Before we kick off – for the benefit of our readers, please identify yourself! “Hey there! This is Lindsay Schoolcraft. Thanks for having me!”

It’s a pleasure! Here you are then – entering the world of metal, probably in your early teens, mewling about the unfairness of it all and puking on cheap white cider… Which band was your introduction to metal? How did you find out about them? And which bands generally do you think make the best ‘entry level’ metal music? “When I was in my teens I was in a punk band so I was already greatly soaked in aggressive and alternative music. My first introduction to metal came through the nu metal movement of that time in the early 2000s – bands like Korn, Kittie, Chevelle, and Evanescence went on heavy rotation on my then functional disk-man with “no skip” feature. Kids these days will never know that struggle.”

Ha ha! they don’t know they’re born! Right – You’re in! The magical and bewildering world of metal lies at your feet… you’ve assembled a small collection of records and tapes – or CDs of course, if you’re a youngster – but you’re still very much a School child, whining because the olds won’t let you go to a gig – until the scales fall from their eyes – and you’ve got the Golden ticket in your sweaty little palm! Who were the first band you saw in the live arena? Did it confirm your suspicions about just how massive this hidden world was, how inspiring? Or was first ‘in the flesh’ contact a little disappointing? “Oh yes! The parental unit held me back from quite a few concerts back then. I remember missing a few key important shows I wanted to go to at the time mainly due to the fact that, that summer that we had the SARS outbreak in Toronto. There was worry about infestation in areas with highly populous gatherings. But one of the first big shows I went was when Evanescence first came to Toronto; there was also Audioslave, Foo Fighters, and Pearl Jam. All incredible shows. Some of the best and most memorable days of my teens. A lot of this was influenced by my high school sweetheart at the time, but I am glad he took me to these shows and so greatly helped influence my passion for music and wanting to make it my career.”

We all need some sort of metal mentor! You’re now a full-grown acolyte, a fully-fledged lover of the dark arts, as it were. But listening and watching isn’t enough. You need to consummate your love, by forming or joining your own metal band – tell us about your formative bands and what life was like on the bottom rung of the ladder… “My first band in High School went by the name of Princess Riot and man that project was a hot mess, but I was so passionate. I would DIY posters for shows and even hand printed and assembled my first single on Disk and sold one hundred to the students in the cafeteria for $1 on lunch breaks. I think this gusto at the time is what got us sponsored by Daisy Rock Guitars and on the Warped Tour at the age of 18. I was honestly unstoppable. Princess Riot broke up later due to all the members wanting to take different directions in music and that itch for me to work on something harder and darker took over my love of punk music. I formed my second band by the name of Mary and The Black Lamb. And if I had the vision I did now I would have done a lot of things very different with that project, but not all is lost and many of those songs will live on into my solo project. We only ever did a small Eastern Canadian tour in a van and then a few years later I was doing things on an international level with Cradle of Filth. I feel like I skipped a whole level of climbing and suffering that I see so many bands do to get established. What I learned from all of this is that I am a solo artist through and through and I don’t do very well in bands that require me to just contribute and not have any say on the creative direction and vision. But eh, you live and you learn. These days were amazing and full of so many memories and lessons I wouldn’t trade for anything!”

Mission accomplished – you’re in a band. A Soldier of metal mired in the trenches fighting for our way of life, possibly on a tour of the toilet venues of your home locale – what was your first tour like? What valuable lessons were learned? Or was there just too much fun to be had to worry about tedious life craft? “It was messy and gross and I lived off of fast food and slept in some weird places. I think its more so the connection with the people in the local scenes of Toronto, Oshawa, Montreal, and Quebec City that really showed me community and inspiration. There were fun moments, but I never forgot about responsibility and manners through it all. A lot of the people whom got us through these tours I still keep in contact with today and I appreciate all they did for me back then. It’s those people who keep the scene alive and give a chance for future artists. I don’t forget them.”

Away from you now – your career is in full bloom. But what of the elder Statesmen, the justices who still reign, Saturnine and all-knowing? Which of the old-but-still-living Gods still command the most respect in your eyes? And why? “I try not to get too jaded about these things. This is also so weird for me because so many people who have influenced, inspired, and shaped me into the musician and singer I am today are now my friends! ‘THAT’S CRAZY” my brain shouts at me constantly as I have to pinch myself almost daily. But for this one I am going to have to say Cristina Scabbia. No explanation needed there; she is greatness!”

And what about those who’ve maybe pushed it a little too far, those bespectacled and pantalooned ‘legacy’ artistes on their nth farewell trip across the globe? Is there anyone on our world you think might like to think about hanging up the old Les Paul and giving themselves and us a rest? “You know, to each their own. It’s none of my business what people want to do with their career and at what age and for how long. As long as they are doing what they love with good intentions and are making others happy as well as themselves then who am I to judge?”

Who indeed! And the final age, of course, is death. We’ll all be left Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything eventually. Which deceased metallian do you miss most? And what are your happiest memories of them? “This is so hard to talk about sometimes, but the death that left my heart broken is losing Chester Bennington. I will never forget that day. Crying on the couch after a weekend of bartending, left feeling hung over and empty from not getting fully what I wanted out of life. This was the beginning of my sobriety journey. Chester and Linkin Park were major influences on me during my teen years and finding out that someone who gave me so much strength couldn’t be that refuge for themselves broke me in a way I needed to wake up and recover from. I had to make a major life changing choice that day to make sure I could still be standing here today. Going sober was hard, but like practice with anything, it had become easy and looking back the struggle was well worth it. On the two year anniversary of his passing I filmed the first music video for my upcoming solo album Martyr and the energy that day was like no other. I channelled all the influence of my distant teachers into my performance that day. I never met him, but I hope I made him proud.”

A nice story to end with – thanks for taking part!

As she mentioned, Lyndsay releases her first solo album, Martyr, on October 7th. Australian readers can see her live with Cradle of Filth on the following dates next month:

03/09/19 – Perth, WA – Capitol
04/09/19 – Adelaide, SA – The Gov
06/09/19 – Melbourne, VIC – 170 Russell
07/09/19 – Brisbane, QLD – The Valley Drive In
08/09/19 – Sydney, NSW – Metro Theatre
10/09/19 – Canberra, ACT – The Basement