LACUNA COIL's ANDREA FERRO Talks 'Shallow Life'

August 13, 2009

Jourdaine Middleton of Examiner.com recently conducted an interview with LACUNA COIL male vocalist Andrea Ferro. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Examiner.com: When you made the decision to sing professionally, who were your inspirations during that process?

Ferro: I always admired singers that can do a lot with their voice. People like Mike Patton, for example, from FAITH NO MORE. It's like, he can do everything, he can scream, he can be powerful, he can have a deep voice, he can sing whatever kind of music, so I really like people like that. Also singers with a big, special voice like Chris Cornell, for example, or Layne Staley from ALICE IN CHAINS. I also like people that can be powerful like Phil Anselmo from PANTERA, or even James Hetfield. He probably isn't the most technical singer, but he's very personal and the way that he sings a METALLICA song, it's so unique. [He's a] great vocalist even if he doesn't have huge technique like the other guys I mentioned.

Examiner.com: As a lyricist for the band, what's the initial creative process in songwriting?

Ferro: Basically, when we started, Marco [Coti Zilati] was one of the main songwriters, while the last time with "Shallow Life", we've been splitting between everybody, like the guitar player came in with some songs and me and Cristina [Scabbia] started some songs on the vocals for the first time, it never happened before. We came up with a little vocal line for the chorus and then we'd build the song around that vocal line. In this case, a few riffs progress along the way, the band is contributing to the songwriting. Everyone is much more into the process instead of just coming in later and adding some arrangement or just in the recording sessions. So this time we just focus from day one to have a lot of different material from everybody.

Examiner.com: In what type of environment do you find the inspiration to write?

Ferro: Surely home. When we're home, we really relax and really think about what we've done or our experiences. We really feel like we have something to say, or a clear idea of what we want to talk about. So for the songwriting, it's definitely home. We're not able to write on the road, like not the type of band that can just sit down here and write. We just play the Xbox or get drunk. [laughs] We're not able to write music on the road, it's not us.

Examiner.com: "Shallow Life" strays away from your gothic metal theme. A lot of people have been describing it as alternative rock. What's inspired you to take that different direction with your music?

Ferro: I think it was just a natural progression. We always have a bit of the gothic metal and a little bit of something else in our music, it could be metal, it could be rock some times. We always, I think, slowly move away from the initial cliché because we learn and incorporate a new element in our music. I think the dark element will always be present in our music. Even in "Shallow Life", I think there are some songs that are really dark, like "The Pain", for example, or "Shallow Life", the title track, or other songs. There's always something else in our music, something that is not only that [gothic metal] anymore. I think there will always be a darker side to LACUNA COIL because that's just the way we are, the way we've always been inspired from. I think before it wasn't that clear, it is now because we have a wider range of influences, but I think we will always have that.

Examiner.com: For the song "Survive", to me it describes overcoming being an outcast in a world where the future doesn't seem to go anywhere. Which, in a way, is a dismal outlook even though there's the inner strength [leading to a positive] outcome. What's the story behind that song?

Ferro: Actually, you're right. It's exactly what the song is about. When I say that we still have a dark side, even if it sounds more powerful and more open because the chorus is big on that song. I think the lyrics are in a dark vision of the world, which is our vision, not for everything, but for a lot of things. The song is mostly about us recognizing that we are still here after many years of the band, for example. We're still able to do music, go touring around, and have something to say to people. It's a statement that says, "Okay, I know it's not the best world possible, it's not the best situation. We have ups and downs, we have positives and negatives, but we're still here. We still feel alive, we still feel a reason to do an album and to write songs." It's a great, great success for us. It's a very important thing for our lives, not only for our career, but also for our lives. I feel some people can relate to the song because it's important to realize that no matter what life is throwing at you, you still have something that can be positive for you.

Examiner.com: For "The Maze", the lyrics stand out the most to me in the album. To me, it describes getting so deep into a certain lifestyle that you want to turn around and go back, or just wanting to reach the end and move on from there. Where did your draw the inspiration to write that?

Ferro: That song is very personal for me. It's about anxiety because I suffered from anxiety for a few years, [but] not recently like it was three or four years ago. Out of nowhere, one night I woke up and it felt like my heart was beating really fast and I didn't know why. I thought it was my heart, I actually went to the hospital to have a check [because] I thought that maybe it was a heart attack or something. I discovered it was anxiety. Actually the same night, my grandfather died, so we had this connection in the same night, he died and I had this heart thing.

Examiner.com: Oh, I'm sorry!

Ferro: It was just from a coincidence, but for me, it was really deep. Then I discovered what anxiety is and my mom suffered from anxiety, too. It was a long process to get out of it, so I decided to talk about it in a song. It felt like I was in a maze because you know what the problem is, you know you can get out of it, but you don't know how. Some people think medicine, some people do other things like yoga or other technique to try to get out of it. When you're increasing it's hard to see a way to get out and then all of a sudden, I just get out of it by probably making my life more interesting, or thinking about other things that are more important.

Read the entire interview from Examiner.com.

Professionally filmed video footage of LACUNA COIL's entire July 30, 2009 performance at the Wacken Open Air festival in Wacken, Germany can be viewed at this location. One of the clips is available below.

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