No rest for one of Britain’s most melancholic exports: Just half a year after MY DYING BRIDE returned from their break with their haunting and successful (German Album Charts #12) masterpiece »The Ghost Of Orion«, the sons of Halifax raise the curtains to the »Macabre Cabaret«.
The new EP of the band offers three new songs – dark luscious Death Doom ear candies that will dive their victim into a sensual world of darkness and temptation and conceal the borders between sweet pain and destructive illusion.
I had a chat with the band and delved into the shadow empire of dark love.
Welcome to MHF magazine.
Macabre Cabaret really explores deep emotional paths that most bands wouldn’t dare to touch. It made me think. Does love necessarily mean pain?
Aaron: For the most part, ‘yes’ because if you don’t have it – you long for it and pine endlessly, and if you do have love in your life, you are looking for ways in which to defend it and protect it, nurture and grow it just so, which takes effort and time. And the niggling little demon sitting in the shadows of our mind will always remind us that if we lose love, it will destroy us utterly and forever.
“All religion features a shadow creature who arrives at the point of extinction and the release of the human soul, to either guide them to majesty or allows them to fall eternally into the ether”, you said. Let’s elaborate on that a bit. Does that mean our own demons can either make us or break us? How can we utilize them to reach majesty then?
Aaron: We cannot control our demons and thus, our fate is random and erratic at best. I guess some people may have the ability to tap into those forbidden area’s of the mind and soul and may indeed sway the balance in their favour through a mantra or spiritual will of strongholding. But they are slim numbers, for the rest of us, we flail about hoping we’re swimming in the right direction while swallowing as little bile as possible and simply staying afloat. At some point, along comes old father time with an empty hour-glass and a list as long as forever, to tick off our life like a biblical shopping list and either pulls us free from the dark water or presses his foot against our forehead and gently eases us down into the abyss.
You recently launched a new, unexpected product: A classic Vienna lager. How involved were you in the product developing process?
Aaron: Our beer has actually been in development for several month as we were trying to get the ingredients just right which naturally meant a lot of tasting – it’s a tough job. We have used Hallertau, Huell Melon and Mandarina Bavaria hops impart a delicate fruitiness to the beer and it’s fermented with a strain of yeast originating from Germany which gives beer a floral, fruity aroma. The brewery, Darkland (based here in Yorkshire), had never attempted a craft lager before so there was a deal of trial & error in which we had to quaff the spoils, naturally, but finally we all got to the point where it was just perfect. Darkland had also never done cans before, just bottles so the canning process was new as well. It was our suggestion to use cans as we suspected fans globally would want some and shipping cans is way cheaper than glass.
What has been the most challenging part of the creation of Macabre Cabaret?
Aaron: The video shoot! The songs were recorded at the same time as the LP and as we couldn’t decide which songs to use for the LP and EP we handed them to Nuclear Blast to let them decide. Our studio engineer/producer Mark Mynett has tweaked the sound of the EP so it doesn’t sound like it was from the same session as “The Ghost of Orion” to allow it it’s own breathing space. So the songs were already done but the video needed shooting which was more challenging as I had to travel to London then back up to Yorkshire, do some acting, miming and strangling of a young wench – all rather taxing. But it will be out soon so keep an eye out for it.
Tell me something about yourself (or the band) that sounds totally made up, but its 100% real.
Aaron: When I was 15 years old I held the world record for my age group for high jump, clearing 2m (6’ 6”) – fact!
What song best describes 2020?
Aaron: We did a cover of a song by legendary band SWANS called “Failure” which most certainly sums up 2020!
It looks like we are heading into a second quarantine. Say, you get stuck in a house with the band for a month. Spill the tea! How would that go? Who is the messy one, who gets to organise everything and who is most likely to get into trouble?
Aaron: Well we have spent many weeks on a tour bus together so I think we already know a great deal about eachother and how to get along and when to give a person some space. You don’t really cook on the bus though so I guess if we shared a kitchen and had to cook for real, that would show who was who. I adore cooking and can tidy up as I go AND complete the washing up after without fuss but it would really piss me off if the others left their shit all over the place. For the most part though, I believe harmony would reign and we’d be OK together as we’re all rather similar in an odd sort of way.
Alright, let’s get back to the Cabaret. What are your hopes for the EP and what would you like it to be remembered for in ten years from now?
Aaron: Naturally a number one slot in all countries is my desire but failing that, a respect for some music that has been well crafted, superbly recorded and delivered with passion and honesty. We are not a rock n roll band but a group of people who craft moments of desire, passion and affecting emotion who have no intention of changing the world but perhaps touching a soul or two somewhere in the wide old earth.