Latest release: Delirium (Century Media)Website: www.lacunacoil.it

Milan-based melodic metal combo Lacuna Coil haven’t been to Australia since their Soundwave performances in 2009. That is all about to change. After a Top 20 ARIA debut with new album Delirium, the Italians will land Down Under next week for their first ever headlining tour. Loud caught up with vocalist Cristina Scabbia just after she had finished an online chat.

I understand you were doing a webchat just a little while ago (on the Destroy All Lines site). What was that like?

It was fun. It’s always weird because you’re basically talking to yourself so it’s a little bit weird, but I love to do this type of stuff. It was a lot of fun.

Do you find yourself answering the same questions again and again? Are there any questions that you wish people would stop asking?

More or less, the questions are always the same. Lately they are related to the new record and what inspired it, blah blah blah. I believe the only two questions that are annoying me so far are, ‘What does Lacuna Coil mean?’ [hollow spiral] and ‘How does it feel to be a woman in the metal scene?’ That is – ugh – the questions that make me say, ‘Again? Again?’

I know a few other female musicians who have been asked that. It’s like asking an all-girl band ‘What’s is like being in an all-girl band?’. What do they expect the answer to be? It’s just a dumb question to ask.

I can understand it as a question from 20 years ago, when the fact that having a girl in a band was still new. But like, asking it nowdays after 20 years, after I have been around with our band and other thousands of female singers are around… that’s a very awful interview question when you can just Google it and find an answer. It’s like asking ‘How does it feel to be a woman?’ It feels great thanks!

What is the dynamic in the band like now? Lacuna Coil has existed with the same members for a very long time, so what was it like when half the band changed? Was it difficult to move on from that?

I would say not. It was still the same writers that we’ve had pretty much since day one. Andrea, Marco and I were heavily involved in the song writing. Marco was responsible for the music and being the producer of the band and Andrea and I have always wrote the lyrics and found the vocal lines. Aside from the personal pain of leaving behind some members, the rest was extremely smooth and we had no problems whatsoever. It’s not like we didn’t have any writers or we had to adjust. The only sad thing was that some members decided to retire and move on, and everyone was happy.

Did it feel any different when you were recording?

Not while we were recording because we always recorded separately anyway. So when I recorded my parts, it’s basically just me, Andrea and Marco and the engineer in the studio. That’s pretty much how it always happens. We never record all together. And we did it in Milan so we recorded our parts in the day and then we went home at night so it wasn’t that we were recording somewhere while sharing an apartment or anything. And keep in mind that the two Christianos, the guitarist and the ex-drummer, they left even before we recorded Broken Crown Halo. So it’s been almost two years already. The only one was Marco who left during the recording.

You invited a few guests in to add some guitar solos this time. Did you have a list of people that you wanted to approach? Was that something that you wanted to do for a long time?

To be honest it was a little rushed, because after Marco [Biazzi] decided to retire, the problem wasn’t who would record the rhythm guitars because basically Marco [Coti Zelati] wrote all the different chord structures, the problem was about solos. Marco [Coti Zelati] said, Yes I play guitar, but I’m not a guitar player, and solos are usually for normal guitar players! So we had this idea of involving more people. The first idea we had was Myles Kennedy, because I worked with him and I wanted everyone to know that he’s not only a phenomonal singer, he’s also a fantastic guitar player. Not a lot of people know that. We approached him last year, because we already knew about our guitar player leaving, but we thought that he would be too busy with Alter Bridge. But he was like, ‘Oh yeah, no problem! Send me your favourite one and I’ll put down some licks’. We were very very happy about that! And then we thought about Mark Vollelunga from a band called Nothing More, which is a band that did their very very first tour ever with us a while ago. I think they’re super talented, their shows are amazing to watch, they’re very visual and they’re very original. So I thought about Mark and I think he did an amazing job on ‘Blood, Tears and Dust’. Marco Barusso was the engineer on the album, and he happened to be a fantastic guitar player so we let him do something on the album as well.

You and the band are obviously very happy with the result.

Oh yes, totally happy. I think this album sounds great. Because we self-produced it, Marco was the producer, I think that made possible for us to let everything come out exactly how we wanted it – with the precise level of heaviness and melody, exactly how we would want it.

We’re going to see Lacuna Coil in Australia again very soon. It’s been a while since you’ve been here, so I hope you are looking forward to it.

I’m absolutely excited! The only thing I’m not looking forward to are the flights! I am actually thrilled! I’ve been wanting to come back to Australia forever and I now that it’s been awhile and it’s not because we’ve been neglecting Australia or anything like that. It’s just logistics and because we were playing in other parts of the world. I’m so happy we can finally come back – you have no idea!

It’s a lot of travel in a short period of time, so how do you keep your health up when you travel like that?

I just try to sleep! With a lack of sleep I really have no idea what’s going to happen!
You’ve had twenty years experience with it now, but sometimes it must feel like you’re starting all over again.

Oh it always happens like that! I don’t have, in any way, the perception that we’ve been around for quite a while. I don’t look at Lacuna Coil as a classic band or an old band at all. I don’t have that perception of myself! I still feel like I’m 25 forever! It’s so weird. If you’re not a travelling musician that travels a lot and does a lot of tours, it’s probably really hard to understand how time moves in a different way to other jobs. It’s the same in life. I don’t perceive time in a normal way.

When you’re not on the road, time must feel very different to you. How do you fill the time when you’re not touring?

It still feels like you need 48 hours in every day anyway, because even when you’re not on tour, there’s always some recording going on or the preparation for something else that’s coming, whether it’s a video or a new tour or rehearsal or graphics for a t-shirt or something. There’s always something coming up. But I always like to spend my free time with my family and my boyfriend and my friends and spend my time in a very mellow kind of way. Very simple, just going out and chit-chat and catch up with friends. I don’t usually go out to clubs, because I live in venues my whole life pretty much, so I while only go to concerts if friends are coming or there’s something that I really really want to see. But besides that, I am not a rock star who feels that I need to go out and be looked at at all! I really love to spend time with the people I love.