Heart of Steel: Interviews

Interview With Cristina Scabbia
Interview by the Lord of the Wasteland
Promotional picture courtesy CenturyMedia.com
Live pictures by Waspman, Metal-Rules.com

Cristina Scabbia - Female Vocals
Andrea Ferro - Male Vocals
Marco Biazzi - Guitars
Cristiano Migliore - Guitars
Marco Coti Zelati - Bass
Cristiano Mozzati - Drums

After covering the In Flames/Soilwork/Chimaira show here in Vancouver the night before and getting home at 2:30AM, I had the pleasure of waking up 3 short hours later to do a phone interview with Lacuna Coil singer, Cristina Scabbia. Normally, getting me up after 3 hours sleep is like pulling teeth but to talk to one of the most beautiful and talented voices in metal today, I made an exception. I was her first interview of the day and was greeted with a very pleasant, "Hello Sean! How are you this morning?" She was lying in bed in her Boston hotel ready to get grilled by yours truly on the eve of an upcoming North American tour with Type O Negative and later Anthrax. I wasn't sure what to expect but Cristina did give some interesting answers to my questions.

What exactly does "Lacuna Coil" mean?

Well, it is taken from 2 languages, actually. "Lacuna" means "empty " in Italian. When we first formed the band, we were called "Ethereal" but there was another band from Greece who already had that name. Since we had to change our band's name, we thought we would come up with something that still had the same meaning as Ethereal but with no chance of someone else having the same name.



With COMALIES out for a year now, Lacuna Coil is finding their greatest success in North America. Is the band just as popular in Italy?

We have had tremendous success in our country. There are not a lot of bands like us there.



Other than Rhapsody and White Skull, I can't think of any other Italian metal bands off the top of my head.

There are some. Labyrinth, Rhapsody... Italy has many great bands that have not broken yet.



There is an American band called Evanescence that just had their album certified double platinum with sales of 2 million copies. Many critics of the band say they are a rip-off of Lacuna Coil. Does their success frustrate you at all since you have been around much longer?

I can't say anything negative about them because success is good. Good for them. I will say that we have been putting out albums since 1997 and the relationship we have with our label-with Century Media-is very good. They are one of the largest labels for this type of music, but Evanescence is on Sony who is much more powerful. They have much more ability to promote a band which I think has helped them achieve their success. Also, they have the song on a film soundtrack.



Lacuna Coil has toured with Theatre of Tragedy and The Gathering in the past. Do you think the bands are focused on first for being unique, in that, you all have a female singer or for the music itself?

They are both great bands and we have become friends with them, good friends. I hope we are thought of more for the music than just because were are female.



Who were your musical influences?

I did not want to be a singer when I was a little girl. As I got older it just kind of happened. I admire Black singers and how powerful their voices are.

Do you mean singers like Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin?

Them too but some of the singers used for backup vocals in bands have amazing voices. Very strong, powerful voices. I would love to do a tour with all female singers! Not just metal but other types of music as well.



I know bands hate to label themselves as one type of music or another but if you had to categorize Lacuna Coil's music, would consider yourselves to be a Goth band or a Metal band?

We are definitely a metal band first with guitars but we also have a lot of atmospheric sounds as well with keyboards. I think we are many things but first we are a metal band.



Have you begun writing yet for the new album?

We have some song ideas down but nothing recorded yet. It's hard with all the touring but we should have something out next year.



Speaking of touring, you are just about to begin a North American tour, first with Type O Negative and then Anthrax. How did you hook up with these bands?

Anthrax came to our show and we talked to them afterwards and they said they are big fans of the band. The same with Type O Negative. We met Johnny and Kenny and later Peter so we decided to tour together.



Type O Negative seems like they would have a lot of similar fans as Lacuna Coil but Anthrax should bring out crowds that would not normally go to see a Lacuna Coil show.

Yes, exactly. And that is good!



You have toured North America quite a bit for this album. I'm sure this has benefited album sales. Do you get a good response from fans at shows?

We have visited many cities in North America and they have all been great. I'm sure the exposure we have been given here has helped out sales. People are very happy to see us when we play.



You were actually scheduled to tour Canada in 2001 but had some unfortunate luck with your tour bus and were forced to cancel. I live in Vancouver but you have not been out this way yet? Any chances of a Vancouver show soon?

Oh, Vancouver! Yes we hope to get there soon. The tour got cancelled because of the tour bus company.



Many bands bypass Vancouver and will play in Seattle because they can avoid the hassles at the border and we are only about 200 km to the north. In Flames/Soilwork/Chimaira were here just last night and they were held up at customs for 6 hours!

But that is part of the job! It shouldn't matter how long it takes. That is no excuse. It is part of the job to see as many fans and cities as possible.



You were rumored to be working on a side project with Eric Peterson of Testament. Will that project ever see the light of day?

You know we try to get things going but it is hard with our schedules. Eric visited me in Milan and we wanted to work together but we just haven't found the time. Hopefully we will though, yes.



Many bands have spoken out against Internet music downloading. Some have even gone so far as to blame it for poor album sales. What are your thoughts on Napster and file-sharing sites?

You know, no one likes to work and not get paid for it. I understand fans want to hear the songs but there should be something in place where a person can pay for a song if they choose. This is a good idea.



Apple has recently developed this program where fans pay a dollar or two for a song they wish to download. Is this the sort of thing that you, as an artist, would advocate?

Exactly. This is how it should be.

Do you think it has affected Lacuna Coil's album sales?

I don't think so. Bigger bands who sell millions of albums and are more well known have a much larger fan base so they may but not us.



What are you listening to right now?

The new Type O Negative album is amazing, LIFE IS KILLING ME. The new Opeth album is very good too. DAMNATION is not as heavy as their others but more acoustic. The Pain album is good. It is the side project of Peter of Hypocrisy. I really like the new Disturbed CD, too.

Wow! You like a wide variety of music!

Yes, I listen to many different things.



Well thanks for your time, Cristina. It was a pleasure talking to you so early in the day. Good luck with the tour and I hope to see Lacuna Coil hit Vancouver soon!

Thanks, Sean. Nice talking to you, too. Bye!

Check out our Lacuna Coil CD Reviews

Band Website: http://www.lacunacoil.it
Label: http://www.centurymedia.com