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lenaa1     Name :   Lena Abé Age:         29 Hometown :  Leeds   This month at THE METAL PIT we feature Lena Abe, Bass player for the bands My Dying Bride and Severed Heaven                   Metal Pit: Hello Lena, I have been a fan of your work for quite a while now so it's very cool that I get to interview you on the Metal Pit......so,welcome! You have been playing bass for My Dying Bride for several years now and recently joined Severed Heaven as well,how the Hell can you make time for both? Lena:  Well I used to be in three! It's tough, there's some overlap which I just have to manage without pissing everyone off.   I love playing live so you just kinda get used to it and make the time.   Metal Pit: Both bands have distinct similarities but at the same time are very different,can you describe the band's music for some of our readers who may not know about them?lenaa2 My Dying Bride are death/doom/gothic metal and have been around for 23 years now. There's a lot of single note riffing and we have a violinist for the more somber moments. We tour the European festival scene every yet and do some club shows internationally. Severed Heaven are death/doom/black metal and have been around for 5 years. We've headlined the unsigned stage at Bloodstock (UK) and supported Gallhammer, Gorgoroth, Hecate Enthroned amongst others.   Metal Pit: Can you tell us a bit about all of your band mates? I could but I'd be here all day! That's 10 people that you're talking about there, ain't no one got time for that... they're great, I've enjoyed many a beer with all of them.   Metal Pit: Lauren Satanica Price the singer for Severed Heaven is so intense,I just love her vocals,how did the two of you meet and when did you decide to join the band? I joined a couple of years ago and Lauren was already in the band for some years before that. The first time I saw Severed Heaven I was really impressed. She has very strong voice, no clean singing, all guttural growls and high screams. It's very rare to find a woman that can do that and rival the male vocalists. I just befriended the band when I first saw them live and eventually they asked me to join.     Metal Pit: I believe M.D.B. will have a new cd coming out very soon.When can we expect to hear it and what can you tell us about this cd? It's out 15th October 2012 and it's called A Map of All Our Failures. It's very different to the last studio studio album For Lies I Sire. We took a more raw approach to recording with the mic'd up cabs and feedback etc. We set out to make the most sorrowful music we could and I reckon we achieved that.   Metal Pit: As for Severed Heaven,what lies on the horizon as far as new music for them? We're recording at the moment and it'll out around new year hopefully. We have loads of new material which is sounding more black metal than the previous material, lots of blast beats and shredding.   lenaa3Metal Pit: Do you have to adjust your playing style depending on what band you are in at the moment? Definitely, like we've said, although they're similar they're very different too. Severed Heaven are arguably more energetic on stage. But saying that I'm playing a 7string guitar with them and a 5string bass for My Dying Bride so it's naturally going to be a very different experience for me depending on who I'm with.     Metal Pit: Do you write the bass lines for both bands? I write all of my own lines for each band, I wouldn't be a band that wanted to dictate what I played. Charlotte writes her own lines for Severed Heaven and everyone gets involved in the writing process. I don't understand bands where only one person writes the songs. Why would you not want the other members' opinions?         Metal Pit: What kind of gear do you use and why? I use Mayones basses, they're hand made and just THE most amazing instruments. They resonate forever, they're versatile and powerful. Their custom shop is fantastic too. Trace Elliot amps, I don't really need to explain why, they do the job ridiculously well. I use a 7string Jackson with 81-7x and 707x EMG pickups and 6505 Peavey head for a fat guitar sound.   Metal Pit: Does the gear vary from the recording studio to the stage? For Severed Heaven no, for My Dying Bride yes. I put the bass straight into a DI and the basses I use have the right sound that I want without messing about with pedals.   Metal Pit: M.D.B. has been around a while and had many tours,where were some of your favorite places to play and where would you like to play someday?lenaa4 I loved Moscow, Romania, Mexico City and Florida particularly. We even got to see the Cayman Islands. Everywhere we go is so different it's hard to say where my favourite place is. As long as the food and beer is good I'm happy. I'd like to do Japan, Australia and central/south America because we haven't really been there and the parts we have was ages ago.     Metal Pit: What's the Metal scene like in your town,any favorite clubs you and the bands love to play in? The UK scene is rubbish on the whole. People don't want to travel any distance to see a band or really want to spend their money. Which I can understand but it's still quite depressing. I think that thrash and black metal are thriving very well here at the moment and there aren't many UK bands doing that. I think we've always been quite partial to American metal generally speaking anyway.         Metal Pit : Shifting gears a bit........at what age did you start getting into Metal music? Probably early teens. I was always into alternative music like Portishead, Janes Addiction, Weezer etc so I was a natural progression for me when I started looking for something heavier.   Metal Pit: Who were some of your early influences as far as bass players? I don't have any specific influences really. I used to watch my dad play his guitar and I really wanted to be like him, playing really fast and looking cool!   lenaa5Metal Pit: My wife is a former bass player and tells me you don't normally see a lot of female bass players because most women have very small hands.Do you find this true and has this ever been an issue for you? Never! I have no problem whatsoever. I play a 5 string bass, I had a 6 string which was stolen. I'm looking at getting an 8 string guitar soon. It's a poor excuse to say that your hands are tiny! Get over it!     Metal Pit : When did you first pick up the bass guitar and do you play any other instruments? I started when I was 10 and because I come from a musical family I had keyboards and other creative toys instead of the usual dolls. I'm still learning all the time and when I meet other musicians I learn off them too. It's never ending. I have a drum kit in my cellar which I'm determined to master. At some point.     Metal Pit : As a strong and talented female musician yourself,what is your opinion of women in the scene today? The same as its always been. There are more women in music than people give credit for. I would like to see more as it will always be a male dominated culture otherwise. It makes no difference to me though, but I think some people are missing out.   Metal Pit: Do you tend to see more women at your shows than before? There's always quite a few women at our gigs. Not as many as would attend a One Direction gig but that's not who we're aiming for!   Metal Pit: Do you see yourself as a role model for young musicians out there today and if so what advice would you give to them about this business?lenaa6 Prepare yourselves for failure after failure. If you can survive the disappointment and hardship you might just make it with some sanity intact. That might sound pessimistic but remember I'm in two doom bands. I don't like to think that I'm a role model because that's too much responsibility for me. It would be nice to think that I might have helped or encouraged someone to choose a career in music though. My only advice would be to keep on going.     Metal Pit: Lena, I noticed you have some pretty amazing ink,is there anything that has special meaning to you? Thanks. They all have a meaning, nothing that's directly obvious but something symbolic to me.     Metal Pit: Being in two bands I don't imagine you have much spare time but when you do get it what kinds of things do you enjoy doing? I'm an Xbox addict, or video games in general. I love retro gaming too. In my fantasy land I have an arcade in my cellar! I'm a bit of a fitness fanatic too and spend most evening at the gym.   Metal Pit: Besides your own,what kind of music are you listening to right now? I'm listening to a lot of witch house at the moment so bands like Salem, Mater Susperia Vision and RVT$TVX. There's some really dark beats in there, I highly recommend it   Metal Pit: So Lena,what does the near future hold for both bands such as tours and new music? I'm gigging constantly with Severed Heaven around the UK and as I've mentioned, we'll be recording and releasing soon. My Dying Bride have the new studio album A Map Of All Our Failures out on 15/10/12 and then an EP around spring next year. We'll be touring Europe starting in london on 07/12/12 and ending in Eindhoven on 15/12/12   lenaa7Metal Pit: Is there anything at all you would like to add to this interview? Thanks for the interview Nick and I hope to see some of you at a show soon   Metal Pit: What does it mean to you to be chosen as the Metal Pit's Metal Maiden of the month? It's an honour! Only one month though?!     Metal Pit: Lena,on behalf of myself and the Metal Pit we want to thank you for spending time with us today.I have been a fan of M.D.B. for years and am definitely a new fan of Severed Heaven as well.We wish you luck with both bands and in all that you do. Thanks for the support \m/ Horns up brothers and sisters..................... Nick Rohm.    ***Photos used by permission of Lena Abe