On October 11th 2019, the legendary Italian Metal / Rock act Lacuna Coil, will release their latest studio album, ‘Black Anima.’ In support of the record, the band kicked off a co-headline tour with All That Remains back in mid-September. Fans in Europe will also have a chance to catch them as they will be going on their ‘Black Anima’ tour, and will be joining Folk Metal act Eluveitie, for some dates as well.
I caught up with vocalist Andrea Ferro before their show in Los Angeles, to talk about the tour, the new album, and more.
Thank you for taking the time to do this, Andrea. It’s a pleasure. What can you tell us about the tour? How are things going so far?
Andrea: Basically, the tour is going really good, the concerts are going well. The atmosphere between all the bands and the package works well. They’re all nice people, we all get along very well. There’s no reason to be unhappy about this tour.
The only thing is, as I was saying before, our tour bus broke down several times, and now were on bus number four. So hopefully this is going to be the last one we’re going to change until the end of the tour. But the tour is great, were happy to be back in America. We’re playing a lot of cities that we haven’t played in a long time, like Las Vegas and San Diego. So we’re really happy about the tour, just this bus thing has to stop because we need to rest and need to sleep! That has really been the only negative thing, the rest has been super good.
The band has been obviously touring for decades. Does it get easier, and is there ever a tour where everything goes smoothly and as planned?
Andrea: I think the touring is more or less the same. I think today you just do shorter runs compared to what we used to do even 10 years ago. There used to be tours like, we once did a tour with Sevendust here in America, and it was close to three months. While now, it’s usually one month, maybe one and a half months, and it’s already quite an extended tour.
I think just because the market is so saturated with a lot of tours and a lot of bands, they try to keep it shorter. That’s the main difference. The rest is all the same. You know we still very much enjoy being here visiting friends. At this point and after 20 years, we’ve got friends in every city and every place we go we meet somebody that we know, and it’s always very cool experience.
It’s just that obviously it’s a bit harder because you have so many bands, so much competition at the same time, and it’s a bit harder to get more people at shows. However, we’re very lucky that we have a loyal fan base of many years. So they support the band, they buy the tickets, buy the VIP tickets. So they do everything possible to allow us to come back. So that’s the luck that we have. The fact that we’ve been around people that have been getting to know us along the way, and get that connection with the band.
You guys also have a new album coming out soon. What can we expect of this new work?
Andrea: I think it’s probably the most complete record in the sense that there is such a variety of songs, that you can find every aspect of Lacuna Coil. Such as from the past, but also sort of a little further direction for the future I think. The previous record, ‘Delirium’, was more a little bit of a rebirth of the band. As we change the lineup after many years of the same stable lineup, we changed two guys in the current lineup.
So ‘Delirium‘ was more of proving that we’re still a band, we still have something to say, we’re still here and will keep going. The core the band of is still here; Me, Marco, and Cristina. The songwriters are still here, so it was something to refresh the image of the band and bring it back.
This new record is more awareness of where we are at this point in our career and in our life. And to just go and do and care about what really belongs to us in a manner that’s as wide as possible. There are some songs that are more heavy and really dark, there’s some songs that are more atmospheric, there are songs of drama from the past. So I think it’s a good portrayal of Lacuna Coil and what it’s been for the past 20 years, as well as what it could be from the future as well.
How did you approach writing the new material for the record? Has it been a similar process each time?
Andrea: It’s been a little different in terms that our bass player, Marco, who is usually the main composer for the music, struggled a little bit with coming up with stuff that he really enjoyed. Everything he wrote he was like “yeah, this is good, but I’ve already done this.” He felt like he was a bit stuck in place. So to help him, me and Cristina were mostly responsible for lyrics and vocal melodies, we decided to start talking about the record. Not just writing and working on the songs, but to sit down and we were like “ok we have this title Black Anima (which means black soul as Anima is the Italian word for soul) that we want to use.
We have collected a series of emotions from the past three years between Delirium and this new one. And the strongest emotion that we had to face and deal with, was the fact that we lost some very dear members of our families. Not necessarily as much that because that’s something that happens to everybody at a certain point of your life, you know? But the way that we reacted to these experiences that were completely unexpected, completely different, the strength and the fact that we felt that these people were still with us with their energy. Still inside us and around us in a way.
And then I was also reading a really good book that’s called “The Physics of Angels.” It’s written by a scientist / theologist / priest, and they both analyze the figures of Angels, ghost and spirits throughout history. Why they always existed, why people perceive them in different ways in different religions. So this together along with the title was a topic that we wanted to talk about and created this imagery for the record.
And we told Marco “Ok, Black Anima is this book with all the stories of the spirits, and the people that are not around with us physically anymore, but we fill their presence still in our life.” So this is the book, and this is the record and we came out with the seal we put on the front of the record which is actually on the inside of the cover the album.
So from there we thought about how we could be dressed on stage, and we thought of soul hunters, and imagining like souls coming out of your cloths, and from there the flowing of the inspiration came.
We worked on our ideas for music, the photos, we took pages from comic books, photographers from Instagram that we liked, and we wanted to experiment with dark artist. It was like putting all this stuff on a table and working altogether which exploded in this flow of energy which was the record.
That’s really awesome!
Andrea: Yeah! But it’s pretty complicated to explain.
It does makes perfect sense. And obviously many bands like to experiment with their sound and you guys are no different, but what do you think is what defines your band’s sound? The core elements?
Andrea: I think we’ve always been about contrast. Our music has always been the female and the male voice. The melodic epic voice, the growls, the screaming powerful voice. The melodic parts on the music, to the heaviness of the riffs. So I think that were a band that represents really well the male and female, well, not only physically but also the energy in terms of the two yings and yangs of energy.
And after 20 years, I think we have certain characteristics that whatever songs were going to record, say an AC/DC style or a Sex Pistol sound, it’s still going to sound like Lacuna Coil. Because we have that now, it’s our style. Whatever we do with the two different vocals or the way that Marco approaches the arrangement, it’s going to sound like Lacuna Coil.
Being such a fantastic duo, I know you probably hear this a lot, but, how do you work with Cristina in terms of sharing vocal duties and doing harmonies together?
Andrea: We normally work separately. Like Marco passes some demos with some basic ideas for music, and I collect my ideas, she collects her ideas, and then we meet together Marco’s basement home studio, (he has this little basement home studio) and listen and decide what we really like and work from there.
Like, if we like a course, or decide we need to work around the course and see what all the parts could do to make it fit. It’s very democratic, and most of the ideas that we bring are not going to be used. It’s could become something completely different in the end, you know. So we make it that, it becomes one flow of music but we start from a lot of different ideas, and every time we throw away a lot of those ideas.
It’s very open and very creative and it has to be in the service of the song. It doesn’t have to be “I’m going to sing 50%, and you’re going to sing 50%”. We never cared about that. We always care about the best result for the song. If it’s more of a Cristina driving song, that’s fine as long as it’s great, or if it’s more for me, that’s fine too, but it has to be for the music first.
And as a vocalist, what do you on tours to keep your voice in good shape? Because I know like the tour flu gets around.
Andrea: There’s not much you can do to be honest. We can avoid smoking, we can avoid partying hard every night, you can try to rest as much as possible, or only drink herbal teas that’s good for your voice with ginger and honey. That’s all stuff that helps. But still, the main thing is to be very well rested. If you’re not well rested, struggle with the voice, because the voice is a physical instrument, so if your energies not 100% then it’s gonna be hard no matter what you do. So there’s not really a secret, the best thing you can probably do is keep yourself from vices and from getting tired for no reason. Don’t talk too much like I’m doing now. (laughs)
But we try, and experience helps. You know when you can push a little bit more, or try to save and use some more technique to avoid using too much of your real voice. But then there are only certain things you can do. You also have to be very lucky to not get sick and try to stay as healthy as possible.
And what would you advice to people who are starting out in the business and touring?
Andrea: We have a lot of young bands coming to us and asking for help. It’s always hard because we started back in 97, it was a different world. We had a contract sending a tape with a little bio in English some pictures and we got signed with that. That doesn’t exist anymore now. We were lucky we were signed in times where they dealed up the band with three records.
So you do one record and see how it’s going, and maybe a second one, and if the third one goes it’s fine. Nowadays, you don’t have the three record chances anymore. You kind of have to make something happen right away, otherwise they just drop you and take somebody else. So it’s a very different world.
What I think really pays off always, is hard work. If you’re a young band you need to work hard, and don’t be in a rush to do like a video clip. I see a lot of bands coming to me like “oh, we have a video clip!” “we have five songs, we have a single.” And it’s like, yeah, but you should have the songs first and eventually you do the video. We did our first video for the third album. That was our first video clip.
But it’s important to have a clip nowadays because we have way more medias to promote the band. But first you have to find a style for the band, and find people you really like to work with that are committed as much as you are towards the project. And then you can work and then you can have a video.
But first you have to be very clear on what your message as a band and your cliché for the band. What’s your cliché, why should people listen to you, and whats your message. Whatever that is. It could be love, it could be political, but you have to have a message. Otherwise you’re just another band, and people won’t pay attention even if you’re really good musicians.
That’s great advice, and thank you, Andrea! Any last words for our readers?
Andrea: Yes! I want to thank everybody that supported Lacuna Coil in the past, and I want to invite everybody that’s never cared about us to check out the new record and to give it a chance, as I’m sure there’s something for everybody that likes metal and rock music. So do give it a chance, and we’re gonna see you in America on the tour.Pre-Order Black Anima. Official Website Facebook Instagram Twitter