Dani Filth interview: ‘We had a bouncy castle on stage. It was f**king ridiculous’

(Image credit: Press/Artūrs Bērziņš)

It's more than 25 years since Cradle Of Filth came screeching out of unholy environs of East Anglia like leather-clad vampire bats. They may have left their black metal beginnings behind, but they have retained a wicked streak a mile wide. With the band currently working on the follow-up to 2017’s Cryptoriana: The Seductiveness of Decay, we challenged frontman and British metal’s wicked warlock of the east, Dani Filth, to answer your burning questions. Lord Filth accepted.

After you interviewed Doug Bradley from Hellraiser last year [for Metal Hammer’s special-edition horror issue], who else would you like to interview and why?
Sabrina Nevine (email)

“I’d be interested in interviewing musicians I like and people involved in the film industry as well, if only to pick their brains rather than talk to them. I have met them all but every time I meet these people, it’s always at a do or a show. With that in mind, I would say Danzig, Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie because they’ve all been involved in music and they have had very stylistic professional careers. Plus, they have also branched out into cinema.”

What was it like performing a UK show with Bring Me The Horizon at All Points East?
James Lee (Twitter)

“It was bloody awesome! I got massive brownie points for that because Bring Me The Horizon are my daughter’s favourite band, so I took her with me when we shot the Wonderful Life video in Sheffield. She’s even in the video shopping in the background so that made her day. Before All Points East, I took a diverted flight to London from South America and I hadn’t slept for two days, but it was worth it. The crowd and the production were huge, I couldn’t believe I’d been there. I was waiting for a taxi afterwards and Watch a Buddhist monk play The Ramones' Teenage Lobotomy’ve never met a band as nice as Bring Me The Horizon: each one of them came up before and after the show to say thank you.”

Now you’re being addressed as Lord Filth, what sort of special privileges do you receive and how large is your retinue?
@rikdog72 (Twitter)

“The amount of people working for the band is about 30. The advantages – you get served quicker in restaurants, you can have your name put on your bank card, and when you book a hotel they upgrade you. It looks more sassy if you go out with a lady – they always treat her as the Lord’s Lady. You get better service for everything.”


What’s the biggest Spinal Tap moment Cradle have ever had onstage?
Debs Bordet (email) 

“Unfortunately, not many people got to see it, but we were on tour in the States with The 69 Eyes and 3 Inches Of Blood in 2007. We’d been talked into buying a blow-up castle for the stage. I said it sounded like the worst thing ever but they swore it was new technology that looks just like stone. We had it delivered to Anaheim House Of Blues; it was too big for the fucking stage and it looked just like a painted bouncy castle! It looked ridiculous, so much so that Jyrki from 69 Eyes came in hungover, saw it, walked out and thought to himself, ‘Did that really happen?’ So he walked back and by the time he came back in, we’d taken it down! He was convinced it was a dream. It was the complete opposite of the Spinal Tap Stonehenge and probably worse. It makes me angry even thinking about it!”


What’s your opinion on today’s black metal scene?
@RJ_Fraser (Twitter)

“It’s OK. It’s not as complicated as it once was. I think everybody’s branched out and experimented. When the scene first started in 1991-1992, everyone was doing very different things anyway; bands like Necromantia and Moonspell, you didn’t have guitarists, you had three bass players. There were a lot of different styles going on back then and I think now people are doing very much the same thing, but there’s less constraints now. There’s a few bands revising the old style like Immortal, but on the other hand there’s great bands like Alcest doing black shoegaze who I absolutely love. The new Deathspell Omega album is incredible, there’s new bands like Craft who did one of my favourite albums last year, White Noise And Black Metal. The manacles were put on the scene for a long time and the fans demanded it had to be kvlt, which is something we’ve always rebelled against and I’m glad people share that view now.”

(Image credit: Artūrs Bērziņš)

When was the last time you had a true diva/rock star moment?
Tommy Webb (email)

“I try not to. People think they’re diva moments but they’re really just production stuff. The last time was when I was visiting London with my girlfriend a couple of weeks ago: we just got off the plane from LA and we got to our hotel and the room was bloody awful. It was absolutely tiny, you couldn’t swing a cat in there, it was all scuffed where people had obviously dragged their bags in. I booked it through a place that works with musicians so they get nice places when they have days off so I was being really nice about it but their staff member was being snotty so I kicked off. I’d have put up with it but I was trying to look after my girlfriend.”


Is it true that there is a small mine off the coast of Grimsby solely dedicated to excavating your make-up supplies? Asking for a friend.
@GhostTheWolf (Twitter)

“No, there is not. It’s in Sephora – that’s not a mine, it’s for everybody!”


What have you had more of, hot dinners or band members?
@r_villan22 (Twitter)

“That’s a difficult one. I’ve had 40,792 hot dinners and only 24,152 band members. Hot dinners trumps it by about 20,000 at least.”


With H&M stocking Maiden and Metallica t-shirts, surely it’s only a matter of time before we get Cradle Of Filth in Topman.
Jayne Meadows (email)

“I went into Asda the other day and they’ve got Kiss, Pink Floyd and AC/DC shirts in there now. It’s like Walmart in the States, that shop is made for tour because they’re huge and they have everything, even Misfits and limited-edition Star Wars stuff. I’d be very happy if they started selling Cradle shirts. I’m not finicky and it has to be said that the money would be good…”


Am I ever likely to see you in the full Wonderful Life outfit at Tesco in Copdock, Ipswich?
Jon Haylock (Twitter)

“I doubt it, I don’t shop in Tesco, it’s beneath me. I’m a Lord, it’s Sainsbury’s or Waitrose surely! You might catch us in a Tesco if we’re flying back from a show, but I doubt I’ll be in full garb.”

Originally published in Metal Hammer #327