By Carl Begai
In a show of diva-esque conceit, I can lay claim to having locked on Lacuna Coil long before they were a big deal in Europe and less than a footnote on the North American metal scene. We go back to 1998 and the release of their self-titled EP, a venture that attracted the attention of anyone in tune with the likes of The Gathering and Theatre Of Tragedy, both of whom were in their heyday. The band did their Italian heritage proud, displaying the characteristic energy of a traditionally passionate people, excited at the prospect of being able to chase their dreams at a professional level. The band is older and wiser now, but there’s no lack of enthusiasm when discussing their newest work, Dark Adrenaline. Sure, it may be tempered somewhat by a sense of responsibility for the career they’ve created, but there’s still a sense of “I can’t believe this is my life…” in the air as vocalist Cristina Scabbia delves into the new record.
“That’s very true,” she says. “That was true especially in the very beginning, when things are happening and you don’t really know how it works. That’s when every little thing gets you excited. The things that get us excited now are different. We’ve grown up, we have a lot more experience; we’re not virgins in the music business anymore (laughs).”
Up until recently, Cristina was known as the face of Lacuna Coil as well as one of the voices. Understandable given her striking good looks, but in the years following the band’s 2002 breakthrough that focus grew to a potentially unhealthy level. Essentially, Lacuna Coil were on their way to being another Hottest Chick In Metal band. Cristina agrees with the suggestion that the image had started to overshadow the music, which is why there’s been a significant move away from putting her in the spotlight.
“We did that on purpose because we always try to experiment with things, and we were probably one of the very few real metal bands to play the sexy card and the fashion card in pictures. I have a lot of fun at photo sessions playing with different images, but at a certain point we said ‘You know what? People need to realize that Lacuna Coil is about teamwork.” It might be easier for a label to work with solo pictures because the female singer appeals more to people, but we needed to promote the fact and make it clear that this is a band. It’s not Cristina and some session people. We agreed to do a lot more band photos, and there were times when I refused to take any solo shots. It was like, ‘What’s the point in doing that?’”
“It’s not bad in the sense that it’s still promotion, like it or not. It really depends on the band. Some bands like to have all the attention put on the woman, and that’s good for them. Every band has a different career and a different point of view.”
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