"Some guy jumped onstage with a carving knife": Cradle Of Filth's Dani Filth on the time Scandinavian Satanists came for him

Portrait of Cradle Of Filth vocalist Dani Filth, London, United Kingdom, 2000
(Image credit: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images)

You can’t imagine that there is much that would spook Dani Filth. The frontman of East Anglia extreme metallers Cradle Of Filth is used to being the one to bring the scares, but in the band’s early days they were some alarming encounters, including rumours that the group were getting death threats from Satanists in Scandinavia.

“There were a few incidents,” Dani Filth told Metal Hammer’s David MacNamee back in 2007. “Some guy jumped onstage when we were touring with At The Gates and Anathema in Germany, with a fucking great carving knife and the bouncers jumped on him. The fortunate thing was that we were in England and obviously there’s a substantial tract of water which separates us." 

It wasn't just stage invasions the group had to contend with. While the band may have been safe from rampaging Satanists in England, nothing could protect them from the threat of the international postal service. "As well as isolating us it gave us a lot of enemies, because we were different and we weren’t part of the clan. We’ve had threatening letters in blood and stuff, and people have slagged us off in the press. I know that one of them was a postman. That’s not very black metal is it? You’re not even under Satan’s command; you’re under the postmaster’s command in Oslo! You’re hardly Aleister Crowley!”

This animosity was despite the fact that some core members of the Norwegian metal scene had accepted Cradle Of Filth as part of the crew. “I had contact with Euronymous. A few letters went backwards and forwards,” recounted Dani. “And Emperor – obviously – cos we did our first tour with ‘em.” There was one group who wouldn’t welcome the band into the gang, though. “I don’t think the guys from Darkthrone particularly like us. They’ve spent their whole lives trying to be underground, and we’re doing the complete opposite, and obviously it doesn’t wash with ‘em at all.”

That both bands are still going is a testament to metal’s endurance, and that Darkthrone still slag off Cradle Of Filth whenever they get the chance is a sign of admirable stubbornness that you’ve just got to take your hat off to.

Niall Doherty

Niall Doherty is a writer and editor whose work can be found in Classic Rock, The Guardian, Music Week, FourFourTwo, on Apple Music and more. Formerly the Deputy Editor of Q magazine, he co-runs the music Substack letter The New Cue with fellow former Q colleagues Ted Kessler and Chris Catchpole. He is also Reviews Editor at Record Collector. Over the years, he's interviewed some of the world's biggest stars, including Elton John, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Robert Plant and more. Radiohead was only for eight minutes but he still counts it.