Revolver / Aug 2004

Cristina Scabbia

We love the songs from Comalies from the bottom of our heart, but honestly, we’re a little tired of them.” says Lacuna Coil’s Cristina Scabbia with a bubbly laugh. Released in 2002, the album – already a huge hit in Europe – has only just begun to impact charts in America, after the band’s atmospheric anthem “Heaven’s a Lie” started receiving heavy airplay. Now, with American dates on the P.O.D and Ozzfest tours dominating it’s summer itinerary, the Italian goth-metal band (whose linup also includes vocalist Andrea Ferro, guitarists Cristiano Migliore and Marco Biazzi, bassist Marco Coti Zelati, and drummer Cristiano Moazzati) has had to postpone recording the follow-up to Comalies until later this year. “We have had a lot of good idea already, but we prefer to wait, because we want to make the best album we can, and it makes no nsense to do everything really quickly,” Scabbia explains. “It is weird for us to see people really excited about an album that is pretty old now. But it’s a good sign, because that means our songs still sound fresh.”

Which part of Ozzfest are you most looking forward to?
CRISTINA SCABBIA Everything will be fun. I came over to the U.S. for the press conference, and I met a lot of the artists and they seemed to be really kind. I really believe we’ll have a lot of fun. It’s definitely more metal than ever, and we are really proud to be the first Italian band to play Ozzfest.We took a photo at the Ozzfest press conference at Zakk Wylde carrying you around like he’s Tarzan…
I can’t wait to see it! [laughs] All my girlfriends are just dying for that – they all said, “Oh, you lucky bastard!”Did you worry that Zakk might drop you?
No, no. It was weird, because I did not know him, but we spoke before we took the picture, and he was a really nice person. I was worried for my weight. I told him, “Be careful – you don’t want a hernia!” [laughs] But he’s a strong man.You don’t strike me as someone who should be worried about their weight – though I’ve heard a rumor that you’re a big Taco Bell fan.
[Laughs] It’s absolutely true! Sounds weird from an Italian girl, huh? The point is that we don’t have it in Italy. I mean, we have McDonald’s, we have Burger King, but we don’t usually go to eat there, because of course we eat at home and we all are able to cook very well. But in America, it’s cool just to eat something different, and if I compare Taco Bell and McDonald’s and the other places, Taco Bell is my favorite. I always take the chicken or steak quesadilla [laughs]. I will be crucified for this, you know? All the Italians in America, they will be puking after this quote! The point is that I love to eat – it doesn’t really matter what!

Do you guys cook a lot when you’re on tour?
Yeah, Yeah. All the people on tour with us know that we are very good cooks, so every time they have the occasion to find a kitchen, they always ask us to cook for them. I already spoke with Randy from Lamb of God, and we decided to do something together on Ozzfest, because he is a good cook, too. I promised to bring him a bottle of wine of Italy, but I don’t know if I will be able to keep it for three months without touching it [laughs].

Who are your big vocal influences?
I never had real influences. I didn’t plan to be a singer that long ago, and only when I did did I start to look at other singers, to follow their same steps. When I was really young, I loved Madonna, but not really as a singer. I loved the way she used her image, the way she was able to take her career in her hands and be totally self-confident. I always loved the black singers, the way they use their voices, and the way that they are not always supertechnical and can use the little mistakes – that maybe they make on purpose – just to keep the music a little more human, with more feeling and more vibe. That’s what I like. I’m not interested in supertechnical vocalists – I don’t care about that. It’s a question of feeling, no technique.

In you songs, you’re constantly trading off vocal parts with Andrea, whose a man. Does the division of labor come naturally, or does it take awhile to figure out who’s going to sing what?
Not really, because there’s a lot of democracy in the band. We work for the song, and we don’t care about ego problems like, I want to be in the song more! We don’t really care. We work separately – we have a problem on the computer where we can put down all of our ideas regarding the song, and then we meet up in the practise room and discuss the ideas. We are totally satisfied about that, because Andrea can reach tones that I can’t – he can growl and I can’t, but I can sing in more feminine way and do things he can’t do. So it’s interesting, because basically we can do everything we want in a song – we can touch every single note of the spectrum, and we can explore more aggressive parts and more melancholic parts. The hardest part, really, is to find lyrics. We don’t pretend to be philosophers or poets, but we want every single word to fit perfectly with the music. It’s like we use our voices as two other instruments.

In the US press, at least, Lacuna Coil have been consistently compared to Evanescence, even though you’re been around a lot longer. Is that frustrating?
In the beginning it was a little frustrating, The only thing we have in common is the female vocals. We have two singers, we are more heavy, and we are definitely more underground. A lot of people keep asking me “What do you think of Amy Lee?” I don’t really care – not about Amy Lee, not about other female singers. I sing the way I can, and she sings the way she can. I mean, she’s a good singer, they do very nice songs as well, but they are totally different from Lacuna Coil. At the same time, we have to say thanks to them, because they opened a lot of doors for us. In every Evanescence interview, you can see Lacuna Coil named, so people reading the article say, “Well, who the hell is Lacuna Coil?” Any they find out about us that way.

Those are some pretty interesting sandals you’re wearing.
I get tons of emails about them. Guys want to buy them for their girls, girls who want to have them.

So where did you get them?
I got them in Milano, where I live, but I actually just saw them on ebay in America, and they were fucking cheap! I mean, I paid for them maybe seven times more! [laughs] I’m always looking at fashion stuff on the Internet, just to get ideas, though much more for the pictures than in everyday life. A lot of people think that I’m running around with high heels, and always supersexy with a lot of makeup, but most of the time they don’t recognize me. In the pictures, I look extremely tall, and I’m really really short [laughs]. I always say that I’m short and I’m proud to be, but people always say to me, “I expected you to be taller”

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