Getting filthy 

Currently on tour to support their 12th album, Existence is Futile, Cradle of Filth’s founding member and vocalist Dani Filth spoke with Oklahoma Gazette ahead of their May 20 show at Diamond Ballroom.

Cradle of Filth

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Cradle of Filth

Currently on tour to support their 12th album, Existence is Futile, Cradle of Filth’s founding member and vocalist Dani Filth spoke with Oklahoma Gazette ahead of their May 20 show at Diamond Ballroom.

Working with a diverse group of musicians that has revolved over the years, how are you able to keep the Cradle of Filth sound intact over the years?

Dani: I think it's because when we have new players come in, whether they come in from album-to-album or stay with the band for six or seven albums, we spend a lot of time with each other. It's like dog years going on tour. For example, in 2019, we literally traversed the globe about three times. We did a whole South American tour, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Europe, America. You get to spend a lot of time with each other, so you begin to understand how each other operates and works and what they like and what they don't like and obviously people have bought into the band have to have an understanding of what Cradle of Filth are about, the mechanics and the ideology and the feel of it. And usually, they're fans of the band or they've spent a long time learning the material, so they just became kind of incorporated and adjusted into the Cradle of Filth sound.

OKG: You very quickly locked into this melodic style. Aside from the obvious metal influences, what inspires that side of your music?

Dani: Just appreciate good music. Really into orchestral music. Soundtracks. Classical. The melodic aspects of stuff like hardcore, death metal, thrash metal, traditional metal. We just believe that if music sounds good, it doesn’t really matter what genre it’s plucked from. Obviously, we're not going to start experimenting with reggae or anything like that because that's just not part and parcel of what the band is about, but we're quite willing to experiment in the sort of classical field, for example. We’re very cinematic in that respect.

OKG: Speaking of cinematics, I see Doug Bradley [the actor who plays “Pinhead” in the Hellraiser horror movie franchise] is back. How has that relationship persisted over the years? He's almost become an unofficial member of the band at this point.

Dani: This is probably his sixth time working with the band. … I was just discussing with him on the podcast he does called Down to Hell about that very thing because the first time we worked for him was Midian back in 2000. And, in particular, there's we started a trilogy of songs with “Her Ghost in the Fog“ on that record and we complete that trilogy with a song called “Sisters of the Mist” on this record, which is like a bonus track that he contributes to, so we were basically talking about that, but at some point or another, he also replaced Tony Todd, who was the actor who played Candyman — the original Candyman — for the album about Gilles de Rais, which is called Godspeed of the Devil's Thunder. Tony Todd wasn't given the premise about what he was actually undertaking, and he got a little offended about the subject matter that he had to narrate, so he left the studio, and then Doug came in and rescued everything. We actually quickly converted my office into a recording studio for his parts on Damnation and a Day, which was very surreal at the time. I think the reason we bring him back as well is that he's become synonymous with the Cradle sound. And I think the fans appreciate that. It's like welcoming an old friend back, but I’m sure he doesn’t appreciate me calling him old. We’ll stick with “timeless.”

OKG: I know you said that you'll never experiment with reggae, but apparently there is some sort of discussion about a collaboration of sorts with Ed Sheeran?

Dani: Yeah, that is true. I've been talking to him now for the best part of about eight months, on and off. He's done some stuff on the track that we wrote, but he was like, “I think it’s better if I actually come to visit you in the studio.” But there's been a few things that have got in the way. We had our livestream, then he was busy with an album, then he had his court case because some people were trying to sue him about copyright infringement, which didn't actually happen because it was a load of bullshit anyway. Then he was currently out, I was on holiday. [laughs] Never the twain will meet, but we finish off the stuff on the track that we've written for a song called “Echo of a Bad Thing” in June, so he'll be coming to the studio finishing his parts off, laying down the acoustic guitar and yeah, I think it's a really cool bit of collaboration. In the past, I've enjoyed working with people like Twiztid and Bring Me the Horizon, Motionless in White, 69 Eyes. Just because I love the juxtaposition of different musical styles butting heads. And I think, working with one of the biggest artists in the world, as in Ed Sheeran, and the fact that we're both very localized, it’s going to be a really cool thing. I think they will be very surprised about the track as well. I mean, it's not pop music by any means.

OKG: That was my next question. Are you stepping more into his realm? Or are you making him step more into yours?

Dani: We're making a step more into ours, but there's hints of his realm. I think we needed to retain his identity on the track. It's very catchy. It's very melodic. But it's heavy as fuck. And I think one of the things he said is like, to me he goes, “Well, you know, I want to hear you scream on this song.” He was into Cradle growing up. Cradle and Slipknot. When he made that statement like a year and a half ago, I just reached out to him via his management and said, “Hello, I heard you into our band at some point growing up. Would you be interested in doing something, a small collaboration?” And it just basically went from there. Although I haven't met him as yet, we've become quite good friends over email. He gets back to me very quickly considering the amount of people he has to deal with.

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