Cradle of Filth
Interview with Dani Filth
11th November 2017 @ Bristol Bierkeller
By Oliver M.
Two years after the critically-acclaimed “Hammer of the Witches”, Cradle of Filth released a new album called “Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay” through Nuclear Blast a few months ago. They’ve recently done a UK tour in order to promote this masterpiece which marks the return to their old Symphonic black metal roots. I had the great opportunity to discuss with the charismatic Dani Filth just before the beginning of their latest show in Bristol.
Hi Dani! Tonight, it’s going to be the last show of the Cryptoriana UK tour. How has been going this tour so far? Has it been successful?
Yeah, absolutely! It was a big success. We’ve played for some really good crowds and had some interesting times. It’s just a shame it has to end like this for me: I’ve torn a muscle in my shoulder. Fucking agonizing pain! (Laughs) Yeah, it has been good and it has been quite novel as well with a new crew. Good breakfast every morning, shower and get to have a poo! (Laughs) Can’t beat that!
The goal of this UK tour is to promote your new album “Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay”. In my opinion, it’s a great Cradle of Filth record and the best album you released in the last 15 years. How did you find the inspiration to make such brilliant compositions?
Well, we were just moving on really from “Hammer of the Witches”. We’ve got a very cool, stable, powerful line-up, good musicians and we took ourselves to Brno in Czech Republic. That’s where Martin and Ashok are from, because it was a lot cheaper to fly everybody in from their respective countries and hole up in a hotel. We used Martin’s rehearsal room and it was a way to collate all our ideas for the album. Basically, we were hoping to collate some ideas but we actually managed to do more than that. Everybody was very involved in the writing process. So, that was a big step towards the final aspect of the album. Yeah, I think we’ll do a similar sort of tip building exercise in the future.
In this new album, is there a song that means a lot to you personally?
Hum… “Achingly Beautiful” I suppose, because it was destined for “Hammer of the Witches”. That song was a little under developed when we got in the studio and I wanted to get it revamped for this record. I just thought it had a spark in it which resembled a lot our earlier work. I just thought it was a nice link with the previous record as well.
So, do you consider “Cryptoriana” as the perfect sequel of “Hammer of the Witches” in some way?
Yeah, it is part of our current evolution and hopefully, things will get even better for the third album with this line-up.
“Cryptoriana” is your second album with Nuclear Blast. Are you satisfied with the job they’ve done for you so far?
Absolutely! We actually saw their British department. They came down to our London show yesterday and yeah, I’ve been to their offices in Germany twice. I’ve done about over 250 interviews. They come with a lot of cool ideas. I went to Comic Con the other week. I did a lot of guest stuff there, some signing sessions and filming. Yeah, they’ve been very good. You know, with any record company, you need to keep on the backs of them. But I think they’re really good. They leave us to our own devices and always come up with really good ideas to help and improve the band and the sales as well.
In the beginning of next year, you will be on an extensive European tour with Moonspell. I’m a friend of the Moonspell members and I remember well that your first ever show abroad was in Portugal back in 1994. You headlined the show and Moonspell were the support act. At that time, did you think that you would be the band you are today?
Hum… No and yes! Yes, because you need to perceive yourself. You always perceive yourself in a successive scenario. You don’t pick yourself in a 20 years deadline, working at McDonald’s or anything. Whether I believe you or not, it’s another matter. Strangely, I’ve just written the preface of the Moonspell book that is coming out. I had to revisit all the scenarios and situations we found ourselves because we actually stayed with them in their town. We actually lived with them for a little while when we went back to play a Halloween show in Lisbon at the Garage.
What are the lyrics of “Cryptoriana” about? What are the main themes?
Well, it’s called “Cryptoriana” because it’s actually “Victoriana”. It’s an album that is based in the Victorian era whether it’s written in the style of Victorian horror, gothic horror writers like E. F. Benson, Rider Haggard, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, M. R. James, H. G. Wells or it’s from a Victorian perspective. “The Seductiveness of Decay” is essentially about the empires, the Crown Jewels, the juxtaposition between the elusiveness of society (of middle-class and upper-class society) and then, the backbone of the empire which is essentially the workers, the people in the slums and the infatuation that Victorians have with the supernatural. Spiritualism, tarot, table-turning… They have a very strong fixation of the whole concept of death.
What are your projects after your European tour with Moonspell?
Well, before that actually, next week, I’ll be in the studio remixing. We’ve got the original master tapes of the “Cruelty and the Beast” album and we’ll remix it for a 20th anniversary release for next year. We’re going to shoot a video again in Latvia with the guy who did our artwork basically for “Vengeful Spirit”. I’ve also got other things to prepare like some gigs with my band Devilment. After that European tour, we’ll have one week off and then, we’ll go to South America, USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. It’s a world tour that finishes in late May 2018 and then, we’ll do a handful of summer festivals. Just 3 or 4 because the aim is to do some festivals a year after. So, it gives us the opportunity to start writing.
In 2001, you played in the British horror film “Cradle of Fear”. After that, have you ever considered an acting career in the horror film industry for example?
Well, it’s kind of a chance to be a fine thing really, isn’t it? You can’t pick and choose, you know. I’ve done some voice savers recently and I’m playing in the film called “Baphomet” which comes out next year.
To conclude this interview, do you have anything special to add?
Not really! (Laughs) Thanks for the fans for reading this report and coming to our shows. That’s appreciated!