Dani Filth. The name is synonymous with all things horror and metal. Embarking on a new project along with Danny Finch, the eccentric, heavy Devilment came to life and the band are all set to release their album ‘ The Great and Secret Show’ which is the epitome of sheer madness. I had the opportunity to speak with the mastermind himself on behalf of Wall of Sound, about the band’s experiences, their new album and everything Devilment!
After a little introductory chit-chat, Dani updated me on what the band was upto.
“Hiya! I’m good thank you!We’ve actually been really busy. We’re rehearising for our tour with Lacuna Coil andMotionless in White in November and the reason we’re rehearsing now is because in a couple of weeks I’m headed to Russia with Cradle for a month, so apart from that we’ve just been undertaking interviews for the album. I’m also trying to finish writing the new Cradle of Filth album because we’re going into the studio as soon as Devilment are back from tour so yes, lot’s going on!”
Dani also spoke about the upcoming tour with Motionless in White and Lacuna Coil and how he was looking forward to it. “Well fortunately our new manager Paul Ryan who was the guy that I originally formed Cradle of Filth with is also the Devilment manager . He’s a very prestigious booking agent here in Europe and he knows the Motionless in White manager. So he put us forward and they had to pick amongst a few bands and things worked out, they really liked what we did. It also helped that I sang a track on the new album, so yes, we’re all really excited about the tour!”
Devilment is a relatively new band, and Dani gave me a little insight into how the band started. ” Basically the idea started when a friend approached me a few years ago; someone who had moved to my locality here in England and it just went from there really. He asked me to help him out with some ideas which I agreed to do. At first, I did it thinking it would be just a laugh and something to work on but then it all grew from there, we assimilated different musicians along the way and eventually it just led to a debut album and since Paul Ryan, who is also Cradle’s booking manager is now Devilment’s manager, things are going really well!”
Now The Great and Secret Show is not just your usual metal album. It’s heavy, that’s a given, but it’s like listening to a horror movie soundtrack with a few little surprises along the way that will send chills down your spine. It’s haunting, brutal and Dani is proud of it. Is there an underlying concept to it though? ” Not really. The songs kind of relate to The Great and Secret Show as a title – a world of escapism that could be slated to a world running parallel to ourselves; a world of magic that exists behind the Wizard’s curtain, the Land of the Dead – call it what you want! But each of the tracks relates to this overarching theme. The artwork is also a complete 28-page walk through of this magic world which was created by Drake Mefestta who has been working with the band quite closely. Ever since I met him back in March when I went to Canada, he’s not only provided all the artwork for us, but he’s done a bit of artistic liaison for the video, merch and stuff – like the whole kind of pantheon to the proceedings.”
The writing process of this album was a collaborative effort between all members of the band. “ Everybody contributed to the making of this album, however, not everyone was there from the start – we picked people up along the way. Our bass player Nikolas is close friends with Lauren who is our keyboardist and also does female vocals in a few parts. So she came in because we needed a keyboard player and then later on she added in her vocals. Eventually everything was assimilated into the band but other than that we all worked on it together and contributed in our own ways.”
What probably intrigued me the most about the new Devilment album were the track titles. They’re very unusual and to be honest, thought-provoking. Dani gave me a few details about some of the tracks and the stories behind them as well as the general sound that the band were going for with this release and his description is quite interesting! ” The track titles basically represent the songs so for instance, Mother Kali is about the Hindu Goddess of death and destruction; Living With The Fungus is about a souring relationship and can also be listened to in the context of an H.P.Lovecraft story. ‘Girl From Mystery Island’ is about an attraction to a strange, exotic, otherworldly woman while ‘Summer Arteries’ is based on our affiliation with where we live – which is Witch Country in Suffolk. It’s about the return of those who were persecuted for witchcraft. So yes, each one has it’s own story, it’s own personality. It is very different to what I usually do – it’s got a big beat, fat heavy riffs reminiscent of Pantera or Rammstein but is infused with Hitchcock-type spookiness. Think something psycho, something exorcist – with very psychotic and catchy choruses. It’s just got a massive sound and a lot more symphonic haste and erratic blast beats than what you hear on a Cradle album.”
Devilment also released a video for what is my favourite track off the album and it is an absolute stunner to say the least. Not for the faint-hearted (nor is the album). ” It’s quite a simplistic groove throughout the track and it’s one of my favourite songs too. It was actually the one that the record company wanted to take for the video which we were quite happy about. It was a huge affair too, we brought in all our technical people, did it in a massive rehearsal room, the video was taken by Sam Scott Hunter and even my wife and daughter helped with the hair,make-up etc. The whole idea was to make it fast, with a psychotic edge and it really turned out the way we had expected!”
Devilment has quite a busy schedule lined up in the coming months and Dani spoke about their touring plans. ” We’re playing Bloodstock next year – our manager has got quite a few festivals lined up. Obviously Cradle’s new album is going to be released around June (obviously?) so Devilment will be sharing a lot of festival shows with Cradle but of course given that we are a new band, we’ll be lower down on the bill. I’ve always headlined shows for the last 15 years so it’s going to be quite new and unique to me, especially when we’re opening for Motionless in White. So I’m definitely looking forward to next year and balancing out my time between both these bands. It’s a good thing our booking agent is also Cradle of Filth’s booking agent!”
Dani is probably one of the most intriguing, mysterious people I’ve seen and spoken to and I couldn’t help but ask him more about his book ‘Gospel of Filth’ and what he tries to convey in it. ” It was written over 4 years – co-written with Gavin Baddeley and basically it’s all about the dark arts – in music, in film, in literature, in fashion! It takes each one of Cradle’s albums and uses it as a base to then go and explore what each one is about. For example, ‘Dusk…and Her Embrace’ is about the whole Gothic aesthetic, the Gothic Revival etc, ‘Cruelty and the Beast’ is about a fascination for serial killers from the Middle Ages. It’s about 11 chapters- 1000 pages and features a lot of illustrations and pictures of people like Clive Barker, Glen Danzig, Tom Araya, Marilyn Manson and then famous people from horror movies etc. It’s a very informative book and a good entry point for people who are looking into the occult and anything horror-related. I grew up being into all this because I lived and still live in a place called the Witch County, which has a strong historical influence – so that and just had a strong interest in horror movies and ghost hunting and really it just seemed like the perfect thing to coincide with music!”
Does Dani and his mates have any plans of touring Australia you may wonder? “ Not as of yet but there are some plans. Right now Cradle and Devilment have a lot of shows lined up together for next year but our booking agent/manager has brought in a lot of other bands like Bring Me The Horizon, In Flames etc into Australia so there’s no reason that Devilment wouldn’t be coming back there. Cradle of Filth is definitely coming back though!”
Dani had one last message to the fans, old and new. ” Check out the Facebook page, this seems to be the best sort of social media. Other than that, go check out Devilment, give it a listen and thanks to everyone for supporting us!”
Stream ‘the Great and Secret Show’ http://www.kerrang.com/24426/devilment-featuring-dani-filth-stream-great-secret-show/