DATE OF INTERVIEW:
CRADLE OF FILTH
28th April 2007
METAL DISCOVERY: Did you work with Andy Sneap directly when you mixed the album, or was that just him doing it on his own?
[Dani Filth briefly enters the room looking for Cradle's tour manager]
MD: While we’re on the subject of Andy Sneap, I understand Dani and yourself were quite instrumental in Sabbat reforming in terms of persuading them to get back together. Were you a fan originally of Sabbat?
MD: Did you get much of your guitar style from Andy Sneap at all?
MD: I think the production on ‘Dreamweaver’, and ‘History of a Time to Come’, is not great, so it’s quite hard to hear exactly what’s going on with the guitars…
MD: I’ve tried to imitate what he’s playing on guitar, but it’s quite impossible to emulate it with that bad sound.
MD: Although you did cover ‘For Those Who Died’, although I guess they’re easier riffs to pick up.
MD: Was you ever into Skyclad at all?
MD: How about the whole folk metal thing?
MD: Well, there we go! How were the December UK shows with Sabbat?
MD: Yeah, I saw the December show, like I said, in Birmingham, and Martin seemed to have a really bad cold, but it didn’t seem to effect him that much.
PAUL ALLENDER: No, we was in there directly. Yeah, we was up there, we went up there. Andy brought a whole new sound to the band. You know, he’s absolutely phenomenal at what he does. The way he mixed, he put different sounds in, made the guitars scream a bit louder. As far as I’m concerned, I will use that boy for everything. You know, he’s absolutely brilliant. He really is.
PA: No, he's gone.
PA: Oh yeah, definitely.
PA: No, not at all. [laughs] Even though he claims some of the riffs are Sabbat riffs and we’re arguing with him the whole time, no they’re not. [laughs]
PA: You can’t hear anything! You can’t hear what the hell’s going on!
PA: Totally. I have said to him as well, you can’t even hear what you’re playing so how the hell am I gonna work it out and then nick your riffs?! Do you know what I mean…[laughs]
PA: Yeah. But no, it’s all good stuff, you know. He’s a good old boy.
PA: No, not at all. [laughs] I never ever, ever got into it. It’s funny you should say that – I went to see Skyclad in er…when they were sort of like on the first album whatever that was, I can’t remember which album it is, in Chelmsford, sort of where I live. And they played down there and I went along, and it was like I only really went ‘cause of Martin, you know because of Sabbat and stuff. But I looked at it and thought this really isn’t for me, I’m going, and I left half way through! [laughs]
PA: Brilliant, excellent. They were really, really good. It was good to see them on form. No, actually, after the first show, it was like they were okay but by the time they played their second gig, it was like really…this could be really, really cool if they got their arses together. And they’re going round doing festivals and stuff now – they’re still doing it, which is brilliant.
PA: No, it didn’t…
Paul backstage at Nottingham Rock City, 28th April 2007
(Paul Allender on Christopher Lee's collaborations with Rhapsody)
" I think it was his son or daughter or somebody who said this is the biggest band, blah, blah, in the world. Apparently his kids were into it, and obviously they’re hideously wrong....It was like, how the hell did they get him?!"
MD: …and their performance was still really good.
PA: Yeah, it was good.
MD: I heard a while back, I think in a Terrorizer interview, that Martin Walkyier got wrecked on Absinthe while drinking with you lot, and he vowed never to drink the stuff again…
PA: I don’t remember that!
MD: Ah, maybe he wasn’t drinking with you. Maybe it was Dani...
PA: It might’ve been, yeah, I don’t actually remember that!
MD: Ok, I won’t ask you that question then!
MD: Ok, so Sabbat have reformed – what other band or bands would you ideally like to see reform?
MD: …in an ideal world, if you could see anyone reform, ever…
PA: …all the bands I’m actually into that aren’t still together [laughs]….erm….hmmm…..I don’t know really to be perfectly honest. One thing I would like to see – I would like to actually see Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio again.
MD: They are doing a tour with him.
PA: Are they?
MD: Heaven and Hell.
PA: Are they still doing that are they?
MD: It’s not the original drummer – Bill Ward isn’t playing. But it’s Iommi and Geezer Butler. They’re doing an arena tour.
PA: Everyone’s actually like going – ahhh, the Ozzy thing’s amazing. I’m sorry, but I disagree with that!
MD: Ronnie James Dio as a singer - far better to be honest.
PA: Absolutely. And Ian Gillan. Ian Gillan is like….when those two were with Sabbath, as far as I was concerned, that was the best days they ever had. Their vocals are just absolutely incredible. Love it.
MD: Ronnie James Dio’s got to be well into his 60s now. He’s about 65?
PA: Yeah, easily I reckon.
MD: Good he’s still rocking though!
PA: Yeah, exactly. [laughs]
MD: Do you expect to still be rocking at 65?
PA: Me?! I don’t expect to be here at 65! [laughs] But I don’t know – possibly, who knows.
MD: Well let’s hope so. Okay, some general questions now. What do you think it is about Cradle that appeals to a broad range of ages? We sort of touched on that earlier, but…
PA: I don’t know. I think it’s…they like the image of the band. You know, it gives them a bit of escapism. The music’s a bit more… I don’t know…it’s a bit more accessible than it used to be. You know, a bit more metal orientated.
Photograph copyright © 2007 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
MD: Do you think it sort of harks back to the original metal rebelling against the parents?
PA: Yeah, totally. I don’t think that type of thing’s ever gonna go. No matter what style of metal music, there’s always gonna be some kid into it that’s gonna think this is gonna make me piss my pants, I think I’m gonna do this. I don’t think you’ll ever get rid of that. It doesn’t matter how many years down the road we are.
MD: I gather Dani’s a big Hammer fan and horror in general. Are you into the horror genre too?
PA: Erm…yes and no. I don’t actually go mad for it or buy toys or all that sort of stuff. I watch the odd film here and there.
MD: What kind of movies do you watch, like horror movies?
PA: I like a lot of the films that have got sort of…like, I’m a real film effects buff because I do a lot of that myself.
MD: What, actual film effects?
PA: Yeah, when I’m doing videos and all that sort of stuff, I shoot against blue screens, and put some matte paintings…I’m all into that. I’ve got a few friends at Industrial Light & Magic as well. But yeah, I quite like 'Aliens'; 'Hellraiser'. All stuff like that – anything that’s got really cool special effects.
MD: Have you seen…I ask this because I saw it the other night… ‘Severance’ at all, a new British horror film?
MD: I recommend it, it’s good.
PA: I’ll have to have a look
MD: When you wasn’t in the band, when Cradle recorded ‘Cruelty and the Beast’, they worked with Ingrid Pitt – obviously the Hammer connection there. Have the band ever approached Christopher Lee to do any narration, being the big Hammer fan Dani is?
PA: No, we haven’t. That was going to be the next thing on the books, but considering…is it Hammerfall have used him? I don’t think we’re gonna go down that road.
MD: It was Rhapsody.
PA: Rhapsody, Hammerfall, some band like that anyway. And like, so, I don’t think we’re gonna go down that road because, all of a sudden, it’s put like a real gay edge to it!
MD: He’s sold out - he’s done power metal before proper metal!
PA: Yeah, totally. [laughs] So we’re thinking it’s not such a good idea!
MD: The next question, I was going to ask if you’ve heard about his Rhapsody collaborations. Have you heard what he did with them?
PA: Yeah I did, and that’s what’s put us off! [laughs]
MD: There’s some amusing interview footage I’ve seen with him where Christopher Lee says he was told Rhapsody are one of the biggest bands in the world.
PA: Yeah, I heard that. That’s why he did it.
MD: And he said he would try anything once apart from incest or working in adult movies, so you’ve got hope yet if you want to use him!
PA: Perhaps, perhaps. I think it was his son or daughter or somebody who said this is the biggest band, blah blah, in the world. Apparently his kids were into it, and obviously they’re hideously wrong! [laughs] It was like, how the hell did they get him?!
MD: You’ve worked with Doug Bradley quite a few times now. What does he think of your music – is he a fan of Cradle?
PA: Yeah, he likes it.
PA: Yeah, he likes it. Definitely. When we played a couple of times in the States on this tour he came out and saw us because he was doing horror conventions out there.
MD: Are you a fan of all of his 'Hellraiser' movies? Have you seen them all?
PA: No, I only really sort of got to number 2 and that done me.
MD: That’s as far as you need to go, they get quite bad.
PA: [laughs]. Actually, I saw a space one or something, whatever one that was. Was it a space one?
MD: I think that might’ve been 4 or 5…
PA: …whatever one that was, and I thought that was really, really bad.
MD: They brought Ashley Laurence back, the girl from the first film, in 6 or 7 or something, and that wasn’t too bad, but apart from that. There’s some amusing documentary footage on one of the DVDs where you’re seen blowing up various random objects. Was that boredom, or do you have a genuine interest in explosives?
PA: Both! [laughs] I don’t know, it’s like we were just waiting for stuff to happen like guitars were being set up, cabs were being mic’d up and stuff and, also, for some unknown reason, we had like…there was a basketball and there was a milk churn, and for some reason we said let’s put that in there and put the ball on and see what happens….BANG…and it was really impressive so we thought let’s do it loads! [laughs]
MD: It’s fucking hilarious to watch!
PA: It was amazing! The flames coming out of the top were like…full-on proper cannon stuff.
MD: Often the camera was trying to track what had just been blown up, like through the air, but not finding it and…
PA: …yeah, and eventually, about a couple of minutes later, it goes vroom and just hits. That was excellent. Much fun.
DANI FILTH: Is Steve about?
MD: Also on the tour documentary footage you seem to often dare each other to eat bizarre things for nominal sums of money. What’s the worst or weirdest thing a band member has eaten?
PA: I think it would have been our old keyboard player, Martin. We was in….where were we?…Sweden, playing a festival in Sweden I think it was. And…I think it was Sweden, I can’t remember. But anyhow, James and Adrian at the time had a Red Bull drinking competition to see who could do a 12 case of Red Bull as quick as possible. Not very healthy and not very clever, mind. And of course James ended up throwing up in the toilet, like in the sink, then of course we bet Martin to go and eat it…to go and eat it and wash in it, and he did. He started washing in this and eating it, and it was like ahhh…
MD: Was he pissed?
PA: Yeah, he was.
MD: Thank god for that!
PA: Yeah, that was pretty gross.
MD: Yeah, sorry I asked you that now, but there you go!