Lacuna Coil’s Cristina Scabbia: “Will We Ever Go Back To Normality?”
Lacuna Coil were among the first bands to realize the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic — before it was labeled a pandemic — when the coronavirus tore through their native Italy in February of 2020. The country is currently in the midst of another lockdown caused by high infection rates while its vaccination program is lagging, and unfortunately frontwoman Cristina Scabbia doesn’t see a return to normal any time soon.
During a recent appearance on The Pit‘s Last Words podcast, Scabbia spoke at length about her experience with the virus over the past year and how it has led to a drastic shift in the way we all live that might be more permanent than we currently realize.
Asked if things have improved since the first lockdown in Italy a year ago, she replied:
“To be honest, no — not really. It feels that we are stuck at last year. The difference that I can feel is that people are not panicking as much as [at] the beginning of this pandemic, which, on one side, I’m, like, well, this gives me a sort of a normality. So even if I see people with masks around, at least they’re not looking at you like you’re gonna bring death to them in an instant. But on the other side, it makes me worried, because we are not out of this damn pandemic yet. So I just don’t want to give up on protecting myself and others, and I just want to be attentive.
“I know people who got this virus, and some of them were okay — some of them had no symptoms — but I know people who died, and I know people who actually got really, really bad, and weeks after [have] still problems in breathing. So it is existing — whether it hits you hard or less hard, it is there. And it’s very contagious. And we can’t do anything about it.”
Speaking on an eventual return to “normal” life and what that might look like, she said:
“All of us want our life back. Of course, restaurants have been opening and closing, but, for example, I haven’t been playing a gig for a year. I played three concerts with a charity project, and it was surreal because, basically, we played in front of a crowd that was sitting, that couldn’t move, that couldn’t [stand] up, not even for applauding or cheering. And it was like in front of a jury.
“We all want to go back to normality, but sometimes I wonder: will we ever go back to normality? ‘Cause I can’t really picture, from one day to another, just, like, okay, from tomorrow, everything is open, everybody can go out, no mask anymore. It feels really weird. And what is worrying me the most [is] we are almost getting used to this kind of seclusive new life.
“I was a person that had to go out all the time. I was traveling all the time — obviously. I was on tour most of the year — very social. Maybe I’m not a party-animal girl anymore, going to clubs every night, but I liked people, I liked interactions. And now I feel that if I go out for, like, an hour, it feels that I need to go back home, ’cause I feel safer, and now my world revolves around my computer, my living room. And this is scary to me, because this damn pandemic changed us for real. And even when the virus will be gone, I think that we will need time to adjust to a new normality, if we will ever have one back.”
Lacuna Coil were one of 130 Italian artists who took part in an initiative called L’Ultimo Concerto? (“The Last Concert”) last month, a publicity stunt designed to raise awareness about the current plight of performing artists. The band caught flak from their fanbase for standing on stage in silence during the livestream (along with the other participating artists) instead of putting on their promised performance, forcing a public explanation from Scabbia.