On the occasion of their newest record ‘Rust & Bone’, we got the chance to interview Darren Moore from Irish death doom veterans Mourning Beloveth.
Mourning Beloveth have always stayed through to their doom roots, regardless its popularity. Other subgenres within doom often get their time in the spotlight, Like you have currently with the female fronted occult vintage doom rock thing. Classic death doom , however always seems to be the black sheep of the family. How difficult has it been to keep it all together all those years?
Good question man…it hasn’t been difficult at all. We enjoy what we do and I think that is the overriding factor of everything, 36 hour bus journeys to a show or listening to one riff for 4 hours in a studio, playing shitty gigs in shitty venues with shitty promoters… the struggle of creation is forgotten when the goal is reached and it seems the more difficult something is the more enjoyable the results. All music is cyclic and with the help of our friends in the underground like Jochen and Doom Shall Rise, Pim and Dutch Doom Day gave us a platform to play in Europe. These festivals were around when not much else was for underground doom bands. W ehave even seen the fad of “trad” doom come and go, where we were called charlatans for having growling in our music, where are they now? Only the strong survive, near the bottom. Shit floats, seen by all..but it also stinks. Luckily we have a lot of friends throughout the world and we enjoy what we do and always have. I reckon the next thing will be another form of death metal, and twisting blackened death the braw thing is burned, hopefully joke death metal will never resurface and we go back to the real roots of death..and add something. Like the world, we should sit back, don’t get carried away in the tide and avoid the shit. Stay true to what you do
The clean vocal have evolved significantly. Actually I can hear some influence from acts likes Woven Hand, which I definitely mean as a compliment?
You have a very good ear. I have been a huge 16 Horsepower and Woven Hand fan for a few years now and although I don’t write any of the music perhaps my “enthusiasm” for both bands has seeped through to the others(well I know it has, they had no choice when they get into my car or stay in my house after rehearsals haha) But that is a disservie to the other guys in the band..everyone brings their own bits and pieces to the writing and recording process but I would say I reckon Frank (clean vocals) was more influenced by Cave than Edwards in the vocal department and perhaps you are hearing the second guitar, the structures (and one line I stole from Edwards), the overall moods of those bands in our music and even stepping back further upon listening to these bands I for one, and I can safely speak for a few other members probably see that misery and despondence and doom doesn’t have to be all out attack with guitars (however slow and downtuned). I have been a huge Cave and Cohen fan for years, Pauric is a massive Waits fan and that has definitely seeped into me and Frank (even Bren and Tim, although they won’t admit that haha) but I mean when we recorded Formless on the downtime , which was very little, all we did was drink beer, play pool and listen to Tom Waits. If you didn’t like Waits after that then it was probably Guantanamo bay type dislocation and insanity but if you did (which we all did) then that is gonna seep through to the creative things we do. Also the fact that we felt a lot more comfortable this time round. We recorded Formless and Transmissions is my favourite song on that album but it is not a typical MB song but when you hear it you know it is MB playing it..that gives a lot of freedom and that drifted into the R&B writing and recording
How did the tour go with Hooded Menace?
It was great, first tour where I didn’t have to drive, do merch..just be in a band and play music..great. Some countries we hadn’t played before. Some bad gigs, mostly great gigs. Two great and cool bands to tour with hooded Menace and Shores of Null. Our new album was just release, we had a new label(great label), some serious drinking n stuff sessions. It was like we were in a Rock Band haha. Hopefully this is how the tours will be from now on (with me doing nothing but playing our songs)
On tour many fans go an early view on the new record? How have the reactions been so far?
Yeah and we played two songs from it…the reactions have been great but that is not the test, the test is when the people who buy the album have it for some time and still listen to it. That is how I judge the music I buy anyway. But the only test that is important is our own one, are we happy with it and yes we are. Can we improve, yes…but at the moment it is too close to our hearts to see where that is and can be. The album is only release on January 22 but seeing as how we were going on tour we released a limited tour edition available to people at the gigs. It solved a few issues for us as the writing and recording and new label and tour happened so quickly there wasn’t much time for proper promotional work. Everything fell into place (in a fashion) on tour, although I am sure our pr would not agree there haha.
The last track is based on a poem by William Yeats about the Easter Rising in Ireland in 1916? Does it relate directly to that or did you want to place it another context?
It is not based on a poem it is the actual poem, well the final paragraph of the poem. I knew the poem from school and loved it but it was not in my head to use it. The strands of the concept of the album were coming together and we had toyed with the ide previously of covering an Irish traditional song but this seemed overdone by many of our peers. The poem is about the time, Easter 1916, and the poets (and perhaps irish peoples) changing attitudes to the men who fought and died in that rebellion to free Ireland from its colonial masters and 800 years of oppression. The poet starts out thinking these men are fools, fighting for an idea (an idea of a free Ireland) but when the rising is over and these men (who were not soldiers, but poets and scholars) had given their lives for this cause he (and Ireland) changed their attitudes to this Easter 1916 Rising. I am oversimplifying but that is the general story. I wasn’t really interested in the changing attitude but in the idealism and idealistic values of the cause which are brought home in the final paragraph. It tied in with what we were saying about the world around us today, how the noble idea is lost, lost in a sea of mediocrity and facebook and x factor and the lowest common denominator. Most people are happy to be spoon fed their ideas without any critical thinking about what we are doing. A race to the bottom where the best car, the kardasian kunts seem to rule tv. Where journalism is now a propaganda tool used by governments to mask their lies..where are the journalists gone? They are being squeezed out by those with money and power, greed and corruption win the day and destroy the world. Our 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(besides the moon). 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
So we try to blur our mind of everything except the goal, phosphene dreams etc be it writing a song, discovering space, clearing space in your head for the higher purpose and how say for example in Ireland for years all our heads were filled with was the catholic church and all of its beautiful traditions of rape, lies and whatever but Ireland as a people knew nothing else and so accepted it. as the years go and we learn more, become a more educated race we see religion for what it really is. And yet people seem willing to accept the easier option, the race to the bottom..coz it's easier, it conforms to the mass consumer model they want you to and anything outside of their dogma is wrong..the ether being fed to us through religion, tv,xfactor,media, z list celebrities, cats on facebook,gender fluid bullshit....the ether they try to fill us with clears though if you don’t accept it, question everything. We don’t have the answer but you can be sure those that you elect don’t either. The ether should be to gain the knowledge of the real world not the one they say is the real one, it should be attempting to answer the unknowns of space and earth not to destroy them as we are doing with the earth. If all the wars stopped and all of the technology we had for those wars was used for the good of the human race and the planet we lived on imagine whatw e could tghen create..an Indian saying comes to mind..."when the last tree is cut and the last fish eaten only then will they realise that money cannot be eaten"
and yet soon the earth will have completely eaten itself, destroyed by the imperialistic notion of freedom, freedom of what? Freedom to chose what? Freedom to chose what they tell us to chose. And yet we will return into mere dust again...the ideal of discovering space and realising we are a mere speck are really focuesed when you see images from the hubble telescope of the birth of stars..and even the universe as we know it. Mans thirst for knowledge leads us to these things and yet this perfect idea is being corrupted by mans insatiable greed for what? Money , control and in the end it won't matter. Space such a perfect vacuum, beautiful and as yet untold aeons beyond what we can even imagine and yet the first thoughts are that it would be well used as an arms base haha. The thirst for knowledge leads to beautiful things and yet the base element called the human just calculate how much money can be gleaned from it. Have the people live in fear forever and nothing will grow. We will be remembered for what we destroyed. When we were younger we dreamed and we were allowed to dream but it seems now growing up seems to be about survival of the individual, the future has become a threat, just like freedom, democracy, terror....
You’ve opted for a very sober, minimalist cover this time. It looks quite classy though with the embossed logo on the digipack paper?
I actually like it a lot better than the “formless” cover of the previous record. It looks beautiful….our love for Van Records has a lot to do with the thought and effort Sven puts into both the band and the packaging…it’s great. Funny(perhaps) story was we had a completely different cover and artwork for the album. We had been in daily/nightly/hourly contact with Sven about the album, concepts etc for a couple of weeks and then we sent him the cover artwork. In most polite way he told us it didn’t work. I think the conversation within the band lasted two minutes when he sent us what he thought it should be, and it ended up being. Now we are stubborn men and are very determined with what we do and do not make any decision lightly but whether it was the fact that we saw he had put a lot of effort into us so far and thought into the front cover that we just said yep..lets go with it. Sven and Van have a good history of beautiful packaging and caring about the artist more so than the sales value of a particular front cover. Also, saying that, I do not think that front cover with the gold embossed MB logo would have worked on any other of our albums, the stars aligned, corporate hegemony was not even a thought haha, it was the noble thought both musically and aesthetically won through and I think people on seeing and hearing this album will appreciate that.
What else will 2016 have in store for Mourning Beloveth?
We have some gigs booked, 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 and learn some more about the world.