Hard Rock EN / 2001

See here for French version.

Lacuna Coil – The Age of Reason

By Olivier Rouhet [Hard Rock Magazine (France)]
Translated from French into English by Charlie Farrell (chazzyf)

The Italian group Lacuna Coil is definitely not idle. Here they are, about to come back with a new CD Unleashed Memories that we have presented to you in our edition 64, with the lovely Tarja on the cover. It is once again an extremely pretty lady that we have to interview, Cristina Scabbia, in competition, the vocalist with the golden voice. On tour in France opening for Theatre of Tragedy, la « cantatrice chevelue » (longhaired singer) allowed us several minutes of her precious time, just before going on the stage of a packed Club Dunois [NB a smallish club venue in Paris].

Hard-Rock: Now that ‘Unleashed Memories’ has been finished for a few months, what do you think of the album overall?

Cristina Scabbia: We are completely satisfied with it: qualitatively it is excellent, the songs are excellent, the reviews are excellent, the reaction from the public have been excellent, everything is excellent (laughs). We are <> in numerous magazines. We have attained our objective artistically, and I believe that is the most important thing. It consists of ten tracks of which « Senzafine » already figured on our mini album Halflife. Unleashed Memories is more melancholic and mature than all that we have been able to do before. We are completely satisfied with the production, because, for the first time, we have co-produced the album in company with Waldemar Sorychta, whereas before, it was him who did everything. Contrary to certain things that have been said, it is not a concept-album, each song being very distinct and different from the others.

Hard-Rock: Your music could lend itself to a concept-album…

Cristina Scabbia: Perhaps, but I don’t like the concept of a concept

(laughs)! We are like arachists: everything must be distinct on the album. We like to write personal lyrics, about everyday life, but which, at the same time, can allow the listener to make their own interpretation. The texts are about really about everyday subjects like love, hate … We are not very much inspired by dragons and warriors (laughs)!

Hard-Rock: How do the six of you compose?

Cristina Scabbia: Normally we work individually on the basic ideas, for example, for a guitar riff, then once we are together, we each add our ideas, work on the arrangements, the vocal melodies and right at the end come the lyrics.

Hard-Rock: Do you write the lyrics or do you work with Andrea?

Cristina Scabbia: In general, we each work separately. But this time, as we did not have a lot of time, it was me who wrote the majority of the lyrics. Indeed it was a little delicate the join them both together this time because, aside from the music, we both have odd jobs in Milan.

Hard-Rock: What do you think of your musical evolution since your first EP?

Cristina Scabbia: It’s difficult to talk about musical evolution because we have our own style… Let us say that the evolution is perhaps definable in comparision to our maturity, to all that we learned about studio techniques from being co-producers. I think that today we are more precise. By that, I want to say that we construct our tracks in relation to simple melodies and following that, we enrich them with arrangements. Before that, our compositions were more alambiquées, going off a little bit in all directions. There were sometimes three songs in one! We have learnt to be more simple, which can appear paradoxical.

Hard-Rock: On stage, don’t you have any concern about your arrangements? You must play to a click track, no?

Cristina Scabbia: Indeed. It is imperative, since we use samples. This technology is otherwise very useful, not simply at the level of the orchestrations. For example, we can today superimpose three layers of voice on stage, which we couldn’t do before.

Hard-Rock: Have you already thought of working with someone else other than Waldemar?

Cristina Scabbia: Yes. After Halflife, we thought about working with another producer, but we realized that it was a stupid idea: the second album is crucial in a group’s career. We had no desire to take risks. We are in perfect osmosis with Waldemar and we could not allow ourselves to screw everything up. It would have been ridiculous to change for the sake of changing, because at the moment, the focus is on producers, and people tend to forget the music and focus on the name of whoever produced it.

Hard-Rock: Why did you start singing?

Cristina Scabbia: For my own amusement. Moreover, even if if today it is all more professional, I have a lot of fun!

Hard-Rock: What did you listen to when you were younger?

Cristina Scabbia: Everything. I was very open and refuse to restrict myself to one style. Moreover I consider that it is in listening to everything that one makes progress. Even when one listens to shit… At least, like that, one knows what one mustn’t do (laughs)!

Hard-Rock: Do you have a favourite group?

Cristina Scabbia: Hard to say… Right at the beginning I would have said Depeche Mode … but equally Septic Flesh, Meshuggah or Strapping Young Lad.

Hard-Rock: Very soon you will take part in the Metal Odyssey tour in company with Dimmu Borgir, In Flames and Nevermore. Does that not make you afraid?

Cristina Scabbia: It’s true that it is a strange package! But we like to play and we are going to have the opportunity to get exposure in fornt of a different audience, it’s a sort of festival, in fact. As for the fear … Why would we be afraid? If the people do not like our music, it is not our fault! And then, I am not afraid because we have a very important fan-base who will follow us

Hard-Rock: On tour do you have to take a lot of care of your voice?

Cristina Scabbia: There is not great a deal to do… It is necessary to sleep a lot, not to smoke and not to drink… There is nothing you can do when you have problems with your voice, no drug cannot help you. Its necessary to know how to remain wise! The hardest thing, is the smoke in the concert halls.

Hard-Rock: Don’t you want a glass (of beer/wine) after a good concert?

Cristina Scabbia: Yes, of course. But just one. I’m naturally a happy person, I don’t need alcohol or drugs to amuse myself.

Hard-Rock: What goals have you set yourself for this life?

Cristina Scabbia: Oh, that’s difficult. Let’s say to maintain the same level of quality in our songs and to never get bored with what we’re doing. I see lots of groups for whom practicing their art has become like working in an office. In fact, it is hard to still hope: we had so much luck these last three years with all that happened to us… In any case, at this moment, I’m living out my dream. In fact, I’ve been realizing it since we signed.

Hard-Rock: Is there a chance to see you playing in France as a headliner?

Cristina Scabbia: I hope so, but it is true that, for the moment, nothing is planned. In any case its one of our most cherished desires because the French public is very warm and welcoming, one of most cordial in front of whom we’ve played.