A long time ago in a pub in deep dark Suffolk, circa 10 years ago:
Dani Filth (aka Daniel Davy ):"Here Nigel…"
Ol’ Nick (aka Nicholas Barker) :"Wassat Daniel?"
D:”I’ve this Idea, why don’t we start a band?”
N:“Right. Whos gonna play the instruments Dani?”
D:“We won’t have to learn to play; get some hired session hands, pretend they’re a band and I can sing..”
N:“You Can’t sing, Daniel”
D:“Sure I can - piece of piss mate. Just make a sound somewhere between Dracula croaking and Donald Duck. Hey, do you remember Kerrang! The other week?”
N:“The one with all them Norwegian blokes burning churches and wearing face paint on the front cover?holding knives?”
Dani:”Yep.Its like that, but we like Kiss and Iron Maiden too.Only ironically And the killer thing is…’”
D: “We dress up in flour and facepaint, yeah…like totally different to the Fields of the Nephilim. honest then we drape ourselves in stage blood and black leather, scream a bit, never EVER tour, so they can’t claim we can’t play live or can’t sing, remain all secretive and elusive, and then sell out by selling millions of records on basis of our ‘underground’ following?”
N:“Oh, killer.What about the songs? I s’pose you’ll want to write those too”
D:“Songs? Who needs songs? Nobody gonna listen to songs anyway. We’re gonna tap into the dark untapped psyche of the underappreiciated, teenage angst searching in vain for something to piss mommy and daddy off. Y’know , mommy’ll never wash a t-shirt with “jesus is a cunt” on the back, or the vestal masterbation shirt, They’ll just reminisce about how Johnny used to be such a nice boy.Nirvana and grunge is all too passe now, we need something more…real. More threatening. Like Alice Cooper stage make-up and a collection of Slayer and Emperor riffs.”
N:“Uh huh. You don’t wanna produce it do you?”
D:“What production? It gotta be tinny, high end, with no bass. Drums at 3000 mph, vocals like a strangled cat in a wind tunnel meets donald duck. Its all about rebellion man, the music is just secondary. But never ever let on – because otherwise they won’t buy the records.”
N:”Ok then. Now what?”
D:“I read an Anne Rice book the other day; y’know Interview with a Vempire or something. So lets use o lots of satanic and vampire imagery, spell every letter “I” with a “y” and pretend transylvania is actually in essex, and our local pub is like a castle, with revolving pentagrams on the wall. Wear special stage teeth with fangs , dye our hair black, use lots of Pyro , dry ice, and strobes. Put pentagrams everywhere. Put obscene words on t-shirts, get ‘em banned.Y’know ; the usual”
N:“Like a Venom for the 90’s? all surface, no talent?”
D:“Uh huh. that’s our plan for world domination solved. We’ll be rich, laughing our asses off and you know what? I’ll have every horror Video I can buy, and a shitload of Clive Barker books and Spiderman comics signed by Stan Lee.”
N:“Superb mate. I'm in. Whats the catch?”
D: “There is none, except you gotta keep the punters fooled into thinkin we’re actually I)any good and ii)Really rebellious, maaan.And that I don’t live in a bungalow with my girlfriend and little baby daughter, and cycle everywhere. I ride the Satanmobile don’t cha know?”
N:“Nice One, Dani. You’re gonna make us all rich and famous. Now what do I do?"
D: “Get me an orange juice. Actually no, that'll ruin my image, so get a Pint of cider n ‘ black, and lets hope no-one’s been listening into our little plan for formulated rebellion. Oh, and Nick..And don’t forget the potk scratchings will yer….. SATAN ROOLZ. WOOOOOOARGH!!!!” (puts Iron maiden on the jukebox…)
Epilogue: (years later)
Nick is fired from the band, but not before having to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Everyone else drinking in the pub that night dies in bizarre gardening accidents, in order to keep the secret safe.
-Reports that Dani was seen at a crossroads with a large man, of oddly red skin doing something with a pitchfork and a piece of paper with the word 'CONTRACT' written in large letters remain oddly unsubstaniated.
-Dani manages to keep the subtext of facism and male supremacy well hidden.
After signing to a major label, Cradle Of Filth became little more than the Dani Filth solo project, a black metal Guns N Roses, with whatever hired hands happen to be available to serve his whims. Music for Nations release a compilation album , a double CD lasting 142 minutes and 47 seconds, called “Lovecraft & Witch Hearts (The Very Best Of Cradle Of Filth)”, which happens to omit anything from the first two, and best albums. (like say, "Nocturnal Supremacy" , a shining diamond in the otherwise unexceptional backcatalog.
Christian ministers continue to be bothered and complain to Tower records in Glasgow, just like they did when they arranged to burn Iron Maiden records 2 decades ago.
Dani Filth still sits cackling in the corner counting his minions and millions.
And some people, out there, unbelievably, still take Cradle of Filth seriously.
1Graham Reed's Score