CRADLE OF FILTH – Spawning Scars

December 6, 2011, 2 years ago

news life in black cradle of filth

By Aaron Small The always witty and often sarcastic Dani Filth is surprisingly serious when he says, “I haven’t been following” the fan reaction to CRADLE OF FILTH’s most recent release, which hit store shelves in October; a CD/DVD combo pack titled Evermore Darkly… that neatly wraps up all the leftovers from the previous full-length, Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa. “To be fair, it was initially just an idea for fans, a fan thing. It didn’t even cross my mind that I would be doing press for it. Of course, in hindsight, I do press for everything,” chuckles the vocalist. “But that’s the whole point of it. I saw a review at six (out of ten); they’d missed the point completely. They were making out it was this sort of brand new EP with only one new song on there, and it’s not. It originally started out as a DVD documentary with the additional live footage from Graspop. The musical side of it was really only a bonus to warrant a fan release; but there have been a lot of good reactions about some of the extra demo songs, because they’re a lot rawer and have a more visceral sound to them.”
Evermore Darkly… commences with a narration by Doug Bradley (the actor who played Pinhead in Hellraiser) titled ‘Transmission From Hell’. This refers to a supposed actual event during which Russian miners were digging for oil in Siberia, yet instead of finding the desired dark and murky sludge, they struck the sounds of hell with ghastly noises emitting from the earth’s core. Dani quickly confirms, “It’s a hoax. It’s one of those tales like The Vanishing Hitchhiker or Spider Bite; one of those urban myths. What drew me to it was that it was very much like Orson Welles’ radio interpretation of H.G. Wells’ The War Of The Worlds, where he convinced America there was actually a proper alien invasion, because it was all done as if it was being broadcast. I just love that sort of thing. This was a short, sharp kind of version of it we were mucking around with ages ago. We thought it was an apt intro, just when he says at the end, ‘what you’re going to hear is very, very horrible,’ it kicks into ‘Thank Your Lucky Scars’. I just thought that was a neat touch.” ‘Thank Your Lucky Scars’ is the one brand new song on Evermore Darkly… “We endeavoured to finish it in the studio, but we’d recorded 16 songs. We’d done the drums for this and we had to call it a day – we’ll finish this off another time. We’ve got ample tracks for whatever’s needed on top of the album proper. When the DVD thing came up and there was the opportunity to put some musical tracks to accompany it, we thought ‘yeah that’s cool, let’s get that finished.’ That added to the finality of the whole mothership album Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa; it’s literally death throes, done and dusted.” The cover art for Evermore Darkly… (pictured above) is arguably the most pedestrian out of the Cradle catalogue. “It may be… I just was particularly drawn to it. It was something Natalie (Shau) had done – the woman who worked on Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa – but obviously it didn’t fit into the whole Lilith concept, as it had been submitted pretty early on in our going backward and forward between each other. So the opportunity came up to use it, and it just seemed pretty apt – pedestrian or not; it’s got a slight Cruelty And The Beast vibe to it.”
Listeners are given an audio glimpse into COF’s forthcoming Midnight In The Labyrinth classical album with the final track on Evermore Darkly… being an symphonic reworking of ‘Summer Dying Fast’. “That itself will be remixed, it’s just an example,” clarifies Dani. “That was the version we were playing at the end of our sets over the summer when we were doing all the festivals in Europe. It’s a breadcrumb trail, a foretaste of what’s to come. I’ve been working on the orchestral album today, and we got to the final dusting where we’ve got choir on there, the female vocal and some narratives going on with sound effects and weird noises. It’s been really good fun. I’m going to miss playing around with it, as I’ve been doing it on and off for two years really, whenever we get five minutes that we can dabble… then we’re off doing our thing.” Midnight In The Labyrinth had been slated for release in April 2012, is that still accurate? “That’s a perfectly accurate release date. It coincides with the time we’re due to go into the studio to start recording our new album, which obviously we’re counting down the days to already.” Before jumping into the new album, one final Evermore Darkly… issue needs to be resolved, namely the highly questionable trance version of ‘Forgive Me Father’, remixed by ANTHRAX guitarist Rob Caggiano. “It’s more of a European thing; people really dig that kind of thing. And we did ask Rob to do something different as opposed to the usual run of the mill replace the drums with a drum machine and have the same song going. So in that department, I think he did come up with something rather unique. There’s a lot of people that like it and a lot of people that don’t like it, which is one of those things as a band we excel at; but not at this level. Normally we don’t stretch to this sort of thing, but I thought it was cool. And I’ve heard it being played in some techy clubs and darkwave bars, and it sounds great.” Venus Diversa is the DVD included with Evermore Darkly…, showcasing a top notch Cradle Of Filth concert. The band is captured live at the Graspop Festival in Belgium this past June. “It’s raw. It’s all off the sound desk. It was actually recorded on our behalf without – it wasn’t intended for a DVD, believe me. We watched it back and thought, well that’s quite honest. There’s a few fuck ups here and there, but that’s us live – a walk on headliner show at Graspop, having spent a week around Europe with our bus broken down and all kinds of weird things happening. There’s no doctoring on there, no overdubs or anything like that.”
You Can’t Polish A Turd… But You Can Roll It In Glitter is the rockumentary that makes up the other half of Venus Diversa. This mini-movie makes life on the road in Russia and Europe look like a dog’s breakfast. Touring in North America seems to be much less complicated and just a tad more comfortable. “Well when we’re in North America we’re on a bus, although we are on a bus there. It was the Russian thing that killed us. We’d be going to bed at half two in the morning, but not sleeping ‘cause we’ve only been an hour and so off stage and we’re all pumped up, then having to get up at half six in the morning to do a train ride, and then a plane. After two weeks of that it was kind of grating. As for the European festivals, because they’re so quick, you don’t actually get settled in. Whereas the American thing, you settle in and the bus becomes your home, everything has its place and you get used to it; it’s very comfortable and when you’ve got days off you go into a hotel. Usually if we were endeavouring to do a big tour in Europe, it would be the same as the States; you settle into a routine, etc.” Switching focus to the aforementioned new album, which will be Cradle’s tenth studio effort; two song titles have been revealed thus far: ‘The Abhorrent’ and ‘Siding With The Titans’. Of course the question beckons, what do they sound like? “It’s hard to describe really. Whatever I say, it’s not going to fully justify it. It’s moving on in a very good, very positive way… sort of typical Cradle but with new things added. You can’t put it into words at the moment, but there’s certainly a new direction and new flavour in there – but nothing bad at all. It’s something people will really love. It’s still very nocturnal, in its way, it’s got darker.” Lyrically, where are you coming from on those two songs? “They’re kind of end of the world type things. ‘Siding With The Titans’ concerns itself with the Great Old Ones returning – and justifiably so. If I’m not writing a concept record, I always start with something big and apocalyptic. But I think the rest of the album’s going to be more like horror stories than anything. It’s going to have a little bit more of an otherworldly feel… and I’m not talking Martians or anything like that. That would just be ridiculous, going back to the whole Orson Welles thing. But it’s going to have that kind of H.P. Lovecraft occult background to it.” Can we squeak a third song title out of you? “Yeah, we’ve got one called ‘Illicitous’ which is sort of a strange vampire type ballad, but it’s not really a ballad. It’s along the lines of something like ‘Gabrielle’ or ‘Black Goddess’. I think we’re only having nine, perhaps ten tracks on the record though; they’re going to be very laboured over.”
Has Cradle chosen a producer for the new album? “We’re actually going to do the route that we took with the track ‘Thank Your Lucky Scars’, but we’re going to do it slightly better. We’re going to use the same guy, Scott Atkins; he’s got his own small studio (Monkey Puzzle). We’re renting out a cottage in the English countryside, which is not far from where I live. We’ve brought in a load of equipment to improve the quality of what we’re going to do. This time we’re going to try and do it a little bit more hands on, which also gives us more opportunity to play with other things. We’ve got some good ideas for people to compliment the record, to work with on the record – like guest people. We’ve had a lot of time to think about it and we’re in good hands. We had plans straight after the last record, we knew what we were going to do, what direction we were going to go in and how we were going to produce the next record.” A Halloween 2012 release date has been mentioned for the new album. ‘It’s funny, we always seem to be released around that time, don’t know why? It’s fate I guess. But that’s exactly the date for it to be released, followed more than possibly by a jaunt into Europe first. Only because on the last record, we went to Canada and America, South America and all that prior to even doing anything in Europe; and then it was only summer festivals so a lot of people actually missed us. So the first thing for the next record – as promised – is to go out into Europe prior to Christmas, which means we’ll be touring Canada again in bloody, bleak mid-winter as usual. It’ll be the fourth tour in a row. I’ve never seen a flower smile at me in Canada.”

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