Hi Darren, how have you been doing lately?
Great…it's Patrick's Day here and I have no hangover……strange times.
How has “A Murderous Circus” been received so far besides my 90 out of a possible 100?
It has been receiving some great reviews, like yours, and the rare review wondering why we did not write “The Sullen Sulcus part 2”. We felt we had to challenge ourselves in the writing and recording of this album and it is till very much a Mourning Beloveth album but sometimes harsher and colder. This is helped by the production courtesy of Markus Stock and Studio E in Germany and it is exactly what we were looking for on this album.
Who came up with the idea of the new album title, artwork as well as the new Mourning Beloveth logo?
We had no album title until we were recording and during the recording process and the finishing of lyrics we spoke about different possibilities and in the end “A Murderous Circus” won the day. The album title meaning is two fold, describing the world we have created where there is a need for excess in life if only to provide balance and how this world of excess may help us survive but in the end is also killing us. It is also a statement on the world around us, this vacuous world of mass consumerism and globalisation. The two topics are intertwined as we question is this the reason for our excesses to block out this grey world? Lukasz, the Grau artist, created the artwork and he did a great job. I had been in discussions with him about the atmospheres we were trying to create with the music and we sent him a copy of the album and took it from there. The music is very cold and dark at times but also empty and the artwork reflects this. The front cover depicts a small girl with angel wings suggesting she is dead almost before her life has began she is surrounded by anonymous buildings and a vast, grey skyline-an empty world. The artwork in general deals with how we see the world and how it reflects on us. Again it deals with how empty we feel inside following excesses and questioning do our excesses create this grey world or is it the world we are trying to escape from.
The logo, its not a new logo. It's just on the front cover for aesthetic reasons, as the picture is very delicate our logo would seem somewhat overbearing. we still have our logo, just didn't use it on the cover of this.
”The Sullen Sulcus” contained six tracks with a total length of sixty-five minutes. I thought that was pretty impressive but the five tracks on “A Murderous Circus” even count an average of fifteen minutes. Doesn't ever anyone say it's enough while writing the songs?
We try to….haha. It is generally very difficult for us to write a short song. We did it when we recorded a 7” last year and the song was only seven minutes and it was the hardest thing we have ever done. It actually started out as a 12 minute song but we cut it to seven. We feel by having so many riffs in a song and repeating so often it almost brings a hypnotic like affect to the music and then when it does change, the change knocks you off balance again. I'm not saying we will never write short songs cause it is getting very difficult to pick songs from each album to play live when they are 15 minutes long. We have some gigs coming up soon and 5 songs last about an hour so you can see the difficulty haha.
How many times have you already had to explain your song “The Crashing Wave” had nothing to do with the Tsunami disaster last Christmas?
None, some people have mentioned it is a funny coincidence but that's about it. “The Crashing Wave” deals with the depression and come down following a weekend of debauchery and how you are left feeling after having such an intense high and all that is left intense hate, emptiness and a brooding melancholy. It is also a general statement on the society we live in and how everything is a quick fix, everybody lives for the here and now, how we so easily these days forget our past and our heritage.
All Mourning Beloveth albums were recorded abroad. Why did you choose to record the new album at Studio E in Germany?
“Dust” and the “Sullen Sulcus” were recorded in Academy with Magz and this one in Studio E with Markus Stock.. We feel it is better for us to go away from our own country as it helps us focus with not so many distractions around. Thrown in to a new town, a new country has a bonding affect with the band and we all focus on the job at hand. The reason why we went away from Academy this time was really to challenge ourselves to see could we record a good album in a different studio. Also the music has developed in a different direction to the previous album so we felt a fresh start would also light the flame in us. When looking for a studio for this album I was talking to Duncan of Antimatter and he gave me Martin/Prophecy email address and in turn he put me in contact with Markus and Studio E. We then got some CDs that were recorded in Studio E and were very impressed. We take each album as it comes and seeing where the music is taking us and then we decide on a studio that would suit what we are doing at that time.
Besides the regular version the album will be released as a double CD as well containing a bonus live registration. What it your or the label's idea to release the album like this?
It was our idea. We had some extra songs for this album and instead of just leaving it aside we decided to record the song “Disintegrate”, we also re-recorded the 7” “Part 1” and seeing as the album was 75 minutes without these songs the only thing to do was put them on a double digipack. We then decided it was cheating just to have one brand new song on a digi so we added a gig from our DSR tour last year, recorded in Gronigen in Holland. We have noticed over the years that with each release we have there is a different atmosphere to each release, each is reflecting what we are going through at that time and I think from now on if we have some extra songs we will always record them as they are about that moment.
What made you decide to leave your leave your previous label Aftermath in order to join the relatively unknown Grau label actually? And have been satisfied with this new cooperation so far?
We were only signed to Aftermath for one album and so when it was time to record another album we sent some promos around, received some good offers but when we played Doom Shall Rise last year we met Tom (Grau boss) and some long, drunken discussions about his plans for the label and he offered us a good deal so we jumped (fell) at the chance. The fact that Grau has a good cooperation with Prophecy Prod. means we get very good promotion and distribution so it was an easy decision for us to make. Yeah the cooperation so far has been great, everything is run like clockwork, what we were promised we received…and some more….
In my opinion the international and especially the European doom scene is growing spectacularly lately. Since you have been in the circuit since 1996, how do you look at the scene yourself?
Yeah the doom scene in the past few years is really growing. We toured with Morgion and The Prophecy in 2003 across Europe and around the same time reverend Bizarre and Mirror of Deception were touring and it seems this is happening every year now. There are few doom festivals like Dutch Doom Day, Belgian Doom Night, Doom Shall Rise attracting some good crowds and bands realize it is the perfect opportunity to get some gigs at the same time. I spoke to some old punk friends of mine and they say the doom scene is very much like the old punk scene, everybody helping each other with gigs and promotion and there is very much a do it yourself attitude to the underground doom scene which should see it outlast the trend merchants in the major labels.
How about the Irish (doom) metal scene? Can you provide us with some bands we should really check out?
The Irish doom scene is probably us and a new band Wreck of the Hesperus who have just released two demos but you should check them out….slow, sewer like autopsy doom. The Irish scene well I am sure you know Primordial and there are bands like Geasa, Abaddon Incarnate who have been around a long time and are finally getting the recognition they deserve. And it finally seems in the last few weeks the Irish music press has discovered there is actually some good Irish metal bands. The Irish metal scene is relatively small but is passionate and dedicated to the cause. You should check out
You already have been confirmed to play at the forth edition of the Dutch Doom Day in October 2005. Looking forward to play our country again?
It's almost become like our second home ..haha and we have a lot of good friends there…all hail de Baroeg. We were down to play last year but because of circumstances it was impossible for us. It was a plan of ours many years ago when the band started to move to Holland and smoke and play doom but unfortunately our drummer doesn't smoke so it may have been unfair on him, although I am sure he could have survived with the cheap beer and the red light districts…hah. Seriously though we love playing Holland and we feel this gig in De Baroeg we got to make up for our poor show last time there when we hadn't slept the night before and the gig seemed to pass us by…so this time will should be good.
Let's have a look in the crystal ball. What will the future bring Mourning Beloveth?
We are trying to organize some gigs for May and October in Europe and after that another album. At the moment we are rehearsing our set for a gig in April on April 14th and May 7th in Dublin with Primordial.
Any additions to this interview?
All hail the lowlands!