Interview by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy
Italian Goth Metal masters Lacuna Coil have been hugely successful and well respected within the metal world especially following the release of their third album ‘Comalies’ which featured their hit singles ‘Swamped’ and ‘Heaven’s A Lie’ and they have been impressing the masses ever since. Now in 2019, they have just unleashed their ninth studio album titled ‘Black Anima’ on October 11th this year through Century Media Records. With this new release the band ‘felt even more freedom of experimenting and pushing our boundaries forward’. We were fortunate enough to catch up with founding member and vocalist Andrea Ferro to discuss their latest release, their career, touring and more!
Firstly going back to the very beginning can you tell us about your formation in 1994 and how you chose the name of the band?
Actually, in 1994 it was just me and Marco (bass player) with a couple of friends from the skateboarding days having fun in the practice room. the year after we really started to put down the basis of what would have become lacuna coil. We met Cristina in the local metal pub in Milan and we knew she could sing but had no interest in joining a band. We became friends and ask her to do some background vocals on our demo. She enjoyed the music and decided to work with us after we sent out the demo we got offer from a couple of labels and decided to sign with “Century Media”. Back then our name was “etherial” but there were a couple of other bands with the same name so to avoid problems with copyright we decided to create a new name by putting together an Italian word with an English word and we decided for “lacuna coil” that could be translated as “empty spiral”.
When did you realise you wanted to be a singer in a metal band and what are your main influences?
I’ve always been passionate towards music and during the skateboarding days in my youth when the weather was shit me and Marco were staying inside and jam on our favourite albums that were all metal, hardcore and punk music so it was kind of a natural passage.
So your new ninth album ‘black anima’ is out 11th October via century media records, can you tell us the meaning of the title of the album and how you arrived at that?
“Black Anima” means “dark soul” and the title represent the basic concept we’ve been creating by brainstorming over the things that happened in our life in these past 3 years between records. We already had this title in our books as we like to collect a lot of possible titles, phrases and ideas that can be used in the future. In general we like to combine words from different languages as we did in the past with coma-lies or karma-code.
What are the main lyrical themes and influences that run throughout the new album?
The strongest feeling that we have agreed on was the fact that we had to overcome some really important loss in our families and the unexpected way we’ve been reacting to these situations. another input has been a book that I was reading called “the physics of angels” that analyse the figures of angels, ghosts and spirits from a religious point of view and from a scientific point of view. so we imagine black anima has a book that told all the stories of these lost souls and how much we can still feel them around us.
How would you say the new album compares to the rest of your releases?
After the success of a record like “Delirium” we felt even more freedom of experimenting and pushing our boundaries forward, while writing “Black Anima” we really haven’t paid attention on what people was expecting from us we just gone wherever we wanted to go following the inspiration, working on arrangements and sounds that make sense nowadays but also keeping in mind our heritage, at this point in our career whatever we will write is gonna have that unique Lacuna Coil vibe that we have developed in these 20 years. Today we are surely different people and musicians but I think that our passion and identity has stayed the same.
You have released singles ‘Layers of Time’ and ‘Reckless’ from the new album, what made you decide to release these songs and can you tell us about the tracks and the meaning behind them?
“Black Anima” it’s quite a complete record and features a certain variety of styles so it was not so easy to pick up a track that could completely represent the moods of the record. we have chosen “layers of time” because it has a really strong impact but also a quite epic part from Cristina, it’s a good song to say we’re back and we’re stronger than ever. “Reckless” it’s more of a groovy song a bit more catchy probably but still with a certain edge to it. The first songs talks about the acceptance of time passing by and the second one about don’t be afraid of going off the rules every now and then.
What was the recording and writing process like for the album?
The material was coming out so personal that we have decided to produce it with Marco (our bass player) which is becoming a really good producer. We didn’t want anybody from the outside coming in and giving us his point of view on these songs. We knew exactly how we wanted this album to sound and we just did it on our own completely. I think we are experienced enough to be able to write and produce our records, with that said we are not excluding to work with a producer in the future if we will feel the need. the recording process itself has not been much different then usual, starting with drums, then guitar and bass to finish with arrangements and vocals.
The artwork for the new album looks awesome, how did the design come about and can you tell us about what it represents to you?
The original sketch came from Marco (bass player) and it’s a reprise of the ancient symbol of one of the ruling families of our city (Milan) in medieval times. The original symbol is a snake that gives birth to a child from his mouth, ours has a dragon with a fighting angel in his mouth surrounded by 3 snakes in a circle that represent the 3 founding members of lacuna coil, me, Marco and Cristina. the version that you find on the cover has been reworked by Micha Ulrich an artist from the states.
On September 6th you did a special playthrough of the new album and a q&a at London dungeons, how did this idea come about and how did this unique experience go?
It’s been a fantastic experience, we had a lot of fun disguising in the horror maze and scare our fans. then we had a q&a about the record and then the fans got the chance to listen to the full record for the first time all together. the idea came from our label in the UK in collaboration with metal hammer magazine and the tickets got sold out in 2 minutes, all the money went for charity.
How excited are you for the European/UK tour with Eluveitie and infected rain in November and what can attending fans expect?
We can’t wait! Obviously, we will present some of the new songs from “Black Anima” as well as older material and classics. It’s gonna be a very energetic show and a fun night, the tour offers also a certain variety of bands, we already know really well “infected rain” and we briefly met “Eluveitie”, I think it’s a great package and the shows are selling out really fast, so don’t miss it!
What new songs are you enjoying playing the most or looking forward to playing and why?
So far we have only played “Layers of Time” and “Reckless” so I guess these two.
What have been some of your highlights of your career so far?
To be honest there have been too many to mention just a few, if I really have to say one probably our participation at “Ozzfest 2004” has been the episode that brought our name to another level of popularity and allowed us to live with our music from that moment on.
Other than touring and promoting the new album what else do you have planned for the remainder of 2019 and looking ahead to 2020 what can we expect from lacuna coil?
Besides touring in North America and Europe this year on Halloween we will present at the biggest Italian comic convention “Lucca comics” a special boxset we have done in collaboration with “dc comics” for the 80th anniversary of the comic book “Batman” it will see our two worlds collide and it will be really special. 2020 will be a lot about touring but will also bring some more surprises that we can’t announce right now.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Thanks for the support and see ya all on the road, check out “Black Anima” and follow our journey on wwww.lacunacoil.com and all our socials.