Sascha Campbell of Canada's Imprint newspaper recently conducted an interview with CRADLE OF FILTH guitarist Paul Allender. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
"[Being on the road] is brilliant. I love it. I've done it so much that being on tour is like second nature. It's like a completely different world — I've had friends come out to help us and at the end they say, 'I never want to do that again!' You have to be in a certain frame of mind to do it. It's a pretty crazy environment. It's pretty mad."
On the craziest experience he ever had while touring:
"We did a signing session at Ozzfest when someone put a baby with a white T-shirt on the table. The baby moved from person to person, everybody signing the T-shirt. Also, someone took their wooden leg off and got us to sign it as well."
On his love of martial arts:
"There's a lot that was in [martial arts] when I was learning that isn't there anymore. It's become really commercialized. There's a traditional side I have to show for grading and stuff, but when there's only a handful people in the class I teach it on a streetfighting level, putting back the nasty stuff people don't see anymore. A lot of people get really grossed out, but I tell them, 'If you want to learn it properly, this is the way it is.' I've got some really great kids I'm teaching now, some of them are absolute shit hot."
On CRADLE OF FILTH's makeup:
"We do our own makeup. For live shows we do it all ourselves, but for videos and photo shoots, there's a makeup artist that comes in. We sit there [with the artist] and sketch and make it up as we go along. We look through magazines, all that fantasy artwork and stuff, and by the time we're finished it usually looks pretty fucking kickass."
On the state of the metal scene today:
"Personally I'm more of an old-school fan. PRIEST, MAIDEN, old thrash and stuff. To be honest I don't like anything that's out there at the moment. The magic's not there for me; I look for that music that actually makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck, and that feeling is gone now.
"MAIDEN and PRIEST are probably the most important influences on my guitar playing. The thrash bands I was listening to as a kid… I still listen to them now. I've never really had guitar heroes as such — I started playing guitar at 14 and I could never really work out playing stuff [by ear] from records, so when I first started playing I used to make up my own stuff because I couldn't play anything else. [Laughs] I'd write in the vein of bands I was into and that's basically what I've done since, how I learned to play and write my own stuff."
On his contributions to CRADLE's music:
"I don't write lyrics, just music. It's just Dani [Filth, lead singer], because the rest of us can't be arsed to do it! The lyrics and the music correspond because all the music is written first. When we're finished a track, we give it to Dani and he writes the vocal lines to fit the music. With some songs he'll come back and say 'Oh, can you change this riff, make it a little bit longer or shorter?' or want us to move stuff around to fit in with the lyrics, swap bits around to suit the vocals."
On the band's future:
"We've got some ideas for some new stuff. After this tour we're touring England again, then Japan, Malaysia, South Africa and Australia, then revisiting the States two more times this year. We're pretty much touring for the whole year! Towards the end of next year we're going to lock ourselves away and start coming up with a new album."