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Metal/Prog Metal Interviews

Cradle of Filth

Interviewed by Bob Cooper
Interview with Paul of Cradle of Filth from 2003
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2003 Year Book Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

I will have to admit that I am a pretty recent discoverer of your music, so I guess a brief synopsis of your band would be in order.
Well basically our first album came out in 1993, called Principle Of Evil Made Flesh on Cacophonus Records, which is a small independent label, and we toured a bit and stuff. And then we released an album called Dusk...And Her Embrace on Music For Nations Records, and we stayed with Music For Nations for Cruelty And The Beast, and we had various EPs coming out in between as well until the album Midian. We also did an album called Lovecraft And Witch Hearts, which was remixes and alternates from past albums. Then of course our new one Damnation And A Day which comes out on Sony. We are a pretty strange band, as everyone knows, and pretty visual as well live. People really have to see us live. I mean you can listen to the album and look at the artwork, but you have to see the live show to get the full effect, because we are pretty extreme.
MSJ: It is total chaos! Not only is the sound extreme in regard to hardcore metal, but there are elements of classical and gothic in there. It's some really dramatic stuff. Where does that all come from? I would guess you were a big fan of the horror movie.
Oh yes, definitely. Those and the occult movies, the first Evil Dead and all the classic horror films. And we all listen to classical music and stuff as well. Actually we listen to a wide range of stuff between us. I'm into techno and jazz and jazz/fusion stuff right across the board. We have always wanted to record a choir and orchestra on an album, but because it is an awful expensive thing to do we have not managed to do up until now. Ever since the band got together we have wanted to do that but weren't able to do it until now, thanks to Sony.
MSJ: Did you write and score the classical pieces yourself?
Yeah, we all pitched in on that. Our keyboard player Martin is classically trained on piano and violin and stuff, and he came up with the basis of it, all the scored pieces and stuff, and then we would all listen to it and change this part and that bit, because we are not classically trained. We just go by what sounds good.
MSJ: There are some parts that would imply that someone in the band does have extensive classical training.
We did get a guy over here. Dan Presley his name is, that we brought over from the states to listen to the pieces, and he arranged them slightly differently so you could get an orchestra and a choir to read them properly. So he sat down and arranged everything out, printed it all off, and then he came along to Budapest with us and gave all the sheet music to everybody in the orchestra and the choir and basically said "right, off we go" and we recorded it.
MSJ: That's what you have to respect about orchestras is that you can put virtually any piece of sheet music in front of them and they can play it. Yes did a symphonic tour a couple years ago and used local orchestras and players, and it was uncanny how they could follow along with the band as if they had written it all themselves.
For the live show, Martin does have parts sampled but a lot of it he plays himself. He has a laptop with the sampled programs that plays to a click track, and our drummer also has a click on his headphones and all the choir stuff comes out the front. So basically what you hear on the album is what you get live.
MSJ: Given the dramatic nature of the music and the visuals of the live show, do you have any plans on doing videos for any of the pieces? I know that you are working on a music DVD, but what I mean is a film with actors, because some of the tunes seem to carry with them a story line that would be begging for a film project.
I would love to, especially for Damnation, because it does have a good story line to it, and sub-story behind it and personally I think it would make a damn good film. I guess the question is if anybody is going to give us the money to do it.
MSJ: I think the time will come because of the nature of the music, and also because record companies are forking over millions to other bands to do the same when they don't have a fraction of the creativity to do so.
Well, it takes someone with the cash who shares our vision, and since I have been in the business for over ten years I have learned not to take anything for granted. If it happens it happens, but I am not expecting or even counting on it happening.
MSJ: Well, your presence on the scene is relatively new, and what you have is a unique sound, which is a breath of fresh air in the current state of metal. Heck, if this were the 70's and Damnation came out then they would surely be calling it a concept album, and also be calling your music progressive metal.
Most probably.
MSJ: So are you on Ozzfest now?
No, I am phoning from my home in England. But I happen to have the itinerary right in front of me. This Sunday we fly out for three of our own shows on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We start off in New Orleans, then off to Houston and so on until we hit San Antonio where we start rehearsals for Ozzfest. Then on Saturday, we're off on Ozzfest. Now we have scheduled our own tour in between Ozzfest dates, so it will be a pretty hectic schedule for us. We try to get as many of our own shows as possible because of the routing of the Ozzfest, and also because we are not allowed to play within a certain amount of miles from where the next Ozzfest is going to be. The routing is kind of wierd, so we have a lot of travel time in between. If we didn't have that restriction, we pretty much all would prefer to be playing on all of our off days. Because once you get into the swing of playing, and then have a couple off days, it takes you another couple of gigs to get back into it again.
 
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