October 7, 2019 Interview – Andrea Ferro of Lacuna Coil
Standing the test of time, Italy’s Lacuna Coil is one of the more unique bands to hit the Metal circuit over the past 2 decades. Leaders in dueling female/male vocal harmonies, their melodic, yet heavy approach is often cinematic and enshrouded in dark mystique. Debuting back in 1998 on Century Media Records with their self-titled EP, 4 years later they would find major success at the hands of their 2002 album, Comalies, since going on to international Rock-stardom.
Celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2018 with the release of their DVD/Blu-ray The 119 Show – Live in London and the encapsulating Nothing Stands In Our Way book, 2019 finds Lacuna Coil returning with a darker, heavier new album, entitled Black Anima. An intense step forward for a band who seeks to explore uncharted waters, Co-vocalist and founding member Andrea Ferro recently sat down to talk his enthusiasm for the new material, the deep seeded concept behind it, rekindling past memories, and a lot more.
Cryptic Rock – Lacuna Coil have been around for over 20 years where you have continued to be consistent and done a ton of touring. What has the journey been like for you as a part of Lacuna Coil?
Andrea Ferro – Actually, the very first time we stopped to think about it was last year when we released the DVD The 119 Show – Live in London, for the show we recorded in London, as well as the book Nothing Stands In Our Way. It was actually the first time working on those two projects where we had to go back so much in memories. The book took us through a lot of pictures, we had to go and dig from paper pictures we had way in the beginning of our career because there was no digital and phones. We went back and tried to remember where those photos or posters were coming from and the memories came from that. Then we were talking to a journalist for the book and we were telling stories, so a lot of memories were brought back.
Also, when we did the show, we started with a batch of 80 songs, but we had to go down to 25 for the right length for the show. We had to go back and listen to see which ones had a lot of meaning, which ones we can transpose the way we play now, which ones we never played before, which one to do acoustic, etc. There was a lot of brainstorming toward the past. That was maybe the first time we could really stop from the touring and writing process to see how much we’ve done, to see how much we’ve accomplished and how much we still want to do. It was a moment of balance for sure.
Cryptic Rock – There are a lot of great memories to look back on over the past 20 years. You have toured all over the world, you have released extremely successful records, and have built a following in the USA. Looking back, it was probably around 2002 when Lacuna Coil broke through in America. What was it like during that time when things were starting to pick up in America for the band?
Andrea Ferro – It was amazing because we were this little band from Italy that just signed a deal with a Germany label. Our hope, in the beginning, was maybe to release a couple of records and maybe do a couple of European tours. We never expected to have a song like “Heaven’s A Lie” floating in the radios in America. Then bringing in all the touring that was coming: we were getting more and more tours, we were getting on Ozzfest for the very first time. We felt like we are starting to play in a different league; we were side by side with bands like Black Sabbath, Slipknot, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest and Slayer.
It was the first time we saw our name being out there at the same level of bands that have made history in this genre – bands we could only see in magazines or on posters before that. We really felt we were going somewhere different. The records started selling a lot and climbing charts; everything was moving towards a different league for the first time. We felt this could be our career, we could actually have a career about that. Before that we were unsure of what actually would happen.
Cryptic Rock – Very interesting. You certainly have sustained success internationally. From record to record, Lacuna Coil has changed styles and themes. You have Black Anima which comes out on Friday, October 11th, and this album is also different. You, yourself, use a harsher vocal style. What was it like making this record?
Andrea Ferro – It’s been a process that I think started with the previous record, Delirium, where we started to push a little bit more of the heavy side of the band. Marco, our bass player which is the main songwriter, was also starting to write parts in double bass that required more speed and aggressive vocals from myself. The result was the record was very successful, and actually Delirium is the best-selling record after our classic records like Karmacode (2006) or Comalies (2002), which were released in a completely different era where you could actually still sell good numbers on albums. From our second chapter in our career, Delirium is actually the most successful in terms of record sales, which is pretty amazing in an era where record sales are doing worse every year.
That let us have a little more freedom when we wrote a record like Black Anima. We felt we could go to places we haven’t been and push a little bit more with the voice and music. Although, I think overall Black Anima is a heavier and darker record, there are still some songs we tried to bring back the atmosphere of previous records. I think it’s a complete record, it has a lot of different faces: there’s heaviness, darkness for sure, but also more reflective, introspective songs. It is a good combination of some catchy melodies, some groovy parts, and some heavy parts.
Cryptic Rock – The album has a great balance of everything Lacuna Coil has to offer. As a band, Lacuna Coil is often influenced by cinema, and your sound is very cinematic in many ways. What were some of the influences behind Black Anima?
Andrea Ferro – We love cinema. For us, every new record could be a new movie in a way. This record especially I think has a strong visual aspect to it. When we started writing, we already had the title Black Anima that we really wanted to use. We were trying to see where we were going to go with the main theme for the record. Me and Cristina started brainstorming what was important, and our main experiences that we had in the previous years in between records. We normally start from personal experiences, and what came out was we have been losing some of our family members and friends. That really made us reflect on the way we have been facing these difficult times; these losses have actually become part of us, and the souls of these people are still around us and inside us in a way.
I was also reading a book called The Physics of Angels: Exploring the Realm Where Science and Spirit Meet which is written by a scientist and priest. They both analyze the figures of angels, spirits, ghosts throughout history with a spiritual approach and a more scientific approach of energy and karma. There was a lot of brainstorming toward this topic. We kind of put everything on the table during the beginning of songwriting with Marco. We were sitting down with pictures we downloaded from the internet, comic books, hard discs, and from photographers we really liked. We put all of this on the table and everything was coming along together, not separate.
We already had an idea of the stage clothes, background, graphics, and symbol we wanted to use. We envisioned the record like a book that contains all the stories of the souls. We envisioned this book with the seal which is the one you see on the cover of the record – that is from Marco. It is basically a re-elaboration of the tradition of our city Milan – the original one is a snake with a child in the mouth. We re-elaborated and it became a dragon with a fighting angel in the mouth which is also wrapped around our symbol. As an outline there were three snakes that are connected to each other, and the three snakes represent Me, Marco, and Cristina who are the core of the band since the very beginning. It came all together; the music wasn’t done before but at the same time as everything else for the very first time in our career.
Cryptic Rock – Wow, it is extremely intricate, thoughtful, and fascinating. Lacuna Coil had done a few select shows in the USA back in July. Now prior to touring Europe in November you are here in North America again with All That Remains. For those coming out to the North American dates, what can they expect?
Andrea Ferro – We started the co-headlining tour with All That Remains in North American to just introduce the first songs of Black Anima. Then we come back to Europe, stay home a couple of weeks, then start the European tour which will be fully Black Anima, because the record will be out by then. We are touring with Toothgrinder, Bad Omens, Uncured, and of course All That Remains; it is a cool package. We have toured with All Remains in the past, so it is a revival tour a little bit. It is a good way to present the new record and play some of the new tracks to warm up before the bigger headlining tour coming later.
Cryptic Rock – It is a great bill and people should catch it before it ends October 19th. Seeing you have toured all over the world, how would you compare a USA audience to that of a European audience? Everyone is different everywhere and show their emotions differently.
Andrea Ferro – I think in general the crowd in America has a bit more variety of people. In Europe a Metal show is mostly Metal people. In America there is a bit more of variety in terms of demographic and the way they look, it’s not strictly Metal – sometimes it’s more a rocker or skater, it can be more open for the types of people coming to the show. For the rest, it’s more or less the same.
Obviously American people are very attached to music, there is a lot of passion, especially toward Rock and Metal music. People are really attached deeply to bands and music, you see a lot of tattoos of the bands, etc. Overall we have great shows in Europe and America, it really depends from place to place.
Cryptic Rock – It is interesting to hear that. Everyone has a different way of expressing their love for music. Last question for you, what are some of your favorite Horror films?
Andrea Ferro – I have different flavors. I grew up first with Italian Horror movie style like Dario Argento and Lamberto Bava. I saw movies like Deep Red (1975) and Suspiria (1977) which were my favorites as a kid. Then I moved a little bit toward American Horror like all the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, all the classics. Then I moved more toward Japanese inspired movies as well, also anime. I then found out I really enjoyed movies like Saw because it started to refresh something that is more mysterious in the story.
I really love the classic characters like Freddy Krueger, Jason, or Leatherface, but I also I like the newer way of approaching Horror which is not so much based on one character. I also enjoy the Rob Zombie movies which are more in between Horror, Thriller, and Crime. I am very open to a lot of different movies and I am always interested in the darker side of cinema.
Cryptic Rock – Of late there has been a lot of good quality Horror films and series. Have you seen anything new you have enjoyed?
Andrea Ferro – Recently I saw one from Germany called Dark. It is not strictly Horror, but it’s in between. It’s very different, it has a European vibe which is not very common in a TV series. I also like American Horror Story. It’s more a tribute to Horror than proper Horror, it makes it more mainstream; it brings back some older ideas and vibe. I am definitely open to a lot of new stuff. I just need to find the right time to sit down and watch more. (Laughs)
Lacuna Coil 2019 Tour Dates:
October 7 – Edmonton, AB – Starlite Room
October 9 – Winnipeg, MB – Park Theatre
October 10 – Minot, ND – The ‘O’ Riginal Bar
October 11 – Minneapolis, MN – The Cabooze
October 12 – Columbia, MO – The Blue Note
October 13 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave II
October 15 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverfront Live
October 16 – Chicago, IL – House Of Blues*
October 17 – Cleveland, OH – House Of Blues
October 18 – Toronto, ON – Opera House
October 19 – Baltimore, MD – Ram’s Head Live
November 2 – Bari, Italy – Demodé Club
November 3 – Rome, Italy – Orion
November 5 – Bologna, Italy – Estragon
November 6 – Milan, Italy – Live Club
November 8 – Stuttgart, Germany – LKA Longhorn
November 9 – Oberhausen, Germany – Turbinenhalle II
November 10 – Antwerp, Belgium – Trix
November 12 – Manchester, United Kingdom – O2 Ritz
November 13 – Glasgow, United Kingdom – Garage
November 14 – Dublin, Ireland – Academy
November 15 – Bristol, United Kingdom – SWX
Novembe 16 – London, United Kingdom – O2 Forum Kentish Town
November 17 – Utrecht, Netherland – Tivoli Ronda
November 19 – Frankfurt, Germany – Batschkapp
November 20 – Hannover, Germany – Capitol
November 21 – Berlin, Germany – Huxleys
November 22 – Leipzig, Germany – Felsenkeller
November 23 – Munich, Germany – Tonhalle
November 24 – Dornbirn, Austria – Conrad Sohm
November 26 – Bordeaux, France – Le Rocher de Palmer
November 27 – Barcelona, Spain – Razzmatazz
November 28 – Madrid, Spain – Mon Live
November 29 – Toulouse, France – Le Bikini
November 20 – Rennes, France – L’Etage
December 1 – Paris, France – Elysée-Montmartre
December 3 – Saarbrucken, Germany – Garage
December 4 – Nurnberg, Germany – Hirsch
December 5 – Ljubljana, Slovenia – Kino Siska
December 8 – Vienna, Austria – Arena
December 10 – Krakow, Poland – Kwadrat Students Club
December 11 – Warsaw, Poland – Progresja
December 12 – Riga, Latvia – Melna Piektdiena
December 13 – Helsinki, Finland – Tavastia
December 14 – Tampere, Finland – Pakkahuone
December 15 – Tallinn, Estonia – Rock Café
December 17 – Stockholm, Sweden – Klubben Fryshuset
December 18 – Oslo, Norway – Vulkan Arena
December 19 – Gothenburg, Sweden – Tradgarn
December 20 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Amager Bio
December 21 – Hamburg, Germany – Docks
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