INTERVIEW: Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro of LACUNA COIL

It seems like it hasn’t been long since we walked through the gates at Ozzfest and, at the most un-metal time of 9:30 a.m., heard Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil shout “Good morning!” from the stage. But that was nearly a decade ago, and though new to these shores, the Italian band already had been around for seven years. Now 16 years into its career, Lacuna Coil still is going strong, recently wrapping up the touring cycle for its most recent album, 2012’s “Dark Adrenaline,” with a U.S. run with Sevendust and Coal Chamber, and eyeing a 2014 release for its next record. When that tour came to Baltimore, Maryland, Live Metal’s Greg Maki sat down with Scabbia and Andrea Ferro, the band’s other singer, to talk about life on the road, “Dark Adrenaline,” Lacuna Coil’s longevity and more.

LIVE METAL: You’re toward the end of this tour. How has it been?

Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil

CRISTINA SCABBIA: Long. (laughs) But really, really good. Everything was good—good vibe, good turnout at the shows, great reactions. It was awesome. And we also got the chance to kind of cut this tour in three parts, which made it easier to take. We went to South America as headliners, then we’ve been out with Sevendust since before South America, and now Sevendust and Coal Chamber. We’re very happy about it.

ANDREA FERRO: We’ve had a good relationship with the other bands. They’re very cool people. It’s been long, but it’s also been a different kind of promotion for the band, because we played a lot of shows for radio. Especially in the first part of the tour where it was just us and Sevendust, we did a lot of territories we’ve never done. And then this tour is more the big cities, the classic markets. The other one was really some places we’ve never been, and there was local radio all the time, so it was something that helped us explore a different kind of territory for us.

You’ve been out with Sevendust for most of this year so far. How has it been with those guys? Did you know them well before this?

CRISTINA: We met them before. We didn’t tour together before that. But now I can say that we consider them family. They’re really, really nice with us. There is just an amazing vibe in between bands. Every time we see each other, we hug each other. We hang out together whenever we can. They’re always smiling. It’s just a positive vibe, great vibe.

ANDREA: They always offer the best conditions to play the shows. There’s never been bullshit about money or other situations that sometimes could happen on tour. There has never been a problem. Whatever we need, we could talk to them and they try to fix everything. That’s why it’s been a long tour but very good vibes and no problems.

I was just interviewing John (Connolly) from Sevendust, and I asked him these questions I’m about to ask you. If you could do one of their songs, which one would you want to play?

ANDREA: I like “Denial.” “Denial’s” one of my favorites. They have a lot of good songs that I like, but “Denial” is one of my favorites.

CRISTINA: I like “Bitch.” (laughs)

Then, kind of the opposite: If they were to do one of yours, what song would you like to hear them play?

CRISTINA: They might say “I Don’t Believe in Tomorrow” or “Trip the Darkness.” They were really enthusiastic about “I Don’t Believe in Tomorrow.”

John couldn’t remember titles, but he said the first song you play.

CRISTINA: (laughs) Yeah, “I Don’t Believe in Tomorrow.” I knew it.

You’ve played here in Baltimore several times now. Have you had a chance to get out and see the city at all?

CRISTINA: Yeah, actually, we walked around where the port is, that area, the harbor. We’ve been walking around the area, so nothing too massive of a walk, but we know that area pretty well.

ANDREA: It seems like a nice town. We’ve never had the chance to go deep into it.

CRISTINA: I just noticed today there is a street full of strip clubs, and I never noticed that because we always walk (the opposite) direction. I was looking for a completely different store, and I was like, where am I? People are like, “Come in!” I’m like, “Come in where?”

Being in a band is a lot like being in a family. Obviously, you love your family more than anybody, but they also can annoy you sometimes more than anybody. Does anybody in the band have any bad habits that really get on your nerves when you’re out on tour?

CRISTINA: I think it’s not about having bad habits, it’s just that sharing such limited space for like 10, sometimes 14, 15 people, you get to a point, especially after a long tour, you get to a point where everything gets on your nerves, whatever that is—the volume on the TV too high or somebody not putting back the stuff where it’s supposed to be. To me, it’s about keeping it clean. I like to keep it clean just because it’s our house. So whenever somebody’s cooking or preparing something and doesn’t put away the stuff and leaves it open on the counter, that makes me flip out. But I have my low points. I’m very unorganized, and I have always a lot of stuff on the bus. So I think each one of us has something.

Andrea Ferro of Lacuna Coil

ANDREA: But to be fair, I would notice that it’s more with the crew. The crew has more bad habits than the band. The band, more or less, nobody is particularly super in disorder, while the crew sometimes creates more mess than the band.

CRISTINA: Even stupid stuff like using plastic forks, plastic spoons and put them in the sink to wash. It’s just like, the garbage can is right below it.

ANDREA: It must be an Italian thing. We’re more, probably, used to cleaning up after ourselves compared to the American or British crew that we have.

Right before a show, do you have any rituals or anything you have to do to get ready?

CRISTINA: Oh yeah. We tend to change things every once in a while. We haven’t had the same since day one. But there are some things we do, some things we say, things that we scream to get even more focused on the show.

ANDREA: It’s mostly stuff to get charged, to get that extra charge for the show, or to get more focus.

CRISTINA: A unity thing.

ANDREA: Everybody kind of does his own thing, and then together, right before we go on stage, we meet and do that little thing. But it’s nothing crazy. I think many bands do something similar.

What do you do right after a show, especially when you’re opening and playing a shorter set and you’ve got all that energy and adrenaline?

CRISTINA: Right after? Well, after we get changed, the first thing I do is always eating. That’s probably because we have different metabolism—we’re just different—but they always have to wait a few hours before they get hungry again. I have to eat something right after the show. As soon as we come back to the bus, I need to have dinner, always.

ANDREA: I think that the best thing is to keep it quiet. After the show, you want to relax and stay on your own, get changed. Then you can hang out and drink something. But right after, I like to be kind of sitting alone and relax, take your time, let the adrenaline come down.

Are you going home after this tour is over?

CRISTINA: In a week, actually, we’re gonna be home.

What’s gonna be the first thing you do when you get home?

CRISTINA: Besides saying hi to the beloved ones, I can’t wait to get a real pizza. Actually, we got a really good one the other day. We played in New Jersey, and it was very, very similar to the Italian ones, so that was a treat. But I can’t wait to just lay on my bed and get my food.

ANDREA: What you miss the most—besides, of course, the family—is your environment, your restroom, your bed—the most normal things are what you miss when you’re on tour.

CRISTINA: You give even more value to the stupid things that a lot of people doesn’t even notice—waking up in my bed, opening my window, watering my plants, taking a shower in my shower, sitting on my toilet. It’s something you enjoy even more when you’re home.

The newest album, “Dark Adrenaline,” came out at the beginning of last year. Now that you’ve had that time and you’ve been touring and playing those songs, how do you feel about that album now?

ANDREA: We’re still pretty happy with the album, because we play the songs live and they have a very good reaction, the people sing all the lyrics. We think we found the right balance with the last album between what was more our signature sound from the past and a more up-to-date direction, something that could be fresh in 2012 when we released it. But now I think we are already kind of in the mindframe of writing some new material, actually, because we have already some demos of some music. We can’t wait to go home, take a little break to come back to reality and then go straight into working on the new songs. That’s the feeling we have right now, because we feel kind of creative and have something to say for the new album.

CRISTINA: The only thing I regret about “Dark Adrenaline” is that it is such a great album—at least, for me—that I wish we could’ve toured properly to promote it. Of course, we’re playing a lot of the new songs, but I was really looking forward to doing a whole tour, like with a special set-up on stage dedicated to “Dark Adrenaline.” But in the end, we decided to do a tour that was the “Dark Legacy” tour that was a celebration of 15 years of the band. So that kind of got lost. So I can’t wait to translate this on the next tour, together with a new album that will come out, possibly next year.

The 15-year anniversary, how did it feel to reach that point? When you were starting, did you ever think you would be around that long?

CRISTINA: It feels great. I never really thought too much far ahead. We took every step slowly. It was already a surprise to see that some labels were interested in our music, so it was already exciting. The excitement went on and on and on, but without even thinking about the future. It was more about, let’s learn as much as we can, let’s get more experience and put everything together, and let’s go on as much as we can because we love what we do. But I don’t think we had any particular expectation besides the fact that we wanted to do it as our everyday thing because we just like to do it.

ANDREA: When we had the 10 years, we almost did not even celebrate it, because the 10 years had run so fast because we had so many things happening in the beginning of our career that we didn’t even realize it was 10 years. So this time when it was 15, we kind of realized, wow, it’s already 15 years. So we have to do something special. But we have done so many things in those 15 years, and we don’t even realize so many years have been passing since we started. It’s always been very busy, and we’ve always been projected into the future a little bit—we’re looking more toward the next thing to do. So we don’t really stop and think that much about what we have done. Maybe one day when we retire or something, we’ll sit down and look at all that we’ve done.

CRISTINA: It is amazing to see the generations of fans. You can see different generations at the shows. You can see parents with their kids, and they’re excited in the same way. You see fans who followed us ever since, and a lot of new people came to us. It’s really amazing for us to see that we have not only kept up with what we were doing, but also the fan base is growing and there is a lot of attention to the band. That’s great.

In the early days of the band, was there a moment or something that happened that made you think this is gonna be something, this is gonna last?

CRISTINA: For me, it was when we did Ozzfest in 2004, because in Europe, we were already popular in our style, but that was more, let’s say, normal because we had the potential because we were a different band in Europe compared to the other bands around. But nobody would’ve ever thought that a band from Italy would do the big jump in the States. When we did Ozzfest in 2004, we realized that the reaction was amazing, and at the end of the tour, we were the best-selling band out of the CD tent selling CDs from every band on Ozzfest right after Slipknot, and they had a new album out. For us, it was like, wow, something is really happening. And then on the radio, you would start to hear our song “Heaven’s a Lie” everywhere. That told us that something was changing. So for me, it was definitely then.

ANDREA: Yeah, that was the moment we became an international touring band. For sure, that was the moment that really pushed us in a different league in terms of everything—record sales, popularity, quantity of tours. With that record, we really grew up a lot.

Looking forward, do you have more goals, things you want to accomplish, or is it just to keep going, keep doing what you’re doing?

CRISTINA: For us, it’s just important to be ourselves and to do what we really want to do. Luckily, we always had a lot of freedom from Century Media, and we’ve been able to do whatever we wanted to do. So without planning too much far ahead, my goal is to put out a very, very good album that would make us happy first so we can share our happiness with our fans.

ANDREA: There are always kind of new goals for the band. Now, for example, we are exploring more of the radio here in North America that we haven’t done as much in the past. So that’s a new thing. The charts is going better and better. But we can’t base on that. As she said, we’re focusing on the music. It’s cool to see that, after many years, there are still places we haven’t been. So it’s cool to spread the band like this. Now we are constantly touring South America, North America, Europe, and every now and then, we go to Japan or Australia. We’ve been to India, Russia, Ukraine. We opened a lot of territories. So it’s cool to see there is interest in the band everywhere still. We hope we can keep going, maybe go to China—new territories, as well as keeping what we have.

Can we expect a new album next year?

CRISTINA: Yeah, you can expect it. As soon as we’re back home, after a little break just to be normal again, the plan is to write a new album, and that’s where we’re gonna be pretty much all summer. Besides a few festivals, that is gonna be the absolute priority.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

ANDREA: You can stay in touch with the band at, or you can go on Facebook and find my official page, Cristina’s official page on the main page so you can keep in touch.

CRISTINA: We also have a free app for Android or iPhone. It’s completely free, so you can keep in touch. We’re posting exclusive content. Fans can meet each other, because it’s a big community but portable on your phone. Just type Lacuna Coil and download it.


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