Article by Mary Boukouvalas
Lindsay Schoolcraft’s scene is simple. “I do what I want,” she states categorically. I stole that from Cartman in Southpark. That is my thing. Everyone knows me by that. I do what I want.”
With Cradle of Filth, one of the most influential British metal bands of all time, Schoolcraft is doing exactly what she wants, and loving it.
A recent recruit to Cradle of Filth, Schoolcraft says, “I was only hired as a temporary live player when I joined the band. Then at the beginning of last year, me and the bassist were working on demos, and it became a natural transition”. Continuous line-up changes mean inevitable and ongoing evolving of Cradle Of Filth’s sound. “I didn’t think I would ever become a full time writing member”, continues Schoolcraft. “It was scary because the band has such a longevity and legacy”.
Yet the new album, Hammer Of The Witches, is balanced between the classic and latter Cradle of Filth work and will satisfy old hardcore fans as well as enlist new ones. In fact, Schoolcraft asserts this is one of the best things about the new album. “We were the newest members of the band, and we are all big fans of the older material. My favourite album is Midian. I am a big fan of Midian. We are fans writing for fans. And we have had a good response from the fan base”.
Different influences add to the new tracks. These influences come from unlikely sources for Schoolcraft. “From a young age my biggest influences came from Johnny Cash and Patsy Kline. I can hear it coming through some time. It is a form of folk singing and part of who I have always been. Also, Andew Lloyd Webber and anything musical-theatre at a young age was the beginning of my musical influence. When I started high school, I played in a punk band for a long time. Some punk bands influenced me, but the biggest influence musically would have to be Amy from Evanescence, and The Birthday Massacre, an electronic band from Canada. They were electronic, gothic rock. In my early 20s, I got into metal”.
Now, with Cradle of Filth, Schoolcraft’s influences play a huge part, especially since she was such a huge fan of the band. She is pleased with her contribution to the new album. For her, “The Monstrous Sabbat (Summoning the Coven) was the most rewarding track. It was part instrumental, and then I sent it over to my drummer, and he wrote some beautiful music around it. All the songs (on Hammer of the Witches) are our children. The title was my baby. I am really proud of that song. I sent it to Daniel and he wrote the guitar as well as the bass. I conducted the whole thing. It was my baby, I am personally proud of it”.
“I have now written a progressive heavy metal song. I can tick that box.”
Hammer of the Witches, though following a theme, also allows each track to stand on its own. Schoolcraft states: “We wanted each track to represent something unique but we wanted the tracks to be coherent”. She continues, “Themes with witchcraft and witch-hunts I can relate to it. I have Native American blood in my line so I have a fascination with these themes. The witch-hunt is very reflective of the silent holocaust that happened to the first nations. My people were slaughtered; not many people know it. People need to know about witch hunts or hunting of pagan spirituality and why it happened and how it reflects the modern world so as to understand organised religion and how it wants to control. That’s kind of where I stand. Turned out really well artistically in the new album. With the imagery and the music, we definitely went back to our roots, touching on cult themes.”
Though Schoolcraft has strong convictions about human and animal rights, she does not preach. Instead she believes that one should: “Be the change you want to see in the world”. With her involvement in PETA, she states: “It is easy as long as you do your research. To me all animals are equal. I don’t try to force it on people. If people want to make the change they will”.
As for her contribution to the Cradle of Filth’s sound, in food form, Schoolcraft laughs and proclaims, “The best damn falafel you could ever have, with hommus and tahini”.
Cradle of Filth’s Hammer of the Witches is out 10 July 2015 through Nuclear Blast. Hopefully the band will tour the new release down under soon. “I can’t wait to come back to Australia,” she says. “We are doing our best to come at least a week in Australia. We do want to come to New Zealand. I have never been to New Zealand. I love Australia. I spent a week in Brisbane. I have been to all major cities. To me, Australia is a warmer Canada. You are all so happy and friendly and nice”.
Cradle of Filth’s Hammer of the Witches is out 10 July 2015 through Nuclear Blast