On a chilly autumn evening under the light of a full moon ThisIsNotAScene clambered aboard the Lacuna Coil tour bus and hunkered down on the spacious sofas to catch up with Cristina Scabbia, one half the band’s vocal power, about the bands hectic touring schedule, changing faces in the line up, eating habits while on tour and the highs and lows of having a multi-platform social media presence…
You’ve just finished touring the US – having completed two tours there this year and now you’re straight into touring the UK and Europe. It must be crazy! How’re you holding up?
Yeah! And between the states and here we played some summer festivals and Russia – we did lots of gigs in between too! It’s a hard life. The stage is our office. Beside the fact that we’re doing a lot more travelling than anyone else who works, this is what we do! (laughs). It’s the way we I’ve and we like to do it and I think we’re blessed to be able to make a job out of a big passion that we have. Its great! I’m not complaining! (laughs)
What do think of the fans here in the UK? Are the crowds here any different from fans elsewhere?
I love it! We have a strong fan base here, and every show we do here is a lot of fun! Our fans here in the UK are so passionate about our music and our shows and they come every time we play here, there are lots of faces we see in the crowd every time we play here. It’s great, it’s a great feeling, very heart warming.
What are your favourite songs to play live at the moment?
At the moment, maybe the new songs because they’re fresher. So songs like “Nothing stands in our way” , or “Zombies”.
Which of the songs on the new album (Broken Crown Halo) has the most emotional meaning for you?
All of them, because we wrote the whole album in the same period. All the lyrics that we wrote were inspired by real life, and it wasn’t a good period for some members of the band. So the album was pretty permeated with a dark vibes. Not negative vibes but kinda melancholic. So every song has a specific meaning for me and there is not just one that stands out. It was just the general vibe on the album that moved me.
You mentioned that it was a difficult time for some members and there were some line up changes as well…
Yeah. Actually that wasn’t one of the problems, it was a totally friendly separation, and this was something that happened after the album was recorded. There were some personal things in our lives but none relating to why those guys aren’t in the band anymore.
Did the new line up have any impact while you were touring ? It must have been quite an adjustment.
Honestly no, because as I said we’re still friends and still in touch. Not every day, because our guitar player (Chris ‘Pizza’ Migliore) moved to the States and the drummer (Cristiano ‘Criz’ Mozzati) moved to a different city in Italy. But the people who’re playing with us now on stage, they’re friends because the drummer (Ryan Folden) is our ex drum tech and had already played in place of the former drummer on some previous tours because he couldn’t come on your with us as he’d had a baby girl, so we already knew him forever! It was kinda a natural choice as he knew all the songs and he knew how to play them, and we knew him so he was the perfect choice.
Actually on this tour we have a different element, with the bass player, as our official bass player, Marco, is at home recovering because he had a little health problem with his intestine. He’s getting better and better but obviously coming on tour is not the ideal situation. He needs to get some rest and eat proper food, so we said, Ok – you stay home, you can do other things for the band – and we’ll continue the tour. ‘Cause that happens, you know – the show must go on!
Yeah, I doubt a hastily grabbed kebab at midnight would help!
Precisely! I’ve only been here a week and I can’t remember what a normal meal is like! I definitely have the sin of gluttony so I’m always tempted by the stuff that’s bad for you! So I wouldn’t recommend to have an traditional English breakfast every single day, ’cause I love it but it’s probably not very good on your stomach! There’s some good food around, I surely know that! (laughs).
When you get round to writing new material do you think the song writing process will be different with the new band members?
I have no idea. We haven’t written anything so far because we’ve been so busy. We were thinking to start collecting some ideas around December/January time because we’ll be home then. But what we really want to do right now is have a break in these few weeks and have time to breathe again and get back to normal life and do all the things we couldn’t do when we were on the road! We’re also looking forward to spending time with our loved ones: relatives, partners and friends because we really haven’t seen them much this year. It’s hard, but it’s part of the package. Even getting to sleep in your own bed is a bonus!
Looking forward to next year, what does 2015 hold for Lacuna Coil?
I don’t know yet. The only definite plan that we have is that we’re going to go back to the States in February for a rock/metal cruise called Shiprocked, so we’re going to the Bahamas for a week with other amazing bands, and that’s gonna be fun! But after that I don’t know, because sometimes plans are announced at the very last minute. I know we’re gonna be busy but I don’t know if that’ll be writing a new album or doing more gigs. I’m pretty sure the album will be the priority because we’ve already toured quite extensively on this cycle! We’ll probably do some summer festivals but otherwise focus on the album.
The cruise sounds great…
Oh its gonna be fun! We already played on a different cruise, called 7000 tons of metal, it was more classical metal oriented, it was pretty amazing. Everyone was busy freezing in Milan, our hometown and we were just chilling in the Caribbean islands swimming with sharks and stingrays, it was so cool! Our friends were jealous, for sure!
Talking of friends (and making people jealous), you’re quite famously a big presence on social media, and you personally manage all your accounts. What made you decide to do this and have direct contact with the fans?
Yeah, I have Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I just like people! I really like to have direct contact with them. I’ve never believed that people like the separation between them and the artist. It doesn’t really make any sense, because I think the diva idea of an artist is an old cliché, especially now with social media – it’s kinda dead. So I like to talk with them (fans), read their comments if I post a picture or a video or whatever, I wanna know what they’re really thinking.
Sometimes it’s not easy to deal with social networks as I don’t have the chance to actually speak to each person so they can’t hear my tone of voice. For example if I put a post they’re gonna read it the way they want to read it, but they won’t know the “tone” I had when I was posting it – maybe it was ironic and sometimes people don’t get that. So sometimes it’s a little bit frustrating because I write something and maybe they don’t get it the way they were supposed to! (laughs). Usually I try to reply and explain “I said this because of that…”. I’m the type of person that likes to clarify things, I’m not the kind of artist who says “Oh I’m not gonna talk to them, forget it!”. If you attack me, I will attack you. If you are kind to me I will be twice as kind with you. I’m a real person and I don’t want to deny or hide that.
That’s a really good point. It seems that when a person is famous, others feel they can say hurtful things and it doesn’t matter or mean anything…
Of course! They would never be able to deal in person with you or have a conversation with you. If they were face to face with you they’d never have the balls to say such things to you. But I have to say that the people on my Facebook are amazing – they’re really nice.
While you were touring the States you started started doing some band themed art work to add to the merch stands at gigs – painting on drum skins or cymbals – they all looked really cool. What was your inspiration for these?
Thanks! I haven’t done any on this (UK and Europe) tour so far because we’ve been so busy with other stuff, but I really want to start doing them again! For inspiration I don’t know. I don’t plan them. I just start doodling on the drum skins or cymbals and what comes out comes out! It’s totally spontaneous process- it can be something fun, something more dark. It could be something more childlike with little monsters – I have this weird personality that I like very horrific things, like in the darkness kinda thing but also the super fun things like animals and cartoon stuff! So I have these two sides in me that are completely different, so this is always conveyed in my drawing. Sometimes they’re a little bit fucked up but I love it!