Circus Mag / Sept 2004

Lacuna Coil / Goth-metal heavy and Melodic

Interview with Andrea Ferro by Don Sill

Rock music has become so predictable within the past few years that it’s down right trite, boring and cliche with a mish-mosh of bands who look alike, sound the same and use the same worn down premises over and over again. Popular music has been so insubstantial and rehashed that the country practically begs something different to come and smack our eardrums… well, perhaps this year we’ve found it.

Italy’s Lacuna Coil promises American audiences some relief from the cloned music scene with the release of their latest effort “Comalies” on Century Media Records. Without taking the fateful plunge over the commercial cliff, Lacuna Coil manage to exude a polished, catchy goth-metal sound that combines heavy and melodic into a unique unison. The vocal interplay between Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro gives off a fresh dynamic and the strings flesh out the overall sound really well. Their music doesn’t seem to fall off course with overlong solos or spoken interludes as it flows naturally and progressively.

Although they have been compared to everyone from Evanescence to The Gathering, for having an attractive female front woman who fuses soul-searching rock music with the enchanting rapturous vocals, Lacuna Coil are original with a poetic depth and message within their music that puts them ahead of their peers.

Sure it doesn’t hurt that Scabbia is a sexy piece of eye candy, but even if she wasn’t her voice would still be angelic and alluring. Their first single “Heaven’s A Lie” perfectly captures Scabbia’s intense and passionate delivery along with prolific lyrics that force a listener to think and ponder their own selves as well as the world which embodies them.

Rounded out with Cristiano Migliore – guitars, Marco Biazzi – guitars, Marco Coti Zelati – bass, Cristiano Mozzati – drums, Lacuna Coil have already moved over a hundred thousand units and this summer they began touring on the all mighty Ozzfest which is sure to win them solid street credit and accolades within the metal genre.

Along with this summer’s Ozzfest, Century Media Records released a special 2-CD limited edition Ozzfest version of ‘Comalies’ which includes acoustic renditions, live performances, radio edits and the videos for “Heaven’s A Lie” and the upcoming single “Swamped”.

Circus Magazine caught up with the band’s male vocalist, Andrea Ferro, while nearing the end of their North American tour with POD. He was in the middle of the streets in San Francisco unloading equipment while giving us the skinny on Ozzfest 2004 and standing out in the American metal scene.

CIRCUS MAGAZINE: How is this tour with POD going?

ANDREA: It’s excellent. We’re getting along very well with all the guys in the band and we’re having a good time on our days off. All of the shows have been very good, actually. We have a very different crowd every night and it is our pleasure to give the people who don’t really know our music something. It’s really like a challenge for us and it’s good because we sell a lot of CD’s and won over new people that never heard of us before this tour and that’s the main reason why we’re on tour with such a different band like POD.

CIRCUS MAGAZINE: And how have the fans been reacting?

ANDREA: It’s been excellent because they never expect to have an opening band that really knows what they’re doing. Usually they have these young bands doing openings and we have quite a lot of experience with touring, so it’s been very good. We surprise a lot of people.

CIRCUS MAGAZINE: It has to be an amazing feeling to know that the music that you created is being heard all around the world.

ANDREA: Yeah, [laughs] it’s amazing to us. Sometimes we don’t even realize it like we’ll play a place like Albany, which is not really a huge city, and those people will know about us and they come to the show. Even if there isn’t a thousand people and one three hundred, either way, we’re from the other side of the world and it’s amazing.

CIRCUS MAGAZINE: Your single, “Heaven’s A Lie” is a great tune. What inspired that tune?

ANDREA: Basically, a lot of people… especially on this tour because we’re touring with a Christian band… ask us if this song is against Christianity or something like that. But it is not, it is a song about freedom, freedom of ideas. We are not a Christian band, but we are not a Satanist band either. We just have our own opinion and we’re not following any organized religion, we’re more for a personal migration, a personal feeling about nature. The song is about freedom of ideas first of all, it could be against religion, but it’s not meant to offend anybody. Coming from a very strict Christian country we know what we’re talking about and we really don’t like what most of the organized church is doing, it’s all about the money. I mean there are exceptions, but don’t let everyone preach to you and think with your own mind. You’ll realize what is right and what is wrong on your own.

CIRCUS MAGAZINE: You guys are ready for this summer’s Ozzfest? What are you looking most forward to on Ozzfest?

ANDREA: The bands? You mean?

CIRCUS MAGAZINE: Yeah, who are you looking forward to seeing play and hanging with – that sort of thing.

ANDREA: Well, this bill is amazing – Priest, Sabbath, Slayer, Slipknot, Hatebreed – those are all bands that we like, so there’s so many good bands that I don’t know which one I could choose because they’re all amazing. It’s real metal.

CIRCUS MAGAZINE: Yeah, this has to be one of the best Ozzfest line-ups yet.

ANDREA: Yeah, I love all those classic bands like Priest and Sabbath. I never saw them live so I’m excited about that.

CIRCUS MAGAZINE: How was life on the road and being so far away from Italy?

ANDREA: I have to say that the very hard time was last year when we spent six months in the States doing one tour after another. That was pretty tough, we never really toured so much and so far and we got really homesick, it was very difficult. On this tour, I have to say that we’re more used to it and we know how to interact with the environment around us. We’re much more comfortable and are enjoying this a lot.

CIRCUS MAGAZINE: You guys are veterans of the rock world, you’ve been doing this for eight years and how has Lacuna Coil evolved musically as a band during that time?

ANDREA: I think we learned a lot because when we began we sounded a lot more like the bands that we used to listen to like Paradise Lost, Type O Negative all of those types of bands. But since then we’ve had a lot more experience by touring and we learned how to write songs better and improving as musicians and as singers. I think we discovered our own style, especially with this last album, and we have more of a personal sound now. All those live shows have really helped, we also did some acoustic sets for radio stations and we’ve been learning how to play acoustic because that’s a completely different aspect for us. Me, for example, I always sing pretty loud, so for the first time I really had to learn how to sing in a soft way. It’s been very useful for me.

CIRCUS MAGAZINE: I saw you guys perform acoustically on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball, you pulled it off very well.

ANDREA: Yeah, we’re learning. That was actually the first time we ever played live and acoustic and on TV like that, but it was pretty good I think.

CIRCUS MAGAZINE: I dug it.

ANDREA: Our in store sets are even better because we’re more confident about it. I think it really shows a different side to Lacuna Coil.

CIRCUS MAGAZINE: What makes Lacuna Coil stand out above the rest?

ANDREA: What I noticed here in the States, especially the ones on TV with lots of exposure, they all sound the same. Some of them are really good, good vocals, good production, but they all sound the same. That’s what I noticed and that’s what I don’t like over here. I grew up with a lot of American bands but today I see all these emo bands and they all sound the same, they even have the same names. I think that’s stupid and the market is going to collapse soon if they keep doing it like that. After a while the kids will not want to buy ten records from bands that all sound the same. We have more of a personal sound and that’s one of our special things, especially here in America.