Interview with Shamael
Interview by Kira Levine
Hello! Thanks for your time, hope that you are keeping safe and well. Please introduce yourself.
Thank you for the invitation. I’m Raffaele Galasso and I work in several music projects: Shamael, Gardenjia, Nightcrush, Luxaeterna.
When did you decide you wanted to be a musician, and what was the first instrument you learned to play?
Since always as far as I remember. Guitar, self taught.
What advice would you give those at the beginning of their music career?
No advice. I am no one to give such words of advice.
Talk a little bit about how Shamael began, and the meaning behind the name of the project.
The name Shamael has a long tradition both in a religious and esoteric key. I invite the listener to do his own research.
Describe Shamael’s sound in no more than six words.
Self-inflicted ecstatic pain.
You are responsible for all the instrumentation and vocals on Melancholie der Engel, as well as the mixing and mastering. What would you say are the pros and cons of taking on all these responsibilities yourself?
Well, I can create all the music I want, by myself, and shape the sound I have in mind without depending on anyone. Apart from this it is quite obvious that a passionate teamwork of creative minds could forge an interesting creation on many levels.
Did the pandemic and resulting lock-downs impact any of the original plans you had while creating Melancholie der Engel? If so, how did you deal with the changes you had to make?
Not at all.
Do you think that you will employ the help of other recording artists in future, on further releases or even perhaps for live settings?
I am always open to creative collaborations but I am not the easiest person in the world.
What were your main influences during the songwriting process?
Melancholie der Engel’s cover art illustrates the music on the record very accurately. Who created it?
I created it but it’s been very fast. I used a free pic, added another one on the face of the subject and modified a bit.
What gear did you use on Melancholie der Engel?
Very basic, seven-string guitar, bass, electronic drum kit, a Shure SM7B mic, a laptop and an audio interface.
You are co-releasing Melancholie der Engel with Satanath Records and Negre PlanY. What would you say is the advantage of this, rather than staying independent or working with one distributor or label?
They are very focused people. The great advantage of this collaboration is a major result in terms of visibility.
Would you like to talk about your other music projects, namely Gardenjia and Nightcrush? How does Shamael differ from them?
Gardenjia is now oriented towards a personal philosophic research with black metal. Nightcrush is a project that combines synthwave, shoegaze and doom. Luxaeterna is a synthgaze death metal project. Shamael is simply the expression of my love for doom.
Do you have any interests or things you like doing other than music that you would like to talk about?
Well, I am interested in every form of artistic expression. I occasionally paint. I am a teacher and an archaeologist.
What is the current metal scene like in Italy? Are there many doom bands hailing from your home city?
Very good, a lot of amazing musicians.
Name some Italian musicians that you admire.
Monteverdi, Gesualdo, Scarlatti.
Are there any new or established metal acts that you particularly enjoy?
Yes, but too many to list. I am always in search of new music to love.
Personally, do you listen to any non-metal music?
I don’t consider music in terms of genres, to me music is good or bad. It must give me emotions. The strong ones, preferably.
Which records have you been listening to recently?
What does the rest of the year look like for Shamael?
Well I will write new music at one point.
Thanks for answering these questions! Is there anything else that you would like to share with us?
Thanks to you again.
Melancholie der Engel is out now, order it from Shamael’s Bandcamp!
2. Crown Shyness
3. Way of Woe