When I learned Lindsay Schoolcraft would be contributing to the soundtrack of Rocky Gray’s upcoming Horror Anthology, 10/31, I had to reach out.
Lindsay and I share mutual friends, growing up only towns apart. And, also being among the few gothic persuasion in our neighbourhood, I followed Lindsay and her rising solo career under the name Schoolcraft, and silently cheered her on in 2013 when she joined iconic dark metal band, Cradle of Filth. Lindsay continued on with the band, serving as live keys and back-up vocals, as well as contributing the female vocals, keyboard, and harp on the bands’ most recent albums; Hammer of the Witches (2015), and Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay (2017).
And, with the recent release of Cradle of Filth’s Cryptoriana, her work on a highly anticipated solo album, as well as contributing to the soundtrack of an upcoming horror movie, we had much to discuss! Read on for our exclusive interview with Lindsay Schoolcraft.
Nightmare on Film Street: This interview all came about because I stumbled across your involvement in the soundtrack for Rocky Gray’s upcoming Horror Anthology, 10/31. Anything you can tell us about the project?
Lindsay Schoolcraft: Rocky and I have been in talks about collaborating together for quite some time now. We were just waiting for the right opportunity and project to come up. Earlier this year he asked me if I would be interested in doing a song with him on his horror anthology soundtrack. Of course I agreed to it because Rocky and his work with Evanescence has been a huge influence on me since my teens. So far the writing process has gone smoothly. He is easy to work with and trusts my abilities as a writer, which is a huge compliment coming from him.
NOFS: Is this your first forray into Horror? Any interest in contributing to future soundtracks or scores?
LS: This definitely is. It’s also my first contribution to an original track that will be exclusively for a movie. I was trying to pick Rocky’s brain for theme ideas on how to approach the lyrics for this song. I want the listener to fall into a story and give them a sense of storytelling and finding their own perception or take on the story they are hearing. I was asking for what the stories were like in the flick, he said “just make it spooky and open to your own idea”. At first it was difficult, but then the ideas started coming. I am just completing the lyrics over the next few days.
I am slowly getting into the horror world. I’ve never been massively into slasher flicks, I’m more of a sci-fi and fantasy fan. I am looking forward to seeing what Rocky has created with 10/31.
Depending on how well this song is received I would be interested in doing more soundtrack contributions in the future. I find there is less pressure with one track verses doing a whole album and making a group of songs cohesive to one another. There is more freedom in one track.
NOFS: So much of the tone and mood in Horror is set by the particular film’s score a music choices. Do you have any personal favorite scores or soundtracks that inspire you?
LS: Thanks to Dani Filth the Dracula soundtrack has really grown on me. I would have to say the soundtrack that has had the biggest influence on me is from The Queen of The Damned. It’s influenced a lot of my work and never grows old for me.
NOFS: The latest album from Cradle of Filth; Cryptoriana- The Seductiveness of Decay, just dropped last week. What can we expect from the new album?
LS: It’s different then what we’ve done before in many ways. The guys really pushed themselves to compose their best on it. The addition of the choirs is what really ties it together. Also it is one of our more thrash driven albums too. So far the feedback has been great, I’m happy everyone is enjoying it!
NOFS: The recently released Music Video for your single Heartbreak and Seance is a beautiful, moving vignette of classic Victorian, Gothic imagery; soft snow falling among dead trees, wax dripping from the candles of a silent altar. Can you tell us a little bit about the process of creating that video? What was the experience like bringing the single to life?
LS: Oh thank you! It was a magical time and full of great memories. We flew out to Riga, Latvia to work with Arthur Berzinsh, which had done the album artwork for our past two albums. We love his work and he really understands us and what we need visually to match our music. This was definitely the biggest music video production I had been a part of since joining the band. Dani had also mentioned that it was one of the biggest video production that band has had in a long time. The crew and makeup artists were a treat to work with and we made it happen in just two days. I believe after we left there was more filming happening for two days after we left. It shows in the results. I’m really happy I could be a part of it.
NOFS: Both in the music video and during your stage performances, you always wear such amazing headpieces and unique, gothic inspired fashion. Can you tell us a little bit about your fashion influences?
LS: Oh thank you! The lot of my headdresses are made by Hysteria Machine, but for the new music video I got Morgan Lander of Kittie to design my crystal deer skull headpiece under her line Thelema Crystal Skulls.
My influence and ideas change every few months. I have definitely been on a long black evening gown kick the past few years, I have a feeling that will change starting mid next year. My dress designs come about with whatever I’m feeling at the time and the influence of the time of year. I find I get more inspiration in the autumn in winter months for my image as apposed to spring in summer where I get more of my musical creativity from.
I usually carry a small sketch book with me on tour and sketch all my ideas into them as they come up. They aren’t the best doodles in the world, but they are passable until I can bring the headdress or the dress to the designers.
NOFS: Your previous album with Cradle of Filth, Hammer of the Witches, was inspired by the infamous persecution of suspected witchcraft. Were there any specific real-life or fictional stories/films that inspired you when creating the album?
LS: Usually the theme of the music doesn’t come until later and it’s decided by Dani. With Hammer of The Witches we just started writing and picked the best of what came about. Of course there was a theme of darkness with anger and sadness when we wrote that album. In the beginning we never know just what Dani will make the theme. He often needs the music first because he can start getting creative.
NOFS: The Female audience tends to be under-represented in both the Metal and Horror communities, though we make up a growing, significant (and badass) chunk of their fan-bases. Is there any advice you have for those macabre and creative gals who are interested in exploring a darker career-path?
LS: It’s a learn-as-you-go experience so I don’t really know what advice I can offer. You just have to be you and find out what is is that you can uniquely offer with your own little added flair. If you told me 6 years ago that I would be the creepy woman in Cradle of Filth to sing backings and play the keyboard I would have never believed you. But it happened and here we are. I was slowly moving away from the dark fashion and look that I loved so much just before I got the offer to join and then I just got sucked right back into it. It’s definitely been fun to experiment and find my look with makeup though!
NOFS: Speaking of which- what’s it like being the only Female in a Dark Metal band?
LS: It’s nothing different really. Sure, I am a nurturing person and I get sucked into the role of being the “tour mom” with handing out band-aids and being thoughtful and caring when others break themselves. But it’s nice to be a part of something and represent the feminine aspect, which is something I take very seriously considering some people consider me a role model.
NOFS: Do you have any personal favorite Horror Movie Go-To’s on the road?
LS: Would Repo! The Genetic Opera count? It’s pretty much my favourite movie ever!
NOFS: It totally counts. In addition to Cradle of Filth, you are also half of Black Metal duo Antiqva, and release music solo under Schoolcraft. Do you have any projects in the near future you can tease? Also, do you ever find downtime?
LS: Downtime? What’s that? Haha.
Antiqva is coming together, but very slowly. Which isn’t a bad thing because we get to take our time and make sure we are happy with everything we are constructing. I’m honestly very excited about this project. There is a lot of freedom to take my time and experiment and build the orchestral sections as one of the main composers.
As a solo artist my main debut is almost done being recorded and should be out sometime next year. I think people will freak when they find out who I wrote the album with and who the guest singers are. This has been my biggest accomplishment as a song writer so far. It’s the music I have always wanted to make and I think the fans will really dig it. I did my best to be as honest and humble as possible when creating this album. I wanted to tell stories and really pull the listener into the songs. It’s been a long journey and we are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
As for free time though: I mainly just play around on my harp or watch cartoons. Of course I’m still slowly self teaching myself the wonderful world of makeup artistry. I’ve also been slowly piecing together new song for my next solo release. It’s a never ending process.
NOFS: Where can readers of Nightmare on Film Street find and follow more from you?
Cradle of Filth’s latest album, Cryptoriana: The Seductiveness of Decay is available now. The band will be kicking off their European Tour in the Late Fall. Tour details can be found here. Horror Anthology 10/31 is currently funding on Indiegogo with a little over a week remaining.