The Haunted PoolJuly, Sunday 12th - St. Paul, MN Man, these roads are killing me! I constantly wake up in the morning with a stiff back and it takes a while after I get up to feel better. I check my phone to find out my mother and father-in-law are still on their way from northern Minnesota. They should be here in a little while and we’ve arranged to go out for lunch together. My wife, Natalie, is from St. Paul so I have many friends coming to the show, too. When my in-laws arrive, I’m really starving. I didn’t have anything to eat yet and we go to a nearby bar, The Bulldog, where we have an awesome burger. One of the best I’ve ever had: Stilton cheese and grilled onions with Tater Tots! I start drooling only thinking about it. After lunch we go back to the venue and do sound check and my parents-in-law hang out for a bit. It’s nice to hang with them; they’re super nice and even brought us some venison to grille. Too bad there’s no chance to BBQ today. Yeah, I know I talk about food a lot… But I can’t help it; I’m Italian! Food’s sacred to us and whenever we get the chance, we love to go out and have a good meal. If you’ve ever been to Italy, you know what I’m talking about. Today’s venue’s not too big, but nice. The only bad thing is that it has a series of poles right across the hall and even onstage. Oh well; it’ll work. Right before the show most of my friends show up and we hang out for a little and then I get back to the bus and we all start getting ready for the show (there isn’t a backstage or a dressing room today). When we go on, I think this must be the hottest show of the tour so far. After the second song I think I’m gonna pass out! The crowd’s awesome, though, and by the time we’re done our clothes are so wet that it’s like we poured a bucket of water on ourselves. And the best thing? No showers tonight! We’re probably gonna stop at a gas station later but I don’t know if I’ll be able to stay awake that late. We’re supposed to leave at 2 AM and before we get to the truck stop it’ll be at least an hour. I guess I’ll have to wait our day off tomorrow. After hanging out for a while with fans, family and friends, it’s time to leave. We’ve got a 1,250 mile drive to Missoula, MT. July, Monday, 13th - Day Off We drive most of the night and when I wake up, around noon, we’re still on the road. We won’t stop for another two or three hours. Plus, the generator on the bus decides to stop working so we have no power. The air conditioners stop and the bus quickly turns into an oven! Everybody’s still in bed ‘cause there’s really no reason to get up early. But once the AC stops, it’s impossible to lie in bed. Man! Luckily, we stop and our driver is able to make it start again and we can continue our trip. After a couple of hours we stop in Billings, MT, and get two shower rooms where we’ll spend the rest of the day. We all do laundry and relax and, finally, shower. Days off are such a welcome break. I spend most of the time in the room, checking my emails, chatting with my wife and playing World of Warcraft on my laptop. Yeah, I know, I’m a geek. Can’t help it, I’ve always loved video games. July, Tuesday, 14th - Missoula, MT The drive to Missoula’s not too bad but my back’s still pretty stiff from the damn bunk. I get up, get dressed and drink my morning coffee. We’re parked by the venue and the area looks very nice. The mountains all around remind me of home. I live by the Como lake (in case you’re wondering where that is, it’s the lake where George Clooney has a house and where they shot a scene of the 007 movie Casino Royale). It’s a beautiful spot in northern Italy that is surrounded by the Alps.
Lighting Controls in Missoula There seems to be some sort of festival on the square by the street where the bus is parked and there’s even a river not to far away. This is our very first time in Montana and it really is gorgeous. I wish I had more time to walk around, but it’s late already and we’ll have to sound check soon. The venue’s really cool, it’s an old theater, with seats and all. Our Lighting Designer sets up all the lights he brought, and I’m sure the show will definitely look impressive. Another meet-and-greet, and then I just sit on the couch in the back lounge of our bus and relax for a while before the show. When we finally go on, the crowd goes wild again and it’s definitely one of the best shows so far. It was definitely worth coming to Montana. The stage’s great and we have a lot of room to move around. And, luckily, it’s not as hot as St. Paul. After showering, I walk back to the bus and stop to chat and sign autographs. Then I meet Johnny [Kelly] and Hank [Hell]of Seventh Void and we decide to go check out a nearby bar. I don’t drink much usually so I don’t really end up staying for too long. July, Wednesday, 15th - Spokane, WA Damn, I gotta get up early today and this continuous driving through different time zones totally messes me up. Today we have an acoustic show at a radio station and we’re supposed to perform three songs in front of a small audience. This always makes us a bit nervous ‘cause it’s only two guitars and two voices and we’re not really an acoustic band. So we had to re-arrange some of the songs to be able to play them this way. They actually sound pretty good though.
The Guitars In Spokane We play the three songs—“Closer,” “Spellbound” and “I Won’t Tell You”—and it goes really well. People are enthusiastic, and we end up signing a lot of stuff and taking pictures. Then we enjoy a nice Mexican lunch before we get back to the venue, The Knitting Factory.
Cristina & Pizza Acoustic Set We also have a very special guest tonight: Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge. Cristina [Scabbia ] sang on one of their songs and they actually never met in person, although they kept in touch and she invited him to the show tonight. It’s another great show and everything goes well. The people from the radio station (including most of the fans who were at the acoustic set) are here tonight and they get to experience a completely different show than they watched this morning. After the show Myles and his wife join us on the bus and we hang out for a bit. He’s a really nice guy and he really enjoyed the show. It’s time to leave again, we say goodbye and get on the road again. July, Thursday, 16th - Day Off Aaah, this was an easy one. Two shows and a day off! The drive is not too long and we get to Boise, ID, where we have the usual couple of shower rooms. I don’t intend to do anything today. Some people decide to go to a nearby mall but I don’t feel like spending any money and stay in the room with a couple of other people. I take a shower, check stuff online and do laundry again. Then we get hungry and we have pizza on the bus, but we quickly find out that the generator has died again. So we’re stuck with a slice of cold pizza. Gross! Oh well, I gotta eat something. Around 8:30 we all get together and go out for dinner. We end up going at the Cheesecake Factory and we totally stuff ourselves. I don’t know why but every time I go there, I always eat so much and I can never have a slice of cheesecake, although it’s one of my favorite cakes. But, honestly, after spinach artichoke dip and a Kobe burger with blue cheese, I simply can’t eat anything else. July, Friday, 17th - Boise, ID Ok, this is our very first time in Idaho, too, and I must say it’s pretty damn hot around these parts. We have another acoustic radio show and we get picked up by a very special driver: Mr. Rod Stewart himself! Well, not really, but he really looks like him and guess what his limo company is called? Rodslimos, of course!
Rod Stewart & Lacuna Coil We get to the radio station, set up our gear and after a short interview we play an acoustic version of “Spellbound.” All fine and well but my guitar—an Ovation Elite T—wasn’t working properly because of some cable problems, and no one could hear it on the air. At least they didn’t hear all my mistakes. After the radio show, Rod drives us back to the venue. Unfortunately, today the bus can’t stay parked by the club and will be parked a few blocks away. Right when we get to the venue we meet two of the people who were at the radio station and they invite us to eat at their bar, which is right across the street. They totally take care of us and don’t want us to pay for anything we eat. The food’s really good too. Thanks a lot guys, you rock! After lunch, most of the band decides to go back to the bus, there’s not really a lot to do at the venue and it’s really too hot to walk around. Too bad that when they get there, the generator’s dead, again. You may think we’ve been particularly unlucky but I’ll tell you what: no matter how nice your bus is or how new it is, the generator will break at some point. I’ve never been on a tour where a generator would last for the whole thing without breaking. It’s just the way it is. So, everyone’s back at the venue in no time and we all sit in the small dressing room together for the rest of the night. I decide to go out and check out Dommin, Seventh Void and Kill Hannah. The venue slowly fills up and everyone seems to have a great show. We go on at 10:15 and it’s another great show. Lots of fans are waiting for us outside by the bus and we hang out with them for a while. An 11 year old boy, with long hair and a tank top that says Lacuna Coil F***ING ROCKS! is waiting out there with his parents and we take some pictures with him. Rock on! July, Saturday, 18th - Portland, OR Today’s started pretty slowly. I have my usual espresso on the bus. Some of the other guys already went to a nearby mall and bought a lot of useless stuff. That’s why I never wanna go: I end up buying stuff that I don’t need and spend a lot of money! Today I wanna try and change both guitar sounds on our amps—Line6 Spider Valve HD 100 and two 4x12 Line6 cabinets—because they still aren’t working out the way I want them to. So I get onstage and start making everyone’s life absolutely miserable. I’m sure everybody hated me. But, hey, it has to sound good, right? Apparently, all my efforts pay off and it really sounds like these new tones come through the way they’re supposed to. Tonight’s a special night: we’ll play “Survive,” the first song off of our new album Shallow Life, for the first time. Our drummer CriZ is pretty nervous, but it turns out great and the fans love it. Despite the AC blasting we get offstage totally wet. It was a pretty intense show and we had a lot of fun. We take showers and head back to the bus. [Marco] “Maus” [Biazzi], the other guitarist goes to bed right away. Mat [Devine], Kill Hannah’s singer, joins us on the bus with a nice bottle of Pinot Noir and we talk for a while until it’s time to go again. Well, another week went by and it was pretty quick. I can’t believe we’re almost at the end of this run!