Martin Škaroupka Of Cradle Of Filth


Having played in a variety of small-time metal bands in Brno and Prague (20 recordings by his estimate), Škaroupka lit out for the U.K. in search of bigger opportunities. “It wasn’t very easy, to be honest,” he says. “I remember I had some very strange jobs in England.” One of those, a plant nursery, was particularly Kafkaesque. “You had to pick all the rubbish up in a big garden, and the wind was blowing and the rubbish was flying back, and you had to pick it up and then again it was flying out. It was very strange. It didn’t make any sense.”

After settling up north in New Castle, he hooked up with Jeff Dunn of English black-metal legends Venom, who had formed the band Mantas. After playing in that band for awhile, he bumped into then-future/now-ex—Cradle Of Filth bassist Dave Pybus at a local pub, handing him a DVD of drumming footage including foot cam. “Dave actually wasn’t in Cradle yet,” Škaroupka recalls. “He wanted me for one of his side projects.”

After a few more fruitless years, a discouraged Škaroupka returned to Brno. No sooner was he back home than he got the call from Cradle management. Yes, as a matter of fact, they had seen his DVD and wanted to know if he would come out to the band’s studio in Suffolk. All he remembers from that blur of an audition was how uncomfortable it was at first. “They didn’t say anything; they were just watching me playing. [laughs] It was funny because I had to learn five songs, and then we ended up playing, like, 12 because I knew most of them already. So they were like, ’Okay, we can go on tour tomorrow then?’”

It doesn’t seem like Škaroupka would need to look abroad for opportunities in what is now an international genre – but what fun would that be? He is gearing up to record drums for his latest project, Masterplan, a Germany-based power-metal band created by former members of Helloween. “I don’t even want to work in the Czech Republic anymore because I have recorded so many metal albums here,” he says. “I would rather play with metal bands in different countries because it’s more challenging for me.”

Speaking of challenges, what would black metal be without high-goth theatrics? Unlike the other Cradlers, Škaroupka doesn’t rock chainmail shirts or spiked gauntlets. “This style of music is physically demanding,” he says. “I don’t like to wear heavy things so I just use a black sport tank, but I do wear makeup, though. And after two songs it’s usually gone anyway.” [laughs]

Not that Škaroupka isn’t willing to suffer for his art. He thinks back to those grim days when he first landed in the UK, picking up trash for a living. “I didn’t mind it really,” he says. “I knew that one day it would pay off.”


Current Release The Manticore And Other Horrors
Birthplace Brno, Czech Republic
Age 31
Influences Mikkey Dee, Neil Peart, Gene Hoglan
Web Site


Drums Pearl Reference
Cymbals Sabian
Hardware Pearl Eliminator pedals (straps) x 2
Heads Remo
Sticks Vic Firth
Electronics ddrum triggers and D4-SE module

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