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Cradle Of Filth

Cradle Of Filth
Jul 9, 2015
Interview with Cradle Of Filth - the new album Hammer of the Witches has been released this July. Adrian spoke to vocalist Dani Filth about the album, his style, the possibility of an Australian tour

Metal-Roos: Cradle of Filth's material is so involved and texturally challenging - how was this new recording process like?
It was actually very productive. We have 2 new guitarists which were recruited out of necessity because we were co-headlining a tour with Behemoth at the beginning of last year, 2014. We knew that Paul (Allender) couldn't do it. He was replaced for the tour. Literally at the 11th hour we found out our second guitarist had been nursing quite a severe neck injury which he needed major surgery for. So we were desperate to find someone else which luckily we did. The band just grew from there, we became very close. It worked brilliantly, the two new guitarists played a lot of the old twin guitar harmony material. This then spring boarded from there into writing material for the new album; we pretty much wrote the album behind festivals and a full Russian tour last year. We went into the studio at the beginning of December. Having the new members was quite prolific with a new resurgence and energy in the band.

Metal-Roos: Do you always write material on the road or was this a one-off because inspiration was speaking to you at the time?
Not always... you start off with best intentions of writing on tours... in fact, I always start off with best intentions of doing a lot of things on tour... a wish list like, oh I'm going to look at this and do that kind of thing, but when you actually get into it, the playing, the interviews afterwards - the drudgery if you will - it wears you down and you find yourself forsaking all of those things. We get a lot of ideas on tour, but yeah this time was a bit different. Everyone wrote and contributed ideas, it was very fresh, but we do have plans to do that more often, there are more songs that need a little bit more development to see the light of day. I can talk about the musicianship that we have because I am the vocalist so I just get to hang around with them all day, because of this level it means we can plunder our extensive back catalogue. Our biggest problem now is to nail down a definitive set list for the recently announced European tour and beyond because we want to play everything. At the moment it's looking like our set list will go for 5 days. Obviously we will play the new material but as long as we play Queen of Winter Throned, I'll be happy - that's my contribution to the set list done.

Metal-Roos: Being the only original member of the band remaining, how have you seen the band change over the years?
Obviously people have come and gone and it's not about being a dictator but I'm the one who has carried the torch over the years when members have left for various reasons. Some have gone for family reasons, some have left to pursue a solo career or start their own band. I think that there has only been a few that have been sacked and that was back in the real early days of the band. It's about mutating and surviving. We could have easily say fuck it... that's that, we can't continue but that would be doing a disservice to ourselves or the fans and also to those who hate Cradle of Filth because while we are around we are going to be a thorn in their sides.

Metal-Roos: Your vocals are very unique and instantly recognisable, how did you develop them?
Well, my vocals have changed over the years but I like experimenting. We don't like doing two albums the same, so this one has a lot more of the high vocals like Cruelty and The Beast and Midian. Recently I have had people complaining to me that I had lost my voice. But no, I chose to sing in different ways and I'm now 41, I want people to hear my voice and I want people to hear the actual words. I think it's a bit immature to scream all of the time. It's really hard to almost scream but also to be able to differentiate the words. I had to work hard on that. There hasn't been any guide books to do this kind of thing.

Metal-Roos: Is it easier to write an album based on Historical figures for example the Marquis De Sade?
This isn't a concept record - people would be lead to believe this because of the contempory artist who has created the artwork for the cover and adjoining material for this new album - he has done a fantastic job of portraying the lyrics that people would believe it is all connected. I suppose it is in a way because of the themes of retribution and recompense, revolution and revenge. It is set in the medieval era but it draws comparison with society today. The tracks bleed into each other in that respect. As musical tracks they are all very different from one another. That is what we intend to do with every song... every album in fact. Hopefully that comes across. I can only repeat what journalists that have heard it told me... it hasn't leaked or bootlegged yet, nobody wants to work for free. It has been well received, some have said to go back to Cruelty and Midian times with a new edge.

Metal-Roos: Before the interview tonight I was listening to your songs. One of my favourites is "Her ghost in the fog". In the song there is a vocal element with Doug Bradley who is famous for Playing Pinhead in the Hellraiser films - how did that relationship begin?
It began because we were looking for someone to voice something on Midian. Doug had been in the film Nightbreed which is based on the book Cabal about the legendary city of Midian and he seemed like the perfect choice; he's British, people would know who he is and he's a lovely guy. I have known him for a long time now. He drops by my house, I have seen him when he has done his Hellraiser things and he was at the launch of my book "The Gospel of Filth" basically hung out with him. We got drunk together. Christopher Lee was on the agenda but unfortunately he has since passed away, I was saying to my wife recently it would be really great to work with him before he died. I'm a huge horror fan anyway, I have worked with Dario Argento. Funnily enough Tony Todd who played Candyman was going to be the voice on "Godspeed" and did record a bunch of narratives in the studio. But his agent hadn't told him about the subject matter and didn't tell him it was all taken from historical documents. He took offence to it all and left the studios, so Doug came in once again at the 11th hour to save our bacon.

Metal-Roos: Will Australian fans see Cradle of Filth during this touring cycle?
Yes yes, definitely but I can't tell you exactly when because the European tour has just been announced which starts from mid October to late November. There is talk about South America which is due to be announced in the next few weeks. We have a big U.S. and Canadian tour in the pipeline starting probably mid January and beyond. It's still speculation but we have a lot of interest from Australia and New Zealand, Asia, Russia. Fortunately one of my best friends is our booking agent now and he has sworn blind that we will be undertaking a tour down under. The answer as far as I know is a big yes but when is the question.

Metal-Roos: If the band ended tomorrow, how would you like to be remembered? Is there a specific song, album or a piece of work in which you would want to stand the test of time?
It would just be good to be known as pioneers of our genre, being solely known as Cradle of Filth and not just some gothic, darkwave doom grind dud's reggae sludge band. Like when people speak of Iron Maiden, they speak of them being just some new wave of British heavy metal band and they don't speak of Metallica of being a Bay Area thrash outfit - when you hear their names you know exactly what you're going to get. It would be great that if Cradle of Filth being revered enough that people would say "Yes, I didn't particularly like them myself but I know of them and they were big in their genre"... you know, that sort of thing. Not being spoken about at all or erased from history would be disappointing.

Interviewed by Adrian 'Dren' Barham