Music Q&A:
Dani Filth

The Cradle of Filth and Devilment frontman offers our man a vice-like handshake after performing at Bloodstock

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How are you today?
I’m fine, thanks. Why? Do I look shit?

Well, you have been doing this for 25 years now.
F’sake, don’t tell everybody that!

The twelfth Cradle of Filth album’s out soon. The band’s had such longevity – do you think it’s has evolved or stuck to its guns?
Well, I’m still working on my third yacht so, you know, if it wasn’t for the band I don’t know where I’d be. It’s in dry dock – it’s a lengthy process. My third yacht! Yeah, right. Ha! I’m joking about the yachts. I’ve only two. Three is just ridiculous [note: Dani doesn’t have yachts].

How was the Devilment set yesterday?
Really good fun, ace. I mean this venue’s ace, it’s family run and it’s catering to bands you wouldn’t really see normally. I know that with Download and, even now, what’s that big one? The festival in Cornwall. The massive one. [Glastonbury?] Yes. They’re starting to introduce metal but this is different. There are bands that people love that you don’t usually get, not in England anyway, and it’s a community.

Where do you get all your costumes and stage gear?
My wife makes it. It takes a while to get into. I have a very specific headphone mix. I have my own custom-made headphones and battery pack. It all has to go through that. I literally feel like Robocop

Does it ever feel restrictive? Do you ever wish you performed in jeans and a t-shirt?
It can be sometimes. I wish about a lot of things but, you know, I’ve got a really cool life. The glass is full, not half empty. Three yachts! It’s not everybody’s cup of tea.

There’s quite a bit of religious symbolism in your work and the infamous t-shirt. What is your view on religion?
Ah yes, that we shall not speak of, but the Pope has… Well, I’ve been arrested in the Vatican. But I collect a lot of books. I’m not really assuaged by any religion, to be honest. I’d always say I was Luciferian by which what I mean is that I was brought up a Christian – not very keen on that – but I do believe in mythology. Cradle’s lyrics always swap from Sumerian, Roman, Persian and such, so just love life as Lucifer would love life. Religion’s going to send us to the next nuclear war. Have you looked on the internet recently? I did study religion in school.

Do you have any advice to the new blood bands playing this weekend?
Give up! Give up! No, no, I don’t really. When we started, I know it sounds primordial but it was prior to having mobile phones. Everything was done by word of mouth and flyers – it was a lot of hard work. Now everyone’s got so much access to social media so I’d exploit that. You need a good studio and dedication. If someone goes “Uh uh, I can’t turn up because my girlfriend’s eaten peanuts” you just gotta go: “Right, you’re out of the band!” Nowadays you’ve got to be even more cut-throat. So my advice is you need the best people around you all the time. If you want to make it you’ve got to be not 100 per cent but 102 per cent, and presentation – look smart!

Are there any of the new blood bands that have caught your interest?
I’ve seen loads, but not really because I don’t really know them. I get loads of free stuff and I go see a lot of local bands. Where I live, people don’t give a shit who I am. It’s great – I love it. I’m not a very outgoing person to be honest. It’s a bit of a facade.

Has your style of vocals caused you any throat problems?
Only when you’re in traffic! Not really, not at the moment, because that’s what I do. That’s my job and I’m fucking ace at it! I’ve also got a great team behind me. I have a vocal doctor. In 2008 I had what you’d call tennis elbow but of the throat, which meant I’d strained it. I’d been using it too much. I went to see this guy who usually works with opera singers. Now I’m his favourite guy, only because he goes “Look at this guy” and he points to a picture of me in Japan and says “How long do you his voice lasts?” and they go: “About a week.” Bollocks to “It’s just shouting.” You try and hit a top G.

You have some fantastic female vocalists behind you both in Devilment and Cradle, which begs the question is it just preference and can you sing clean?
Ah, that’s debatable, innit? That’s in the eye of the beholder. I think I’m great!

What’s your most embarrassing or surreal experience?
Pretty much everything I do is embarrassing. Wait, last year, went into Sainsbury’s car park, and they’d changed it round. I went two weeks before and it was completely different. They’d changed where the door was. I was on my phone, someone rang me up and I walked straight into the wall. I didn’t even get anything. I just went straight back to my car.

What song do you wish you’d written?
1999 by Prince.

What’s your worst lyric?
I don’t have any worst ones but I’d assume people would think “Gilded cunt”. But it’s not that bad if you read it in context.

What’s on your rider?
It’s very posh, to be honest, as we tour so extensively for Cradle. There’s hummus. Our keyboardist is vegan and when your on a tour for a long time you can’t get pissed every night. I’m getting pissed now. We take six-seven months off at a time, but tonight I’m going to get hammered. But then I’ll stop till Christmas. We only found out recently we had some vodka, but the tour manager had been stealing it and selling it. Devilment only play every now and again so we get whatever we can get.

Most bands we interview want hummus on their rider. What’s your opinion of hummus then?
It’s like baby sick. I don’t like it personally but it’s on everyone’s rider because it’s easy for vegetarians and vegans.

Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness Of Decay is out on 22 September (, Photo: Wendy Keogh

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