After several years of cooking, outspoken Cradle of Filth frontman Dani Filth has completed his book, "Gospel of Filth." The book serves both as a chronology of the band and their influences, as well as a complete study of the occult and man's obsession with it throughout history.
Each chapter is filled with parallels between the occult and themes found in horror, heavy metal, black metal, comic books, literature, and just about every other facet of popular culture. Many luminaries in each field are showcased or interviewed. I recently had the opportunity to talk to Dani concerning the book, and his career as a whole.
This is considerably more commercial sounding material, coming across like the bastard son of Tool mixed with At The Gates
How did it feel to finally finish "Gospel of Filth" so many years after its inception? Did you feel it was complete?
It was on the cusp of massive relief even up to a few days ago when it finally managed to claw it's way down to the printers!
One of the main problems we had to face was the fact that each chapter adopts a Cradle album as it's initial springboard (so, for example, the chapter entitled 'Cruelty and The Beast' concern's itself with crime and serial killer chic), so the longer the book was taking, the more chapters were being added to accommodate the next Cradle Of Filth excretion. We were writing albums quicker than chapters in the book at one laborious stage!
That said though, the book is a literal tome. Serving as a modern day black grimoire, it covers all areas of the dark-side and the occult and infuses this with accounts from real life practitioners, be they musicians, actors, writers, historians, serial killers or real-life vampires, the grisly facts are always expertly corroborated and then fleshed out.
I think the over-arcing message is man's attraction to the dark-side and the fun he can have with it! Everybody seems to have a morbid fascination with something and this book presents it all under one gargoyle-encrusted roof and with unusual clarity (remembering that Gavin Baddeley is a bloody good occult historian!).
You know it's over five years ago now, down the long, winding road of painstaking research and too much absinthe, that, if memory serves me well, Gavin and I actually met at a very fruity Black Mass in Chelsea, London.
I used to be very serious about the occult, sitting on the other side of the fence to the one I scratch my arse on now. As I've hit my thirties and now bedecked with family, I find myself exploring everything in life a little more vividly and with so much on one's (often busy and bloodstained) hands, there just isn't the time to indulge fully in the daily labours of magic and mind-play.
I see myself as more of a Van-Helsing type character now, an obsessed vampiric good guy with inside information on the dark.
Possibly with a cape. Haven't decided.
A bit of both. For example, we have excerpts from possibly the last ever interview with Anton La Vey, which is something that Gavin undertook a few years back naturally, and in contrast with that, the Dario Argento interview came into existence due to me having sung the credit song on his recent Mother Of Tears movie.
God! No really, God.
Including Tim Burton and Christopher Lee was a cool move, as was the musician Jeff Wayne, whose epic War Of The Worlds album I think has been vastly undiscovered by the modern horror fraternity, despite selling in excess of 30 million copies worldwide and paving the way for gothic rock and classical concepts for 30 years now.
Don't get me started! I don't really have an absolute favourite and there are just so many thousands I like. In fact that's my touring bad habit... buying DVDs, especially in the States on a day-off Best Buy and Walmart run, to while away the lonely nights on the bus.
Recent favourites however would have to be films like "Antichrist", "Martyrs", "District 9", "Pandorum", "Dead Snow", "Monsters Versus Aliens", "Coraline", "Dorian Gray", "Meatball Machine" and "Mum And Dad".
I was acting?!!!!
We were actually due to undertake a sequel to 'Cradle Of Fear', but seeing as the cast and crew all were on deferred payments until the film made money (to keep the outlaying costs low), and now that it's been done like that once it won't happen again and hefty investors have been a tad shy of late.
I'd love to do something again, but it'd have to be done right. I've got some great ideas for scripts and the suchlike, however the band and subsequent career have kept me pinned to the wall for the past few years.
After all the lineup changes and turbulence throughout Cradle of Filth's career, what keeps you going forward as a musician? Is it sheer love of the music, or is there something more?
The atmospheres and escapism we create as a band and the support we garner from our awesome loyal fans, all that on top of the music.
Plus the little matter of a contract with Satan!
I've always wanted to work with Diamanda Galas, in fact it was on the cards at some point before she fell ill. Wojciech Kilar, the composer of Bram Stoker's Dracula and The Ninth Gate, to name but a few, would be a dream collaboration too..
Metal-wise, I am in fact collaborating on a band with Rob from Anthrax, King from Gorgoroth/God Seed, Ice Dale (Enslaved) and John Tempesta (The Cult), which remains untitled despite writing seven really great songs together (our working title is in fact 'The Mongoloids').
This is considerably more commercial sounding material, coming across like the bastard son of Tool mixed with At The Gates, whilst all the time retaining a horror-drenched adult film-noir vibe. This album should see the light of day sometime next year.
I think the amount of work we put into each and every one of our releases (be it with lyrics, artwork, videos, interviews , concocting naughty slogans etc, etc) is evidence of our unadulterated love for the music.
Rather than detracting, I think these additional facets serve to embellish our hellish cacophony.
I see the future of metal going into post-apocalyptic war-zones where mutated human survivors battle giant snails for control of the nuked earth's only sustainable living food source.... foul smelling crepuscular lettuces!
Well, we've already started work on our next album, albeit at a slightly embryonic stage, having just finished our Summer festival run with a couple of excellent shows in Russia.
We're also considering working (at he same time) on a very dark and vampiric orchestral album that will cover material from our first four albums, including narrative and old school black and white movie accompaniment (sourcing films like Haxan, De Golem, Cat People, Seven Steps To Satan etc).
It's not really a collection, more like uncanny regalia in my house.
I guess my favourites would be my life-size talking black Dalek from Doctor Who, my two replica Mummys or the rare John Wayne Gacy painting in my study.