It was on a return flight to the U.S. to pick back up on their current tour when Cradle Of Filth frontman, Dani Filth, says he knew there was a problem with his ear. The excruciating pain clearly indicated something was wrong and sure enough he had ruptured his eardrum. In true metal fashion, Dani does not plan on taking any time off to recover. In fact, he did this very interview you’re about to read, the day of his surgery.
One of England’s finest metal descendants is currently touring the States in support of their eighth studio album, Godspeed On The Devil’s Thunder, released last fall on Roadrunner. The album’s concept was inspired by a 15th century mass murderer. How much more fucking metal can you get? I mean really.
So tell me what’s new and exciting with you and Cradle Of Filth.
Well what’s new and exciting is that we’re out on this tour and I have a burst eardrum. We had five days off and we had a show get canceled in Finland, it’s a long story. I went overnight back to England because it was my daughter’s birthday. On the way back on the plane, something went funny with my ear and I had to have an operation this afternoon. They had to cut into the actual eardrum because it was all pressurized.
I bet it was excruciatingly painful!
Well, um, yeah. (laughs) It was.
Godspeed On The Devil’s Thunder is another concept album. How was the concept derived?
The concept came from the fact that when we were writing material, the atmosphere, the time of the year and things like that, it was pretty much along the lines of a previous record we did, which was called Cruelty And The Beast. It was literally 10 years after the event that we were writing this new album and I thought, ‘Well give it a shot.’ I had a look back through some of my old notes and low and behold I came across this figure, Gilles de Rais. I’ve done some research on him in the past and to say that he was just a serial killer is not doing the story justice. He was possibly the richest man in Western Europe at the time, comrade in arms to Joan of Arc. That was kind of the catalyst for his crimes, the death of Joan of Arc. We treated the entire story, and it is chronologically a story on the album, like a gothic fairytale. So we have it literally from the death of Joan of Arc right until his (de Rais) subsequent capture, trial, and condemnation.
There has always been debate over the specific genre of music you guys fall into—black metal, death metal, heavy metal, goth metal, etc. The list goes on and on. Do you really even want to be labeled?
Labeling bands is just a thing for stacking records in shops. The biggest compliment that we can be paid would be just to be recognized solely as Cradle Of Filth, much as Iron Maiden is solely recognized as Iron Maiden.
Speaking of Iron Maiden, you guys have been called the ‘most successful British metal band since Iron Maiden.’ How does such a comparison make you feel?
It’s good. In most parts it’s kind of true, but you know, it’s like trying to live up to a big legend, isn’t it? At some points it doesn’t feel like that in England because we have this sort of trait in the press of building a band up and then when they get to the size, you know, when they can go abroad and start being successful in other places, they kind of run us down—kind of extradited from magazines like Rock Sound and Kerrang!, solely because we’re a successful band.