It’s always great to fight bad things in our society, and bullying is such a stupid thing.”
Wikimetal (Nando Machado): Cristina, first of all, I would like to thank you so much for your time.
Cristina Scabbia: No problem, my pleasure.
W (NM): I’m one of the co-hosts of Wikimetal, the number one heavy metal podcast in Brazil, I’m here with one of our hosts, Daniel.
W (Daniel Dystyler): Hi, Cristina, how are you?
CS: I’m doing great, how are you?
W (DD): Excellent. Just to give you a little bit of a background, Wikimetal is the number one heavy metal and hard rock podcast in Brazil, and it’s really an honor to have you here, because of everything you’ve done for heavy metal so far, so, in the name of Brazilian head bangers, I’d like to thank you, and welcome to the Wikimetal show.
CS: Thank you so much! My pleasure.
W (NM): Talking about the beginning of your career, what do you consider to be the main influences that made you pursue this career of singing heavy metal?
CS: I believe that it happened when I started to hang out in metal pubs in Milano, so I started to listen to music like, from Metallica, Pantera, mainly bands like Paradise Lost, in particular the darker oriented bands. And what happened is that other guys of the band, like Marco, the bass player, and Andrea, they had a band together and they asked me to do some back vocals in the songs they were writing, because they wanted to produce this promo tape to send around to labels they were interested in. And they just liked the result of my voice combined with Andrea’s voice in the music, and they asked me to stay, and that’s how it happened.
W (DD): You guys just ended an amazing tour with Megadeth, Motörhead and Volbeat, and probably, two of the most intimidating metal heroes, of you will, Lemmy and Dave Mustaine. How was that?
CS: Oh, well, I have to say that everything was amazing, because, I mean, I’ve known Dave for a few years now, because we worked together in 2007 as well. And we did the song together, so I’m not intimidated at all, you know, I know him. And I met Lemmy for the first time on this tour, and I have to say that he is a great man, despite this, obviously huge iconic figure that everybody knows, he is a really genuine, really kind person, he’s a gentleman, so it was a pleasure to meet him and to hang out with him and he guys in Motörhead.
W (DD): And I was going to ask you this, Cristina, how was the experience of sharing vocals with Dave Mustaine on “Tout le Monde”?
CS: Oh, it was fantastic, it was really really a huge opportunity for me, because I wasn’t expecting anything like that. Basically, I got a mail from my manager asking… Telling me that their manager wanted to collaborate with me. And when I recorded my part, Megadeth wasn’t in the studio, it was just me and the producer, and we did the songs by ourselves, because they had started tour, so they’d already left the UK, which is where we recorded the album. It was just cool to hear that somebody who played a different type of music knew my name and asked me to be a part of it, because we weren’t friends before that, we’d never met before. It was kind of cool.
W (NM): So, you also had the experience of playing at the Madison Square Garden with this tour, right?
W (NM): Was that the first time you played at the Garden?
CS: It was the first time at the Garden, and we sang the song together, we sang “Tout le Monde” every night, so it was fantastic. Such a cool venue…
W (NM): A historical venue as well, right?
CS: Oh yes, oh yes. I don’t think that a lot of bands can say that they played at the Garden.
W (NM): Yeah, you’re right you’re very right. We have a classic question on our show, that we ask every single person that we interview, which is: just imagine yourself, like, listening to the radio on a rock N’ roll station, or driving your car, or whatever, listening to your ipod on shuffle mode, and all of a sudden, a song starts that makes you lose your mind completely and you start head banging wherever you might be. Which song would that be, so we can listen to it right now?
CS: Let me think… Let me think… Well, I think that “Ace of Spades” would be a good choice, but there are so many good songs out there. If it’s not for like, head banging, and if it’s something that I would completely love… I would say any song from Type O Negative.
W (NM): Type O Negative? Do you want to change your choice from “Ace of Spades” to Type O Negative?
CS: Oh, geez… Tough choice. I would go for Type O Negative just because I love them so much.
W (NM): Which song?
CS: I think a fun song is “My girlfriend’s girlfriend”, which is probably an unusual choice, everybody probably would go for ,”Black No. 1”, but ““My girlfriend’s girlfriend” is such a cool song, it has a 70’s vibe, and it shows the ironic side of Type O Negative, so let’s go for it.
W (NM): So, for the first time in our show: Type O Negative, on Wikimetal.
CS: Yeah! I’m glad about that!
W (DD): Cristina, we heard that before you guys get on the stage to start a concert, you guys get together and shout something in Italian, is that true?
CS: Yes, it is true.
W (NM): Can you repeat it here?
CS: Ah, no. It’s something in between us, but it’s a little ritual that we’ve had for a while, we’ve always had, like a sequence of rituals that we do before we go on stage. Sometimes we change it, and there are some things that we keep the same way for a few years. But it’s kind of cool, you know, it warms you up and makes you feel ready for a fight, you know? It’s more like “Let’s get ready for the fight, let’ kick some ass”.
W (NM): Talking about your last album, “Dark Adrenaline”, we think it’s probably the best album that you guys have ever recorder. Can you tell us how the repercussion was so far of that album?
CS: Thank you. I definitely share the same opinion, because it’s an album that contains a lot of new influences, but a lot of reminiscences and a lot of vibe from the old school albums of Lacuna Coil. There are some songs that could be in the first EP, or even in a reverie, you know, the very first works we did. But at the same time, there is this new vibe coming out, and a big production, and a heavier sound with more guitar solos. It’s the most obscure album of our careers, so I really really like it.
W (DD): It is, definitely. It’s touching, like, the dark aspects of human existence as a subject, right?
W (DD): You guys brought more guitar solos to this album, compare to the previous Lacuna Coil albums. I personally love this direction that you guys took. Why did that happen, and what do you think about it?
CS: Because every song has a different story and a different life, so if for some other songs a solo wasn’t absolutely needed, these types of songs needed a guitar solo, that’s why we put some more of them.
I met Lemmy for the first time on this tour, and I have to say that he is a great man, despite this, obviously huge iconic figure that everybody knows, he is a really genuine, kind person. He’s a gentleman.”
W (DD): I saw that you guys recorder a video to raise awareness about bullying. This is a great effort, and we always like to help all the initiatives of heavy metal people and bands that may contribute to a better society in the future. Why did you guys pick bullying as the theme to fight against?
CS: Because it’s always a great cause to fight bad things in our society, and bullying is such a stupid thing to do. And sometimes you just need a little bit more of self confidence to just face the problem. I can see so many kids that have been picked on just because of the way that they’re dressed, or the music they like. And this is just a way of taking advantage of people that are a little bit weaker and are lacking some confidence. So I think it was a great cause, and when they asked us to do the video and asked if we were up to doing it, we said yes immediately.
W (DD): It is. It is a great a great cause.
W (NM): Cristina, let me change the subject a little bit. You’ve shared the stage with Dave Mustaine singing “Tout le Monde”, what other metal artists would you like to share the stage with? And maybe even non heavy metal artists that you admire, that you would like to sing with.
CS: Well, it would be cool… In the metal scene I’m looking forward to sing a song with Motörhead on stage, and this was actually planned, but Motörhead cancelled tonight’s show and the show of two nights ago, because they were having some problems with their voices. So if I am able, that is something that I’m definitely looking forward to. They asked me to do it, and I would love it with immense pleasure. Out of metal, I don’t know, it might be interesting to do something maybe with Radiohead or Muse, or even some project of Jonathan Davis, I really like his creativity out of Korn.
W (DD): Cristina, I’m not sure if you know, but Brazil is home to 25 million Italian Brazilians, which is the largest number of people with full or partial Italian ancestry outside of Italy. Our third co-host, who is Rafael, he just arrived and he would like to chat a little bit with you in Italian, if it’s ok with you.
CS: Yeah, sure.
(click here in case you want to check this part in Italian as originally happened)
W (RM): Hi, Cristina.
CS: Hi, how are you?
W (RM): Good, good. Very good. I speak a little bit of Italian, because I lived i, Milan in 92.
CS: Oh, cool, I’m from Milan.
W (RM): Yes, yes. It’s difficult for me to remember the language. If you speak slowly, I might be able to understand you, is that ok?
CS: Yes, sure.
W (RM): Here in Brazil, we are living a great momento for heavy metal. There are many shows from international bands, and we have many national bands. Are there a lot of heavy metal bands in Italy? Is there space for them to play, to do shows, to expose their music throughout Italy? What’s it like?
CS: Well, I really can’t say, because I spend very little time in Italy. Last time I was in Milan, I was only there for three days. I don’t really know what’s going on, I just know that there are a lot of groups. I could give you some names, because those are friends of mine who play, but I couldn’t give you a full description of the Italian underground at the moment.
W (RM): Oh, I see. That’s too bad.
CS: That’s true. I could tell you about a band called Cane, it’s a great band, it’s a band in which on of our ex-guitar players plays, he plays in Cayne. They also toured with us, they’re very good. Besides this one, there’s also another band called Duck, it’s much more extreme, brutal. They are also vey good, very technical.
W (RM): Cristina, you guys have a song called “Senza Fine” which is in Italian, right? From “Unleashed Memories”. Does Lacuna want to do an album all in Italian?
CS: No, an album all in Italian doesn’ really make sense, because, to us, rock and metal sound better in English, it fits better.
W (RM): Yeah, just like here.
CS: If, once in a while, a song comes up in Italian because it was borne spontaneously, ok. But we don’t force it.
W (RM): Cool, it’s the same here. Most bands sing in English. But I realy like “Senza Fine”.
CS: That’s because it fit well to the song, but not all songs sound good in Italian. It depends on the song.
W (DD): Excellent. Cristina, we’re going to be going back and forth between English and Italian, is that ok?
CS: Ok, no problem.
W (DD): Can you pick a Lacuna Coil song that you’re really proud of having written, so we can listen to it on our show right now?
CS: From this album, either “I Don’t Believe In Tomorrow” or “Intoxicated”.
W (DD): So which one are we going to listen to now?
CS: Let’s do “I Don’t Believe In Tomorrow”.
It’s a little ritual that we do before we go on stage. It warms you up and makes you feel ready for a fight, you know? It’s more like ‘Let’s get ready for the fight, let’ kick some ass’.”
W (NM): Cristina, Lacuna Coil has many young and teenage fans, besides, of course, of the old school fans, what would you say to a fifteen year old girls, or fourteen year old girl that is thinking of starting a band or starting a singing career?
CS: First of all, they have to be honest with themselves and play the music that they really like, because if you try to promote yourself in a music scene that you’re not comfortable with, you’re going to fail. So you have to sing with your heart, you have to sing with passion, you have to be sincere in what you’re singing, and you have to be totally convinced of what you’re doing. Most of all, you have to realize that this is a hard job that not everyone can take, so don’t look at the shiny part only, because there is a lot of work involved and a lot of sacrifice, so be ready for that as well.
W (NM): It’s great to hear that from you Cristina, your words sound a lot like what one of our masters, Ian Gillen, told us the other day, when we interviewed him.
CS: Sure, that’s actually the truth, because a lot of people think that the goal to reach is to have a deal with a label, and that’s just the beginning, because once you start, that’s where the hard job, the hard work starts, you know, with the touring, being far from your family, having to perform every night, even if you’re tired, or sick, or if your back hurts, or if you would love to be somewhere else. You may stay away from your house for months at a time, and most of the time what people think is not the truth, it’s not what reality really is.
(click here in case you want to check this part in Italian as originally happened)
W (RM): Cristina, in Italy, I went to an Iron Maiden Concert, a Metallica concert and also e a Deep Purple concert in the “Arena di Verona”. I came across an audience very similar to the Brazilian audience, very enthusiastic. Do you think that the Latin audience is more fanatic?
CS: Is it fanatic in a good way and in a bad way. The wonderful thing is that the South American audience is very warm, they make a mess, they sing, they jump, they dance, which is great for an artist. But, in the same way, they are also very restricted, if they like a specific music genre, all the rest is trash. And this doesn’t happen as often in other places like England, the US, the rest of Europe, for example. They are very restricted to one category only.
W (RM): I see.
W (DD): And talking about the way that Latinos feel, what’s your relation with Brazil, with the fans, and do you know any Brazilian heavy metal bands?
CS: Well, besides Sepultura, I don’t know a lot of other bands, because the only way I’m in touch with Brazilian fans is through my social network. I know that there are a lot of people from Brazil that write me, and they post messages every day. And I try to get in touch with them all the time, answering messages and posting things, but this is going to be our second time over there, so I think that there is still time to build something even better than what we have now.
W (NM): Excellent. So Cristina, we’re reaching the end of our interview. First of all, I’d like to thank you so much for your time, and as I told Mr. John Campbell when we spoke to him, from Lamb of God, you guys are responsible for keeping the flame of heavy metal, of hard rock, of good quality music alive, so I would like to also thank you for that . It’s very important to have… Your band is not necessarily new, but you are the new generation carrying on, so thank you so much for everything you’ve done.
CS: You are absolutely welcome, I can’t wait to see you guys over there.
W (NM): Tell me a little bit about the… You guys are very familiar with each other, right? Lamb of God, Hatebreed and Lacuna Coil, you played many times with each other, right?
CS: Yes, we tour with them, we’re friends.
W (NM): Excellent, so, we’re happily promoting this show here, we think that it’s going to be one of the best shows of the year: Lacuna Coil, Hatebreed and Lamb of God here in São Paulo. Could you invite all of our listeners to see this great show that will happen in the end of the month?
CS: Absolutely, they must come. I’m not even inviting them, because I’m sure that everyone will come, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, because it’s going to be three bands that play different stuff, but with the same attitude, all having a good time, ready to kick ass on stage, so it’s going to be a big party with Lamb of God and Hatebreed, so they must come.
W (NM): Yeah, we look forward to meeting you, we really look forward to meeting you and all of our listeners for sure will be there.
CS: Cool. That’s great.
W (NM): Ok, Cristina, thank you so much.
W (RM): Grazie, Cristina. Grazie mille.
CS: Ciao. Grazie a voi. Buona giornatta.
W (RM): Grazie. Ci vediamo in Brasile.
CS: Ciao, bye.