Ressurection of the Filth
CoC talks to Dani of Cradle of Filth
by: Adrian Bromley
"Each Cradle Of Filth release is different from the rest of them. You can never really compare an album [to another], especially when you are in the band. Each album has its own flavour to us. It brings back many memories", starts CoF singer Dani Filth about the difference between the new disc _Midian_ [reviewed in this issue] and their past recordings. "I can remember back to _Dusk And Her Embrace_ [CoC #16] and everything that surrounded that. The atmospheres, the band reactions to one another and just where we were at the time. All of these memories don't come as a blur, you know. Each one is very important to what we have done as a band. With this new record we had to prove ourselves because of all the recent departures. There seems to be a revolving door of sorts with this band and that doesn't necessarily ring true."

He continues, "It culminated from a series of people leaving the band and it all had to do with one person, the guitarist [Stuart Anstsis] in the band. He was the one big problem. He was a great guy and a great guitar player, but boy didn't he know it. I have never met someone so up their own ass in my entire life and it just got worse and worse as time went on. And last year Adrian [Erlandsson, ex-At the Gates / The Haunted drummer] had barely been in the band for three months and Gian [Piras, guitarist], he left the band because he could not cope with things. There were problems. The final straw was that Robin [Eaglestone, bassist] had approached me and said that no work was being done and he wanted out of the band -- he just wanted to write, he didn't want to go through all of the crap we were facing. The problem was that this guitar player wanted to do all the work and make music when he felt like it, which was never. He just sat in front of his computer or played Nintendo all the time."

"Rob said to me, "Look, I'm going, but if you are going to get rid of Stuart, I'll stand by you 100% and we'll make this work." He just couldn't deal with it and a decision was made. We sacked Stuart, but you'd have seen the reasoning behind it all if you had been a part of this the last six months last year that this was going on. I admit, I had let it all go. I had just had a baby daughter and my concentration wasn't fully on the band. I just let it get out of hand. Then the keyboardist left. So in a round about well of telling you all of this, the reason still stands that we had to prove ourselves with this record."

Was Dani worried that all of this was in a downward spiral and that he wouldn't have been able to keep things afloat for the band? "Oh yeah", comments Dani. "I really did think that at one point. It was just getting worse and worse as time went on. Adrian didn't know what way to turn at the time. He saw all the problems coming in and he was led to believe that Stuart was the only writing member of the band. When Stuart was fired, he was wondering what I was doing. He was unsure of what I did and we didn't even know if he was going to stay. He was living with the keyboard player at the time <laughs> and hung out with both him and Stuart over the next two days after all this happened. I am sure they were both yapping in his ear. A week later Adrian came down to rehearsals and decided to return to the band, and the rest is history. We now have Adrian in the band and Gian and Paul [Allender, who recorded the demos and debut with the band, and took a five-year break] are back in the band. Martin [Powell, ex-My Dying Bride keyboardist/violinist] has joined the band and it just feels like we are firing on all cylinders. It feels like we have been reborn. It is just like a band that is putting out their first record. We are feeling a good exciting buzz from this release."

"We have gradually been faced with a large amount of pressure from each record", he says. "That just happens as the years go along. But with this record, we knew what we wanted to achieve and just said fuck it. We knew we were somewhat of a new band with all the new members working to make music, so let's just fucking write."

Getting a bit in depth about the album title and the concept behind the record, Dani offers: "After writing a few tracks, we had decided what we were going to base the record on. The last album we did a concept record based on Elizabeth Bathory and I remember people asking us questions like this two years ago on why we did it. Because it fascinates us. Gian and I have always been interested in the whole Midian angle of things, this night world and the night breed where creatures and even people are driven from society and find a place to reside. It just seems like a real dark fairytale. After we had done a few songs, it just seemed to click on the use of the name and the ideas behind it to work for the album. We not only took the biblical references of the name but also the Clive Barker reference as well. It seemed compelling for us to go along with this concept and just travel a bit further into the darkened realms."

And speaking of Clive Barker, CoF managed to snag Douglas Bradley, the actor who plays Pinhead in Barker's popular cult movie series "Hellraiser", to do a narrative on the track "Death Magick for Adepts". How did that come about? "It was true destiny. He was in Clive Barker's film "Nightbreed", a film based on the Midian concept. He was the most perfect person to get for this record, although the situation surrounding him was a little strange. We were both supposed to be in a film together a year ago, but it never happened. So that was my first encounter of sorts with him. Then Ingrid Pitt [Hammer horror film star who was on the band's last full-length recording, _Cruelty and the Beast_ [CoC #31]] had sent him a copy of the disc last year for a Christmas gift. We're also starring as a band in this British horror film [titled "Cradle of Fear"] and he was supposed to star as this fucked up serial killer, but it didn't happen again. Those things never came about, but when approached he was more than delighted to help us out."

"So he came down to the studio, which is a really atmospheric environment in the middle of the English country", says Dani accounting the meeting with Bradley. "He came down the day he was supposed to meet Clive Barker in London and had just arrived from the United States. It was totally cool. Everyone was shoving "Hellraiser" memorabilia in his face to sign when he came to the studio and our producer John Fryer was calling him Pinhead the whole time he was there. We even had a bust of Pinhead in the control room. It was a blast to have him be apart of the record."

Seeing that the band has gone through numerous changes, not to mention varied styles of songwriting and concepts leaking into the material, how does Dani think the band has evolved over the years? Have they changed? "In a way it feels like a fresh band, but to me it seems like we have gone full circle as a band and are back to where we started. I think we have gotten back the atmosphere we needed and a renewal of the band's sound. As a band we have matured, though not mentally. <laughs> I think we have gone backwards there. <laughs again> I think we have just gotten more headstrong and know what we want without sounding pretentious. We know what we want to do as a band and we just want to use all of this youthful energy, vigor and fire to our advantage. We have already started to write more stuff, too. I think we have also become mature in a business sense as well. Most people don't coincide that with being in a band, but it is very important. We have tried to really understand the makeup of the band, from the musical level all the way to the business side of things. We try to understand that at least. <laughs>"

And why are people still interested in the band? "I think it is better to not understand that to know why people do like your music", he explains. "If we did think about it and knew what they wanted, we could say that nu-metal is big so we need to have a riff like that in our music 'cause the kids will love it. You need to write for yourself and let the fans decide if they want to follow you and your musical evolution. You just can't analyze this all."

Has it been a struggle, Dani? Has any luck been involved? "I think the reason we have gotten to where we are has to do with destiny. I'd rather call it destiny than luck, it just sounds more poetic than anything. I'd like to think us being around for so long has to deal with the hard work of the band. At least I'd like to think that is the case. We've been lucky on a couple of occasions, but other than that, we have worked our asses off for this band to get where it is and get things moving."

He finishes: "There are people out there right now who say we can't do anything right and are just getting ready to crucify us at any moment. This band works hard and I could give a fuck what people say. As a band you have to try and have some originality and I think we have always aimed to have that. We have always aimed to do that, we just seem to run into obstacles along the way. It just seems to be the Cradle of Filth way, doesn't it?"

(article submitted 20/11/2000)


CHATS
3/16/2003 A Bromley Cradle of Filth: Disturbing the Mainstream
7/8/1998 A Bromley Cradle of Filth: From Cradle to Grave...
4/9/1997 D Schinzel Cradle of Filth: Capturing the Cradle of Creativity
ALBUMS
1/15/2011 J Carbon 6 Cradle of Filth - Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa
12/13/2008 P Williams 7 Cradle of Filth - Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder
10/31/2004 A Lineker 7.5 Cradle of Filth - Nymphetamine
6/27/2003 A Lineker 6.5 Cradle of Filth - Damnation and a Day
8/12/2001 M Noll 7.5 Cradle of Filth - Bitter Suites to Succubi
11/20/2000 A McKay 8.5 Cradle of Filth - Midian
3/5/2000 M Noll 8 Cradle of Filth - From the Cradle to Enslave
6/7/1998 P Azevedo 8 Cradle of Filth - Cruelty and the Beast
1/2/1997 B Meloon 8 Cradle of Filth - Dusk and Her Embrace
6/9/1996 B Meloon 8 Cradle of Filth - Vempire or Dark Faerytales in Phallustein
GIGS
5/18/2003 J Smit Cradle of Filth / Akercocke Damnation and a Monday Night
8/12/1999 A Wasylyk Cradle of Filth / Usurper / Endless / Averse Sefira Averse Conditions Inhibit the Endless Usurp of Filth
1/16/1999 P Azevedo Cradle of Filth / Napalm Death / Borknagar The Smell of Napalm in the Dark
10/1/1998 M Noll Einherjer / Old Man's Child / Gorgoroth / Cradle of Filth Doom Descends Upon Deutschland
8/12/1997 P Azevedo Scorpions / Megadeth / Moonspell / Cradle of Filth / Anger Porto's Own Metalfest?
7/6/1997 P Azevedo Cradle of Filth / In Velvet Clouds / Web Filth
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