Cradle Of Filth
'For Your Vulgar Delectation: The Filth Are Back!'
Cradle of Filth are a British extreme goth band that formed in Suffolk in 1991. And with the band's musical style an evolved form of black metal, their lyrical themes and imagery are heavily influenced by gothic literature, poetry, mythology and horror films.
Indeed, the Grammy-nominated Cradle Of Filth have been pioneers of extreme music since their debut in 1994 and have continued to evolve with each of their subsequent releases. Never shy of embracing the epic, COF have constantly sought to push the boundaries of their art and have continually refused to bow to convention or to conform to prevalent trends and fads.
And despite this uncompromising stance, the band is still the most successful British heavy metal band since Iron Maiden with legions of fans around the globe.
Having had eight (8) of their rare and early albums recently reissued on The End Records last summer (some never officially released in North America), they followed that en masse up with the release of their brand new album, The Manticore & Other Horrors on Nuclear Blast America.
But bad news for COF fans in North America came just days ago when the band were forced to cancel their upcoming tour with the Faceless, Decapitated and the Agonist. According to an official statement from Cradle of Filth, the cancellation was due to immigration issues that were “beyond the band’s control.”
And so with more time on his hands than expected right now, my friend, and as it happens the guitarist for COF Paul Allender sat down with me to chat about their new album, the bands sound, his Skype guitar lessons and, of course, ... Penguins!
Taking it from the top, and having formed in Suffolk, England back in 1991, being that it is now 2013, what has changed a) for the best and b) for the worst about the music business in those 22 years? "The best thing over the years has been the internet which has brought new and up and coming bands into the market. The worst thing is also the internet for established bands due to the lack of record sales and file sharing peer to peer. etc."
To my ears, COF's music has noticeably evolved from full-on Black Metal to a cleaner Gothic Metal; some might even say Symphonic Metal. Does that sound about right to you? "The band has never been black metal, never been gothic metal or symphonic metal! We are just a metal band, in general with no conscious effort to change. Because we do an album every two years the sound was never the same. I like a year or so of influence before I start writing. Which is why the music is always different. Nothing was made mainstream."
COF tells musical tales influenced by gothic literature, poetry, mythology and even horror films! Can you tell us what COF's influences were for Manticore from this melting pot? "Manticore is about monsters and personal demons with each song telling its own story in its own right. We decided to skip the concept idea and keep the tracks shorter and more to the point."
So, for you personally, what is your favorite ...?
a) ... horror film? - "'Nightbreed,' because I grew up with that as a kid. I went to school listening to the audio on a cassette player and headphones."
b) ... piece of gothic literature? - "Honestly, I don't do much reading. I prefer to watch films, etc."
c) ... piece of poetry? - "On a whole, I've never gotten into poetry. My poetry is in the form of music with atmos and feeling."
COF released their 10th album late last year, The Manticore and Other Horrors. It definitely had a different sound from the last few COF albums, even containing a punk vibe, yes?! "I wanted to take it back to our influences from before Principle. It started becoming way to normal and nice and Cradle had lost its hard edge and shock factor due to some albums sounding exactly the same. So I decided to shake it up a bit!"
You've just announced an incredible, never-been-done-before offer to all fans of COF and guitar-playing in general re: the start of your one-on-one guitar lessons over Skype! How did this all come about? "I decided to start lessons because I wanted to give something back to the fans for the support they have given me over the years. The best way I could do this is guitar lessons. And Skype gives me the opportunity to teach worldwide. I also hang out on my FB page talking to everyone in between lessons, etc."
And do you really have the time set aside, given the upcoming tour and working on a new album, to be able to do such online lessons? "Yes I do have the time set aside. The US tour was cancelled and I'm not working on a new album now because its already been done. And I've already nearly finished a new album for my other band. Plus whatever tour I do for Cradle or another band I make time for guitar lessons in the dressing room or a hotel room."
So, would you teach COF fans who can already play guitar but want to play along with you personally, and those newbies that truly have no idea how to play and want to learn from scratch? "Yes, I would teach anybody who wants to learn. I already teach very advanced students who want to learn song writing, arranging and pro tools."
Can you tell us more about how much these guitar lessons cost, how long a lesson lasts, and all the stuff inbetween? "Email me at email@example.com for all information and pricing. I teach from 30 minutes to 60 minutes. And if I'm teaching, arranging or writing I ask students to email me tracks so I can set their session up in Pro Tools before we start."
Being that you have played the guitar for 22 years with COF (on and off) how do you get pumped up for live shows now, compared to the younger version of you just starting out? "I just practice. I don't smoke, I don't drink and I don't impair my playing abilities. I drink water or coffee that day and before going on stage. I take no mind controlling substances. It's been the same all my life."
Can you please explain your unique right-handed guitar playing technique - and are you still endorsed by PRS guitars and Blackstar amplification? "I am still endorsed by PRS and Blackstar, yes. I can't really explain my right hand technique it's just something I have developed."
You just started up your own Facebook page - what took you so long?! "I've had several Facebook's in the past, but this time I decided to make an official one. My official profile page ( www.facebook.com/officialpaulallender) has just been set up for competitions, guitar lessons and news from me. It is run on the other side of the world by Kate Paris. And my Vomitorium page ( www.facebook.com/vomitoriumltd) is for letting people know about what merchandise, artwork, etc I have for sale. And basically to let people know about me."
Can people expect some juciy updates from you on a regular basis? "Yes, I'm constantly on there all the time and I always talk to fans on both my Facebook's. They are always open and when I'm not recording, giving lessons or doing artwork I will answer as many people as possible."
You are also on Twitter! "Yes, Twitter ( www.twitter.com/AllenderPaul) as well. Also Instagram ( www.officialpaulallender.com) to hit more people for updates on me and what I'm doing."
Indeed, you mentioned on Twitter that your "prints are up for grabs" - what prints and how can fans see/buy them? "Fans can see my prints on my Vomitorium site ( www.facebook.com/vomitoriumltd) and they can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. And I will send examples of what is available."
Finally, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball, we here at Exclusive Magazine LOVE penguins (the flightless bird) ... do you have any love for them; or stories?! "I love Pengiuns, but flightless birds like Dodo's I also like. Because they were very weird, but unfortunately are extinct! I remember seeing Dodo's on The Goodies (goodie goodie yum yum) lol :)"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
'Manticore' CD Purchase Link
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