Greetings from the pearl and poo-strewn gutters of heaven!
First things first then.
The long Summer months are finally upon us and here in the rustic backwaters of England they have brought with them some surprisingly hot weather, that is of course unless I decide to wash my car and then, lo and behold, the rain clouds come amassing just like they did minutes before the band played at Sonisphere in Sweden recently. And just like they did in Oz. And in Finland. And, and, and.
More on this in good time...
Well, finally The Gospel Of Filth is finished and the really, really special edition is now available for pre-order via the site. Just click on the 'Gospel' link to access it from either our MySpace or our main website page.
Now I know there have been comments regarding it's expense et al, but initially it was always our intention to create something that was akin to a 'proper' medieval grimoire, but without the obvious social flaws of it being clothed in human skin! Knowing just how special this would have to be, I fought tooth and nail to get it beautifully bound and with something extra thrown in for the exclusivity, which as big fat first edition books go is relatively inexpensive. I own quite a few books of this well-crafted ilk, and aside from them looking fabulous on the shelf, being of a strictly limited run means that their value increases from year to year. Couple that with the fact that the book is crammed full of year's worth of research into the far-flung reaches of the occult/decadent/historically dark interlaced with the backbone fabric of the band Cradle Of Filth, and what you have is something really special to mollycoddle and treasure. I'm sure that in years to come there will be fans dead-envious of those who were able to secure a strictly limited first edition and if copies of our first three demos can fetch the exorbitant prices asked for on ebay, then just imagine how much an original 'Gospel' will be worth should you wish to part with it.
Failing that, the nearly equally hefty paperback version hits general release in January and will subsequently be cheaper.
On the media front, the video for 'The Death Of Love' is now finished and hopefully should be up on our site soon for you to devour. The premise for this track is very much along the same lines as the lyrics for the song, featuring a defiant Joan of Arc and a brooding Gilles De Rais slung about an evocative dungeon band performance. There is definitely a very sinister vibe to the proceedings and some people have already compared it to 'Her Ghost In The Fog' for its eerie cinematography.
On the live front, this last month or so has found COF playing several festivals across Europe in the midst of tying up a few loose ends and beginning to unravel others. Firstly, there was the weekend at the end of June that found the band driving all the way down to the North of Spain to play the Kobetasonik festival in Bilbao, strangely enough in the drizzle again. Here we hooked up with bands like Gojira, Crucified Barbara, Hot Leg (Justin Hawkins is a really decent bloke in the flesh), Machine Head, Devil Driver, Cathedral and Marilyn Manson to name but a few, having received a police escort into the show for getting lost, with no real band casualties other than a totally inebriated Charles and a free bar that came under thorough attack from our unholy shambling entourage.
The next day we drove to perform at Hellfest in the South of France, albeit briefly, as we arrived a few hours before we played and left shortly afterwards, with barely enough time to hook up with our friends (and fiends) in Gorgoroth, Orange Goblin, Immolation and The Misfits. Suffice to say the show was awesome, the main stage crowd thoroughly getting behind us as we blistered (the sun was out in full force) through a heavy fifty minute set.
Thanks goes out to all who followed us from England, especially the mad chaps from Colchester we ran into on the outward ferry.
Y'know, I really think Hellfest to be one of the better festivals in Europe as the attention to detail is extraordinary and the massive spread of bands cover all walks of metal, hardcore and punk, from old schoolers like Amebix, Motley Crue, Anthrax and The Cro-Mags right through to more current noisemongers like Amon Amarth, Mastodon, God Seed, Enslaved and Hatebreed, the line-up this year being simply huge. The next festival we play in a similar vein to this is England's very own 'Bloodstock' on August 15th, which we're looking forward to playing due to the massive diversity and quality of the bands on the bill. Hopefully this festival will grow to rival that of Download, which, in my opinion has been going swiftly 'downhill' for some while now with the likes of Pendulum, Green Day, Lost Prophets and other 'indie' style bands slowly taking over from the more traditional metal fare.
Next on our Summer festival agenda was supporting Metallica in Sweden which, as you can imagine was some honour...being lucky enough to play before them, The Cult and Machine Head on the main stage. It certainly wasn't the biggest festival in the world, but situated in the pine-drenched depths of the Swedish countryside, it certainly was the prettiest. In fact, being six hours drive away from the nearest airport meant a lengthy journey for all concerned, though for the main entourage (the crew, Martin and Ashley all flying in separately from their respective homelands) it was made a trite longer when our tyre exploded as we zoomed down the highway, causing us to veer off onto the rocky hard shoulder. We were lucky; this was the same motor-horror-scenario in Sweden that Metallica had suffered back in the day. But needless to say an hour later, having had a tow-truck out to fix the wheel, we were on our way again, destined for some holiday chalets in the midst of a wood.
Anyway the show was brief because of the aforementioned sudden shift to bad weather right before we played; the stage having to be swept clear of water first. But when the rain abated five minutes into our set there came a refreshing resurgence and what followed was a swift but punishing set. Afterwards was spent between the back stage area where we accumulated with Lamb Of God, Mastodon and Entombed, and the side of the stage on a small hillock watching the rest of the show unfurl. The catering was great, the people friendly and the beer copious. I even got to meet Kirk Hammett and have a bit of a chat. It was a bloody good outing despite the tortuous travel.
Moving onto our current plans as a band, we are starting to throw around ideas and structures for a new album. Even though everything is at an embryonic stage at present, with a full band contributing towards the writing process, our aim of being in the studio by November is not as far-fetched as it would at first seem.
And last but not least, a big thank-you to all the fans who wished me a happy birthday online over the weekend of the 25th. It was really, really appreciated and you'll be glad to know that I had a great time outdoor go-karting with friends and hosting several BBQ's, wallowing in summery good company, booze and bowling.
And last but not least, some film recommendations for all you midnight vultures...
'Martyrs' is possibly one of the most grisly and thought-provoking films I have yet to see, 'Let The Right One In' is a spin on the vampire genre with some surprisingly different results, 'Antichrist' is just pure unadulterated evil that comes complete with some very harrowing performances and even more disturbing scenes, 'The Burrowers' is an amazingly good ol' creature feature set in the heydays of the Wild West; 'Dog House' is a British indie by director Jake West that features my pal and Cradle Of Fear starlet Emily Booth and finally, 'Meatball Machine' is a gratuitous all-out in-your-face shockfest from Asia, rife with lashings and lashings of gore. Highly recommended!
Anyhoo, must dash (my daughter has a new kitten called 'Bones' I want to entangle in string), take care and keep watching those darkening skies.
Details of a few band webcam chats to follow...
Aka Count Backwerdz.