- Mon, 2004-09-27 12:18
Ten years on from the ominous eruption of their debut album, the UK's premier merchants of darkness have regrouped and found a new home at Roadrunner Records, a label with a suitably metallic past, present and future. After spending the majority of 2003 on the road, performing over 100 shows and hitting a rich vein of creative endeavour as a result, the current Cradle line-up - founding member/frontman Dani filth, guitarists Paul Allender and Tames McKillboy, keyboard maestro Martin foul, bassist Dave Pubis and drummer Adrian Erlandsson - have completed their latest and greatest opus, 'Nymphetamine'; a foul and frenetic compendium of shiny new compositions that takes the band's unmistakable sound off on a variety of strange and fascinating new tangents.
We caught up with drummer Adrian Erlandsson to find out more about the album and the Cradle of Filth music-making process.
ILM: New album Nymphetamine is out now, it’s harder and grittier, can you give me your own description of it?
Adrian: It’s a more direct, more metal, more thrashy and more to the point kind of songs than it’s predessor, that was more orchestrated with a full choir and full orchestra. This one was recorded live with the band playing. It’s closer to the vibe of our live gig.
ILM: Of the album, which track did you have the most fun laying down?
Adrian: I’d say Nemesis, because I gave it a lot of thought for the drum intro. I’ve been working on it for a long time, and sine I had the final arrangement of my parts, it’s been pure joy to play.
ILM: And what’s your favourite track to play live?
Adrian: I’d say A Gothic Romance mainly because it’s not too difficult and it was one of the songs I was really into before I joined the band. And there are some parts that the previous drummer recorded that are quite intricate and a bit of a challenge to play.
ILM: Cradle of Filth have been around ten years and experienced the industry, what’s good about industry now compared to then?
Adrian: That’s a tough one. Now we’ve moved to Roadrunner, but in the past we’ve not had good relationships with record companies. Earlier on in my career I was on really small labels, but I would say the industry overall have got worse. We had that dilution of the music when we were with Sony. They have a huge turnaround of staff and eventually the record label hardly know who the band are.
Roadrunner have been consistently good since the early 1990s. If we can’t make it on Roadrunner I don’t know where we would.
ILM: How did you first get in to playing drums?
Adrian: When I first started listening to music when I was about ten years old, the drummers were always my focal point. However, I first wanted to be a guitar player and my dad actually bought me a guitar. But I failed miserably and ended up taking the guitar back and I got a drumkit instead. And since then it’s just been a huge part of life. At about 18 I started really taking it seriously and started practising but I never thought I’d be able to make a living out of it.
ILM: There’s a track on Nymphetamine called Filthy Little Secret… tell me who has the filthiest secret out of all the band?
Adrian: Without fail, the singer, seeing as he wrote the lyrics I’m sure he’s got a lot to answer for.
ILM: What’s your favourite thing in the world?
Adrian: My favourite thing in the world is being at home with my wife, drinking wine and eating cheese and scrunching up.
ILM: Please describe the Cradle Of Filth process of making music?
Adrian: A lot of the stuff that we write, the initial ideas come up at Paul or Martin’s home where we’ll write some riffs and a basic idea for a song. Then I would get a disc of it and would work on some ideas for it on my electronic kit at home, and then get a rough outline of what we want to do and then take that to the rehearsal room and play it live and see where it takes us, and go round in a circle until we have a final arrangement of the song. Some of the times, a few of the songs on Damnation and this new album, songs have come about purely from ideas coming on the spot in the rehearsal room, but that’s more rare. It’s more common that we do it at home, because it gets chaotic in the rehearsal room.
ILM: You have consistently great artwork – how do you find the right artists?
Adrian: Dan and Paul supervise that sort of things with input from everyone else. But the guy who did the artwork for Nymphetamine, is a guy who came out to Ozzfest to one of the signings and he handed over a folder of his work. We all looked at it and said it was really impressive, and so Danny and our manager made the initial contact and asked if he wanted to collaborate. It varies, but it’s generally through people that we know who know someone else.
ILM: What is your general advice for young artists coming through?
Adrian: Always try to keep your head screwed on, although it’s difficult and don’t forget who your friends are. And just stay true to what you want to do and only do things that you feel strongly about. And get a good lawyer.
ILM: It must be hard to maintain a tough image, when really you’re all teddy bears - right?
Adrian: The only way I hold the image up is when we’re playing live, and we put the make up on and when we’re doing photo shoots. That’s about it really. I am who I am, and whenever people recognise me as a band member, I’ll just say I’m just Adrian a normal guy, and that’s really important to me. We have an image in the band, but privately I am who I am. Some people find it really confusing when I’m just me, but that’s important to me.
ILM: What was your earliest musical memory?
Adrian: I was eleven and we’d just moved to this new village, and I got to know a friend of mine and it was the first time at his house, and his older brother had this album that was really loud, like I’d never heard anything like it. So later on, when his brother went out we sneaked in there, and played it and it was ACDC Back To Black and I remember sitting there and being completely perplexed by this music. And I think the impact that music had on me at the time still lives on today. It’s one of the reasons I’m into heavier rock and metal.
The first few albums I got into are still my favourite albums today, which is kind of sad in a way, because there’s not much new music that really grabs you. There is too much music coming out without quality control, that’s just my cynical side.
ILM: What are Cradle Of Filth’s future plans?
Adrian: We’ve got a South American tour where we go to Brazil, Chile and Columbia, Mexico and Equador, so that’s going to be an experience, then we’ve got an American tour taking us up to our Christmas break, then a European tour and possibly Japan and Australia as well, see how that goes. So we’re pretty much on the road with a lot of touring. It’s a bit of a cycle, you write an album, record it and then tour and then repeat. We’re going to record a few songs for a special edition of Nymphetamine in March – a couple of tracks that didn’t make the initial recording process, mainly because we ran out of time. Then I guess we’ll record a new album next summer.
ILM: What’s in your CD player right now?
Adrian: Judas Priest – Screaming For Vengeance
ILM: What’s your favourite tune that makes you smile instantly?
Adrian: Problem Child – ACDC or The Clover Advert on TV
ILM: What’s a track you like to unwind and chill out to?
Adrian: On MP3 it’s the last cover album that Johnny Cash did. He did a cover of Depeche Mode and a Nine Inch Nails song and it’s absolutely brilliant.
ILM: What track do you like to mosh to?
Adrian: Me and my wife rocking out to Cowboys From Hell