about the negative aspects of our existence and in a way purge them from our memory forever.
Is there an active Irish rock/metal scene? Can you name some bands that you think could rise out of anonymity?
There is a small and very dedicated Irish metal scene. We have our first pro printed and written metal magazine Metalworks which I write for just being released last year and I think with the work of emerald promotions bringing over so many great names that the scene has developed, people see each other more and with the advent of email and the internet it seems things are getting done a lot quicker theses days here. Some bands to watch out for are Scald (sludge/grind/doom) they are about to release a new album, which is amazing and very original. I think in Ireland, being on its own geographically, has helped it to develop a scene that does not have x amount of death bands and x amount of power bands, each band has its own personal touch to give the music they play so for me anyway this is a very healthy thing to have. Check out
The second website is a forum to promote Irish based metal and should give you a good basis of what is going on here.
Of course no interview would be complete without mentioning the mighty Prinordial of which I am sure you have heard.
Life is expensive in Ireland so I guess you all have a job besides Mourning Beloveth. Do you conciliate these two parts of your life easily? How is it going when you go on tour or when you record an album?
Yeah we all have day jobs so our time is limited with the band. Myself and Adrian spend an hour or two per night promoting the band and answering emails, we rehearse once a week but coming up to major gigs or recording it goes to 2-3 times a week. We each get 20 days holidays per year and they are spent at Wacken, recording and touring so there is not much time left for anything else. If we need more time off to play a gig we work up the days so this can happen. At the moment it seems to be going around in a cycle, one year we play some gigs and record, the next year we tour-not bad for a part time band…it keeps us off the streets..haha
I have already taken much of your time. Anything else you
want to add to the above?
Thanks for the interview
Check out the Irish metal scene, you might be surprised with the quality of bands we are producing.
Check out www.mourningbeloveth.com
You can still get our first album Dust from www.sentinelrecords.com and our second the Sullen Sulcus from www.aftermath-music.com.
Watch out for us at the DSR2 and Belgian Doom Nights next year.