Disturbing the Mainstream
CoC talks to Dani Filth
by: Adrian Bromley
When it was revealed to the metal music world that Cradle of Filth had signed a worldwide deal with Sony Music to release their upcoming album, _Damnation and a Day_, many metal music fans couldn't believe the news. Cries of "sellout!" could be heard throughout the world amongst metal hordes and both angry and confused comments made up hundreds of posts on message boards throughout the Internet. Was the end of the world near?

Along with many Cradle of Filth fans, I too wondered whether the vampiric / black metal regime -- who had taken the metal music by storm with their now legendary demo _Total Fucking Darkness_ (1993) and debut album _The Principle of Evil Made Flesh_ (1994) –- was making the right decision. Well, according to lead screamer/spokesman Dani Filth, every decision the band has made in the past has been the right one, and this was just another stage in their ongoing career.

"When people say the 'fans' are talking shit about us signing to Sony and saying all this stuff about Cradle of Filth, I really think that it is a minority of detractors", explains the outspoken frontman. "Our fans who have come to know us over the years trust our judgement -- after all, we -are- the band. When people mention that people are saying shit, I think it is an elite clientele of wankers who go around trashing the band."

I know people like that. <laughs>

"Those people are worms. They are nothing. There is so much to enjoy out there in life, but to spend so much time in the negative is a preposterous thing."

The topic shifts to the recording of the Sony debut, with Filth revealing, "There was a lot of expectations, I guess, from fans, some pressure for sure, but we tried to not let that get on top of us when we went into record the album. We wanted to undertake a record that was going to be a much bigger project for us. I mean, being on Sony we had a much bigger financial backing with this album and it allowed us to venture into Hungary to record with a 40-piece orchestra and a 32-piece choir. We never intended to do a mammoth 77-minute album, it just ended up that way…"

How so?

He continues, "Well, we took ourselves to a well-hidden, out of the way studio in the north of Wales to kind of get away from everything like girlfriends and business partners and just to get the ball rolling. We didn't want any distractions -– apart from sheep. <laughs> Out of that experience was born this creation that just kept on rolling and growing larger as it went along till it came to a halt as this lengthy album consisting of seventeen tracks. As a concept record it was key to have a good lengthy set of material, but don't let that scare you off from listening to several tracks out of order. This album can be digested in many ways, really."

As some might expect, _Damnation and a Day_ is easily one of the best produced albums the band has released during their career. The band co-produced the album with Doug Cook and invested a lot of blood, sweat in tears (not to mention time and resources) to strengthen and enlighten their darkened creative edge. Miles away from their debut offering, but still on par sonically (for the most part) with other classic releases like _Dusk and Her Embrace_ (1996), _Cruelty and the Beast_ (1998) and _Midian_ (2000), the new album will no doubt win over the die-hard Cradle of Filth fans (and maybe even some of those "wankers") Dani loves so much.

"I know our fans will appreciate what we have done with this album. The time and effort we put into this is mind-blowing in my eyes."

Is this the best Cradle Of Filth album?

"Yes, for sure. It is the biggest, the heaviest, and in some places the fastest record we have ever done", comes Filth's answer. "But some might say it is a bit commercial in some spots as well. It is an album where we have grown as a band and brought forth a whole lot of ideas into the Cradle of Filth mix. We're still the same band, but have actively set out to get the best results with what resources and time we were given to make _Damnation and a Day_. It is such a weird feeling being on Sony, I mean here we are rubbing shoulders -- not really, but you know what I mean -- with Michael Jackson, Shania Twain and all that other pap and we are going to hold our own."

And yes they can. Regardless of all the turmoil that has plagued the band over the years (label changes, band members leaving, controversy, etc.), Filth refuses to see any of it in a negative light.

"We have always had a vision with this band and I hate it when people paint a black picture of the past of the band. It is interesting; it is not bad or a bleak past. People always seem to pick up on that and make it out to be some huge road of disaster. How can it have been so disastrous and we have gotten to where we are now, then? I mean, each album has gotten better as the years have gone on and... well, that is only my opinion. It has been an interesting ride for sure. In regards to band members leaving, it is kind of like how any machine works. If the machine is going along and some cog has stopped working and it threatens to stop the movement of the whole machine, then you need to get rid of that cog and replace it with a new one. It's that simple."

So Dani, excited about OzzFest and headlining the second stage this year?

"It is a great experience for us", says Filth. "People might be seeing us in the light that they should not be seeing us in, i.e. broad daylight, but despite that I think it will be a fantastic opportunity for us to reach a totally new and bigger crowd."

I think people going there and seeing Cradle of Filth for the first time will be blown away and want to go out after the set and buy the CDs and T-shirts.

<laughs> "Or they'll want to bottle us!"

True, very true. That could happen. You know how Americans get when they drink, right?

"There never seems to be any middle ground with this band. It is very love/hate and it isn't about to change just because we signed a deal with Sony Music."

So after getting finishing the album, doing press and readying to hit the road, is Filth worried about the possibility that this new venture into mainstream may not work out, or does he not care?

"To tell you the truth, we may not go over so well, but that is how things are set up right now. We get to see what happens with us, and fingers crossed, hopefully we'll prove them wrong. Proving people wrong is such a huge satisfaction."

Filth ends off, "If we succeed, then other bands will follow and the metal music scene will grow even stronger. We're ready to take on the mainstream, but are they ready for us?" <laughs>

(article submitted 16/3/2003)

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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
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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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