Like other bands, My Dying Bride are dealing with the usual COVID complaints: depression, lack of band activity, and delays. But unlike other bands, this isn’t the first time the group has been put under strain by serious life events.

Aaron Stainthorpe, the band’s vocalist, spent the last few years dealing with the horror of his daughter being in the hospital for cancer. Thankfully, she is now doing better, and Stainthorpe and the band were excited about 2020 being the year they got back out there and started touring. Of course, that wasn’t in the cards, but they aren’t ones to complain.

“In a good year, we might play 12 or 13 shows, that’s all,” Stainthorpe admits. “So, not playing 12 or 13 shows in 2020 doesn’t really impact us the way it would a band that might do 150 shows in a year. A lot of bands are suffering a great deal more than we are, so I’m not going to complain.”

The band’s latest EP, Macabre Cabaret, released November 20 via Nuclear Blast,features the outtakes from their latest full-length, Ghost of Orion. However, the songs are by no means an afterthought.

“We recorded 11 songs, and we couldn’t decide which to put on the album and which to hold back for a later date,” Stainthorpe explains. “Everybody loves all the songs and wanted them all on there, so we left it to the record label. We told them, ‘Take three songs out of these 11 songs, and hold them back for whatever you want to hold them back for.’ We were thinking it might be an EP, and the label agreed. So, it was recorded at the same time as the album, but our engineer has tweaked it to give it a slightly different sound from the rest of the recording session.”

In terms of the lyrics on the EP, much like the lyrics on their last album, they revisit some tried-and-true themes, themes that carry the intensity and depth of the music.

“There are always touches of religion and love, and grief and despair, because I find those to be quite intense subjects, and I like my music to be intense, and I want the people who listen to it to be intense and to be involved,” says Stainthorpe. “And to invest their emotions in what we’ve crafted for them.”

Though they’ve managed well and kept a positive attitude during the pandemic, the band have their doubts about doing a livestream.

“Do people really buy tickets for this? I mean, isn’t it a bit like a DVD, because you’re not really there? It’s weird. Also, before I go on stage, I’m incredibly nervous, and that nervous energy helps me to become the character that I am on stage, and the motions I go through are there because of the feedback from the audience. My mannerisms and persona would be vastly different outside of a live setting, so I’m a bit nervous about it, but if the pandemic does continue on, we’ll probably do it.”

There may not be a livestream anytime soon, but stay on the lookout for more music and tour announcements from My Dying Bride if things get better.

Photo courtesy of My Dying Bride

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Addison is reviews and online news editor for New Noise. She specializes in metal, queer issues, and dog cuddles.

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