Interviews: My Silent Wake


On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Doom Metal/Death Metal band, My Silent Wake, from the UK. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name?

Ian: I came up with it back in 2005 when the band was forming from the remnants of Ashen Mortality. It had a ring to it, plus multiple meanings and seemed to conjure up the idea of the music we were creating. I can't remember what the alternative names were or even if we had any. It has been a blessing and a curse.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

Ian: Which one?! All the music we create is the type of thing we enjoy personally. I am a big fan of rock, goth, metal and folk primarily and they have all influenced what we do. We are free to create whatever we want and that has always been the way with the band. I think now the spectrum is wider than ever but the feel is still the same.

Dave: The epic riffs – guitar based or otherwise, and the fact that pessimism pervades my soul. I really like how MSW can play any genre we please. I believe I was recommended to Ian by Gareth whom I’ve known for years. This album’s style is quite a departure for me, although one of my old bands had doom elements.

Simon: Aside from loving the genres we delve into I feel that powerful emotions can only be truly conveyed by powerful music.

Gareth: I was dragged into it! I’ve been friends with Ian for years and when the previous drummer, Mark, decided to leave Ian asked if I wanted to join. I’m a fan of bands like Paradise Lost and the like, so coming from a more thrash/death metal background it was an opportunity to do something a bit different and to work with a good mate. How little I understood how much ‘different’ would be!

Addam: I find this genre (genres?) is an excellent medium for expression. That and the heavy, heavy riffs.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Ian: I knew all the original band members as friends. They have left one by one but remained friends. The current band were all my friends apart from Dave, who was friends with Addam and Gareth. We soon became friends too.

Gareth: I’ve known Ian for about 20 years (I know Simon has known him considerably longer), my first band actually played a lot of our gigs with Ashen Mortality – the forerunner to MSW. I’ve known Dave probably about the same length of time as we were both frequenters of particular hostelries and metal clubs in Bristol. We also played in bands that would gig together quite often. 

Dave: Gareth actually played live drums once or twice for my old thrash band Craniosacral, circa 2005/2006.

4. Each member favourite band?

Ian: Led Zeppelin

Addam: Like the other guys, I change my mind frequently. But if I had to choose one it’d be either Fields of the Nephilim or Emperor. Simon – I swap and change every five minutes – current favourites include Anna von Hausswolff, Pallbearer, Atlases and Kauan.

Dave: Impossible to pick just one – Favourite band of all time has to be Iron Maiden, but I couldn’t not mention Morbid Angel, Slayer, Death, Bolt Thrower, My Dying Bride, Monstrosity, Belphegor…

Gareth: My three all-time favs would be Slayer, Rush and Iron Maiden. I can’t just pick one!

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Ian: Anything can spark it off. If something really interests or inspires or simply a strong feeling. Quite often the lyrics come from sadness or loss but can also have a positive healing effect on the writer and hopefully the listener.

Addam: Drugs, mental health, video games, pets, and any weird shit that happens.

6. Where was your last gig? 

Ian: At the Thunderbolt in Bristol UK, with Detritus.

Gareth: Probably the smallest stage we have ever played on!

7. Where would you like to act?

Dave: I think all of us would like to play in Europe again, but sadly I think Brexit is going to make that even harder financially than it was. Some details of the new red-tape is starting to emerge now and it looks very expensive.

Gareth: In Europe, definitely. It’s always a good trip and the gigs are always well patronised. Would be nice to do a big festival in the US, too, but, as Dave says, none of it will probably happen as it becomes more and more expensive and awkward!

Addam: Yep, Europe again. We (well, I) always have a good time. Sadly, I doubt we’ll be able to afford the visas going forward. Playing the states would be amazing but of course, the cost once again prohibits it.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

Gareth: We’ve been lucky enough to play with quite a few bands that we hold in high regard, but it would be great to be on the same bill as My Dying Bride, Trouble or Paradise Lost. As a collaboration…. we are open to offers, if it fits with what we want to do. Personally, I would love to work with someone like Devin Townsend – whether this was musically or in production/recording.

9. Whom not?

Gareth: There are some musicians/acts we would never dream of collaborating with. To stop possible legal action we won’t name them here!

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tips for beginners on how to beat that?

Ian: I have and still do. I don't think you get over that but it doesn't need to be crippling. I think for me it is mild but it often puts me in a tense mood before a performance. I know for some people it can be a deal breaker which is a shame. 

Dave: I do get nervous before a gig, but I also look forward to them and find live performance cathartic. I think a bit of nerves can help you focus on your performance, and you can channel them to an extent. There is no point in worrying about things going wrong (as they usually do for MSW!) as a lot of the time it is outside your control – so focus on what is in your control – practice and maintain your gear, and be prepared for things as best you can - and after that just have fun. It is meant to be fun.

Gareth: I don’t get stage fright, but I am horribly self-critical and this can be just as mentally damaging. If I play what I think is a bad show, then I just shut myself away when we come off stage and I won’t talk to anyone. However, I always feel that if I can get back behind the kit quickly after a bad show then I can conquer the fear of another bad show. Failing that the distraction of a good book usually helps.

Addam: I don’t usually get stage fright at all, but have done on a handful of occasions. I usually use Dutch courage to overcome any nerves. Some might say a little too much Dutch courage. Pshaw, I say.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Ian: Zeppelin, Saxon, Dead Can Dance, Sabbath, Mike Oldfield, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Pink Floyd, Celtic Frost - to name a small selection.

Gareth: When approaching drum patterns for the band, I take a lot of influence from old school Death Metal bands such as Grave, Bolt Thrower, Obituary but also more melodic bands like Evergrey. I very much want the feel to be right for each song rather than sticking to a particular formula.

12. What’s the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Gareth: With a previous band, after a festival in Europe, I was asked by some bloke if I could autograph the socks I had worn when playing and give them to him. He even offered me 50 Euros! Beer does funny things to people!

Addam: Also with a different band, a female fan asked me to play my heaviest, lowest riffs while she straddled the bass cab. I was happy to oblige, and she was happily obliged.

14. What do you think of your fans?

Ian: I appreciate them a lot. We are a small band and can only continue with their support. We have never made any money at all from this and we just do it for enjoyment.

Gareth: Without them we are nothing.

Dave: We are just five guys who write and play as we please – it’s humbling to have fans who have followed the band for 15 years and love the things we create, which is obvious even to me as the newest member of the band.

15. What do you think of our site?

Ian: Looks excellent!

16. Something add?

Gareth: Thanks for the interview and write up.

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