Unleashed and Ready For Stardom
CoC chats with Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil
by: Adrian Bromley
You don't have to tell Lacuna Coil singer Cristina Scabbia that the band's new disc _Unleashed Memories_ [reviewed in this issue] is going to break the Milan, Italy-based band into stardom. She knows this already. She just wants the metal world to discover the record and let fate take its course.

"This is a very emotional and powerful record", starts a vibrant Scabbia down the line from Milan, Italy. "We have become more than just a gothic metal band with a female singer and male growled vocals. The band has grown tremendously. We've have matured as singers and as songwriters and I think people, especially those who have followed our career up to this point, will hear that with _Unleashed Memories_. We worked hard with this record and I know it'll open a lot of doors for us, doors we haven't been able to open yet."

Listening to the passionate and expressive compositions making up _Unleashed Memories_, such as the beautiful opener "Heir of a Dying Day", "When a Dead Man Walks" and "Cold Heritage" (the song closest to Scabbia's heart), one must wonder what inspired Scabbia and the rest of Lacuna Coil -- the sextet is rounded out by Andrea Ferro (male vocals), guitarists Cristiano Migliore and Marco Biazzi, bassist Marco Coti Zelati and drummer Cristiano Mozzati -- to really make an effort to take flight and be able to produce a unique offering for metal fans to digest.

"I think we just wanted to have a record that we could be really happy about, both as songwriters and as musicians", she relays. "The last few recordings were great, but they didn't really capture what Lacuna Coil was about, I think. This record is all that. I feel very strongly about the disc. I love it!"

And what about The Gathering references that seem to have dogged the band since signing on with Century Media back in 1998 with the self-titled EP [CoC #31]? Does it bother her and her band mates?

"Not really", she comments. "I mean, I can see how it happened early on. Two gothic metal bands with female singers and soft melodies. The comparisons were expected. But that has all changed now, really. We both have changed so much as bands. The Gathering are going off and doing their thing and bringing new sounds into their music and we are just doing our own thing too, just getting better at it. People can say what they want. It doesn't bother me."

The topic of conversation turns toward the recording of _Unleashed Memories_ and how it all came about. While it wasn't really an arduous task, seeing that the band was working once again with gifted producer Waldemar Sorychta (Moonspell, Tiamat), finding the time and initiative to get the ball rolling was another thing.

States Scabbia, "Making a record is always a big deal for us. We know what we want and how we want to do things. It's just the act of getting into the studio and getting it all down on record. <laughs> After the last EP (_Halflife_ in 2000) we set a goal to have another disc out within a year. A month went by and no real work, then four months and then another couple of months and then we realized we wouldn't be keeping our commitment to have something out. So we got our act together and went in to record the new disc."

"I really get excited about my music and just making music in the studio and playing live", says the singer. "I don't know... I just think making records and being creative with all of those involved in the band is such a wonderful experience. Making a record is tiring, yes, but so rewarding. I couldn't be happier with the end result. It just adds another direction and style for Lacuna Coil. I can see the changes within what we do."

Unlike the way things were going for the European metal community a few years back with a major emphasis on Scandinavian acts, Italy seems to be spurting out some quality bands like Rhapsody, Domine, Power Symphony and White Skull. What does Scabbia credit this to? Why are these bands making names for themselves after years of not getting noticed?

"I am so proud to see a lot of these bands, a lot of good bands, getting noticed by the metal fans around the world. There are a lot of good acts here", she insists. "I think the reason why a lot of bands have never really taken off is because most of them were afraid to try new things and just copied other acts and it all sounded too much of the same and fans never caught on. Now a lot of Italian bands are making an effort to be true to what they want to do and make music for the sake of making music, not just to be a part of a trend or to copy bands they worship."

She adds: "I think we were in the same frame of mind when we started out and we just realized we needed to make an effort to be true to what we wanted to do as a band. We needed to grow and expand."

"When I listen to the new record, I get this real strong feeling of passion. The record is full of some great moments, both from myself and all of the others in the band. The real strength is in the songwriting this time. I think this is some of our deepest, as well as best work", she notes. "We knew we had a lot to provide for this record and one listen and you'll know we were on fire when it came to songwriting."

Scabbia continues: "I think it was important for us to explore new ideas and not be worried with what people would say", she says of the band's varied approach to certain songs. "Nothing on this record sounds the same, yet it all meshes together quite well. That is the way any good record should be."

"Being part of this creative team is like no other job. Every day it is a new experience. And the music just makes it even more enjoyable", she ends. "I'm just proud to be a part of music that not only moves our fans, but moves me as well."

(article submitted 13/5/2001)

3/21/2003 X Hoose 8 Lacuna Coil - Comalies
5/13/2001 A Bromley 8.5 Lacuna Coil - Unleashed Memories
7/7/1999 A Bromley 7.5 Lacuna Coil - In a Reverie
6/7/1998 A Bromley 8 Lacuna Coil - Lacuna Coil
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