Everything’s coming up Milhouse for Cradle of Filth.
Fresh off a co-headlining US trek with DevilDriverthe British extreme metal export are gearing up for the release of their first live album in two decades, a proposed new album, and long-awaited charity single with global pop-star, and unapologetic metal fan, Ed Sheeran.
Now, direct from his all new interview with Metal Injection, Dani Filth rolls back the curtain and dives in on a variety of topics ranging from long-awaited new material, that ever-hot-buttoned-topic of the Sheeran collaboration, plus the 25th anniversary of Cradle‘s seminal album Cruelty and the Beast.
On Live Album Trouble And Their Double Lives
“It was pretty hard actually honing down the tracks,” said Filth. “Firstly, the reason for this is because there was a space for it to fill. Our last record was delayed by a year because of the pandemic, which subsequently meant our change from Nuclear Blast to Napalm Records was delayed.
“Well, we actually started work on a new album, which was those two songs, but then we had a lineup change, so we decided to reboot from scratch and thought it would be a good idea as well to put those songs on the double live package just because there’s plenty of room. We want to give our fans a window into Cradle at that particular time, which is like ’21-22.
:But yeah, choosing the songs, obviously we could only choose from the ones we played on the world tour. But the world tour was four years, so there’s plenty of ingredients. But we had one eye on not repeating stuff we did on the last live album, which was about 20 years ago, and also wanted to put fan favorites on there.
“But we also wanted a good sort of smorgasbord of tracks from across our back catalog. So anything from principle right through to Cryptoriana. And we wanted to be quite fair with that so it wasn’t too new stuff heavy or too Cruelty and the Beast heavy. So yeah, I mean it was a bit of a lottery and took quite a while to hone that down and get the track listing right as well.”
On 25 Years of Cruelty and the Beast
“I think it’s obviously aged better because we had the opportunity to remix the sound. People have said ‘oh, aren’t you going to start remixing other records?’ And the answer is, ‘Well, not really, because not a lot of the other records really demand a remix.’ And that one in particular because of the drum sound. That was an issue even at the time because the drummer was very adamant that that was going to be his drums and it had to be like that.
“And we actually snuck into the studio to try and rectify that scenario, but couldn’t do it. Couldn’t change it too much. And of course, if you’ve got a very tinny drum sound, you can’t have really heavy guitars because, you know, it’d be like elephants crossing a rope bridge. Something’s going to give.
“So we were very pleased to be able to go in and remix the whole thing. And of course also a cover of ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name.’ I just thought it brought that album, which is a classic, kicking and screaming into the current era, especially for people who never heard the original. It didn’t take away from the atmosphere or the songs. It just polished it up and made it the sound that we endeavored to make back in 1998.
“You’ve got to be really into it [creating a concept record]. I was literally possessed by the Countess during that time. I remember being very involved on that record, like literally living and breathing it like some kind of psychotic Baron Frankenstein. My wife at the time was passing me food under the laboratory door [laughs].”
On Upcoming New Cradle of Filth Album
“Well, obviously it’s going to be an extension [of Existence is Futile] because it’s the next album afterwards. I think it’s different. It’s got a very Dusk… and Her Embrace vibes about it. In essence of the material, and the lyricism and the feel of it, it stirs emotions in me and makes me feel very sort of nostalgic about those particular years. It may not to anybody else, to me it stirs up those feelings and that vibe and that atmosphere.
“I can’t really describe it because again, there’s a lot going on. There’s a lot of different vibes, slow and fast, intricate, New Wave of British Heavy Metal going on and black metal. It’s a Cradle of Filth album. And that’s why it’s very hard to describe that to journalists. I just say ‘go and listen to it and you describe what it is,’ because I’m not going to put words in people’s mouths because to one person it represents something different than it would to others.”
On Collaboration with Ed Sheeran
“Well, aside from my contribution, everything’s done. The bass was the last thing to go on. Ed did his stuff before Christmas, laid down acoustic guitar and his vocals. It’s a collaborative single, but for charity, because we wanted to use the opportunity of working with one of the world’s biggest artists for a good cause really.
“And we also didn’t want to give people cause to think that we were jumping on the bandwagon and trying to do it for our own benefit financially. And I think we’ve got a very good cause we wanted to donate to, he’s got a great cause he wants to donate to. And I think it would just garner more attention and seem less of a novelty if it’s something that is done for charity.
“It’s not like an Ed Sheeran song, and it also doesn’t sound like a Cradle of Filth song. It’s got acoustic guitars, it’s got clean vocals, but it also has got a blast beat and unclean vocals and a very long scream of mine. So yes, I’d like to say it’s a marriage made in Hell, but it’s probably a marriage made in heaven, actually.
“And hopefully, once I finish it, once it gets mixed, then it goes to his management and our management to decide how the thing’s going to be tackled. Because obviously you talk about two record companies here and it has to be scheduled in. All that guff that the musicians don’t usually get dealt with. So we’re hoping for a summer release. That would be perfect because it would definitely benefit the charities that we were doing it for.
“I think opposites attract. I like a marriage of weirdness. I like people to go how the fuck would that work? What the hell? And the fact that Cradle of Filth and Ed Sheeran, when we found out that he’d grown up being a fan of the band and by a fucking hair breadth we hadn’t met in the past, we started getting in contact, and I’ve been emailing him on and off for about two years now. So we became sort of pen pal friends, and then the idea just came about. I think he just wants to expand his musical horizons so people don’t just think, ‘Oh, well, that’s Ed Sheeran. I know what he’s like, I imagine.‘
“I think this is a very bold move for him because, attributing himself with a band like Cradle of Filth could go either way. You know, people might go, ‘oh my God, what the fuck? This is the band that had a Jesus is a Cunt shirt!’ But at the same time I think it’s a very cool move for him.”
Cradle of Filth’s Trouble And Their Double Lives is available worldwide on April 28th! Pre-orders are available here.