Cradle of Filth have been a part of the UK metal fan's subconscious since the release of their first album "The Principle of Evil Made Flesh" in 1994. Several albums later and on a new record label, the most recent offering from the Suffolk sextet promises to be something not only for the older Cradle fans, but for metal fans in general. "Nymphetamine" shows us that this band are able to change the sound of their albums, without losing touch with the heavy metal roots that have constantly fuelled them. After the discovery that keyboardist Martin Foul was laying in bed instead of doing interviews, I was fortunate enough to talk to Dave "don't call me David" Pubis, the bassist of the last three years, about the new album, the jump from Epic to Roadrunner Records, the current music scene and what being in a band is really like.

"I think when Cradle started, metal was heading for a change," says Dave, "I mean nu-metal was really just starting, but everyone was really into Iron Maiden. The metal scene right now is healthy again and I think that's why we wanted to make more of a metal album. I think that's what people want, and it's what we want". Clearly the influences behind "Nymphetamine" are based in the old metal scene that Cradle were first part of back in '94, and this has definitely made the album more accessible to newer listeners. "Nymphetamine" is expected to put Cradle right back at the top of their game, and to win over new fans as well. One new composition from the record has already proved its bewitching sound on this year's Download crowd. So what is it that makes this album so diverse? A different way of writing the songs, or purely the past and present metal influences?

"The idea of getting more metal was an idea we had from the album before, but out guitarist John left just before we started recording this album and that obviously had a big influence because we went from having two guitarists to one. Also we had the chance to use an orchestra so the idea of being metal just grew into the album so the orchestra didn't overshadow the metal."

The band's last album, "Damnation and a Day" was recorded with Epic records, (a branch of Sony) a label which seemingly owned bands of any genre that were popular at the time. With a seemingly endless budget, the band made a reasonably successful album and music video, but there was something missing between the band members and the label; communication. "Sony just said 'Okay this video's costing you 60 grand, this album's costing you X amount but just keep going and at the end of the day you never felt like you owed them anything and you just spent so much money it wasn't worth it, we wasted a lot of it. Right now we're a lot more aware of what we're spending, we communicate with Roadrunner on a better level".

While on Epic, the tour budget also seemed endless, but now with Roadrunner, Cradle seem to have a rejuvenated passion for touring "Nymphetamine" without the pressure from the record label. In fact, plans for a tour with old friends were hoped to be underway. "We really wanted to bring Type O Negative over here to tour with us because we had such a great time with them last year, but for some reason Pete [Steele] is being a miserable shit and doesn't want to come!" Dave tells me, much to my dismay. Touring the album "Damnation and a Day" with Type O Negative in 2003 has obviously left the Cradle gents wanting to share the expected success of Nymphetamine with old friends, but alas, Pete Steele's foul mood is not simply a rumour. Surely, Type O would be welcomed with open arms by the UK, they'd love it once they got here!

"I know, but Pete's just a miserable twat, feel free to quote me on that."
A tour with Type O is sadly unlikely, but the feeling of "shunning the fans" seems to be sinking in with the band for not playing smaller venues in lesser known towns. It's somewhat comforting to find a band that feels as though some fans may be missing out by not being able to travel long distances to shows, and the possibility of more intimate shows in virtually unknown venues does not seem impossible.

Touring "Nymphetamine" should be a hard task for Cradle, as most tours are for any band, and as frequently as we hear that touring leaves you exhausted physically and mentally, surely being in a band and playing your songs live must be a dream come true for anyone doing it. Dave would have to agree there, but he also mentions the sacrifices each musician makes when dedicating themselves to a band, such as never having your family around, being stuck with the same people day in, day out and never really having time for the friends you leave back home. The way he speaks about these sacrifices can only make me wonder what sort of a lunatic joins a band, but we both agree, it's still the coolest job in the world.

The popular music scene of the UK at the moment tends to favour the indie sounds of Keane or the catsuit rock of the Darkness, but as Dave points out, the public's taste changes frequently; "it goes through fads, like before Keane it was Coldplay, but now Coldplay aren't cool and Keane are. Listen to me, I'm in Cradle of Filth and I'm going on about indie bands". Yes, he is a heavy metal musician showing off some knowledge of indie music as well, and personally I find this aspect of Dave intriguing and impressive. Far too often you find a band who's life souly revolves around the genre of music they play, and they have little clue of what is going on outside that bubble of music. When asked about The Darkness and whether or not they are simply a Queen rip off, Dave replies "any band that grows their hair long and plays heavy guitar is ripping off Black Sabbath then." The Darkness it seems, are similar to Cradle in some ways; they both come from towns in the middle of nowhere, and are both bands that began so they could escape their home towns. In other words they were genuinely playing the music for their own benefit, not the benefit of others or for the money. Still Cradle have an impressive number of successful albums under their belts over the last decade, and Dave and I both fear The Darkness may be a "one album wonder".

With this ferocious new album ready and raring to go, Cradle of Filth are set to stun Europe with "Nymphetamine", hopefully with Type O Negative as accomplices. The band has been able to spend the last year finding it's musical roots and going in a completely new direction; taking this change easily in their stride. Cradle have managed to keep in touch with the fans, and are insistent on giving them something more than just an album, but also a live performance to remember; and this determination to please even the newest fans is something you will rarely genuinely find in a band as well known as Cradle of Filth. The caring nature of most gothic metal bands towards fans is rarely seen, but having spoken with Dave about the sacrifices made "just so a 15 year old kid thinks I'm cool" validates my belief that Cradle might well be around for another 10 years, continuing to transform their sound but maintaining the adoration of their hardcore fans.

You can check out the Cradle of Filth eCard or download Gilded Cunt MP3 now. 'Gilded Cunt' comes from the forthcoming album 'Nymphetamine' released on September 27th.