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INTERVIEW: Dani Filth (Cradle of Filth)

Levi: You’ve got a new album Hammer of the Witches, it debuted on our Aria charts at number #28. How do you feel about that?

Dani: Yeah that’s not bad, not bad going at all. I think it’s doing well in Germany and England as well. I don’t know the exact figures it was around #19 and #11.

Levi: How did it go recording the album? Are you proud of it?

Dani: Extremely yeah. Obviously it’s a slightly different line-up, we added two new guitarists and that was because we were undertaking a co-headlining tour with Behemoth across Europe last year. We knew one of our guitarists couldn’t do it because of personal reasons so we replaced him for the tour. Shortly before the tour we found out our other guitarist whom had been suffering quite a severe neck injury was having to undergo major surgery and wouldn’t even be able to pick a guitar up let alone tour. We had to make a big decision there and then, we found someone else at the 11th hour and fortunately the band gelled very well. Having two guitarist join at the same time worked really brilliantly, they’re both very prolific, big fans of the band. We wrote behind a big slew of summer festivals last year and a full month long tour of Russia and here we are now. We were in the studio on and off for about four months. A very isolated studio out in the British countryside and we were very focused on it. Literally since delivering it to the record company we’ve undertaken hundreds upon hundreds of interviews here and abroad.

Levi: I listened to The Evils of Human Made Flesh the other day, it’s crazy to see how much your voice has changed over the years. How did you approach vocals back then? And would you do it differently now?

Dani: Probably but I never look at it like that. It’s all about the moment, the albums was heralded as a bit of a game changer because of the production. If you listen to the production now it sounds very primitive, but back then it was like “wow, you can hear everything”. Obviously we’d do it very differently now but it’s now and that was then and in the 21 years since the album’s release things have changed. Since then I’ve had vocal tuition and more importantly I see this great doctor/vocal coach who deals in vocal manipulation. Like when a tennis player gets ‘tennis elbow’, it’s like the equivalent of that but for vocals. He pulls your face around a lot and your larynx. It’s a painful procedure which had enabled longevity for me. I’m more diverse and better at hitting notes than I have been in a long while, even at the tender age of 40.

Levi: We talked to Lindsay Schoolcraft the other week, she’s very nice. How’s she going in the band? Will she be staying around awhile?

Dani: Everything’s going very well, we had a great weekend playing a beautifully place south-east of Germany. It wasn’t a huge festival; Dream Theatre, WASP, Cradle of Filth. A lot of big bands but it was only about 15,000 people. It was quite low-key as well, it was great, really good fun. Both bands got to hang around for about 3 days. Lindsay had to fly in from Canada so we got in at different times. We get on famously, last year we play the Amnesia Rocks, a massive festival then myself and my wife stayed on with Lindsay for about a week in Canada, we had a really good time hanging around Toronto.

Levi: It has been a bit over 10 years since Nymphetamine came out, are you going to anything to celebrate its anniversary?

Dani: Well maybe. Every year now is an anniversary of some sort. Next year will be 20 years since the release of Dusk in Her Embrace, there was a version of the album recorded, and we actually recorded the album twice. The reason for that being we recorded it shortly after the release of The Principles of Evil Made Flesh, then we were in court with our record company. We took them to court because they were being a bit criminal. Anyway, we won that case and to get off the label we gave them as a sort of parting gift the Vempire EP, which was some tracks already written, it was a bit of a hotchpotch. We won the rights to take Dusk in Her Embrace to Music for Nations which is a different label. Subsequently we had to re-record it, there was a version with different members that has been languishing on some record company guys’ shelf for the last 20 years. I’ve just found out a few weeks back they intend to release it next year. Obviously it will be with our full blessing. It will be interesting there’s a lot of people that know about this, it’s well documented.

Levi: How different are the recordings? And do you have a preference?

Dani: I haven’t heard it in 20 years, I’m supposed to be getting sent a copy next week, it will be notably different. It’s something the fans have been hankering after for ages, since rumour of its existence fell into being. I think it will be very interesting, it will have new artwork and footnotes and stuff like that and I think there were two demo tracks that people haven’t heard either as well which will be added to it.

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