October 18, 2012

The Lair gets filthy with Cradle of Filth's Paul Allender

As you may or may not know, the name Lair of Filth originates from my love of the band Cradle of Filth. Who would have guessed, right? Well, there you have it, the truth is out haha! On October 29th (in Europe) and October 30th (In North America), Cradle of Filth will be releasing their latest album, The Manticore and Other Horrors, and it's bloody good. With this release in mind I had the pleasure of speaking to guitarist Paul Allender about the new album, touring and videos among other things!

I'll admit to being a little nervous waiting for Paul's phone call, although I really needn't have been. As soon as he called he apologized for calling late (all of about 5 minutes or so), and the banter began. It was very surreal hearing a fellow Essex accent, having only really heard the delightful Pennsylvanian twang over the last few years!

Straight off the bat I mentioned that I only heard the new Cradle album, The Manticore and Other Horrors, the night before, so I hadn't had the chance to fully digest it, aside from the two songs that are on Cradle's Youtube channel. No time to refer to my neatly typed questions, as Paul asked what my initial thoughts on the album were. I told him that although it still had the grandiose and theatrical feel that Cradle have become synonymous with, it also had a much more raw and aggressive feel to it; almost angry you could say. Paul countered this by telling me that this was exactly what the band were aiming for; they wanted to get back to the sound and feel of earlier albums, and away from the more polished sound of recent albums, with a Punk kick to the Black Metal. They did not want to record an album that sounded that the last two. Dani was even encouraged to try out different vocal styles, in fact if Paul had had his way the vocals in places would have had an even more aggro feel to them!

He went on to tell me that the album took about 7 months from start to finish, as the band worked to ensure that the end product was exactly how they wanted it to be. Paul mentioned that he took a year out from work on Cradle and came back with more focus and fire, and I can tell you that this is more than evident on the new album, with Paul playing all guitar tracks. The music itself was written by Cradle drummer, Martin Skaroupka and Paul, and Paul said they are so happy with the end result; I think fans will be too.

I went on to ask about their touring plans, with the band having already announced their European tour which culminates with a show in London, to which Paul replied that they will be heading over to the States in February/March of 2013. So, I will be heading down to Philly to join Paul for a beer! After the States, he went on to mention that they will be heading back to Europe to play some of the festivals.

With the tour in mind Paul mentioned that the current band has is tighter than ever, which has in turn made playing live a far better experience for them. With this tightness comes a greater sense of relaxation knowing that they don't have to worry about the rest of the playing, as it all gels so well.

As far as promotional videos, to accompany the new album, Paul told me that there will be two. The first will be released in November, and is for Frost on her Pillow. He went on to say that this video is a more performance based film, shot in a warehouse in London, but still with a story to it; this time with a Red Riding Hood motif. The second video, which should debut early in 2013, will be for For Your Vulgar Delectation, and will be a more fantastical affair, with zombies and everything in it!

Moving away from The Manticore and Other Horrors, briefly, we chatted about Cradle's last album, which was the limited edition orchestral CD, Midnight in the Labyrinth. I told Paul that it had gotten plenty of play in my car! The album is an orchestral reworking of some of Cradle's older tunes, with Paul going on to say that they wanted the full on classical feel, without the drums or guitars, and actually used it as a showcase to film companies with a view to Cradle maybe providing the score to movies in the future. Coincidentally this was the feel I got from the album, and told Paul this. He went on to mention that the original plan was to release the album with some old movies, and the music playing over them, but this got too complicated with royalties etc. with the films being public domain in some countries, but not others. 

On a personal note I asked Paul about any other projects, including his Vomitorium work. He said that he does have a couple of side bands, but the focus right now was solely on Cradle and would continue to be whilst they tour and promote The Manticore. Keep your eyes open in the future though for news on one of these projects (the other one being a purely fun set-up which won't involve recording any albums).

Moving on from music, for which I could have talked forever about (Paul had other interviews lined up, having started at 9am that day), we bullshitted a bit, as we had in common that we are both Brits in the US.

During the course of our chat the nerves quickly disappeared, with Paul being a top bloke, not to mention very funny, and it was great to find out the mindset behind the new album. I will have a review of it posted very soon, but the long and short of it is that it is very good in my opinion. The darkness and aggression that Paul spoke of is evident to hear, as is the lyrical wizardry from Dani that we have come to expect.

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