R13 spoke to vocalist Andrea (A) and drummer Cristiano ( C) before Lacuna Coil's sold out show at Manchester Academy 3 on their recent mini UK tour.

R13: You're only a couple of days into the tour but have you managed to see anything of England other than the inside of the tour bus?!
A: Not really, although we've played London a few times so we've seen the sights there but I'd love to come back and spend some time seeing the rest of the country.

R13: You played London last night, how was that?
A: It was great, yeah it was good. The gig was amazing, it was a really good exchange of emotion, the venue was not that huge but it was packed, totally sold out so you can imagine, not that big a stage so people right in front of you. We played a couple of new songs from the new album and the reaction was amazing! It seemed like people already knew the songs.
C: We decided to keep this tour in smaller venues, even if they were sold out because we wanted to make something special, like an evening with Lacuna Coil, good contact between the people and it's almost like we can talk you know? Especially in the acoustic part of the show, you can talk to the people and they answer! So that's why we decided not to play bigger venues because we feel like we've never done a proper tour here so it was good to leave a memory of an intimate show. Next time we can come and try to play the bigger venues or maybe support somebody. This time we really want to keep it like this so that it's something special.

R13: So was that part of the reason behind doing the acoustic set?
A: Yep. Basically we did some acoustic sets in the past but in America, especially in the bookstores like Borders or in radio stations. It was never something we really decided to do, they just asked us because it's not possible to go in there with all the drum kit and everything, so we arranged a couple of songs and it turned out pretty good, everybody liked it so we decided to arrange four or five songs for doing media live and it turns out good and we say why don't we do this as a special presentation for the UK?
R13: So you're doing acoustic versions of heavier songs?
A: Yeah, except one, which is also acoustic on the album. In the future we can push it further maybe, some of the old songs that we don't play live, we can rearrange in an acoustic version so we can give the people a song that they never expect us to play.
C: Maybe introduce drums and percussion as well, at the moment it's just guitars and voices.
R13: No plans to record any of that stuff then?
C: Not yet, on the new album we'll probably have something done in that way, like one song but it's not like a completely acoustic album. If we got chance I'd like to include an orchestra, like a four piece with violin and cello, then we might do a special recording for a special night or something like that.

R13: You have a new album out next year I believe?
C: Yep we have finishing touches to add to some songs but it's almost done! Me, him and the bass player and the other guitar player, have to make a schedule so that as soon as this tour finishes we can finish all the mixing. It's going to be out at the end of March.
A: Well that's what we're told but it could move!
R13: And it's called 'Karmacode'?
A: Yeah that's the title.

R13:How do you think it's moved on in terms of your sound from Coamlies?
A: We spent almost three years from the release of Coamlies to the recording of this album, so of course you will notice a bigger evolution compared to that between the previous albums, which were coming out every year. I like better the way you progress in this quantity of time, so we'll start it from Comalies but push it further in different aspects.

R13: I was going to ask you about that actually, three years is quite a long time between records, was that a natural length of time to get it right? Or were there other reasons?
A: Well actually the first year of the promotion of Comalies was just a regular year for us, I think we did a European tour, a small American tour and one show in the UK and that was it. After that year the album really exploded in America, radio stations picked up the single, MTV wanted us to do a video for the single so everything happens step by step and grows a lot and takes us into a new routine of promotion. We hard to start again because the album was pretty fresh in America even though it already past one year since the original release.

R13: So you had to go back and do it all again?
C: Yes but go back and do it much better!
A: It took such a long time to promote it and then we started touring massively in America and summer festivals in Europe so we had a lot of things that kept the success of the album moving forward. Also the success of the band and some of the other bands off the label that achieved bigger success, everything has moved in the level of the work, the company has grown and it's a new dimension for everybody, that's why it takes time to organise. When this album comes out it will be straight into promotion and we need to change people, have new people working for the band and so on.

R13:So have all the songs on this album been written since Comalies? Are they relatively new to you or have you been playing them live for a long time?
C: Some of the songs for Comalies we wrote as soon as Comalies came out but then there were lots of changes, staying in the US for a couple of years changes your point of view and your taste in music, your taste in sound so what you hear on the new album is a mixture of a more American sound and the European sound.
A: What we have done compared to Comalies is to push further the heaviness of certain songs, since we had more time and a bigger budget we could work a lot on the sound in the studio and the mixing so we really obtain what we want. Now I can say that we have a heaviness in the sound which is probably more American but also the vocals and the arrangements are more in our classical style, a lot of melodic vocals and arrangements with strings and instruments that are more of our tradition. We kind of mix it up and you can hear better in the slower songs that there are lots of arrangements that we have never been able to put before because of budget and time.

R13: In terms of writing, there's six of you in the band so does that make it harder because everyone's trying to chip in ideas? Or does it all work well?
C: Everyone in the band has their own duty aside from playing, Marco the bass player and the other guitar player are writing songs, then we all together do the arrangements.
A: Me and Cristina do the lyrics and the vocals and most of the interviews, he (Cristiano) does the website. It's very hard to compose with six of you, everyone would want to put a song on because they have made, it so we have to count on the person which has more talent and experience in writing songs. So Marc is the main songwriter but it's just a matter of who's got the best way to do it and the best idea but if somebody comes with a good idea, of course we try with it.

R13:You haven't really toured the UK that much before, when you're not over here do you still get a sense of how big/popular you are here? Is it easy to gauge that?
A: It's hard to say because every time we come here to do a single show in London, of course when you play London and it's the only gig it's going to be big because everybody's coming. This tour will be more of a taste for us of what's going on around the UK, not only in London or a big festival like Download. We really see that everywhere we have some people that follow us, which is really great.

R13: That must be nice when you've not been here for a while and you're worried if you've lost the impetus?
A: When we started, coming from Italy we never expected to have such success somewhere like the UK.
C: It's a hard place you know? I think that American taste is very similar to English taste ...
A: Only in music though! (laughter)
C: So if the album does well there we have a good chance it will do well here
A: Also the opposite way round, I think the UK is more in between, it's not the same as America but it's not the same as Germany for sure! What works here can be liked in America and also in parts of Europe, that's my opinion coming from outside.

R13: You did play Download this year?
A: Oh yeah it was amazing, it was one of the best festivals we've played and also one of the first festivals we've played in the UK with such great bands as SOAD and Motorhead.

R13: Did you get to see any of the other bands?
A: We caught part of SOAD and Motorhead, we wanted to catch a bit of everything but it was amazing.

R13: When you release the new album over here will there be a full tour is that not decided yet?
C: We're going to concentrate on Europe and America for sure because those are our main markets but we also want to explore new territories like Australia and Japan, maybe some part of Central or South America. What we're going to do first though is Europe so I'm pretty sure we'll tour.

R13: Since your success in America you've been a bit more successful back at home haven't you?
A: Yeah, it reflects in a way, our music is not that easy for them though as classical Italian music is more about melodics and traditional music. We are a little bit of everything of course but rock / metal doesn't have that much of a tradition as here or in the States so it's a bit harder.

R13: Do you find that frustrating though? It must be nice to be big in your own country?
A: It can be frustrating in a way but it's also good that you're not such a rock star in your own country, when you're home you can walk down the street or hang around without being hassled. Obviously if you go to a rock bar everybody knows you and that's fine but it's cool for us that when we go home we can just take it easy and we get more privacy.

R13: Do you think the stage that the band is at now is where you thought it would be when you started nine years ago?
C: When you dream you dream the best it can be, this point is already one of the biggest steps in our music and that's one of the biggest things you can dream about. What comes more than that is welcome, of course we wish it to.
A: But we never really had any bands in Italy before us that achieved these things so we are basically the first rock / metal band to have such popularity outside Italy. Everything happens step by step with us so when we achieve something you then expect the next step. It's not that we came out and exploded, like we had a track on a soundtrack or something or have a hit on MTV, we did a tour and then a better tour so it's not like we don't know what to do with this success. We grow and what we expect for the next album is to tour basically. Then if we are lucky enough to have a soundtrack, a radio hit or whatever, then that's more than cool for us but for sure we don't count on that, we count on the touring we need to do to make the album succeed.

R13: Well you won't know the answer to this but when can fans expect to see you back in the UK?!
A: haha yeah we don't know but for sure we are going to come back! Especially since the UK is becoming a very important place for us.

R13: Yeah, well you sold out tonight as well didn't you?
C: All the dates are sold out! They sold out in August or September and they were like why don't you move it to a bigger venue? But we say no, as this is really the first tour that we do here so it's cool to really give something to the people and then next time although it will be interesting because people will spread the word.

R13: Yeah and it will make it that more special for the people that are here tonight
C: The word will be passed by the people that it was a good show hopefully so that the next time more people will come, if we play good! (laughter)

R13: This is a fan question, do you know Cliff Richard?
A: Yes
R13: So if you had to cover a Cliff Richard song, which would it be?
A: I don't remember a title of any of his songs!
R13: That's probably a good thing!
A: Probably a Beatles song would be easier for us
R13: Go on then, which one?
A: Oh there are so many, I like Come Together or Day Tripper
R13: Now that would be interesting!
A: I'm not saying it would work but I'd like to do it because I like the song

R13: OK that's me done, thanks for your time, good luck with the show and the rest of the tour


A: Hey what was Cliff Richard's biggest hit?
R13: Oh he's had loads, Summer Holiday, Devil Woman ...
C: Ah Devil Woman
A: Summer Holiday I think I know!
R13: Yeah it's from the film, in the 60's he did lots of very cheesey, awful films
A:Yeah he was famous but not that famous in Italy so we don't really know his songs
R13: You got off lightly, we've been suffering for years!