Interview by Miriam C.

Schoolcraft is the solo musical entity leaded by Canadian singer and instrumentalist Lindz Riot. Recently she landed the touring female singer and keyboards position on UK symphonic extreme metal band Cradle of Filth and for this reason I thought it was a nice idea to ask her few questions about her next projects, her background and least but not last about her (former?) band Mary and the Black Lamb and her last release “Rushing Through the Sky”. I’m sure that if you love ambient music, harps and cellos, you’ll be get intrigued by Lindz.

Hi dear, how are you? I would like to start this interview asking more infos about your musical background/training. Also how do you manage to balance your classical training with the contemporary one?

Hey Miriam! Thank you so much for having me at Femme Metal Webzine. I actually started in country music when I was a child. I was taught guitar by my dad and that’s where my singing started. I think the country style of voice training was a good foundation for me because it taught me the basics of belting as well as softer folky tones in the higher range. Well, I wouldn’t call it training more so as just my own interpretation of it.

In my tweens I gave up music for a bit, but then when I turned 15 I discovered punk music and became very passionate about it. I formed an all-girl punk band and that’s where I began in the music business and played bass for 8 years. I took lessons twice a week and really developed my song writing and basic theory skills at this time. I sometimes wonder where I’d be if I didn’t give up the bass. I’m pretty sure I could handle technical death metal pretty easily, but the bass just wasn’t in the cards for me anymore after the age of 20.

When just finished up College I started in my rock band Mary and The Black Lamb where I could take on a dark look and essentially darker music. Around then is when I took up classical training in piano and voice. I also like to have a balanced practice schedule between classical and then more of pop-rock techniques where my true voice can come out. My own voice verses classical has always been much easier and more comfortable for me, but it took a long time for me to sing that way without any hurt and strain. I have been told I’m a Light Lyric Soprano, but recently I had a lesson with Melissa Ferlaak (Ex. Visions of Atlantis, Plague of Stars) and she believes I am in a Coloratura in disguise. So only time will tell!”

How and when is born your solo musical adventure, Schoolcraft?

It was just time for a change. I was writing something new that I was even more passionate about then any of my other projects before. I felt the music I was creating was the truest and purest form of reflection coming from my core. So in November of 2010 I decided to start doing solo work. At first it was under the radar, but the rehearsals progressed the more I felt I could release the songs and then is when I started telling more people about it.

Schoolcraft, where you got the inspiration for the name?

Schoolcraft is the last name of my great, great Grandmother who was a Native American. I never knew about her until I was 22 and then I had that “ah ha” light bulb moment. It made sense for me on a spiritual level from my own personal beliefs on life, love and living with the earth. So I named my solo project that as a tribute to her and the amazing blood line of chiefs and warriors I come from. Some of my songs are more influenced by my native roots, teachings, and folklore while other songs are just personal. With the Idle No More movement on the rise I have been inspired to write music relating to it. I know it’s not always a good idea to mix politics with music. But First Nations are very musical people so I guess it’s just in my blood to bring out that story and passion I feel for it.

What you can tell us about your first EP “Rushing Through The Sky”, well I’m referring about the lyrics and its musical composition?

The lyrics and songs are all over the map as to when they were written and what the story is about. I have to say they all just started as piano ballads, but through the help of Scott Brindley’s drumming and Daedalus’s string sections the songs really came to life. The lyrics are what I could find to best describe those situations and exactly what I wanted to express in that moment. Sometimes I even have a hard time playing certain songs live or just listening to them. I never thought I could paint such a musical picture and capture those moments in my life, but I did. One time my dad tried to ask me about the lyrics in “Darkness Falls” and I just couldn’t even do it. I had to tell my dad “It’s just art and needs no further explanation”. I know this first EP is more laid back and slower paced, but it’s just an introduction to my work. I hope for more fluttery and passionate strings as well as darker piano parts on my next few releases.

Now let’s continue with the fresh and interesting news: first of all again congratulation for your position in CoF. How have you landed it? Also are you already talking about an upcoming album? Will you be only a touring member or are you permanent member?

Aw thank you dear! I got very, very, VERY lucky with this gig! Cradle of Filth was looking for a new live keyboardist and backup singer and through some help with Eve’s Apple, well actually completely with the help of my dear Melissa Ferlaak. She set up the meeting and the rest is history from there. The band’s guitarist Paul Allender and her are both from Minneapolis, Minnesota so that’s how it came to be. I have been hired as a live touring musician with the band for the length of this year. No talks on what my future is with band from 2014 on, but I’m going to work my hardest and hope for the best.

I’m wondering about Mary and The Black Lamb – does your previous band is still active?? Also if the band has split up, there are any particular reasons for it?

I wish I had an answer for that. When I got busy with Schoolcraft and then now with Cradle of Filth it has left me no time for Mary and The Black Lamb. Plus the members, minus Scott, are very busy with personal life affairs so at the time we have left the project dormant, so I can’t officially say we are done there just yet.

Which are your favorite acts and why?

I have quite a few so I’ll try to keep it short. I love The Birthday Massacre. It’s always a great night when I get to see them live. I’ve seen them more than any other band I think. They are good people and have always been a huge influence on me with their horror-fantasy image and sound. Bjork has always inspired me with her completely out there concepts on her image and songs. I have yet to see her live, but when I do it will be a dream come true and I’m sure I’ll have to bring a box of tissues to that one. I’m huge on Jack Off Jill although they aren’t together anymore, but Jessicka Addams and her current projects are always interesting and on the edge of gothic meets contemporary. I’ve seen Evanescence so many times I’ve lost count. We Are The Fallen are also the perfect blend of symphony meets heavy rock, I could listen to them for hours. I’m big on the 90’s rock meets symphony and world tones of VAST. I hope Jon Crosby continues to write and release music in the years to come. He is a genius. I can never get enough of my black metal, like Dimmu Borgir for example. And on a more home front level I’m a huge fan of LEAH and her first album “Of Earth & Angels…” She blends symphonic metal and folk rock together so well.

Now talking about your future projects.. what do you have in mind?

Well, I will belong to Cradle of Filth for the duration of this year. I will always be doing my best write while the road. But this is my first time on a major tour, so I don’t know how I will balance that out just yet. There is a full length album in the works for Schoolcraft though. It will take a lot of time and just happen when it’s meant to manifest. I will also be featured as a guest voice on the next EP from Daedalean Complex. I am really looking forward to that. It will all come together in due time, but for now I must focus on the task at hand.

My dear, we’re at the end. Just greet your fans and our readers freely! Love xx

Thanks for having me Miriam. It’s always a pleasure to chat with you. I want to thank the readers here at Femme Metal Webzine and hello and thanks to my fans as well as the fans of Cradle of Filth. I’m really looking forward to seeing you all on the road very soon!

 

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