By: Tracy Forsyth-Lundy
Close to celebrating their 15 year anniversary, Cradle of Filth has been producing stellar music for the dark music lover in all of us to enjoy and rock out to & I for one can’t thank them enough! Cradle of Filth is by far in a league of their own when it comes to Dark Metal, and won’t stop for anyone who dares to stand in their way.
Consisting of band members Dani Filth (Lead Vocals), Paul Allender (guitar), David Pybus (bass), Martin Skaroupka (drums) ~ this is the band on the record – when they tour they have 3 more members who join them for live performances; Charles Hedger (live guitars), Sarah Jezebel Deva (backing vocals) and Rosie Smith (live keys).
Dani took the time to sit down and talk to me about the newest album, the album’s concept, the band and just talking about the industry and what fans can expect from the band down the road.
TFL: Dani! How are ya?!
DF: I’m fine thank you! (with the loveliest English accent)
TFL: Let’s jump right into this!
TFL: Just to start – why Cradle of Filth? Who came up with that name for your band?
DF: I was just reminded by someone, he said ‘Do you realize that the band came out 15 years ago next year?” and I went ‘NOOOOO!’ Then I though ‘SHIT! I must run out and get some wrinkle cream or something then!” (laughing) It made me feel really old! I obviously can’t remember that far back in time, but I know that I came up with it and just quickly off the top of my head I would say it’s something that is in the eye of the beholder. For example it could represent the world or ‘Cradle’ being almost like a challis or you know; something that is infected. It’s kind of a marriage of extremes really.
TFL: Music IS infectious so that’s almost metaphorical in a sense.
TFL: Now you guys are a band of 7.
DF: Live! We are actually a band of 4 on the record but live yes we are 7.
TFL: Is it difficult with that many members when you’re on tour?
DF: Um…not really. We’re very fluent & we’ve got a really great stage crew, it would seem that is a lot of people. Everything has worked out quite nicely really.
TFL: Your new album ‘Godspeed On The Devil’s Thunder’ is out – what can your fans expect from this album?
DF: This album is a conceptual record based around the medieval serial killer de Rais who was the bodyguard or right hand man as it were, protector of France who actually became the Grand Marshall of France after Joan of Arc’s death. He was actually her right hand man, fought against the English; he was pretty much the wealthiest man in most of Europe at the time. After her death, because she was looked upon as a messenger of God, after her death he literally turned completely to the opposite side. He had enormous fortune which he wasted quite quickly. he was like the Bill gates of the time right. He did a complete U-turn in faith, he was eventually hung for his crimes. It was a real dark roller coaster ride of a life & the album is very representative of that; it’s very theatrical.
TFL: Who is involved in the writing process when you’re writing a new album Dani?
DF: Most of the album was written by Paul our guitarist. We sort of collaborate from there cause we are all from different countries you know. I sat by candle light over Christmas and wrote the lyrics. We worked with our producer at his ‘farm house’ so to speak on this beautiful tract of land in the countryside in Darbyshire, it’s like in a valley. Right away we’re locked away from everybody, that sort of situation helped everybody in the band sort of focus inward cause in the past we’ve recorded right in the heart of busy metropolis’ like Liverpool and London being too close to the sort of ummm…the temptations of night clubs and parties. THIS time unless we wanted to party with local sheep (laughs) we were right in the typical ‘American Werewolf in London’ scenery.
TFL: Well, I’ve been to London, and it IS certainly full of temptations shall we say (laughs)
DF: That whole sort of feeling of isolation and magic and the romance of the dark countryside it helped. We do a lot of things like that to try and focus in on the album.
TFL: Now being from the UK Dani, why do you think Heavy Metal has stayed SO strong in the UK (now this is just MY opinion on it) but it has seemed to stay stronger in Europe than it has in North America over time?
DF: Oh I don’t know. If I start elaborating on that then people start “oh how dare you” but I would say you’ve got the origins of Heavy Metal began in England; you’ve got Sabbath, you’ve got Priest, you’ve got Maiden – from there you the kind of Gothic movement of the 80’s, the early 80’s that sort of groove merged with Metal such as ‘Paradise Lost’ so I would say it’s a very creative whirlpool.
TFL: I’m reading a quote from the information that Roadrunner sent to me and where you describe the album you say “By far this is our most extreme, dramatic and deeply disturbing album to date”.
DF: Yeah, the subject matter, I mean I think it is beautiful in the way it’s done – the story itself there are huge themes of redemption there, bare in mind there is a song called “The Death of Love” basically the origins of the story went – he was deeply aligned with Joan of Arc; he was in love with her or her esthetic with the closeness to God and everything like that. That is what sent him off the rail when she was burnt as a heretic & that’s what sent him off into this sort of mad parade of ill intent. He went the other way to obtain his mass of wealth sadistic lifestyle.
TFL: Have you always been interested in history?
DF: We’re 3 1/2 years into, it’s with publishers at the moment, we’ve written a book called “The Gospel of Filth” which is an actual sort of walk through a whole dark side.
TFL: I have to tell you, one of my very best friends is Stefanie Lynn Evans. She does a great deal of fabulous artwork for a certain magician you may have seen on TV. I would have to say Dani, that she BY FAR is your #1 fan.
DF: Really?? That’s fantastic!!
TFL: I’ll give you the opportunity to send a message out to your fans. What would you like to tell them?
DF: Other than the usual appreciative of their support, American fans…and Canadian fans as well – this is our 9th record and i think by far it’s the most magical, using words like that will strike a chord with our fans. It’s very lavish, it’s like a roller coaster ride of a record, it’s fast, melodic, dark and it’s this crazy story.
Cradle of Filth plays to please their fans, they bring a theatrical and extremely lavish stage show to every performance. 9 albums into their career and a book as well – one can only admit that this band has certainly MADE IT within this ever so critical and difficult industry.
Backstage Live Magazine welcomes our brothers of Metal into our hard rocking family with immense pride! Thanks to Amy of Roadrunner Records for everything and of course Dani for spending some quality dark time with me! HORNS UP!!!