Interviewer: Cameron Edney - http://www.myspace.com/insideout666ints
"Mainstream Domination" would
have been words that Italian Metal Band Lacuna Coil would have never
dreamed of back in 1996 when they put out there first two-track demo.
The demo which the band recorded as a joke, have helped Lacuna Coil
become one of the best known and respected heavy metal bands in the
world today. The group initially left their mark on the metal scene
in 2004 with their acclaimed album, "Comalies", which featured
the smash hit singles "Swamped" and "Heavens A Lie".
"Comalies" opened several opportunities for Lacuna Coil
most noted is of course the bands breakthrough Ozzfest appearance
resulting in sales for "Comalies" reaching over 500,000
copies worldwide with a quarter of a million in the U.S. alone.
The bands latest album "Karmacode" has pushed Lacuna Coil's
popularity to all time highs and has seen them touring with the likes
of Rob Zombie, Slipknot and Korn to name just a few and has kept Lacuna
Coil on the front covers on many of the worlds biggest selling rock
and metal magazines. In just over a decade Lacuna Coil have released
four full length albums and two e.p.'s which have won them an army
of loyal fans across the globe.
Lacuna Coil will be in Australia this week for the very first time
as part of the successful heavy metal festival Gigantour which also
features Devildriver, Static-X and Megadeth. I caught up with Lacuna
Coil vocalist Andrea Ferro last week to speak about the bands first
ever-Australian tour, the success of the bands latest album "Karmacode",
being part of Guitar Hero 3 and much more. Kick back as we chat with
Andrea Ferro "In Visible Light".
Metal Fanatix: Hi Andrea, how are things
Andrea Ferro: I'm good man, just havin'
Metal Fanatix: Firstly mate, I want
to thank you for takin' the time out to speak with us today, Australian
fans are extremely excited to see that you are finally touring here.
What expectations do you hold for the Australian leg of the tour?
Andrea Ferro: It’s very hard to
say because it’s our trip to Australia. Everything is very new
and fresh. I think we are going to be surrounded by so many new events,
it’s going to be very funny and very weird. A lot of new places
and faces, a new language, it’s very interesting. We are all
very excited about coming over there.
Metal Fanatix: You have a remarkable
fan base here in Australia, why has it taken so long for you to tour
Andrea Ferro: [Laughs] That’s
an interesting question!
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs] You cat give
me the “the promoters didn’t think anyone wanted to see
us” line either okay! [Laughs]
Andrea Ferro: We have had the same problem
also with other countries such as South America or Russia, which we
have never played. We have fans write to us, asking us to go there,
but the problem is that mostly we have been focusing a lot on the
North American market. It’s the place that we actually sell
more cd’s. So I guess it’s more for economical reasons.
Metal Fanatix: No doubt it would be
stupid not to try and break into the American market over Australia
being such a smaller country!
Andrea Ferro: Considering that we are
from Italy, it’s really a miracle that we can even tour in America
and sell records there. It’s a unique chance that we had to
take. For the past four or five years now, we have been constantly
touring North America and Europe and that’s why we never really
focused on other territories. Now we have a little bit more time and
we are more organized compared to the past [laughs].
Metal Fanatix: Will you get any time
to see the sites while you are in Australia?
Andrea Ferro: I think we have some days
off between gigs. I assume there will be a lot of traveling between
the gigs, but I hope that we are going to have some time to visit.
We have had some offers from fans to go and see different places.
There is one guy who has a kangaroo reserve that he has invited to
go and see. Hopefully we can see as much as we can while we are there.
Metal Fanatix: Awesome! On this recent
tour you have been including mini-acoustic sets at your instore appearances,
do you know if anything like that has been planned for Australia?
Andrea Ferro: Not that I'm aware of.
It might be possible. It depends on the time schedule mostly, it does
take some time to organize everything. In America, we were doing that
in a music store where they were selling instruments. It was a clinic
where we would show fans how we would arrange songs in a more simple
way with just two guitars and the two voices, very basic, showing
the fans that if you have a good song it will still sound good in
a stripped down environment. Those clinics were for Ovation guitar
in America but I don’t know if we have the same support in Australia,
I hope so.
Metal Fanatix: Awesome, there’s
been a lot of talk that you are open to doing an all-acoustic E.P.
and or full album. Is it possible that once you finally get back home
that you will start penning ideas for that?
Andrea Ferro: Yeah, yeah, the idea is
basically to keep the song writing going between the Japanese shows
and the Australian tour and then come home and keep going into next
year. Then we will be meeting up with our management and label to
see what is expected, when the possibility of a release will be etc.
At the moment we are a bit slow on the song writing, we are collecting
ideas mostly. This month we have been mostly arranging our private
lives, we have been away for so long touring, we have been busy moving
houses, or somebody is getting married. There are a lot of personal
things going on! We have been collecting ideas for the next album
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs] Have you got
any working titles that you can share with us.
Andrea Ferro: No basically it’s
a lot of musical ideas but very rough. We are trying to change the
way we have been writing. In the past we have always written the music
using a computer program. We were sharing it with everybody and everyone
would add vocals or lyrics, but this time we want some songs to be
created more naturally. This way we can have some more spontaneous
songs created from the jamming room. We would like the next album
to be a bit different and fresh. When you listen to it you will go
“oh is this Lacuna Coil”? But not in a bad way [laughs].
I think its time for us to grow with a more mature album!
Metal Fanatix: I do want to congratulate
you on the massive success you have received since the release of
‘Karmacode’, it’s a fantastic album. Looking back
on the recording process now, is there anything you would have changed?
Andrea Ferro: Ah, we would have worked
more on the production side. We would have spent a little more time
on the recording and the sound. Not so much on the songs themselves,
but in general on the production. Some songs could have been a little
more direct probably? I think an album is a picture of the moment,
and for that moment it was perfect. ‘Karmacode’ was a
very weird album, we were coming off a big success with ‘Comalies’
and we didn’t know which direction to take. It was very hard
for us to be 100% satisfied with everything cause we were under pressure
to decide what we wanted to do. We were very happy with ‘Karmacode’,
it bought us to different levels in terms of popularity, but I think
we still have time to improve as a band and make an even better album.
Metal Fanatix: Andrea, it has been a
little over ten years since you released the first lacuna coil demos.
Looking back at it now, did you ever imagine that by the end of 2007
just over a decade later you would be touring Australia and playing
to loyal and devoted fans all across the world?
Andrea Ferro: No, no never in a million
years. When we started we just did the demo for ourselves and tried
to send it out for a laugh to the labels and the magazines [laughs].
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs]
Andrea Ferro: We never expected to become
professional musicians or this to become our job. We were just a bunch
of friends that were hanging out in the same metal pubs. There was
no history of other bands from Italy doing the same thing, making
a career out of playing metal. We were really the first example of
this kind. It really was a unique experience and we never ever thought
we would push it to this level, never in a million years!
Metal Fanatix: It’s funny, when
you say that you did the demo as a joke! I guess, when you then sign
on with Century Media, it must really hit home. I would imagine that
it would be a strange feeling to have gone from just hanging out in
pubs to “boom”, this is now your full time job!
Andrea Ferro: Most of the time especially
in rock history, a lot of the bands never expected what had happened
to them. I have been to the rock ‘n’ roll museum in Cleveland,
Ohio and there was this letter from a record label. The label was
refusing this band, saying that they were not commercial enough, that
they were not good enough and the band was U2. Can you imagine being
the label that didn’t sign U2 [laughs].
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs] Yeah dude that’s
insane [laughs]. Andrea, over the years you have shared the stage
with so many great bands such as In flames, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest
and Megadeth to name just a few. Who have you enjoyed touring with
the most and can you share a funny story from the road with us?
Andrea Ferro: Luckily we always have
very good experiences and keep good relationships with all the bands,
well most of the bands that we have toured with. I think that the
tour we did with Rob Zombie was one of the best in the United States.
He’s a legend, and he was treating us so nicely. At the end
of the tour everyone didn’t want to leave. We cooked some Italian
pasta for him and the crew at the last gig, and we got dressed up
like zombies and walked on stage during one of the songs.
Metal Fanatix: [laughs]
Andrea Ferro: Rob was very friendly;
he grabbed us during the song and threw us on the floor. We filmed
everything, it was great! Ozzfest is very cool too. It’s like
a summer camp for metal bands. There is a lot of hanging out, a lot
of drinking and smoking together. It’s a big party traveling
around America. Ozzfest is always a very funny experience.
Metal Fanatix: Andrea, I want to talk
to you for a moment about the Guitar Hero game. I know that you’re
a very big fan of computer games and at this stage not too many bands
have been able to submit songs on Guitar Hero. You must be thrilled
that Lacuna Coil are a part of Guitar Hero 3.
Andrea Ferro: Yeah, yeah sure! I’m
a game addict. It’s always a pleasure to be apart of something
like this. We loved the game before we were even contacted to be a
part of it. It’s always weird to see your song on a game that
you know so well. It’s going to be a really good way to promote
us and it’s going to be funny to play along to our own songs.
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs] Yeah, you get
to relearn it by pressing red, blue and green buttons [laughs].
Andrea Ferro: [Laughs] yeah. Next week
we start the promotion for the guitar hero game and we will be giving
some interviews specifically for the video game market. We had another
song on a motorbike racing game in the past. This time it’s
for a game that we really love and play all the time. When we were
touring the states with In flames from Sweden we used to have guitar
hero challenges. They were very addicted to the game also and we would
be playing it all the time.
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs] Andrea there
is no doubt that you are a fantastic vocalist. Before a performance
do you do anything specific to warm up?
Andrea Ferro: I go through some breathing
techniques. I’m studying vocals now, I started a few months
back and I’m learning some techniques to make my vocals better.
I have to scream a lot, especially on the old songs. So I try to warm
up before every show.
Metal Fanatix: Before you hit Australia
you played the loud park festival in Japan! Do you still get nervous
when you play with legendary bands such as Sabbath and Saxon at festivals
such as loud park and Ozzfest?
Andrea Ferro: Not really. I think it’s
more when you’re going onstage. When you are behind the curtain,
that’s when you become nervous and your adrenaline is pumping.
Metal Fanatix: Mate there is no doubt
that Cristina is also a fantastic vocalist and gets a hell of a lot
of attention in the band. Does the situation sometimes feel a little
more uncomfortable rather than a blessing having two vocalists sharing
the work up onstage or in the studio?
Andrea Ferro: No, not onstage or on
the records. Personally I think we’re used to working together
and know the difference between the female and male vocals compliments
each other. Of course there is a lot more attention in the pictures.
It focuses more on the female, as women are more unique in this kind
of music. You could have the most beautiful man in the world in the
band and they will still focus on the girl [laughs].
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs] This is true!
Andrea Ferro: For many years now we
have been dealing with the press and we have learnt how to manage
all of this. I think onstage, if you come to one of the shows you
will see that we have a lot of experience and we interact a lot. When
I’m not singing I’m trying to get the people going and
when Cristina’s not singing she’s doing the same in her
different way. We’ve learned how to balance the duality on stage.
Metal Fanatix: Andrea, what is the craziest
rumor you have ever heard about yourself and or the band?
Andrea Ferro: Oh, there were some weird
stories going around. I don’t know who bought them out but people
were saying that we were all showering together naked with Cristina
after the show [laughs]. Sometimes people say that me and Cristina
are married and that’s not true.
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs] you have to
love the rumors!
Andrea Ferro: There’s always weird
stories like that coming out.
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs] Andrea, unfortunately
we have to leave it there as we are out of time. I want to thank you
again for taking the time to speak with me today! I hope you enjoy
all that Australia has to offer while you are here. Do you have any
last words for our readers?
Andrea Ferro: We are ready for Australia.
I can’t wait to rock onstage. I want to thank you also for your
"Karmacode" is out now on Century
Media, grab your copy today!
To keep up with all the latest news on Lacuna Coil, be sure to check
out the following websites.:
- Official Lacuna Coil Site
- Lacuna Coil MySpace Site
- Inside Out 666
© Cameron Edney November, December 2007 Not to be re-printed
in any form without written permission.