Coffee and music—what more could you ask for? It’s been proven that a solid dose of both can actually improve your health. So when you put them together, there’s a slight chance that you’ll turn out as powerful as the members of the Italian band, Lacuna Coil. Sadly, though, the combination doesn’t grant the ability to fly. But you can still appreciate good music and the comfort of coffee without any guilt! What better way to go about this lifestyle than to see these Italian rockers live?
That’s right—Lacuna Coil is headed our way, ready to rock the Tri-State Area and to celebrate the recent release of their eighth studio album, Delirium. To get the lowdown on the new album and tour, I was able to talk to the sweet Cristina Scabbia (vocals), who filled me in on what it’s like to be a member of the band—and the pleasures of having the best coffee when on tour.
How’s the tour been going so far?
Ah, so far so good—for real. It’s been a super fun tour and the crowd is great. They’ve been giving us a good time and good feedback on the new songs, so we couldn’t be happier. Seriously.
That’s awesome! And you’ve been playing the newer songs—that’s been going well, too?
Well, the album will be out [May 27], so we’re really excited to have started the real countdown. This album is the first album that we produced because Marco [Coti Zelati], our bass player, produced it and it has a whole new sound, a whole new vibe. It’s a heavier record compared to the ones that we put out in the past and we’re just really excited—I know it sounds obvious (laughs) but it is the truth!
You should be! How’re the fans liking the new songs?
They’re loving them and that’s kind of weird because usually when you perform a new song on the road and the record is not out, the crowd just kind of looks at you because it’s something new and they’re trying to figure out if they like it or not. But the reactions so far are incredible. We had this song out a while ago called “The House Of Shame” and the reactions were incredible but now that we’re playing the songs live and the crowd is really realizing the new live look of Lacuna Coil, it’s even better.
How’d you guys prepare for the tour?
We don’t do anything special. Of course, we rehearse the songs. We’ve created new costumes, new outfits for the performances and we worked on all of the lights and the sound. But we didn’t do anything special because we were basically in the studio all the time right before the beginning of this tour. And then we had promos to do and all of the usual stuff that comes with the record. It was not like a crazy preparation, but just a lot of rehearsals and a lot of thinking about the tour. And that was it.
You have this new album coming out—what was the writing process like?
We usually start with the music and Marco, our bass player, was also the producer of the band because he wrote the majority of the music. He’s always been the one putting together all of the ideas. I stayed home for a long time because basically, he got injured during one of our tours so he was forced to stay home and write a lot of the music that we used for this record. We write all of our stuff in Milano and that’s where we are based in Italy just because we can’t write on the road. We’ve tried bringing all of the equipment, but we just don’t have the mindset. And that’s when we started writing the music first and then coming in with the vocal lines and working together at Marco’s basement and finding out what we liked the most and that’s how we did it.
Yeah. I know that a lot of bands don’t really like writing on the road.
Yeah, but some of them like it and I’m honestly very envious because you have a lot of spare time on the road. You wake up, you go to the venue, you do soundcheck, eat a little something, but most of the time, you’re up and you could be writing music, but it’s just not the right thing for us. I don’t know for what reason, but we just want to be focused 100 percent and when we’re home, we can be. At least, that’s how it is for us. It’s different for every band. They all have a different way of working.
Sure! But while you’re on the road with all of that spare time, what do you guys do to keep from going crazy?
I try to sleep as much as I can because the schedule is kind of weird. Sometimes we have acoustic sets that are at seven in the morning and then, of course, you go to bed right after. So, personally, I like to sleep as much as I can. I’m not a big drinker, so that helps my voice. My only problem is that I’m an Italian woman, so I talk a lot (laughs). It’s not very good for the voice, but I’ve always been able to make the show so far, so fingers crossed! But we watch movies, we walk around town. I personally have a big love for thrift stores so what I do pretty much every day is I look up looking for a thrift store around town because you can always find cool stuff. And maybe that one, special item is there waiting for you—that, and most of them are usually for charity projects and I really like that.
Have you ever used anything that you’ve gotten at a thrifts shop on stage?
Yeah, I mean, there are a lot of things that aren’t that interesting, but the cool thing is just to find that one, particular item and it’s cool because I get a lot of messages from people asking me where I got that one thing that I found at the store and I don’t think you’d be able to find it if you go back there. It’s cool, it kills time, lets me walk around town, see how it is.
So, what’s one thing you cannot live without while on tour—aside from the instruments?
When I’m on tour? I would say cotton sheets on my bed. I am a total tomboy so I have no problems being on tour and hanging around the guys the entire time and live in a tour bus with other people. But what I can’t stand is to sleep in a bed that is not clean or that has synthetic sheet—I don’t know if I am allergic, but I can totally feel it on my skin. So I have a clean set of sheets and I try to wash them as often as I can and I have my own pillow cover that’s cotton. Everything has to be 100 percent cotton. That’s my only luxury on tour (laughs). It’s important. The bunk is the only place that you actually get your privacy. So I just want to go to bed just like when I’m home, or in the middle of the day, lay down and just go, “Ah,” instead of going, “Oh my god!”
That would be one thing, but the other thing would be the coffee machine. And every time before we leave for a tour, the rule is that everyone has to bring at least two packets of Italian coffee. So we’re set. And it’s funny because during a lot of tours, we become the coffee bar. Every band will come and knock on our door to get fresh coffee. Fresh Italian coffee (laughs). It’s really funny.
Oh no! By the end of the tour, do you completely run out?
Yeah, actually we finished one packet already, so we’re a little worried that we may not make it to the end. But we like American coffee—it’s just more of a beverage. Italian is different because you want that little shot that keeps you awake. American coffee is like, “Let’s walk around with coffee and sip it through a straw.” But ours is like, “Let’s go to the bar, grab a sip of coffee for 30 seconds and get back to work.” It would probably be strong at first if you’ve never tried it, but once you try it, it’s really good. It’ll definitely keep you awake!
I need that! But going back to the beginning of Lacuna Coil, I saw that you had three different names?
Uh, yeah! This is correct and not correct. When we were sending out our demo to labels, we put the demo out and we sent it out to labels because we were looking for a deal. The name that we had chosen was Ethereal for this band. But when we signed, we changed to Lacuna Coil. But, of course, we did something before we were Lacuna Coil, so that could be why other names are popping up. But what’s funny was that in the first contract that we signed, we pretty much decided the name the day before because we were looking for an original name that nobody would have. We wrote Lacuna with o-o because we didn’t know if people would relate to the Italian word. So the first contract was signed with Lacoona. But we checked and there was a band called Lacuna and a band called Coil, but no Lacuna Coil.
How’d you come up with the name?
We literally sat on the table deciding a name because we were in a hurry to sign. So we went from CDs and poetry but nothing popped out at us, so we thought why not mix something Italian with English so that something cool would come up. So we thought about mixing Lacuna and Coil sounded right, so we kept it.
You’re obviously from Italy. You’ve toured around the world. Are there any huge differences in the types of audiences?
Yes! I mean, every tour is different. We love to tour the States. We’ve played here so many times, it’s like home here. It’s very welcoming and we know the culture and music. And what I like about the States is that there are not many categories. In Europe, there are 10,000 types of metal. Here, everything is under the category of rock. Europe, you have power metal, death metal… So when you go to concerts, you would mostly see a specific type of crowd, while here, you can go to a rock concert and you can see the person that works in a bank go to a concert in a suit and no one will say anything about it because it’s all about having a good time together and partying together. And I adore that. And then it always depends on the crowds. If you go to Mexico, or South America… We played in the Philippines and the crowd was insane there. And then we played in China and we were expecting a very quiet crowd, but they went nuts; like, lighting up fires in the middle of the crowd. But every place is just cool to check. You find different cultures.
It must be. And with this album coming out, you’ve gotten a taste of fans’ reactions from the new songs. How do you think the whole album will be received?
I personally think it will become the favorite record of our fans. I’ve already talked to some of our diehard fans and they’re really attached to the older albums that we did because they connect to their lives when they discovered us. They all conveyed that this was the best record that we’ve ever done. There was a lot of new stuff, but there was an old-school vibe. It’s not that we did this on purpose, but I think we are in our element and we have a lot more fun when we play the heavier stuff live so that was our mindset. We said, “Let’s write songs that we are gonna enjoy playing live.” That’s probably why the new record is heavier than ever.
Once this tour is over, what can fans expect from you guys?
Well touring I think there is going to be a tour cycle for the next couple of years because of the record. We are going to be in Australia, Europe, and possibly China again. Japan… And we’re planning a tour in Europe, so it’s going to be a lot of touring to promote the record and many opportunities come out because once the record is out and the word is out, more people will be listening to the record new things will come out. This is the plan, but it’s not the final plan because it’s hard to plan things (laughs).
You are very close with your fans. Is there anything you’d like to say to them?
I just want to welcome them all in our Delirium. It’s not just a record—it’s a place that’s open to everyone who feels different and damaged and misunderstood because we’re all the same. We may be on stage performing for whoever’s coming, but we’re all the same so there shouldn’t be any barriers between the artist and the fans because without the fans, the artist would be nothing. So I wanna thank them all for all of the support, thank everyone who’s coming to the shows, thank everyone who’s bought the record, and I hope to meet everyone on the road. And in the meantime, they can follow us on the socials because we take care of each one of them. They can be sure that it’s us reading the messages and checking out the pictures.
Check out Lacuna Coil as they pull into New York City’s Gramercy Theatre on June 9. Their newest album, Delirium, is available now. For more information on these rockers, check them out at lacunacoil.it.