Interview with Lacuna Coil 1

Source: Battlehelm

by Shan Siva

Formed only 4 years ago, this Italian goth rock band possessing both a male and female lead vocalist have managed to release 3 albums and 2 EPs in their short career and create quite a stir in the metal world. With a new album - COMALIES - out soon I managed to hook up with the band's male vocalist Andrea Ferro to get an update. 


Hi Andrea, can you pls gimme a quick history of the band?
ANDREA: Ok, for your readers who don't know, we're an Italian band from Milan (northern Italy) and we've been together since 1996. We initially created a 2-track demo that we sent out to various European labels and I have to say got a very good reaction. We chose Century Media cos at the time they had similar bands to us who played in the gothic metal style. In ‘97 we released an EP which initially was supposed to be a full blown album but we realised that much of the new material we were writing was quite different to our previous work so we decided to separate the two by doing an EP. Also, there haven't been that many Italian metal bands so we wanted to see if there was indeed a market for our music.  

Absolutely, for such a large metal market, Italy has produced only a few bands - I can only remember those classic guys Bulldozer, where are they now?! 
ANDREA: Ah, you remember Bulldozer? Actually, I know them personally ha ha! The singer / bass player - Alberto - is now a techno producer, the guitarist has a normal job and the drummer owns a studio but also sings in a hardcore band with his girlfriend on drums - its quite a strange ha ha! In fact, there is a small label re-releasing their stuff because you're right, in their time they actually sold quite well. Actually, at one stage Tom Araya (Slayer) was gonna produce their album cos they were also on Roadrunner but they split before it could happen. I think that they were too young and inexperienced at the time and the business side of dealing with contracts pissed them off. 


Actually, didn't you guys also split at one stage?

ANDREA: Yes, in 1998 we did a European promo tour but during that the band split in half with me, Cristina and Marco the bass player remaining in the band and the others - who wanted to become a rock band - going their own way. We preferred to keep the heavy stuff, which I really like to play and also we had just signed with Century Media and considering they were a metal label it didn't seem smart to suddenly change and become a rock band! 


What does the band name mean?

ANDREA: At the time of the demo we were actually called Ethereal but there was also a Greek band with the same name so we had to change it. We chose an Italian word - Lacuna - which means emptiness and combined it with something metallic namely ‘coil' as in the English word for a metal spring. We sing in English and think its a cool mixture. It's like an abstract concept of steel and ethereal describing something in the air and is atmospheric. Do you understand - ha ha?!


Uh yeah, so tell me about the Italian metal scene.

ANDREA: After the early 80s when metal was huge the scene after that was very underground. But today there are bands coming out all the time like Labyrintho, Rhapsody and Linea 77 and these guys are selling and are on European labels. We're also getting a positive reaction from the Italian media and MTV and I think the scene is coming up again, not just for modern bands but also classical metal bands.


You also have the Gods of Metal festival right?

ANDREA: Yes, its a big open air festival like the ones you go to in Germany like Wacken. The billing is mixed so when we played there was also Biohazard and Mercyful Fate playing to around 25,000 people mainly from Italy but also from other parts of Europe. 


How does the band feel about playing with other groups holding quite extreme anti-religious and political views?

ANDREA: I'm not religious myself but I don't have a problem with people who are into it. Our songs are not about condemning it or whatever. I also believe there is a higher force but I don't know what it is. I'm sure there are negative and positive energies around because you can feel it and sometimes it makes you very happy and other times depressed. I think its important to respect people and their beliefs so its not been a problem to tour with bands that have extreme views, just as long as they don't try to force us to think that way.


Do you get many comparisons to Dutch band and fellow label mates The Gathering?

ANDREA: Yes and its to be expected because we both have female vocalists, are on the same label and play a similar style of atmospheric music. But we're still different and I don't think we're trying to clone each other - certainly their last release (If Then Else) is taking them more into progressive rock and that's the opposite of where we're going. The trouble is that they call every band gothic and that creates confusion. With Lacuna we have influences from Bauhaus but also equally Metallica.


Does your female vocalist Cristina have a classical trained background?
ANDREA: No, she's naturally gifted and been singing since she was 3 years old. She's been singing for 25 years and mostly she's been self-trained. Its difficult to change her style and therefore taking formal lessons at this late stage isn't really worth it. On the other hand I'm taking lessons because I want to use my voice more and sing in different styles and also develop as a musician.


How do you see the band progressing?

ANDREA: Things will change as we will want to experiment more but the heart of the band will remain. I don't think we will become a black metal band for the next album ha ha! We want to be open but its not going to be like one song is atmospheric, one metal, one death metal - I'm sorry, this is just not possible ha ha!


OK Andrea, thanks for your time.

ANDREA: Thank you for the interview. I hope I will see you and the other fans on our tour - ciao!


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