Niclas Müller-Hansen of RockSverige.se recently conducted an interview with vocalist Dani "Filth" Davey of British extreme metallers CRADLE OF FILTH. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
RockSverige.se: Do you look at the new album ["Hammer Of The Witches"] as your finest effort so far?
Dani: Uhhhmmm… That's a little hard to say. We never come out of the studio unless we are a hundred percent happy. We're really proud of this one. Whether it's our finest album? Well, at least for the last ten years, I would say. That seems to be the premise and the opinion of the journalists I've spoken to. I went to France and Germany last week and did a bunch of [press] and it was a good vibe. Whether it's our best overall, I don't know. It needs to sink in and people need to hear the album with the special-edition tracks as well. Those particular songs didn't even know they were gonna be special-edition songs. The track list wasn't carved in stone 'till close to the end of the mix, actually. It was a band thing and we had to have two songs as bonus material and everybody had good points about all of them, but two didn't make the grade. But somebody might prefer one or both of the songs. Unfortunately, it's the way it is. We actually turned down three songs that were written for the album. We made a conscious decision not to spread ourselves too thinly. One of the tracks was one of my favorites, but that just proves there's democracy in this band. Everybody contributed, and that's testament to that the album is killer.
RockSverige.se: How would you compare CRADLE OF FILTH today to when the band started out? A huge difference or kinda the same?
Dani: The feeling and the passion is still there. Obviously, we're a lot older and probably a little bit more jaded, since you've been through the highs and the lows in the music industry. We've got the social media and all the bullshit that goes with that. It's a good thing, but it's a double-edged sword. Illegal downloading is absolutely choking the music industry and you can see how it's coming to a head. I sort of fear for the music industry in general because of what's happening. And the film industry is getting out of control. I don't know… The music industry seems to be fair game. But the atmosphere and the vibe is still here with CRADLE OF FILTH and it's evolving, I guess. When you were young, you saved at least enough money for an album and you were checking things out, going, "Oh, that guy's got a POSSESSED t-shirt!" and that was the magic of it. Today you can download a thousand albums in a matter of days and never listen to them, so…
RockSverige.se: How do you look at the first CRADLE OF FILTH album today? Are there things you'd like to change?
Dani: That sort of thing happens even now. When you're listening back to new albums for the thousandth time and you go, "You know what?! I should've done this," even though you're in the studio for hours making sure it's perfect. But then you think that it's there for a reason. I'm particularly proud of our first album, and it sounds quite barbaric when you listen to it. When that album came out, it was actually noted for its great production. It sounds dated now, obviously, but I'm particularly proud of that one. It's like a milestone in your career, and to other people as well, and things I hated about it people actually loved. Each to their own, I guess.
RockSverige.se: Do you remember when you realized that the band was gonna work and that you would be able to make a living off it?
Dani: It was a really strange chapter early on in our career. We were on another record label and our first album was getting various degrees of success. Because of that, we had two managers and the record company was shit and wasn't doing a good job. The managers pulled the band apart — three members went one way and three members stayed and took the record company to court and eventually won the rights to re-record and album we recorded for the record company, but it hadn't been released. We went from a year of abject misery and poverty to suddenly be able to re-record "Dusk… And Her Embrace" (1996), but in the meantime, we had already recorded something for the record company as a way to part ways, so we had two phenomenal releases in the space of a year. We went from a band on its knees to a band that was like a global band. The other three that went away had a little degree of success, but it all fizzled out because they just weren't thinking things through.
Read the entire interview at RockSverige.se.