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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Interview: Darren Moore of Mourning Beloveth


On January 22th Mourning Beloveth released their latest album Rust & Bone (read our review here). Time for DutchMetalManiac's Henric van Essen to ask some questions to vocalist Darren Moore.

Hello, how are you doing?

Grand.

First off, my compliments for your new album, I enjoyed it a lot. What, if any, is the story behind ‘Rust and bone’?

And do you not continue to enjoy it or was it just the once? Haha….The story behind Rust & Bone is one of a band (namely MB) writing an album in the space of 8 months, recording it and touring all within a calendar year. An album where we have tried a lot of new things and yet is still recognizable as a Mourning Beloveth album and that is no mean feat in a world of too much of everything. It is an album where we have our first full acoustic track (the acoustic guitars supplied by a friend of mine who hand crafts acoustic guitars and sells them for a lot of money, this being the first guitar he ever built), an album where MB have their first “blast beat” (for want of a better word), an album we recorded in 6 days in Skyhammer studios and one where the creative process, although nerve jangling and torturous, was a very enjoyable experience. It is one where Pauric came into his own as both a song writer and guitarist in MB and this has helped us develop our sound another step in another direction. One where the concepts and lyrics have developed from the microcosm to the macrocosm, into the real doom of the universe and history. One where we melded the dreamlike ether of previous lyrical approaches with the reality that surrounds us where the most dominant nation on earth is too busy warmongering too often for economic superiority through a corporate imperialism, where technological dominance shown by smart bombs and predator drones are not used for the good of anybody except those in power, We could do something else. Something generous and uplifting for all humankind. We could send the first representatives from Earth, to walk on another planet. We could land people on Mars. ...we could start questioning those in power and ask them why with all of this technology we are destroying the thing we live on while being fed our own minds on a silver platter to keep us occupied. We do not have the answers but we should have the questions.

Who is or are the creative mastermind(s) behind Mourning Beloveth? Where do you get your inspiration from?

We are all the creative masterminds behind MB…but I will try not to be too facetious…for once haha… what will usually happen (usually being a very loose term) is Frank or Pauric will come to rehearsal with a riff or two riffs, sometimes even a song and we jam it, put it in the bank and we gather riffs, ideas, lyrical concepts(my department) for some time and as the fog breaks to morning and day and light slowly things will “fall” into place, riffs, lyrics, song titles and the placing of all of these factors meld into a song, a concept perhaps, an album and onwards. That is probably the simplest version I can give you. Sometimes 90% of these elements can be there but the fog is thick..we are waiting to be served, but nothing gets handed to us, we work, we dig, we dig, sometimes we dig up and finally realize what we were looking for was there all along. For example the song The Mantle Tomb was written a specific way, starting up tempo and slowly fading to nothing, and the song was finished for some time..I had the lyrics complete but it wasn’t working and I spent a month at rehearsals staring at a page with nothing happening except a slow descent into insanity but then it just clicked and the problem was the two main defined paragraphs were in the wrong places for flow and coherence of the lyrics…I digress….anyway, influences…musically everything from Esoteric to Skepticism to Tom Waits to Leonard Cohen to Iron Maiden to Slayer to Nick Cave to Woven hand to Portishead to Morbid Angel…literature wise well on this one we wore our hearts somewhere near our sleeves, hanging down a bit too but we have a quote from Samuel Beckett, the last song is an excerpt from a poem about the Irish Rising in 1916 by WB Yeats called Easter 1916 which shows the changing attitude in the poet, and perhaps Irish people in general, to the Rising and how, when they saw that the martyrs from this Rising were willing to sacrifice their lives for the cause of Irish freedom over years of oppression and colonialism that perhaps it was something that we should be fighting for and it sparked the road to our eventual freedom. We chose the final verse as it sums up the idealistic values of these men who were not caught up with fame and glory but in a cause, a cause to free Ireland. Inspiration comes from history, books, movies, documentaries, reality…everything we live and breathe…how the domination of a superpower masks our minds and trucks us into a reality that will end us all.

The first thing that caught my attention when I listened to the album is the fact that there’s a lot of room for the more subtle side of your music, especially compared to your earlier work, with the tandem ‘Rust’ and ‘Bone’ and the closer ‘A terrible beauty is born’. Would you say you’re developing into another direction, or is there another reason for this change?

We are constantly developing, every album has subtle changes but usually only the most avid of listeners (fans we call em) notice it. We never stay still for stagnation is death boring and boredom is death. We continually challenge ourselves…a linear scaffold through the album quickly would be this..Dust was the culmination of about 6 years of playing music and putting these songs together in my garage. The Sullen Sulcus was Dust 2.0 with twin guitar melodies, more Frank vocals and us feeling comfortable with where we were. Our third album could easily have been a cop out and do a TSS 3.0 but instead we went for longer songs, less melodies, grim cold productions and landscapes…but again we learn and for ADFTA (4th album) we mixed TSS moods with grim and desperate AMC moods and so for Formless..I haven’t the years put in yet to place this in our discog but you see where I am going..we are constantly evolving, changing, challenging. I think this time on Rust & Bone it is much more recognisable as we have acoustic guitars and a lot of beautiful vocal melodies to send us through the stars. From Formless to this album, if you listen to the song Transmissions….that was the beginning of our journey to R&B. each album evolves…we never know to where but it does…we will have brief conversations about what we want and then just rehearse and live our lives…..and the evolution seeps through. Also the fact the music mirrors the lyrics where we describe people being forcefed life through god, x factor whatever and our acoustic pieces Rust and the Bone piece are moments we can sit back from all the shit and clear the mind of stone..maybe even formulate a question or two.

Due to the above mentioned I can imagine quite a few fans will be surprised by ‘Rust & bone’, to what extend did that play a role when you composed it?

It doesn’t play a role. Yeah hopefully they will be surprised, surprise is good. Everything we do is for a reason, there are no random acts of musical snobbery within. What I mean is, the next album will not have lots of gabba beats or electronic shit in there for some simple reason being none of us listen to it or are inspired by that type of music. More acoustic guitar, perhaps. Less acoustic guitar, perhaps. More Frank vocals..same. All options open. One thing is for sure though, it will still be Mourning Beloveth.

You have a pretty stable line up compared to many other bands, with Pauric being the last one to join in 2009. What is your secret?

He gets paid a lot of money and he gets first option on what type of car he wants from the label. Seriously though I don’t think there is a secret but one thing I have realised over the years is that what we do is not easy and so commitment and more importantly, enjoyment override 36 hour bus journeys to a show or listening to one riff for 4 hours in a studio. The struggle of creation is forgotten when the goal is reached and it seems the more difficult something is the more enjoyable the results.

You recently toured with Hooded Menace and Shores Of Null, you have released a new album, sounds like you have covered all bases at the moment. What are your plans for the near future?

At the moment we plan on playing some gigs this year ( we have some booked already in London, Scotland, Romania…), maybe another tour if the right one comes along. We have a lot of other things in our heads but do not like to promote them until they are concrete so I could say we will release a single, a new video maybe even a new song but until these things happen then I am somewhat of a liar. So..for definite we will play some gigs, get drunk and write some more music.

Is there anything else you would like to share, add or say to our readers?

Nope.

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