with Lindsay Schoolcraft, keyboardist and female vocalist of Cradle Of Filth

The metal community learned about the lovely and talented musician Lindsay Schoolcraft when she joined the extreme (black) metal band Cradle Of Filth on tour as keyboardist and female vocalist in 2013. Two years later, in 2015, she officially released her first album with COF, named `Hammer Of The Witches’. Lindsay, who is born in Canada and has a strong interest in music since she was a little girl, now not only travels the world with COF, but she also records and performs as a solo artist under the name Schoolcraft. She loves to play the harp, is a true vegan, is fascinated by mermaids and Disney villains and she has her own thoughts and ideas when it comes to stage presence, make-up and lifestyle.

Cradle Of Filth (official promotional photo by Nuclear Blast)

What do you consider as your typical clothing and make-up signature both on and off stage?
,,On stage I like to have my Hysteria Machine headdresses, coloured lipstick by Kat Von D, Plastik Wrap custom dresses and shoes by Hades Footwear. Off stage I like to do a casual make-up look with Kat Von D’s make-up line. My clothing preference is way more laid back with black tights, simple black shirts and sweaters. You’ll always find me wandering around in my favourite half cut, comfortable buckle boots. I also have a custom made little “red riding hood” like cloak by Plastik Wrap I have pretty much been living in on this tour.’’

Who is responsible for your stage clothing and headpieces? And what do you want to visualize?
,,I do collaborative work with Hysteria Machine for my headdresses and Plastik Wrap for my stage dresses. I entrust my scattered ideas to Cara at Hysteria Machine and she goes wild and makes something magical for me to rest on my head. With Adriana at Plastik Wrap we go in on a collaborative effort together from sketches to the final product. I usually have something already visualized and she brings the piece to life with her own pagan-cyber-goth style incorporated.’’

Who or what inspires you the most when it comes to beauty, fashion and lifestyle?
,,Many darkly places and creatures on this planet and in fairy tales. I take a lot of my inspiration from nature and my First Nation roots, but I’m also obsessed with and fascinated by mermaids and witches. Disney is where I got my start, but I was always a fan of the dark villainess. Until the releases Mulan and Frozen I felt the princesses were often helpless and needed the aid of a prince. I enjoyed the concept of the dark villainess, such as Ursula the sea witch or Maleficent, because they were strong, independent and knew what they wanted. Maybe it was a foreshadow into my future self, who knows. And my favourite real world style icons would have to be Amy Lee and Björk.’’


What are the best make-up tips you ever got?
,,I’ve been lucky enough to have two very close friends who are full time make-up artists and they have taught me everything I know. They’ve taught me how to contour and shade like no ones business. But Charlotta Cederborgh from Sweden taught me that to put lip liner that matches your eye shadow on your eyelids before you apply the shadow. I have yet to try it, but I have a feeling that my eye colour won’t be going anywhere on and after the stage [laughs].”

Which beauty products are an absolute must for you?
,,Anything by Kat Von D’s line of course. I’m a big fan of her lipstick and eye shadow pallets as well as her shade to light contouring set and her setting spray. I also enjoy lipsticks and eye shadows by Urban Decay, Lime Crime, and Melt.’’

How do you deal with a bad hair day?
,,Dry shampoo from Lush. That, or hide in a hood. Since my hair is thick and oily I have problems with oil build up and stringy hair. Since I found out about dry shampoo it has been my saviour.’’

(Photo taken from Lindsay’s Facebook)

Has a good appearance become more important for you, since you joined the successful band Cradle Of Filth in 2013?
,,Absolutely. I was smart enough to make the choice the summer before I got the call from the band to take it upon myself to learn professional make-up artistry. It was a long journey and like any newbie I was using cheap drug store brands. But with time, patience, and practice I feel I’m finally, just recently, getting it right. I can always learn more though. Either than make-up I’ve always felt image and appearance are very important as an artist. You are a representation of your art and in my case my music should be represented through visuals and a strong image.’’

How much did your styling and make-up behaviour change over the years and in particular since you joined Cradle Of Filth?
,,Actually, just before Cradle called I was slowly moving away from my darker image to a more simple organic look. All still dark and in the vein of gothic fashion of course. I was actually about to donate a lot of my closet that was a collection from my high school years to mid twenties. I’m glad I didn’t because a lot of it fit the Cradle look I needed the pieces when I first joined the band. Since then I’ve felt the sky is the limit with my look. I’m happy with all I’ve made and planned so far and I’m always looking forward to future dresses, make-up, and headdresses. There is still so much I haven’t seen being experimented on in gothic fashion. There are many boundaries I would like to push and go forward with in the years to come.’’

(Photo by Melissa Matheson Photography)

What does it mean for you to be part of such a great band as Cradle Of Filth and how much impact has it on your life in general so far?
,,It’s everything. It’s my daily life, my career and my greatest passion. It’s been all consuming and I’ve never been more grateful to have such an opportunity to perform, create music and help people like I have been able to do so with Cradle. It was probably the last band I ever thought I’d join, but I couldn’t picture my life now any other way.’’

How do you prepare yourself for a show? Do you have a certain ritual?
,,Doing my make-up is really relaxing and like a calming meditation before the storm. I rarely get stage fright and in a way I miss it, but I’m still always excited before stepping out onto the stage. I think stage fright disappears with a certain amount of confidence you gain from being on the stage so much. I take about 5 minutes to warm up my vocals and then I’m ready to go if I’m getting slightly jittery before a show I remind myself that it’s not about me, but about the band and the fans and I have to be my best for them. I’m always grateful every time I step out on that stage.’’

You are also working as a solo artist, how different is your own music from Cradle Of Filth and what inspires you?
,,For me Cradle is more of a traditional heavy metal outlet where I get to utilize more of my classical training in performance and composing. Schoolcraft is my own personal solo project where I take a lot more influence from my love of main stream melodies and structures and where I can also use a lot of my love of musical theatre.’’

(Photo by Tim Tronckoe)

You are Vegan. When did you become Vegan and what is your motivation?
,,I’ve been a massive animal lover my entire life, so passionately that I have always been an outspoken activist about it. I went vegetarian when I was a young child and became very sick due to malnutrition. I tried again in my early twenties and I was vegetarian two years before I went fully vegan three years ago. After I watched the documentary Food Inc I was completely done with all animal by-product at that point. Around that same time I started learning about what it meant to be an active vegan life styler. I immediately got rid of anything I owned that was made of animals, which was just a leather belt, and switched over all of my beauty and household products to brands that weren’t tested on animals. It was a fun year long project and I throughly enjoyed it. So the exact date I did become a vegan was sometime between Christmas and New Years in 2012. I wouldn’t want to live any other way and I wish I did it sooner.’’

What does a Vegan lifestyle mean in your book? And do you feel people understand the Vegan lifestyle?
,,Some get it and some really respect it. And some don’t understand it at all. And some like to be ignorant and poke fun. To me it’s an awareness that you can better the planet and lives of other beings by making smarter consumption and consumer decisions. It’s liberating to know you have that sort of control, for yourself as well as the animals you’re saving through your actions. What it boils down to is: would you eat your dog or cat? No. So I won’t eat a cow or pig either.’’

How do you manage your vegan lifestyle, condition and health on the road?
,,It takes a lot of planning and making sure your diet is requested on the rider that goes out to the promoters and venues who take care of you when you perform each night. I also like to use my Happycow app on my phone to find out where the nearest restaurant and vegan friendly stores are. I also bring lots of Vega goodies with me just in case of emergencies. Their recovery bars are always great for after a set. These last two tours I have been absolutely spoiled because Xen from Ne Obliviscaris is vegan also so we actually get these giant meals prepared for us almost every night and then on days off I have someone I can go find restaurants with. Usually on tours I am the only vegan and have to improvise on pub menus or wander off and find my own food. The guys in the band and crew understand it though and are very supportive of it, which means a lot.’’

How do you realize your Vegan lifestyle when in comes to clothing, make-up and beauty products? Do you have favourite products/brands?
,,I’m always very cautious of what clothing I buy: always reading labels, making sure that the items aren’t made of any leather, down, silk, or fur etc. I do like to support independent and local brands also. I do a lot of research before I purchase anything to do with make-up and beauty products. My look up guide can be found at where there is always an updated list and great articles and reviews done by Tashina Combs. I don’t like to have a lot of products due to my fear of items expiring and me being wasteful so I like to be very selective in what I purchase next. I usually buy out of necessity and rarely out of excessive want.’’

What else do you do to support animal rights and taking care of nature?
,,I do my best to do a lot of awareness posts in regards to going to sanctuaries and showing people that these “farm” animals deserve our love and respect as much as our pets do. I do my best to help out charities and organizations that stand up for animal rights when I can, whether it’s against animal testing or the fur trade. Down the road I’d like to get involved in more awareness campaigns through art outside of my music. Who knows? I’ve just started planning a few small projects actually. I hope they come to fruition later this year.’’

(Photo taken from Lindsay’s Facebook)

Do you have special interests or hobbies, besides being a musician?
,,I’ve been very much into astrology, stargazing and old Sumerian sky tracking as of lately. I’ve also started to get into tarot cards. I’m always cooking vegan meals and have been reading a lot of old folklore from all over the world lately. But everything always comes back to music in some way. Even if it’s just for the inspiration.’’

How does your perfect lazy Sunday looks like?
,,The best Sunday ever is in total silence. A full pot of coffee to go through while sitting on the couch with my cat. Scrolling tumblr and Pinterest for musical and visual ideas and inspiration. Those are the best Sundays. They usually only happen once a month, but they are bliss.’’

What album/artist is rotating lately on your Ipod?
,,Lately I’ve been swapping a lot back and forth between Myrkur’s “M” and Chelsea Wolfe’s “Pain is Beauty” on my iTunes. And of course I spent the past holidays listening to “Citadel” by my favourites in Ne Obliviscaris. Either than that I’ve been giving the new Lana Del Rey and Grimes albums a go and they took awhile to grow on me, but I thoroughly enjoy them now. This past year wasn’t really a big metal listening year for me. Maybe this year will be.’’

What are your tips when you have to travel a lot?
,,As a vegan I’m always calling ahead to make sure I get my meal on my flights. I travel with my vegan passport, which has what veganism is in over 200 languages thanks to The Vegan Society. I also bring snacks, which are my peanut butter Vega bars. Traveling is really something you jump into and just learn how to adapt as you go. It’s different for everyone. I do however always carry a giant purse full of personal needs and toiletries. You just never know when you’ll need them or want to freshen up on long journeys. But my best advice is always call home and keep your family updated on your whereabouts. I’m away 6-8 weeks at a time and I find when I get homesick or times get hard I can always call mom and dad and they cheer me up a little. Plus I always want to know how my cat is doing [laughs].’’

If you could switch bodies for one day, whom would it be with and why?
,,I wouldn’t want to switch with anyone really. I like who I am and my life. Everyone thinks this is the coolest idea ever, but I know a lot of people in the public eye and behind the curtain some people have to go through some really difficult and hard times in their life that their fan base doesn’t even know about. If I were to switch I could possibly be thrown into something I have no idea about it how to cope with. I do everything I want with my life and am so content I wouldn’t want to switch it away like that. But if I could be a bird and experience flight that would be a sort of magic to me.’’

What is your life motto?
,,Time is precious, to waste such a valuable gift is the ultimate tragedy.’’

Follow Lindsay on Facebook, her Schoolcraft website and tumblr and keep updated with Cradle Of Filth here. 


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