Interview – Of Shadows And Lights

We reviewed Under Control by Italian artist Of Shadows And Light (otherwise known as Angelo Pitone) earlier this year – I’ve been listening to the track recently and decided it would be nice to learn a little more about Angelo and his music. Read on to find out more!

By Jane Howkins

Earlier this year you released a new track titled Under Control, which we reviewed. What can
you tell us about the track and where can it be purchased?

Hi Jane, yes, I remember that review!

Under Control was released on May 7, 2021, as a perfect follow-up to my debut studio album
Almost Prophetic Visions And Thoughts. I wrote the song during the first lockdown while working on that record. It is the perfect picture of a weird social condition we’re still living caused by the pandemic. I’ve experienced a sort of apocalypse, seeing people storming grocery stores for no reason. I was shocked because it was almost impossible to do the shopping I needed at that time.

But it happened for real, so if you consider that we’ve got a bit of normality again, talking about it now makes me laugh a bit. I’ve always found my inspiration from challenging times, but at the same time, I didn’t want to create something too serious: with a bit of lightness, sarcasm, and musical creativity about the use of several tempo changes, I’ve made an out-of-standard song. In addition, it is fun to play!

You can purchase it on my official Bandcamp page or iTunes:

https://ofshadowsandlights.bandcamp.com/track/under-control-single

https://music.apple.com/it/album/under-control-single/1561195864

Have you got any plans to release a full length album or an EP anytime soon?

I’m a little undecided about this, meaning that I already have enough tracks to release both, but I’m not going to release them nonsensically. I want to publish quality material, and it doesn’t matter if that means taking longer than expected. I made this decision because I had to reconsider being completely independent. At this very moment, I am the only one to power the project Of Shadows And Lights. I have been doing it for three years, and I will continue to do so. What you see, I built with my own strength. I have no regrets. I’m happy with what I’ve done, and my goal is to keep improving myself. What now seems impossible to reach, I’m sure it will come sooner or later.

As concerns the next full-length album, I could say: “I’m working on it…”

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

I like to start from rhythm parts such as drum grooves or bass riffs. Then, I work with guitars, synths, strings, or piano parts when the basis is solid. I let myself be guided by sensations because I hate any forcing during my creative process. If the idea is good, I like to model it like clay. If it is not good, I throw it in the bin. I learned not to get attached to ideas that don’t work. By doing so, I am free to think of something different and save time and energy. It is a process that requires days or weeks. There were occasions when the song itself told me how I had to do in addition to the 5-W rule. I prefer to let the river flows. When the structure is ready and all parts and the arrangements are in the right place, I replace the first raw recordings with the final one.

I love recording studios and the possibility to push my limits beyond imagination. So I’m a fan of music production tips and tricks, advanced mixing, mixing, and mastering techniques. And again, how to sculpt a sound or build one from scratch. But my life in the studio is not only about technical aspects. There’s a thin line, almost invisible, that makes me happy. I’m unable to explain this thing. There is me, a microphone and a pair of headphones. I, my heart, and my feelings – those are the same feelings I hope you can feel when you listen to the final song. There is me, my voice, my soul, and a story that makes magic real.

Do you plan to release any singles at any point in the near future?

I’m about to release a new single: BW will be out everywhere at the end of January. If you want a release date take note: January 27. I’ve already planned to release four or five singles during 2022, but things could change in the race. Anyway, there’s lots of exciting work to do, and I can’t wait to make you listen.

Whereabouts are you based and what is the music scene like in your part of the world?

I’m based in Bari, Southern Italy. Historically there’s a great music background made of good local artists, but the fact I write and sing my songs in English has always penalised me, everywhere. I prefer not to add anything else. It could sound a bit disrespectful to my native land, but all the reviews I got are from abroad, Great Britain and America above all. To cite a band I love, growing up, you learn that 2+2 is often 5. All these obstacles never stopped me and never will do. So, if somebody out there trusts in me and what I do… I’m listening.

By the way, what’s the name of the band I just mentioned?

What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?

My favorite artists are many: Led Zeppelin to Queen passing through Bon Jovi, Green Day, Oasis, Blur, Aerosmith, Iron Maiden. There are also classic ones among my favorite artists like Chopin, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Dumas, and Stravinsky. There are also Train, Elbow, Biffy Clyro, Kodaline, Snow Patrol, The Intersphere, Steven Wilson, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Dave Gahan, Depeche Mode, The Dear Hunter, As Tall As Lions, Karnivool, Coldplay, Deep Purple, Lenny Kravitz, Mutemath, Pegasus, Rival Sons, Foo Fighters, Death From Above 1979, Des Rocs, Twin Atlantic and more. I could go on for days, hahaha!

The most recent artists who have influenced my current writing are Muse, Nothing But Thieves, Des Rocs, and Royal Blood. I like that kind of sound, and I try as much as possible to blend my style with theirs to create something unique. This, it’s true, inevitably leads to dangerous comparisons, but I’m not afraid because even the bands mentioned above have had the same ‘problem’, if we want to call it that.

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Queen’s music. It’s kind of like a backfire. I can’t explain it, but I
cyclically want to listen to music I haven’t heard in a long time.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

I would say no. Indeed, the period of forced isolation has allowed me to get closer to the creative process than ever before. We all know that life can sometimes be very ruthless, but times of difficulty can be very enlightening. The reason behind my stage name (Of Shadows And Lights) is precisely this. There is no shadow without light and vice versa – a bit like in photography. And y’know, a photo is life.

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

Sadly, no. Why? I’m not happy with what I’m about to say: I do not have a band.

What can people expect from one of your shows and why should people come and see you
perform live?

When I was younger, I played a lot in cover bands. I miss live gigs. Touring with my
original music is a dream I hope will come true. I will answer this question when I have a band.

Any last words for the fans?

I cannot forget all the music bloggers and playlist curators who have always supported me with kind words and excellent reviews. I’m grateful to all of them, to all the people who’ve listened to my music, followed me on social networks, on Spotify, and liked my songs. It’s true, I’m only a digital rocker for now, but with your immense support, great things can happen!

And the best part of my growth will always be you. See you on January 27, 2022!

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