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Lacuna Coil’s Andrea Ferro talks new album ‘Black Anima’ and longevity of band

Lacuna Coil photoshoot for the 'Black Anima' album release, which takes place on Oct. 11, 2019.
Lacuna Coil photoshoot for the 'Black Anima' album release, which takes place on Oct. 11, 2019. Century Media

In less than two weeks, Lacuna Coil, the Italian metal icons, are set to release its ninth album, Black Anima.

Ahead of the highly-anticipated record, the five-piece announced the Disease of the Anima tour with fellow headbangers, All That Remains. Currently, the groups are in the midst of the explosive trek, and next week, will make their way to Canada.

Lacuna Coil formed in 1994, making 2019 their 25th anniversary. The Milan-based band is best known for their gothic imagery, lyrics and heavy music.

The band is fronted by two lead singers, Andrea Ferro, who formed the band with bassist Marco Coti Zelati, and female vocalist Cristina Scabbia — who joined in 1995 and ultimately helped complete their signature sound.

(L-R) Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro of Lacuna Coil are seen live on stage at O2 Forum, London, England on Jan. 19, 2018.
(L-R) Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro of Lacuna Coil are seen live on stage at O2 Forum, London, England on Jan. 19, 2018. Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Since its debut album, In A Reverie (1999) — which is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary — Lacuna Coil has churned out a variety of heavy metal anthems, including Heaven’s a Lie (2002), Our Truth (2006) and Spellbound (2009).

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While on the road, Lacuna Coil are currently promoting the release of the first two singles from Black Anima — Layers of Time and Reckless.

The two feature music videos directed by SaKu, a longtime collaborator of the band, who helped make their 2012 film Dark Passengers. The videos follow a linear story and stay true to the band’s image by taking the approach of a horror film.

In an interview with HardDrive radio, Scabbia, 47, said that “anima” translates to “soul” in Italian, adding that the album means “black soul.”

WATCH: ‘Layers of Time’ from Lacuna Coil’s upcoming album, ‘Black Anima’

Before kicking off the Canadian leg of the Disease of the Anima tour in Calgary on Oct. 6, Global News had the opportunity to chat with Ferro, 46, about the history of the band, what Canada means to them and all things Black Anima.

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Global News: Welcome back to North America. Congratulations on the new singles, and soon you’ll be releasing Black Anima, how do you feel?
Andrea Ferro: Yeah, we’re stoked. The album’s not even out yet, but we’ve been promoting this basically since July now with a bunch of a few shows in New York City and a bunch in Europe. Now we’re back in North America again playing the first two singles from the album, and we’re with All That Remains. We’ve been very excited about playing the new songs, and now that they’re out we’re finally getting those reactions. We’re really happy with the reception we’ve had so far. We just can’t wait for it to be out and for everybody to be able to listen to it and form their own opinion about it. Then we just have to play the songs live and all the stress will be gone. (Laughs)

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Can you tell us a little bit about the album’s lead single, Layers of Time?
AF: When we were picking out the very first single for Black Anima, we wanted it to be clear that the direction of the record was going to be dark and heavy from a lyrical point of view. Musically, it’s a mixed bag. We thought that Layers of Time would be a good balance as the lead single because of the all-around heaviness in the beginning, with my vocals and the riffs, and then of course, Cristina’s more atmospheric and epic contributions towards the end. It was a perfect mix, which is exactly what we want. Nothing too crazy though, because on Delirium (2016), our first single, The House of Shame, surprised a lot of our fans. It was extremely heavy I guess. (Laughs) We didn’t want to repeat ourselves this time around either; we wanted to treat fans to more of a familiar Lacuna Coil sound.

Andrea Ferro, singer of the Italian Gothic metal band Lacuna Coil, performing live on stage in Bologna, at the Bologna Sonic Park 2019 first-ever edition, opening for Slipknot.
Andrea Ferro, singer of the Italian Gothic metal band Lacuna Coil, performing live on stage in Bologna, at the Bologna Sonic Park 2019 first-ever edition, opening for Slipknot. Alessandro Bosio/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

What about Reckless, and do these singles give fans a good taste of what Black Anima is and what it means?
Well for Reckless, we aimed for more of a catchier song… more rhythmical and a little heavier. I have to say, overall, Black Anima is a very complete record for us. There’s a great variety of songs and sounds on it. More so than any other Lacuna Coil album. So, for me, it’s hard to portray what the album encapsulates as a whole. Even the next single — which we’ll be putting out soon — will be quite different. It’ll be much more melodic and clean overall.

It’s hard to explain Black Anima, but I hope that people will listen to it in order to really understand it. You really have to hear it from the beginning to the end to experience the full thing. It’s like a journey in itself. Albums may be a bit of an older concept in today’s day and age, with the era of streaming and all, but we have Black Anima has an intro and an outro, so it’s important to us that fans hear and enjoy the full thing as an entire album.

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You guys worked on these music videos with SaKu again, right?
AF:
Yes. Yes. SaKu is a close friend of ours and we’ve worked with him many times throughout all of our records. We knew that he would bring more of a cinematic/horror movie vibe to these videos. We don’t want our videos to be too simple either, we really want them to be strong and touch on the overall atmosphere of each record. That’s what Black Anima is all about anyway. It’s atmospheric.

Do these connecting music videos touch on a specific theme or tell the tale of Black Anima?
AF: I can’t say yet. [Laughs] We just love to have some sort of connection in our videos because it gives us more space to portray any full story really. Sometimes it’s hard to do that in a four-minute song to give a sense of what you want to say for example. So when you have two or three songs to build a story, then you definitely end up with more of a meaningful video, which is obviously more interesting and generally just fun to watch.

We’ve done a lot of videos — and so have other bands — where it’s just somebody playing in a warehouse, and we just don’t want that simple feeling anymore. We want something darker, something more imaginative, and magic. Something that speaks to the meaning of the song. Something special. It was just important for us to build it all up in as something larger.

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How has the reception been for the new singles so far?
AF: So far, pretty good. The songs are very energetic, the crowd is moving and chanting. They’ve made such a good impact on our live show. I think that will be the same when we start playing more new songs too. Once the album comes out, some of these new songs will immediately become classics for us and our live set. I’m sure of it. They’re all just very powerful songs and for the most part, contain the perfect level of energy which suits our performances. With the more atmospheric songs, we can easily break that mood for a little bit. That’s what we usually do anyway, is starting with some of our most powerful and anthemic songs, and then have those ballads to allow everyone, including ourselves, to take a breath for a minute. [Laughs]

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The Disease of the Anima tour hits Canada next week, do you have any fond memories of touring in Canada?
AF: Yeah, Canada has always been a fun place to tour for us. The only problem is that it’s hard for us to play coast to coast. Your country is very open. You usually have to go in and out of the States. But it’s always great when we have the opportunity, and we have in the past, to do a full Canadian run. There’s so many incredible cities in Canada: Vancouver, Quebec City and Montreal. The list goes on. (Laughs)

WATCH: The second official music video from Lacuna Coil’s ‘Black Anima’ record, ‘Reckless’

AF: We have four shows this time around though, in Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto, which is a bit more than usual, so that’s great! But we’ve always had such a good connection with the Canadian audience. I truly think it’s a great place for European metal bands to play and thrive. We’ve always had a good following in that part of the continent, but hey, we’ve been lucky enough to have a great time and following everywhere.

For now, we will just promote the two new songs, but once Black Anima is out, we’ll definitely try and come back for more shows in Canada and play more from the new album.

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Lacuna Coil is celebrating 25 years this year, yet your approach never fails to be fresh. Do you see any signs of the band slowing down.
AF: Thank you! (Laughs) But no, not yet. That’s why we’re still touring and we’re still going strong with the band. We know that our time is not unlimited, but, so far, we’re still young enough to see a few more records and a few more special events on the horizon. We want to use the time we have in the best way possible. If you don’t do things now, you’re definitely not going to do them you’re 65, you know? (Laughs) We have to do this thing while we still can. A lot of our fans have been following and supporting the development of Lacuna Coil since the early days, and we’re still seeing new fans on the road too.

We want to continue to release new music, celebrate the old stuff and also do the special and more intimate shows. For example, the 119 show, when we played in London and performed with a circus. We pride ourselves in staying active, especially now, where the music industry, is… Not in a dead-end, but it’s in a bit of a stale spot, where you’re not sure what’s going to happen. It keeps developing in a way, but it’s also not found its place yet. So it’s cool to try different things. It makes it a challenge for the band to be a bit more free. That’s the best part about the most recent revolution of music.

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Lacuna Coil performs during the Sweden Rock Festival in Norje, outside Solvesborg in southern Sweden, on June 9, 2018.
Lacuna Coil performs during the Sweden Rock Festival in Norje, outside Solvesborg in southern Sweden, on June 9, 2018. Claudio Bresciani / TT
Anything you’d like to say to your Canadian fans? I know we’re all looking forward to the tour.
AF: Yeah, as I said before, we’re bringing out some appetizers for the new record, and then hopefully we’re going to come back to Canada with a full meal altogether. [Laughs] We’ll bring the music and the party and enjoy some time together on a more extensive tour. But for now, if you can make it to the show, this tour will be a great one. There’s a great lineup, with great diversity and then before you know it, Black Anima will be out for you all to enjoy. Thank you!

[This interview has been edited and condensed.]
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Black Anima drops on Oct. 11 and can be pre-ordered here.

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Lacuna Coil returns to Canada next week for the Disease of the Anima tour alongside All That Remains.

Bad Omens, Toothgrinder, Eximious, and Uncured will appear on select dates.

Tickets for select shows are still available and can be found through the official Lacuna Coil website.

Remaining Disease of the Anima tour dates

** All Canadian tour dates have been bolded **

Oct. 1 — Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Regent Theater
Oct. 2 — Berkley, Calif. @ The UC Theatre
Oct. 3 — Sacramento, Calif. @ Ace Of Spades
Oct. 5 — Spokane, Wash. @ The Knitting Factory
Oct. 6 — Calgary, Alta. @ Palace Theatre
Oct. 7 — Edmonton, Alta. @ Starlite Room
Oct. 9 — Winnipeg, Man. @ Park Theatre
Oct. 10 — Minot, N.D. @ The ‘O’ Riginal Bar
Oct. 11 — Minneapolis, Minn. @ The Cabooze
Oct. 12 — Columbia, Mo. @ The Blue Note
Oct. 13 — Milwaukee, Wis. @ The Rave II
Oct. 15 — Cincinnati, Ohio @ Riverfront Live
Oct. 16 — Chicago, Ill. @ House Of Blues
Oct. 17 — Cleveland, Ohio @ House Of Blues
Oct. 18 — Toronto, Ont. @ Opera House
Oct. 19 — Baltimore, Md. @ Ram’s Head Live

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adam.wallis@globalnews.ca