The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Andrea Ferro - Interview
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Lacuna Coil

Lacuna Coil are one of those bands that appeared on the music scene as a unique band with a female singer in Cristina Scabbia at a time when it wasn't that common. Still one of the leaders in their genre and together with original vocalist Andrea Ferro, the band have come along way since that first album "In a Reverie" back in 1999. Their 8th full length album "Delirium" will be released on May 27th through Century Media and the band just announced a headline tour of Australia so we talked to Andrea about the new songs and the band's drive to still push boundaries and be original.



Andrew: You got the new album "Delirium" coming out next month, I had a bit of a preview of it earlier today and it's a bit darker and heavier than maybe some of the previous efforts. I guess that was the intention you were trying to go for this time?

Andrea: Yeah we've been around for a few years doing albums so it was important for us to kind of keep things fresh, do stuff that we wanted to do without caring too much about falling into our own cliche. We've been doing albums, we've been writing songs so it was important for us that this record was something a little different. Something that when you press play that you would be surprised by the songs, it was very important to keep the songs fresh for ourselves and for the fans as well. Not to give them, 'OK it's another Lacuna Coil record, it's a good song', or whatever. We wanted people to be caught, that's why we put quite a strong song as the first song of the record. "The House Of Shame" is quite powerful and dark as you say and it kind of makes you wonder, 'Oh this is kind of different', I think.

Andrew: Yeah I was going to say, that first track "The House Of Shame" is quite a powerful song, it's quite heavy and in your face. It's one of my favorites on the album actually.

Andrea: Mine too!

Andrew: I'm guessing you will play that one live on tour maybe?

Andrea: Yeah sure! We're going to start the tour at the end of April in Asia doing the Philippines and China and then we're going to go to the States around the release of the record to do some little headline shows for promotion and then a couple of shows with Halestorm. And the we come back to Europe and then probably in the fall we're trying to explore new territories in Asia and probably Australia and Europe again.

Andrew: It will be good to see you come back because I guess it's been a while since you have been to Australia.

Andrea: It's been since forever [laughs].

Andrew: I think the last time you came over was with Megadeth right?

Andrea: Yeah that or Soundwave, one of the two. I think Megadeth was the last time probably.

Andrew: Yeah I saw you at Soundwave Festival and was blown away as I had been a fan for a number of years so to see you guys perform live was great. On this tour though you will be picking out some songs from the new album to play?

Andrea: Yeah sure, I think we will try to come back as headliners so we can have a proper headline show in Australia which we never did actually [The band have since announced an Australia tour, details at bottom of page]. So it's important that we do it and of course play some of the classic song from "Comalies", "Karmacode", all the catalogue and obviously some of the new songs as well with all the new stage clothes and stage stuff that we're going to use for the theme of the tour.

Andrew: Very cool! So you were saying that you wanted to keep things fresh, as far as the process for writing these songs, was it different or was it pretty much the same as you had always done it?

Andrea: We've been working a little different because Marco (Coti Zelati, bass) this time has been producing the record and so we kind of challenged ourselves because after working with big producers, metal and rock producers and different kinds of producers, we wanted to see how much we have learned and become mature and be able to walk on our own legs and just go for it. And then in the lyrics, writing the lyrics on our own without anyone supervising and explaining to us how to write lyrics in english and stuff like that, we just see how much after all these years we've been learning and we've been able to stand on our own ground without any external help. So it was very important and a different process, maybe a bit more stressful in terms of responsibility because you know if you fuck up, you fucked up! So it was important that we deliver a good album and that led us to maybe the best approach, is to sometimes just to go free and do what the music requires without worrying too much and staying in touch to what you've done in the past because it's been successful. It's important to put yourself in the mindframe of what you were when you first started the band and you did your classic records where you were not thinking about trying to please everybody or trying to have a song that fits perfectly in that Lacuna Coil sound, just because you've been around so you do have a cliche sound. Obviously whatever we're going to touch is going to end up to be a Lacuna Coil song because the style is there and the elements are kind of the same so there is certain things that no matter what, it's going to sound like Lacuna Coil. But it's important that you keep the approach fresh and you keep the fact that if you want to push the heavy button, just go for it all the way and not just half way.

Andrew: Yeah exactly. One of the noteworthy things about this album is Ryan (Blake Folden, drummer) made his debut on this album. You've had a few different members come and go in the last few years so how was it working with Ryan on the drums this time?

Andrea: It was great! We actually know Ryan about 8 years now because he was our drum tech before he became the drummer and so he's young but very experienced, very different technique compared to our old drummer. Different style of drumming and so we decided to push the accent on double bass and more heavier rhythmic patterns because it's a different drummer. So it was very important especially now that we work with only one guitar and not two, it was important that we have a strong sustain from the rhythm section. And then most of the melodies comes from the arrangement with keyboards or loops and stuff like that and not as much from the second guitar so it was a little different, that's why this record for us is sort of a new chapter for the band not only because there is Ryan or other people but it's the way we've been taking our music to a different stage now. It's sort of a new beginning and having somebody with a fresh energy also helps you out to refresh yourself and try to sound different and don't put too many barriers in front of you because of the experience you have.

Andrew: The other new member is obviously Daniel (Sahagun, guitars).

Andrea: Actually I have to say Daniel is a friend and he's been helping us in the past when Marco couldn't play bass because of injury. He's stepped up and played bass for us and now played guitar on the cruise (70,000 tons of metal) but he's not the new guitar player for the band. He actually plays in another band in America and he just helped us in certain moments where we really needed somebody, but now we are trying a new guy from Milan in Italy and he's going to be on the next upcoming tours and we're going to try him for a few months and see how much we work well together, how much he blends into the situation, how much we can tolerate each other on the tour bus. And so then we will eventually make him a permanent member just like we did with Ryan, first he was touring with us for a couple of years and then we've made a full time member on the record.

Andrew: Oh right OK. Has it been difficult to have members come and go in the last few years? How have you been dealing with that so far?

Andrea: It's been definitely weird because obviously after many years we've been working and building the band together, to have such a drastic change, it is a little weird, especially in the beginning. But I think these guys wanted to change their lives, they're not going to play for other bands, they just decided to quit and do something else. And so it was weird but it was also necessary I think because if you are not 100 percent in the project, it becomes pretty tough to be in the band because you just see the negative sides of the lifestyle of the touring instead of enjoying what you are doing. So it's very important to have somebody in the band that really enjoys being there and really push 100 percent to try stuff and make stuff happen, so it was weird but refreshing on the other hand because obviously if you don't have somebody determined as much as you, it can drag you down instead of pushing you forward.

Andrew: What do you think is the most difficult thing about being in a band? Especially nowadays with the downfall of [record] sales and all that kind of stuff.

Andrea: For sure the economical thing is a problem because you are kind of forced to do certain things because you also have to make an income, you can't just go by glory and autographs and pictures. So you need to consider the economical side of things, that's why you sometimes don't go to certain territories to play because it's too expensive and you're going to lose money and you can't afford it. So it makes things more complicated on one hand, it makes you realize how much you care about it on the other hand because if you're still here and even if you don't become a millionaire. You don't do it for the money, you do it not only because it's a job but because you have passion for it and you really want to keep going because it's very important for you, not only on a business level but also on a personal level, on a passion level and on an artistic level.

Andrew: Yeah it is an interesting time to be in the music business at the moment, noone really knows how it will play out and where can bands make the most money and all that kind of stuff.

Andrea: Yeah it's challenging on one side, it's also a little sad on the other side. Especially for the young bands because the music business has been changing so much that even if there is way more places for exposure towards the internet but it's also not so many chances to break through because if you don't make it quite quickly, you can be cancelled by a thousand other bands who are going to come out and try to make it. So it's very competitive and difficult for young bands to step up even though you have a lot more ways to expose yourself, it's quantity but it's not necessarily quality.

Andrew: Yeah that's right. Well if Lacuna Coil started today, do you think the band would be as successful? Or do you think you were at the right place at the right time?

Andrea: I don't think you can really consider to think in this way because if we had been born today, our sound would probably be different and our approach would be different because we had a different background and different knowledge so it's hard to say. We are what we are because we are the sons of our times, sons of the way the music business was. We've been building our career with record after record, we haven't really gone from zero to 1 million records. We've been building and touring and doing all the openings, all the regular steps of a classic career for a rock and metal band. So it's hard to say what we would have been right now, maybe we would be at zero or maybe we would be big, we don't know as it's hard to say. I don't think you can really make a comparison between the two situations anymore.

Andrew: Yeah fair enough, it's an interesting idea I guess. How did you get into music in the first place? What was it about this type of music that you wanted to be in a band?

Andrea: Me and Marco the bass player started a band when we were very young because we were skateboarders and when we couldn't really skate when it was raining or it was cold, we would just stay home and play some tunes from our favorite records like Iron Maiden and Pantera, Nirvana, Black Flag, Dead Kennedy's, all kinds of hardcore and metal music. So we just grew up listening to music and playing to our favorite songs but we never thought we could be professional musicians one day. It was something that just took place step by step and as we got more into the music, we found the right people to work with and then we recorded a demo and then we got an offer from Century Media. So it's been something that's happened step by step, we never thought music would be our future. We obviously knew that music was one of our biggest passions but we never studied to become professional musicians, it just happened that what we did was the right thing at the right moment. And then we got inspired by bands like Paradise Lost or Type O Negative to go into the more atmospheric, darker side of metal and that was the right thing at the right moment and we found the right people to work with and that was a good combination that worked out pretty well.

Andrew: Yeah definitely all the fans around the world appreciate you guys as Lacuna Coil is a pretty unique band, especially with as singer like Cristina Scabbia. I guess you were one of the first metal bands that came out that was successful with a female singer which is a very cool thing.

Andrea: Yeah when we did it, it was definitely something unique for sure and I think out of all the bands with a female voice, we were always the one to kind of push the boundaries a little bit into different directions. We haven't really repeated exactly the same record, we always try to more or less be a contemporary band and try to be inspired also by the music that is played nowadays so we haven't always been stuck in the same formula.

Andrew: Good to hear! Congratulations on the new album, obviously the fans are looking forward to seeing this come out next month so thanks for your time today, it's much appreciated.

Andrea: Thank you very much and we will see you in Australia hopefully.


Wednesday, October 12: Amplifier Bar, Perth
Thursday, October 13: Max Watt's, Melbourne Friday
October 14: The Metro Theatre, Sydney Saturday
October 15: Max Watt's, Brisbane

Tickets and tour details can be found at Destroy All Lines.

Interview by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie on April 4th 2016