Interview || The One With Andrea Ferro from Lacuna Coil

While Lacuna Coil were on the final leg of the "Delirium" tour, I had the pleasure to catch up with vocalist Andrea Ferro. A well-spoken man with a good sense of humor, Andrea walked me through the milestones of the band, growing older and wiser and the significant relationships they have formed with their fans. 

U: You are currently at the end of the touring cycle for “Delirium”. How do you feel to wrap this chapter up, after almost a year and a half on the road?
Andrea Ferro: This record has been a new beginning, in a way. We have found the right people to work with on the road and we've also changed a lot internally; we have a new manager, a new booking agent in America and Europe. This record has helped realize where we are, where we wanna go, why we do it and how to go on with more consciousness and [have a better understanding of] all the aspects of the band. Being only 3 original members, we picked all the responsibility from the graphics, the merchandising, the tour management, the production... It's been a lot of work for the 3 of us and now that we're working with a couple more people we can share a little bit, but Marco, Cristina and me are the core of the band.

U: And you produced the album yourselves, that's a first too.
A.F.: Marco did but we really felt that this album needed to be produced by us because we didn't want anyone to interfere, in a way, in the record because it came out so energetic and rough and spontaneous, that we didn't think we needed a “supervisor”. We also wanted to try because we worked with Waldemar Sorychta for the first four records and we learnt a lot about metal production coming from a very classical background, and then we worked with Don Gilmore, who was the opposite; a rock producer with a mainstream, in-your-face approach. We learnt about the song structures and arrangement from Waldemar, and writing the story for the song from Don, and we felt it was the right time to try and see what we could do completely on our own, without anyone trying to “correct” what we did wrong and put to good use all we have learnt all these years working with these people and be now able to write our own music. I'm not ruling out working with a producer again in the future but we loved working this way and the result.

U: You are also currently preparing for the 20-year anniversary show in London, on January 19th. I was actually surprised when I saw that the show wasn't taking place in Milan. How did that come about?
A.F.: London was the first place that embraced our music. The UK in general has always been the best market for us in Europe so it was natural, plus logistically it's a nice spot [if travelling overseas] and has some of the best venues for stuff like that. It was a natural choice but that doesn't mean we're not gonna do something in Italy as well. We are organizing something for later on for Italy.

U: 20 years must have passed in a blink of the eye. Do you have any particular memories that stand out?
A.F.: We have a lot actually. Everything we have achieved in our career went beyond anything we expected when we started in 1996 with a demo. We never thought we would be professional musicians or see the world doing big tours; it definitely went beyond our expectations, especially coming from Italy which is not a typical metal country. Doing Ozzfest 2004 was our breakthrough moment; it was when the band shifted from the European little gothic metal reality that was drawing every album but [remained] steady, into selling 10.000 albums every week and playing alongside with Slipknot, Black Sabbath, Slayer... So we moved to another international league as a band. That was a milestone. One of the best tours we've done was with Type O Negative in the US. It's one of our favorites because of the relationships we developed with these people, especially after having been inspired by them when we first started. We're still in touch and try to see each other hen we're in New York. Those two tours are the most significant, I think, although we've had a lot more, like playing Download main stage, Wacken main stage or playing in Japan... And even now; this tour started in Malta, it was our first time there. We also played in Serbia for the first time, two sold out shows in Bulgaria, there's always something you haven't done as a band.

U: And it makes you feel grateful and humble.
A.F.: Yes. Even last year, when we received a Metal Hammer award for best international band in Germany, that was a big achievement for us. We've been around for 20 years, we never got an award. We were the best international band for that year, meaning that our album was significant that year, not just because of what we've done in the past...

U: After all the terrorist attacks around the world and the Bataclan incident, do you have a sense of fear when you walk into a venue?
A.F.: No, not really. Obviously, you never know, it can always happen. We've played Bataclan, we've played the same stage where they shot Dimebag -we played there before and after he was shot- and there were still blood stains on the carpet... But you can't live in fear. The attacks are only giving advertisement, which is what these people want. The more they “promote” what they do, the more they feelthey're relevant because people live in fear. You can't ignore it, you have to face it. There's nothing you can do personally to stop or convince these people, who control weak people for their own business. It has nothing to do with religion, it has nothing to do with politics, it's pure power struggle. That way, they make a lot of money and they make people with no goals in life find something to fight for. They are victims as well because in a weak moment, they found strength in something that is really not honest -the opposite of what they think they're doing. But it is what it is, you can't live in fear. I'm not afraid. Of course I hope it never happens to me or to somebody I know, or to anybody for that matter, but it happens every day. Just because we don't hear about it, there are many countries where this is “the norm”. It's something that exists and we can't pretend it's not there.

U: If you were a member of the Spice Girls, what would be your Spice Name?
A.F.: Gloomy Spice; sometimes I’m introspective, so Gloomy Spice is good.

U: Nice! What’s the best tour prank you’ve ever pulled?
A.F.: We’ve done a lot, usually on the last show of the tour. The best one… It was a long time ago, I think it was a tour we did with The Gathering. We put a dildo instead of the microphone for the female singer, so when she walked on stage, she only had the dildo (laughs) We were on tour with Rob Zombie in America and while he was playing, we dressed up as zombies and for one song we went on stage, walking like zombies, climbing on him, and then he was dancing around us… It was very fun!

U: If you could have a one-minute phone conversation with a younger you, what age would you choose and what would you tell yourself?
A.F.: Somewhere around my [early] twenties, when we started the band to give myself advice on what to do in the future. You know, I think you have to learn everything by experience; even if they tell you what to do when you’re 18 or 20, you don’t do it because of your age. The ideal would be to be in the shape of a 25-year-old with the knowledge of a 40-year-old (laughs) But since it can’t happen, you’ve got to make the best of the age you have. I’m feeling better now than I did when I was twenty –of course, I’d like to have the entire future ahead of me, as I did when I was 25, but I wouldn’t exchange it with the knowledge I have now. The body maybe, yes (laughs)

U: What super power does your music have?
A.F.: Not just ours. Most music connects deeply to people. When we write a song, we don’t think it will reflect on people’s lives, but when we meet fans, they tell us that song saved their lives or helped them through a rough time. We never thought [our songs] would have such a powerful meaning to other people. We try not to write stupid songs, we try to tell stories, but we can’t control the way people are gonna perceive it –and sometimes it’s completely different than what we originally meant. [For instance] “Heaven’s A Lie” for us is a song about freedom, mostly. People thought it was satanic but we don’t follow any religions. We don’t like organised religion but it doesn’t mean everything is bad, you know? Some people do their best to help other people, and they mean well; we’re not against that. We like the history of religion and the cultural aspect, but we don’t need people to sell us their version or their interpretation, and it can apply to other [facets of everyday life] too, when someone’s trying to feed you their views. In America, when the song was on the radio, they would call it just “A Lie”, not “Heaven’s”, because of the religious [conservative] groups of people.

U: Don’t forget that the song was released almost 15 years ago, when things were different.
A.F.: True, but I still feel it [addresses] the same concept, you know? Obviously, with such a strong title, it can’t be interpreted much differently. But there’s no satanic reference in there. I like reading about satanic art and culture; I read about everything, it’s not that I’m against it.

U: That too is educational.
A.F.: I choose not to follow any religion. I don’t practice Catholicism or Protestantism or even Satanism. I have a spirituality, I believe there is a spiritual aspect in life, but not necessarily read about it in a book. To me, it’s more like a stronger connection to nature. There’s something deeper that we kinda lost in the modern society that I think only animals still have. And that’s why I really love animals, because they have that transcendence, they do things without anyone telling them to.

U: What is the weirdest thing a fan has ever done?
A.F.: In general they are very nice people. Sometimes they bring me flowers, which is a bit unusual, but nothing really weird… In a signing session, a guy came with a wheelchair and, while holding on the railing of the signing, he detached the wheel and he gave it to us to sign, which was cool. Another guy came with a toilet seat. Some people wanted their car to be signed… We’ve signed some weird stuff.

U: Have you ever signed a dick?
A.F.: No. Only female breasts. Maybe Cristina has (laughs)

U: If your life had a soundtrack, apart from the band, what would it be?
A.F.: I have so many bands that I like… I really like listening to The Doors, they’re one of my favorite bands and they never get old. Sometimes I get tired of classics like Led Zeppelin or Deep Purple, but The Doors create an atmosphere I like a lot. I listen to a lot of music at night, when I go to bed, to relax but I have different sorts of music for different moments. When I’m at home, I will put on some Elvis Presley or Frank Sinatra; when I wanna get charged before a show, I listen to metal, like Slipknot. And then, at night, then I like to listen to more intimate music like Type O Negative or The Cure, just to name a few. There’s much more (laughs)

U: What do you want the band’s legacy to be?
A.F.: I think there is a legacy already. Sometimes we get couples who met at our concert 10 years ago and now they are married and have kids, which they bring out to our show. There’s been a generation of people who first came to our show 15 years ago and keep coming back. What the band creates is for the people, and music exists because people listen to it, especially now, that nobody buys records anymore. The most important thing after twenty years is the fact that we met so many people who changed our lives, we changed their lives… This relationship has gone beyond music, beyond photos and videos. What our music has given to those people is what will be left in their lives, in our lives. 
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1 σχόλια :

  1. Really well done interview, interesting questions and replies, not just the usual. Very cool.