Published Oct 20, 2009She hates to acknowledge it but even after 12 years fronting Italian gothic metal brigade Lacuna Coil, singer Cristina Scabbia still faces sexism.
"Being a woman in the rock/metal scene can be difficult," Scabbia says in an interview with Exclaim! while discussing the band's upcoming Canadian tour in support of their fifth album, Shallow Life.
"The expectations are different [on women]. If you put on weight, people judge you but it never happens for guys. I've never heard people comment on how sexy or unsexy a male singer is. I always expect this judgement but I don't care. There are people who just need to criticize. Being around for this long, people understand that I can do my job whether they like my look or not. That's unnecessary anyway and I don't care because I'm comfortable in my own skin."
As she continues, the correlation between her constant scrutiny and the thematic foundation of Shallow Life becomes obvious. The band (completed by vocalist Andrea Ferro, guitarists Cristiano Migliore and Marco Biazzi, bassist Marco Coti Zelati and drummer Cristiano Mozzati) are directly addressing the issue of aesthetics and self-image.
"That's exactly it," Scabbia explains. "It's called Shallow Life because it represents how superficial things are in life; how everything is based on looks and how beautiful and fit you have to be all the time because if not, you're a 'loser.' Basically this gave us inspiration for every song."
Scabbia refuses to call the record a "concept album," preferring to explain it as a "set of songs inspired by the same essence."
"Each song still has a specific story and that general theme is not used all the time," she says. "The stories aren't connected all the time but a lot of them, like 'Spellbound,' are about being comfortable with yourself and aware of your potential despite what people want you to become."
Shallow Life is out now via Century Media Records, and you can see what Lacuna Coil have become on these select Canadian dates:
10/27 Calgary, AB - MacEwan Hall Ballroom
10/28 Edmonton, AB - Edmonton Events Centre
10/30 Winnipeg, MB - The Garrick Centre
11/16 Montreal, QC - Le Medley
11/17 Toronto, ON - Sound Academy