Interviewer: Navneet Johal
Interview with Dani Filth from Cradle of Filth on
August 18, 2017.
Feel free to listen to the interview below, accompanied by 2016 Toronto show photos taken by Navneet Johal.
Hello. Good afternoon. Navi of Metal Master Kingdom here with the legendary Dani from Cradle of Filth. How are you doing?
How did you know it was me?.. Could have been anyone
Yeah, indeed it’s me
Good to know. How are you doing?
I’m doing fine, thank you
Alright, glad to hear that. So, summer is here and, in Europe that means festival time. I know Cradle has played a variety of festivals over the past quarter century of its existence – Graspop, Wacken, Hellfest… Would you tell me which one is your favourite and why?
Well actually I just played one with my other band Devilment last weekend called Bloodstock here in England, which is a great festival. But I would probably say that my favourite one, favourite time I had was this weekend (although I’m not there) – it’s called Summer Breeze. A lot of great memories from there because it’s in a beautiful location. And the last time, I went there with my band Devilment, and then I had a day off just wandering around, and then Cradle flew in the day after for a show and it was just like being on holiday. Just a great line up. Kreator headlined one of the days. Hundreds and hundreds of bands and it’s Nuclear Blast’s sort of localized local festival. The closest to their offices, so there’s a bit of a party atmosphere about but yeah I enjoyed that the most.
Well yes it is called Cryptoriana – obviously it is Victoriana mixed with crypt, which implies the Victorian ages’ infatuation with death and, spirituality. We actually took ourselves as a band to Brno ,which is in the Czech Republic, the 2nd largest city for a writing session prior to a festival in Slovakia last year, mainly because it was close and the drummer Marthus and the guitarist Ashok both live there, so we used a rehearsal room. It was a lot cheaper obviously than bringing everyone to London and it was a bit of a team building exercise. So not only did we chelate all the ideas people have been preparing for the album and eventually came away from that writing session with about 85% of the album written, but it gave us the opportunity to do some sight seeing in beautiful location. So we went to Sedlec Ossuary, which is Europe’s 2nd largest sepulcher, all decorated in bones and skulls everywhere, and a castle and a cathedral, and that was very inspirational. I had been reading lyrically all that time Victorian ghost and horror stories – mainly by the likes of EF Benson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, Hagen, Robert Louis Stevenson and subsequently when the time arose to write some lyrics for the record and I had most of the record laid out in front of me because we had been so prolific in that writing period, it just seemed very apt to focus in on Victorian England as a starting point. Some of the tracks are set in Victorian England, some tracks are actually influenced by the Victorian horror writers I just mentioned.
Well you’re quite right because they’re rebooting the whole universal horror theme with obviously - you have Tom Cruise doing “The Mummy”, got Johnny Depp – he’s going to be taking over Claude Rain’s “Invisible Man” and all these stories, these universal horror monsters, they all stem back to that time period, whether H.G. Wells, or Bram Stoker etc. etc. Robert Louis Stevenson. I think my favourite films are of that ilk, of the big budget gothic horror that are a little bit blood thirsty as well. I was always a big fan of The Hammer House of Horror with Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Ingrid Pitt etc., but I really am a big fan of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Branagh’s Frankenstein. I like it very theatrical, big budget, but I like it blood thirsty and sexy as well, and I think the classic stories are the best ones
Well it’s actually on the special edition; there are two tracks on the special edition. We decided to do it because of that reason – it fits very well with the theme of the record, very ornate creepy melodic track. The subject matter is great. We have been big fans for ages, wanted to cover that song for absolutely years. And then recently, well I say recently but 2 years ago we bumped into Jeff Waters who wrote the song and obviously mentioned to him that our intention was to cover it and he said – yeah! Yeah! Yeah! You got to go ahead and do it! So we did. We thought it was a good time to actually undertake it and he has heard it since and he loves it. We played it very close to the original, but we did not over-cradlize it. We did not saturate it with keyboards or anything of that ilk. We tried to make it as true to the original as possible but obviously put our own stamp on it
Well it was all quite challenging. We actually went to Riga in Latvia to film it because we decided to use the artist Arthur Berzinsh, who did the art work for this album and Hammer of the Witches because we found out he was a great video director as well. So we decided to cull the budget, took the video budget and, the artwork budget, and the photography budget and did it all at one time and we knew we would get it cheaper than we would if we had done it in London. And we turned up and it was like absolutely amazing, the size of the crew, and the cast, the attention to detail, props, the backgrounds. It was good fun again because we went away for 3 days. Being all painted black, that was quite challenging. Standing on a mountain of naked bodies – quite challenging. Playing during all that snow – quite challenging. I’m sure the girl who has the Ophelia like figure who is lying in the lake with the snakes over her, I’m sure she found that quite challenging. Overall I was very satisfied, and I think the result speaks for itself that it is a very theatrical, cinematic experience – which we have achieved without the use of CGI.
Well what we are going to do is totally remix it. People have been sort of baying for that decision for quite awhile. They love that album but there has been a few qualms about our drum production and therefore the whole album production so we’re going to re-mix it, and also the track, the cover version “Hallowed by thy Name”. We have already done a test mix for the record and they’re very happy with it. Obviously were going to make it as big and modern sounding as possible but not at the expense of the atmosphere. So it is going to have to tread a very finite line in order to achieve both and that’s why we did not want to just give it to anybody who doesn’t understand the feel of the record. So it is going to be a challenge but I think it’s going to be great and we are going to try and either have one artist or several artists interpret the original artwork. So we are going to get fresh artwork for it as well in context of the original release
I did a voice over for a comic book adaptation – well it is a comic book turned into film and that’s called “Realm of the Damned”. It is sort of where a black metal band resurrect this age-old vampire. Do their bidding and it all goes horribly wrong. So I play the supreme vampire in that, which is a lot of fun and I’ll doing that again for the 2nd part of that picture – hopefully coming out quite soon. And I a got bit of a part in this film called Baphomet, but it is very minute, and I am hoping to write a book a some point but saying that I’ve got to get off my fat ass and do it
Well actually there is, funny you should say that. The next show that we have got coming up is at Loud Park in Japan and we are hoping to shoot that for a DVD, that’s the intention and then hopefully that will come out, whereas Cruelty will come out around April next year. Hopefully the DVD will come out toward the back end, I suppose late October, early November.
Absolutely, we are announcing 3-4 weeks apart. I think for the North American, American/Canadian tour – the icing is just being put on the cake, double checking venues and making any last adjustments to the roster. Obviously we won’t announce everything at the same time so give it couple weeks and people who check out the Cradle of Filth Facebook page, we always make an announcement since it’s always very busy around the time of release. The album obviously comes out September 22nd via Nuclear Blast entertainment, so people head over to their Facebook page and I’m sure the American dates will come up quite shortly
Brilliant! Thank you