This piece is a labor of love from us at Logical Harmony. I was first introduced to Lindsay Schoolcraft through social media. When I first started to write my regular beauty column for Vegan Lifestyle Magazine, she commented about how she picked up the issue to take on tour with her. It meant the world to me, and I was completely floored that someone like Lindsay would take the time to read my work.
For those who may not be familiar with her, Lindsay Schoolcraft is a Canada-based musician. Aside from her solo project, Schoolcraft, where she is the composer, harp player, pianist, and vocalist, Linsday also travels the world with heavy metal band Cradle of Filth as their keyboardist and backup vocalist.
I have wanted to include more interview pieces with influential women in the cruelty free and vegan space. When we first reached out to Linsday about being interviewed for Logical Harmony, I was so thrilled to hear she was interested! I really hope that you will take the time to read this full interview with Linsday! You get to learn more about Lindsay, her cruelty free and vegan beauty routine, what it is like to tour the world as a vegan, and being vegan in the metal community. With her aesthetic, this seemed like the perfect piece to share over the Halloween weekend. Lindsay was so wonderful to work with, she took time out of her busy days of touring to make this interview great for our readers and I am so excited to share it with you!
Continue reading An Exclusive Interview with Lindsay Schoolcraft from Cradle Of Filth!
Logical Harmony: Does your skincare routine change when on tour versus when you’re living your everyday life?
Lindsay Schoolcraft: I actually don’t do anything too differently when I’m on tour verses at home. With stage makeup it’s just a more dramatic version of what my regular casual-formal wear is. When I’m performing my makeup is on my face at maximum 5 hours a day usually. So it’s applied for about 2 hours before the show, an hour on stage, and then for up to 2 hours after. It’s a shame to have to wash away some of your best work so quickly, but that’s how things happen on the tour clock. For cleansers I regularly use Yes To Tomatoes Clear Skin Gel Cleanser and if I have any break outs I use The Body Shop’s* Tea Tree line. For moisturizers: I use Yes To Cucumber’s Soothing Eye night cream for morning and night care, and I’ll use The Body Shop’s* Tea Tree Oil cream when breakouts occur. I find with temperature change, the dry air in airports and on flights, the availability of raw veggies and fruits, and just stress levels in general that my skin can go from happy to upset pretty quickly. So I try to go to festivals and on tour prepared for that.
LH: What are some of your other favorite products or brands for day to day use?
LS: At home I love to start my day with The Body Shop’s* Strawberry Shower Gel and after with Pacifica’s Ruby Guava lip balm, body butter, and roll on perfume. On tour I use The Body Shop’s* Strawberry Body Polish because performing leaves your skin with quite the buildup sometimes. I also use Urban Decay’s* Eyeshadow Primer Potion for the road, because it holds my makeup way longer, especially with all the movement and head banging while performing.
LH: Have you notice a correlation between being vegan and how healthy you feel? How has transitioning to veganism impacted your skin or hair?
LS: Absolutely! My vegan adventure started when I use to have severe spring allergies about 5 years ago. I was on nasal steroids too long to treat this and they started to lower my thyroid. I noticed thinning hair, being cold all the time, blotchy skin, and always being tired. I went to the doctor and she took me off the steroids immediately, which weren’t even that great for my singing anyways. She offered to put my on “synthroid” which would make my thyroid dependent for the rest of my life and ultimately have it fail on its own. I told her I wanted to do it naturally and also go vegetarian. I had decided that year to stop eating meat when I watched the Food Inc. documentary. This was a great start because upon my research I mostly needed a plant based diet to get my health and thyroid back on track. Once my thyroid recovered I made the leap to vegan and along with juicing and everyone started saying I had a great glow, was always complimenting me on my hair and skin, noticed I lost some weight, and over all looked a ton healthier. Plus I felt better and never had a problem with that afternoon hump of tiredness. I found I slept better and could go farther when I worked out. Even mentally I found myself more focused, positive, and balanced when a lot of projects needed to be completed. Oh and when I cut out honey my spring and fall allergies went away completely and have never come back, who knew?!
LH: From what we know about you, you made some major life changes in order to join Cradle of Filth, can you tell us a little bit about what that experience was like?
LS: The moment I got the call from Cradle of Filth my life did a total 360 as far as change and sacrifices go. I had just finished up my first semester of first year at university where I was studying opera singing and classical composing. I never gave up on the dream, but I needed a backup plan and school would help me have that. I do plan on going back eventually because I love the challenge of learning and anything to do with music is my passion. So, I immediately unrolled from classes once I was given the part in Cradle of Filth. I also missed my grade 6 Royal Conservatory piano test the weekend I flew out to meet the guitarist who was hiring me. One day I’ll actually sit down and perform that exam *laughs* not anytime soon though, I don’t think. At that point in my life I had moved back in with my parents which made sense because there is no point in paying rent when you’re never really home. I kind of felt like my personal life fell apart in a few aspects only for becoming a part of this band to make sense. I also found it somewhat humorous in regards of the whole “look” of the band. Their look was one I had more so adopted in high school and at that point of joining the band I was moving away from my darker look and was trying a more organic and mature look with my solo project Schoolcraft. I immediately had to come back to it and find a way to make the look my own, but also complimenting and suiting to the band too. I guess once a goth, always a goth. You can’t escape the black abyss.
Before I knew it two months of practicing alone in my room flew by and I was on my first flight to Mexico to finally meet the band and play my first show with them that would lead into our South American tour and then our world tour. Our first show was in front of 3,000 people in Mexico City and I remember never being so nervous in my entire life and never feeling so relived of anything after it was done. Highs and lows, that’s pretty much the best way to sum up the musician’s life behind the scenes.
LH: How do you get yourself grounded before performing in front of crowds of so many thousands of people?
LS: I kind of “take a moment to myself” you could say, after I warm up my voice for 5 minutes. I remind myself that I am one lucky bugger to be here and that this is very important so to just go out and do my best. That it’s not really about me. It’s about the performance as a whole band and for the audience before us. Sometimes I also remind myself that I am immortal and these are the only chances I’ll get to do these things I focus on the “right now” because tomorrow can hold anything. I also remember my Grandma and play every single show for her. She spent most of her life in a wheelchair and never left her house past her 40’s. I know she’d want me to be doing this and giving it my all.
LH: What are some of your favorite ways to unwind after touring?
LS: Sleep and spending the first two days just being lazy and eating the foods I want. My buddy Paul from Blackguard taught me that and it’s worked wonders ever since. About the 3rd day I start getting back to work with emails and the next major project, but I wait about a week to really get focused on the major projects. I haven’t had a proper vacation in so long I‘ve forgotten what that’s like. But we get days off on the road so I consider those a sort of vacation day. But sleep, lots of sleep. And a professional massage too!
LH: What advice do you have for people out there pursuing their dreams?
LS: Of course, don’t ever give up on it. Don’t listen too much to what other people think or say unless it’s positive, constructive criticism that can help you grow and progress. And all your dreams need are a little planning and learning to work smart and efficiently. But ask any entrepreneur and they’ll tell you they really had no idea that they just jumped into it and made it happen as they went. This is very true to a lot of aspects to achieving your goals. Sometimes you just have to improvise along the way. The goal is always rewarding at the end. And always celebrate every little achievement. Looking back can show you how far you’ve come so you don’t get too overwhelmed on how far you have yet to go.
LH: How have you stayed so humble with all your success?
LS: I’m glad you find me humble. Really, it means a lot that people notice. It’s so scary with social media today. You say one thing and it can be taken the wrong way, spread like wild fire, and no matter how many apologies you send out what you said is still immortalized. I REALLY try to be careful of that. I honestly look at how far I’ve come verses how far I have to go. Granted, I always keep the next few steps and goals in mind. I find I keep any silly anxieties at bay by saying “what I have is more than enough” and, really, it is. I have made so many amazing friends through music, met so many inspiring people and fans too. I have so many memories that no paycheck could ever surpass. I’m from a small town east of Toronto in Canada called Oshawa and I honestly love it here. It’s my home and it’s where I came from. I’m proud of that and I always come back here because it’s comfortable and I get my most inspiration from the local scene and writing my lyrics in the gardens at Parkwood Estates (where the X-Men movie’s school was filmed). My family is from here, I have great friends here, and my love and I met here too. Let’s also not forget my cat Max! What I try to most importantly keep in mind is that fans are everything, without fans you have nothing. I appreciate them and try to give them my time when possible. I also let fans write me if they need advice or to vent and have someone listen. Life is not easy and I know during my darkest times music was the one thing that pulled me through it. I think it’s great with social media today that fans can reach out and I try to do my best to help them not feel alone about their circumstances.
LH: You’re an incredible musician and you play a wide range of instruments including the harp, keyboard, and vocals, do you have one all-time favorite instrument?
LS: Well thank you! I think the harp is by far my favorite instrument, but I also love bowed string instruments. Full on string sections are so beautiful and the orchestra as whole I think is the most beautiful creation man has ever put together. I actually have a hard time seeing full orchestras live. They often make my eyes leak. I can’t help but get emotional every time I watch Bjork’s live at the Opera House DVD too. A lot of her songs I feel are meant to be with a big string section.
LH: You always seem to be wearing beautiful outfits and headdresses, are there any clothing brands making awesome vegan products that you love?
LS: Glad you noticed! I actually design almost all of my headdresses and headpieces you’ve seen so far. I would like to state that I wear feathers and antlers to pay tribute to my First Nation Native American roots. I have a friend who has rescued peacocks and pheasants and their feathers are freefall that she collects to give to me for my artwork. I dye and cut all the feathers myself before working with them. Any antlers I get are gifts from my native elders that find them on their travels. So no animals were harmed in the making of my pieces. But recently I have handed over this giant operation to Hysteria Machine. All her pieces are vegan so I am very excited to start wearing her work. My main clothing designer right now is Plastik Wrap and they make all my current stage clothing vegan upon request. I also am sponsored by Black Milk Clothing and all their clothing is made of nylon and animal friendly materials. My shoe sponsorship is Hades Footwear and everything on their line is vegan as well. As for clothing brands that are vegan and I love to shop for: It varies depending on country and what I’m looking for at the time. I would definitely like to own one of Killlstar’s Vegan leather vests very soon. I have been having a harder time pin pointing vegan brands, but I am hoping I find more in the future. If I find any on my world travels I will be sure to let Logical Harmony know! Until then I just read labels and ask a ton of questions at the shop when I need a new sweater or a new pair of boots.
LH: What has it been like for you being vegan in the metal community?
LS: Veganism is becoming more common and acknowledged in the metal and musician world which has made me feel a lot more comfortable than I use to be in the beginning. I actually just found out that two of my favorite singers Sia and Ellie Goulding are vegan and I jumped for joy. When you meet another vegan it’s like meeting a good friend for the first time. Sure, you often get those who try to oppose you, but that’s not just the metal community, it’s anywhere really. Basically my answer to imposing statements is that “Whether you want to accept it or not: most consumerism is surrounded by animal cruelty and I choose not to be involved in it”. No one can really argue with me after that one.
LH: Do the two lifestyles (veganism and metal) intersect or share any similarities?
LS: I honestly feel that a lot of musicians are vegetarian or vegan because they want to make a difference in the world, and that doesn’t just stop at our music. Sure, we write and share our music to help connect with and heal others, but we also try to go above and beyond that. So many big names and celebrities often start charities or donate to them and the more I travel and meet other bands the more veggies I run into. When I first joined Cradle of Filth I thought it was going to be tough, but the more shows we played the more I found vegan meals always being available at festivals and usually when I do a full tour there is at least another veggie person traveling with us.
LH: Do you feel that there are a lot of makeup and beauty brands who make products well suited for a “metal” look, or do you find yourself mixing and matching a lot?
LS: I mix and match like crazy because I’m always revamping my look and it’s hard for me to find the shades of green or colors I want to compliment my ombre hair look. My favorite eye shadows are by Swagger Cosmetics, who have sadly just recently closed down production. But I also use Urban Decay* and SugarPill from time to time. My favorite lip sticks are by Kat Von D* in her shades of Poe, Homegirl, and Plan 9. And depending on my look I have a huge collection of lashes by SugarPill. I also get my nail polish shades from LACC and Color Club (Canada). I’m sure I will continue to try new vegan brands as they come up and have the shades and products I like.
LH: What is it like being vegan and touring the world? Are there any specific challenges you’ve faced?
LS: Flights, it’s always the flights. I am a champion and can usually find something at an airport to eat, but when it comes to flights I pack my favorite VEGA bars so I don’t go hungry. If the flight is more than 3 hours I have to call ahead and I usually get a decent vegan meal, but if it’s under 3 hours then that vegan snack contents served on the flight are mostly very slim pickings.
LH: As a result of touring, have you discovered any cool new products or brands from different parts of the world?
LS: My favorite find has been Too Faced in the U.K. I have a hook up who grabs and sends me some of their products from time to time, but recently they have expanded out here so it saves them the trouble! I also grab a friend in Germany some Lush products because they can’t find them over there. Come to think of it I always go through my Lush products super-fast, I have to do a Lush run super soon! Oh, and Guavas! I first tried them in Taiwan on my first world tour with Cradle of Filth. They are a rarity here in Canada. I found the Yes To brand in the states as well as Pacifica. Sadly Target has now closed in Canada so I have to order Pacifica online or wait until I tour the US again. But Yes To is still available up here, which is great because I can’t get enough of the Cucumber Calming Soothing Eye Night Cream along with a few other products. Thank goodness we have the internet though. If I run out of anything I really love I can get it by just a click away. On my recent adventure to the United Kingdom I also found my new favorite snack which is Naked Bars. I really like their green apple and banana bread flavors. They are a great snack when waiting on flights or people to pick you up.
LH: What are a few of your favorite cities around the world to find vegan food?
LS: It’s a tie between Glasgow and Montreal. I find it so easy being a vegan in these cities. I also love Asian food. The vegetables and spices are so well blended I find.
LH: If you could go anywhere in the world for a meal right now, where would you go and what would you order?
LS: If I had the choice I’d fly right out to Glasgow right now head to Stereo for their nachos, haggis, and falafel. But Alissa White-Gluz also got me hooked on Aux Vives in Montreal so I am torn. At least Aux Vives is closer and I could be there by car in 5 hours *laughs*.
LH: Your choice: A pint of beer or a glass of wine?
LS: Definitely wine. Red wine. My favorite vegan wines are Trinity Oak’s Pinot Noir, Yellowtail’s Big Bold Red and Grey Fox’s Merlot. I do however have a new favorite beer from Stiegl, their grapefruit beer. It’s perfect for the upcoming summer months here in Canada. When I want a drink I keep up to date on my Vegaholic app for my iPhone. It’s a great way to make sure I am not partaking in drinking any fish bladders or gelatin used to cool wines. I still can’t believe that’s the process for most alcohol and how many people are completely unaware of it.
LH: We’ve seen some really cute pictures of a little Siamese cat, can you tell us about him?
LS: Who doesn’t like talking about their cat? *laughs* Max has been in my life 18 years now and the vets are always impressed by his health. He is a mix between a chocolate point Siamese and a Burmese. I feel him being a hybrid is what has kept him going this long. You wouldn’t think he’s a day over 10 really. He use to be a real brat, but with age he’s really settled down and become such a suck. He’s been there since I decided to make music my life. He has ventured with me through every new instrument and every painful practice for lessons. He is trooper really, because I hate to think back about what I actually sounded like 15 years ago. Now he just sleeps through my Cradle practices while he is curled up in my bed and I’m singing to the walls in my room. Either that or he’s maybe going deaf… I’m hoping that’s not my fault either.
LH: Logical Harmony has enjoyed your support for a long time. Is there anything specific you enjoy about the site or aspects of Logical Harmony that bring you back?
LS: Logical Harmony has been my one and only vegan beauty go to for a very long time. You are also the first one to come up upon my Google searches. I think that’s also what brought me to you even before we connected on Instagram. I enjoy the up to date cruelty free and vegan beauty products list and I can find out why I need to ditch and avoid any brands because of their contents. I’ve always enjoyed the articles and now have really been enjoying the Vlogs. Also, I love Tashina’s articles in Vegan Lifestyle Magazine. She does her research and leaves you informed and thinking about your decisions as a consumer. I think that’s something a good writer does for their readers, especially those who care about being part of the solution of the cause they care about.
LH: What projects have you been working on recently that you are super excited about?
LS: The new Cradle of Filth album “Hammer of The Witches” just came out July 10th this year  on our label Nuclear Blast Records. That was a major project I took part in and it sucked up most of my time the first half of this year. Now that I have more free time I have been working on a new single, I hope to release it this winter and then to start finally working on my full length solo album under Schoolcraft later this year. It’s been put on hold so many times due to other big projects that have come along. There will also be some collaborations with me on vocals and harp to be recorded and released soon. No specific dates yet, but it will be available on all my social media outlets as they become ready.
LH: How can people stay up to date on what you’re up to?
For those who want a little more from Lindsay, check out this awesome video she did with PETA Germany! I think it’s so amazing that she shared insights about her veganism and touring as a vegan with them.
*These brands are considered cruelty free with vegan options, however, it should be noted that either their parent company tests on animals or their parent company owns other brands that test on animals.