CRADLE OF FILTH Guitarist On Martial Arts, Songwriting

Mark Morton of Heavy Metal Examiner recently conducted an interview with guitarist Paul Allender of British extreme metallers CRADLE OF FILTH. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Heavy Metal Examiner: How do you find time to keep up with your martial arts? Do you practice on the road? Are you learning anything new, and are you planning to do any more teaching?

Paul: I need to get back into training again, because being so busy with CRADLE, training has taken a back seat. I miss it big time but I will start again when the time is right.

Heavy Metal Examiner: What style is your focus, and how long have you been practicing?

Paul: I've been training in martial arts since I was 6 years old. I started with traditional Wado Ryu karate, then went onto Wado Ryu sport karate. I've been doing bits of Wing Chun and Seven Star Praying Mantis. My main style now is Yoseikan Karate Jitsu, which I teach in.

Heavy Metal Examiner: Any particular reason you chose these, or did they "choose you?" Also, what is significant or unique about each?

Paul: There was no real reason why I choose these particular styles. Basically, when I started Wado Ryu, it was because my father took me to the club he was going to. Since then, I was hooked. I had done Wado Ryu for about 8 years and then went into Wado Ryu sport Karate.

A few of my school mates were doing this and I thought it would be good to do. To be honest, competition fighting wasn't really for me, and it was too expensive to keep going away on courses/fights! I also realized that competition fighting wasn't going to help in a real street situation. Because of this, I wanted to go back to traditional karate — something that had tons of aggression!!

Looking around, I came across a style called Yoseikan Karate Jitsu. After going for a few months, I was hooked again. This was the one I was looking for. It has it all, kicks, punches, holds, takedowns, throws, chokes, etc. Exploring and wanting to progress in the this style, I decided to go and take a year out to study a couple of Chinese styles (Wing Chun and Seven Star Praying Mantis) and learn how they generate power and to take the best bits from these styles and put them in my own training!

Heavy Metal Examiner: What made you continue to pursue your interest in martial arts after all these years?

Paul: Martial arts have helped me to stay focused and have a much disciplined way of looking on life, in and out of work! The adrenaline rush is amazing, especially when I'm fighting. At our club we train mainly for street fighting, and this is what keeps me going.

Heavy Metal Examiner: Is it safe to say that you are the chief songwriter in CRADLE OF FILTH? It seemed like every time I would come out to a show, you'd be tucked away somewhere with your guitar and computer bashing out riff after riff.

Paul: Yes it is. I love writing songs, not just riffs but full songs. It's amazing and so much fun. I just have this knack of coming up with complete structures.

Heavy Metal Examiner: And if you are indeed the main songwriter, what is it that makes CRADLE OF FILTH's sound change/evolve album-to-album?

Paul: You need to make sure there enough time between albums so you can get different influences from life. Hence, when I come to writing another album, it will sound different enough from the last.

Read the entire interview from Heavy Metal Examiner.

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