I sit down, with my laptop open and eye my phone eagerly. It’s almost 2:10 pm. I should be getting their call any minute now. My phone vibrates on the table, and I pick it up to see who it is. It’s not anyone on my contact list, so I answer it quickly.
“Hello. Is this Braulio?” is heard in an Italian accent. Not the over the top kind you see on the Simpsons, just an accent.
“Yeah, this is him. Who am I going to speak to today?”
“This is Criz from Lacuna Coil for the interview.”
After talking a bit and overcoming my awe, I dive straight into the interview:
Q: How has the L.A. music scene differed from what you are usually accustomed to? Is it better, worse, or easier?
A: It’s very different. We are from Italy and rock is not big there. Most of the bands are more underground. Our first time here was a huge difference. There is always a show going on here, and there are a lot of places for people to play rock. In Italy, no one really cares about rock and all of the big, successful rock bands there are from the U.S.
Q: Wow. So looking back when you had just started did you guys know or expect to reach the level of success and fame you have now? I mean, your new album has sold about 70,000 copies, right?
A: We always hoped, but we never expected it. Getting on the Billboard charts at number 16 being a rock band from Italy is like a dream come true. It’s not easy for any artists to do, but we have done it. We worked very hard for this and it happening was still hard to expect.
Q: So was working in the U.S. what inspired the themes of superficiality and superficial life present in “Shallow Life”?
(We both laugh a little)
A: No. “Shallow Life” is based on how today’s life can be superficial; everywhere not just here. You see people everywhere trying anything for their 15 minutes of fame, and others to represent themselves with flashy cars and expensive lifestyles. Everyone tries to show off their wealth and their things. Yes it can be fun to sit around the couch with your friends and talk about stupid things, but there is more to life than that. Life is not always so superficial.
Q: Yeah, you do see a lot of those people. So…NRG Studios; how was it?
A: It was great. The studio is amazing. We actually worked in the 2nd studio in there. We were working with Don, who is like, wow, a top 10 producer. We were so glad to be working with him. It was a very relaxed atmosphere, we didn’t feel like we were being rushed, and we worked with some new techniques and equipment. It was good experience.
Q: That’s right, Don Gilmore was your producer. What was it like to work with him?
A: He is great. A very cool guy. We had a fear of changing our style since we would be working with such a famous producer, but then we met him in Europe and then went out for dinner. Talking to him we could see that he understood the music industry well and understood what our music was about. He made us feel at ease and helped us improve while still being us musically. He is one of the most chill guys I’ve ever met.
Q: That’s cool. What do you have to say to fans and critics who have said that “Shallow Life” is a departure from the bands musical style?
A: The band evolves, it is ever-changing. Our music is not formulaic. A lot of bands make the same stuff over and over. We could have made another “Comalies” or “Karmacode” and the fans would have been happy. There are bands that have been playing the same way for 30 years and are famous for it. We could have done that with the new album, but we would not be happy with it. The reaction to “Shallow Life” has been amazing. The fans go nuts when we play the new stuff in concert.
Q: Does the grenade on the cover symbolize anything about the album, or did the band just think it looked awesome? Did you guys design it?
A: We had done a few sketches trying to capture the concept of the album. We worked over a few ideas. Then the cover comes in with this perfume bottle grenade, and we all thought that it was just perfect when we saw it. We all said “This is it.” It was amazing. It got the idea perfectly; it was beautiful but could cause destruction.
Q: That’s so cool. Are you guys famous now back home in Italy now with your fifth studio album released?
A: We are definitely big in Italy. We are a huge part of the rock scene now. We became big in Italy after we became famous in the U.S. In Italy people will come up to us asking “Where are you guys from?” and we say “Here!”