Interview by Celtic Bob
Questions by Lord of the Wasteland and Celtic Bob
SHALLOW LIFE picks up right where KARMAKODE left off in terms of embracing more mainstream metal and moving away from the Gothic metal sound. Are there any concerns that North American audiences will view the band as just another female-fronted pop-metal band?
Some people like to give names to your music regardless the music itself, so we don’t really think what people can think about a representation of our own art. I think North Americans are intelligent enough to listen to an album approaching it without prejudices and judging if they like it or not, by themselves.
With you being the “face” of Lacuna Coil, how do you keep peace within the band when Lacuna Coil is referred reduced to “Cristina…and those other 5 guys”?
The guys don’t care at all, cause we all know that this usually happens for 99.9% of the bands around, people always focus the attention on the singer. I’m the different element no matter what anyway, being a woman. But in the end you people don’t buy a record because the singer is good looking , they would buy a poster or a magazine with an image of this person instead of music!!
Do you suppose the band members will move to a more central location or major centre than Italy as the success of Lacuna Coil grows?
We all love to travel but our roots are still in Italy, I don’t think we’ll move as a band. I feel like home in the US as well, so I love to spend time there with the person I love and all my friends.
What is life like back at home in Italy for you now that you have reached a heightened level of success? Are you still able to walk down the street as Cristina or Andrea or…and maintain a “normal” life or does the spotlight follow you in your day-to-day life away from the band?
Rock and metal are not a big thing in Italy, that’s why even if we are the most popular hard rock/metal band and the only band who did something serious out of Italy we can walk around safe, even if of course we are recognized when we hang around in rock/metal places.
How has the commercial success of Lacuna Coil affected the band emotionally?
We are still the same people as we were before, with the same friends and the same passions. Success didn’t change us personally, cause we paid our dues and we know where we’re coming from.
It has been over ten years since the self-titled EP was released. Are you happy with the success of the band at this stage of your career? Did you imagine you would be more popular or has it eclipsed what you ever imagined?
Of course we are happy! Plus it’s not easy to keep a band together for such a long time with no drama and with the same line up! Since the beginning we’ve seen our popularity increasing with each album, and I know we worked hard for everything we get now. I am really, really happy.
How much time off did you take between the end of the KARMACODE touring cycle and the onset of writing for SHALLOW LIFE?
We took like 6 or 7 months off even if we played some shows in Japan and Australia in the meantime… well, I guess it cannot be really called "off time", ahah!
Lacuna Coil hasn’t done an extensive tour of Canada since opening for P.O.D. back in 2005. Are there plans to hit more markets here in support of SHALLOW LIFE?
We’ll definitely be back for a proper tour soon, and can’t wait!!!!!!!!
The promo shots for SHALLOW LIFE are obviously poking fun at the image some have thrust upon the band as “selling out.” Do these accusations hurt or do you let them roll off your shoulders?
If some people are lacking irony its not our fault. We’re not gonna keep back the fun because of some people misunderstanding our messages!
I noticed some carry-over of Middle Eastern/Arabic influences from KARMACODE (“You Create”) to the new album on “The Maze.” Why is this style of music of particular interest to the band?
If you are familiar with Lacuna Coil’s music you definitely know that we already enjoyed to experiment with middle eastern stuff. We just love music in its entireness, that’s why we like to incorporate different atmospheres given by different styles of music, not only middle eastern sonorities.
You moved away from Waldemar Sorychta for the first time and enlisted Don Gilmore to produce SHALLOW LIFE. His pop background (Duran Duran, Linkin Park, Avril Lavigne) has a lot of people up in arms over what the sound of the new record will be like.What prompted the change in producers after so many years and what led you to Don specifically?
It’s normal for a band to change the producer with each album…actually, I’m surprised about the fact that some fans are surprised about the fact we did it! We chose Don because of his professionality and good character; we clicked immediately! He also produced rock bands like Pearl Jam, so focusing on just some of his productions would not be correct to describe him and his job. Plus, he’s not been our songwriter for "Shallow life", but he just took the best out of our creations and pushed us to the limit in the recording room. Some people doesn’t understand the difference in between a producer and a songwriter, that’s the problem!
The obvious question: will Lacuna Coil follow suit and jump to a major label or stick with Century Media Records?
I think we’ll stay with Century Media. We are distributed by EMI anyway!
Considering how successful you are and all the money you have made for Century Media, does the label give you carte blanche with your music or are you still governed by them to a certain degree?
Century Media left us completely free to create our own music.
Regarding your column in REVOLVER Magazine, do you feel strange giving advice to total strangers? Does this carry over to meeting with fans, in that, are you approached with problems/concerns and asked for answers?
It feels great to think that some people treasure your opinion, and I feel like an auntie answering my friends on the magazine. It’s something I definitely enjoy very much!
Has Lacuna Coil reached a level of success that allows you to play music full-time or do you still work jobs when you aren’t recording/touring?
Music is our full time job!
The band included the remixes of “To The Edge” on the VISUAL KARMA (BODY, MIND AND SOUL) DVD last year but has Lacuna Coil ever considered doing a full-blown remix album? Certain songs like “I Won’t Tell You” already have a ripe beat that could be fun if played around with.
Um, it would be interesting for sure, but it’s something we might do in the future… Until the day we’ll have fresh ideas we’ll like to focus on new stuff and leave remixes to other people.
Another of our Staff members interviewed you in 2003 for COMALIES (http://www.metal-rules.com/interviews/LacunaCoil-Aug2003.htm), and asked how you would describe Lacuna Coil’s sound. You said, “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.” Do you still consider Lacuna Coil to be a “metal” band or do you associate yourselves more with rock these days?
I’d say that our metal roots are there and always be, but in 2009 Lacuna Coil are a more rock than ever, and honestly, who cares, it’s the same family. We don’t like to give names to music, anyway.
Do you have any video game or movie soundtrack tie-ins with SHALLOW LIFE?
We are definitely video game freaks! There’s no video game who inspired the album but we are present with our songs in the "Guitar hero" and the "Rockband" games.
How has having a Canadian manager and management company helped out the band as compared to having one in your own country?
We have a great management and couldn’t be happier. It’s just good to be able to trust a person, despite his nationality. Plus being an international band, we wanted someone who could easily deal with the whole world, not just Italy.
The new album debuts’ at #16 on Billboard. Do you feel this is just an awakening for the masses?
Absolutely, even if "Karmacode" . But this is just the start. There’s still a lot of work to do to promote the album.
What is the significance of the crystal/diamond grenade on the cover of SHALLOW LIFE? The single for “Spellbound” had the grenade exploding, will all singles be other variations?
We wanted an artwork that could send a message, and the crystal grenade is perfect to represent the "Shallow Life". Something attractive and good looking…that can explode in your hands if not managed with care. We dunno what kind of artwork we’ll chose for the next singles, yet.
Anything you’d like to say to the readers of Metal-Rules.com?
We seriously can’t wait to meet you all on the road!!!!!!! Enjoy "Shallow life" and keep on rockin’!
Thanks for your time in answering these questions and hope to catch you on tour here in Canada.
Thanks to SHUM at Riot Rock Management