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Cradle of Filth, Part II

Posted by December 9th, 2003 No Comments »

NadaMucho.com Interview – Cradle of Filth
Part 2 of 3
Q & A with Martin Powell

By August Mark Thomas Jude Pierre Francis Smith-Arcarese

The next person I spoke to was Martin “Foul” Powell, the group’s keyboardist. Martin is the very pretty looking guy all the way to the left in the photograph. Ironically, Martin had the deepest voice and the most academic presentation.

NadaMucho.com: Hi Martin. I had some more detailed questions Paul wasn’t able to answer. You mind taking a shot at some of them?

MP: Yeah, sure, go ahead.

NM: You guys are definitely coming up with the themes that are being played by the choir and orchestra on the new album? Who’s coming up with all of this?

MP: That’s mostly me on the keyboards coming up with the themes.

NadaMucho.com Interview – Cradle of Filth
Part 2 of 3
Q & A with Martin Powell

By August Mark Thomas Jude Pierre Francis Smith-Arcarese

The next person I spoke to was Martin “Foul” Powell, the group’s keyboardist. Martin is the very pretty looking guy all the way to the left in the photograph. Ironically, Martin had the deepest voice and the most academic presentation.

NadaMucho.com: Hi Martin. I had some more detailed questions Paul wasn’t able to answer. You mind taking a shot at some of them?

MP: Yeah, sure, go ahead.

NM: You guys are definitely coming up with the themes that are being played by the choir and orchestra on the new album? Who’s coming up with all of this?

MP: That’s mostly me on the keyboards coming up with the themes.

NM: Who were some of the composers that influenced you?

MP: Well, I’m a trained classical musician. I grew up playing in orchestras and playing piano, so I had a lot of exposure to a lot of orchestral music, mostly 20th century stuff. I think the biggest influence on my writing would be composers like Shostakovich and Prokofiev… just a sort of dark feeling and bombastic arrangement. Stuff that’s not particularly sweet tonally. Also I’m quite influenced by a lot of film scores, particularly Danny Elfman, which I think is reasonably obvious when you listen to the stuff we do.

NM: When you played in a symphony what instrument did you play?

MP: Violin.

NM: I noticed you played some guitar on this album as well. You’re sort of the second guitarist?

MP: Yeah…

NM: Are you going to do some of that onstage?

MP: No, not onstage, because we’ve got a session guy playing second guitar. That frees me up to focus more on the keyboards. I think it was probably a lot easier to find someone to play the guitar than it would have been to find someone else to play the keyboards, logistically speaking.

NM: The concept for the album seems pretty detailed. It seems to be about the fall of Lucifer from heaven, and it’s punctuated by these statements from the Bible about a war in heaven, etc. Can you tell me any more about this concept and where it comes from?

MP: I’m not really the right person to ask. Dani is the guy with the lyrics and concepts. When we’re writing it’s kind of a symbiotic relationship. Our musical ideas are influenced by the words and vice-versa. But I actually don’t know much more about the concept for the album.

NM: Here’s a question: Brian Eno says that all music has some sort of behavior that it is linked to, for example dance music is intended to provoke dancing. What sort of reaction are you intending to provoke? What are you guys expecting people to do?

MP: Usually return the record… (laughs). I don’t know… As an artist I can only really relate to my own reaction, how it makes me feel. Any type of music can instill any kind of reaction in anybody. I mean, there are stereotypical reactions, like dance music making people want to dance, but everybody is an individual and reactions to anything depend on the individual.

NM: What kind of reactions are you seeing so far? Are there people sitting in the seats looking at it like it’s a symphony?

MP: It’s about 50/50…

NM: So you’ve got people in the front moshing?

MP: Yeah, yeah… I mean, at the end of the day it is up-tempo, fuckin’ metal music… people are gonna run about and go crazy or whatever. But then again you get a lot of people interested in Cradle who’ll just sit down at the back and take it all in.

NM: How many members of the band are married?

MP: Oh, Christ, Let me think… three. Dani’s been engaged for 14 years and has a child. Don’t ask. (laughs)

NM: I am always surprised by this. When I met King Buzzo of The Melvins I was suprised he was married. Just about the last thing I would have expected.

MP: You’d be surprised. Most people in all sorts of genres are actually married. I mean unless you’re in a boy-band or whatever. It’s just normal people doing a less than normal job, I guess.

NM: Johnny, the drummer of Type O Negative, said it’s basically just a job like any other. One of the best jobs he’s ever had, but it’s still just a job. He said some days are actually much worse than “normal jobs,” like when you’re stuck on the bus and there’s a hundred screaming girls outside and you just don’t want to sign another autograph….

PM: We go out of our way to be friendly with our audience, to meet as many people as possible, but sometimes if you’ve had a bad day or whatever, you’re just trying to get back to the bus, you’re pissed off and there’s like 200 people screaming and ripping at your clothes… You’re like “It’s just a job, man… please, give me like 10 minutes or something…” But we go out of our way to meet as many people as possible. It’s all worth while. I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything else.

Read part one of Mark’s exhaustive interview with Cradle of Filth.

Read part three of Mark’s exhaustive interview with Cradle of Filth.


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