Lacuna Coil has undoubtedly become the most recognized and successful heavy metal band to come out of Milan, Italy and cross over into the United States. As the world evokes change in the music industry and in band members, Lacuna Coil has withstood every boundary and every experience with pride and with true dedication to themselves and their music. They have brought their A-game with every album and every performance, bringing pure vulnerability and truth to music while keeping a headstrong presence. Being one of the few, if only male and female fronted bands, Lacuna Coil has stood the test of time. With Andrea Ferro (lead vocals), Cristina Scabbia (lead vocals), Marco “Maki” Coti-Zelati (guitar & bass) as well as Ryan Blake Folden (drums) and Diego Cavallotti (guitar) who will be joining them on tour, Lacuna Coil who is ready to release their eighth studio album titled Delirium on May 27th and start their upcoming tour in which they will be playing China for the first time. Given that, this was the perfect time to sit down with vocalist Cristina Scabbia who has repeatedly been voted as one of the top 20 Metal/Rock Goddesses of our time but is also been referred to as one of the most talented female vocalists in the industry as well. Being the humble person Scabbia is, she accepts the compliments but she doesn’t think of herself as influential. “I just do my best to be a good example and work my ass off and to be a good person. I am happy that people think of me in that way though and I am grateful that I have this platform to use. Sometimes I get messages from fans that are going through hard times and I try to do my best to let them know that everyone is special. They can look up to someone but still be themselves and be amazing” Scabbia discloses.
“We were actually working on a song called Delirium and it really opened our eyes because we started to think about previous experiences we had about visiting old, abandoned sanatoriums around the Milanese area and we also thought about experiences that were medical and psychological so what we wanted to talk about became clear and we knew what we wanted the theme to be for the album. The only pressure we really faced was the schedule because we knew we had to be able to deliver it in time but everything fell into place. We were so inspired by the sights and photos we saw that we just went with it.” What will be known as their heaviest album to date, Scabbia says that it’s important for them to be home when they write and record. “There was no original intention of how heavy the album was going to be, we always seem to enjoy playing the heaviest songs when we perform live so subconsciously, we basically just do whatever we want or whatever we feel. Let’s just go all the way and I am actually happy because we have done it before and explored different sides of Lacuna Coil and I am glad we did it again.”
Scabbia is well known for being extremely interactive with her fans and is always doing her best to make everyone a part of what Lacuna Coil is doing. Due to a recent hacking into the Lacuna Coil page and her official page as well, they experienced a bit of turmoil, and while it was incredibly inconvenient and stressful, the issue was resolved–but not before realizing what a loyal and protective fan base they had. Scabbia and the other members of Lacuna Coil never let that defer them from social media. Their first single House Of Shame was released April 8th with a lyric video, and Scabbia had posted a video on social media requesting fans to find someone who hadn’t heard the new song, put headphones on them and post their reaction. This sparked a large number of responses, and with positive feedback and some interesting moments. “I am more than happy. I had no idea what the effect was going to be but it was fun because people were probably expecting us to go softer, more rock and with a song like House Of Shame, it turned a lot of heads.” Scabbia assures us that heavy isn’t the only vibe we will hear in Delirium but over all, it is a very intense record. “It was the perfect presentation to show everyone that things have changed in the Lacuna Coil family.” Since doing this interview, their second single from the album titled Delirium has been released and is getting the same positive response. It is safe to say that Coilers will be supremely happy with the new album and recognize it as the first step to the rising of Lacuna Coil.
Scabbia describes all of the songs they have done as their babies. It is hard for her to choose which song she has the most love for. Of course, with any artist, this question was a lot to ask. “It is hard to choose just one album but Delirium which is probably my favorite because it’s fresh and it has a lot of the old school Lacuna Coil elements. Century Media has also allowed us to completely self produce the album, create the artwork and deliver it to the label. It takes a large amount of trust and it was quite liberating for us.” Scabbia also recalls another one of her other favorites which was released in 2002 titled Comalies. She credits this album as the one that forced them to step out of their comfort zone and really pushed off their career. “After Comalies, we were able to make music our full time profession and be able to live with our music. So it is the record that I have in my heart.”
Lacuna Coil has always been known for their strong bond and friendship which is ultimately why they have continued to remain invincible even with the lineup changes. But as life goes on, some people just realize that life on the road isn’t for them and they want to have a more settled life than that of a musician. While this may be inevitable at some point, it is still hard to stomach when you lose a member, especially in a band that is so strongly recognized as being like a family and when it is someone who has been a part of the group since the beginning like guitarist Marco “Maus” Biazzi . “The wound from Maus leaving is still fresh” Scabbia describes. “I am happy that he is happy and the rest of us are happy as well but still it’s a big change. For Chris and Maus, everything is different because almost three years are gone but we respect their decision. We are all still friends and still in touch. It was just the right decision for their lives. I can basically describe it as brothers watching other brothers moving out of the childhood home. One side you’re sad but on the other you are happy about it.”
The concomitance of Ferro and Scabbia on vocals is deliciously dynamic with the finite and organic. Sharing the stage and playing off each other with such effervescence time and time again is always a joy ride to musical ecstasy. With Ferro’s raw, masculine powerhouse vocals and Scabbia’s impressively expansive range and beautifully hypnotic voice, they are the key element in Lacuna Coil. Through the years, they have progressively reached new limits both in their solo voices and as a duo. “We both do our equal parts and there is no ego going on” Scabbia tells us of her co-vocalist. “It’s not about who will sing more than the other, it is more about what can we add to the song. And regardless of who writes which part and so forth, I think it is a magical thing which doesn’t happen very often. We approach it more as we are writing for ourselves and not so much for others and we have to please each other in finding lyrics that we both can share which isn’t always an easy task. It just comes naturally to us and it’s sort of a miracle.” Obviously, they are doing something right and this recipe is ageless.
While Lacuna Coil first broke onto the scene back in 1994, it wasn’t until 1999, two years after signing with Century Media Records that they released their first studio album. Scabbia started singing at 3 years old. Believe it or not, she was shy and didn’t really like to sing in front of people. By 1991, she was singing on different collaboration projects but it wasn’t where her heart lied. “As soon as I met the guys in Lacuna Coil, that is when I started to really pursue music and I haven’t looked back” Scabbia recalls. Growing up in Milan, Italy, Scabbia had to learn to not only speak English but to sing in English as well. “I couldn’t speak English like I can now and I was always so nervous doing interviews because I was trying to understand what others would be asking me, especially if they had accents themselves. It was very stressful in the beginning and I learned it in school but it is so different when it comes time to use the language” Scabbia confesses. “Learning to sing in a new language was another thing. I had to constantly be double checking the lyrics when we would perform but I am comfortable now.” Additionally, coming from a place like Italy, where there wasn’t a big scale of rock music on the scene, it was exciting when they were signed by Century Media in 1997. “Having to sign with an American label, even though they were based in Germany, was so unique and doesn’t really happen at all aside from the band Labyrinth and a few others. For us, it was surprising to have a label that represented bands we loved was an unexpected dream” Scabbia says. “It wasn’t a matter of when we signed, we were going to go out and kick ass, it was more like, this must be a dream, please don’t wake me” Scabbia concludes.
On a personal note, Scabbia and the other members of Lacuna Coil are big time gamers and enjoy having game nights together when they aren’t recording. Scabbia is also an extreme Star Wars fan so we had to ask what she thought of the new film which came out in December 2015, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the answer is, she loved it. Scabbia says “I loved the new actors because I wasn’t focused on the actors themselves but more on the characters.” Her love of Stormtroopers is well known on her social media pages and this is something fans can relate to outside of music. The more an artist puts out there to make themselves human and real to their fans, the more connection people feel and Scabbia has really become an example of what an artist should do to engage their fans. As someone who responds as much as she can and is always posting fun videos, this only adds to her appeal.
As we come to the end of our interview, Scabbia continues to rave about her excitement for everyone to hear Delirium and to get back out on tour. Having seen them perform on several occasions, Lacuna Coil delivers 110% every song, every show and the passion the band projects and the heart Ferro and Scabbia put into the lyrics, Lacuna Coil is a force to be reckoned with and it is only a matter of time before they achieve the status in the mainstream that they truly deserve. If one band has an appreciation for music and for their fans, it’s Lacuna Coil.