I had the pleasure of interview Lindsay Schoolcraft about their new album and about her being vegan. It was a difficult interview as we got cut off every minute and 30 seconds for some reason. So I kept ringing and she answered quickly. I was happy with the chance to talk to her so it was not a hassle.
Hi Jen, How are you? Not bad thanks and you?
Great. I am finishing off my day here by starting interviews.
Ha, Ive only just got up!
Yeah you think I would be used to all the time zones now but I keep forgetting.
Are you warm over there at the moment? It is freezing here.
In Canada we are going through the peak of our summer,We are going to have a heatwave this weekend which is funny because it’s about 28 degrees. But we have minus thirty in the winter.
okay so I am not that cold anymore! (both laughing)
I first heard of you guys when I watched The IT crowd when Richmond tells his story, did you find that funny being mentioned like that?
Honestly I had never seen that until the day I joined the band which was about 2 1/2 years ago and I saw the skit and actually laughed really really loud. Everyone was posting it to my wall and having a good laugh about it. I thought it was hilarious because I’m that one goth friend in the group of artists. All my friends are artists whether they are hair stylists, or actors and they are always pegging me as that goth person. I thought it was pretty funny but I did not know about the skit until the actual day I joined the band.
Can you tell us about your background in regards to music, for example you play so many instruments and are in two bands and you have studied music….
I am a jack of all trades and master of none! (Both laughing) Well I started at very young age, when I was seven or eight my father who played the guitar got me into the instrument and he raised me on the Beatles and the Eagles, Led Zeppelin and got me into Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline. But I didn’t take music seriously until I turned 15, I decided then I want to make all girls punk band. I picked up the bass and I kind of went from there. I did that for about six years end at the age of 21 I moved on, I changed direction, being a woman I just keep evolving, it does not stop. I decided to pick up classical singing and piano lessons and I started a second band but both bands were not functional and they fell apart so in a way with my training as a singer is were I really expanded and I had a coach that pushed me really hard and she so talented she was able to train me in all genres. I looked into Musical Theatre, rock, pop and of course lots of opera. With classical music you learn the foundations of all music so I haven’t been playing music or my life but it’s been the biggest part of my life. I’ve done so much with it, then I finally went solo for about five years, then things started to pick up for me and of course now Cradle. “
Do you think the contrast between the classical and metal influences makes music like yours so powerful?”
I think so, there are a lot of classically trained musicians that have come in and out of the band, all of the years, especially the singers, I know Sarah had some training especially in the classical area, Martin Powell, I can tell just by his writing that he has classical influences, Same with Lester who was in the band, they are all very well trained classical musicians that are coming in and out of the band. Especially our drummer Martin who has university level of training. It is easy for classically trained musicians to come into metal. there is something I keep saying that metal musicians are that classical musicians of today and a lot of metal music is structured how classical music is structured.
Obviously gender has no effect on musical ability, but do you find others around other than the band treat you differently?”
It is frustrating sometimes, I show up to the beginning of the tour and people just assume that I am the girlfriend of someone in the band or they will ask if I am the merch girl. I just correct them and say no I’m actually in the band I’m the backing vocalist and keyboard player. The only thing that is affected by gender is the vocals, due to hormones in the body, men can only sing certain range and women can sing in a higher range, there are different tones. In regards to play an instrument it doesn’t actually matter what gender you are so much you practice.
All six band members worked on writing this album, how did that work with you with being in different countries?
We just kind of forced it to work we did over email and file sharing and in person when we were able to talk about and it was just more a matter of a lot of communication, a lot of sacrifice and everyone had the right attitude and we remained really organized because everybody had their own system of how to go about things. When it came to writing everyone had their own system on the computer and we had to adapt to one another. It was 14 months to me and we took about a year as a full band from beginning to end.
Was there anything in particular that inspired you guys to flip the story of persecuting witches in its concept?”
Me and Danny had a talk in Russia over it and we are both very creative bouncing ideas off each other and he said “What do you think we should do?” I have a few ideas but I want to know what you think. I said I think we should go back to the occult days of witchcraft that drew your fans in the first place, who were now older and more mature, why don’t we just go back to that theme? That is pretty much the reason why we went back to that, to stay true to our style of music.
I had read that this album is more like your older albums, and that older fans will be happier.
Yes I think so just because there’s been a lot of positive feedback from old fans and the reason for that is that we were simply able to give back to the fans is because the four of us that are newer members to the band were fans, especially fans of the older material. For example my favorite album is Midian and went back to the albums Cruelty And the Beast, Dusk….and her Embrace and The Principal of Evil Made Flesh, these albums were our influence so people are saying the old sound is back and it is an album by the fans for fans in its own way. I mean there is a new fresh line up to help with that sound.
The Art work for the album, the cover is amazing. Who designed it,it has a tragic theme to it.
Thank you it is actually a Lithuanian artist called Arthur Berzinsh, I am really glad that we got him to design our artwork because he made our artwork look like paintings you would find in an old church and of course they have the very dark twisted side of the witches hunt on them. There is just beautiful creatures so we decided to go with him and I’m very glad we did. Our drummer adjusted and I think he was the right fit.
.You had to change your artwork for the US and had to cover the ladies, how ridiculous do you think this is when there are paintings in Museums are like this
Yeah we had to get some sails to put on the some of the artwork to make it more appropriate. It has been quite a disaster to make it PG 15!
I know you feel strongly about the worlds many Moral issues, can you tell us about those? for example can you tell us about your involvement with PETA?Is this why you became a vegan?
I was vegetarian for five years before I became a vegan, I can never really eat flesh, I just think it’s wrong. I would not eat another human being so why would I eat another animal? I did my research and I saw how cruel the dairy and egg industry really is, so for me it software on first, I just could not justify it. There should be no other creature that suffers for my consumption, I think today people either have compassion or they don’t, they wanna stay ignorant to it or they don’t. I have had a few people who have come to the other side of the veganism or vegetarianism and there is just some people that don’t understand it. I just don’t waste my time on them, they can’t tell me I’m wrong. I speak up for those who don’t have a voice and I’ve also adopted the entire vegan lifestyle, my household items, beauty care is all vegan made, it is expensive and I have to order it in from different parts of the world but it is something that is important to me.
I am part First Nation Native American so they started the whole spiritual basis like a totem, an animal spiritual so it is something that is very close to my heart. We work with the animals to find our life path. I don’t think animals a summary that we should consume and destroy it feels so wrong to me in my heart that where I’ve always stood on that.
Your costume that you wear when performing , how did you decide on that? I think it is pretty cool!
Oh thank you.I actually got my friend Adrianna who is the owner of Plastic Wrap here in Canada. I called her up and told her what we were doing for the next music video any idea that we had in mind and it is actually pretty close to the original sketch. It is actually scary how close it looks to when I decided I wanted. Adriana is really talented and she was able to sew it up for me, I asked for it to be very light material and very lightweight. We used it in the music video at the tail end of winter, in an old air hangar when I was absolutely freezing!
We have ran out of time so I better say thanks and goodbye.
Thanks You are welcome. Take care.
Questions written by Jen and Sibbo
Cradle of Filth are
Dani Filth | vocals
Richard Shaw | guitars
Ashok | guitars
Daniel Firth | bass
Lindsay Schoolcraft | keys
Martin Skaroupa | drums
Unquestionably one of the greatest and most influential British metal bands of all time, CRADLE OF FILTH have cast a commanding and macabre shadow across the metal scene for nearly a quarter of a century. Armed with their trademark, cross-pollinated assault, that taps into myriad strands of sonic extremity and morbid opulence, they have steadily conquered the entire world, unleashing a malevolent slew of classic albums along the way. From the raw and rambunctious savagery of their 1994 debut »The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh« to the wickedly monstrous, technicolour bombast of 2012’s »The Manticore & Other Horrors«, the CRADLE ethos and aesthetic has had a huge impact on the evolution of metal, the band’s insatiable appetite for performing live and frontman Dani Filth‘s unerring charisma and sense of occasion ensuring that they have established a powerful and enduring connection with Hell-bound acolytes everywhere.
But despite their indubitable authority and prowess, CRADLE OF FILTH have never been immune to the shifting sands of time, resulting in an almost comical reputation for line-up changes that, unusually, has had the parallel effect of imbuing the band with an omnipresent air of ongoing evolution and mutation. With that in mind, the exhilarating reaffirmation of malicious values showcased on new album »Hammer Of The Witches« stands out as a clear milestone in CRADLE‘s lengthy history, as the ferocious chemistry that has swiftly developed between these virtuoso miscreants – Dani Filth, newly recruited guitarists Richard Shaw and Ashok, bassist Daniel Firth, keyboard priestess Lindsay Schoolcraft and stalwart percussive powerhouse Martin Skaroupka – is laid bare across 56 minutes of extravagant, adventurous and thrillingly extreme heavy metal. Striking a sublime balance between the classic, twin-lead grandiloquence of 90s triumphs like »Dusk & Her Embrace« and »Cruelty & The Beast« and the tougher, gnarlier textures of recent masterworks like »Godspeed On The Devil’s Thunder« and »Darkly Darkly Venus Aversa«, »Hammer Of The Witches« is arguably the most focused, absorbing and fearless album the band have ever produced, as fresh blood and a renewed sense of purpose collide in a shower of bloody sparks.