As the mouthpiece and the figurehead of Cradle of Filth, Dani Filth has haunted the metal scene for nearly 3 decades now. He is one of the most polarizing figures in metal and isn’t often short of a few words. When we caught up with him at Download Festival he was in exceptionally high spirits. Through the course of our chat we talked about returning to Donington after a twelve-year absence, the continued success of Cradle of Filth, the reissue of Cruelty and the Beast and we also managed to get updates on Devilment and Temple of the Black Moon as well as talking about the importance of being nice to people.
It’s been twelve years since you were last at Donington Park. What has taken you so long to get back.
Dani: We couldn’t find a way up the motorway…no, god knows, we’ve been doing a lot and we’ve done festivals all around the world and this is the 95th date of the world tour, so we’ve been everywhere this year, all over Europe, Russia, Israel, South America, America, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, China, Australia, Philippines, Greece, so yeah its been busy. It’s good to be back, and it’s great to see it with such a diverse lineup, and it was sunny.
You mentioned touring and you are currently out in support of your latest album Cryptoriana, and on this run, you have done one of your biggest tours in recent memory, especially in the UK. So what was it about this album that made you want to go out and do a bigger tour this time around.
Dani: Well we’ve got a new manager and its a part of his mandate for the band to put the band out there a little more, already we’re planning the next world tour because nowadays everything has to be booked so far in advance if you want to play Melbourne on a Saturday night which is a key time you have to book it two years before, and the next world tour is going to be twice as big, and we’ve been utilising some of the opportunities we’ve had on this tour to speak to promoters and gather intel and know what is the best places to play and we’re going to branch out and do a full eastern european tour, and then a bigger american tour, so it’s good, it’s like a regeneration for the band, it’s very exciting.
Will that world tour be for the next album or will that be another leg on the Cryptoriana touring cycle.
Dani: Well I think there’s some coming up for this, we’re doing a bunch of winter festivals like 7 or 8, after With Full Force we only have Vagos in Portugal, next year we’re doing all of them, mainly on the back of the fact we are re-releasing Cruelty and the Beast remixed and remastered from the original tapes this year and next year a DVD I believe has been taken from various shows on this tour.
I’m glad you brought up Cruelty and the Beast because I wanted to ask if you were planning any anniversary shows around the re-release and if we might see the album played in full at some point.
Dani: Well this is the thing, it’s dependent really on what people want. At the moment it seems to be a mythic thing, and it’s great. I’ve been witness to the remix and remastering, we pulled the whole thing apart, it’s got a proper drum sound now, we made it sound huge, but we haven’t taken away from any of the atmosphere, it’s modern sounding but it still sounds old school, it’s probably taken us longer to do the remix than it did to do the original mix, but it’s great, it’s the whole album plus Hallowed Be Thy Name, we could have done all the bonus tracks, but then you get into the realms of where do you stop? and I think we’ve still got another week and a half maybe to go, it’s ace, people are going to love it. There’s a demand to do something for it, but we’re one of those bands…have you noticed we haven’t played with an orchestra, we were one of the first extreme metal bands to have a full orchestra on their album, but everyone has done it nowadays, its old hat.
I know Cryptoriana is still fresh in people’s minds and you are still touring it but are you already thinking about the next album and where you can go.
Dani: Yeah, you know when you’re on tour you always come up with a lot of new ideas, and we spend a lot of time together, and we’ve been doing a lot of sightseeing as band members on this tour,we climbed up a mountain in Chile, went to the pyramids in Mexico, In Japan we went to all the temples we could find, and because of that we’ve had a lot of time to bond and talk and come up with ideas, so we’ve got some really good ideas and we need to sit down and work on them, but they’re really fresh and exciting, I’m excited by it, obviously it’s going to be very different from the last two records, I think we pushed that envelope as far as we could go, and I think the next one is going to be a bit of an eye opener, I think we are going to do a lot more shorter songs, and we are going to experiment a lot more, but I think there’s going to be a lot of things where people go ‘Fuck me, that’s intense!’ I mean we know what works, like when we were on Sony and everybody was expecting us to be the next Backstreet Boys and we brought out a 78 minute long album that was literally falling off the edge of the cd, that was probably the most extreme thing we ever did and I’m proud of that, and I’m proud of the fact that we spent £180, 000 on the album (laughs) and got this massive orchestra because I think that was the last time any money was spent in an extreme market, on being that exotic and I’m all about that.
You mention that this will be the third album…
Dani: It will be the third album on our current deal with Nuclear Blast, and the third album with this new lineup, it’s a trilogy. It’s Return of the Jedi without the Ewoks.
What is it about this lineup that you think makes it so special.
Dani: It’s because everyone is so into the band and there’s no ego’s, we treat each other like idiots and with respect, we spend a lot of time together, tonight I’m going to stay at Rich’s, Lindsay has been there for a week, then we’re going to go walking around mountains with him in the summer, we just spend a lot of time together, when we write we go over to the Czech Republic, I stayed over at Lindsay’s in Oshawa in Canada, we’re just good friends, it’s kind of like a Trivial Pursuit piece, everyone has their own little triangle and it forms a good hub. I mean the whole ego thing, the fact that people can talk to each and see the benefits we get, everybody is available to do stuff, there was always this whole miasma about me being a tyrant, and it never was, it was always people making that up because they couldn’t get their views across and I don’t know why, and now everybody is cool with each other, everyone’s got their own place and everyone knows what they’re doing, people come up with great ideas and you go ‘Fucking hell, that’s great, we’ve gotta do that’ whoever comes up with it, so we’re comfortable with ourselves.
Outside of Cradle of Filth, you are a very busy man, will you be finding some time after this tour wraps to work on stuff with Devilment.
Dani: Hopefully yeah, we’re in the midst of writing our third album. I’ve got other little things on the go, an odd little song here or there for a movie soundtrack, and I’ve got some personal things that need to be addressed so that’s going to take a little bit of time, but it’s all looking rosy I’m really looking forward to future, this time next year I’ll be a 50% happier person, things are peachy, things are good.
One project I would love to get an update on is Temple of the Black Moon, What happened with that project.
Dani: Well what happened with that is, we had John Tempesta and King Ov Hell, and they went to L.A to record their parts for the album, but then Rob Caggiano joined Volbeat and the manager was Rob’s manager and he obviously thought ‘I’m not having this interfere with the millions I might be earning’ so he just literally paid for the recordings and put a hold on them, very shitty really but I know how the business works, but we’ve got this film opportunity for us to this track for Warner Brothers, so we’ve got this fucking amazing album sitting there, and it is amazing, I mean I might not be amazing but take me out of the equation and look at the other guys that are involved Gerlioz from Dimmu (Borgir), King Ov Hell, John Tempesta, Rob from Anthrax and now Volbeat and it’s like a cross between all those bands and it’s really really good, so we’re going to use one of those songs for the film I think and then everyone can appear courtesy of whatever fucking record label they’re on and everyone will be happy, but it would be nice to actually get that out, because if it doesn’t come out I’m just going to plan to put it on YouTube like the demos, because the demos are great anyway, I loved it with John Tempesta’s drumming, I heard some of the rushes of it with the bass and it was fucking insane, it was like Rick Reuben production, and we had some very quirky Tool type stuff going on, it was like a cross between Tool, At The Gates and Black Metal, but catchy, all the songs had massive choruses, and gang choruses as well, it was really cool and I really loved it. If we can put just one song out from that it will be a winner, but that’s that.
For someone who has been in the music business for nearly 30 years, what is the most valuable thing you have learnt in that time.
Dani: Always be nice to people, there were a couple of years, not where I wasn’t being nice, but I was a bit overly drunkard with people and took things the wrong way, generally, as a rule, I’ve been nice to people, like today I’ve met people who worked for Music for Nations and there’s no apathy there and it’s all cool, but you never know really,you can be on the way up, but at some point or another you’re not going to be there and on the way down you don’t want to meet loads of people that hate you because you are going to need help at some point and I think in the music industry at the moment everybody needs help and I think that’s what’s good about today, the diversity here and not just Ed Sheeran being numbers 1-8 like he was last year because somebody will go on to spotify and put something on repeat on a shuffle so that’s the only thing the data records so he’s number 1 all the way up to 8, but there is a demand for this kind of music, there are people out there that do want to go see Kreator. who incidentally are always in the top 5 in Germany, so you know swings and roundabouts, but I think it;s important revel in that fact that as much as metal is great, and the people that are buying the cd’s and supporting the bands, it is also a fickle environment where you can be into a band like In Flames and people will say ‘In Flames are shit, you need to listen to At The Gates’ and I think it needs a bit more unity, and when you get to a festival of this ilk, the bands all have unity and that’s the ironic thing, like we just took out Jinjer, and Butcher Babies recently, as well as all these other weird and wonderful bands and we all get on like houses on fire even though all of our genres are completely different, it’s just respect. I think Ghost are a great example of this, they’ve got that satanic edge and the 80’s King Diamond vibe, but their also very pop, but they have these very dark sensibilities, it’s like Alice Cooper, there are a few bands that glue the scene back together again, not everybody likes them, but you’ve got to give them props, and you’ve got to give them respect for that, and I give them respect because they have done something that has unified the scene again, and proof is in the pudding, go on Amazon and try ordering that new Ghost album, it will be like 2-3 days, it won’t be coming tomorrow because they haven’t got enough fucking stock because everybody’s been buying it, I don’t think it’s a great album, but there are some amazing songs on there and I totally admire what he’s done.
In closing do you have any final thoughts or anything you would like to say to the fans.
Dani: Yeah absolutely, thanks for supporting us, exciting times are ahead. Its far from over, this is our second wind now, so yeah thank you.