Just before Cradle of Filth return Down Under to crush their newest album into our country, Lindsay Schoolcraft had a chat with Robbie about the upcoming tour, the band and what it’s like being in one of the most successful active metal acts in the world.
You’ve recently released your latest album Cryptoriana, how have the reactions been to that so far? It’s actually been really good. With this lineup it’s the second album that we’ve done together, we were extremely nervous and didn’t know what to expect and it’s response was overwhelmingly good. I think the fans are happy that the lineup has been constant for two consecutive albums, which has actually never happened with this band before, so I like to think we’re doing something right – I hope we’re doing something right – and we pushed ourselves to write a more technical album, which we did, and the guys were really happy with it as the band unit, they really pushed themselves when it came to guitar and drums. People are taking it really well and it’s really fantastic.
What went behind the making and production of the album, what were the influences behind the music and lyrics in the album? It’s a really strange way that Cradle does their album writing, me personally as a solo artist I wouldn’t do it like this, but this is how the band works. So what happens is we start compiling ideas. We had a few ideas that didn’t make hammer, we had a collection of riffs and songs we needed to arrange and pulled them together. Our drummer Marcus – who’s very talented – took everyone’s ideas and threw them together and made sure they had flow. Then about halfway through, Dani decided “ok, this is going to be a Victorian Horror album” and he started writing things about that. That’s how it came to be. I think Cryptoriana is a bit darker and more mature and extreme than the album previous.
Your band has gone through a lot of lineup changes over it’s career, how have these affected the writing and the recording of the albums? I think it’s given every album it;s own charm, Cradle has always kept it’s sound which is cool, but it gives every album it’s unique flair. Each album has its own signature and it’s interesting thinking about how the lineup changes all the time, and how we’ve kept the same lineup for four years and two albums now. It’s not easy being in such a large band, you can talk to any big touring act and they’ll tell you it’s not an easy life. You always have to keep working hard and I think that’s why it has always kept changing.
Do you think it’s harder for you, as a female, to be in the band and in the black metal scene? I won’t lie, I’ve definitely faced some chauvinism and sexism in this industry, and I had a talk with Amalie [Bruun] of Myrkur about it. I had this idea that [this industry] is a mens club, and when you come in and you can do someone’s job just as good as them or even better, some men are very threatened. I think when Bjork said ‘men have to say something once but women have to say something five times to be heard’, it’s not wrong. I’ve been there, but other than that there’s been no issues with the band ever. I hang out and I’m the little sister and I have my equality and my place and it’s really faltering. If it wasn’t for Cradle’s songwriting – there’s always been a female speech or a voice singing in the background – I wouldn’t have a job. In this band, I’m really grateful that Cradle has always had that element in there and have given me this place for the last five years.
You’re bringing your latest album to Australia, how does it feel coming back Down Under? It’s honestly really exciting, we just got here this morning and I’m really happy to be back because the first tour I did with Cradle was five years ago on the world tour. Seeing Asia and Australia for the first time in my life was incredible and Australia was so neat. I hadn’t even played England yet and I know that a lot of people in Australia and are from England so it was an incredible adventure. We made friends with Ne Obliviscaris before they even popped off and became as big as they are now. I always said I feel like Australians are the Southern Canadians. Just such friendly people – but you guys party way harder than Canadians do.
We’re very keen to see you all soon, do you have any parting words for your fans before the Australian leg of the world tour? I just wanna say sorry it took so long for us to come back! We wanted to come back earlier, and had talks about coming down about two years ago but it fell through. We’re excited to see you guys again and thank you for waiting. I think you guys are really going to enjoy the setlist and for you guys to see this lineup for the first time, hopefully you all enjoy the performance and what we have to offer.
Interview by Robbie Tannous
Wednesday 9 May – The Basement, Canberra – 18+ *new venue, all tickets remain valid*