Controversy seems to follow Dani Filth. He and his pioneering black, gothic metal band Cradle of Filth have what could only be called a “colorful past.” They've raised eyebrows with their now-infamous t-shirts which depicted a masturbating nun with the tag “Jesus Is A C*nt,” wore “I Love Satan” shirts to the Vatican, and made videos with enough blood and guts to make Tom Savini blush. They are the band people love to hate, and it seems they wouldn't have it any other way.
Beginning in 1994, with the release of “The Principle of Evil Made Flesh,” Cradle of Filth have plugged along and, despite numerous personnel changes, are now considered Britain's top metal band, second only to Iron Maiden. “Nymphetamine,” released in 2004, saw the band finally break through to financial success, and 2006's “Thornography” has only cemented that success. Many fans of the band's earlier work screamed sell-out, but Dani Filth says he really doesn't care. “We've been doing this a long time. We pioneered our sound, we were the first people to do this kind of thing, so people should cut us a little slack,” said Filth. “As long as people are talking about it, who cares? We do things for ourselves. I know that sounds quite bad, but there's no game plan. We've got premises that we try to explore, but it's not contrived.”
A great many of Cradle of Filth's early albums were concept albums, such as 2000's “Midian.” Both “Nymphetamine” and “Thornography” show a departure from what seemed to be a hallmark of the band, and Filth claims to have no serious plans to create another concept album in the near future. “We just finished a special edition of 'Thornography,' which is being called 'Harder, Darker, Faster,' which comes out the beginning of next year. It's got another six, possibly seven songs on it,” said Filth. “I say possibly seven, because we recorded the title track for a new Dario Argento film called 'The Mother of Tears.' The majority of those six were recorded the same time as 'Thornography.' We named it 'Harder, Darker, Faster' because that basically sums the songs up. That way we never have to explain ourselves to journalists. We're beginning that whole phase again of looking toward what we're going to do, how we're going to perform it, how it'll be pieced together. I don't know at the moment. I have no grandiose plans for a concept record at the moment.”
The band has also collaborated with such diverse talent as Ingrid Pitt, Doug Bradley and Ville Valo. Veteran actress Pitt lent her abilities to 1998's “Cruelty and the Beast,” thanks to her portrayal of the Countess Elisabeth Bathory in the 1971 Hammer horror film “Countess Dracula.” Doug Bradley, best known for the vicious Pinhead of the “Hellraiser” films, has collaborated on various projects with the band, most notably the aforementioned “Midian.” Recently, Filth invited another famous deep-voiced European to join him on an ode to Lord Byron entitled “The Byronic Man.” “With Ville, we both had been sort of admiring each other's work for ages, and I guess it was just a case of asking him really,” Filth stated. “It was great, because he actually was on tour at the time and he took time out to slip into a studio in Italy, I think it was, and lay down some vocals there, which was great.”
While Cradle of Filth tours the United States at least twice a year, they've joined Bam Margera's “Viva la Bands” tour, along with CKY, Veins of Jenna and GWAR. Originally, the band had planned to bring a few bands they liked with them to our shores for a tour they called “Filthfest,” but when Margera called and asked them to join his project, they thought it would be a good idea. “I've been friends with Bam for a few years,” Filth said. “We'd talked about him bringing us out to do something and it was just a case of hooking up like that. That was about as simple as it was.”
Besides the tour and the upcoming release of “Harder, Darker, Faster,” Filth has a couple of other projects in the fire. He is working on a book of poetry, and has co-authored another book, with Gavin Badderly, entitled “The Gospel of Filth.” This book, due out in February, is a foray into the dark arts with such tidbits as a chapter on serial killers, which dates from medieval times onward. Throughout all of this work, he still maintains closeness with his family, who he says are very supportive of all his endeavors. “I've been at home enjoying family life and working in the evenings. My daughter really likes it when I go pick her up at school. It's like, 'I've got a rock star dad!' but I don't see myself like that,” he laughed.
Like most rock stars, Filth has no plans to slow down. His biggest goal? “Hopefully, just to be happy still, really, with what we're doing,” he said. “That's all I can ask, really. I'm someone who really believes in destiny and being in control of your destiny. Having all the money in the world is pointless if you hate what you do.”