Ozzfest Pays Dividends For Lacuna Coil

Ozzfest 2004 is over, but the benefits it has brought to Lacuna Coil's latest Century Media album, "Comalies," have just begun.

Ozzfest 2004 is over, but the benefits it has brought to Lacuna Coil's latest Century Media album, "Comalies," have just begun. Issued in October 2002, the set last month reached No. 9 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. It has sold 147,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, becoming the label's first release to break the 100,000 barrier.

The group is cautious when speaking about its burgeoning success, which follows in the footsteps of such Ozzfest alumni as Slipknot, Korn and System Of A Down.

"We're really proud to be considered a breakout band, but I'm really scared about those names, because it's kind of like a bad luck thing," vocalist Cristina Scabbia told Billboard.com at a recent Ozzfest stop outside Pittsburgh. "We try not to think about it. We're really easy-going people, so we don't want to act like rock stars, stuff like that. [We] just want to be satisfied with our music, we just want to enjoy what we do."

Judging from the excitement in the audience during Lacuna Coil's 20-minute set on the Ozzfest's second stage, the talk surrounding the Italian band's growing popularity isn't hype.

After playing the theme to "The Godfather" as a cheeky introduction, Lacuna Coil opened with "Swamped" and included the single "Heaven's a Lie" in its set. Although powerful, the band's goth-edged metal isn't typical of what starts a mosh pit brewing, but within minutes the security detail at the front of the stage was busy deflecting the gleeful bodies being thrown around.

"The more that happens, the better we play," guitarist Cristiano Migliore says. "It's cool when people respond to your songs; they know who you are. Even if they don't know you, they're really getting into it because you impressed them, so it's a great feeling."

The band compares Ozzfest to a summer camp, where maximum enjoyment is derived from watching other bands and meeting their members. At times, the experience has bordered on the surreal.

"It was really weird during the press conference," Scabbia recalls with a laugh. "I'm sitting on a chair with my name, and I just turn and I say, 'OK, Zakk Wylde, Phil Anselmo, Judas Priest, Slipknot, Slayer, Ozzy, Sharon [Osbourne], Lamb Of God, Hatebreed.' I was just like, 'What the f*** am I doing here?'"

Migliore says the band's post-Ozzfest plans include a return to Milan and some time off before beginning a new album. "We'll start working on the new stuff and hopefully we'll start [recording] in January or February so the album can be out by May," he says.

Some bands might write while on the road, but Lacuna Coil isn't one of them. "We're more the kind of musicians that sit home by themselves and try to work on stuff separately, and then we get together and we try to see if the ideas match," Migliore explains. "On the road there's too much to do. You play, you have interviews, you have signing sessions, and by the time you're done with all this, you go to bed because you're stressed out, or you get really wasted and it's not the right time to write."

Does that mean Ozzfest sponsor Jagermeister's product isn't the best way to get the creative juices flowing? "Yeah, exactly," he says, laughing. "It doesn't help songwriting."