The sun was setting over the city of Lancaster, snow was falling and the Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock tour had arrived at the Chameleon Club to deliver an epic night for rock fans. One of the band’s on this monumental tour was Lacuna Coil, who you might have caught last year during their tour with Sevendust at the Chameleon Club. Our readers in Allentown, PA missed out on this tour of course due to snow and Sight of Sound Magazine missed out on interviewing the band on that tour because of that show cancellation as well. Now, a year later it was time for us to sit down with Andrea Ferro, vocalist, before the show to talk about all the exciting new things coming up for the band. Much of what we discussed was about the band’s upcoming release, Broken Crown Halo, which is to be released on April 1st here in the United States.
Welcome back to Lancaster, you guys were here a little over a year ago with Sevendust and now you are back Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock Tour with Sick Puppies. I know it may be too early in the run to ask this but how has the tour been so far?
“It’s good, we’ve been out for a little over a week now and so far so far good. Everything is going pretty well, the bands are all getting along. We had a big meeting on the first day to introducing everybody, to say hi and get to know to everybody. I still don’t know all the names but it is pretty good. And yeah it is a good package, all the bands quite different so it is interesting for the people and it is good for us to introduce a couple of the new songs from the upcoming album (Broken Crown Halo). Just a good way to start and warm up a little bit.”
A good friend and fellow photographer who was at the first show of this tour said that you have been starting two new songs in your set each night?
“Not starting but we do introduce a couple of them in the set.”
What has the crowd reception to the new songs been like so far?
“Pretty good, I mean the one has been on the radio since a couple of week ago so some people were more familiar and the other one we also put it online with a lyric video as an introduction for the new album. So they already kind of know it a little bit but it is still also a surprise for us how they are reacting. It is also important for us to get better and better at playing the new songs every night and get more confident with the new material.”
I heard Die & Rise on the radio last week actually and my first thoughts were how different it was from the last album (Dark Adrenaline), what was the writing process like for Broken Crown Halo?
“The album has quite a variety of songs. So some songs are maybe closer to our more regular sound and some others we try something new. But that one I was surprised as well when they picked it up as the single because it’s quite as you say has a little different approach. A bit more heavy and groovy so I was surprised when they actually choose it for the radio’s here. Maybe it makes sense because the active rock radio here in North America is quite different than we have in Europe. That’s why In Europe they went with another song as a single, which is more not classic but is a more traditional kind of arrangement from us. More of an epic chorus sung by Cristina, not as powerful and not as groovy. We’ve been working a lot in the studio even in an unexpected way. We were meant to record the album in Los Angeles in the beginning because the Jay, the producer, owns a studio in LA so it was the logical choice just to go there. But then we had to be in our hometown in Italy, Milan because of personal issues so we couldn’t really go away for such a long time. So we had to say there and we decided to record in a vintage studio that we have in Milan that is owned by a famous prog rock musician in Italy. Once we were there and convinced Jay to come over and record his first album outside of North America we discovered this guy has huge collection of vintage instruments like Gibson’s and Fender’s from the 60’s and 70’s, lots of old amps and cabinets, and pedals and effects. We started working and playing with these new toys for us because we usually use our regular 7-string guitar. Which we have been using for the rhythmical parts but all of all the melodies and all of the special arrangements have been done with this vintage stuff that is quite new for us. So even if the record has been recorded with modern technology with Pro-Tools and everything thing we still have all these real strong signature sounds from these instrument that add something. The fact that we recorded in Italy actually really affected the recording process.”
I saw recently that Broken Crown Halo is due out April 1st here in the states, what made you decide that date for a release?
“That is correct, it is not a joke though.”
Such a great point, some bands are so hesitant to release things on that day.
“It is actually a coincidence. Every country ended up with a different release date, some are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. America ends up to be on the 1st but European and Australian places it is the 31st.”
Did any songs not make the cut on the new album for a particular reason or were these tracks pretty much planned out well ahead of entering the studio for the recording process?
“We kind of knew that were recording those 11 songs. First of all we didn’t have a lot of extra time to develop other ideas. We had in the very beginning probably about 20 ideas for songs but then we focused on the 11 that were more convincing and getting closer to be done because the other ones still had a lot of work to do. So we said okay we will keep these for the next time and focused on these 11.”
All right, well maybe we will hear some of those left over and undeveloped songs sometime in the future on an EP or on your next release. Before coming to do the interview I asked some fans what they wanted to know form you and the most popular question from fans was; What is your favorite song is to perform live right now?
“Well right now it is easy because we have the new ones so those are the favorite just because the other ones we have playing them for two years now and the one before that even more. Obviously when you have new stuff it is the most fresh feeling you know? But there are certain songs we always like to play and there is never a problem. If have to say one from the past I would have to say “Fragile” is one of the favorites because it is a very powerful, groovy song. It is for the live show so it always works well. But there are many, many songs but right now the 2 new ones are the favorites for sure.”
Just so all the Lacuna Coil fans coming to the Hottest Chicks of Hard Rock Tour know what to expect, how long is your current setlist on this run? I know time can get tight on tours with some many bands.
“This one is 45 minutes mainly because there are many bands. It is more of a little taste of the new stuff and a warm up for us. We also have a new line up now with a new drummer so we are trying to tighten up.”
Has the transition been to having a new drummer been difficult at all for the band?
“No, no actually Ryan the drummer who is playing for us now has been playing with us for almost 2 years, up and down. Our drummer had a baby girl so he couldn’t tour for awhile so he was the substitute for him. We decided when our drummer made the decision to get we decided to ask Ryan, he has been with us 6 years as a drum tech and then replacing the drummer here and there. It was just a natural choice. It worked great on a personal level and the music is getting better.”
You have plenty of dates left on this current tour run, but can I what is next for Lacuna Coil after this?
“We will stay here and start immediately with more dates, probably mostly headline. Then we have a lot of radio festivals coming up between April and May, and all of the headliners will be rotating around all the promotional radio festival to promote the single at radio. So we will be here and we will probably go to South America for a week towards the 2nd week of May and then come back here for another couple of festivals.”
Great to know! I can’t wait to see who is announced on the headliner run. For those interest tickets are still available for the Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock tour and those of you who already came out to a show you can look forward to the opportunity to catch the band again later this spring. Thank you so much for sitting down with Sight of Sound Magazine to talk about all of this.
“We will be on this tour on the 20th of February and we will announce soon many more dates to come. Thank you man it was great”