Cradle Of Filth Front Man Talks New Releases, Past Members, And The Infamous Masturbating Nun
Band Photo: Cradle Of Filth (?)
Following the latest full-length "Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa," the infamous British act Cradle of Filth has dropped a special release for fans titled "Evermore Darkly" (reviewed here) to hold over the Gothic metal hungry masses until the next studio album.
Spending some time at home recharging after a run of tour dates, iconic front man Dani Filth got in touch with Metalunderground.com to chat about the recent "Evermore Darkly" EP, an upcoming entirely orchestral release titled "Midnight in the Labyrinth," and the progress of writing an entirely new album.
Below you can find our full conversation, which also dipped into musings about writing film scores, the band's surprising techno remix of "Forgive Me Father," and the double-edged sword of the "Jesus is a Cunt!" t-shirt.
xFiruath: So what’s Cradle of Filth up to right now?
Dani: We’ve been home for about two or three months now. We’re in the midst of working on the new album, putting the finishing touches to the orchestral album, and then there’s been the EP, so we’re in the thick of it.
xFiruath: With the orchestral album, how did that come about and what songs are you redoing for the release?
Dani: We’ve been talking about it for ages, we’ve always been fans of soundtracks and being cinematic and gracing our albums with that sort of similar content. We just wanted to do an album that stood alone. The opportunity came to re-record, as other bands have done, some earlier material. But we thought no, why not re-imagine select songs the fans really like from our first few releases, and then interpret them as orchestral pieces? At the moment I’m finishing the narrative and adding in the ghostly female vocal parts over the choir and sound effects. It sounds awesome. The songs like “A Gothic Romance,” “Funeral in Carpathia,” “Summer Dying Fast,” “Dusk and Her Embrace,” “Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids,” and “The Rape and Ruin of Angels.”
xFiruath: Has Cradle of Filth ever been approached to do a full film or video game score?
Dani: In the past I did a track for Dario Argento’s “Mother of Tears.” It was the music that goes over the credits, and that was pretty cool because it was a commissioned thing so I got to write lyrics that were themed towards the film, which I got to see before anybody else and that was cool. We did our horror film “Cradle of Fear,” and I did the sound effects and things for that. My friend actually runs a film company, which is just on its starting legs at the moment, which has got money from Paramount. So he’s got his own company and there’s been drunken talk between the two of us about how we should work on something, but he has his own people and we have our own people. The two may never cross.
xFiruath: For anyone who hasn’t heard it yet, what all did you do for the new EP “Evermore Darkly” and how was the DVD recording?
Dani: The whole point of this was to be a fan-based venture. “Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa” is like the mothership album and the EP represents a bridge between this and the future album, which we’re working on and is due for release a year from now. Originally it started out solely as a DVD with a performance and documentary and the last video on there. But the opportunity came about to expand it into another song and some remix tracks of demos, which the fans really liked because they are a bit more raw. There’s also a track from the forthcoming orchestral album. It’s got a lot of things that are fan based and oriented towards people who are really into Cradle of Filth. There’s different media, the live show and material from all walks of what we do. There’s some behind-the-scenes things as well.
xFiruath: I’ve been listening to the EP a good deal lately and I actually really liked that techno remix of “Forgive Me Father.” Is that something that you guys do yourselves or do you bring in a techno musician to work with you or how does that work?
Dani: That was handed over to Rob Caggiano from Anthrax. I’m doing a band with him called Temple of the Black Moon, which is very different. We wanted to do something completely different and get something that would surprise us. You’re either going to love it or hate it, and a lot of people really like it, I think they’ve been more open minded about it. But there are some people who go “What? This is sacrilege!”
xFiruath: Do you have any details you’re ready to reveal yet as far as Cradle of Filth’s next full-length album?
Dani: Not really, and not without jinxing it, but we’re like three songs in. We’re supposed to be in the studio at the beginning of April, which is when the orchestral album “Midnight in the Labyrinth” is due for release. It’s hard to even express how the music sounds. It’s certainly Cradle of Filth, but we’re expanding on our empire, diversifying it and trying new things.
xFiruath: I see you guys are re-releasing the infamous “Jesus is a cunt” t-shirt, which is always a good time. Is there a story behind how that originally came to be and how has that affected you guys since it’s become rather famous?
Dani: I think it’s like the second shirt that was ever brought into production. It’s been equal parts an albatross about our necks in respect to how much trouble it’s caused for some people and for us. At the same time, it’s also been a blessing. It was always a little bit satirical. The image of the front of the masturbating nun, which I thought was artistically done, and it was basically saying, “this is most people’s god.” It’s strange how that blossomed into something that became really a phenomena. It was almost like a joke.
xFiruath: It’s even made it into the mainstream as they mention the shirt on an episode of the show “Californication.”
Dani: I haven’t seen that, I’ve heard of it, it’s got that David guy from X-Files. This sounds interesting.
xFiruath: We’re not too far from Halloween now, do you have any particular horror movies you’d recommend to fans that came out in recent memory?
Dani: I went to see one, it’s more of a ghost film akin to something like “Them” or “Haunted” or what’s that film with Nicole Kidman… “The Others.” It’s called “The Awakening” and I got to see it, I was really pleasantly surprised. It was set in a rural England after the war and between the wars. It’s about a haunting, and it’s really genuinely creepy. I love that gothic, past kind of mentality. It renders you a bit at a loss when you’re the victim because you’ve got no mobiles and there’s no futuristic things. The superstitious content has a bigger impact back then. I saw a just revolting film called “A Serbian Movie.” That was pretty grim. I’m looking forward to seeing “The Woman in Black,” that’s supposed to be a sort of period Gothic horror. I’m looking forward to seeing the remake of “The Thing,” which will probably be as shit as every other remake done recently. I’ve been on a John Carpenter thing. I think I watched the original “The Thing” and “Prince of Darkness” and “They Live” and the original “Halloween” recently.
xFiruath: There’s been quite a few lineup changes in Cradle of Filth throughout its history. Do you have much contact with the former members and do you keep up with their projects?
Dani: Sometimes I do, and the reasoning for them being past members sometimes is because they’ve moved on to their own projects. I do see some people from time to time, I bump into Nicholas Barker and Martin and Lecter. I never see Stuart. Occasionally I’ll bump into someone else, but not generally no. Unless they live locally, but most of these people live elsewhere. We do still talk, so there’s nothing weird there.
xFiruath: Do you have tour dates lined up in support of the new releases?
Dani: We’re looking at going into Europe first. We’ll be in Europe for a tour this time next year, which we didn’t undertake for our last record, mainly because of the summer festivals. This time next year will be Europe and then after Christmas will be North America again, which makes it the fourth time in the row we’ve been touring at that particular point of the year. I can’t wait until we can do something in the summer. We always seem to be in Canada when it’s coldest.
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