Lacuna Coil – Andrea Ferro
Written by Simon Lukic
Transcribed by Mike â€˜Fucking Hostileâ€™ Holmes
Live Pics by Arto Lehtinen & Lord of the Wasteland
Formed in 1994 Italyâ€™s Lacuna Coil has moved onto greater and greater success with the release of each album. So much so that that by 2004 COMALIES had become Century Mediaâ€™s best-selling CD and their latest effort KARAMCODE reached No. 28 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. Impressive to say the very least and well deserving considering the hard work the band has put into their career. I spoke to vocalist Andrea Ferro on the eve of Australian Gigantour in November were toured the country with Megadeth, Devildriver, Static-X and Bring Me The Horizon.
The band is heading to Australia shortly, it certainly has taken a while for you guys to reach our shores.
Definitely, yes. We have been playing in North America and Europe so much that we have a lot of territories where we havenâ€™t been. We know we have people waiting for us and we really need to get to them. The last 5 years have been so intense in doing the classic markets that we havenâ€™t had a lot of time to go anywhere else. Now we have a bit of a break and have some time to visit these new places, so we are very excited about it.
What does it actually feel like when youâ€™re visiting a new territory?
Itâ€™s very fresh and interesting, not only because of the point of view of the market, but seeing new places and new faces. Itâ€™s very creative in a way, you feel different vibes and you really donâ€™t know what to expect. So, itâ€™s not only interesting to us as a band, but as people as well.
Being a part of the Gigantour is a great way to introduce yourself to Australian fans. Itâ€™s probably something that you were hoping for as well.
Yeah, itâ€™s good because itâ€™s a mix of bands like Megadeth, which is more melodic. Then you have Devildriver and Static-X, which is heavier. So you get a bunch of different tastes for everybody and I think itâ€™s a great idea to bring those kinds of tours over to Australia.
Being a part of big packages is nothing new to Lacuna Coil as the band have been involved in so many festivals.
Yeah, I guess so. We did Ozzfest a couple of times and a lot of the European summer festivals as well. So we are used to the festival situation, which is very nice for hanging out. Itâ€™s also cool for people because you have a limited time to check out the band and not get bored if you donâ€™t like them. I feel that it is the easiest way to approach a new place.
So, what was the â€œHottest Chicks In Metalâ€ tour like for the band?
Basically it was the first time that we were able to headline a proper tour in the States. We took the chance of having the sponsorship of Revolver magazine, which is a very popular magazine in the States. They have this feature about the nicest girl in metal, so it was a good chance to connect with the sponsorship from the magazine. We put together a package with the idea that a female had to be in the lineup. It didnâ€™t have to be the singer, it could be the guitar player or whatever. It was just an excuse to put these bands together type and we did the tour with Within Temptation from Holland, and a couple of American bands, like In This Moment and Stolen Babies. We had a lot of sold out shows and it was a very good experience.
So, how did all of the men feel touring on a package that was called the â€œHottest Chicks In Metalâ€?
It was great. (laughs)â€¦It was not a problem at all.
Did the tour ever get over-shadowed in any way by the quite obvious marketing angle?
No, it really was just an excuse to do a different type of tour for the first time. I think this tour will be going on every year now. We know that with the title it can be mistaken in some ways, but mostly itâ€™s just an excuse to get some attention, itâ€™s nothing more than just a promotional thing.
Yeah, well some people take it in the wrong way, likeâ€¦â€If youâ€™re not super beautiful, you canâ€™t be a part of thisâ€. But it turned out to be the opposite of that.
I think one of the greatest developments in the genre is the inclusion of women nowadays, which is something that didnâ€™t occur 15 years ago.
Yeah, but sometimes I think people overdo it and think that there should be a female and male in every band. The time has come to bring men and women to the same level in bands. It doesnâ€™t really matter whether thereâ€™s a woman or a man in the band.
The band gained a lot of attention when you began and Cristina was a big part of that. Were there some negative comments when you considered a front woman?
Yeah, people were sometimes skeptical about the fact that she was a nice woman, and skeptical about the fact that she could sing or that she could rock like any other guy. She has proved that she can sing and that sheâ€™s a great performer. Of course she plays with her image as every woman does.
More importantly, the band has been able to produce some well received albums over the years. How do you feel about KARMACODE now? Youâ€™ve had quite a while to live with it now?
Well, we are still pretty happy with the album. This album has brought us to a whole new level of attention. So we have moved a bit from the Gothic metal market to a more open rock metal market. So we are changing a bit, from the way the band has been perceived by the people. This album has brought us to a lot of different places, and also has given us time to go to different territories, like Australia and Japan. Itâ€™s all been pretty positive and we are still very happy with it.
I remember a lot of people saying that you were trying to cater for the American market with KARMACODE. That wouldnâ€™t be true, would it?
No. We have been influenced by bands in the States, thatâ€™s for sure and some of the sound on KARMACODE has surely been influenced by the American bands that we have listened to. That was in the past though because I think with KARMACODE we have made things clearer. We had more money for the production, so we could produce a better sound. I think our music sits in between the European and American tastes. We do spend a lot of our time in the States so itâ€™s impossible to not be influenced by the music released over there.
Saying that youâ€™re sound in a mix of the European and American sounds is an interesting way of putting it.
That is the way we are. For example, the time in between the release of KARMACODE we had basically been touring for nine months in the States and the rest in Europe. So itâ€™s is normal to feel like you a part of something else and not just the band that we were before.
Can you explain why the band has made such an impact in the States?
I donâ€™t know, I guess that is because our music has its common points. Itâ€™s something fresh because of the European side – the classic Goth kind of arrangement. On the other hand we have the more powerful and groovy part of the band, which is more attractive to the American market, where the music is a bit more direct. So that is probably why we are successful there compared to other European bands with a similar kind of background. Maybe they are leaning to much to the classical European sound, or maybe something else which makes it not modern enough for the American market.
So do you consider yourself still an Italian band? Would you ever consider moving to America to be closer to that market?
No, I donâ€™t think we necessarily need to move there. I might get a house to spend some time there because I like some of the places. But I would definitely not move from Italy to America, or any other place because Italy is where I belong. We are considered an International band in some ways, but are still very Italian.
So, with all of the time spent on the road, how does the band go about writing new ideas for the next album?
On the road we just play Guitar Hero (laughs). We are not able to collect musical material on the road. We like to party or do more relaxing things. Sometimes we have a pretty tight schedule in between interviews, TV and acoustic sets. Really we just donâ€™t like to write on the road. We like to sit at home and reflect on all our experiences, then collect the material and jam together. So itâ€™s more of a different approach.
Does the success that the band allows you greater freedom? How locked are you into a schedule?
We are always on a deadline because you need to. There is a market and there are rules that we need to follow. We are trying to not force it and to not release anything just for the sake of releasing it. We try to take our time and write the best album possible and we are trying to improve all of the time. But sometimes you have to deal with schedules of course.
So how do you keep your feet on the ground and a level head with all of the craziness that must go on around you?
We have learned to cope through the bad moments that weâ€™ve been through. It started off as a friendship and now itâ€™s turned into a job. But we try and keep it as fun as we can and not become egotistical. We try not to think that this is the most important thing in life. Itâ€™s just a life experience and we try to enjoy it as much as we can. We like to hang out with the people, talk to them and have fun – to share energy and feelings with people. I think itâ€™s the most natural way, you donâ€™t want to think about how important you are, or how much money you make. If you do you will miss the more important things in life.
Lacuna Coilâ€”Official Site