Ireland’s Overdrive recently conducted an interview with vocalist Dani “Filth” Davey of British extreme metallers CRADLE OF FILTH. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Overdrive: [The] new [CRADLE OF FILTH] album “Hammer Of The Witches” is a total belter of an album which can be referred to almost as “Midian 2.0” that everyone has been craving. Can you tell me a little about the writing process behind the album and the move back to dual-guitar-based compositions?
Dani: Well, that was a necessity that was born from the fact that our previous guitarist [Paul Allender] moved to America and lost interest and our second guitarist James [McIlroy] was forced to leave due to a severe neck injury and he was out of the equation for a big co-headline tour with BEHEMOTH, so we had to get two new guitarists in for that and the band just grew from there writing as a six-piece. Some of the newer members are fans of the band so they had a vested interest in trying to retain the flavor of some of our previous albums. We get on pretty famously as well, which is great and with that in mind, the writing process has been quite cordial and fun. For example we’re going to Brno in the Czech Republic after a Slovakian festival later in the year where we will be finishing off a load of ideas that we have and will be a major step in the right direction regarding the bulk of the writing process for the next record. We have done a lot of touring as this current line up, obviously, with the new album coming out. We did a full European tour as well as a full Russian tour and also the co-headline tour with BEHEMOTH that I mentioned earlier. That’s not even counting the amount of summer festivals that we have performed at over the last few years and this is the penultimate show from a six-week tour of North American and Canada. We just came straight from New York to play Hammerfest in North Wales and a few more shows before we get to go home.
Overdrive: Do you think that the music was always going to move in this direction or did the stars align among the current members in terms of good chemistry?
Dani: Well, I think it’s not just that alone. I think that we were almost alienated by our previous guitarist Paul [Allender] because he wanted to do the bulk of the work, and we have always been a two-guitar band, which we have mostly been famed for. Now, with that in mind and a whole new lineup and the fact that our drummer Martin [Skaroupka] also writes keyboards; along with our current keyboardist Lindsay [Schoolcraft] so we’ve got a lot of contributing factors. Also, it’s worth commenting on the chemistry that we have with our producer Scott Atkins, who also worked with us on the DEVILMENT stuff; he gets very involved with the whole writing process also. For example, on the latest record, we had to sideline three songs, one of which was my favorite and I saw the potential in it but had to think of what was best for the band and seriously consider all the opinions, including Scott‘s. CRADLE OF FILTH today is really functioning more as a unit and obviously that was a catalyst toward how the record would sound.
Overdrive: With the bands numerous band personnel and record label changes, you have earned yourself a somewhat tyrannical title or leader. Who is the biggest tyrant you have met in your career as a musician?
Dani: Well, first off, I’m not a tyrant at all. It’s just that record labels change their personnel all the time. The last departures from the band was one leaving to go to American to form another band and working in a studio because he doesn’t want to tour. Not my fault. The other guy had the neck injury and was put out for two years. That’s not my fault either. If anything, I’m actually holding this band together. You can speak to anybody else, and they will tell you that we write as a unit and I just do my bit.
Overdrive: Well, you have always said from the start that CRADLE OF FILTH is a democracy.
Dani: Yes, it is a democracy, and presently the six people in this band understand that, and everybody else can fuck off if they don’t believe that’s the case. Regarding the second part of that question, I’ve definitely met some tyrants in other bands, but I won’t be naming them, because I still know them.
Read the entire interview at Overdrive.