by Kenneth Morton After a successful US tour late last year with Moonspell, Lacuna Coil returned home to record what would become Comalies. A follow-up to their critically acclaimed Unleashed Memories, Lacuna Coil are back to unleash even more mystical magic upon the metal masses. Our interview is with the radiant vocalist Cristina Scabbia.

The last time I interviewed you it was in Los Angeles outside of the venue and it was amazingly cold outside! Cristina Scabbia: Oh, the Fais Do Do! I remember! It was the last gig. I remember you, yeah!

So how did you feel your first tour of the States went? It was amazing! I told this to other journalists that I was suspicious in the beginning - because I heard rumors about America being this strange world with people being really suspicious and the venues were not cool. You know, not really nice things regarding metal in America. But as soon as we started this tour, we met just cool people who were supporting us - and coming to the shows just for us - even in the small venues. And that was absolutely great! I met so many persons loving our music. We got a lot of presents from the people and it's been amazing. We felt a lot of love surrounding us and that's very cool.

What were your impressions of Los Angeles and the audience out here? I was really surprised at how many roses I got that night. It was absolutely great. The fans were singing the songs and having fun together with us. It's a very cool memory and I can't wait to be there again.

What happened with the tour you were going to do out here with In Flames? The problem is that the album was going to be released next month, so it's impossible to do a tour supporting an album that is not released yet. It's a question of management that decided to postpone the tour so that people would have the time to listen to the new album. It's a big cost for a band to come over there. We just decided to do it later. It's a pity because we love the bands that are playing - we've met them before and it would have been great.

Maybe you could come back here again with Moonspell. Again? I wish we could do it. They are our latent brothers. It would be cool and we had a lot of fun. We did the very first tour in our career with them and we did our first American tour with them. So that would be cool.

Do you know when your band might be coming back to the States to play? We heard about January or February of 2003. We don't know if it's been confirmed or not because it's always a question of management and venues and recording between them. I know this sounds weird, but the band is always the last person that knows what to do. You just get a call from the company saying, "You have to do a tour. In one week! Just prepare you bag and go." You cannot really do plans for a whole year.

So how does Comalies compare to your previous albums? We think that to describe the new music, it's more simple but intense. It's heavier than the previous albums. In a certain way, I think it's really easy to listen to and has a positive vibe compared to the old albums. It's really dynamic and varied and energetic.

Why did you call the album Comalies? We called it Comalies because we went back to the memory of the period when we did the old songwriting. We just realized that we were so concentrated on the music that we just created a different dimension. No one could see what we were doing - nobody could enter into this private dimension. That's why we just compare this atmosphere to a coma, but not in the negative meaning of the word itself. It was just to represent a sort of limbo - a state in the middle where nobody can enter. And as we like to play with words, we decided to use Comalies - like being comalized by the music. But it's something that we created, because it's a word that doesn't really exist.

Where did you get the ideas for some of the lyrics on this album? For all the lyrics, I'm always inspired by real life. We are always talking about personal experiences we've had or things happening to people surrounding us. That really typical for Lacuna Coil, because we don't like to create fantasy stuff. We think that there are so many things you can be inspired by from your own life. Basically we try to translate our feelings when we listen to the music we have done.

With Unleashed Memories being so well received, were there any pressures felt when going into the studio to record Comalies? No, not really. We recorded the album in 20 days, including mixing and mastering, and that's a very short amount of time. It's just because we were totally ready - we were totally certain about the final result. We were prepared this time, and we didn't feel any kind of pressure on us just because we were supposed to do the album. A lot of months before the songs were basically ready, but we were 100 percent satisfied, so we decided to slide the deadline and record the album later when we were totally prepared. We never feel pressure on us. We just sit down and wait for the duration - we don't care about people or the company requesting a new album. Luckily we are artistically free and that's the most important thing for an artist. When you feel pressure, you cannot express yourself in the best way.

To you, what has been the best and worst part about touring? The best part of touring is that you can meet a lot of people and see directly their point of view - their opinion about the music you play. The worst thing is the shower in the venues sometimes. I cannot live without having a shower everyday -especially on tour at least one. It's hard to find bad things about touring.

HD: What are your current touring plans?

Cristina: Right now we have to do a tour with Sentenced - a European one that will be from the end of October and all through November. After that we will come back and start again to write new material and have other gigs. And the plans are to come back to America in January or February of 2003 for a tour, but I don't know with who and I don't know exactly when. It's pretty impossible to plan the whole year, because you never know when you'll be playing festivals or other tours.

Do you like death metal, and I was wondering what you thought of Angela from Arch Enemy? Arch Enemy - to be honest, I don't know very much about their music - I've probably just listened to one song. But I met Angela because I had a photo session with her for a magazine in France. She's a really cool girl - she's really nice. I heard her voice once maybe, and I think she has a very powerful voice. But I cannot really judge their music. I never listen to them, and I really hate to judge every other person's music. It's something too personal.

Can you sing in a death metal growl like Angela? No, I will never be able to. We were discussing about that. I asked her, how can you live with this kind of voice? How are you able to sing for more days? And she told me, for her it's impossible to sing as I do. Everyone's voice has it's own characteristics. My voice is this way and her voice is different.

What is it you'd like a listener to leave feeling after hearing Comalies? They will feel that the album doesn't get them bored, because it's really varied. They will always find the proper song for specific moments of the day. They will discover songs like Tightrope or Heaven's A Lie together with more melancholic songs like Comalies or Entwined. They will listen and listen to it again because it's a really cool album.

Do have any messages for Lacuna Coil fans here in the States? Be ready, because we are ready to kick ass again. We can't wait to present the new songs onstage. They will also see our new clothes that we did by ourselves - we are very proud of them. We really can't wait to be there as soon as possible, because we had a lot of fun and we really love the American fans.