Frontman Dani Filth talked about CRADLE OF FILTH‘s infamous “Jesus Is a C*nt” t-shirt, telling Metal Hammer:
“I think it’s hilarious. It was an anarchic statement.
“We never thought we were Satanic, we thought it was funny.
“We were crying when we thought of it and when the guy printed it up we cried even more.
“My wife used to work at a t-shirt printers in my hometown, they printed the original one up, and she got fired for it.”
Back in 2015, Dani told Rolling Stone about the tee:
“It was all very silly, I suppose. It was 1993, and we were about to go on tour with Emperor.
“We had a different t-shirt at the time – it had a picture of my wife, who was all done up in black metal regalia, and it said ‘The Black Goddess Rises’ on it.
“We needed to get a new shirt done quickly for the tour; we’d already come up with the ‘Vestal Masturbation’ image and phrase, but we still needed a back print for it.
“We all were laughing about it, like, ‘Oh my god, that’s so anarchic – can you imagine that on a t-shirt?’ We looked at each other conspiratorially, like, ‘Shall we?’ And yeah, we did it. Even at the time, we thought, ‘Well, this is pushing the boundaries a little bit.’
“I’d have to be an idiot to think that the shirt wasn’t offensive. It’s a dangerous t-shirt to wear, full-stop. Personally, I wouldn’t walk around in it now.
“I did walk around in it back in the day, but people don’t understand that there’s a time and a place for this sort of thing. Going to a gig? No problem. But some of these people are all like, ‘I don’t understand, I was in a mall and got arrested for wearing it!’ It’s just poor judgment on their part, really.
“‘C*nt’ is still the granddaddy of swear words, isn’t it? It’s like one further than throwing out a ‘f*ck.’ But mostly, I think it’s the subject matter. It’s a very anarchic statement – not Satanic, anarchic.
“It wasn’t really aimed at Jesus in particular; it was more the fact that it was rebellious and going against something. It could have been anyone, really: Elvis, or Hitler…
“When I actually do get dragged before the pearly gates, I would like to defend myself on that one, and say, ‘Well, to be fair, it could have been anyone. You’re lucky we chose you!'”
During the rest of the Metal Hammer chat, Dani noted:
“Some guy down the road in Colchester tried burning down a church, and we got blamed for it.
“Obviously [church burning] was ridiculous. I have been friends with every single person from that scene since, and I can’t remember anyone that said, ‘Yeah that was really great.’
“Everyone said, ‘We were idiots, we were kids.’ My friend lives a stone’s throw from the first church that was burned in Bergen, and he knows it’s an idiot thing.
“I’m so happy that I didn’t get caught up in that whole thing because I could have done, but imagine waking up thinking, ‘Oh god, I’ve just burned down a church, I’m going to prison for 25 years, I’m an idiot.'”