Exclusive Interview: Dani Filth from Cradle Of Filth
The UK’s premier extreme metal antagonist, Cradle Of Filth, released its latest composition, Evermore Darkly…, this past October.
Evermore Darkly…, the follow-on to 2010’s triumphant, Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa, features the brand new musical beast, “Thank Your Lucky Stars,” a special remix of “Forgive Me Father,” courtesy of Rob C. from Anthrax, an extended rendition of “Lilith Immaculate,” as well as tempered demo versions of three Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa songs. The CD closes with a special taster from Cradle Of Filth’s impending orchestral project, in the form of a haunting, classic reworking of fan-favorite, “Summer Dying Fast.”
The Evermore Darkly… DVD contains footage from Summer 2011, when Cradle Of Filth embarked on a rapid spat of tours, accompanied by two eager filmmakers. The resulting documentary, ‘You Can’t Polish A Turd… But You Can Roll It In Glitter,’ combined with performance and interview footage, culminates in a forty five minute film of the not so glamorous reality of life in a touring band at work and play, as they trawl their way across Europe over eight performances. The DVD includes an interview with ghoul-guide, Dani Filth, interspersed and peppered with live footage and backstage shenanigans, culminating in the entire hour long set from last year’s highly anticipated Graspop festival appearance.
It’s February 2012 and Dani Filth is busier than ever. Cradle is soon to enter the studio for their follow up to the full-length Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa while at the same time releasing their first orchestral album, Midnight In The Labyrinth. A new project came together last year called Temple Of The Black Moon that teams Dani with several heavy metal notables that will also see the light of day (or moon) this year.
We caught up with Dani during a cold winter’s day in the English countryside to get the latest on his hellish schedule.
It’s great to catch up, man – it’s been a while. Let’s start off by talking about Evermore Darkly. It’s really a special fan only type of release that Cradle of Filth is known for.
Like you said it’s specifically for the fans. Originally it started off as a DVD with the video for “Lilith Immaculate” and a documentary thing that was shot in Russia. There’s also footage of our performance at Graspop, a festival we played in Belgium. The music is an aside really, but it’s being viewed as an EP. The CD side of things have the mixed demos and a new track that was destined for the next album called “Thank Your Lucky Scars.” Then we thought we’d start with a fresh leaf for that. We also put a taste of our forthcoming orchestral album which is a re-working of one of our earlier songs called “Summer Dying Fast.” Imagine it as this big, cinematic horror film score.
It’s cool to get an early preview of Midnight In The Labyrinth. I wonder if you ever hear your songs as orchestral pieces first, before they get the Cradle Of Filth touch?
Sometimes. It depends on what I’m trying to achieve. This time I had these older songs of ours that we’re allowed to re-record. It’s not rehashing them. What’s the point? Why do a modern version? We thought it would be cool to make them into a sort of film soundtrack. We’ve added to them as well. Aside from the orchestration I’ve recently been in the studio adding the “angel dust” to the top. I mean “fairy dust”, not “angel dust.” (laughs) That’s for another telephone conversation! We’ve added snippets of narrative which leads to a creepy story vibe, I suppose. Choirs, sound effects, narrative – it’s all very atmospheric. Aside from the nine orchestral tracks that are taken from our first four releases, there’s also a 13-minute seance track. It can only be described as invocation of my demon half-brother. It’s really weird.
Most bands don’t have fans that would support a project like Midnight In The Labyrinth but your fans come to almost expect things like this and…
Fuck about! They really let us fuck about! (laughs) It’s cool, though. It’s what we intended to do from the start. In the past we did the horror movie “Cradle Of Fear.” I know it wasn’t Martin Scorsese or anything, but it was met with considerable support. We’ve always wanted to test the boundaries of what we could do. The guys in the band are fans of all kinds of things.
2012 is already lining up to be an extremely busy year for you. The orchestral album comes out in April, right?
Right. It will be out in April. We’re in the studio in April to begin proper work on the new Cradle album. Five songs have already been demoed and they sound really, really good. It’s a nice step forward. It’s not a concept album this time so it’s given us plenty of opportunity to indulge.
I’ve also got my Temple Of The Black Moon project coming out with Rob Caggiano from Anthrax, Tom Cato Visnes from God Seed and Gorgoroth, John Tempesta from the Cult and Arve “Ice Dale” Isdal from Enslaved. Everything is sounding great and we are hoping to secure management and then a record deal in the foreseeable future.
Are you guys delving into new territory musically or are you bringing in certain elements you’re “known” for?
It’s a bit of both, really. It’s like a hydra. It has various heads – all snarling at you. Everybody brings something familiar to the table but it’s smashed up into something quite unique. It’s hard to explain. It’s heavy at times. It’s a bit “rock-ier”. When I say “rock-ier” I don’t mean like Bon Jovi! (laughs) There’s a bit of Rammstein in there. It’s very different. I’m looking forward to people hearing it. This stuff was written over the past year.
Rob’s worked with Cradle several times over the past few years.
He’s produced and mixed and generally got in the way. (laughs)
At this point in your career is it challenging to write new material?
Well, you always want to challenge yourself. At the same time we’ve got to that stage where it’s comfortable and we’re just enjoying it. It’s less tempestuous because we’ve got around with our way of writing and are more attune to it. You never want two albums to sound the same. Being in a band like Cradle Of Filth you have a lot of expectations put in your head. Sometimes you have to push that stuff outta your head and sit back and enjoy it and enjoy making music. As soon as that stops you might as well forget about it.
Do you think some people take you guys too seriously?
Yeah. Some people take it too seriously, some too jokingly. To each their own. I’m an Englishman so my humor is spawned out of sarcasm. (laughs) We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We take the music seriously. What we’re into is very serious. It doesn’t stop us from enjoying being around people and acting like prats a lot of the time.
Since you have a 12-year-old daughter, does that change your priorities and influence your creativity with the band?
No. That’s what the wife is for! (laughs) No, not at all. And to be quite frank, after 12 years you totally get used to it.
Dani, I want to thank you again for taking time out for this. What would you like to say to wrap things up?
Thanks for your support, as always. Check out the Midnight In The Labyrinth album. At an unusual time of the year for us – Halloween – you can expect the next full-length Cradle album. Expect away because it’s going to be amazing. We’re working really hard on it and it’s going to surprise a lot of people and not disappoint the true, core fans.