Cradle of Filth’s Dani Filth Teaches Us About Myths, Beasts and Monsters (EXCLUSIVE LIST)
With COF’s upcoming album: The Manticore and Other Horrors, Professor Filth has plumbed the stygian depths and emerged with an album about one of our favorite Halloween topics – monsters. From Clash of the Titans-era old-school beasties to the tentacular elder gods of H.P. Lovecraft‘s “Cthulu” mythos, it’s a treatise on the wicked, terrible and world ravaging. And who doesn’t love monsters, right? That’s why Noisecreep popped in for a night-course with Sir Filth for a run-down of his beastial faves. Open your grimoires kids – class is in session!
“Much like Cthulu or Godzilla, these creatures come from the sea. They’re huge, they’re titanic, and they’re world enslaving. The Kraken was this Titan imprisoned at the whim of Poseidon. Throughout history, it’s been was regarded as different horrible waterborne creatures. Most commonly, it’s been described as this giant squid or cuttlefish that would bring sailors to their death. It’s an archetype – like Cthulu. In the Cthulu mythos, [author] H.P. Loveraft devised this creature that is akin to the titans but in his mythology it was a huge anthropoid with a tentacled head and a vast bulbous body. It’s borne of our primal fear of the ocean, the bottomless abyss – which always gives me a bit of the willies.”
“She was transformed by Zeuss into this hideous, snake bearing, serpentine monster with the power to turn men to stone with just her gaze. In fact, she was actually used to destroy the Kraken. Even though the Kraken was so humungously huge, her stare worked and turned him to stone. I think she’s just a very strong feminine persona. In Medieval times, she was often used as a sign of evil. She was also used to represent the Seven Deadly Sins, which were represented by seven snakes wrapped in her hair.”
“Its origins began in Persia. When someone disappeared or was thought to have been killed by animals: most specifically tigers, and they couldn’t find him or his remains, they blamed it on the Manticore. It was supposed to have the body of a lion, sometimes the head of a beautiful woman, long dragon wings and a tail with poisonous barbs on it. My favorite story about it is rooted in British history. During the Victorian age, where there were a lot of uprisings against the British occupation of the Indian provinces, it became a symbol. Like America is pictured as an eagle or Russia is pictured as the great bear, Great Britain was always pictured as a rampant lion standing up on its heels. People opposed to Queen Victoria satirized her as being the Manticore with her head on the beast’s body. Great Britain was looked at as this big poisonous beast out to pillage their lands and the female face was hers – which was quite a slur back in the day.”
The Loch Ness Monster
“That’s our local monster. You’ve got King Kong. Japan’s got bloody Godzilla – actually, they’ve got millions of monsters. King Ghidora, that other flying beast…You get trolls in Norway. A lot of people still believe that there is this big fish that lives under this Loch and this Loch runs all the way out to the ocean. That for millions of years there has been this species of dinosaur, like a Plesiosaur, that has lived there. It’s very improbable but people do claim to see him from time to time. It’s a cool thing: another waterborne hideous, monster. Quite endearing really. Just don’t watch that dreadful film with kids in it. (The Ballad of Nessie -2011)”
“They originated from Scandinavian mythology: Trolls or Frost Giants, all these things that Thor and his gang of Asgardians ended up fighting. They’ve always been renown for living in forests and valleys in Norway and Finland. Some of them are quite nasty. When I go to Norway, I see a lot of them carved into the trees – like scarecrows. They’re pretty keen on them there. In Finland, they have this cartoon called The Moomins about a Troll family. At one point, [HIM frontman] Ville Valo was supposed to voice one of the Moomins in a film. I don’t know if he got the role.”
“Again, another mythical creature that’s a bit like the Manticore. It has the head of a woman the body of a lion and the wings of a great bird. It’s a merciless creature. She devoured you – after she would ask you a riddle and you didn’t get it right. During the 19th Century there was a load of sphinxes being introduced in great colonial buildings. The British museum has a great sphinx. I think it has a lot to do with it having the attributes of a lion.”
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
“They’re great. They’re quite iconic: you’ve got war, pestilence, famine and death. Do you know they’re going to make a second Judge Dredd film where they’ll have the Four Dark judges who come from an unknown dimension? One’s called Judge Death, one’s called Judge Fire, the other is called Judge Mortis and the other one is called Judge Fear. Obviously, they’re representative of the Four Horsemen. I love that concept. I used to have a poster in my bedroom of them leaping out of the sky. It’s a powerful metaphor that you can date back to the Jews going into exile and the visitation of the plagues in ancient Egypt.”
“They’re not really monsters. They’re more this robot type-thing from Doctor Who that look like upturned pepper pot. Their battle cry was simply “Exterminate!” I’m fascinated with them to the point where I actually bought one off the BBC. It lights up and speaks It’s from a series with the previous Doctor from about five years ago. The Daleks are this merciless, unyielding enemy from space. They’re very Germanic. Very Nazi. When they opened up, they were like a living bit of snot living in the center of this robot. Daleks are quite metaphorical. They always end up losing because they’re quite selfish and shortsighted. They experimented so much on their own race that they ended up becoming these twisted horrible brains, literally. They’re obviously modeled after the Nazis, which is why everyone fears them and hates them. Exterminate!”
Cradle of Filth’s latest album, The Manticore and Other Horrors, will hit stores on Oct. 30 via Nuclear Blast. Pre-order the album at this link.