Aug 212013

(NCS guest writer and hard man to please KevinP wrangled the following interview with Lena Abé, bass-player for legendary UK doom squad My Dying Bride and guitarist for Severed Heaven.)


K:  So you joined My Dying Bride in 2007, but were a relatively unknown name at the time.  Give us some back-story before entering the fray?

L:   I started playing guitar when I was ten years old. Usual story really, joined bands throughout high school, became involved within the metal scene, and eventually joined My Dying Bride.  Music is in my family, so I was always going to do something along those lines.


K:  Are you a native/lifelong Brit?

L:  Mostly yes. I’m half Japanese and half British. Born in Tokyo, but my family moved to the UK when I was still a baby.  I was brought up in Yorkshire and definitely have the accent to prove it.


K:  So growing up, when did you first hear about My Dying Bride? 

L:  I can’t remember exactly. I remember friends’ older siblings being into them when I was a kid and  I remember seeing the band in magazines like Kerrang and Terrorizer, old school MTV as well. It was eye-opening because it was the first time I had heard “doom”.  I really got into them around the Songs of Darkness, Words of Light era (2004-ish) and saw them live.  That changed it for me and I then explored the rest of their catalogue.


K:  Were you already into death metal/extreme music by that time?

L:  Not fully, but I was half-way there if that makes sense. Continue reading »

Mar 102010

[Today, we’re pleased to feature a post from our occasional guest contributor from the Antipodes, Steff Metal (whose usual site you can find here). We wish we had at least thought up the wicked title to this post, but that was hers, too. And the rest of post is also pretty damned wicked. Prepare yourself to be entertained, and to discover some new music in the process.]

I went to a Cripple Mr. Onion gig. During setup I was nursing my bourbon and cola at the bar when I overheard a couple of dudes discussing Arch Enemy.

“She’s alright to look at,” one said, “but she can’t growl for shit.”

“Yeah,” his friend agreed. “Chicks can’t do extreme metal. Every extreme metal band with a chick vocalist is crap.” Therein followed a heated discussion of what chicks should be doing instead of playing extreme metal, which I’ve omitted due to the rules of common decency.

Resisting the urge to punch them both in the face, I drained my glass and wondered if I could prove his claim false. Surely there must be extreme metal bands with decent female vocals?

It’s a long-held belief among metalheads that girls can’t do extreme metal. Extreme Metal is probably the most aggressive, angry, violent form of music there is, and every study ascertains its audience as overwhelmingly male. There’s a kind of “lost boys club” surrounding extreme metal, a sort of grymm forest treehouse with a badly handwritten sign on the door: NO GIRLS ALLOWED.

I think the lack of decent female extreme metal musicians has more to do with simple maths. Hardly any girls listen to extreme metal, and of those that do, hardly any play instruments. There are hundreds of thousands of men playing in metal bands and about twenty-two girls (seriously, I counted), and if 80% of all metal is crap, then that’s only … 4.2 decent female extreme metal musicians.

No I just have to find them.  (and find them she did — read on after the jump . . .) Continue reading »