The Italian metal scene is full of talented people, and that makes me particularly proud. One of them is definitely the guest of this interview, Paolo Campitelli. He is involved in several projects, and after meeting him in person, I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with him about life and music.
Hi Paolo! How are you doing in this period?
Hi Benedetta, everything is fine. The historical period is a bit what it is; we try to dodge covid left and right but then overall, everything is fine.
Do you remember who was your first (or one of the first) musical influences?
Definitely Blind Guardian: I remember when “Nightfall in Middle-Earth” came out. It blew me away as soon as I heard it; also, “Hatebreeder” by Children of Bodom had the same effect on me (although they were a newer band); another one is “Kings of Metal” by Manowar, great love at first sight. These bands are still part of my musical background and influence even as a listener. I carried that sort of majesty and epicness in the melodies, speeds and harmonizations. They have shaped the artist I have become.
Wonderful choices! What is the process you follow in writing or composing music?
Let’s say that 99% of the time, the music I write is born on the guitar; I find myself throwing down some riffs, something I like. If I like a riff, I record it immediately on my phone; in fact, I have dozens and dozens of quick recordings without wasting too much time. Then I listen to it again and try to understand if the riff is good or if it’s too banal or already heard; I skim what is ok and what’s not. Then I try to assemble the pieces, so if there is something that can go for a chorus or a verse, I then make the skeleton of the song and try to record it. I’m lucky enough to have a home studio, so it allows me to record a demo pretty quickly, playing guitar, bass and keyboards, so I already have an idea of the song. I write the midi with a virtual instrument for the drums, so I have a rhythmic base. If the result convinces me, I’ll arrange it; otherwise, maybe I’ll put it aside. Other pieces were born while singing in the car: I would start recording with my phone at the traffic lights. It’s a bit like that; there is no fixed rule. There are periods that I write 3 pieces in a month and maybe in 6 months nothing, so it changes. I try not to force it too much, so I know that the things I produce come out better.
So cool! Do you have any upcoming projects in the near future?
Actually, in 2022, there are a few things: with ScreaMachine, there are a few new things: there will be a little surprise, some new music (which is not a new record), but given the great response of the debut, we wanted to thank our supporters immediately, we are working on something fancy. We’re working on writing the new record; we’ve already jotted down a few ideas. We have gained more awareness of ourselves; there is more affinity between us. I must say that I am satisfied with how things are evolving and how the pieces are created. We exchange ideas despite the pandemic and all; we are very technological, so we work remotely. For Kaledon, we actually signed a contract with a new record label; we will unveil the details in the next weeks. In 2021 we recorded a new album and also some videos; the songs are powerful and fast as always. I tried to find more modern sounds this time; the result is different from the usual, but I like it a lot; I can’t wait for you to hear it. It was a mutual change; the album will be released definitely this year. With Kalidia, it’s a separate thing because I’m a wild card there. We are all friends, especially Nicoletta, with whom I have a close and deep relationship. From the musical point of view, I started as a sound engineer, then they asked me to play the keyboard, but I proposed myself as a guitarist. I produced the remastered version of “Lies’ Device“… let’s just say I do what it’s needed. There’s some news for the new record as well, but I won’t get into that.
I’m happy to hear all these good news! How about your personal projects?
I’ve been working on my solo album for several years now, which is a top-secret project, but the songs are all written, being recorded. I had several delays for various reasons, but I hope to finish all the recording of the album and the mixing by the end of 2022; there will be many international guests; I really want to see how it goes.
What is one characteristic every artist should have?
There are many, but the most important is humbleness. The humbleness to accept the fact that you can and should try to improve, the humbleness to accept criticism (constructive or not), in general, the humbleness that you find in great artists and that maybe is missing in smaller environments. It’s a fun/bitter thing. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting several artists that I admired as a teenager, and you can see that they’re very kind people that you can have a conversation with, and then maybe you find yourself witnessing embarrassing scenes of extremely small artists. Let’s be clear, you have to believe in yourself and in what you do, but you also have to be down-to-earth, without arrogance. All these negative things then stall what you want and can do. This applies not only to music but to any job.
Amen to that! Best compliment you have ever received?
Actually, I don’t know; I don’t remember a particular episode. It happened to me more than once to receive compliments, maybe on keyboards, for my speed of execution and sound research. I try to take care of these things a lot, so if it’s noticed and appreciated, it’s something that makes me happy.
Not only in the musical field but also in everyday life, women are constantly discriminated against or discredited. Will there ever be a solution to this problem?
That’s a million-dollar question! Personally, I’m a positive person, so I want to believe the answer is yes. The process is extremely long and will require several generational changes. If we look at history as a whole, it is a process that has just begun. We take certain things for granted, but the women’s right to vote is yesterday’s stuff. Or abortion, average salaries (lower than men), motherhood. The problem exists; maybe it’s good that we have become aware that we have a problem. In the past, it was right that women did not vote; the problem is rooted in the culture, in the mentality of our society. It will take time. I like to believe that one day we will get there. I have not seen discrimination in my own small circle, but I see these situations everywhere as soon as I leave my borders. The problem is serious and needs to be addressed. It is not easy! It’s difficult to get rid of the preconceptions we were born with; it takes a lot of effort to change things. It is not trivial, and not everyone wants to make this effort.
What is a kid’s movie that is scary for you or you don’t like?
I don’t have any memories of this, but I think maybe Nightmare Before Christmas; I was little, like in elementary school. I used to see such peculiar figures! Now I can handle horror movies just fine.
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview! Would you like to add something else to FemMetal readers?
Thank you for this space; I wanted to thank you, Benedetta, for what you do on FemMetal; the passion you put into it is glaring, your colleagues’ as well. What you do to support the scene is important. Thank you to all the readers: we wish to play live soon and hug you not only virtually!
Hi! My name is Benedetta, I’m 29 and I live in Northern Italy. My passion has always been music: I started taking guitar lessons when I was 6. Now I work as a sales representative, but in my free time I interview talented people, I spread the word about my favorite band (MoonSun), and I go to concerts or travel around Europe.
I am a huge collector of anything Tolkien-related, autographs, merchandise, and CDs. I am quite an original person and don’t mind being the voice outside of the choir (even though I play in the church’s choir!).