By Gray Vickers
In May of this year, after numerous line-up changes and a renewed vitalisation, Lacuna Coil unleashed their album 'Delirium' onto the world and sparked a whole new chapter in the bands career. Making a sharp turn away from heavily layered synths and electronic texturing, the band unveiled a heaving, uncompromising record gaining new fans for their fresh sound, and rejuvenated older fans who began to fell away through the later additions to the bands impressive back catalogue. With the release of Delirium, came a new focused, more powerful touring machine, and with them preparing to make their way to Australia for the first time since 2009's Soundwave Festival, I had a quick catch up with Andrea Ferro, one half of the Italian metaller's dual vocal assault.
“We really enjoy this heavier vibe and people seem to really dig it” says Ferro of the current sound of the band. “It's really fitting for the time, you know, the moment we're living in. You know, there are such extreme times right now, so also, the music needs to be challenging.” And that's how to best describe the new album, it is absolutely challenging. The album bucks like a bull out the gate with punishing riffs and massive drums. Joined by his partner in vocal crime, Cristina Scabbia, Andrea roars brutal screams and powerful hooks in way never heard before on a Lacuna Coil record. “I listen to a lot of records and I really feel there [are too many] people that [don't] take any [chances] and just follow their formula, and I understanding it's hard to change a formula when it's really successful and everybody wants to keep it their way, you know, but for us it was important to freshen up and try something a little different.” And taking chances has paid off for the band, hitting #2 on the US Billboard Hard Rock Charts, as well as #19 on the Australian ARIA charts – their first ever charting position in Australia – as well as the band being awarded the “Best International Band” award at the 2016 Metal Hammer Awards.
Attributing the heavier direction to control now taken by the band, with founding member and bassist Marco Zelati taking over producing and engineer duties on the album, the band we able to focus the 3 core writing members (Ferra, Scabbia and Zelati) and produce something they are immensely proud of. “A lot of people have found a renewed energy in the band, a renewed approach because we have tried something a little different than usual, you know.” Continuing on, he says “it's kinda been refreshing the image of the band, you know. In a way, it is sort of a new band because it's the first record we've done with just the three of us, Me, Marco and Cristina, from the very original line up” the record also saw the introduction of new drummer Ryan Folden, as Ferra say's “There is definitely a renewed energy in the band”.
Andrea also credits much of the bands trajectory to growth within the band, not just through new membership, but through their own personal growth as people and musicians, as well as always wanting to stay fresh and true to themselves “What we are still learning by working with producers and people in the studio, or by ourselves is that it's important that we really have something to put out there with something to say. Not necessarily a message, you know you don't have to preach to anyone, or to, we haven't found the truth, you know – that's not what I mean. What I mean is that the record has to have a purpose.” Maturity and experience are also driving factors of the Lacuna Coil creative process. “The more I grow up, the more I feel music needs to be real, needs to be a little bit challenging, a little bit of taking chances, you know, otherwise it becomes uniform and then it becomes something boring.
Lacuna Coil have been enjoying have been a wave of positive response not just with the album but their live shows as well, with two legs of a hugely successful North American under their belt, as well as a variety of festivals throughout Europe and Asia, the band has been going from strength to strength showcasing their new line up and massive new sound. “Actually, I was surprised about how smooth it went [with the new members]. Because obviously there's new people on stage and there's the new set-up, and the only one guitar and so, in the beginning I was not scared, but afraid that something could go wrong, but it actually felt very natural to play with these guys. Actually the first show we did for the new line up was in the Philippines in a huge festival in front of like over 20,000 people so it was quite a lot of pressure for the first show, but we didn't [have] any disasters though [laughs]”. With the trial by fire complete, the line up is starting to gel and fire on all cylinders. “After we did the all shows together in North America and then the shows on the festivals in Europe, there's definitely a good alchemy right now.”
So with the Australian tour looming, the band are embracing on a whirlwind tour, the band is hoping they can make a mark on this fine land with their ferocious live show, and they're hoping to make the most of this trip. “We have a sound nowadays that is more in your face, more straight forward, because we only use one guitar, not as many samples”. Ferra believes the band is always growing and learning as they tour and they're constantly improving their sound. “We've always been a live band, but the more you learn about sound, about what makes the sound big and strong on a live show is that you need to have simple elements but very strong in the quality of each individual instrument, so now it's more important to be a live, you know, to have this roughness in the sound that really transposes the vibe of the new songs and I think we've learnt a lot about what's necessary and what's not. Sometimes we used to put in so many backing tracks that it sounded exactly like the record for sure, but also, a lot less powerful you know, because you get lost in the tracks, you know, you've got so many arrangements and stuff. So even on the song writing process for the last record, we have tried already to keep it as simple as possible, to just carry through the same roughness on the live show so there would be a lot of energy and [The Australian Shows} it's gonna be shows that we really want to be remembered by everybody.”
The band will be in town for a short time, traversing the country at breakneck speed before heading back to Europe to start their first European Headlining tour of the Delirium cycle.
Lacuna Coil will be bringing their massive live show to Australia this October in, promoted byDestroy All Lines and Chugg Entertainment in association with UTA.
Perth – Amplifier – Wednesday, 12 October
Melbourne – Max Watts – Thursday 13 October
Sydney – The Metro Theatre – Friday 14 October
Brisbane – Max Watts House of Music – Saturday 15 October.
Tickets can be purchased through www.tickets.destroyalllines.com