Cristina Scabbia of LACUNA COIL discusses evolution, musicianship and longevity
Posted by Christine Palmer
It’s been 15 years since Lacuna Coil, which the band has described as meaning ‘Empty Spiral’, originally formed in Milan, Italy. In those years they’ve toured the world many times over and released 5 albums. Their sixth album “Dark Adrenaline”, will be released in the US on January 24th. We recently had a chance to talk to Cristina Scabbia about evolution, musicianship and longevity.
Brian: You guys are prepared to release your sixth full length album, Dark Adrenaline. After having fifteen years as a band and five albums under your belt, what do you find yourselves doing differently in the song writing process than when you wrote the songs for, say, In a Reverie?
Cristina: Evolution is part of life, you grow up, you do different things, the influences coming from the outside are multiple and you can’t just be the same person as you were a decade before.
You live and learn. For our music it is the same, we are better musicians now. We are more confident in ourselves and the fact that we can be free to experiment different ways to express ourselves without barriers. We learned to not to squeeze a thousand riffs into one song because we don’t need to prove we’re technical enough. We just want to let our hearts and souls speak for us in a direct way, bringing out the essence and the message we want to deliver for ourselves.
Brian: Shallow Life was in my opinion the most musically experimental Lacuna Coil album to date. Do you consider Dark Adrenaline to be more experimental musically, or did you find yourself going to back to your roots on it?
Cristina: I think that more than experimental, Shallow Life was showing more of our rock side. Dark Adrenaline is going back to our metal style. It’s heavier and more obscure than any of our albums and the old school Lacuna Coil fans will feel a lot in common to the signature sound of our roots.
It’s the bridge between the old and the new; it’s a trip into the darkness to try to find the light.
Brian: I was surprised to see the cover of REM’s Losing My Religion on the track listing! What made you choose that song to cover?
Cristina: The idea of covering Losing My Religion had already been there for a couple of years. We were considering songs from respected bands that we liked, and the lyrics of this song were fitting perfectly with the concept of the album. Plus the music and the arrangements totally make this song a Lacuna Coil song… With REM’s lyrics!
Brian: This marks your second time in the studio with Don Gilmore. With Dark Adrenaline a bit of a departure from Shallow Life, did the band find itself having to consciously work to keep the direction of the album cohesive and heading where intended or was it a natural direction?
Cristina: It wouldn’t be right to compare or connect every album we’ve done, because even if we worked with Don twice, the direction and sound of Shallow life and Dark Adrenaline are massively different. You also have to consider that every producer we worked with, in our case, is a person who helped us out to take the best out of the songs we wrote without even being in their presence. So it’s always been a band effort, with extra help. We never really thought too much if our music was the logical evolution of what we did before. We just always translated with notes and lyrics what Lacuna Coil is or was at the time of every album we did.
Brian: The first single from the album, Trip The Darkness, was released in America on October 18th. After a few listens, I feel it would be right at home on Karmacode. Do you consider the song a return to form or just the direction the band went?
Cristina: I wouldn’t call it a “return” just because it wasn’t something we planned on purpose.The songs we wrote during our career are parts of ourselves; you can’t take this away from us. That’s why part of these inputs and inspirations are coming back unconsciously, sometimes. They don’t belong to one of our phases or an album, but to us as artists and musicians.
Brian: Lacuna Coil is an enduring name in Metal. What do you attribute your longevity to?
Cristina: I guess there’s not a common recipe for keeping the longevity of a band, but I think Lacuna Coil has been around for a while because we always tried to keep our music fresh to our ears and we never close ourselves in a cliché. We always worked as a band in an extensive team effort because we are all working for the same goals. And we are all friends in real life. That means that if there is a problem we face it and solve it, just like in a great family.
Brian: You’re supporting Megadeth on Gigantour starting January 26th, along with Motorhead. How does it feel to return to the US on such a prestigious tour and how do you find American crowds in contrast to European?
Cristina: I already know it’s going to be fun! We toured with Megadeth before on Gigantour and we’ve been surrounded by a fantastic atmosphere. This year the package is very interesting and everyone is playing a different type of music, so it’s not going to be boring at all! Can’t wait to start! Crowds are not that different… It always depends on the event. Maybe Americans are a little less “sectorial” than Europeans, in metal.
Brian: Having toured the world so extensively, what bands have been your favorite to tour with?
Cristina: We had so many amazing experiences on the road and we played and partied with great artists from Iron Maiden to Metallica, from Rob Zombie to Anthrax, but the best tour we did and we’ll remember forever was with Type O Negative. Not only have they been one of the main bands we’ve taken our inspiration from, but they are great people we love and we loved to hang out with. Losing Peter Steele was a complete shock for us, but his legacy will be with us, forever.
Brian: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview, we at Upstate Metal wish you the best of luck and continued success with the new album and tour!
Cristina: Thank you! Hope to see you on the road, with Dark Adrenaline!
For more information on Lacuna Coil, visit them online!