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Cristina Scabbia Interview 2013

Cristina Scabbia Interview
Philadelphia - April 18,2013
In-Person Interview at the Electric Factory

Going into this interview, I was only a casual fan of Lacuna Coil, which means I knew their song Our Truth from the second Underworld film. Being a large fan of the vampire genre, it is almost a requisite part of my movie-watching life to both know and to have watched the Underworld films. I have mostly a tepid response to those films, but Lacuna Coil’s music has always struck me as being filled with thundering drama and heart-felt lyrics. I’ve always loved how neither the female and male vocalists were forced into the obligatory roles of the female vocalist being the lilting soprano vocalist or the male vocalist being this gruff, burly growler. Instead, Lacuna Coil was always unique from day one.

Christina Scabbia

Having seen them now both live and having talked to the amazingly down-to-Earth Cristina Scabbia, I have developed a newfound love and respect for this band. They have been a band since 1995, and they carry a long history together as being a band that was always unique from day one. Being forced to listen to more of their music as part of the research behind this interview, I have gone from casual fan to a very big fan of their music. After more than a decade, their music is still largely unique and completely undifferentiated from other bands within their genre.

After seeing how the crowd enthusiastically received the band, Lacuna Coil is above all respected as a band that deservedly is held in high honor among fans of the metal genre. Their concerts are filled with pathos and the deft skills of not only the vocalists, but the highly skilled guitar and drum players of the band. To this day, Lacuna Coil is a resilient force to be reckoned with, and both the writers and readers of Sonic Cathedral anxiously await their next release with bated breath.


Justin:  First of all, How are you liking Philly so far?

Cristina:  Well, I didn’t see anything today. Because we had promos, and I woke up pretty late in New York. We kinda partied a bit. But, we played in this venue before, so I kinda know the outside and I like it very much. I have a lot of friends here. I like everything so far, but the weather. It’s raining and its horrible.

Justin:  Its too melancholy for me.

Cristina:  It is. It is. I’m a sun person, its April, Come on.

Justin:  I need the sun out. I think what’s been happening is we have this very erratic weather over here, where sometimes spring cannot decide whether it wants to be here or not. It's terrible.

Cristina:  It’s been like that everywhere. I want summer to come.

Justin:  Yes, summer would even be better. What a great chance then to have really great, bombastic metal festivals. That's the best season for it.

Cristina:  It is!

Justin:  Yes, it is, absolutely. Sonic Cathedral really hasn’t had an interview since 2009. So, I was on the internet, and checking all the records of interviews we’ve had. I was thinking: “We need to get reunited with Lacuna Coil again, and we need to...

Cristina:  Find out what’s happened

Justin:  Yes, what’s been going on since the last album in 2009, for example. How is this tour so far with Sevendust? Why choose Sevendust of any of the bands that you could have chosen to tour with?

Cristina:  Well, we’ve been asked to be part of this tour, and we knew the Sevendust guys already. And, they are amazing. Not only are they a machine live, but they’re amazing people. like always smiling, always positive. You always get a positive vibe as soon as you meet them. So, we were really excited about that, even if our music is different. It’s the perfect tour because we’re both energetic, we’re both groovy, and we both sing. So, it’s not like a lyrical voice. It’s hard rock with some melodies, hook-up choruses. So, its a perfect package.

Justin:  It sounds like the perfect package.

Cristina:  And the reactions have been amazing. The crowds have been insanely good.

Justin:  You both have a history too.

Cristina:  Yeah, we both have a strong base of fans that are coming to the shows. Our fans are liking them, their fans are liking us. So, its just a perfect tour.

Justin:  That’s wonderful! So, people aren’t just ditching the show after you guys perform, and the Sevendust fans aren’t bitterly waiting...

Cristina:  No, it seems well. Of course, I cannot speak for everyone in the crowd. But so far, it seems like everyone is enjoying every band of this run.

Justin:  That’s excellent, and it’s good that everyone is staying throughout and enjoying all three of the bands performing (there were four bands, including the stellar “Stolen Babies”).

Cristina:  I mean. I would do it anyway, even if it wasn’t them. I paid for a ticket for, you know, and I want to see every band so I can have a full idea and give a comment on the whole show.

Christina Scabbia

Justin:  And speaking of the album that Lacuna Coil has just released, Dark Adrenaline, I’ve noticed that the cover art has all these various vials on the front, and I’ve always been curious there is this repeated image of intoxication within many metal band’s songs and albums, like being intoxicated with something. It’s really referenced throughout many of the songs on this album.

Cristina:  Oh absolutely, it is, it is.

Justin:  Why do you think theme is just so fitting , especially with your recent album?

Cristina:  Well, it’s kinda a long story. Because, the whole album was born from very negative situations that we went through, like in our personal lives. And, that inspired us a lot. not to be stuck in this negative mood, but to get out of it, stronger than ever. And, we thought of this theme of this dark liquid that you kinda inject as a sort of, not a potion, but getting medicated with this dark adrenaline liquid would take you to another dimension and give you another type of energy and power.
And that was the kind of the concept of the album. even if not all the songs are related. There is a theme going through the songs. And obviously, when we thought about the artwork, it was kind of a logical thing for us to do something that might fit the concept. And we thought about the vials with the black liquid in it. So, when the graphic was shown to us, we were like “This was exactly what we were looking for!”

Justin:  It’s tantalizing for people who like this sort of dark, gothic mood, especially with your albums. Its like “Ohh! A drug, its compact, and I can just put a shot in, and its safe, because really its just enjoyable music.and it rouses a lot of energy in you” Its really like the perfected drug.

Cristina:  Thank you.

Justin:  Without all those nasty side effects. Its like the Lacuna Coil drug.

Cristina:  Yes, I like that!

Justin:  You just inject it and you’re like “Yesss!” Interestingly, your band did release a companion DVD, which was called Dark Passengers, and I was really fascinated by how each of the videos really captured the way you would perceive each of the band members after being injected with this Lacuna Coil drug, the Dark Adrenaline.

Cristina:  Yes, it is true. It all starts from my video, so I’m injected with this dark adrenaline, and I start to trip out and have weird hallucinations. And the videos of the other guys are connected to the hallucinations I’m having. We had fun! To play actors for a couple of days. We shot in Rome.

Justin:  That sounds fun and it's also a beautiful area. You have sorta these antique buildings. They’re really old.

Cristina:  We didn’t really shoot it in a nice area, since it was in an abandoned medical center that was really huge, so each of us filmed in a different spot. But we tour in Rome, we have friends there, so the city is amazing.

Justin:  I’ve never actually been there, but it’s so picturesque.

Cristina:  Ohh! It’s picturesque.

Justin:  I’ve been meaning to go there someday.

Cristina:  Just go whenever you have the chance.

Justin:  Maybe, you’ll have a good metal festival there during the summer. Would you ever use that concept again with the videos for a future album?

Cristina:  Perhaps, but maybe not that precise concept, but definitely something dark. That’s what we like We’re all fans of this dark vibe, sorta horror movies.So, we always like to play with this imagery. So, we will definitely use it again in a different way.

Justin:  I can’t wait to see how it develops in further albums.

Cristina:  We’re curious too because we never plan anything, let’s see what comes out.

Justin:  t’s sorta unplanned, and then when it come about, its sorta spontaneous.

Cristina:  Yeah, Yeah, very much so-

Justin:  I mean that’s really the definition of good art.

Cristina:  You should always be honest and put out whatever you feel like.

Justin:  Now, on this album, you have have an excellent cover of the classic REM song, Losing My Religion, and at first when I listened to it, I almost got distracted that it was an REM song because it really is uniquely your own cover of this real classic rock piece, or I think it’s alternative rock. Why did your band chose this specific song, and how do you think it fits with the overall theme of the Dark Adrenaline album?

Cristina:  Well, Losing My Religion was one of the songs that we wanted to try to cover. And, to be honest with you, I wasn’t really sure in the beginning because I’m not a big fan of the original song because it’s too happy, poppy sounding for my tastes.

So, I wasn’t really sure about that, but Marco, our bass player, one day came to me and said “Hey, What do you think about this music?” I was just listening to it and thought, “ This sounds like a Lacuna Coil sound.” let’s try to put the vocal lines, change it a little. So, the result was a Lacuna Coil song with REM lyrics. It was kinda weird. It was weird result, but I liked it very, very much.

So, I think it fits because its in the same style of the other songs. But, it’s still a song that someone else. wrote, starting from someone else’s idea. It’s always fun to cover a song that is not strictly metal. because it doesn’t make any sense for us to cover a metal song because we’re a metal band.

Justin:  It shows the potential of the metal genre to really adapt any song of another genre into a metal song. It is in some ways better for a poor song because I don’t really like “Losing my Religion” either, the original. It’s boring.

Cristina:  It is a great song.

Justin:  I think the lyrics and the idea behind it are good.

Cristina:  Yes, same for me. The music is too “lalalalala..”

Justin:  I know, your last official tour featured an acoustic set. I have never seen you guys play live, I know, such a pity. I’ve got my chance tonight. My friend kept telling me that there is this really awesome acoustic set, so I found one of those amateurishly filmed videos on Youtube, so I watched it and was very impressed with the acoustic set.

Cristina:  Usually, they are better live. Because the videos that are put online usually suck. But, it was a cool break right between the two sets, because that’s where we put the acoustic set. The electric part, the acoustic part, and then the electric part again. In this tour that we did that was called “The Dark Legacy,” that was the celebration of fifteen years of Lacuna Coil. That’s why we decided to do this special event, and people really loved it. Now, we did it again in South America, where we played there last March.

And, everybody is really, really happy about this, the acoustic versions, because it gives you a completely different vibe. And its still Lacuna Coil, but it shows a different side of it. A lot of people are asking us if we’re ever going to release an acoustic album. No, we didn’t think about that, but we just started to do it for fun, and because the radio stations wanted us to go there and play a few songs. And, its a whole lot easier with two guitars and two vocalists to just go there and do it.
Justin: Yes, because I’ve seen some bands release acoustic albums, and sometimes I really don’t particularly like that because I like to have it sort midway through and being a part of a whole ensemble piece.

Christina Scabbia

Cristina:  Yeah, Yeah, Yeah...but not only just that , but just part of the show because there is a completely different vibe than just listening to an acoustic song at home.

Justin:  Otherwise, it just becomes Starbucks music. But when its done in the middle of a metal show, it really fits with the range of different styles that you can demonstrate.

Cristina:  Yeah, it breaks things up for a few minutes.

Justin:  Compared with other metal bands, your albums have always featured the joint signing of a female and male vocalist, and that’s why I disregard the label “female fronted metal band” for your band.

Cristina:  Yeah, I hate labels.

Justin:  Without either you and Andrea taking the traditional role...

Cristina:  The Beauty and the Beast?

Justin:   The beauty and the beast growl combo. You guys have always been uniquely different from some of the Nightwish imitation bands. Why do you think some metal bands feel like they're obligated somehow to do this?

Cristina:  Maybe, it’s just their taste. I don’t think they feel obligated to do it. Because if you’re doing songs, not because you’re feeling it, then you’re missing the important part of all of this, the passion for it, the joy of doing it. I don’t know, it might just be their taste. It’s not our taste because we’re not listening to a lot of bands, you know, female-fronted bands. We don’t listen to that type of music. We’re inspired by something completely different, and that’s how we grew up, and that’s how our band developed over the years. We didn’t do it intentionally, it’s just us.

Justin:  So instead of following any real traditions put in place or trends...

Cristina:  No, we never followed clichés, and that’s how it even started for us. When we were discovered by Century Media, which is our label, it was because we playing a different type of music from the trend. There was no one like us then. And, that was our luck because they were like: “Oh, it sounds completely different.” But then again, it was just us. We never thought about it. We’re like “Let’s play whatever we like, whatever comes out.” Let’s try to put it out there and see how it goes.

Justin:  So, right from the beginning, you’ve always been creative on your own, and you’re just doing what you feel is really fun and really inspiring.

Cristina:  Yeah, absolutely! It’s all about that. People are not stupid, they’ll understand when it’s completely fake, and they might like it or not.

Justin:  Yeah, it makes people cringe.

Cristina:  Oh, yeah!

Justin:  So, that’s why people like bands like your band, Lacuna Coil, because you guys have always done what you feel passionate about, and that’s really important. So, I have another question. When I originally heard of Lacuna Coil’s music, the first song I heard was in Italian, I think it was on Comalies. Would you ever do another song in your native language?

Cristina:  If it happens, yes! Because, we have one song that is completely in Italian, and that’s the only one we have is Senzafine. We have another couple of songs that are half in English and half in Italian. I don’t know if it will happen. It might happen or it might not. It’s nothing that we’re pursuing, just because we’re Italian. We’re Italians, but we’re an international band, so we kind of think internationally. Of course, we love Italy, we feel Italian, but it’s not that we want to bring at any cost the Italian language in our music if it wasn’t formed this way. But if it happened, why not? It would be fun.

Justin:  Well, Thank you very much for this interview!

Cristina:  You’re absolutely welcome!

Thanks to Adam and Mike for setting up this interview after such a large gap of time without any real updated interview from the members of Lacuna Coil! Also, thanks to Cristina for taking the time out to offer such interesting answers to each of the questions!! Last but not least, special honors go to Lauren Hughes once again for providing the photos for this interview!!