Tuesday, 18 September 2012

CRADLE OF FILTH [INTERVIEW (.rockindustry.co.uk)

So it’s a sunny day in London ans we got chance to catch up with the legendary Cradle of Filth’s Dani Filth and Paul Allender to Talk about the new album and what exactly is their sound….

How are you guys going?

DF: Good

PA: Yeah good thank you

The impending launch date for the album is coming up, Halloween?

DF: Yeah I believe that’s when it is being released

Tell us about the album and how it has gone, recording it?

DF: It’s the shortest recording time we have done it in and shortest writing time and production wise. Mainly because we used two studios to keep it on track and also that made it easier for bouncing ideas around. I had just finished demoing it so it meant I could go back to the beginning and springboard off this. Thus far, what we have garnered from journalists etc. people really like it.

PA: Have you got it?

Yeah its very tight and well produced and sounds great!

PA: The production is amazing!

DF: We opted for a slightly different way of doing things, not sure how we managed this though as we used the same engineer. We usually go to a residential studio but this time because they were close to where I live it was slightly different. The emphasis was on turning up and working rather than with a residential. After a while it becomes like being on tour where you get up at 11 o’clock and starting at 1 rather than turning up at 10 o’clock and starting work straight away. So that worked better in that respect because when you went home that was it in theory your day was done. Well in reality you listen to stuff back etc but that’s by the by.

There was an emphasis on making sure there was a big guitar sound and making sure the drums weren’t over edited. The drums are pretty live.

PA: When me and Martin (Drummer) were recording it, previously it was very ‘Pro Tools’d’ with copy and pasting a lot in, you know, to get the stuff finished and tight. This time the feeling was to get in there and we didn’t want to pro tools it up and copy and paste it any more. We wanted to go back to the whole digital tape feel. Basically we went in there and the guitar and drums were recorded in sections, 3 or 4 riffs….

DF: You can overdo it in pro-tools and everyone does it. It ends up sounding soulless.

PA: So we did that and recorded sections as some of the songs are so fast that it would be impossible to record it that tight without doing it in sections. But to keep it fresh we recorded it in sections and put those sections together. That gives it a more ‘Band’ feel which is much better which allows you to capture the groove more which you don’t with cut and paste.

DF: there is a lot more emphasis on groove with this record rather than blast beating all the way through without a nod toward feeling.

PA: There is a lot more punk orientated stuff in there as well, it’s brilliant.

So tell me about the idea behind the album as its not a concept album as such is it?

DF: No its much like Midian, because Midian was about this mythical city where monsters live together. Where monsters who have been rejected live in this subterranean city. This one though is more, for want of a better word, where monsters are unleashed. Whether its personal demons or vast Lovecraftian entities that are world enslaving and people seem to attribute to us that we have some sort of overarching theme so that it gets pushed towards that before its even started, yet if you asked the Gallows what the overarching theme was no-one would give a shit about it. They wouldn’t automatically ask if there was a theme. But if you were going to draw a line through it and tag it that’s basically what it is. I’m sure that will probably be taken out of context. I’m sure that will be misconstrued elsewhere. When you say ‘Monsters’ in japan etc it will be about Godzilla etc.

What did you personally get out of the album that was different or new?

It doesn’t really change from album to album. We don’t leave the studio until we are fully satisfied with what we have done. Which can be a right royal pain in the arse because we are very pedantic and fussy about stuff with presentation, artwork, video etc.

PA: It has to be right before it is released, on the playing side of it we didn’t move on to another section when recording until it was absolutely spot on.

DF: I think that’s what I have taken from it is everything had a much more live feel to it. That’s given us another arrow to our bow. It gives you another perspective on how to record. I’m sure if we went back and recorded another album now we would do it a lot quicker than this record. Whereas when we did something like Damnation we were there for 4 months.

So do you think you prefer to do it more like this way now?

DF: Yeah definitely, I like the way it has gone and the feel of it, it has a warmth and a naturalness to it. There isn’t an album that I’ve heard that is untidy out there everything is cut to grid. I’ve heard the sloppiest bands live who have been turned into masterpieces of punctuality in the studio. Everyone sounds like that now and it would be nice to get back to, not necessarily lo-fi as the album has a great sound to it, but that old school feel like NWOBBM (New wave of British black metal). I did an interview last night and they said the album has a “Britishness’ to it. Like Angelwitch and someone else and I thought yeah I can hear that in the album.

I find it difficult to empathise with the labels you guys get

DF: Yeah join the club

PA: I’m always arguing the toss off on that. We have our own sound and I still stand by the fact that we only get pigeonholed like that is so that people can talk about it. No one is going to turn around and say ‘Its Cradle of Filth they have their own sound and genre’

DF: We’re not big enough to have our own racking

PA: No but you can’t put us in the black metal category etc really were just a metal band.

DF: I think if everyone started labelling us really profoundly that’s when we would shoot ourselves in the face and then go and do the opposite and do a country album.

I can hear a lot of other bands that must be influenced by you in the album, Trivium etc The guitar work is very Cradle but there are bands that sound like your work too and the album is also quite ‘British Thrash’

DF: The Bonus tracks on the album one of which, Nightmares of an Ether drinker, is very thrash. We have always been fans of thrash and we have always had elements of that and I think thrash is coming back in a big way. Especially in Britain with Gama Bomb and Evile and locally like Invasive and Elimination but it is coming back in a slightly different fashion. Although Britain was more comedy thrash in the past, it has come back really seriously now.

So you guys have a tour coming up?

DF: November to December, it’s European mostly. It starts off in Holland and does the rounds and apart from Greece were doing most countries and finish off at the forum (London).

PA: 21st December I think that is.

DF: Since we’re only doing one UK date it leaves it open to do a mini UK tour next year.

So is that what you’d like to do? Come back and do a mini tour next year?

DF: Oh yeah definitely we haven’t done that for about 5 years, people think we are an American bands as we have been doing whole tours in America and just festival mini dates in Europe. We go back to America and South America in February.

So were do you get the best reception as a band?

DF: I don’t think I’d be able to say one place, I like America because you can link in the tour with Wal-Mart stops and come back with loads of crazy toys. It’s easier in Europe now with the Euro but you never really go and do as much shopping. If you’re going to do anything its more art galleries and sightseeing whereas America is more about blowing cheap money on crap.

Touring live, there’s a lot of vocal double tracking, how does this work live?

DF: We’re a different beast live anyway We rarely use backing tracks live, we only do on the last few albums occasionally. We haven’t got the backing tracks from the others anyway!

The energy and the stage show accounts for the fact we’re not the same live. No-one has ever said that to us, maybe because there is so much going on.

PA: A couple of years back we have a few people come up and say we were too tight live! That’s every bands dream!

You’ve been around for a while now, where did you see yourself 20 years ago being now?

DF: I only count it from ’94 as that’s when our first album came out. We don’t celebrate our 20 years for a couple of years yet.

PA: From now? I see us retired!

DF: When we started we had big aspirations, especially me. Much to my parents dismay I moved in with my girlfriend and took a year out and thought I would go back and do journalism. About half way through I thought there is no way I want to go back so I need to make this work.

You have visions of where you want to be but you don’t want to jinx it, I jinx a lot of things. Everything turns out different to what you imagine it will. Everything has got to where we wanted it to, it has just been a lot more hard work. Bits have been easy but then when you think you’ve done a great record and something like the Japanese market becomes whimsical it becomes a totally different matter. We always set out to do what we are doing as we had a clear vision of what we wanted to achieve. Whether or not we could achieve it at the time is here nor there.

We are where we wanted to be but the path has gone all over the place and there has been some good times and bad but this is definitely what we wanted to achieve.

So after the tours, what sort of cycle are you looking at for album 11? Is it even a thought?

DF: Yeah we’re in the studio next week! No, Christ! No! We are literally just shooting a video soon for this, it should have been this week but due to circumstances beyond our control its now next week. We also had a few minor run-ins with the artwork, nothing too serious but still a pain in the arse. We’re on the press cycle now for this album so no thoughts yet of another album just yet but it definitely on the cards in the future.

PA: Yeah it’s music, I was thinking about this the other day and talking it over with my girlfriend. Our friends used to come over and merch for us on tours and I remember one person saying ‘I don’t know how you can do this, I cant wait to get off the bus and off tour and go home’ and we were only away for a week! It got me thinking, you have to be a specific person and of a specific mind-set to do this. Its in our life it’s in our blood, it has to be if you are doing it this long. I’d miss it if it was gone.

DF: Unless you’re on a ten album cycle and this is the end of it and your batteries have worn out.

PA: I think the album proves we’re still going strong.

DF: We have had fresh blood from Martin, even though it is three albums now it still feels fresh. It’s getting better and better and we have a younger bass player, not considerably younger, but younger (8 years) and that has given us a new lease of life. We did a warm up show in Cambridge, low key of about 5-600 people and then did Wacken the next day to 50,000 people and kick started us to how the way we used to be back then. We had only had 2-3 rehearsals beforehand in the last year.

PA: It was like we hadn’t left

DF: I was shitting myself but it did feel like we hadn’t left.

So that is where we ended it as our time was up but it was great to talk to the guys and see just how down to earth and intelligent they are. Also it was nice to meet the guys who, as a child scared me almost as much as Freddy Krueger!

Words: Dave Massen

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