Dani Filth: ‘Sister Act, but without Whoopi Goldberg’

After two years of absence, Britain’s favourite black metal band, Cradle of Filth, are back with their latest gothic offering, “Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa”. Amidst a maelstrom of press and Germanic MTV offerings, front man Dani Filth took time out to talk about Cradle’s new album.

“We were recording pretty much an album and a half’s worth of material,” begins Dani when asked about the lengthy four-month recording process the band took for the new album .


Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa is Cradle's ninth studio album and first since joining Peaceville Records Photo: James Sharrock

“Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa” sees Cradle of Filth developing their sound into a dark and grandiose beast, still capable of the limb-tearing cacophony seen in the bands early years.

“When some bands add the symphonic element to their music, they kind of drench it,” comments Dani on the subject of balancing melody and brutality.

“What we really had to work on was the equilibrium, the perfect balance between the eloquence of the piano and the heaviness of the riffs,” – a skill Cradle of Filth seems to be perfecting as time goes on.

Almost every one of the new album’s eleven tracks ooze quality, with their first single, “Forgive Me Father (I Have Sinned)” acting as a master class in epic metal song writing.

“We wanted the storyline to work on two levels. One level is this grandiose overarching, gothic horror story that the listener can get immersed in. But you can also grab one song off iTunes, or listen to it in a different sequence. Each track stands out alone as a heavy metal track,” continues Dani.

Conceptually, the album explores the enigmatic biblical character, Lilith, telling a fictional story of the demonic first wife of Adam returning to the modern world as a deity.  “When the idea for using Lilith came up, the music suggested it,” explains Dani.

“It was eloquent and very fast, yet melodic. People picked up on it and asked if it was a feminine album, and I suppose it is a kind of feminine counterpart to our thuggish and rough last album, which was very masculine. It’s ‘Sister Act’, but without Whoopi Goldberg in it.”

Dani Filth is a musician very much in love with his craft. When he talks about his work, it’s clear he puts a huge amount of passion into every snarled and screamed lyric he writes.

With a knowledge of the darker side of humanity which not only allowed him to release a book earlier this year entitled “The Gospel of Filth”, he is able to write lyrics about more than just the standard blood-and-guts metal fare. “Lilith was Adam’s first wife, the first woman. And that’s of course where the evil of women comes from.”

“I promised with the last record that wouldn’t happen again,” laughs Dani quickly after being asked about Cradle of Filth’s conceptual direction. “But I just got so into the ideology of writing a couple of tracks about Lilith that it just branched out into an overarching theme.

“We are a band that wants to mutate with every album. The next album, we’ll leave the concept thing alone!”

As the dust begins to settle from their album release, the band has announced a massive tour starting this month, and continuing well into 2011. “So much of this year was taken up by this album, with writing, recording and getting it all out there. Now we can turn our attention to touring.”

Tour highlights for the band are going to include a tour of South America, as well as a Metal Hammer magazine sponsored tour for UK fans.

So how did the most evil Englishman in metal celebrate Halloween? “It’s my anniversary on Halloween, and we were going to stay and do another German club night, but I wanted to come back. So I and my wife had a really nice night in a top London hotel. We went to go and see a new London show, called ‘Ghost Stories’, which is brilliant!” So no blood-drinking for Dani last month; just romance.

With a new album, lengthy tour and orchestral album entitled, “Midnight in the Labyrinth”, on its way, 2011 is poised to be Cradle of Filth`s best year yet.

Leave a Reply