Interview with Maus and Criz – Halloween 2005
It was less than an hour before the Lacuna Coil were due on stage that I managed to catch up with them in the dressing underneath Wulrun Hall in Wolverhampton on 31st October 2005 – Halloween, and the last date of an immensely successful UK tour. With my list of questions in hand, and a green chin – my concession to the spirit of All Hallows Eve, I asked for a volunteer, and both Criz and Maus said yes! Looks like it was going to be a unique interview, and it was…
Matt – Have you enjoyed the UK show so far?
Criz – Absolutely, we’ve really enjoyed it. The audiences were amazing and we had a great time. We’re happy that we decided to keep to the smaller venues because…
Maus – It’s more intimate!
C – Yeah, it’s more intimate, and with the acoustic show at the beginning makes it even more intimate as well.
M – As usual the London crowd is one of the best crowds ever. We were also surprised a lot when we played in Scotland, in Glasgow. It was the first time we played there and the smallest show we did – about 300 capacity, but it was one of my favourites because the people went crazy. They were screaming and they were singing all the songs louder than Cristina and Andrea. It was perfect.
Matt – Sounds great! What’s been your most memorable moment of the tour?
C – I have no one particular moment because every day was great you know? In Scotland I had a chance to check out the town and I bought a kilt
M – Yeah, me too and also Marco
C – Everything was great – there was lots of passion from the people and that doesn’t happen with every tour you know?
Matt – The acoustic set at the beginning of the shows was very special to the fans. Do you plan to do an acoustic set again in the future?
M – Maybe yes, but we have this impression that the acoustic show is a bit short – maybe one more song, maybe two. It would be much better than just playing twenty or twenty minutes
C – Also if the stage is bigger then we can have bass. We didn’t have a chance to do it here because the stages are so small.
Matt – Do you think there will be songs off the new album that will go well acoustically?
M – Maybe, Maybe yes!
C – Yes, for sure.
Matt- 1:19! It’s a great song – especially live. It’s also one you’ve avoided in the past…
M – I think the main point is that we’ve tried it sometimes in the past – playing it live. But in my opinion the guitar sound was not right, but now we have seven string chords the sound is deeper. You can feel it when you play it live – it’s much more powerful. Before there was not the same feeling in the previous version. This is why we decided to play it again.
Matt – Do you think you’ll play it more in the future now?
M – It’s one of our favourite songs. We didn’t imagine such a great reaction from the crowd. We used to play that song during the Unleashed Memories tour and then we really forgot to play it.
C – We thought it was not really powerful compared to the others you know? You can’t play all the songs you have and other songs sounded better than this one.
M – Now it is arranged much better and we practise it for a while
Matt – …and we scream for you afterwards!
Maus – Maus Maus!
Matt – I have some questions for you, submitted by the Emptyspiral Community. What do you think of the music industry today?
C – The sound isn’t as good as it was five years ago. Also the Mp3 thing is a double-edged thing. It’s nice because you can use them for promotion – you can download a song and then if you like it you can buy the album. But lots of people don’t do that; they just download the full album. That’s not the right way to do it.
M – There are so many bands playing the same music, and the market is full of those bands. There are not so many unique bands right now.
Matt – What’s the best band you’ve seen live?
Maus – My favourite is Meshuggah, but I gotta say that best show I ever saw live was Rammstein in Milan at the Forum. It was an awesome show – because of the lights, because of the pyros, because of everything.
Criz – I have to say that seeing Meshuggah live gives me goosebumps. But the last show I saw that I really liked was System of A Down at Download (Festival in the UK). That was a great show.
Matt – What’s your perfect meal?
Maus – My favourite is Pizza. I have two – one is the normal Margarita and the other is the four cheeses! But in the Italian way of course!
Criz – When I’m in Italy, actually everything. Except liver – I can’t eat liver. When I’m abroad…meat, like kebab or whatever. Animals!
Matt – Taking you back a little bit now, what would you say was your favourite childhood memory?
M – When my soccer team AC Milan won the Champions League three times. Actually no. It was when I started to play guitar and when I went to buy my first guitar – I worked so hard for the money to buy my guitar – it was the Dimebag Signature. I worked for one year just to buy that guitar and was the happiest guy on the planet when I got that.
C – I remember the first time my granddad took me fishing. It was fucking brilliant! I was eight, nine years old…
Matt – Do you think you will ever do a Live CD?
M – There are no plans to do one.
C – Maybe in the future we will do one. A DVD would be much better
M – A live DVD would be cool!
C – A live DVD is a more complete thing you know? We can have some back stage thing. We have talked about that.
M – You need a couple of guys following you around recording everything.
C – We would like to do it, but we are thinking about the new album now…
Matt – Ok, it’s a little morbid, but when you die what do you want to be remembered for?
M – For my sympathy.
C – For the emotions and feeling I am able to transmit from my music
Matt- Do you have a favourite insult?
M – There are so many!
C – Are you able to write it down?
We find some paper and a pen amid the laughing
M – The normal one is ‘fuck off’ but in Italian
C – I can write it down for you?! (and he does)
M – Actually I’m not really into that thing. You gotta really piss me off. I do not have the right attitude to do that.
C – (still laughing) There are so many in Italian!
M – We could write a book…
Matt – What’s you’re favourite place to go on holiday?
M – I like to go near the sea? Talking about cities I really like New York. For me it’s one of the best cities in the World. I also like Greece, the islands of Greece.
C – I actually have a house in the countryside and I love to go there. I would like to relax away from everything… I would also love to go around the world, to go to China maybe, Japan
M – New Zealand…
C – I love Martial arts and would love to go to china to visit some monasteries and temples.
Matt – Do you play any other musical instruments?
M – Not really, I tried once to play violin, but I quit because I didn’t have the proper teacher and I did it by myself and the result was pretty bad! I still have my cheap violin under a table but I’m not able to use it. And Flute!
Matt – Flute?!
M – Yeah! Usually at school you learn how to play the flute.
C – It’s easy . I like percussion, not just drums, I mean ethnic percussion. I would like to do more of that. And the bass! …It’s the same thing as the violin.
M – Yeah but he plays really good slaps!
Matt – Do you have any fears or phobias?
C – Transvestites!
The interview is reduced to laughter for some time at this point…
M (recovered) – Being alone and paranoid.
Matt – What would you do if you were invisible for one day?
M – Err…I don’t think we can tell you that…
M – You can just imagine…What would YOU do??
Matt – I….I can’t tell the community that…
Yet more laughter
C – We would do something together as a group maybe.
And even more laughter
Matt – OK, moving quickly on…If you weren’t in a band what would you like to do as a job?
C- I would like to be a webmaster, to work with computers. Or a totally opposite thing – like being a farmer.
M – I would like to stay in the music business – in the recording studio or maybe making guitars
C- Actually I’ve always wanted to be a teacher of martial arts.
Matt- Oh like, go to China, come back and bring a new style of martial arts to the western world!
C – Wow! Yeah!
Matt – We could make a film out of that!
C – Bruce Ciccio! Ciccio Lee!
M – Ciccio Lee!
Matt – How long do you think Lacuna Coil will be around for?
M – As long as possible
C – While we continue to make good songs
M – We are really good friends, so it’s not that we were developed because of the music business. We are all friends, actually we ARE family. When you have to spend some much time on tour you got to have a good relationship.
C- We have good relations, we’ve never had a problem with each other. Of course sometimes you argue but not fight.
M – Just because of the stress sometimes. After four months of touring sometimes you just want some space.
C – The more we tour the more experience we get and we learn the good and the bad points of everybody so we know when to stop or when to say something.
Matt – If you had to make a choice between touring with Iron Maiden or Metallica, which would you choose?
C – Metallica. Because we already did a tour with Iron Maiden.
M – That’s hard! Maybe because of the audience I would say Metallica.
C – We did lots of festivals with Iron Maiden and that was great, but a full tour…Metallica.
M – Anyway, both bands are favourites.
C – Of course, they are great.
M – Gods of metal.
Matt – Are you going to tour Australia or Asia any time?
C – Like China, and Japan? Yeah, maybe with the next one. If you do Japan you also do Australia and New Zealand.
M – For sure. With the next album we’re going to tour there.
C – There’s nothing booked yet. But maybe yes.
M – We hard an offer six months ago about Indonesia. They asked for a couple of gigs over there. But we couldn’t play over there because of two shows.
C – We would want to do a proper tour there first.
Matt – If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?
M – Guitar! Beer! And my girl!
C – I would say… My girl is not a thing but I would also include her, my dog, and tobacco!
Matt – A dog? I didn’t realise you had a dog…
C – Yes, actually it’s more of a rabbit than a dog! . Called Nina and she is like a Jack Russell. Actually she wants to look like a Jack Russell but it’s not able to do that! We wanted to get a big dog but when me and my girlfriend went looking she found us. It’s the dog that chooses you not you that chooses the dog!
Matt – I suspect I already know the answer to this one but, are you a Rammstein fan?
C – Yes!
M – Of course!
C – Absolutely! We would love to tour with them.
M – Why are you asking that!?
Matt – I was asked to ask by a fan, I figured that they are also a Rammstein fan, like myself.
M – You are?
(Beginning to wonder whose interviewing who at this point…)
Matt – Oh yes!
C – I just bought today their new CD (referring to Rosenrot, released on the day the interview took place)
Matt – If you had twenty four hours to live what would you do?
C- Twenty fours to live? Matt, some of these questions… What are you trying to say!!
Matt – Hey, it’s not my question!!
C – Ok, I would say… take a flight back to my girlfriend!
M – Have sex and have some beers!
Matt – What’s the weirdest thing a fan has ever said to you?
C – Not really to us, but we heard some rumours of some people being convinced that after every show Cristina had sex with us, we all together shower naked.
M – All together! It’s bullshit because Cristina is a kind off sister for us. She’s actually a kind of mother for us! She’s taking care of us.
C – One other thing, not really weird, but in a nice way is sometimes we get emails from people that tell us that with our music their life has changed. Like really helped somebody, like has a really bad illness and they find peace with our music.
M – We’ve just received a mail from a pilot in Iraq and he said that ‘I’m here, in the war in Iraq and you guys really make me happy every time I listen to your music and you really help me a lot’. I replied and all I could say was that it was the best thing I could hear. I mean, when you play live it’s great to receive a good reaction from the crowd, but when you receive something like this…it’s priceless.
Matt – Wow. I can well imagine, or at least try to imagine how it must feel…
Matt – Any artist you would like to collaborate with?
C – Like in a dream or something that can happen?
Matt – Either way…
C – I would like to work with The Police! Sting and Stewart Copeland…. And also it would be great with Black Sabbath. For me. It’s difficult because there’s so many!
M – I would like to jam with my idol but its not possible anymore. Dimebag Darrell. We met him and he was a really cool guy, we had a lot of fun together, also with Vinnie Paul…But it’s not possible anymore…
Matt – Sad times.
M – Yes, really sad.
Matt – Any plans for 2006 festivals?
C – Not yet.
Matt – When are you coming back to the UK?
M – With the new album for sure!
C – With the new album..
Matt – Final question, Is there anything you would like to say to the Emptyspiral community?
C – Thanks for existing! You all do a great job and we don’t have any words to say thanks enough, especially you. Thanks, and be cool, and always be like this.
M – It’s perfect. Keep on rocking!
Matt – To you I would say carry on doing what you’re doing and keep on bringing us the music and being the great people that you are!.
M – We’re not stars! We’re just normal guys!
Matt – Thanks guys.
Many thanks to Sarah of Century Media UK for making this interview possible, and Rudy for the photography.