Interview by da_man03
Towards the end of Gigantour with Megadeth, Motorhead, and Volbeat Lacuna Coil’s lead singers Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro took sometime to sit down with myself and Schmoo in Phoenix, AZ to answer some questions. Once again, thank you to Andi and Cristina for your time we appreciate it.
Q: So second time on Gigantour? How is it this time around?
Cristina: It’s great! Because the first Gigantour we did in Australia not America. It’s the same experience but not quite the same because we are playing in a different territory along with different bands and our newer stuff. It’s a great package because the different bands are playing a different genres of music. So that draws a lot of different crowds to the venues. It’s a cool opportunity for us and cool opportunity for exposure to some people that have never heard of the band. Our set is kinda of short so it’s definitely worth it we are very proud to be here!
Q: How have the new songs been received by your fans on this tour?
Andi: So far pretty well. I mean either I see on the internet all of the comments or after the show they like the new stuff a lot because it’s the right compromise between our history and our fresher newer direction we are taking. Every night there is great reactions to our new songs…. When I ask them what they think of our new stuff also if they want to hear our new stuff they usually say yeah and no one says play Heaven’s a Lie for the millionth time. ( lots of Laughter between everyone) So far it’s been really good and also the reviews of the album have really amazing. But, yeah we are happy with it and so far so good.
Q: So you guys have been around for 15 years now. You mention the new album sounds kinda like the old ones. Was that kinda by coincidence or did you want to pull back in the older sound? I hear a lot of Unleashed Memories peak in here and there but it has the newer vibe to it.
Cristina: It’s not one or the other. It wasn’t a coincidence just for the fact even if it is old stuff it is still written by us. So no matter what even if you evolve even if you change it’s still part of you. Every once in awhile you can come out and you don’t even know why you wrote that rift or why you thought of that vocal line. Actually the fact this album incorporates the old vibe from previous albums like In a reverie, Unleashed Memories or Comalies era is something we actually found out after we wrote all the songs. Because of the people that had the chance to listen to the stuff before everyone else before it was released. Started to point to us that you can hear the new influences you can totally tell its a new step for Lacuna Coil but you can also hear a lot of old school vibe in the songs. I think its great because this is what we are now the history of Lacuna Coil a little bit of the old school and little bit of the new school.
Q: How much pressure if any do you have when picking the set lists for your shows?
Andi: It depends mostly on the land of the show. If we have half a hour like we do here on Gigantour we would have to of course go with some of the newer songs. Of course we have to pick some of the ones that go really well in a live environment like Fragile or Our Truth or even Spellbound because it has been a recent single. There are certain songs that you have to consider to play because of the land of the set. If we have like an hour maybe we can throw in some older songs or some slower songs it all depends on how much time we have more than the bands we are gonna play with. Because if you consider all of our catalog there is a song for everybody. There are heavy songs with girl vocals as well as very melodic ballads for Cristina’s voice. So our music has a variety of different songs that can appeal to all different crowds as well. So we kind of never have problems of mixing the most heavy songs with the most melodic songs because its what we are. We are a band that’s not one particular category. Maybe that’s why its sometimes hard to describe our music because we don’t fall into the one precise category. Gothic metal genre or metal or alternative metal. We have been called many different kind of names. When we started up we were all gothic and gothic metal then we become alternative metal or Nu Metal so it’s hard to categorize. That’s why I think we can tour with bands like Megadeth as well as bands like Within Temptation or even completely different. Through out our career we have been on tours with all kinds of metal and rock acts. We have been on tour with Five Finger Death Punch, Disturbed, Type O Negative, Dimmu Borgir and Anthrax. All kinds of bands that you wouldn’t think fit with us. So we never have the problems with that. So when we have our set we know that we can give something for all kinds of people.
Q: Cover songs. Started off with Dubstar then Depeche Mode. What brought you to R.E.M?
Cristina: The idea for Losing my religion was there already when we did the Enjoy the Silence cover. We just consider a bunch of songs that were coming from well respected artists. Even if they were completely different from our genre because its funnier to experiment with a song that sounds completely different from your song. It would make no sense to cover a metal song in a metal way. So we decided to do Losing my Religion now because the lyrics were fitting with the Dark Adrenaline concept. The lyrics are dark and intense. Marco changed the music and basically made it a Lacuna Coil sounding song. So we basically put R.E.M lyrics in a Lacuna Coil song! The funny coincidence is a lot of people thought it was a tribute song because R.E.M split last year. In actuality we recorded the song months before they even announced it. So it was like here is this coincidence that every time we have to say no we didn’t do it has a tribute we are just huge fans of the band and it just happened.
Q: Follow up to that. What is the difficult part of making it sound like the original but still giving it the Lacuna Coil sound?
Cristina: Probably keeping the chorus pretty much similar to the original this way everyone can figure out which song it is. Even if it’s not that difficult. It’s cool to see people listening to song for the first time and going like I know this song but I don’t really know what is it. Its cool. Its better if you completely change the song and make it yours even if its from another artist.
Andi: It also more challenging when you take a song like that and make it in our style. Its not very close in a way but in the end it turns out like one of our songs. Obviously there will be people that hate it because its too different from the original. But I don’t think it really makes sense for us to repeat a very similar version of the song. Because why pick a song so diverse from our genre? It makes sense for us to turn it into a Lacuna Coil song because that’s what we are. And those are the type of covers I like the best when the band really make their own versions of the songs and not just play the song the exact way as the original.
Q: This is a little outside the current set of questions. What was your favorite live show that you ever seen?
Cristina: I would definitely have to say Rammstein and Slipknot. Just because the combination of the both bands. Especially Rammstiein its absolutely crazy. The last time we saw them was last year at Sonisphere we happened to both play the same day. So we got the chance to see them. Even though it was a festival and they didn’t have all the same setup they usually have in their usual sets. It was amazing they had pyros they have fireworks. They had an amazing show it was more than a concert it was more like a theater piece. You go there and hear the songs and they are great but there was a lot of entertainment. The way they act on stage. Its kinda cool. The same goes with Slipknot I think that both bands are the best visual bands now a days. Because they are good and have the budgets to do it.
Andi: I would say something different because in every era of my life I have seen different shows that blow me away. For different reasons. Like when I was a kid I saw Anthrax and Public Enemy in Milan. It was a great show because its something you never really seen before. Two different bands touring together and they jammed together playing songs together switching instruments. But when I saw Faith No More on the angel dust tour with the quality of the performance the great song writing and great musicianship. That was another level of quality for music. So there has been many steps in my life where i see different bands that surprise me for different reasons. Most recently the band that I have seen surprised me with how tight they are was Sevendust. We played with them 2 or 3 years ago at a radio sponsored show at a normal club. They were so tight and amazing musicians I was really surprised at the quality of the performance.
Cristina : I also recently saw Tori Amos a few months ago. It was great. Because the set was very simple she just had a big curtain with little lights here and there. She just put on an amazing show. For a special tour she did. It just really blew me away.
Q: Plans for the future. Do you plan on doing a Orchestra thing like Metallica and Within Temptation have done?
Cristina: We thought about that but sometimes is a question of organizing and a question of budget. Also of where are you going to be doing this thing? Like for us the best would be to do it in Milan where we live. Because it would be easier to setup the cool cinematography and maybe make a dvd out it. Because its just hard to do something like that when you are not close to home. Its really expensive to move stuff and put everything together. We would definitely love to do something like that but even if its cool now its kinda overrated because everyone is doing it. So we are definitely thinking forward and we have other plans to do something crazy. I don’t know when we will be able to apply it!!
Andi: I think if there is a chance we will try to do it. Its not something that is gonna be so obviously good. It might work. It might not work because you need the right songs for it to work. I have seen the one with Metallica. I don’t think most of the songs appeal with the orchestra. Some of the slower songs fit but then some of the songs they did because those are the songs and they did not appeal with the orchestra. Its something you need to be careful doing. But if we will have the chance its a big challenge. That obviously we will try. I also obviously understand why Metallica did it. We are little more focused on our music and just writing new music. We are more hungry for new music than another version of our music. But never say never.
Q: Congrats on being named to Rock on the Range here in the US. You have performed at festivals all over. Is there anyone festival you’re excited to play or one that just really stands out that you already played?
Cristina: Well so far the confirmed ones are Rock on the Range and Welcome to Rockville in Jacksonville, Florida. We are definitely looking forward to playing these two as well as a couple in Europe that we cannot announce just yet. We are basically excited about doing every festival because festivals are a great time. Because you have the chance to play for huge great crowds. Its also fantastic because even though they are big shows there is this punk rock vibe. You don’t get a sound check. You don’t give a fuck if the sound is perfect. Most of the time you don’t hear yourself so its all about having fun on stage and interacting with the crowd. Plus you have the chance to meet other musicians that you already know so its cool to hangout. Its like a Metal camp its a little vacation every festival we go the weather is nice.
Andi: Rock on the Range will be interesting because we have not played there. Some of the European festivals are great but we have been there so we know what to expect. But with that one we have never been there. We know a lot rock radio stations will be there. Its gonna be different than usual festivals we play.
Q: Any plans for an American Headlining tour in the future?
Cristina: Yeah, we will be back in April!
Andi: Yes, we will announce it soon. I think at the end of this run we can announce it.Schmoo: Ok, we will scratch that from the recording.Cristina: No. No you can say it. Every night we say it. We just can’t announce the lists of gigs just yet because it’s not finalized. That and we are playing nine shows with Rob Zombie and Megadeth in May.
Andi: In October late October we will be doing a European Headlining tour.
Cristina: You can also say that the headliner in the US is gonna be special because it will be the only headliner here in the US. We will be playing a lot of the older songs that we haven’t played in awhile. A longer set with a acoustic set in the middle. Its gonna be a cool thing.
Q: Do you have plans to do a Sirius/XM radio show? I know you are regularly played on Octane.
Cristina: We always talk about that but it didn’t happen yet. Before the start of the tour we stayed a couple of days in New York. We did interviews there for a couple of station on Sirius. We have a great relationship with those guys so hopefully it will happen.
Q: Being away from home for so long what do you eat for comfort food?
Cristina: During our off days we try to go to a nice restaurant because we are for sure not looking for a Italian restaurant. A lot of people seem to think we eat Italian food while we are here. No we don’t eat Italian because we are really picky about Italian food. On this tour its great because there is catering and we don’t have to eat sandwiches everyday. It maybe the same thing every day but its ok food. Every time we have a day off we try to find a nice restaurant and have a nice steak or nice dish or diner burger. A couple of days ago a friend of ours came to the San Jose show and brought hand made Italian lasagna. It was nice to have a taste of home away from home. But we like the food we find in America because there is a variety.
Andi: Steak. (His Eyes kind of lit up when steak was mentioned)
Q: So when speaking with Matt about the interview he said he wouldn’t post this interview unless we asked one question…..
Cristina: What does 1:19 mean? No. No. We will not answer that.
(lots of laughter)
US: It was worth a try. Sorry Matt.
Andi: You can say this. If your in Europe or in America it means the same thing.