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Lacuna Coil Interview 2009

Lacuna Coil Interview

Izod Center - East Rutherford , NJ

Interview with Andrea & Cristiano

Lacuna Coil 

Jason:  Shallow Life just came out yesterday. How do you feel about the album?

Cristiano:  It’s hard to say. I mean what we feel personally. We’re very proud of it you know. It’s an album that we really worked a lot on. We had a lot more chances to do things that in the past we couldn’t because of budget reasons. Because of time. Having the possibility of recording in the states in Hollywood with Don Gilmore really pushed us way beyond our limits. Way more than in the past. As I said it’s something we’re really proud of because it’s exactly what we are at this moment in time.

Andrea:  I think we are aware that it’s an album that is going to in some way break our history in some way. I don’t see it as a very different album that you can’t listen to. If you like the previous stuff you might also like this one. There’s definitely in the fan base people that are going to either love it or hate it. That happened already with Karmacode actually because it was already different enough to break the limits that we had. But as a band we were aware of this. We knew that some people maybe they would not like it because it’s just too different for them but we wanted to do it because it was the only honest thing for us to do. We didn’t want to repeat the same stuff. We always try to move away a little bit after every release. Not because we don’t like what we’ve done in the past or we’re not proud of past records like Comalies or In A Reverie or whatever. It’s just that we as persons as much as musicians we need to move forward and to try something else. So I understand if people doesn’t like it. They don’t have to like it. It’s just what it is you know. It’s the way we are and probably some more people will come from different places like maybe since the album is really straightforward and catchy maybe we will get some more people that listen to more rock oriented music instead of more or less underground metal type of audience. We took the chance because it was the only natural thing to do for us. Because we like.

Cristiano:  Yeah. We didn’t really sit down and plan to release a pop album because we wanted to make money. But it was really the music that came out when we were writing it. It was just like natural.

Andrea:  Yeah. We’re also growing older of course and we also. Our taste has been open to different influences of course. We’re not the same kids we were 12 years ago when we started and we would only listen to metal or only to goth like Paradise Lost or Type O Negative type of bands. We grew up. We incorporated new elements. We still like that stuff but we also want to try something else.

Lacuna Coil 

Jason:  So what kind of different influences did you put into this album?

Cristiano:  Well we didn’t really. When we talk about influences it could be anything you know. It could be the music we listen to or movies or like things that happened to us like in every day life. So it’s really hard to say we were influenced by this or by that or whatever. The thing is that when we took this long break to write the album. We took maybe like a few months off where we didn’t really do anything at all and then we started writing these new songs. We just sat down and just like anything that would come up you know. We wouldn’t really discard it right away if it didn’t fit. More like well let’s give it a chance. Let’s see what happens. Let’s see if it’s something that Lacuna Coil could release. Could put out. That was just really like an open-minded point of view. We just started and we didn’t want to have any boundaries. We just wanted to write to music that came out.

Andrea:  Probably what you will notice by listening to the album is that there is a bit more rock influence compared to the past.

Cristiano:  Yeah.

Andrea:  In a way the song structure are a bit more easy. You know that there’s the chorus. The big chorus. We paid a lot of attention on the lyrics. On the fact that we’re telling a story with every single lyrics. That the story leads to the chorus where you really explain what you mean. What’s the meaning of the song. So in that way probably rock has been the main influence on this album. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t like heavy stuff or more darker stuff. It depends from song to song also because as I said there is quite a variety of songs so you can feel in a song like The Pain there is a bit more of goth influence with the dark elements and very more intimate and desperate kind of lyrics while on songs like Underdog or Unchained you can really hear the rock influence much stronger in the way that the vocals are or the lead guitars for example. Other songs are a bit more in our old style probably like Survive or Spellbound or other type of songs. So it’s really quite a variety of songs to mention and in general I think the approach has been a bit more simple in a way. More direct let’s say. So that’s why probably that some fans when they listen to the songs they say oh this is worse. Some people call us sellout for this.

Cristiano:  (*laughs*)

Andrea:  I don’t really think that. We’ve never been like a really extreme band that we turned into something completely different. We were always quite a. You can listen to our songs. Even if you listen to the first EP it’s not really extreme metal at all. It’s probably our softest release actually. So we’ve never been a very extreme band in the first place so I don’t see why we should sellout. We’ve never been Lamb Of God and turned into Theater Of Tragedy or something like that.

Cristiano:  (*laughs*) Christina Aguilera.

Andrea:  (*laughs*) We’ve never been that extreme in the first place so I don’t really. I see if people might not like the direction of the band because maybe they’re more into a darker kind of music. That’s fine. But I don’t see why we’d sellout. I mean we’re not changing the style that much or we’re not doing pop music or something.

Lacuna Coil 

Jason:  How different was it working with Don [Gilmore] in producing the album?

Cristiano:  Well it was actually a bit different. All our previous albums were produced by Waldemar Sorychta who is still a really good friend. I mean we didn’t decide to work with somebody else because we had problems with him or whatever. We just wanted to move on and since we saw the direction of these new songs was a lot more rock than in the past and less metal we needed somebody who shouldn’t be a metal producer. Somebody who would actually probably help the band do something else better than a metal producer. So we just got in touch with Don and he came over to Italy. He listened to a couple of demos and stuff and he really liked it a lot right away. So it was. From then on it was a really good process where we would exchange ideas. Make him listen to stuff and he would like get back to us with these opinions and stuff. Working in the studio with him it was really, really good because he’s somebody who knows exactly how to get something. What will work and what won’t. Really gave us a lot of advice. Not really pushing us to do something we didn’t want or anything like that. But mostly talking with him he knew how to do things that we wanted to. Like if we were looking, for example, talking about guitar sounds or whatever, get a certain type of sound. He would actually know how to do it and do it. So it was really, really good because he’s somebody who’s very experienced. He’s worked with tons of bands. Very successful bands as well. To actually be able to work with somebody like that for the first time in our career was really. It opened our eyes on the way also you work in a studio.

Andrea:  Even if most of the songs there were all written already.

Cristiano:  Yeah. He didn’t wrote any of the music or stuff.

Andrea:  He helped us a lot on the lyrics especially and arranging the song.

Cristiano:  Yeah.

Andrea:  Like cutting some extra parts or make the structure more fluent. Maybe use different instruments instead of starting with a guitar you can put a piano or something else. That’s the kind of advice he gave us a lot. But talking about the strict songwriting actually everything was already written.

Lacuna Coil 

Jason:  (to Andrea) In terms of your singing you went from a more growling vocal to a much more melodic vocal. How has that been to change over time with doing different styles?

Andrea:  That was very spontaneous because I’ve always been trying to improve my vocal style. In the beginning it was really growling then it turns slowly into more powerful kind of vocals. I think on this record really I had the time to work properly on the vocals and make it sound exactly how we wanted to. So I think that this kind of vocal fits better with the type of music we do right now than growling. It’s not that I don’t like the growling but it just doesn’t fit the music we do today. So I like to be able to move a little bit from that. Still I think my vocals are still quite powerful anyway and not the melodic part of the band. But still I’m quite more listenable maybe to a more open kind of audience. But it’s still what I like to do is still the powerful voice of course.

Jason:  (to Cristiano) With the songwriting Marco used to do a majority of the composing. This time you were all more involved as a band. How was it to be a part of the creative end?

Cristiano:  Well I think that for the first time because we had more time because we were more focused somehow everybody really came and brought something to the table. We took some of the pressure off of Marco’s back (*laughs*) and we all helped. I mean before he would come with most of the ideas and we would then work on the arrangement and stuff in the rehearsal room. But this time actually pretty much everybody came up with some ideas for songs and stuff that in the end we had like over 20 riffs or stuff that we could actually put together and have like maybe 20 songs which is something that never happened before. Of course we didn’t end up recording 20 songs (*laughs*) but we just kept the ones that we thought were the best ones. I think that you can really hear it because this is probably the album where you have the most variety. Each song is really different than the others you know. I think that’s.

Andrea:  We didn’t even know it was a good thing.

Cristiano:  Yeah.

Andrea:  It just came this way.

Cristiano:  It just worked out this way.

Andrea:  It’s the way we worked it. We didn’t make it on purpose.

Cristiano:  No.

Andrea:  It’s not that we didn’t want to have all different songs or we really want to have all different.

Cristiano:  Yeah.

Andrea:  It just came out this way because on the songwriting we’d been quite open-minded. That’s probably why some stuff can sound a little different. But in the end when I listen to the album it’s not boring.

Cristiano:  No.

Andrea:  Because there’s a style of a band but you can also try to make. Of course you might like more some kind of songs and less some other kind because it’s normal you have preferences. But in general I am pretty satisfied with every song.

Cristiano:  Yeah. I think that this is an album where each song has it’s own personality. Which is very good because when you listen to it you can from the first ‘til the last song and you will never get bored. It’s just like you say which is a great thing (*laughs*).

Lacuna Coil 

Jason:  You mentioned that you worked on many more songs than in the past. I know you have a few extra songs that you’ve written that aren’t on the album. How tough was it to choose the songs for the album and what can people look forward to with extra songs down the road?

Cristiano:  Well obviously for us it was pretty tough because we consider each song that we recorded like our babies (*laughs*). So it’s not easy to actually decide like oh this is not going to be on the album because obviously we recorded all those songs because we thought they were good songs you know. We know that they’re not going to go to waste. I mean we’re going to use them for something in the future for sure although we don’t know yet exactly what it’s going to be. They’re like. They’re probably like. Two of these songs are slower and one is more like a little more like.

Andrea:  Rock and mid-tempo.

Cristiano:  They’re really good songs. I mean it’s not. People don’t have to think about these songs as b-sides or leftovers from the album because it’s not what they are you know. They’re songs that.

Andrea:  There’s a problem basically that it’s either for the single or for the bonus tracks. It’s not that we really care as a band about which one is going to be the single or whatever. It’s something that we have to do because the markets need to have a single. We understand why. I mean it’s ok. It’s not that we’re against it but as artists we write the music because we like it. We don’t really care if this one is going to be a single or that one is going to be a single. It’s something like an accessory.

Cristiano:  Yeah.

Andrea:  You know. Even the bonus tracks. We have all these songs and for us it’s just songs.

Cristiano:  Yeah. We could have released like a 15 song album (*laughs*) but it doesn’t work that way.

Andrea:  It’s some rules that we have to follow because we are into this system that is the music business and if you want to make it as your job, as your surviving, you also need to follow certain rules. Those are the rules that way have to follow otherwise. It doesn’t mean the single is the best song in our opinion. It’s just probably the most. The right song to be a single. But that doesn’t mean it’s my favorite song or his favorite song.

Lacuna Coil 

Jason:  Now you’ll be on tour for a few years as you’ve done with the past albums. How has this tour with Disturbed gone so far?

Cristiano:  Really good. I mean I think we’ve been on tour for a little over a month now. Playing in front of an average of 4,500 people every night, which is probably the biggest tour aside from Ozzfest of course that we’ve ever done. I mean if you compare the beginning of this touring cycle to what happened to Karmacode you’re going to really see a big step forward. When we started touring for Karmacode we started opening for Rob Zombie which was really good but it was like half the amount of crowd. So this goes to show how things are working out for Shallow Life. It’s already a better starting point. Every night the crowds seem to love the songs and even the new ones. Although the bill is quite heavy and we’re probably the softest band we still get really good reactions. Since the release of the album yesterday we are selling a lot of CDs and that’s really good news and let’s hope it keeps going this way (*laughs*).

Andrea:  (*laughs*) No but it’s definitely a good tour also for the mood because we know Disturbed already because we did Ozzfest 2006 with them. We know Chimaira because we used to be in the same management and we know the Killswitch because we’ve met them along the way many times. Some of the second stage bands as well. So it’s mostly a friendly relationship with all of them. We play like foosball table soccer together after show.

Cristiano:  (*laughs*)

Andrea:  And we get drunk. It’s a normal friendly relationship so it’s good times at least. It’s kind of. It can be kind of boring because it’s a very big tour.

Cristiano:  Yeah.

Andrea:  In big places. Big arenas so everything is pretty organized and every band has stuff to do so you don’t have maybe. Maybe really you have a lot of time to kill during the day because you’re somewhere and the arenas are not exactly in the center of the city usually so it can get boring because you don’t have stuff to do sometimes and you’re stuck in some parking lot somewhere. But that’s the way it is. It’s definitely a great tour.

Jason:  Now you’re FYE signings again. How has it been to interact with the fans again?

Cristiano:  It’s been great. I mean since the release of the album. Actually the first FYE signing we did was the day before the album was released and we sold I think a little under 90 copies. 88 or something like that which the day before the release is great. We can really tell every time we play that there’s a lot of people who don’t know who we are. Just to give you an example. Last night when the album was actually released we sold 150 copies which for a show where probably nobody knows you it is a great result. There’s always a lot of people showing up and it’s going strong.

Andrea:  I think that the people really appreciate also the fact that we go out and sign for them because they don’t have many chances in this type of tour to really get see you in person because they only see you on stage and that’s it.

Cristiano:  Yeah.

Andrea:  For half and hour and that’s it. So the fact that you take your time and go there they will appreciate even more the fact that they can buy the CD but they can also get it signed.

Cristiano:  I mean the band signs the copies and stuff.

Andrea:  It’s a good thing. We always did it in the festival at Ozzfest and it always paid back really well because it’s what the people want too. They really care about the band. Not only about ok they have a nice song and that’s it. This type of music people is really loyal and is really into the lifestyle. It’s not just the song. So they really appreciate the fact that you go out to meet them even if it can’t be for a long time.

Lacuna Coil 

Jason:  After this tour ends what kind of plans do you have for touring down the road?

Cristiano:  We’re going to go back to Europe and play a few summer festivals over there. We are also thinking about coming back here [USA] some times during the summer but nothing has been really planned so far. There’s been talk. Talking about going to South America and then go back to Japan and Australia. It’s gonna be a very busy year and the next year for sure as well.

Andrea:  Yeah. Next couple of years we’re going to be touring basically.

Jason:  So a lot of fans can expect to see for a long time to come.

Cristiano:  Yeah.

Andrea:  Yeah. Also I want to add that on this tour we for example haven’t really played any old material from Comalies or even back just because we only have half and hour and we’re here to promote and launch the new album. So we’ve been playing the songs that are mostly well going on the live show and people can get pretty easy get into the show so something that we really needed to introduce the new stuff. When we will be back for a headline, co-headline or whatever of course we’re going to play also some material from Comalies and all the classic of the band. It’s just since I received some e-mails now some people ask are you going to play Heaven’s A Lie or Swamped. Not on this tour but as soon as we come back and have a little bit more of time of course we will play also old stuff.

Jason:  So the people can expect to hear some old songs?

Cristiano:  Yeah. For sure.

Jason:  Longer tours.

Andrea:  Absolutely.

Lacuna Coil 

Jason:  How would you sum up the Shallow Life experience so far?

Cristiano:  Well it’s hard to say. I mean so far whatever happened was just writing the new stuff. Recording it. The touring cycle and the album cycle are just starting right now. I mean all we can see. All that’s happened is very positive. We are having great reviews from press. We are having really good response from the media. Radio stations. Also the people who listen to it most of them have been coming back to us with great and enthusiastic responses. So we can only hope that it keeps going like that. We did whatever we could on our part. Now we just have to be on the road and try to promote it as much as we can. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Andrea:  As you can see on the cover there is a crystal grenade symbolizing the shallow life. The contrast between something strong like a bomb but also something delicate like a crystal. This album is a sort of a weapon for us because it’s an album which we’re going to fight for. For this album because it’s an album that can open new doors for us as a band. It can bring this band to a different level we believe. So it’s a powerful weapon for us to use. Of course you need to be careful how you use it and where and when you use it. But it’s definitely not just another album. It’s not “ok we got a new album out. We’re going to do the same old. Same old tour. Same old”. This album is something different in our career in a way. Not totally different but it’s something we can use to make our career a bigger one or a better one hopefully. Or maybe it can explode in our face (*laughs*)

Cristiano:  (*laughs*) It can end it completely.

Jason:  (*laughs*) So for your future what do you see?

Cristiano:  (*laughs*) Hopefully by a pool in a very nice mansion or something (*laughs*).

Andrea:  The future is definitely touring at the moment.

Cristiano:  Yeah. Oh yeah.

Andrea:  Then you can really tell how the album will be received. We’re going to definitely work hard for this album that’s for sure. We’ve been working so far hard but even for this album there will be more working hard I think because if you really want to try to make something bigger you really need to work hard. Then if a lot of things all align at the same time you’re probably going to have a big success.

Cristiano:  Yeah. The only we can do is really tour and work hard and hope. We strongly believe that this is really an album that’s going to make a difference in our career. But then it’s hard to say whether it’s going to happen or not. I mean hopefully we all wish that it happens. We will fight for sure for that.

Jason & the staff of Sonic Cathedral wish to thank Cristiano & Andrea for this interview opportunity. Best of luck Lacuna Coil !!!

For more information on LC please visit http://www.lacunacoil.it or http://www.centurymedia.com/