Dearest, dearest fiends and fiendesses….
Sooner than usual I thought I'd put fresh cut to paper and dish you out a heads-up on what has been happening over the last few weeks with the 'Filth, as it's been an very excitable time indeed.
No sooner than the album is finished, artwork and all (for all requisite formats I'll have you know), then it's time for the mandatory press trips to whisk us away on a week of busy flights, busier schedules, decent hotels (mainly because we're interviewing a slew of journalists in the lobbies) and continental food authentic to whatever country that we're currently annoying… Germany being the overall winner due to it's enormous veal, wild boar, red cabbage, dumpling and apple strudel lunch, washed down with a hearty Order Of The Flagon.
The Belly Acher
Paul has flown in from the US for the week, but has to suffer a day off in sunny London as the video for Frost On Her Pillow (at very late notice) is postponed to when we return half asleep and bedraggled from our journey around Europe, now scheduled for the following Saturday. The reason being that the castle we had intended to shoot in has since declined the presence of the band. Apparently we pose a liability for said establishment, though our track record does boast of country estates, regal houses and famous churches, the first things we'd obviously defile rotten, so we don't really see the problem other than that of finding another location pretty bloody sharpish.
Where is Pinhead?
Anyhoo, the first date for promo is in London which is undertaken with aplomb at the Peaceville offices with the likes of Terrorizer, Metal Hammer, Kerrang! NME, Rocksound et al to service and after a lengthy day chatting ourselves blue about the new album we find ourselves train-bound for Heathrow Terminal 5 where our flight eventually awaits to whisk us off to pastures new.
And this is how the rest of the week pans out, first we entertain journalists in Belgium in the cafe of the Ancient Belgique music venue in Brussels, then it's onto Milan where the stylish, yet foolhardy hotel keeps me awake with it's gurgling pipes and babbling inmates. Just before leaving, and having undertaken dozens of interviews throughout the day to many a nice interviewer, Doro Pesch (of Doro Pesch and Warlock fame) suddenly appears out-of-nowhere to share a TV slot, and for the second time this year we greet and have a little cuddle.
France is up next and we arrive an hour late for some ungodly reason so it's not until after midnight has spoken that we slip into a couple of cognacs in the hotel's seventies bar area before hitting our adjacent rooms way up in the Parisian rafters. Too wired by the day, I sit up and refresh myself with the album as I watch the moon wander over the nearby rooftops from my balcony.
And it's a typical hotel welcome come the morning when I'm awoken at eight o'clock on the dot by noisy builders from across the road. Le fucking bastards! Stop bringing the magic crashing down!
The day is packed solid and so are our stomachs as we ingest mid-interview pains du chocolate and multi-croissant washed down by tons of nerve-jangling coffee. And to add to this jamboree Paul decides to opt for snails and winking fish for lunch and it's not too long before he's the same shade of pink and white as the foyer.
Interviews terminate in the car on the way to the airport (via the downstairs hotel gym, having run out of room sitting next to Japanese tourists who decide to Skype loudly in the midst of TV interviews) and then we're straight onto a flight where I am sat next to a woman with mild Tourette's. Mild, as it's fortunately only random whistling and exclamations as opposed to defamation and swearing, yet strangely enough it's still unnerving even for @$$%&£@ me. I inadvertently keep my head buried in the Dennis Wheatley Black Magic paperback I bought secondhand in Brighton a few weeks back, as landing brings on a bunch of R2D2 style expletives from the poor woman.
We arrive in Berlin to discover previous partners-in-crime in a nice Mercedes and rapidly descend on the plush hotel bar for beers which a touring hockey team are busy keeping open. Then it's a day of intense interviewing broken only by the aforementioned German feast, requiring an afternoon of sitting propped up by cushions in order to finish the bombardment. Most noticeably during the day, which is filled by the cream of the German Presswaffe, is the time spent with our very good friend Thomas Clausen, who joins us for the aforementioned lengthy lunch and a brief history of the city's renovations, before he jogs on for undoubtedly his second planned luncheon with another band!
Dani and Thomas Clausen
An awesome week on reflection as we start on our way to the airport, watching a dusky city go by. We must've undertaken well over a hundred interviews between the two of us, which is no mean feat. Mean feet are those that refuse to hold you up any longer.
We have preferential boarding for our final flight of the week (Ryan Air), which means a warm drink and dry curry before arriving back in Britain and the tender love and care of Big Martin, our tour manager come to pick us up from the airport and deliver us so early in the morning to the video shoot, that we might as well stay up the rest of the night at the bar, which we don't, but regardless we still get up more tired than hot gravel, with Marthus and new bassist Daniel waiting for us at a mega sausage breakfast. Whatever that means...
Sir Daniel Firth
The video shoot is in full swing when we arrive at 777 (that's right Danzig!) Commercial road in the heart of London's docklands district, and there must be at least 30 odd people bustling around the derelict boat makers warehouse under the strict helmsmanship of director Stuart Birchall and production crew.
Fortunately, and despite the dilapidated roof in places, the weather is warm and there is a large Winnebago parked up in the middle area affording a chill-out area, make-up room and kitchen/shower, which Paul eventually blocks washing his body paint off. Thus is the central hub from where the day is conducted, though there is a band-gear slum and a dining area for pre-catered meals to be eaten through straws. All in all it looks like a refugee camp in Terminator's future, what with pockets of filming going on under strategically placed lighting here and there, with a generator purring diligently in the background. There's even a devilish-looking dog lurking about for sniffing out cyborgs.
Caroline and James have already arrived and caught up, as it's not long before we're packed into make-up with two bubbly young ladies working tirelessly all day to uncrumple, adorn and make good our faces, fingers and bodies for the lengthy all-angle band performance and the Terroriser photo-shoot later. Caroline makes me laugh at all the wrong moments, particularly when my eyes are being painted, as she has the wickedest sense of humour, even for this band of evil clowns! Todays themes being, 'does my bum look big in this Victorian bustle' and 'can I keep these make-up girls'?
A Quick Touch Up
Throughout the day there are snacks, coffee and energy drinks for those who aren't in attire and I have to withstand not taking a poo for nigh on five hours due to the constraint of being physically locked into my costume by a bloody great chain. Still, it's a riot, especially miming to the track, and i make myself hoarse for the first time in years actually singing over the blistering loud PA, then very shrill-sounding having had the bloody great chain swing pendulously back into my testicles, being leather-covered notwithstanding.
Our long-term costume designer Kerry has a habit of mixing her often flamboyant attire with excruciating torture, as in the case of the crown she hammers into my skull and the fingers that near tear my nails back when she forces them on, aside from the chain with the ball breaking anchor at the end of it, that is. Last time it was leather straps so tight that they cut off the blood supply to one of my arms and a wig that itched. She is like Torquemada of the Spanish Inquisition I swear!
Another make-up change for a scene with the beautiful heroine of the piece, the girls thinking they can get it out of the way early provides ample opportunity to listen to the QPR/Chelsea game on the radio, while the rest of the guys do their solo filming. Poor old Martin, as the backbone of the group he has to endure playing through the track for most of the afternoon, growing hot under the lights and cold out of them. Drummers, eh?
Startin' On Martin
The first day of the shoot goes onto a reasonable 10.30 at night when the place is full of awesome shadow, although everybody bar the skeleton crew has dissipated and make-up is itching to split. My final shot before Big Martin drops me and the gear off back in Ipswich (Paul is staying at Heathrow with a 6am check-in for his flight home to the States) is a vampiric jaunt to where beauty lies imprisoned in a see-through coffin (and some see-through knickers) and some general nefarious onscreen leching. All in the cause of a good video I might add.
Next day my wife Toni drives me back for day 2, but I'm only needed for some close-up stuff from yesterday so we catch up on some much-needed sleep and amble up to London to arrive at around 3, to find a whole host of different characters bustling about. Theres a Canadian Incubus, a glut of wenches, a fearsome-looking voodoo priest who ends up borrowing my contact lenses to become even more fearsome-looking (lovely bloke mind despite the head shrinking curse he puts on me), the beautiful victim Nina and some nice authentic Victorian props, pulpits, a glass coffin and plenty of fire!
Kerry is intent on punishing me again with chains and nails and there is a long wait in the replacement Winnebago chatting with peeps before my scene is up again. Every now and then Toni and I wander out to view some of the shooting, especially the mad voodoo fire scene and the Incubus's ravishment of beauty. Top stuff indeed!
The day rounds off with us having to duck out in order to make it all the way home before midnight and having said farewell to the exceptionally nice crew and extras, make-up women, runners and drivers who are still at it, we proceed to lose ourselves in the backstreets of London's East End misreading the signs.
Lights, Camera, Traction
All in all it should be a very exciting and cinematic affair this video of ours, and with three weeks in which to deliver the final edit, you can revel in the fact that the second song from the album, Manticore, will be available to listen to come Wednesday 26th September (17.00 UK time), which should tide you over nicely until the video's finished.
This time we've opted for a song that is a little more involved than For Your Vulgar Delectation's buoyant immediacy, to display the twisted variety on offer. And I really hope you enjoy it, as this and Siding With The Titans are my two favourite tunes from the album.
In the meantime there is plenty of press to check out, my recommendation being the British special Terrorizer has just published (www.terrorizer.com
), featuring an editorial by none other than moi, amidst a host of stuff on Cradle and other bands from these fair shores.
I think that is it for this outing, expect another blog in the not-so-distant future and the results of the winners of our last competition (closing date 5th October), as well as news of another.
Lastly, thank you everyone out there in the tragic kingdom for all your continued support and interest in the new album, I promise you it will not disappoint, unless of course (like some people on the site) you've already decided that it's a pile of stinking poo. Then you'd be gravely wrong. Gravely.
Take care were-bears,
Dan in the Mirror