CRADLE OF FILTH Frontman Says Collaboration With ED SHEERAN Is 'A Marriage Made In Heaven'

April 12, 2023

CRADLE OF FILTH frontman Dani Filth spoke to Metal Injection about the status of his band's much-anticipated collaboration with pop megastar Ed Sheeran. He said: "Well, aside from my contribution, everything's done. The bass was the last thing to go on. Ed did his stuff before Christmas, laid down acoustic guitar and his vocals. It's a collaborative single, but for charity, because we wanted to use the opportunity of working with one of the world's biggest artists for a good cause, really. And we also didn't want to give people cause to think that we were jumping on the bandwagon and trying to do it for our own benefit financially. And I think we've got a very good cause we wanted to donate to; he's got a great cause he wants to donate to. And I think it would just garner more attention and seem less of a novelty if it's something that is done for charity."

Regarding what the track sounds like, Dani said: "It's not like an Ed Sheeran song, and it also doesn't sound like a CRADLE OF FILTH song. It's got acoustic guitars, it's got clean vocals, but it also has got a blast beat and unclean vocals and a very long scream of mine. So yes, I'd like to say it's a marriage made in hell, but it's probably a marriage made in heaven, actually. And hopefully, once I finish it, once it gets mixed, then it goes to his management and our management to decide how the thing's going to be tackled. Because, obviously, you talk about two record companies here and it has to be scheduled in. All that guff that the musicians don't usually get dealt with. So we're hoping for a summer release. That would be perfect because it would definitely benefit the charities that we were doing it for."

Dani also spoke in more general terms about CRADLE OF FILTH collaborating with someone like Sheeran. He said: "I think opposites attract. I like a marriage of weirdness. I like people to go how the fuck would that work? What the hell? And the fact that CRADLE OF FILTH and Ed Sheeran, when we found out that he'd grown up being a fan of the band and by a fucking hair breadth we hadn't met in the past, we started getting in contact, and I've been emailing him on and off for about two years now. So we became sort of penpal friends, and then the idea just came about. I think he just wants to expand his musical horizons so people don't just think, 'Oh, well, that's Ed Sheeran. I know what he's like, I imagine.'"

Filth added: "I think this is a very bold move for him because, attributing himself with a band like CRADLE OF FILTH could go either way. You know, people might go, 'oh my God, what the fuck? This is the band that had a 'Jesus Is A Cunt' shirt!' But at the same time I think it's a very cool move for him."

Filth originally broke the news about potentially working with the 32-year-old singer/songwriter, who is one of the most successful musicians on the planet, during an interview with Kerrang! Radio"Breakfast Show" at the 2021 Bloodstock Open Air festival in the U.K. At the time, Dani said: "I've actually been e-mailing with [Ed]… He actually touched base with me. I've been invited up to his place. Well, he said he could come down to mine, but I pointed out to him that I don't own my own bar or village, and it'd be better if I went there.

"He said he'd do anything," he added. "Quite literally. He said he's a massive fan. He seems like a genuinely very nice guy actually."

Filth went on to say the prospect of collaborating with someone like Sheeran is not as far fetched as one might think. "We've always been like that," he explained. 'If someone tells us not to do something, then we'll do it. That's been our prerogative the whole time. I did this rap song with this band called TWIZTID in America. It's actually turned out more like RAMMSTEIN and BEASTIE BOYS than full-on rap. So, in that respect, I think it the Ed Sheeran collaboration would be great fun. I think it'd be great if we did it for charity, because at least it would bring a bit of credibility to it. Because obviously to his public, it'd be, like, Oh my god, he's got this weird comical guy,' and to my public it'd be, like, 'Oh my god, this is a bit weird, isn't it? But I think that sort of thing nowadays works."

In July 2021, Sheeran floated the possibility of exploring a more extreme musical path while speaking to The Sun. He said: "I was really into death metal as a kid. I listened to CRADLE OF FILTH and SLIPKNOT and all that stuff. I'm not saying I could ever step into that world. I learnt all those riffs on guitar as a kid. That's something I've never thought about doing — but something I would not be opposed to creating."

Sheeran had previously dabbled in a variety of genres, including rock, dance, rap and reggae.

After The Sun published Sheeran's comments, Filth posted a screenshot of an article headlined "Ed Sheeran is open to recording a death metal album after spending his youth listening to CRADLE OF FILTH" and wrote in an accompanying caption, "I'll believe it when I see it. Fellow Suffolk lad could come good in the end. 'Dracula's Castle On The Hill' anyone?"

Sheeran previously admitted to his love of SLIPKNOT in a 2017 interview with Gist. Speaking about the inspiration for his then-brand new album "Divide", Ed said: "I've had the concept for 'Divide' since 2010. I wanted the whole album to feel a bit schizophrenic. My first sort of music that I got into that wasn't from my parents was rap, metal, punk… I went one day listening to 'lowa' [from] SLIPKNOT and the next day listening to Damien Rice's 'O'. It was quite a switch."

As it turns out, SLIPKNOT singer Corey Taylor is also a Sheeran admirer, as he made clear in a 2017 interview with NME. Speaking about Ed's massive commercial success, Corey said at the time: "I'm stoked for people like Ed Sheeran — that kid worked his ass off, so why shouldn't he get the recognition?"

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