Italian metallers Lacuna Coil will be hitting Australia next week, playing at the Soundwave Festivals and sideshows for adoring fans who have longed for the bands return. Touring Australia for the very first time in 2007 as part of the Gigantour bill, Australian fans adopted Lacuna Coil as their own and the fans passion and admiration for this band has grown stronger ever since! Last year the band had planned to return for a headlining tour, but soon after… the shows were cancelled due to scheduling conflicts! The band, who never disappoint their fans jumped at the chance to return and be a part of the Soundwave festivals which will also include Nine Inch Nails, In Flames, Silverstien, Goldfinger and 36 Crazyfists to name just a few. Lacuna Coil’s smashing breakthrough album ‘Comalies’ was followed by the 2006 masterpiece ‘Karmacode’ which smashed the charts in the United States, Europe and Australia. The album spawned four smashing singles ‘Closer’, ‘Enjoy the Silence’, ‘Within Me’ and ‘Our Truth’ pushing the bands popularity to an all-time high. The success of ‘Karmacode’ now had Lacuna Coil playing parts of the world they never thought they would play and had the band billed for some of the world’s largest festivals such as Ozzfest and Wacken. Late last year the band released an incredible DVD titled ‘Visual Karma’ which followed them around, behind the scenes and capturing what they do best live onstage, showcasing the Wacken and Loud Park festival performances. The DVD is a testament to how amazing Lacuna Coil is and offers fans a rare insight to a private side of the members. Three years after the release of ‘Karmacode’ the band are ready to send fans into a spin with their brand new album ‘Shallow Life’. The album which tackles topics of media propaganda, everyday people living the “Shallow Life” and a rollercoaster of emotions, will no doubt set Lacuna Coil apart from the rest! Featuring songs like ‘I’m Not Afraid’, ‘Kill my Dream’ and ‘The Maze’, the album is believed to be a mixture of rock and heavy riffs with big choruses. Due to be released on April 21st ‘Shallow Life’ was produced by Don Gilmore who has worked with Linkin Park, Trapt and Good Charlotte and it’s certainly going to have Lacuna Coil fans excited! Last week I had the true pleasure of catching up with Lacuna Coil vocalist Andrea Ferro to discuss the bands return to Australia, the recently released ‘Visual Karma’ DVD and the bands upcoming album ‘Shallow Life’.
Inside Out: Hey Andrea, how ya doin mate! Andrea Ferro: I’m doin well thanks.
Inside Out: Firstly, it’s fantastic to speak with you once again, a lot has happened since we last spoke back in 2007! Let’s kick off talking about the upcoming Soundwave festivals; it’s great to see that you are heading back to Australia to be a part of the festival bill! No doubt you’re all excited to be returning? Andrea Ferro: Oh yeah, for sure. It’s been over a year now since we visited Australia for the first time. We’re really looking forward to coming back and we’re also very curious about this festival situation because there are a lot big names on the bill, I think it’s going to be very cool!
Inside Out: As you said there are a lot of big bands billed like Alice In Chains, In Flames, Devildriver, All That Remains to name a few! Will you be making time to check out any of the other bands playing at festival? Andrea Ferro: Yeah, we will check out different bands every day since we have the chance to be a part of more than one show. I surely want to see Alice in Chains cause’ I never got to see them with Layne [Staley] and I’m really curious to hear new stuff. Nine Inch Nails I’d like to check out of course and then there are all the bands that are our friends… In Flames, Devildriver, Lamb Of God, all of our metal friends that we have known for many years from touring together. It’s going to be like a big summer camp!
Inside Out: Lacuna Coil’s a band that’s used to doing both the headlining shows and the large festival bills! Would you much rather play your own headlining shows or do the festivals; both certainly have their advantages! Andrea Ferro: Yeah, I like both situations being a headliner is more for the real fans and the festivals is more to expose yourself to more new fans. Obviously at the festivals you have the chance to get exposed to many more people. You probably wouldn’t have the same sound quality as you would in a headlining show cause’ you can’t sound check and there are fast changeovers… the quality of the performance may not be excellent. The positive side of it is that you have a lot of people and the energy will be larger and a lot of fun! When you do headliners you have the chance to be more precise and you get to do proper sound checks, and everything is set up for you… it’s a different technical situation!
Inside Out: Andrea, besides doing the Soundwave Festival, you will also be doing a few Sidewaves with 36 Crazyfists, Devildriver and All That Remains! What can the Lacuna Coil fans expect when you hit the stage? Andrea Ferro: I think it’s going to be interesting, cause’ all of the bands on the line-up are really different from each other. I think it’s going to be good, we haven’t been there for a long time and I think our fans are really looking forward to checking out the band in a smaller environment. They can expect the same energy as we will give at the festivals but probably with a more intimate atmosphere.
Inside Out: Mate, with the new album ‘Shallow Life’ still no yet released, will you be teasing the fans with any new life tracks? Andrea Ferro: Sure, I think we will be playing new tracks at the festival and also at the sideshows!
Inside Out: Let’s talk a little about the soon to be released ‘Shallow Life’… what are you hoping the fans will get out of the new album? Andrea Ferro: I think it’s going to be a really different album on one hand and on the other it’s really in the style of the band. It has really bought the best out of the band unlike anything we have done before! It’s focused, in your face, it’s got a big production and there are a lot of big vocals and choruses as well. Of course every band says it’s their best album, when they have a new album coming out, but this album is an album where you can better understand the style of the band, the more complete picture of the band, that’s what this album is!
Inside Out: ‘Shallow Life’ is already being called a concept album which deals with everyday people living superficial lives, media propaganda and other topics of this kind. When it came time to write for the new album, did you walk in with a clear view of what you wanted to do? Andrea Ferro: Not totally cause it’s not a complete concept album, every song is tied in with the same idea as you say of the shallow life, but it’s also a more private aspect. Sometimes you experience the shallow life in a simple life; sometimes it’s good to be shallow, just because you can stay on the couch with a beer and watch a soccer match. It’s a kind of shallowness that I think is necessary to have in your life. I think a lot of people misunderstood and thought we were only talking about famous people but it’s not. It’s also about normal life… those moments when you are shallow and you have to be. You can’t always be deep and always thinking about big topics. It’s cool to sometimes be more chilled out and more relaxed, it’s a mix of all the situations where shallowness can be applied!
Inside Out: ‘Shallow Life’ has been produced by Don Gilmore who has worked with Good Charlotte, Pearl Jam and Australia’s own The Veronicas. Why did you guys decide to go with Don when you could have picked
almost anyone to do this album? Andrea Ferro: We had a choice between two or three producers that we were looking for and were talking with and Don seemed to be the one who believed more in the project. So Don came down to Milan and we went out to dinner and immediately we had a very good feeling with him and formed a good relationship, he seemed like a really easy going person! Don really believed in the idea of working with an Italian band and trying to take it to the next level, to build a great album and work with us. It was the first time that we recorded in America, in L.A. at one of those very famous studios, it was a very good experience, like a dream come true.
Inside Out: Andrea, it’s been three years since ‘Karmacode’ was released, how was the first encounter back in the studio after such a long time away from the recording side of things? Andrea Ferro: We spent a lot of time on the songwriting in the practice room here in Milan and we were going almost every day for six months. We really wanted to write the best most convincing songs for us. We actually wrote more songs than we recorded and a lot of those songs were too different, we chose the songs that we thought were more convincing first and more in the style of the band. We had a lot of experimentation, if there was something that was extreme we pushed it to the extreme, if we had a song that sounded more rock then we would push it more into a rock direction, so we tried to go everywhere to try and find the right way to keep you interested in our style without doing something completely different from what we have done in the past.
Inside Out: How much of Don’s experience impacted on the overall outcome of ‘Shallow Life’, Cristina has been quoted as saying this album is much more a rock album, was that Don’s influence or just the way the new material was written? Andrea Ferro: I think it was more the direction that we were going as a band, if you listen to the songs; the style of the songs is exactly the same as we have always done. We didn’t change any of the styles! We worked a lot especially with Don on the arrangements of the lyrics for the album. For the first time we really gave a lot of dedication to our arrangements of the vocals. We have never spent so much time in the studios as we have now; it was a totally different way of working and it reflects in the sound probably but not in the style of the band. The fact that there are more rock songs is just because we wrote songs like that; there are some metal songs and some heavier rock songs too!
Inside Out: Mate, I also wanted to speak to you briefly about the ‘Visual Karma’ DVD which was released a few months back! Congratulations on putting together a great compilation of footage covering the Karmacode tour! Of all the footage that had been shot surrounding the band, why did you choose to showcase the Wacken and Loud Park festival footage? Andrea Ferro: Basically because they were two big shows and were different from each other! The one in Japan was more intimate and in an indoor arena and the other was in this huge open air European festival with a lot of people, it was cool to show the different aspects of those shows. We never had any normal headliner shows recorded professionally in both video and audio so we had to use something that was already in a high quality and that could be mixed in 5.1 with all the separate tracks. We chose the best ones, we had some other festival appearances that we could have used but we felt that they were the best two! Maybe in the future we will do a DVD that’s more anthological, not only covering a specific album but more about our career and featuring a headliner show!
Inside Out: I really loved the bonus footage especially all of the individual segments and of course the Australian tour footage! When it came time to compile everything for the DVD how much of a say did you have in what made the final selections? Andrea Ferro: We made all the choices, some of the fan material was also reviewed by the label and management, just because there was a huge quantity of stuff and we didn’t have all the time to check it out cause’ we were writing the new album. We had to split the job between the label and management. Most of the material was really funny and very passionate; we were really surprised with the quantity of footage that fans uploaded on their YouTube channels. It was quite difficult to choose because we loved everything for different reasons. Some stuff is better technically and visually and some stuff was better cause’ of the passion of the fans even if it wasn’t great looking. It was tough to say this is going to be on the DVD, in the end we had to choose ten which was impossible from all the material we were sent.
Inside Out: Andrea, were are rapidly running out of time but before we wrap it up I wanted to talk with you more about touring and life on the road… last time you were in Australia, you were playing on the Gigantour bill which was awesome! What fond memories do you have from your last Australian visit? Andrea Ferro: We have a lot of memories; people in Australia seem to like rock music a lot! Not only was it our first time to Australia but it was also our first time in Japan and we were really curious about everything, about the people, the fans, and the places. We tried to go around as much as we could and visit different places. There were so many new sensational memories, unfortunately we were only there for a couple of weeks but Gigantour was amazing. The reaction of the people was really cool and it was a good chance to be in Australia and play in front of all the people for the very first time! We were very curious about coming back more than once or twice.
Inside Out: You will be kicking ass in Australia over the next couple of weeks with the Soundwave Festivals but once you leave I believe you will be going on an extensive American tour with Disturbed and Killswitch Engage, what can you tell us about that? Andrea Ferro: Yeah it’s going to be a really cool tour and it’s going to be very interesting… besides the normal touring schedule there are also a lot of side shows including skateboard demos and tattoo artists following us to every show. There is also a second stage in the afternoon where local bands are going to play and open the shows! We know Disturbed from the Ozzfest we did together in 2006 and we know Killswitch as well, we’ve met each other many times at various festivals, it’s going to great!
Inside Out: Mate, just before we wrap it up… over the years you have shared the stage with many amazing artists, who has given you the best advice out on the road and what was it? Andrea Ferro: We got some very good advice from one of the guys in the road crew for Slipknot, he’s not an artist but he is a very experienced guy who has been in the business for many years. He told us that we just need to stick together, that’s the most important thing in the music industry. That’s actually true, when you are together for many years and you see the ups and downs and you have good chances and see bad failure, the most important thing in the end is your friends, chasing your dreams and you stick together. Sooner or later you will reach your result; honestly that’s the most important thing.
Inside Out: Andrea, unfortunately we’re out of time, I want to thank you again for your time today, as always it’s a true pleasure! I will catch up with you in Sydney mate! Do you have any last words for our readers? Andrea Ferro: Yeah, we’re coming so be prepared!