When a band achieves some serious longevity in their career, they must continue to shake things up to keep things fresh and interesting for themselves as well as their audience. Two decades and seven records into their journey, Italian maestros Lacuna Coil made the decision to reach for a heavier, more ‘in your face’ sound and approach for their eighth, Delerium. And while it was a risk, it has proven a risk well worth taking, creatively and from the reaction it has received from fans and critics alike.
“Yes, we’re extremely happy about that,” says the band’s luminous singer Cristina Scabbia, speaking from her home in Milan, “We didn’t know what to expect because we were bringing back some things that we did in the very beginning of our career. We wanted to be more aggressive in a time where a lot of bands were tending to be more mellow.
“So we didn’t know what the reaction would be. We just did it because we wanted to, we felt it was the right time. It fit in with the concept, and we just enjoyed the fact that the songs were heavier and epic, and weird at times. So we can only be happy that old fans and new fans understood our evolution.”
No doubt, another factor in the album’s success is the fact that Scabbia is in the superb vocal form on this record. However, she is typically modest about this, stating that it’s more about meaning and emotion than technique. “Thank you for that! I do my best,” she states humbly, “I don’t think I’m a fantastic vocalist or anything, what is important for me is to let my feelings be heard through my voice.
“I’m not looking for technical perfection. What I’m looking for is, yeah my voice can break up sometimes, but that’s because I believe in what I’m saying.”
Australian fans will be able to experience that voice, the intense vibe of the new record and material from most of the illustrious Lacuna Coil back catalogue soon, as the band are here in mid-October. It will be their first ever headlining tour of our nation, after having been here on the Soundwave festival circuit previously.
“I am so excited!” She enthuses, “it’s our first headliner, and we haven’t been there forever, so it was time to go back.
“It will be tough, because we’re playing every day, flying from one place to the next, so it will be a lot of travelling. We will have to find a way to sleep, somewhere in the backstage while the crew is putting the stuff together!” She laughs, “but it will be amazing.”
Scabbia and the band are stoked to finally be able to wind their set out to its fullest extent, after having been heavily restricted by the festival format previously.
“Yes, definitely yes,” she says with feeling, “it was a little difficult for us to put together a setlist that would make everyone happy, to try to squeeze in songs from each record, or at least the ones that are most important.
“For this tour, we’re doing our best to put together a logical setlist. There are songs that have to be there, people want to hear them because they are Lacuna Coil classic songs, and then squeeze in other songs that might make sense. Even in a long set, it’s difficult with eight records!”
Although that may be the case, Scabbia still feels like the last two decades plus, since their formation way back in the mid-90s has flown past.
“It doesn’t seem like 20 years, not at all!” She emphasises, “if you’re not doing this job, you will never understand how different the perception of space and time is. Even though we go away for three or four months on tour, it feels like not even a month to me. It’s so weird, so surreal.
“So twenty years have gone, and we don’t even realise it. When people say it, it’s like ‘what?’ It feels like two years ago. It doesn’t feel like Lacuna Coil is an old band, and sometimes I still feel like a kid just starting out.”
She feels that the process of keeping themselves motivated over such a long career, and in the face of a tough musical climate, is far more organic than some contrived approach to keeping things fresh and new.
“We just do what we love,” she states vehemently, “we’ve always just done whatever we want to do, so it’s never hard for us to perform songs or to record an album because we are like that in life. We like to change things up; we like to refresh things, but without thinking about it. It’s just us and our personalities.
“So it’s not like we sit down and go ‘okay, the new record has to be like this because we have to refresh it’, it’s just us being very curious, enjoying life, taking inspiration from what our life is bringing.”
And as for the future of the band, Scabbia is optimistic that the band has plenty of race still left to run, although strongly tempered with a real reluctance to look too far into the future in an uncertain musical world.
“I have no idea, I think so, if I have to tell you right now I would say I will be singing until I’m dead,” she foresees, “but I can’t really tell you because I don’t like to make long term plans, ever, because things are always coming up in your life, the music business is not too healthy, things might change into a completely different direction from the one that you’re hoping for or you’re imagining.
“So it’s hard for me to say ‘in ten years it will be like that’, because ten years ago I would never have expected to be here still, doing this at the same level. I would never have expected that. So I don’t even want to think about it.”
She feels compelled to add: “I hope I’m still doing it because I love it!”
LACUNA COIL TOUR DATES
Wednesday, October 12: Amplifier Bar, Perth
Thursday, October 13: Max Watt’s, Melbourne
Friday, October 14: The Metro Theatre, Sydney
Saturday, October 15: Max Watt’s, Brisbane