It has indeed been six/seven weeks since our return from our successful European tour with Godseed, Rotting Christ, Blynd and Darkend in joyous tow, so it feels only right to at last commit pen to paper and fill you all in on what has been happening of late in the Cradle Of Filth camp.
Well, thankfully, not a lot, other than the tedious legalities of pursuing visas for our forthcoming forays abroad, and of all the places we're destined to visit in the next few months, it is the good ol' U.S of A that is being the most flaming difficult to process. They are literally making it so hard for European bands to tour over there, with the multitude of entry visas, insurance and taxes levied, that I am surprised that anyone makes it onto US soil at all, let alone makes a living out of it.
Still, we are very much looking forward to the experience, as everyone knows how much we all love Walmart, American tour buses, truck stops, the wacky weather fronts, Texas steakhouses and the odd gig in front of friends and fans alike on the craziest continent on Earth.
There has also been the rudimentary preparations set into place for the various trips we're heading out on (South America and Asia are to follow swiftly on from America's star-spangled heels), but mainly the last month and a half since the festive beeriod has been spent in the blissful paradise of home, partying with friends, nibbling away at various projects and basically keeping the freezing wolf from the door.
That was until last weekend, when the second day's shooting of For Your Vulgar Delectation went ahead in West London, having had a few visits to meet up with Ross Bolidai the director, (Lilith Immaculate, You Can't Polish A Turd But You Can Roll It In Glitter) to plan all things good and ghastly and to generally shoot the shit, a few weeks beforehand.
I say it took only the one day, but aside from the weeks of planning, sourcing and unscrupulous begging, the whole weekend was thrown over to the project, with Saturday 26th being the day that the studio was dressed like an eerie midnight forest, complete with trees, gnarled bushes, piles of cemetery earth and animal skulls to flesh out the performances destined for the morrow.
It was an early start for all concerned, for me and Dan and Neil, the couple of hellish local reprobates I brought along with me to serve as zombie minions (I've always wanted to be a Minionnaire!) leaving Ipswich around 6.00 a.m, to arrive at the film set for an eye-watering 8 o'clock make-up call for all concerned. At least there was coffee and cake and a huge crew of some twenty to thirty-odd people, which grew larger during the day as additional stage hands arrived.
Both make-up girls were excellent and delighted in applying the stacks of gory prosthetics to my zombie minions, the beautiful heroine of the piece, myself (with my two looks of, well, demon lord version 1 and demon Lord version 2, albeit with more eyes…) and the plethora of extra rotting hands. There was even a hellhound on set, a huge, ominous looking Rottweiler who may have appeared like a savage Hound of the Baskervilles, but was actually, in all fairness, soft as shit (though impossible to control when it wanted to be somewhere else).
Katya, the leading lady (and the same Siberian model from the first day's shoot in the woods) was as unbelievable pliant as ever, enduring grasping hands all over her negligee'd body, a two hour make-up session resulting in having use of only one eye for the rest of the shoot (due to the other being prosthetically gouged out), and then having to roll around at my behest, puking black blood at the end of a chain in the dirt, covered in lesions and rot. All in a good day's work!
The set, once lit, looked incredible, and with the added drifting smoke that swathed the skeletal trees like poisonous vapour, the whole thing took on an unnatural, eerie atmosphere, just as we and the art department had hoped. I guess the gravestones, rusted gates and the scattering of bony detritus everywhere all helped in obtaining the vibe, but I pitied the poor crew members whose job it was to clear up the clods of mud that were stomped through the studio to make-up, workrooms and mock kitchen.
Ross the director (hereby known as Ross Feratu), was clearly having the time of his life, that was until late in the day when some lighting arm broke free from the studio roof, dropping straight down to bash him viciously in the mouth. Still, he managed to soldier on, getting all the shots that were meticulously planned and then some, everything co-ordinated by the producer to ensure we made the best of the allocated twelve hours studio time. This was after presenting his friend with a cake that read Happy Birthday Horsecock, thinking that was his friend's nickname from college. Well it wasn't, it was Darkhorse or something similar, so after that Ross came to be known as that great director of suspense… Alfred.
Having had to perform with two rotten zombies at the end of chains (a slick back look like Prince Nuada from Hellboy 2, replete with shock white and blue vein-dappled skin) and the aforementioned Rottweiler, the time came for me, painted six-eyed like Beelzebub himself, to take charge of my beautiful decomposing slave as I sang the track, whilst she writhed and postulated at my feet. It may have been disconcerting to some performing in front of so many people standing shy of the camera, but I felt like most of the blokes were watching Katya and her feigned undead orgasms, so I felt pretty at home yanking her chain, spitting and snarling the lyrics from the relative comfort of a taxidermist's dream lazy-boy. I was also praying that the Hound Of The Baskervilles hadn't shat anywhere on set whilst we weren't watching.
Hands That Do The Dishes
The day was a long one, I even crammed in 40 winks (I said winks) midway through, ageing cretin that I am, and awoke with a fresh second wind for an hour of make-up that proved to be a real eye-opener. Still, everyone was really pleasant and fun to be around, I got to see Mark from last year's Russian documentary (he was the one who was made to drink the worst drink in the world), the crew worked really really hard to make it all go smoothly (considering the ambition) and all in all everybody had a rollicking good time.
Mind you, having made like the wind driving back from London with my zombie chums (fortunately free of zombie make-up, though earlier I had dared them both to hand themselves in at A and E across the way), I did wake up in the middle of the night with my eyes gummed together from having had so many thick layers of slurry over my contacts all day long.
Next week I'm going to head up to London to have a look at the rushes (providing I can see by then) and pick at what Ross has managed to stitch together, the plan being to deliver this video to hit somewhere at the beginning of the US tour. Pardon my French, but I can't fucking wait!
Anyhoo, that's it for this instalment, other than to say that we can't wait to get to North America and Canada as the shows are going to be positively mental! In the meantime, please feel free to post up any reviews from the European tour. Meet Us And Weep fans, keep keeping us busy!!!
All the brest,
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