Ex-Cradle of Filth Guitarist Reveals How He Was Treated Before Leaving the Band, Says He Couldn’t Make a Living With Them

Cradle of Filth has been on the scene for a very long time now. Going well over three decades, it’s pretty much Dani Filth’s band with a more or less revolving lineup of various musicians. Nonetheless, the band has seen some pretty great musicians go through it, including guitarist Richard Shaw who was a member between 2014 and May 2022 when he left along with keyboard player Anabelle Iratni.

In a recent appearance on the 2020’d podcast, Shaw discussed his work in the band and revealed some reasons why he left Cradle of Filth. Although he’s not at all dissatisfied with the work in the band, he cites some “drama” behind the scenes that ultimately led him to bail out. Discussing the matter, he offered (transcript via Blabbermouth):

“To be honest, it just got a point where I didn’t wanna do it anymore. It was as simple as that. Touring and traveling was never a problem for me. Writing and recording – the actual music side of things – I loved and I still love.

“It was all the behind-the-scenes stuff [that] kind of got to me after a while. It just got to a point where you find out things that you don’t like the sound of that’s been going on for a while. A lot of drama and B.S.

“I’m a dad now. My life’s pretty hectic as it is without adding unnecessary drama to the bag. It just got to a point where I was, like, ‘This isn’t fun anymore.’ Doing the shows is fun most of the time, but it’s all the other stuff that was kind of getting to me. It’s time to walk away. If it’s not fun anymore, it’s time to step aside.”

When further pressed about this “drama,” Shaw was still not revealing about everything but offered:

“Touring and writing and recording is the dream – it really is. But to me, it came at quite a high cost, and I wasn’t willing to pay that cost. Me, the keyboard player [Anabelle Iratni] and all but one of the crew didn’t wanna pay that cost.

“So they had to basically hire all new crew as well as a new keyboard player and a new guitar player… I don’t know. There’s a side of me that thinks if you just treat people better, it’d be less hassle. In a nutshell, just treat people better and show them the respect that they deserve, and people kind of stick around.”

CRADLE OF FILTH - Full Set Performance - Bloodstock 2021

“My B.S. tolerance seems to have lowered over the years. There’s a lot of stuff that I kind of let slide [in the past] that towards the end I was, like, ‘I’m not letting that slide anymore.’ It was as simple as that.

“I know this sounds super cryptic, but I still get on well with the band; I love everybody in the band. It’s more all the people behind the scenes.”

Regarding the financial situation within the band and how well he was compensated, Shaw explained:

“It became one of those things where financially it wasn’t starting to make sense to stick around. I don’t know how much to say, but you get talking to other bands and other session members – ’cause I was a session member but I also wrote for the band – and you start discussing stuff with other people who are in similar boats, who are session musicians but also write for the band, and you go, ‘Hang on a minute. This doesn’t sound as fair as what you’ve got.'”


Asked whether musicians can make money playing metal, he said:

“You can make money, but you’ve gotta be smart about it. I never made a living off of Cradle of Filth – never. I had to do other things to supplement those earnings. When I was on tour, I was getting paid and it was okay. Again, to be perfectly honest, not what it should have been. But it was okay. And now that I’ve got a family and things, it’s, like, okay, now I’m gonna be away from my family 24-7 for months on end, and I can kind of earn the same money back home and I see [my family] every day.”

“I think every musician I’ve ever met says the same. It’s, like, you don’t make the living a lot of people think you do. You need multiple streams of income. Which I totally get, and I knew that was part of it going in. But like I say, you talk to other musicians and you talk to other writers, and you start thinking, ‘Hang on a minute. Something weird is going on. I’ve got a feeling some people aren’t telling the whole story here.’ And it just got to the point where I was, like, ‘Okay, I’ve gotta weigh it up if it’s worth me sticking around for.'”

“I’ll be a hundred percent honest: there was also another side of me. We started writing what would have been my fourth album with the band and I put, like, seven or eight songs forward for it,” he added. “And I found myself going on autopilot a little bit. And I was, like, ‘I’m doing this because I’ve been told I have to, not because I necessarily really feel the need to write this style of music anymore.’ So there was a lot of things going on.”

Photo: Andreas Lawen, Fotandi (Cradle of Filth – Wacken Open Air 2015-3900), Cecil (Cradle of Filth – Kuopio Rockcock – Dani Filth 02)


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.