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Cradle Of Filth
Interview mit Dani & Paul [Cradle Of Filth], 10.09.2008, Köln/Roadrunner Records

Cradle Of Filth sind zurück mit ihrem brandneuen Studioalbum namens “Godspeed On The Devil´s Thunder” [siehe Rezi]. Das Album wird Ende Oktober veröffentlicht und eine große Tour wird ebenfalls folgen, beginnend mit dem Filth-Fest im Dezember. Sänger Dani Filth und Gitarrist Paul Allender reisten herum, um das neue Album zu promoten und legten auch einen Zwischenstopp bei Roadrunner Records in Köln ein. Ich traf dort die zwei Musiker am 10. September 2008 zu einem kleinen Plausch.

Soon your new album “Godspeed On The Devil`s Thunder” will be released here in Germany. Are you nervous or more like anxious referring to that?
Dani: We`re quite confident actually. We´ve had some good reports about how well the album sounds and we know we like it. Of course we do, cos we wrote the bloody thing. The album will be released here in Germany close to Halloween. That`s cool. But well, we`re are quite confident. It`s the best album we`ve written, but of course we would say that, cos we`re in the band and we have voices. (laughs)
How was the recording process with Andy Sneap? I have heard you recorded quite in the countryside.
Dani: His studio is based in Derbyshire which is like pretty much in central England and it´s a beautiful countryside there. It`s very isolated, but it`s good, because the studio itself is situated in such a nice location. You don´t feel like you`re claustrophobic. You just have to walk outside and can breath the lovely air. We loved it and mixing with Andy was a planned thing. He mixed the previous record and we`d already decided that we go back. And him and Paul worked very closely together with the music, so we knew when we went back what amps we gonna use and so.

Would you say that the surroundings also influenced the recording process?
Dani: Definitely, yeah! Previously – until Paul rejoined the band – we used to record in metropolises like Liverpool and London. And although they were great records that came out there, well, when you`re in Liverpool for example which we were for some records, there`s been a night club by next door and so you either go to the night club all the time or you`re just annoyed, cos all the other people are there, you know? So it`s nice to be away from stuff like that. And I think our albums benefit from the isolation, from being close to nature. It`s more effective. If you want to disappear from the studio, you have the opportunity to do so.

The new album is obviously a concept-album about a person called Gilles de Rais. Why him and no one else?
Dani: …because his life is a great substructure for Cradle Of Filth. When we wrote the music, it reminded me atmospherically of “Cruelty And The Beast” and I think the stars were right, because it was 10 years almost to the day when we were writing the same things for “Cruelty And The Beast”, but it was 10 years later. So I went trough my notes and Elizabeth Báthory and Gilles de Rais were very hand in hand, because they were medieval serial killers with a big legacy behind them. So we just researched after that and just founded it to be even more interesting than Elizabeth Báthory, cos Gilles de Rais` crimes are even more documented. Because of one point or another he was the richest man in Europe, he was the grand marshal and protector of France and had connections to Jeanne d`Arc. It was just, you know, an amazing story.

Is it easier to write about the life of other persons than about your own feelings and emotions?
Dani: Not really, cos we all bring stuff to it. It`s not a history-lesson, it´s an album. So we made it into like a dark fairytale. For example Gilles de Rais` crimes were committed in various of his castles, but we just captured one…and yeah, my life wouldn´t be as half as interesting than his. I haven`t murdered any children yet.
Where have the lyrics of the album been created? Do you write the lyrics at home or outside in the forest or on the road?
Dani: I write them in a cave. (laughs) No, I was at home really. I stayed up at night writing stuff. We worked really hard and whenever we had the opportunity, we did take some months off, so it was possible to do that.
How does the formation phase of a Cradle Of Filth-song look like? Do you start with a single riff or do you write the lyrics first and then create the music to that?
Paul: It usually starts with the music. Personally when I´m writing, I usually start up with some guitar ideas. And when I write I tend to not just concentrate on guitar riffs, I tend to write sections of songs, you know. I tend to incorporate like think of all the instruments that have to go with that particular section. That´s what happens and that`s how we put everything together…and then it goes on to Dan for the lyrics…

Dani: This album is very cinematic, so when things happen in the story, they happen in the music as well. I can give an example: “The Death In Love” is the third track. We have an Intro and “Shat Out Of Hell” is like an overview of everything. It`s like our overture as it describes everything as an introduction. So “The Death of Love” really concentrates on the reason why Gilles de Rais was how he was, because he was in love with Jeanne d`Arc. And that´s the point in history where she`s killed, because she`s a heretic whatever and the church was frightened. And I see that from all the research I did…and in that part of the album there`s a female vocal which takes the part of Jeanne d`Arc.
Is it Sarah [Jezebel Deva; vocalist] again?
Dani: She does the harmonies and the narration, but the main singing is a woman from the choir. I can`t remember her name, I´m sorry, but there were so many people in the choir…so she`s very innocent as a character. Sarah´s voice is very dominating, that´s how we like it. But in this instance we needed someone who`s a bit more settled. Anyway, so this really only appears like once and there is the slight hint to female vocals in the next song which is like the ghost of Jeanne d`Arc disappearing. We have choirs which kind of represent the damned and children on the album who represent the victims.
Which of the songs was the hardest one to record in the studio?
Paul: They are all pretty impossible. (laughs) No, there wasn`t any particular hardest or easiest song. You just have to sit down and focus on what you have to do on a particular point. The challenge was a bit like keep going over and over the orchestration all the time till it was absolutely perfect. That was much more pain in your ass to be honest, because you have to make sure that everything fits perfectly. So especially the orchestration was the hardest thing to do really.

And which one is your personal highlight on the album?
Dani: “Midnight Shadows Crawl To Darken Counsel With Life”.
Paul: That one and personally for me it`s “Honey And Sulphur” as well.
Well, you already said that Sarah is again on the album. How many other people contributed to the backing vocals and so?
Dani: I don´t know. (laughs) Can`t remember. There were a lot of people involved. In the choir there were like eight or nine, 10 or 12 maybe. Every time I came back, they had more people in there. There were a lot of people involved in the record. In the recording there was also involved Doug Cook, who´s an vocal engineer. We recorded the guitars at the same time as the vocals. It worked on albums like “Midian” and “Bitter Suits…” and “Damnation And A Day”. So it felt comfortable and he`s brilliant in his way he does. And Andy is brilliant in his way he does. And so we combined two. So if there was any sort of idea that came up, we could just walk next door and say “We got this great idea!” which never happened actually. (laughs) But it did shorten the length of the recording.

I remember on the last album there is a song you recorded together with Ville Valo from Him. “The Byronic Man”. How did this come about?
Dani: It came about that our producer at that time was drunk and met Ville – actually it was at Roadrunner`s 25th anniversary bash – and just suggested the idea. And also the subject to that song is Lord Byron and I thought “Let`s get one to represent Lord Byron” and I couldn`t think of anybody better than Ville Valo. I liked also the fact that it was a nice contrast.

Ville once told me in an interview that working together with Cradle Of Filth was one of his side project-highlights he has done.
Dani: Oh really? I know that his band mates are calling him The Byronic Man now or The Ironic Man they call him. Yeah, he did fit the character pretty well. I´m not sure if Lord Byron smokes as many cigarettes as Ville does. (laughs)
Is it easier for you to sing the very high vocals or the very deep ones?
Dani: I try to work on a way to do both at the same time. I think it`s like I have to get a hole here. (shows on his larynx and makes some gurgling noises)
Did you have to practise a lot for singing in the way you do?
Dani: No, when I came out my Mom`s womb I was screaming. (laughs) I almost moved back into her womb, cos she lives at the end of my road now. She`s coming closer and closer.
Would Cradle Of Filth also work without dark Make-up and with Jeans and blonde hair on stage?
Paul: No, no. Then it`s not Cradle Of Filth. Perhaps that might work for one day, perhaps! But no, definitely not. It`s because it just wouldn’t be us.

Dani: …when you go and see a film, you don`t wanna see what the director does. You don`t wanna see the director filming the film. That´s not the point and exactly the same with us. For example, when you write a book or you do a film and it`s about a character, you film the interesting parts which are relevant to the story. You don`t let the characters go shopping or go to the toilet. These things happen, but it`s irrelevant to a film that might be an hour and a half long. So it`s the same for us. If you come to see Cradle Of Filth, you don`t wanna see us getting ready or so…

Dani, I know that you´re wearing a lot of coloured contact lenses. Do you know how many you have?
Dani: Five maybe or 10. I`m actually blind. (grins)
And Paul, how many guitars do you have?
Paul: …I´ve got actually seven ones I use.
Paul, I`ve heard that you are also very much into artworks. Did you create the cover of the new Cradle Of Filth-album?
Paul: No, I had no time to do that. I write music and stuff.
Dani: The cover is hard to describe. I´m not the best in describing anything. But it`s representative of the music and the lyrics, but in a so fairytale way, cos we treated the whole Gilles de Rais thing as a dark fairytale. It`s colourful, but that sounds terrible as it sounds like it turns into a kids thing, but it`s very symbolic.

In December you`re coming over for a tour here in Germany. Will you come again with this big animated puppet?

Dani: Edwina Filth. That`s the name. Edwina. She doesn`t like to travel very much. So she`s never been to America. She`s not too big for the bus, but she doesn´t like travelling in coffins for a long time. She gets angry and has to like kill everybody on board. And the last time she travelled to America, she was on board on a ship called Titanic and then, you know, she had to swim…but yeah, when we go back to England, we meet our stage director who works for the Shakespeare-company and planning the stage decoration with him. But it`s not a tour anyway. The one at Christmas it`s like a festival that we´re headlining. We call it the Filth-Fest. (laughs) Our real tour begins in America on the 8th of January and then we`re coming back to a proper European tour, because this tour at Christmas is brilliant, but it doesn`t cover the whole of Europe. It covers Germany with seven dates out of 17, but we miss out France, Portugal and Spain and all of Eastern Europe. But I can`t tell much about the stage tour now, because it`s in preparation. I know there`s the idea of great projections and films in 3-D.
Do your family members also visit gigs of Cradle Of Filth here and then?
Paul: Yeah, sometimes.

Dani: Yeah, here and then.
And also your children?
Dani: My daughter is on the album, but the children you can`t make them like anything. And so is mine. She sat there and understands the fact that I listen to for example Bathory or Sodom or our album or whatever, but then the kids they`ve been to whatever they listen to at school, so she`s listening to Avril Lavigne and you know, things what kids do like. I don´t want my child to do anything what they don´t want to do. See, my dad was into reggae and it drove me insane and I hated it. And now I hate reggae, thanks to him.

And which kind of music genre you don´t like, Paul?
Paul: I don´t like techno actually…reggae, emo…
Dani: Yeah, emo is the biggest pain in my life. I hate emo. It´s like haircut music for people that want to be as idealistic as people who are into metal, but just haven´t got the balls to actually play it. Who invented emo and why give it a name anyway? It`s just crap, you know. Brian Adams is I think heavier than the most emo-bands. And it`s always like someone really can´t sing. I´m sorry, but I don`t think that any emo-band can properly sing. And then I hate they do so half fast heavy vocals, but it´s not singing.
How would you continue the sentence “music is…”?
Dani: No emo. (laughs)
Paul: Yeah, definitely no emo. After hearing him talk about emo I really don´t like it.
Your philosophy of life?
Paul: Make sure what you want in life and just go and get it…just look after yourself.

Interview: Lea S.
Foto 1: taken from roadrunner.de/artist/Cradle+Of+Filth
Fotos 2-7: taken by Kerstin T.
Website Band: www.theorderofthedragon.com

(c) darkmoments / www.darkmoments.de, fhradio

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