Dani Filth Talks New Book

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.

Is there a message that you're trying to convey in the book, or is "Gospel of Filth" more of an objective examination of the occult and its relation to metal, almost like a reference material?

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!).

Did Gavin approach you, or did you seek him out to help assemble all the pieces?

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.

You have a clear fascination and understanding of the occult and all the other subjects compiled in the book. But "Gospel of Filth" also had a kind of tongue-in-cheek view of the subject matter. Is occult study a simple curiosity for you, or is it something you regard very seriously?

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.

There is a panoply of impressive accounts and interviews from celebrities, musicians, horror icons, and cultural authorities from all walks of life. Dario Argento, James Hetfield, Nick Holmes, Tom Araya, and countless others. How did these people come to be involved in the project? Did you go to them, did they come to you, or both?

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.

Was there anyone you wanted to consult or interview for the book that you didn't? Was there anyone included that was a particular surprise, or you were especially excited to have be part of the project?

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.

You've mentioned in the past that horror films occasionally serve as inspiration for Cradle of Filth. What films stick out in your memory, and which are your favorites? Have you seen any recently that pique your interest?

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".

You were in the horror film "Cradle of Fear" in 2001, and then were a voice actor in 2003's "Dominator," but haven't appeared since. You've said in prior interviews that you very much enjoyed acting. Have you closed the door on that part of your career, or can horror fans expect to see you again?

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!

Okay, so based on the book, you're not going to be touring with The Darkness anytime soon. Is there anyone you'd be particularly interested in collaborating with?

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.

In the book, Gorgoroth is presented as a band who can tout mainstream success despite their less than mainstream message. Artists like you and Mortiis have always professed love for the music over the image. Do you think fans can hear the difference, and how does that shape the legacy of Cradle of Filth both in comparison to Gorgoroth, and down the road?

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.

"Gospel of Filth" spends a good amount of space discussing connections between the Cold War and metal, the millennium-apocalypse movement and metal, so on and so forth. What do you see as the influence for metal artists now, and going into the future?

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!

You're known as a man who doesn't take a lot of time between albums. Can fans expect a musical accompaniment to go along with "Gospel of Filth?

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).

You're also known as a collector of antiquities of all types, across a broad spectrum of theologies, mythologies and cultures. What piece of your collection are you most proud of?

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.

What do you think the critical reception to “Gospel of Filth” will be, and does it matter to you?
Who the fuck cares!?! As a wittingly impish co-pilot on this journey to hell and a buxom part of the subject matter, I'm sure I will be loathed and disowned with equal fervour.

Again!

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