March 16, 2021 Interview – Lindsay Schoolcraft Talks Worlds Away
When we last spoke to Cradle of Filth alumnus Lindsay Schoolcraft, the talented singer-songwriter and harpist was celebrating the arrival of her solo full-length debut, 2019’s Martyr. Riding high off its release, she would go on to rework several of the tracks, along with other previously released material, on the Ethereal Gothic collection Worlds Away.
Some time has passed since its arrival in October 2020, but the album is no less phenomenal than it was the day it arrived. A mélange of delicate harp work and her gossamer vocals, the LP stands as a testament to Schoolcraft’s talent in crossing genres fluidly. So to take a closer look at her folksy masterpiece, the multi-talented lady behind the record sat down to discuss the music on Worlds Away, working with Rocky Gray (formerly of Evanescence) and Violist Dagda, her newest project Antiqva, and more.
Cryptic Rock – You have been involved in making music for over 15 years now. What has all of this time taught you about yourself?
Lindsay Schoolcraft – That I am stronger and more resilient than I think. That every event has a valuable lesson through experience or failures. That time management and organization can help you conquer anything!
Cryptic Rock – Those are all excellent life lessons. So, obviously we’re here to discuss Worlds Away, a gorgeous collection of reimagined material that arrived in October 2020. “Ethereal Gothic” is the perfect way to describe the collection, and it’s a very different sound from what many of your fans know. How has the reaction to the LP been?
Lindsay Schoolcraft – The reaction has been far greater than I had anticipated. I wanted to do this album to celebrate a decade of being a solo artist. I think it was something my fan base really wanted and needed with the pandemic and everyone being stuck inside.
Cryptic Rock – Yes, the pandemic has certainly made many of us desperate for a new soundtrack. Now, with the album there’s a definite Loreena McKennitt influence. Some people might be shocked that you’re finding influences so far outside of Metal, but we love that. What inspired the idea to take out your harp and remake these songs into more Folk / Neo-Medieval arrangements?
Lindsay Schoolcraft – Oh, I’m glad you recognize that! I think my biggest influences would have to be Björk. also my friend LEAH and how she did her album Ancient Winter, which was a bit different than her usual Celtic Metal albums. It gave me a lot of confidence to do something I was excited about even if the album was different than my previous Rock album.
Cryptic Rock – Ancient Winter was a phenomenal album. Aside from Björk and LEAH, when you were sitting down to craft the record, what were your non-musical and non-Metal influences?
Lindsay Schoolcraft – I can’t really recall anything that was non-musical either than maybe channeling my inner magical elf spirit. I’d have to say I did think a lot about how artists such as Amy Lee, Nightwish, and VAST have approached their writing and working with new instruments. That sort of pushed me to keep going and finish the record.
Cryptic Rock – Channeling an inner elf spirit sounds divine. (Laughs) Okay, so you collaborated with Rocky Gray on 2019’s Martyr, and now he’s back to bring his talents to Worlds Away. How did the two of you first get started making music together?
Lindsay Schoolcraft – We got in touch over Facebook and he actually asked me to work on songs together. I was blown away and we started the week after. I’ve been so lucky to be able to work with him and learn more about writing and production thanks to his guidance.
Cryptic Rock – The results are amazing! You start off the album beautifully with “Saviour,” which we first heard on Martyr. But this version is clearly very unique and it emphasizes the weighty lyrics of the song. The internet has clearly erased many of the barriers between artists and their fans. Because of this, do you feel that some fans expect too much? Is there a constant pressure to keep delivering more and more material and content to keep them engaged?
Lindsay Schoolcraft – From my experience I think certain people do not understand barriers and privacy when it comes to individuals they are a bit fanatical about. I don’t think it’s unhealthy for artists to keep a certain distance for their own mental health. As for making and posting content, I don’t feel the pressure anymore since the pandemic hit. At this point we are all just trying our best with what we got and that’s more than good enough.
Cryptic Rock – Agreed on both points. Now there’s what could be termed a Neo-Medieval feel to “Fading Star,” one that begs me to ask would you ever collaborate with LEAH? She’s a goddess when it comes to that style of music.
Lindsay Schoolcraft – I’m still waiting for that day to arrive! We are both very busy individuals, but I’m sure at some point the stars will align and we’ll make it happen.
Cryptic Rock – Well, if and when it happens, it’ll be magical. But to get back to Worlds Away, on several tracks you bring in Violist Dagda who does a beautiful job of complementing your voice and harp playing, particularly on “Dance On the Strings.” Did you collaborate to create these arrangements or do you write/compose all of the string material yourself?
Lindsay Schoolcraft – It’s a collaboration between the two of us. I actually would sing out my ideas for him, and if he felt something needed altering, he would add it in. He is one of the best musicians I’ve ever had the chance to work with, and I highly recommend people check out his Folk Metal band Celtibeerian.
Cryptic Rock – He is very talented. Totally unrelated to Dagda, but might we see a future LP of brand new material from you with even more harp and strings?
Lindsay Schoolcraft – Oh yes, something different and exciting is slowly in the works right now for a bigger artist I’ve been hired by, and also for my solo music. For my music I am in no rush and only making it happen when I am inspired.
Cryptic Rock – Oh yes, you can’t rush inspiration: she’s a fickle elf! So aside from Worlds Away, you also have Antiqva’s debut single, “Funeral Crown,” which debuted in December 2020. You’re partnering with Xenoyr of Ne Obliviscaris, and it looks like the two of you are working with a cavalcade of other musicians. What should fans expect from the upcoming Antiqva LP?
Lindsay Schoolcraft – The LP will be an extension of the single we just released. There is so much more this project has to offer when it comes to other instruments and ideas that are inspired by Classical music, medieval music, and an array of Black Metal influences. We’re in the middle of finishing up composing for the LP, and it’s probably the most excited I’ve been about a Metal album in the longest time.
Cryptic Rock – Knowing that you’re excited will make fans even more anxious to hear more. Do you have any other projects on your plate at the moment?
Lindsay Schoolcraft – I am currently wrapping up a few guest features, and then plan to focus entirely on Antiqva and my own music for the rest of 2021.
Cryptic Rock – Well, we can’t wait to hear whatever comes next. To shift away from your music for a moment, it feels like Metal has made great strides over the past decade or so, as far as shining a light on the talented ladies within the scene. But in the interest of women supporting other women, who are some of the fierce female artists in Metal, or beyond, that you think fans definitely need to check out?
Lindsay Schoolcraft – Two women that really stand out to me are Gaia Guarda, who is also in Uriel, and Laura of The Inferno Doll.
Cryptic Rock – Okay, last question. When Cryptic Rock last spoke to you, you had said that you are a fan of futuristic cyberpunk like Ergo Proxy. Do you have any other anime favorites or a favorite graphic novel, perhaps?
Lindsay Schoolcraft – I do! I really have become a massive fan of The Dragon Prince and my favorite Rom-Com Manga at the moment is The Business Proposal. A bit different than my usual cyberpunk genre, but it’s a pandemic and I care not to try and make sense of anything! (Laughs)