Cristina Scabbia: A Rock And Roll Fables Conversation

“We like the idea of getting involved in a lot of things that are creatively interesting.”

No truer words could be said when talking with Lacuna Coil’s Cristina Scabbia recently via phone about the celebratory year 2018 has been for the band that kicked it off with a no holds barred/one off performance in London (The 119 Show which was captured and available now in various formats) and ended with a career retrospective book, Nothing Stands In Our Way, that was recently released through Rocket 88.

“Well, we were thinking about things to celebrate our birthday in style and we just thought about the fact that everyone was basically asking us ‘How did you guys get started?’, ‘When did you meet?’, ‘How did you get into music?’, ‘When did you start singing?’ so we thought it would be cool to collect all the memories and the pictures that we could find that would describe this journey. And that’s how it started!”

Just like Century Media seems like the perfect fit for Lacuna Coil when it comes to releasing music, the same could be said for Rocket 88 (Known for releasing books on Opeth, Devin Townsend, Devo, and more) in regards to this collection of stories and pictures from LC’s illustrious career:

“We did a little bit of research and found out that Rocket 88 was very good at putting together books. We especially saw the Opeth one and the Dream Theater one and they were completely different from each other. In particular, I really liked the Opeth one and saw that they could deliver a good, quality product. What’s inside we’ll decide because we’ll choose the pictures, we’ll talk about it, we’ll put it together, we’ll put every caption making sure that everything is perfect. That required a lot of work on our side but we wanted to make sure the final quality would be astounding and that’s why we decided to work with them.”

As for the process regarding putting something like this together, Scabbia elaborates on the length of time required in advance:

“Oh, it was months! We did interviews with this guy working for Rocket 88 named Mark Eglinton who interviewed all of us in different sessions because he kind of had to take the whole story. And it was cool because I think that the way it worked brought out a lot of things that we even forgot! For example, talking to Andrea (Ferro, co-vocalist) and he was remembering something and then [Mark] was talking to me saying ‘Oh, I talked to Andrea about this thing and he was saying this’ and that would bring to the surface these things I might’ve forgot! And that’s how it went.”

When it comes to personal highlights during this journey, Scabbia is hesitant to pick any one thing:

“Twenty years is a long time and I remember the very beginning….and the very beginning really taught us that you kind of have to work hard to get your career. It’s not going to come about by signing a deal and ‘yeah, you’re famous!’ I remember when we were all sleeping  in the same room during the recording and we had to survive without working because of this and writing. In the very beginning, there was no money involved and we had to do a lot of different jobs to sustain ourselves. And I can remember in 2004 when this all really started because we made the next step being on Ozzfest and the interest it created in the States basically created the same interest in Europe as well! So it was a very, very cool journey with so many things happening big and smaller and they’re all important.”

Shifting gears to the performance side of things, Scabbia gave insight into her role in Lacuna Coil and how she fine tunes her instrument on the regular:

“To be honest, I don’t have a recipe. I’m self taught. I never took any lessons so from my point of view I try to sleep a lot. It’s really important to rest to have your voice on top. And then I don’t have any specific secret. I just try to take care of myself as a person because my voice is part of my body, it’s made by my body so as long as I take care of my body then everything is fine.”

Talk of her voice inevitably led to talk about her stint as a judge/mentor on the Italian version of the popular reality singing competition, The Voice:

“It was interesting. I was very curious to see how it was from the inside because, you know, you have a lot of people who love talents and lot of people who hate talents but the best way for me to find out the truth was to be a part of it and see how it really works. Also, it was an honor for me to be there. It’s really strange that someone from the metal community and someone that’s not mainstream (Because in Italy mainstream music is Pop or traditional Italian music). It was something really strange that I couldn’t really pass. I was like ‘Okay!’ This will be my part for the Metal world and let them know that it’s a great genre to listen to”

As for what she was searching for in an ideal contestant for her team, the answer stems from her years in the music business:

“I was looking for someone who could be ready for the music world. It is too easy to say ‘You sing well and you’re ready for it’. This is not true because even psychologically you have to be ready for it. It’s a lot of work. It takes a lot of sacrifices. And there are some things happening in the music business that, if you’re not ready, will crush you. So I was looking for somebody who could actually sing well but could also be prepared to be on stage to face a crowd because it’s not as easy as it seems.”

But if you thought Italy was openly embracing metal with her appearance on The Voice, Scabbia is quick to reiterate the bands thoughts on that topic as found in the book:

“Ehhhh. I don’t know. For example, Tarja (Turunen) did it in Finland and Nergal (Behemoth) did it in Poland. For Tarja, I can say Scandinavians are really open to metal…and most metal bands are from Scandinavia as well (laughs). In the case of Nergal, I think they were interested in the type of character he is to raise some eyebrows and create some curiosity. For the Italian market I can’t really say that Italy is open minded with metal because this is actually not true. I’m still curious to this day as to why they asked me to do this. They see something in me that was interesting to them but it is not because Italy is open to metal. I mean, it’s not. It’s still an underground type of music.”

Finishing up discussing potential future goals and what is on the immediate horizon, Scabbia has some news that’s sure to please fans anxious for the follow up to 2016’s Delerium:

“We don’t really project our goals and desires too far in time. We like to focus on the present so now it’s a new record. We’re going to start soon to write a new record. There are some things we’d love to do: We’d love to write [the score] for a movie or a video game for example. We like the idea of getting involved in a lot of things that are creatively interesting so whatever will come in our hands that will look and feel interesting to us we’ll pursue. But first of all, a new record!”

The 119 Show is out through Century Media Records now and can be purchased by clicking here. Nothing Stands In Our Way is also out now through Rocket 88. You can read our review here and get your own copy by clicking here. For the latest on Lacuna Coil, head here.

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