Interview With ‘My Silent Wake’


MSW_logoMy Silent Wake‘s roots lie in the death/doom band Ashen Mortality. Ashen Mortality were formed in the early 90′s in Halesowen, West Midlands [UK] and were active for a further 11 years. When the band split in 2005, three of the members went on to form MSW. The band was formed in the spring of 2005 in Weston-Super-Mare in North Somerset. Initially the band was created by Ashen Mortality co-founder Ian Arkley with other ex Ashen Mortality members.

Nowadays, MSW has new band members and they are ready to release 2 new albums. About the upcoming albums and more, you can read in the following interview with the gentlemen from My Silent Wake.

TMR: Hey guys how are things going there in the United Kingdom ?

Ian: Good thanks Eelco! We have 2 new albums coming and we are working on getting ready for gigs with the new line-up. We are writing and recording new songs all the time. The new albums are sounding really good and we can’t wait for everyone to hear them.

TMR: For those who are not familiar with ‘My Silent Wake’: Tell us the brief history of ‘My Silent Wake’.

Ian: The band started in 2005 and have recorded many albums including a split with The Drowning. We have toured with The Drowning, The Prophecy and In Vain. There have been a number of line-up changes but a lot of the old members of the band still contribute from time to time during recordings and gigs. The current active line-up is me (Ian Arkley), Adam Westlake, Mark Henry and Rich Alden. Also Marc Ellison is an acoustic member of the band.

TMR: Will you Introduce yourself and the current line-up please [name and instrument]

Ian: guitar and vocals, Mark: Drums, Adam: bass and Rich: guitar. Marc Ellison plays on acoustic recordings and gigs. The forthcoming acoustic album featured many musicians including ex band members and the metal album was recorded with me (Ian), Mark and Kate.MSW 2013TMR: Are you guys full time musicians ? If not what kind of job or school do you do beside the band ?

Ian: Most of us are not full time. I am a freight train driver.
Adam: I’d love to be able to dedicate myself to music full-time, but unfortunately for now I’m stuck doing an arse job as a roadsweeper.
Mark: I am a full time drummer, with various gigging local bands. I also teach drums.
Rich: I work as a storeman in a shipping department.

TMR: What is your musical background ? [for everyone personal]

Ian: I came from a self taught heavy metal background and started in the thrash band Seventh Angel in the 80s.
Adam: I’ve been into rock, metal and goth styles ever since I can remember. Which, to be honest, isn’t that far…
Mark: I’m a self taught rock/punk/indie/goth/doom drummer. I’m influenced by 80’s goth.
Rich: I started off listening to rock before the grim void into heavier thrash/black/death stuff.

TMR: Why the name ‘My Silent Wake’ ? Is there a story behind it ?

Ian: Not really. Naming bands is normally a case of finding appropriate words and linking them together. It can mean whatever you want it to.

TMR: Who writes the music/lyrics in ‘My Silent Wake’ ? … how do you get in the mood for writing music? And which bands/situations have influences you for writing music and lyrics ?

Ian: Over the course of the albums there has been a fair range of writers but I am the principal song writer. On the new metal album it was Kate and I that wrote the music and I wrote most of the lyrics. I wrote the lyrics and most of the music on the acoustic album.

TMR: How do you describe the music of ‘My Silent Wake’ the best ?

Ian: It has always been hard to pigeon hole, but it has a death/doom/goth base with acoustic songs which are generally folk or medieval style compositions. The music is very progressive with our longest song being 23 mins long.

TMR: How does ‘My Silent Wake’ stands in life till events in the world, religion and politics and in which proportion stands that till your music and lyrics ?

Ian: We have no agenda whatsoever and have varying personal views.
Adam: Especially when it comes to biscuit choice
Mark: I just love to play & listen to good music, religion & politics do not really interest me.
Rich: Mark’s comment stands as being the same for me.

TMR: For a lot of bands the lyrics are just a accidental circumstance, but for some bands they use them to communicate ! ..can you tell us how that is for ‘My Silent Wake’ ?

Ian: They are mainly written in hard times and are sometimes a case of pouring your soul out which some people find slightly harrowing. The genuine nature of the lyrics make them very real indeed and the songs are generally a reflection of my life and the lives of those around me.

TMR: Is there a highlight you will always remember, since the beginning [2005] of ‘My Silent Wake’ ?

Ian: The first gig in Switzerland and all the great times we have had in the studio.

TMR: And the worst thing were ? [if there is one]

Ian: When I lost my friend Tim Cooper to cancer some years ago. He played in the band that spawned MSW (Ashen Mortality).The MSW song ‘To Bid farewell’ is about this.

TMR: What is your favorite album top 5 of all times ? [for everyone personal]

Ian: Zeppelin 4, Tubular Bells, The Wall, Dead Can Dance – Aion, and the fifth could be many albums but today I choose: Sabbath Vol 4
Adam: Well that’s a tough one. I change my mind about this constantly but at the moment I’d say The Nephilim (FOTN), Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk (Emperor), La Chambre d’Echo (Sopor Aeturnus and the Ensemble of Shadows), Narwhal (Undersmile) and Paragon of Dissonance (Esoteric)
Mark: First & Last & Always..The Sisters of Mercy..Icon..Paradise Lost..Dawn Razor..The Nephilim, Symbol of Life..Paradise Lost..Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables..The Dead Kennedys.
Rich: Mine are also changing constantly, but what I can think of at the moment as being my faves’ would be – Scream Bloody Gore (Death), Devil Speaks In Tongues (Mortem), Slayer (Show No Mercy), Queen II (Queen – surprise!), Dehumanizer (Black Sabbath)

TMR: What makes you laugh? [for everyone personal]

Ian: Good comedy (Blackadder, Peep Show, Fawlty Towers, Red Dwarf) friends with a good sense of humour.
Adam: Other’s misfortune. Oh, and comedy.
Mark: Ripping the piss out of people..I call it verbally sparring
Rich: Most stuff that isn’t deemed acceptable to laugh at.

Ian_MSW_2010TMR: How do you promote your band and shows ?

Ian: Online mainly. I spend too much time sat in front of the PC doing band promotion work.

TMR: How do you prepare for a show? [for everyone personal]

Ian: Take my asthma inhaler and try not to worry too much!
Adam: I down some scotch
Mark: Lots of alcohol.

TMR: Describe your show, visual and musically ? And tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.

Ian: A visual and aural extravaganza like no other : ) Musically: very heavy and normally pretty loud. Visually: 4 scruffy doom metallers having a good time. You should be there because you will have a good time too.

MSW: Metal porn.

TMR: Name some of your favorite bands to play with live [past and future] and tell us why ?

Ian: The Drowning, Esoteric, The Prophecy, Virgin Black, Forsaken, In Vain, Implaccable, Once Dead, Tor Marrock, Dalit, Attrition plus many, many others. All great to play gigs with. Nice people.

TMR: What is the dumbest question you have ever been asked? [for everyone personal]

Ian: Someone once asked me what is the dumbest question I have ever been asked : ) No… I have been asked some really strange questions but it has been a while since we did an interview. I think the questions about personal faith are very intrusive and can cause problems so they should be avoided. I have been asked a few times why I cut my hair. This pisses me off somewhat.
Adam: “Do you want tea or beer?” What a ridulous thing to say.

TMR: Do you have a life philosophy / favorite quote ? [for everyone personal]

Ian: I try not to hurt anyone by my actions but this doesn’t always go to plan. I hope I am a good friend and a loyal person as far as this is possible.
Adam: Never suffer fools. And never let the bastards grind you down.
Rich: Treat people with respect and (hopefully) get the same in return…

TMR: Are you visiting many gigs and what do you listen to these days? [for everyone personal]

Ian: The last few gigs were Orange Goblin, High On Fire and Metal to the Masses.
Adam: I’d love to go to more gigs, but, alas funds dictate otherwise. Recent gigs I went to were Conan/Bongripper, Orange Goblin and Big Naturals.
Rich: Recently saw Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats who were great and I also saw Conan/Bongripper with Ad’s which was awesome.

TMR: Tell us about the hardrock/metal scene in your area please?

Ian: A great club closed down in Weston but there are still smaller bands playing. Bristol has a healthy live scene.

TMR: What’s your outlook on the record industry today?

Ian: It is struggling, but I think people will continue to make music and adapt to the changes.

MSW_silent_2013TMR: What can you tell us about the upcoming albums ‘Silver Under Midnight’
& ‘Preservation, Restoration, Reconstruction’ [such as the recording proces, the songs, who did the artwork etc ?]

Ian: SUM was recorded in only four days and has been produced by the wonderful Greg Chandler of Esoteric. This is the first release with Mark on drums and our first metal recording for 3 years. The photo is by Holger Karas and the rest of the artwork was done by Alonso Espinoza and me.

PRR This was recorded over a long period and features various ex and current band members. It will be a vinyl/download only release. All the songs have an acoustic base and the album features dulcimer, keyboards, bass, drums, vocals, acoustic guitar, 12 string guitar, mandolin, flamenco guitar, cello, recorder, harmonium and many percussion instruments.

TMR: There also will come a music video from ‘The Last Man’, what can you tell us about that ? When can we expect the video ?

The video was started a few nights ago actually. Andrew Spencer, who did our other proper promo videos (Sturm, Storm and Journey’s End) is filming this and directing it with at least 2 actors. We cannot be there for this but we know he always does a great job. We didn’t want the band to be in it anyway. The video will be a short film depicting the song. The short part I have seen is excellent.

TMR: Both albums will be released, next month by ‘Bombworks Records’ how did you get signed by them ?

Ian: We got signed after the first demo we sent them and began work on the album very quickly. We did leave them for a while and released Et Lux Perpetua on Holland’s Dark Balance but we are now well and truly back with BW with these new releases and a re-issue of The Anatomy of Melancholy.

TMR: What are your plans for the near future ?

Ian: More rehearsing, more writing, more recording, getting the band more widely known and generally putting our hearts and souls into MSW.

TMR: What advice would you give to fellow bands?

Ian: Give up and leave it to us.

TMR: Guys thanks for your time and the interview, we wish ‘My Silent Wake’ all the best … Is there anything you wanna say at last ? [any final statement ?]

Ian: Thanks for the interview, thanks to everyone who reads this and supports MSW!

Band Members:
Ian Arkley – Vocals, lead guitar
Adam Westlake – Bass
Mark Henry – Drums
Rich Alden – Guitar, vocals

My Silent Wake (demo) [2005] 100 copies only
Shadow of Sorrow [2006]
The Anatomy of Melancholy [2007]
A Garland of Tears [2008]
Black Lights and Silent Roads [2010]
IV Et Lux Perpetua [2010] [review]
Rare and Live Recordings Vol 1 [2011] 100 copies only
Acoustic Collection [2012] 100 copies only [review]
Silver Under Midnight [May 2013]
Preservation Restoration Reconstruction [July 2013]

Weblinks: Website / Facebook / Reverbnation / Twitter / Bandcamp

Video below: “Silver Under Midnight” album trailer

Video below for: “Sturm”


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