Emptyspiral / Oct 2005

Karmacode / The Album Part I

Interview with Andrea Ferro / 11 Oct 2005

‘Karmacode’, Lacuna Coil’s long awaited and highly anticipated new album, will not be released until 2006 (more on that later), but it’s high-time that we heard about it from the man himself – Andrea Ferro. At least that was my agenda when I arranged for an interview with him. On 11th October 2005 at the prescribed hour the call was made, and I had my questions ready..

So here is the first part of my interview with Andi about Karmacode, the album. What I discovered made me rethink what I already knew about it, about the musical diversity that IS Lacuna Coil. It also made me very excited about March 2006..

Part I – Introducing the Album

Matt – So, how are things going then?

Andrea – Good! Marco and Pizza have been to the studio in Belgium to mix the album and we mainly stay in contact by email so we have an update everyday on the progression of the mixing. We have a lot of things to organise while they mix the album.

Matt – How much of the album is done?

Andrea – I think we are done with eight songs but we have recorded fifteen in total, because we are probably going to need some extra tracks, or bonus tracks, or whatever for a Japanese edition or something else. (laughs). So we say that we have eight done at the moment, but it has been a bit difficult because this is the first time we have mixed with a different guy; usually we record and mix with Waldemar. This time we work with somebody that we’ve never worked with before so we’ve had to talk with him and explain exactly what we are expecting from the mixing. He’s a great guy and so far I’m pretty satisfied with where we have reached with the songs.

Matt – Can you remind me where the name Karmacode comes from?

Andrea – Yes, actually I was reading a book probably a year and a half ago when we were already talking about writing the new album and it’s a book from an Italian author on mathematics, and he was trying to explain the gospel from a science way, trying to explain it with formulas and numbers and a kind of scientific approach to the bible and the gospel and religion – not only the Christian religion but religions in general. So I was pretty catched by this idea, it seems bizarre to put down an explanation of something spiritual in a mathematics formula. So I basically took that idea in my mind because I find it very interesting. When it was time to think about an idea for the lyrics and the approach – we don’t write any ‘concept’ album in our career – we’ve just used a basic concept and a basic approach to the way we write the lyrics. I took this inspiration just for the approach, not that in the lyrics we talk about religion or something like that. It’s mostly that we are talking about having a spiritual approach to life in contrast the modern time that we’re living. Basically I created the word ‘Karmacode’ using a very known word from religion, which is Karma – you can connect it to India or to that kind of religion but it’s not something that deals in particular with Asia or India.. It’s just a word that’s in every language and is very easy to catch and connect to a spiritual dimension. Then I put a more sort of mathematic word like ‘code’ – there has been the big success of the Da Vinci Code, for example – and in The Matrix there was mention of the Keymaster code, it’s also in the PC world everybody’s logging into computers and so, basically I found two words that are very interesting to combine. So the concept can be a kind of spiritual DNA, in the way of combining a modern life and a spiritual life – which is very hard I think in the life we are leading. That’s why the lyrics are talking about the problems we are having everyday that everybody can relate to. It’s a bit complicated! (laughs) But I thought it was a good idea because it inspired me a lot.

Matt – How would you describe the album to people that are, maybe, new to Lacuna Coil?

Andrea – There are two types of songs we have on the album. There are heavy songs and melodic songs, but unlike previous albums the difference is bigger. The heavy songs ARE heavier – we not writing death metal songs, or something like that, but as you might have listened to the new song on the live shows – the songs are really groovy with a powerful sound. The vocals are very melodic in the powerful songs so there are a lot of big choruses, and a lot of melody, but also that the way we sing is very harmonised with a combination of different keys. Basically the heavy songs are groovier and have a bigger sound. The slow songs are with a lot of classical instruments, we have used a real orchestra – violins and cello, viola, but also some sitar, and some bagpipes so there are also some folk elements. There are lots of atmospheric parts with this kind of traditional or tribal instruments. I mean, it’s a complete album to me because we also have acoustic songs – there is a wide range. Most of the songs are heavy or slow but there are three or four that are in between – some in the classical style of the band.

Matt – It sounds like a very diverse album!

Andrea – Yeah! You can recognise totally the style of the band because it’s me and Cristina singing; there’s atmospheric parts and then some more aggressive parts. Basically the style of the band hasn’t changed too much, but I have to say that there are many more details and more accents where we feel like we need to push further. When we play live it always felt like some of the heavy songs were not too good for a live show so we decide to push that side a little bit for the live shows, but we also felt we needed to write some atmospheric songs with more complete parts and diverse instruments to get something different; and not just do our classical ballads with the two guitars and a bit of keyboard and that’s it…

In Part II we talk about the recording process and whether there will be a new Senzafine on the album…