Cristina Scabbia has always loved to sing.
"I still have some tapes when I was 4 years old and already recording just for fun," the Italian-born Scabbia said during a telephone call from Cleveland.
The co-lead singer for the Italian metal band Lacuna Coil said being the youngest of four siblings in her family exposed her to different types of music.
"They were listening to everything from Italian classical music to AC/DC to (Led) Zeppelin to Beatles to hip-hop and dance music from the '80s.
"I grew up with a lot of different influences. And started listening to rock and metal more."
She was drawn to metal and rock music because she felt they are the most sincere of all music forms.
"Even if I like to enjoy dance for a party on the bus, I think rock and metal have more messages to share with the listener," she said.
That was one of the reasons why the band — which includes Scabbia, co-vocalist Andrea Ferro, bassist Marco "Maki" Coti Zelati, drummer Cristiano "Criz" Mozzati and guitarists Chris Migliore and Marco "Maus" Biazzi — decided to focus more on lyrics for the new album "Shallow Life," which was released earlier this year.
"We cared about the lyrics, which is something we didn't do in the past," she said. "The lyrics are more poetic. It's definitely a more mature album that can give a big message to the people."
In fact, fans have said the lyrics seem to have been written about their lives, Scabbia said.
"That's fantastic," she said.
Scabbia said the band is happy and proud of what it's done in the past, but "Shallow Life" was going to be different.
"The main thing is playing live and making good records," she said. "Of course we entered the studio knowing we were going for a change. You never know where a change is going to take you. It's always a risk. You can write the same thing over and over just to please the fans. But that wouldn't be fair. As an artist you try to create and evolve all the time."
The challenge is trying to keep the integrity and honesty of what the artist is trying to do, she said.
"We entered the studio with a new energy because we knew that some of the songs were going to be completely different. And we knew that we have gained a lot of new fans, but we also knew that a lot of people that have followed us since the very first record will be kind of confused because it's not like a gothic metal album or something like that.
"It's definitely more rock than in the past."
Producer Don Gilmore helped Lacuna Coil find what it wanted with "Shallow Life."
"He came to Milano (the band's homebase) and we played some of the songs for him," Scabbia said. "We basically worked a little bit more on polishing the songs because some parts were too long. And we worked a lot with him on the lyrics. He really taught us good lyrics are important because you have to be clear on what you are saying. And this doesn't only mean good lyrics, but also the pronunciation of the words."
"Shallow Life" is the highest debuting CD of Lacuna Coil's career. The disc entered the Billboard 200 at No. 16.
"We were hoping to get a result like that," she said. The band's previous album, 2006's "Karmacode," debuted at No. 28 in 2006.
"We didn't really know what was going to happen, especially right now since (CD) sales are so down compared to the past.
"We were absolutely pleased, being a band from Italy."
By Scott Iwasaki
Taken from www.deseretnews.com