After seeing their reaction to Australia on last year's DVD there's little doubt that Italian rockers Lacuna Coil would be eager to return to our shores. As one of the more anticipated acts on the forthcoming Soundwave Festival, they will get their chance to weave their magic here once again. Goreripper spoke with the enchanting Cristina Scabbia about returning Down Under, the band's next album and the possibility of a headlining tour of their own here some day.
Goreripper: I know from having watched your DVD that you loved playing in Australia last time.
Cristina Scabbia: I loved it. I am counting the days. I can't wait. And plus here it's snowing as hell and I'm a sun person so I can't wait to be there where it's hot.
Goreripper: It's been very, very hot here. We've had days where it's been 40 degrees and more, in some of the places where you'll be playing. And it's February now, so it's going to be even hotter. But I'm sure you'll appreciate that!
Cristina Scabbia: I'm going to love it! I love, love, love sun and nice weather. I feel weird when it's grey and rainy. I just don't like it!
Goreripper: With the shows that you are doing here this time, I think you're going to have more time to see more of our wonderful country than what you got to see last time.
Cristina Scabbia: I hope so. We were kind of discussing visiting some of the places like the koala sanctuary we visited last time we were there in Brisbane, and I definitely wanna be a bit of a tourist. Because for us it's really far. It's really far and it's really rare for us to be there and I definitely want to see as much as I can because I just loved it. Last time when we visited we saw Sydney and Brisbane and we visited Perth, and it's just amazing because usually when you are on tour, you don't get to see much of the town you're playing in. You see the venue and what's around it.
Goreripper: I've been following your band now for about a decade, and it must be incredible for you to have made that journey. Especially being from Italy, which probably isn't a place on a lot people's radars when it comes to rock and metal.
Cristina Scabbia: No, it's definitely unusual. Our journey is really different from the others, because since we started we started with a label that was from Germany but we signed with the American side. So we started immediately as a sort of international band, because we've always been a band that's always been really, really open to all kinds of music. We didn't really start out as a local band that made it. So the process was really different. But I can understand that it's weird, because Italy's not notoriously a very rock/metal country (laughs).
Goreripper: Well I think a lot of metal fans who do think of Italy probably think of really terrible power metal bands and you sort of changed that image. Your music started out really dark and heavier, but it's always had that pop sound to it that you seem to be experimenting with even more now. You are working with a different producer this time I understand.
Cristina Scabbia: Yes, we worked with Don Gilmore (Linkin Park, Dashboard Confessional, Avril Lavigne). We recorded the album last year. We're definitely happy, because as you were saying, you were talking about the little bit of darkness in our music, but to be honest when I listen to our stuff, I can hear a lot of different influences. There is not Gothic metal or power metal or classic metal. There is a mixture between rock, a little bit of metal and a little bit of Gothic. It's something completely different. It's really difficult to classify. We've been classified as a Goth metal band because we like to dress in black and when we started we were really influenced by bands like Paradise Lost and Type O Negative. We were clearly in the dark side of music. But I think we have changed so much that it's reaslly difficult to give a name to our music. And the new album will be even more rock than in the past!
Goreripper: And you chose to do a cover of a very sophisticated pop act on Karmacode when you did the Depeche Mode cover. Do you think that surprised a lot of people, and is that an exploration of what we can expect from the new album?
Cristina Scabbia: No, no, no, no. That cover does not represent in any way the sound of the new album. When we chose to do that song, we specifically chose a cover that everyone could sing on the concerts. Everybody knows "Enjoy the Silence"... Depeche Mode, we definitely like the band even if it's not one of the first influences on Lacuna Coil at all. Like, our bass player writes most of the music and he's not interested at all in them. So we basically did that song because of that, and people liked it so much that we made a single out of it. But it was not our intention. The new album is completely different. It is definitely the next step for Lacuna Coil. There is some stuff that sounds similar to the old albums we did, but on the other side, as I said, there is a stronger rock side that makes every song more powerful and in-your-face.
Goreripper: I always noticed that your songs are quite uplifting, which is not something that I would associate with a Goth band.
Cristina Scabbia: Oh no me neither! It's not that I'm against it or refusing it, but when I think of Gothic I think about other kinds of bands that are more concentrated on that side of the music. I think it's too simplistic to refer to a band as "Gothic" because you have a melancholic vibe in your songs.
Goreripper: The Soundwave Festival that you are doing here, you are going to be playing with some incredible bands, probably some that have had an influence on Lacuna Coil. Are you looking forward to seeing some of them?
Cristina Scabbia: I'm looking forward to seeing Nine Inch Nails because I like their music and I think they have a really good show. And then I'm looking forward to seeing some friends of ours like In Flames and DevilDriver, just hang out together and check out the bands that I never listen to before.
Goreripper: And getting to see some more of the country too!
Cristina Scabbia: Absolutely! Of course the main thing is going to be (to) try and promote the album a little bit, because we are going to play one new song in every set. Each set we are going to play a couple of new songs. We are going to prepare a couple of new songs and switch them during the days of the festival. Maybe one day we'll play one and the next gig we'll play another one. But the other goal will be to see more of Australia, because since the day I visited, it has been in my heart. I knew it was beautiful, but I didn't know it was that beautiful!
Goreripper: I got the impression that it's definitely one of your favourite places from what I saw on the DVD!
Cristina Scabbia: Absolutely!
Goreripper: The tour's going to be a bit of a prelude to the album. When can we get our hands on it?
Cristina Scabbia: We don't actually have a release date yet. We are thinking of (Northern) Spring. And of course when we know, we'll let everybody know! But you know how is it, with marketing plans and everything... the album is recorded. We did our job already. It's just a question of organising everything from the label and promoters and... it's a complicated thing. It's a question of putting everything together.
Goreripper: When the album's out, would you like to come back to Australia as the headliner?
Cristina Scabbia: That would be amazing! But to be honest we're pretty new to Australia even if we've been around for a while. For us Australia is a new territory. We are not that superb to think that we can go straight away and do a headliner tour. We want to just come by a few times with other bands and try to promote the band and play as much as possible to let people know we are existing. Because we are newcomers over there, basically.
Goreripper: That's a wonderful attitude to have when the band has been around now for more than a decade. To have that sort of attitude is really refreshing.
Cristina Scabbia: That is probably the secret! I think the attitude is everything. You always have to have something to learn from life and other bands and from experiences. And the best way is to stay with your feet on the ground and have fun at the same time!