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Phone interview with Paul Allender from CRADLE OF FILTH

By Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal

Andrew: You have a North American tour coming up. You must be excited to be touring these territories again.
Paul: Yeah, can't wait man. It's been a while since we've been over here. It's going to be great. We got quite a few live dates set up for that tour. I go back to the UK a couple of weeks before the start of the tour, to get together with the guys and start practicing the set. Then we go to South America, Mexico and then the tour takes us to North America in February. I'm just looking forward to play live again, and can't wait. It's been over a year since we've played live.

Andrew: You have Nachtmystium, Turisas and Daniel Lioneye as support on the tour. How much of a role did your band have in picking them?
Paul: Nachtmystium I don't know anything about, but Turisas I know very well. They've toured with us before, and are good friends of ours. So it'll be great to see them again, specially because we'll be getting to hang with them for the best part of seven weeks.

Andrew: You guys just came out with a new album called "Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa". What's different this time in terms of the music and the concept?
Paul: The music is slightly different in the sense that there's a lot more melody in there. Also, for the orchestration of the album we've done it in such a way that there's a bit more guitar as compared to the synth. I mean, don't get me wrong, the orchestration lines can be heard clearly, but I would say it's a bit more guitar driven this time. It's pretty brutal. We got back from Germany actually where we just recently played on MTV Germany. Everyone was going nuts over it. But I mean, obviously you can't please everybody.

Andrew: For the first time, there is no instrumental track on the album. Was that a conscious effort or was that how it panned out in the end?
Paul: Well, the instrumentals we've done on previous albums have all been great. Even though the main album this time consists of 11 tracks with vocals, the special edition has extra tracks. The instrumental is on that one. The limited edition also comes with a 72-page booklet which has some amazing artwork and photos that kind of take the fans through the band's history and create a storyline. So yeah, the this edition has the instrumental track in addition to CDs, DVD, postcards, t-shirt and a 3D hologram of the album cover as well, which looks really cool. So it's all in one package together.

Andrew: You signed up with Nuclear Blast for the US release of this album. That should help greatly in terms of the promotion and marketing for this album as compared to previous albums.
Paul: Oh absolutely. We're on Peaceville in Europe, and they've done so much press for us, it's incredible. It's because of them we played MTV Germany. It's a good move for us to sign to Nuclear Blast for the American release of the album, as they've been pushing us and put in a lot of effort. So the year of 2011 is going to be absolutely amazing for us.

Andrew: On this album, is there any one song that stands out as special to you?
Paul: I really like track number 6, which is called "Deceiving Eyes", and also "Out Foul Step From The Abyss" which is track number 2. I mean, I love all the songs on the album really, and I'm ready to tour and play them live. To be honest, I feel that each track is strong enough to stand out on its own. There isn't anything which you could call a "filler track", you know.

Andrew: With each new album, you guys put together a new stage show for touring behind the album. What's it going to be like this time?
Paul: Yeah, the stage show will be consisting of three acts. There will be a different vibe, different scenery and different songs for each of these acts. I hope that something like this would work out because it's completely new and quite unlike anything we've done before.

Andrew: I wanted to ask you about the "Jesus Is A Cunt" shirt. I think some fan of yours got arrested for wearing it. What did you think about that? Do you just laugh off things like these?
Paul: Yeah I mean, it's just a shirt, you know. I can't see why people should get in trouble because of just a few words written on a shirt! It's a shirt that everybody pays attention to. I mean, people can just choose to ignore it if they don't like what's on it, but they don't. It's totally true. The only reason why people are getting arrested for it and stuff like that, is because people are paying attention to it. If people want it to go away, just ignore it and don't give it any attention at all. When we were in Germany at an airport, someone comes up to me and tells me that a guy in Australia has been arrested for that shirt again. In the end, it's just a shirt and I can't get why people get so upset just because of certain words on the back. I find it quite amusing, that people believe in such things that don't exist, religions icons and such. It's something that doesn't even materialize. I mean, I am ready to believe in something I can physically see and touch. I've been brought up to believe solely in myself and what I do for myself, and not to put all my efforts into loving something that doesn't materialize in front of me or isn't even there.

Andrew: You had some time away from the band. So how did it feel when Dani Filth asked you to rejoin the band a few years after that?
Paul: Yeah, I left the band in '96, and to be honest I hadn't spoken to Dani for a while during my time away. I was working, and then my telephone rang and Dani goes, "Hey, how's it going!" as if it we hadn't spoken since yesterday when in fact we hadn't spoken to each other for a long time. So to cut a long story short, we got together and started working on music again. The Massacre cover of "Dawn Of Eternity" was the first song I played after being back in the band.

Andrew: The thing about your guitar playing is that you don't use any technique or scales. Does that make you sound unique?
Paul: Yeah, totally. I started playing guitar when I was 14. Right from those days, I believed in playing what I really can, and playing what gives me the vibe. So as long as you enjoy what you're playing and it gives you the vibe you want to feel while playing, it doesn't matter what scale you're playing. I always wanted to jam with people who are of the same mentality.

Andrew: You've also been known to take part in martial arts training. How much does that help you in maintaining a level of discipline in your life?
Paul: Oh yes, massive amounts. To be honest, there are a lot of people that can't handle my work ethic, specially people that have come in the band and gone. I can do a lot of things at once. I have my own standards which I expect other people to meet. The only reason why me and Dani work so well together is because he has the same idea as well. For something like this to run together, people have got to have the same work ideas, the same work ethic, the same goals and the same drive. So that's the reason it works so well between us. So yeah totally, in life, in music, in artwork, and in just work in general, martial arts has completely changed my life around. It's amazing. It really has, and I can take serious amounts of stress. I often do things at the last minute and I do that on purpose, because I work my best when I'm under pressure. I've got to know myself very well in the sense that when I'm under pressure I can pull off the best stuff and get it done literally within hours instead of days.

Check out Cradle Of Filth's official website.

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