Indy: Your current CD, Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder, is the first full-blown concept album your band has done since 1998's Cruelty and the Beast. It's based on the life of Gilles de Rais, a 15th-century French nobleman who became one of history's most vicious and prolific serial killers. How did you arrive at the idea of writing about de Rais?
DF: I was investigating the theme for this album by going over my old lyric book, and I came across his name again. I thought actually, you know, it's been 10 years since Cruelty and the Beast, so it's not as if we're sort of reproducing ourselves.
Indy: Interesting that you had run across his name in researching Cruelty and the Beast. That album was based on Countess Elizabeth Bathory, a female serial killer. Which of these figures was easier to learn about?
DF: There was more on Gilles de Rais than there was on Elizabeth Bathory, despite Gilles de Rais being about 200 years prior to her. There were transcripts, authentic transcripts, kept. So there were quite a lot of books when it came down to it, and a lot of research.
Indy: How much of the Godspeed CD are you doing in concert? Are you playing most of the 13 songs, since it's a concept album?
DF: We alternate it between three and four. We may push it to five, I'm not sure. We try to do an eclectic mix from all of the records.
Indy: In 2003, you released one album, Damnation and a Day, on Columbia Records before leaving the label and signing with Roadrunner. How do you look back on your short major-label experience?
DF: Our relationship was good. We enjoyed their money [for recording] very much. ... We enjoyed some relative success. It was like another rung up the ladder.
At Denver's Gothic Theatre, Jan. 28.