Interview with Cristina Scabbia on ‘Shallow Life’

Interviewed by Joshua Becker

Enjoy an older interview we did with Cristina Scabbia.

I can’t seem to find out how Lacuna Coil was signed to a record; would you be able to explain that to me, please?

We signed a deal with Century Media in 1997, right before we recorded our first EP “Lacuna coil” released in 1998.

I understand Lacuna Coil is recording another album to be released next year; would you care to tell the fans some information of it?

We are still collecting stuff and ideas. It would be premature to talk about the new album as the material might take a different direction as we work on it. We’d like to make it heavier than the precious records, even if ballads will be there anyway and more dark and obscure. We’ll see…

I am still very curious, even though this is an old subject the title 1:19; I would really like to know what it is about; my friends and I think it has to do with suicide; would you be able to elaborate?

We will NEVER answer this question… the meaning of the title is known to the band only, sorry!

As we all know the name Lacuna Coil means empty spiral, but how exactly was that name conceived?

Empty Spiral is actually not the accurate translation. Lacuna is an Italian/Latin word that means something like “lack” but not really. Something like an empty space. Coil means spiral. From there the translation into “Empty Spiral” that is also the name of our official fan club.

Seeing as how you have toured with Lacuna Coil all over the world, is there one place that you have been that you would like to see more, or one place you have not toured that you would like to?

From China to Thailand, from Philippines to Hawaii and so many other places. we are gonna get the chance to go to India in October and I can’t wait!!!

What are certain routines you perform to get ready for a concert?

Some little ceremonies are secret inside the band, like things we say and we do, so I can’t tell you… But we mostly warm up and chill out before the party starts!

What do you think fame has done for you in a positive way? That is, since you are a huge name in metal, what does that do for you as a person?

Beside having pictures in magazines and videos on tv, which is obviously cool, my life didn’t really change. I think it is really important to keep your feet on the ground and to be “normal” as much as you can.

Is there anything that we, the fans, do not know about you? Fears, hidden talents, etc.?

I am a little afraid of spiders, even if I love them, and I’m really good in preparing handmade pasta and focaccia!

When you are on stage performing in front of thousands of people, do you ever get nervous that you may mess up a song or do something embarrassing?

Not really about messing up a song, cause it’s all about fun on stage.What I am afraid of is when I am sick for whatever reason and my voice is not as good as it should be. I don’t want to disappoint our fans coming to a gig to see us.

The name for your latest album “Shallow Life” how exactly did the band come up with that?

We thought about the fact that in our society it happens very often that image is all and everything is really superficial. But there are also “superficial” things that are beneficial, like a football match to watch, or shopping with friends… the most important thing is to find the right balance and to stand up when important things are coming up in your life.

Where do you draw your inspiration for singing; that is to say, who are your role models or what bands do you take after for your inspiration?

I don’t really have role models or bands who are examples to follow, but I take inspiration from different things and people. My family, people who believe in their potential. Rock.

I saw you and Tarja Turunen at the download festival one time way back, before then did you ever know her or how was that?

We met way before Download. She’s cool!

As I am sure you have heard, you have a beautiful voice; I was wondering what your vocal range is; also, what type of vocals are you most prominent for?

I have no idea, I never took lessons and I don’t really care about my vocal range, I only hope to give emotion to people who listen.

What was the weirdest thing you have experienced by a fan as a celebrity? That is, what is the weirdest thing a fan has done or given you?

Uhm…we signed weird stuff, like a toilet cover… I once signed a dildo.I see a lot of tattoos related to us. Recently a guy got my signature tattooed on his arm… It happened before but that one was reeeeeaaally big!!!!!!!

Last question; because of the fame, do you sometimes wish you weren’t as famous as you are, because of the crazy fans and lack of privacy, or, do you not regret any of it?

I’m not Madonna, so I can have all the privacy I want, haha! The fact is… is so easy to not to be in the spot if you want to. I pretty much hide myself in public, I’m not an attention freak, at all.

Interview with Cristina Scabbia on ‘Dark Adrenaline’

Interviews by Joshua Becker & Jessica Clingempeel | 1.31.2012

This is the written version of our phone interview with Cristina Scabbia back in 2012. Enjoy an older interview! \,,/ —Jess

Jess: How is the tour going so far?

“Oh, it’s going amazing. Today we are taking a break out of Gigantour because we have a headliner show in Baltimore, so now we’re just like chilling out on the bus, you know waiting for tonight. It’s going great, though I mean Gigantour is phenomenal, everything’s good, we’re getting along in an amazing way with all the others, and the venues are pretty packed, and the reactions are great, so its all good.”

Josh: Did you guys run into any problems when recording “Dark Adrenaline”?

“No, not at all. No problems at all, because the material was ready, so all we had to do was to go into the studio and record it, but we didn’t get any type of problem, everything went super smooth.” 

Jess: How about funny moments while recording? Any embarrassing stories to share?

“Nothing too crazy because when we are in the studio we’re extremely focused and super scared because we want everything to be perfect. So, nothing super-funny or super-crazy, but, actually there was something weird about the studio in L.A. –-because the album is being recorded in-between Milano, our hometown, and all the vocals and the arrangements have been done L.A.—There was a rumor that there was a ghost in the studio, and we kind of experienced some weird moments where things were kind of moving by themselves, or a chair in a spot would move in a different spot without anybody touching it, so, that was kind of weird.”

Josh: Did the record company pressure you at all when recording to get it done quicker?

“No, not really, actually we finished the recording around September, and the album was supposed to be out in October, but then the label decided to postpone the release of the album. Just because they wanted to have more time to set up all the marketing plan—you know, all the labels and stuff. So we didn’t get any type of pressure, we just took our time to write the songs the way we wanted to, and we entered a studio when we felt ready—obviously you have to set yourself up to sort of a deadline, because you can’t really wait centuries to release an album, you know, you just have to be spontaneous in song writing, and don’t go over it too much, because then you risk to change it too much, and to make it look not spontaneous at all, and that’s really important for us.” 

Jess: Were there any songs written that you wanted on the album, but did not make it there?

“We had a couple of songs that are going to make it in special editions that are not in the album, and then we wrote a lot of stuff, but we left it behind because we usually don’t write complete songs and then we cut them out of the bunch of choices, but if we feel that a song has not the right potential to our ears, we just leave it behind. So, we wrote a lot of stuff, but not complete songs that we just like didn’t include in any version of the album.”

Josh: How is the album compared to “Shallow Life”?

“It’s different, just, the whole production is different, there are more solos’ its definitely darker, the vibe is way darker than probably any other albums we did. Its heavier—the sound coming form the original session is big compared to “Shallow Life” and the other albums, and its something curious because we used the same producer, and we talked with Don a lot because we were sure about the sort of direction that at least the production should have with this album, and we’re really happy about the results of the album. For the first time, the mixing and the mastering had been done in Italy from Italian people, so, its sort of like an American-Italian production.” 

Jess: What was the reason for making “Dark Adrenaline” darker than the previous albums?

“I think its due to the fact that in-between “Shallow Life” and the beginning of the song writing for “Dark Adrenaline” some members of the band went through kind of bad and sad moments in life, and as soon as we are inspired by life, itself everything we’re living, everything we’re experiencing goes straight to the song writing, as well as songs, and, sometimes in an unconscious way. When we finish the old record, and we started to listen to it we just immediately noticed that it was different from the previous albums we did, and something that we noticed, even after—since we started to let other people to listen to “Dark Adrenaline” before the album was being released, we just noticed that it was a combination in between the very old stuff, the very old Lacuna Coil stuff and the new stuff. This is kind of curious because it came out in a very natural way. We didn’t plan it, but it’s cool because its still part of us; we didn’t really change as people, Its still us, and its still what’s inside of us—it came out all of a sudden.” 

Josh: What creative elements helped determine the direction of “Dark Adrenaline”?

“We didn’t really know, we never really know, because in the past we used to just meet in the practice room, and create everything form zero there. Now, things have changed, because even if you’re in a different house, even if you’re far from the other members of the band you can still record ideas on a phone, or tablet, or on your computer, and to collect a lot of ideas that you can then present to the other members of the band, and, sometimes you can just send files—you don’t even need to be in the same place. So, we collected a lot of stuff separately and we gave it all to Marco, which is our bass player and the main composer of the music’ he put everything together, and as soon as we had sort of demos of the music ready, Andrea and I started to go to Marco’s house where he has his own studio, and we just started to throw ideas for vocals and to present the ideas we had about some ideas of vocals that weren’t based on any music that the other guys wrote. So, we put everything together and we started to go to the practice room altogether, just jamming to find out what we would like, and what we didn’t like, and that’s how it started, and everything came up.” 

Jess: How did the song writing process go and what inspired the tracks.

“We started to write in the end of January 2010, and, as I said we just took all the ideas and put them together, and we found out what we liked and what every member of the band liked, because there is a strong democracy in the band—its teamwork. We work altogether and everyone has to approve the tracks and be happy about it, so, we kind of used the same process, the same popular process of song writing where everyone has to be 100% happy about it. We started to work when we were inspired, because we can’t write on the road; we need to be back home in our own environment to be able to focus completely on the music, and to dedicate ourselves 100% to a new work.” 

Josh: Who did the majority of the writing process for this album?

“Marco our bass player, he’s the guy who puts everything together and writes the majority of the music, but everybody’s contributing, and Andrea and I are responsible for vocal lines and lyrics too.”

Jess: Concerning the song “Trip the Darkness” what was the meaning behind this specific track?

“It kind of represents the vibe of the whole album, it’s the fact that no matter what, if you are going through moments in your life that aren’t exactly happy, you can always find a good thing out of it. You can still, sometimes feel more alive because you are feeling something deep and something strong in yourself. The song talks about the fact that you have to try to go through this “darkness” and try to get out of it, to get out of the anger in a hopeful way because there I always the light at the end of the tunnel, and you can always reach it if you really wanted but at the same time you can still enjoy the darker moments for a while.”

Josh: What is the message you are trying to convey with “Dark Adrenaline”?

“We don’t want to send any message because the music—we write music because its therapeutic for us, its sort of a diary that we write day-by-day; we put all of our experiences in our songs, so we don’t write music to please other people or to share it, we basically are doing our own stuff and write to please ourselves, and its cool other people can share the same things we have, and the same things that we are saying. Sometimes, giving a different meaning, but I think its cool, it’s a cool thing about music that everyone can give a different interpretation according to the moments they’re going through, but we didn’t really need to send any message, I mean, we don’t want to teach anybody, we’re just writing music because we just love to do that for ourselves.” 

Jess: What are the plans for Lacuna Coil once touring is over?

“We’re going to finish the tour April 3, so we’re going to be home for two to three weeks to rehearse, because we’re not only going to play a few shows in South America with Lamb of God and Hatebreed but, also coming back for a headliner right now we’re playing in The States, and then it is going to be a lot of touring’ summer festivals in Europe, and the usual circle. You put out an album, and then you tour as much as you can to promote it.” 

Josh: If you could be any other singer for a day who would you be and why?

“I don’t know; Mike Patton, even if it’s a man, because he is one of the greatest singers ever, so—he can growl, he can go high and he has a lot of volume. It’s phenomenal, so, it will probably be him, either him or Freddy Mercury, preferably.”

Jess: What would you like to say to your fans?

“Well, I want to thank them so much, because, I mean we have been around for a while, and this is only possible if you have a strong basis of fans, and we say everyday that we owe them, because we write music, and they support us through the concerts they’re coming to see and through the albums they’re buying. This really important, because his makes it possible for us to continue to do what we love, and what they like, so, it’s a big thank you even if it sounds like the most obvious thing to say. You know, we try to thank them everyday through our pages, our Facebook and Twitter, Social Networks; we try to tell them, because its important for us to tell them everyday how thankful we are, and how blessed we feel, that we have such a great group of people supporting us.”

Interview with Cristina Scabbia on “Broken Crown Halo”


Interviewed by Joshua Becker
3/14/2014

Hi Cristina, first of all, thank you taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview. Second, I would like to congratulate you and the band on yet another fantastic record.

I see the band is touring with Sick Puppies this year. How is it touring with them?

This tour is so much fun and the bands are getting along in a great way. I’m glad we got the opportunity to be part of this tour.

Concerning “Broken Crown Halo,” where did you and the band come up with this interesting title for the album?

It is representing the fact we are all living in our own small little kingdom in which we are kings and queens and this kingdom can be “damaged” by everything that happens around it.

So we thought about the image of a broken crown and the “halo” that surrounds us.

How has the reaction to this album been thus far? Is this album being welcomed as much as your older albums?

The album is not out yet, so we don’t know. But the few songs we have release so far have had a great welcome, and they are being played on radio. People are already singing them out loud at our gigs!

I noticed the track listing for the new record, and I was curious as to why the overall theme of the tracks seem to be a bit dark, perhaps as if they were to depict a struggle or inner war that is being fought, yet at the same time a freedom from being bound by chains. What from your life, and or the band’s lives inspired these tracks and track names?

Real life is what always inspired us. We are not a band that talks about fantasy stuff, is simply not our stuff.

Last year has not been great in terms of private life, for some of us. I don’t really want to share the details but what happened has a huge impact on the lyrics, in a dark way.

It has been a sort of a self therapy for us, extremely liberating.

I heard the song “Die and Rise” yesterday, though I did not see you mention it specifically in an interview or social media. Was this an accidental leak?

No, no leaks. We put it out on purpose and it was actually the single for the United States , that ’s why like three songs were out at the same time.

Continuing with “Die and Rise,” I notice towards the end of the song there is a little bit of Italian in there, which I thought was great. What was the reason for putting Italian lines in that song?

We just liked it. We don’t really think to much about “why” we do something in a way or another. You don’t need a reason to let the inspiration and the creativity flow.

A lot of people seem to notice some similarities between “Comalies” and the older sound with “I Forgive (But I Won’t Forget Your Name.”) Have you or the band noticed them at all?

I started noticing it when someone pointed that out. I don’t find it weird… It is still us and the songwriters are the same. No matter the evolution , your come will always stay the same.

Over the years, do you think Lacuna Coil’s sound and vibe have changed, or do you think you and the band have stayed true to your roots?

Thinking about life without evolution is not realistic.

We all grow up, experience different things and we live and learn. Doing the “same album” over and over would be an offense to our fans and hey know we are not afraid to float in and out our rock metal roots being ourselves no matter what. Changing some things in your life and art doesn’t make you “untrue to your roots”, anyway.

I heard the sad news on Facebook the other day that Cristiano “Pizza,” Migliore, and Cristiano, “CriZ” Mozzati had retired from the band. My condolences to you and the Lacuna Coil family. If I may ask, what made their retirement decision; I read they were personal.. perhaps you could elaborate? How will this affect the future of Lacuna Coil?

Condolences? Thank God they are not dead!

They retired for personal reasons not related to the band or any fight in between us. I won’t tell more because I don’t want talk for them.

Life changes and it is fair to be wanting to do something different but we are stronger than ever and more motivated than ever so we are super happy.

Do you think being a female in a male band presents any challenges for you, or do you just feel like one of the guys?

I’ve never ever felt being in a challenge because I was a woman.

Lacuna Coil has been together about 16 years (20 if I were to count when you were also in Sleep of Right.) How or what do you think has kept the band together this long? Especially knowing it is becoming very common in the music business for bands to break up over “artistic” or “creative” differences?

Probably the fact we are all friends and we were working for the same goals. No ego, no bullshit out of music and friendship.

That is a big thing in a business that sometimes put together members in bands only in the name of the God Money.

On to non-band questions:

If I were to look at your music collection, or the band’s, what would I find?

Too much stuff to be mentioned, if you love music you have a huge amount of music. In our ipods or computers you’d find anything from ACDC to ZZTop.

Do you have any regrets or moments in time you wish you could change?

Maybe they are but they might have change who I am right now, which I am pretty happy. So I wouldn’t change a thing.

Has being in music what you have always wanted to do, or did you have another career path in mind before Lacuna Coil?

I honestly wasn’t planning to become a singer in a band. I always loved to sing but I was too shy. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do… I always lived day by day trying to take the right decision.

What is the best advice you would give someone who has big dreams for themselves, but don’t know how to make those dreams reality?

Be yourself, don’t be afraid to show who you really are and don’t stop dreaming but also be realistic, deep inside you KNOW what you are really good at, so GO FOR IT!

Interview with Cristina Scabbia on “Delirium”

Interview by Joshua Becker & Jessica Clingempeel
© Ethereal Metal Webzine
*Past interview, not current*

The release of your eighth studio recorded album is just around the corner.
Do you feel that you have learned anything new while recording this record?

Cristina: We have learned that we can do everything ourselves from
beginning to the end as it is our first self produced record (and possibly the
best we’ve ever done!).

There has been a lot of pressure on us because of the deadlines but I
definitely feel we stepped to the next level.

As we all know delirium means a disturbed state of mind which includes
illusions, and restlessness. Did anything happen in the band’s life to
attribute to the title. Did the band experience anything in their life where
everything felt surreal or like a fantasy?

Cristina: We had personal experiences related to the topic. Episodes of
severe depression, anxiety and also serious medical issues within some of our
families.

Something that helped us to develop the theme …but something we are not
very happy to talk about and share.

So far three songs have been premiered, including a lyric video; what has
been the reaction so far and is it anything what you expected it would be?

Cristina: Both old school and new fans are loving the songs and we got
great reviews.

There’s a lot of curiosity about “Delirium”, a lot of
anticipation and whoever had the chance to listen to the full record loved it.

When listening to the songs on iTunes, I was intrigued by the sound. In
fact, I have come across many comments on the web from those saying it is a lot
different from the previous albums, in a good way. Are you shocked by these
comments? What made the band take the route it did? Does it have anything to do
with the new line-up?

Cristina: We were not shocked at all to be honest.

I expected a reaction like this as people never heard us going in very
heavy directions (even though we have a lot of unreleased demoed stuff that was
even heavier than “House of shame” for example).

Ryan is also a very dynamic drummer so he definitely added his punch.

Vocally, you can be heard hitting some pretty high notes and it’s pretty
impressive, especially in the song Delirium. What is the highest note we will
hear on this record?

Cristina: I don’t know. There are so many layers of vocals and sometimes
the higher, weirdest notes are in the background, with effects on.

I never “measured” my real voice extension, it is not a challenge
for me to reach the highest pitch but it is my way to “colour” the
songs and try out new styles.

“House of Shame” was released as the lead single for
“Delirium.” Is this because the track sets the listener up for a
precursor to what the album’s overall mood is?

Cristina: In these days whichever song you put out for everyone to hear is
considered a “single” but truth is that we put out “House of
shame” as the first song because we wanted to show our change and the new
vibe in the Lacuna Coil camp. All the songs will be different and the whole
record is a trip.

You mentioned in previous interviews the band actually visited real-life
insane asylums in Italy; do you feel that this record, the lyrics from it could
be a look into what used to be? Is it ethereal in the sense the band is
speaking for those who no longer have a voice to detail the horrors and
tortures they went through?

Cristina: It is hard to describe feelings into few words.

The lyrics are describing our perception of past and presence.

We visited abandoned asylums, we created our own fictional sanatorium but
we also experienced places of contemporary cure of mental illnesses.

All these places left a mark forever, whenever you enter these walls you
can perceive the heaviness and the darkness of unknown, parallel spaces.

Andrea said in an interview that the new album is basically an insane
asylum, and each track is a different room. We have all experienced mental
illnesses at some points in our lives, depression, bipolar, etc. Do you think
this will give fans something to relate to, for fans to say “hey, I am not
alone. I am glad someone else feels like this?”

Cristina: I am sure a lot of people will relate to this record that we
wrote exploring mental issues but also moments in all of our everyday madness.

It was important for us to do it in a non disrespectful way as it is also
something we personally experienced/are experiencing.

Delirium was created in the name of acceptance of what is different or what
seems to be different.

I feel Delirium will be a comforting place for whoever feels damaged,
abused, lost.

We are all crazy in our own way.

Delirium is the first album to not feature both Cristiano Mozzati and
Cristiano Migliore, how was the process without them? Were there any times
where recording was hard or different? Did it feel surreal?

Cristina: The process was the same.

The main songwriter for the music has always been Marco (Coti Zelati) and
Andrea and I always wrote the vocal melodies and the lyrics.

It was not surreal as they retired from the band more than 2 years ago so
we had all the time to adjust to the new line up, that is actually working
amazingly.

In January the band announced the departure of guitarist Marco Biazzi and
since Diego Cavallotti was presented as the new guitarist for the tour. How did
the band come about choosing Diego and any chance of him becoming a permanent
placement in the band?

Cristina: Diego was already a friend of ours and he already experienced the
stage as he played in other bands.

He is doing a great job, the fans are loving him, he became family and it
is awesome to be around someone who is genuinely happy to be on the road.

You mentioned on your Facebook page that Tamara Reid Claros designed your
“Delirium” outfit which, in my opinion, is awesome. Was there a moment where
you almost passed up the chance of letting her work with you? Will there be any
future collaborations with Tamara?

Cristina: It was a collaboration and an exchange of ideas through FB and
mail.

I knew how I wanted the jacket done as it had to resemble a straight
jacket, I knew I wanted leggings as I always like to wear them and I knew I
wanted a sort of "skirt longer in the back” but Tamara took my ideas
to the next level especially if you think that she basically
“imagined” my figure, due to the distance. She’s very talented!

I gave her my measurement but it’s hard to build a dress on a… Ghost!

After she shipped the outfit to me I then made the customization, sewing
all the Lacuna coil patches and altering it to make it look worn out and stained.

Don’t ask me why but even though I didn’t know Tamara and we’ve never met
each other yet I had a good feeling about her…and I always trust my gut!

How has the tour been going so far? Any places you were anxious to see
again or any new places you are looking forward to?

Cristina: We started the tour about 10 days ago and we are loving to be on
the road so far. Every city has been really great with us, we are having a good
time with the new line up as well and fans are absolutely thrilled by every
gig. We are basically looking for every single show!

From Ethereal, to Sleep of Right, to Lacuna Coil, the band has stood the
test of time. What direction do you see the band going in the next 5 to 10
years? Do you have any long-term plans set?

Cristina: I have no idea. We don’t know what we will do in two months! It
doesn’t make sense to make lots of plans in life as everything can change in a
second. I enjoy life day by day.

Random question: You, as well as the band have an extensive Social Media
following with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Do you feel in this age and
era of technology, in order to stay relevant, you have to be a part of social
media? Can bands still exist with old-fashioned promoting?

Cristina: There are still bands that are working well in the underground
scene but social medias can bring your music and life stories everywhere in the
world and it is just nice to be able to connect with someone at the other side
of the world. I personally take care of my pages and it is really cool to communicate
with all the fans and get a direct feedback on music, shows, pics and videos.

Before we go, do you have any messages for the fans? Any surprises coming
for them?

Cristina: Lots of surprises to come… But if I tell you now… What kind
of surprise would it be??

Thank you for taking the time to complete this interview for us. As always,
we look forward to what you all come out with next.

Cristina: It was my pleasure!