Three years after a very well received "Delirium", Lacuna Coil released "Black Anima", their best album to date according to them. Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro played the interview game
DARIALYS - 27.09.2019 -
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After 9 albums, Lacuna Coil is in great shape. Even better, Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro, singers of the Italian band, think that Lacuna Coil has just released its best album with "Black Anima". The musicians come back with us on the release of their previous album, the balance between private and professional life, or their fear of not being able to renew themselves.

We met Cristina (Scabbia, the singer, editor's note) 3 years ago for the release of "Delirium" and the interview ended as usual at Music Wave by asking you Cristina what question you would have liked me to ask you. At the time, you told me that you liked questions about the meaning of life and love, but you didn't have any specific questions in mind. For you today, what is the meaning of life?

Cristina: Well, I've never asked myself that question, actually. I let the present do its work, I live in the present moment without worrying too much about the future and what it could be. I want to be part of the present.

I have the impression that "Delirium" has been a therapy for you and the band. If so, did this therapy help you?

Andrea: I think that beyond therapy, it also allowed us to take a step back on what happened in our lives, between the time we wrote "Delirium" and today. In general, we like to take inspiration from the events that occur in our lives to write our lyrics because it is natural and spontaneous for us. We like to write lyrics that people can identify with, rather than just write for ourselves. This allows us to gain perspective on events. In the past, we have had many people who have died around us: relatives, friends... It is part of life, but when it happens to you for the first time, it can be a very painful process to live through. It also makes you realize things about life. We thought it would be important to use the knowledge we learned and talk about it in our new album. We started from that base.


Lacuna Coil is almost 25 years old. Looking back, are there times when you wanted to stop everything? Have you ever wondered if it was worth it to continue the life of a musician? Because many musicians stop one day to have a real life with their family.

Cristina: We never thought about stopping the band because we found the right balance between our private lives and tours. I think that when people decide to stop their careers, it's because they haven't found that balance. I remember a few years ago, we toured a lot, we did a lot of concerts, and at the end of the tour, we went crazy. We couldn't be far from home anymore! We didn't want to see each other for at least a month! When you live in a whirlwind, you need a break. That's how we decided to play a little less often. Of course, concerts are important for us, but at the same time, we want to have enough time to have a real private life, to be able to tour again with the recharged batteries.

But turning less also means less money coming in....

Cristina: We're not millionaires, of course, it's a compromise we decide to make. The goal is to continue doing what you love while taking time for yourself. Some musicians also have a profession besides music. We have the luxury of being able to do only that, but it also requires a lot of work.

And I imagine you are proud of what you have become, because it means that you have reached a certain level. Not all bands can say the same.

Andrea: There is still less income for the band, because of the streaming and the evolutions of the music world. We are working to structure our band on several levels. We're trying to diversify. We set up a company to guarantee copyright to musicians. We've already had several bands signed. The band is the heart of the business, but we want to develop our business in its entirety. We are lucky to have loyal fans who buy our products. It allows us to live, and we want to put all the knowledge accumulated during these years to the benefit of the music industry. There is only the writing of the albums. That's the fun part. There's the recording, the tours, we have fun, we see our friends. But when you're home, you work too. You have to stop unnecessary spending, save money... You have to be smart! The problem for many bands is that they are simply musicians. They don't understand that there is more to life than music. We love music, and music will always be the core of our activity, but if you want to make a living from it, you have to make sure that music allows you to earn money, otherwise you will have a hard time. It's not easy! We also struggle, but we make sure that we don't have to tour all year round.

With "Delirium", you have closed a chapter in the life of Lacuna Coil. "Delirium" was darker, more violent and more melancholic. This album seems to be central to your discography.

Cristina: I don't really think we've opened a new chapter since "Delirium". I think it's definitely a new book, in every sense of the word! We also consider "Black Anima" (their new album, editor's note) as a kind of book in which we put a lot of things. It was good to close this chapter with a DVD and start over. But in the end, it is always the same people who write the music. Basically, things remain the same, but we had a new start, and I'm very happy because I feel the same passion that we had at the beginning, with a different knowledge and different songs.

Your new album is called "Black Anima". This name refers to a concept developed by Carl Jung (Swiss psychiatrist, editor's note). Has this been an inspiration to you, or is it just about a man's black spirit?

Cristina: It's not a concept in the sense that the songs are not really connected to each other. We chose this title because we wanted to give a name that goes to the essential, something simple that marks the spirit. We thought of "Black Anima" because of the dark side of the album. "Anima" is the soul in Italian, because we put all our soul into our music. In a way, it's a spiritual album.

Andrea: He's almost esoteric. Not in the diabolical sense, but rather in a magical sense. There is something special about it. That's what we were looking for. We composed the main ideas of the album through different elements, including the fact that there have been deaths around us. I was also reading a book called "The Physics Of Angels", written by a priest and a scientist, (Matthew Fox and Rupert Sheldrake, ed.), and they talk about angels, spirits, ghosts according to religion and science. It was interesting, and ideas came to me as I read this book. We put everything on the table and thought that a lot of people could identify with it.

The artwork shows a kind of dragon swallowing a human. What is the meaning behind this cover? Is there a will to shock your fans to show that the album is darker than usual?

Cristina: No (Laughs). Actually, he's our bass player Marco (Coti Zelati, editor's note). He was inspired by the emblem of our city, Milan. His initial representation was a snake with a child in its mouth. He took some liberties with that and drew this dragon with an angel in his mouth, with three snakes biting each other's tails and representing Andrea, Marco and myself. We also see the Lacuna Coil logo in the background.

In any case, you seem to be very proud of this cover!

Cristina: Yes, we love it very much. it immediately announces the color. In a way, it is part of the past, but at the same time, it is very modern. Micah Ulrich is the artist who took over the cover to give it that modern touch.

And your album seems to be a synthesis of what you have done so far. There is a Gothic side and a death side, but with a modernised side, and in particular an industrial aspect that could remind us of Fear Factory for example. Was it a conscious will on your part to make this album a synthesis of your sound?

Cristina: No, it wasn't voluntary, but the songs we chose as singles are songs that we think really represented Lacuna Coil in 2019. There's everything: melody and an aggressive look, a little old, a little new... It was the best way to announce our return. 


"Veneficium" is a title that really reminds us of your beginnings. Did you want this album to be a return to the roots with a modern touch? To create a kind of Lacuna Coil 2.0?

Andrea: Unconsciously, maybe yes, but it was something that came to us spontaneously. The vibes present on the first tracks are still in us. That's where we come from, that's our trademark. It wouldn't make sense for us to make an album completely disconnected from what we've been able to do in the past. We went from being a small Italian band playing the songs of our favorite bands to being a unique band. Since "Comalies", (their third album released in 2002, editor's note), I think we've developed a real trademark. Whatever we record, people will admit that they listen to Lacuna Coil, whether our music is heavier or softer. Whether we play an AC/DC song or Sex Pistols, it will sound like Lacuna Coil. 

That's the goal of all bands! Start with music and assert your personality.

Cristina: And it's always Marco, Andrea and I who write the songs. The nucleus is still there. But if we grow as individuals, our hearts and souls are always the same.

Andrea: It wouldn't make sense for us to follow the latest music. Of course, we like modern music, we listen to new bands, old bands... Fear Factory as you said, we grew up with them, Sepultura, Pantera, it was the music of the 90s when we created the band, Paradise Lost, Type O Negative... It is natural for us to incorporate these influences into our style without following a trend.

How do you explain your evolution towards darker music?

Andrea: With "Delirium", we started to put growl back into our songs. It would not make sense for us to try to purify a part that has to be heavy. If it's going to be heavy, then it's going to be heavy! It didn't scare people to hear growl and double pedal in 2016! It's something very common today, even popular. We do what we think is right for our music. We're not looking to have one of our songs on the radio, we're not looking to do commercial songs. We play what we want to play. "Delirium" was a real success! We sold more "Delirium" albums than the previous one. Today is a miracle! (Laughs). In general, sales decline from album to album because streaming takes over. However, "Delirium" sold much better than previous albums! I think people recognize quality when it's there. There are songs in our new album that are quite traditional for Lacuna Coil like 'Save Me' or 'Apocalypse', but why not have some?

To maintain the notion of good and evil, Cristina, you sing in a pop way at many times, and the result is very pure! On 'Reckless', your voice reminds me of Tori Amos'. The same goes for the song 'The End Is All I Can See'. Pop seems to be a natural evolution for you.

Cristina: I've never really understood the world of pop. For my part, I sing in a very different way from one song to another. It's like I have a different personality on each song. I play with the characters. On 'Veneficium' there is lyrical singing in Latin for example. My voice almost sounds like a man's. But actually, I also really like clean vocals and it's something I've experienced in past albums as well.

Would you like to do a solo album to continue doing vocal experiments?

Cristina: No. I'm not interested at the moment. I think that a solo album only makes sense if you want to do something very different from your band. But I love our music and I feel very free to do what I want. If I did a solo album, it would be Lacuna Coil, so it wouldn't make any sense. In my opinion, people make solo albums because they are about to play music that is not allowed by the group in which they play. I have no reason to make a solo album right now. I am perfectly focused on Lacuna Coil.

Your voice is powerful, it is illustrated in a Gothic register as we have said on songs like "Apocalypse" and "Veneficium". She also has a certain sadness and a form of melancholy in her. And then there's the song'Under The Surface' which is a real hit! He is very dynamic, almost dancing even! Will it be the next single on the album?

Cristina: No! (Laughs). We don't really like to talk about singles. It was very hard for us to know which songs to release first, because every song is different. Not one of them really stands out. We chose 'Layers Of Time' first, which is a fairly typical piece of Lacuna Coil, then 'Reckless', because they are completely different.

Andrea: But we asked ourselves the question for 'Under The Surface'!

Cristina: In the end, I think the listener chooses what he really wants to listen to, what his favorite songs are. It's always like that. I remember that when we chose the song 'Heaven's A Lie' as the single, it was a huge success when we didn't expect it at all.

Andrea: Today, if the first single you release isn't very convincing, people may skip you and go listen to someone else. Everything is going very fast today! We don't necessarily give artists time to really listen to them. The single attracts the attention of people who might not normally have listened to you. Or it's going to talk to people who listened to the band at the time but haven't followed it for a while. It's designed to attract attention.

I really liked the sound of this album. It is both modern and retro paradoxically. Wouldn't this album be a perfect synthesis of what you've played in your career?

Cristina: I don't know about our career! In any case, it perfectly represents the band as it is today. Of course, for us, it's the perfect album, it's the best we've released so far. Maybe also because it's brand new!

Andrea: Sometimes the difficulty for us is to write a song that is not too Lacuna Coil. Sometimes we do good songs, but it sounds like what we've always done.


Aren't you afraid you won't be able to renew yourself enough?

Andrea: We are not afraid but we do not want to repeat the same formula over and over again.

And how do you avoid repeating yourself too much?

Andrea: We're trying! We try and follow what the music tells us. Marco writes most of the music, and he is the one who gives the main directions. He is very critical of what he does himself.

Finally, even if you tour less, when do you plan to come and play in France?

Cristina: In December.

Andrea: I think it's December 1st!

Cristina: It will be at the Élysée Montmartre. I think there are even two dates!

See you in December then! Thank you very much!

Both: Thank you!

Thanks to Noise for her contribution....

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