November 2, 2018 Interview – Cristina Scabbia Talks Two Decades Of Lacuna Coil
The long Mediterranean coastline of Italy has made some of the most important marks on Western culture through history. From the cuisine to the art, and everything in between, it is hard to deny how the region has helped shaped the world. With history that runs deep, let us not forget the music, and in the past two decades it would be hard to overlook the importance of Milan’s own Lacuna Coil on the Hard Rock/Metal scene.
Initially taking shape in the early 1990s, Lacuna Coil would go on to sign with Century Media later in the decade, releasing their self-titled debut EP in 1998. The start of something special, the band would defy the odds to become an international success by the time they released their third album in 2002, Comalies. Since becoming a mainstay and well-known name in heavy music around the world, Lacuna Coil has been one of the most compelling Rock acts over the last twenty years.
Appreciative and excited to celebrate their accomplishments, Co-lead Vocalist/Lyricist Cristina Scabbia took the time to reflect on over twenty years of Lacuna Coil history, the inspiration behind their new DVD/Blu-ray – The 119 Show – Live in London – the importance of artistic freedom, plus more.
CrypticRock.com – Last we spoke, in 2014, Lacuna Coil had recently released Broken Crown Halo and were on verge of a European tour. Since that time, the band has released the impressive Delirium record in 2016 and toured the world over. First, tell us, what have the last few years been like for the band?
Cristina Scabbia – They have been pretty busy. Not only because we put out some new records, we’ve been touring a lot, doing the clichéd musician stuff, but we were approaching our twentieth anniversary. That is a goal not so many bands can talk about. We had a lot of projects in order to properly celebrate our birthday. We were working on the DVD, which is out on November 9th, and we were also working on an anniversary book, which will also be out in November as well.
We worked on researching a lot through our past. It took a lot of time to collect all the memories and pictures. You have to think in the past, there weren’t digital cameras. As a result, a lot of stuff had been lost along the way because it wasn’t possible to document everything from the very beginning. We went back and collected everything we had that we could show the fans, and whoever is going to get the book and DVD, what we have done so far. It was very important for us to focus on that, so that is what happened.
CrypticRock.com – Wow, it certainly has been a busy time for the band. As you mentioned, this year is the twentieth anniversary of Lacuna Coil’s debut EP. Additionally, 2019 will be the twentieth anniversary of your 1999 debut album, In a Reverie. There are a lot of milestone moments coming up for the band. How satisfying is it to see not only the success of Lacuna Coil, but longevity?
Cristina Scabbia – It is amazing! I think we always have done things with a very strong love for music and a passion for songwriting/performing. Even in the very beginning, we could never expect to even be signed by a label. We were hoping for something like that. Not coming from the United States and England, or other places where the market for Metal music is strong, we never thought in our wildest dreams that we could become something in the music business. Let alone last twenty years.
It is extremely gratifying and it is amazing that we can be able to connect with so many people, that we can be able to heal ourselves through our music. That has always been a therapy for us and our way to communicate to the world. It is amazing that we can make a living out of our biggest passion.
CrypticRock.com – That is the best gift you can have in life. Helping celebrate the legacy of Lacuna Coil, you filmed a special show in London early this year, set to be released as a live DVD/Blu-ray, entitled The 119 Show – Live in London. What inspired this one-time event, and what was it like capturing it on film?
Cristina Scabbia – We have always loved very weird, dark atmospheres. This is the type of visual we all liked. Once we realized we brought a lot of this with our music and artwork, we were thinking about something we could do for this one-off show that could be something really special. Not only to remember the music we did in the past and travel through times, but we wanted to do something that could be visually striking.
Speaking with our light guy, we found out he worked with a circus, but they are not a regular group of circus artists. They were doing weird stuff at times, stuff that was inspired by darker atmospheres and visions. We got in touch with them, brainstormed some ideas for the show, and said, “Okay, this is who we are.” We didn’t know them before that, the only person who knew them was our light guy. We started to collect ideas, we told them what we would like to do and asked what they could do for us, what we would need for them to be comfortable on stage?
We had to put so much thought into the show, because it took a huge pre-production. Not only were we able to try a performance by distance, because they were from England, but it was very difficult for us to think about being on stage with other people and sharing the same space. It took a long time to think about moments in the show that could be great to see and also fun for everyone. We ended up performing the final show ‘for real’ the same day as the show. We performed twice, the complete show, with no breaks. Because not only were they on stage with us, and we wanted everything to be perfect, but we wanted to film the show. The crew that filmed the DVD were supposed to see everything coming, so they could have twice the footage and combine things.
It was a very stressful process, but when we saw the final result and we got off stage in January in London, I felt twenty years younger! I was so relieved that everything went okay, everyone had a good time, and everything was perfect. Now that I have the DVD/Blu-ray in my hands, and I saw it projected in a movie theater in London, it looks and sounds amazing! I am super proud of what we did together with our crew and Incandescence, which is the UK circus company.
CrypticRock.com – What a unique way to celebrate this special anniversary! As you said, it looks and sounds great. It will be exciting to see what people think of this new live DVD/Blu-ray.
Cristina Scabbia – I think it will be. Obviously, we did it, so we know what’s going on. A lot of people couldn’t come to the sold out show in London, so they will have their first opportunity to check the show out if they didn’t see it. There are a lot of things not shown in the trailer. The sound is really cool! When I got to see it for the first, and probably only chance in a movie theater, I was amazed. When I saw it projected on a big scree, it was just, wow, it looks really good!
CrypticRock.com – Fantastic. Lacuna Coil has always known to be a high energy and entertaining live band. With such vigorous touring schedules and traveling all these years, what is the key to keep yourself healthy through it all?
Cristina Scabbia – I think as you said, the excitement, we love what we do. I couldn’t think of myself doing a different job. I would have no problem working and doing other jobs, but I don’t think anything else would get me going with the same passion. I love to sing, it is something I genuinely have loved doing since I was a little girl. The people in the band are like my family, it is like going out with my second family doing what I love and knowing the guys in the band also love what they do. I think love and passion is the key for that.
Also, the idea of thinking that there is something new to learn. We are very curious. We like to listen to new music, watch movies, read books, play video games. We are constantly inspired by what we have around us. We don’t think we have reached the top of what we can do. We don’t want to sit and say, “Okay, people like this kind of music, we sold this many copies, so let’s repeat ourselves over and over.”
We like to take risks, we like to transform, we like to evolved. We don’t like to have barriers around us or have someone tell us what we have to do. We like to have our freedom, and we have it all, but being honest is the first thing. Do what you really like, because it’s the only way whoever listens to your music or see your show will see there is real fun and not fake. They will see you are not doing it for money, power or success. It is cool to have some money in your pocket and live with it, but there is nothing like having a good crowd cheering for you and enjoying the songs with you. There is nothing like someone coming to you and saying, “I wanted to commit suicide, but listening to your songs and seeing you on stage saved me.” Music is so fucking powerful! I feel blessed to be part of it and doing this.
CrypticRock.com – That passion and enthusiasm shows through in the live performances and music. You mentioned about drawing inspiration from movies, video games, and literature. This cinematic influence bleeds through in Lacuna Coil’s music and live shows. Have you ever considered writing or starring in a feature film?
Cristina Scabbia – We definitely have! Marco, our bass player, is responsible for the majority of the music. Everyone comes up with ideas and arrangements, but he is the main composer. The way he writes music is he puts movies and documentaries on TV and he gets inspired by the images and writes over it, unless he has a different idea. The majority of his inspiration comes from image with no audio on the TV in the studio he is working out of.
It would be super cool to write a soundtrack for a movie or a video game as well. Some of us are really avid video gamers. (Laughs) Some soundtracks of video games are amazing. Due to the fact that music and video games are so connected, it would be super cool to write music for them!
It would definitely be fun for me to try and act in some movies. I always have fun shooting videos for Lacuna Coil, especially when there is a sort of role to play. I know it’s the video of us doing what we do, so people can see it, but I really enjoy to play different parts. For example, like we did for the last two videos – “You Love Me ‘Cause I Hate You” and “Blood, Tears, Dust.” That was a mini-movie split in two parts and I had a good time.
CrypticRock.com – Very cool, it would be interesting to see what happens in the future. You had said you are a big fan of Horror cinema and love the work of Dario Argento, particularly Deep Red (1975) and Suspiria (1977). So tell us, have you seen any new Horror films since we last spoke that you enjoyed?
Cristina Scabbia – I haven’t seen much to be honest. I have to say I’ve been watching a lot of television series more than movies. I have been sucked into Netflix like a lot of people. I have been watching a lot of series like Dark to Insatiable, etc. I haven’t watched a lot of movies, to be honest. What I know, I am not interested in seeing the new Suspiria. I personally don’t understand the reason behind trying to remake a cult movie.
Suspiria made sense when it came out years ago because of the colors, photography, and music combined. It was a time and age perfect for that type of movie. Now, to remake it, sounds to me like you have no ideas, so you are trying to reproduce something from the past that was great for a specific reason and trying to project it in 2018. It doesn’t make any sense to me. I really don’t like remakes.
CrypticRock.com – You make some very good points. More often than not, remakes never supersede or add anything new to the original films.
Cristina Scabbia – Not at all! You can’t really compete with the feeling from the original movies. I don’t really understand it. Why not spend a budget on something cool, new, and fresh? That’s just my opinion.
November 2 – Weissenhauser Strand, Germany – Metal Hammer Paradise
November 3 – Bruges, Belgium – Entrepot
November 4 – Leiden, Netherlands – Gebr. De Nobel
November 6 – Pratteln, Switzerland – Z7
November 8 – Ludwigsburg, Germany – Rockfabrik
November 9 – Weinheim, Germany – Cafe Central
November 10 – Cologne,Germany – Club Volta
November 11 – Dresden, Germany – Scheune
November 13 – Munich, Germany – Strom
November 14 – Nurnberg, Germany – Hirsch
November 15 – Milan, Italy – Santeria
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