It still seems unreal to me that I wrote ‘Emptyspiral – 10 years of the Lacuna Coil Community’ 10 years ago! When I say that ‘it feels like yesterday’, it genuinely does, which is scary
For Lacuna Coil it’s been a very eventful decade.
They’ve released four new albums – ‘Broken Crown Halo’ in 2014, ‘Delirium’’ in 2016, ‘Black Anima’ in 2019, ‘Comalies XX’ in 2022, as well as 2 live albums – The 119 Show in 2018 and Live from The Apocalypse in 2021. Band members have left and new members have joined. They’ve even published their story in a book. Musically the band has changed, whilst managing to maintain their identity in an ever-musically diverse world. Of course there have been tours-a-plenty and they have opened up new areas (though of course it’s never enough for us fans, right?)
And what of Emptyspiral? We started a Podcast, attended many, many shows and festivals, supported a COVID-Karaoke and rebuilt the website from scratch. We moved our community to Discord, performed more interviews than ever before and joined the band in the recording studio for the recording of an album. We organised a meet up on the day of the 119 show in London (and gave away so much LC stuff!), helped organise a Black Anima listening party at the London Dungeon, and continued to be part of a widening community of Lacuna Coil fans. I even contributed to the forementioned Lacuna Coil history book!
As I look back over the years, I realise that I’ve had to change my approach to the community as the world became both larger (in the number of fans) and smaller (in the ability to communicate across geographical boundaries). It could be argued that, at one point, Emptyspiral WAS the Lacuna Coil Community, if you weren’t talking there, you probably weren’t connecting with other Lacuna Coil fans – at least not easily. But, over the years, as the social media world has matured and diverged and the band themselves invest more time online with their fans, there are Lacuna Coil communities everywhere. There’s at least one per social platform. Some people are in multiple communities whilst others focus on one. Cristina’s Twitch community of ‘Snaliens’ might well be the first to find out a cool bit of Lacuna Coil information, because Cri generously chooses to share it whilst streaming. A follower of Maki’s Instagram might find that he’s recording some new music. I try really hard to keep on top of it, but it’s so hard!
In 2003, when one might find an article about Lacuna Coil in a magazine, it was pretty easy to channel that information, but in 2023 with enormous amounts of information instantly available, it’s pretty much impossible. It’s something I’ve had to come to terms with – which wasn’t easy; for someone as still in love with Lacuna Coil as I was twenty years ago (actually more so), I do have FOMO (that’s ‘fear of missing out’ doncha’ know!), I still get people coming to me asking me questions as if I’m the Oracle on everything LC, and I so hate admitting that I don’t know the answer.
So, where does that leave us? It’s been twenty years since I listened to ‘Unleashed Memories’, had my musical epiphany and started a small website which has led to so many great things. Well, since the beginning I have, sometimes seriously and sometimes not-so-seriously, I’ve asked “What is the meaning of 1.19?” (referring of course to the song with its eternally enigmatic title). I’ve had hints from the band but am not close to an ‘official’ answer.
In 2023 I have my own opinion, and I think I started to realise that on the 19th January 2018. On that date Lacuna Coil held their own 20 year celebration with a very special show in London. That day will remain one of the single best days of my life. I could say it was because the show was a unique spectacle that combined the musical journey of Lacuna Coil with visual delight of a circus show. I could say that it was because I was taking photos throughout – a privilege that is never taken for granted – and my photos were used later in the album and DVD. I could definitely say it was because the Lacuna Coil opened the show with my favourite song ‘A Current Obsession’ – a song they hadn’t played live since I had started following them in 2003, something they later told me had ‘of course’ been done because it’s my favourite song (and before you wonder, yes I’m still humbled and blown away by that. Yes, there are tears..) Yes, I could say it was all of those things. These definitely contributed to my opinion, but none are the main reason why that day in 2018 remains so special. The main reason is the meet up I arranged in the pub next to the venue. So many fans came from all over the world. Friends that had known each other for years, virtually, met and affirmed a single passion together – a singular love for Lacuna Coil. After 15 years (at that point) I felt like I had finally brought my family together. There were hugs, smiles, laughter, some tears, many photos, and mostly a sense of togetherness. On that day it didn’t matter what was happening in the world – we were together, as a community and nothing could ruin that.
That 2018 ‘Lacuna Coil Day’ (something else Emptyspiral started to celebrate Lacuna Coil annually on the 19th January – 1.19 geddit?) was when I first started to realise that I didn’t ever need to know what 1.19 really meant – because I had found MY 1.19. It meant family, the Lacuna Coil Communities , wherever formed, on whatever platform, in whatever part of the world. ALL of them. Whether we are coming together to sing ‘My Wings’ with horrendous internet lag (“Singing with Delaaaay!”) or sharing stories on Instagram. Whether we only see each other at a show half way around the world and can only remember each other’s ‘usernames’. Whatever and however we connect, 1.19 will always mean The Lacuna Coil Community in all it’s beautiful forms.
In October 2022 Lacuna Coil released the ‘Comalies XX’ album and performed a special show in Milan. Whilst waiting for the doors to open, I overheard a journalist from Metal Hammer Magazine ask Dave, a fellow Coiler, “Emptyspiral….That used to be a thing, what happened to that?” Dave pointed to me and said “There he is!”. The journalist was surprised and went on to interview me about my own thoughts about the show, and of course the bands community.
We are still here and It’s been an amazing journey. The World of Lacuna Coil and their fandom continues to evolve (thankfully!) and we connect in ways unimaginable to the community started in 2003.
I’m stunned that it’s been 20 years since Emptyspiral.net went live with its first article. I’m humbled that people joined the site and found a home. I’m proud of the last 20 years, and remain as passionate about the community and Lacuna Coil as ever.
For Lacuna Coil.
I’ve figured out my own meaning of 1.19. One day I might figure out Lacuna Coils!