Cradle Of Filth interview (10/2012)

With: Paul Allender
Conducted by: D.T. Metal (phone)
Published: 22.10.2012

Band profile:

Cradle Of Filth

Cradle Of Filth are about to release their tenth full length studio album, The Manticore And Other Horrors, here in a couple of weeks. And since Metal Storm was long overdue for an interview with the band, I jumped on the opportunity to talk with guitarist Paul Allender.

Birgit: Once again you have a Halloween release for your new album; does it just work out that way or is this somewhat planned?

Paul: It just works out that way. To be honest, as soon as we are done writing, we go into the studio to record it all. Then you have to have enough time to get the record into the shops, so it usually ends up with a Halloween release; to give it the proper selling time. Our touring schedule dictates the recording as well, so we end up writing and recording at the same time of the year.

B: I know this is extremely pre-mature, but since 2014 will be your 20th anniversary [from the first album release] and staying on your every 2 year release path, are there some special plans for the next album?

Paul: I haven't even thought about that yet. It's just another album period and we tend not to plan that far ahead. Sometimes we have ideas [for songs] and then totally scrap them along the way. So we tend not to plan until we actually go into another album cycle.

B: Your prior two albums were concept albums; was it a conscious move not to do another full concept one?

Paul: For the new one, we purposely decided not do a concept album. When Martin [Škaroupka- drums] and I were writing the album, we … well, me personally, I always felt as a band, Cradle put out too much material; we always did too much. So this time, I thought, why do we want to break up tracks, to put as much stuff on a CD as possible, when it doesn't make any difference at all, none what so ever? So for the new album we cut the songs shorter, put less tracks on the album and it still sounds great, even when there is not a ridiculous amount of stuff going on in the music.

B: So you were going for quality over quantity this time around?

Paul: Oh absolutely. Well, it always has been quality of the music, but with the previous albums, ... we have done just too much. Every time when we were done with a tune, it HAD to be released somewhere. I personally don't agree with this because you hold stuff back, just in case you might need it later on.

It's different when holding stuff back and use it somewhere forward [to the next song], but it ended up … oh, we need something else for track so and so, instead of to just take a step back and listening to it with just half of the stuff for a track. So this time, we actually trimmed it all back, done it all properly.

B: I actually just listened to the new album and it sounds fresh, extremely guitar driven and not as theatrical. Is that something you guys will stick with, or do you first want to hear the reaction from the fans?

Paul: I want to stick with this. This album is actually the first one since Midian where the press has gone: "This is brilliant." Seriously, with all the releases since Midian the press had said: "Well yes, its good, ... but I do prefer this other album" or some crap like that. But with The Manticore And Other Horrors everybody is saying: "Holy crap this is amazing; you brought everything back again." And this is exactly what we have been waiting for. You know what I mean?

By bringing back the heaviness, the metal back into it, … you know, since Midian onward it has been too polished for my liking. Personally I think it kind of lost its way; the music lost the hard edge what Cradle used to be. It lost the aggression, it all got like really … nice. And I really don't like nice. Well, when it comes to music that is.

So the reason why the new album was written that way, was to bring back the punk vibe, the hardcore vibe, which we used to do on principle, like on Dusk [1996 - After Dusk... And Her Embrace]. And this concept completely got lost after those songs and we needed to bring this vibe back into the music. This was how the band got actually known; for its aggression, you know?

B: True; and on that note, what is your favorite song on the new album?

Paul: My favorite track is "For Your Vulgar Delectation" since it has a real punky vibe; it's just brilliant. We actually have a video coming out for this one, and also for "Frost On Her Pillow".

[The "Frost On Her Pillow" video was actually released 2 days after our interview and you can check it out right HERE]

B: Yes, I saw the "making of" video. Who actually decided to release lyric videos for "Manticore" and "For Your Vulgar Delectation"?

Paul: Oh, it's the label, it has nothing to do with us. Sometimes we look at the videos and think: "What is the point of THAT?" But I guess it's because they don't have to put much energy into the video. I believe the whole point is more for the viral web thing; but I have no idea.

B: So would that be Peaceville Records or Nuclear Blast?

Paul: Nuclear Blast; they come up with the lyric videos.

B: The album was recorded in a very short time. How long did it actually take, after having skeletons of songs and making sure it all does fit for an album, before you guys were able to enter the studio for the final cut?

Paul: Well with this album, it was just me and the drummer who wrote the whole album. He did all of the keys on it as well, and it took us about seven months. We had lots of stuff kicking around everywhere, just like typical Cradle; but we didn't want a typical Cradle record, we wanted to go into a different direction. This is the reason why it actually took that long to come up with the right material for the direction we were going for.

It took about eight weeks for the drums and guitars; and this time me and the drummer, we recorded most of it live. Before it has always been cut-and-paste on Pro Tools in the studio … you know so many bands are doing this today, so we wanted to record it more naturally. We recorded the whole album like that and it has a more organic play feel to it, not a computer tab feel.

With all the cut-and-paste, you loose the feel, the groove for the music. And the only way to actually get the groove right and get the point across how we wanted the music to sound, was for Martin and I to record it live ourselves.

B: Since you live in the States and Martin lives in the Czech Republic; how did you guys collaborate before meeting in the studio?

Paul: Over the internet; we both have Dropbox, we have Skype, so we video-skyped all the time. With technology these days, you don't have to be in the same place. The times where you have to actually be in the rehearsal room as a complete band are long gone; you don't need to do that today. And especially for a band that has been around as long as we have. It would be ridiculous to spend a lot of time rehearsing in the studio; you just don't need to do that anymore.

So I come up with the riffs and the basic drum patterns, send it off to Martin with just the riffs, he puts down his ideas for the drums and records them, I sit there and rearrange it, and we bounce the ideas back and forth until we actually have a complete track. He will come up with the keyboard parts, sends it back to me, I plug it into Pro-Tools and we have a whole demo. And once we have the whole album written, it gets send off to Dani and he will start writing the lyrics for it.

courtesy of theorderofthedragon

B: You also have a new bass-player [Daniel Firth]. Did you record his bass lines or did he record them?

Paul: No, he did it. There were talks about me doing it, but I don't believe … you see, the thing is, that if you are a bass player you play like a bass player; and bass players play differently than guitar players. And I'm not gonna lie; I don't like guitar players picking up a bass and recording [an album], because they should be playing a guitar. So I turned that job down and said we need a proper bass player.

I mean I could do it, but I would be looking at it differently. So I didn't want to record the bass; I wanted the bass to sound more organic and more natural. So we got this new bass player; he is brilliant and he will be part of the recording and touring outfit.

B: How did you guys find him and did you know him prior?

Paul: A friend was looking for a bass player in the studio and Daniel was actually in a band that recorded with Scott [Atkins at Grindstone Studio] before we got there. Scott said that Daniel is a really good bass player, so he got him down for recording and it sounded brilliant.

B: Cool. Did you guys record the instruments and the vocals all in the same studio?

Paul: No, the instruments were recorded in a different studio than the vocals. We finished a couple of songs and they were sent off to another studio [Springvale] and Dani did his vocals. So basically the vocals were done at the same time as the album was recorded.

B: Now real quick about your upcoming touring plans. You already announced a tour in Europe; so what's after that one?

Paul: We will play in the States in February/March 2013 and after that, in April, we have a tour planned in South America. Then we will do the Summer Festivals here in Europe and then we will see where it will take us.

B: Since you just mentioned Festivals; what do you prefer personally, the big arena stages or the small clubs

Paul: I prefer the club gig scene; I don't like massive festivals. For instance Wacken, I mean it was great, don't get me wrong, but there was no atmosphere there for me because the crowd was so far away. I prefer tiny, hot, sweaty little clubs.

I would love to play in a club, in front of like 200 people. Have a 200-seater venue, turn it up really loud, have it hot and sweaty, turn the air conditioner off, and just play like that; now that would be amazing.

B: For some reason I think Cradle Of Filth is a bit too big for that nowadays.

Paul: Yeah, well, I would love to do that though. I think about setting up another band just to do this.

B: I will keep my eyes open; and now the last famous words to our readers.

Paul: Thanks for the support and I hope you all like the new album. If it weren't for you guys, we wouldn't be doing, what we are doing now. Again, thanks for the constant support, and with this being our tenth album … hope you like it, and see you on the road!

courtesy of theorderofthedragon


Posted on 22.10.2012 by Admin / Photographer / Reviewer

Former Editor aka b**ch in charge and now just a
Professional concertgoer... dangerously armed with a camera!


Comments: 6   Visited by: 201 users
22.10.2012 - 19:53
Cyborg Raptor
This guy actually seems pretty chill. Its crazy that they dont rehearse that much because they are probly one of the best live bands Ive seen.

And about the club gig thing, in the states I have seen them at a club twice! more like 400 people than 200 but still they play club gigs here in California all the time.
pewpew.. gotcha
22.10.2012 - 20:29
Bad English
MS shood make new int type here : audio int, we can listen instead of read... Im alzy to read
But good one, and I didnt know he lives in states
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
22.10.2012 - 20:51
D.T. Metal
Written by Bad English on 22.10.2012 at 20:29

MS shood make new int type here : audio int, we can listen instead of read... Im alzy to read
But good one, and I didnt know he lives in states

LOL, probably gonna do that next time; transcript the whole thing, SUCKS ... and yes, Paul lives in Minnesota.
22.10.2012 - 22:37
I agree with the whole club thing! They are a dark band and they just seem odd playing outside in front of thousands. I saw them in Atlanta, GA at a fairly small club, one of the best shows Ive seen.
08.11.2012 - 03:02
Fils du Lys
Saw them thrice in Montréal, always in pretty small places... Thaks for this very interesting interview, it changes a lot the way I listen to the album.
Notre destinée n'est pas encore tracée....
09.11.2012 - 03:08
Unasuming Madnes
About the new bassist, I've jokingly wondered if he is the same Dani Firth who created Salad Fingers?

Hits total: 7994 | This month: 19