Interview: Shores of Null – Pain Masquerade

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 10:19 AM (PST)


In general, the lyrics reflects different moods and they talk about life, a precious gift we get to know day by day. They’re gloomy, cryptic, full of metaphors and revolve around the joys and sorrows of common people, their hope and resignations. – Davide (vocals)

Rome’s Shores of Null (newly signed to Candlelight) are purveyors of a powerful brand of metal fans of Edgar Allen Poe, Alice in Chains, Daylight Dies or any manner of gloom will want to glom up. These guys are fucking brilliant and the music on debut Quiescence is an absolute MUST HAVE release for anyone really suffering some deep pain in life or who just loves real rock music. This band can inspire, challenge your preconceptions, make you really deeply feel and embrace your vulnerability as mortal but also embolden the listener to confidence with riffs that are mountains. This may start the new Italian Renaissance.

Click HERE for our exclusive new interview with Raffaele and Davide.

Thanks for agreeing to do this! How are you today? What is the band up to lately? How do you feel your music represents your place as an Italian band in the metal scene?

Raffaele (guitar): Hi Morgan, better than usual today because of this interview. In this period many great things are happening. Recently we’ve supported Saturnus and Promordial in January and February for a bunch of gigs here in Italy. Two fantastic bands. Now we’re anxiously waiting for our first record to come out and we’re getting ready for the upcoming shows, including a concert in Pescara with our friends No More Fear, Metal Symposium Festival in Bari with Taake and many others, and in May we’ll take part to the Dark Mental Festival in Copenhagen. Speaking about music, we don’t actually sound like any of the music Italy is famous for, but digging deep into our country’s folklore and in our history you can definitely find bleak, gloomy, timeless ancient melodies. Specifically, I come from the very south of the Peninsula, where the common local music, the Calabrian Tarantella, often sounds quite melancholic. They sing stories of love and sadness, stories of wars, soldiers, all very epic, rhythmic and evocative. Obviously we have many influences coming from Scandinavia as well.

That is amazing you played with Primordial. I would have killed to see your band and them in one night. How did the signing to the label come about and are you happy to be working with them? Shores of Null is one of the best new records yet in 2014. Please make many more!

R: Thanks a lot Morgan. When we started looking for a record label, we sent the record out to many labels, but Candlelight was at the top of our list. Needless to say how much we’re honored, we didn’t hesitate to accept the deal Candlelight had to offer. We’re really glad to work with them, they’re all easygoing and very professional, there’s nothing better we could have asked for. And I’ll tell you a secret: we ain’t gonna stop here.

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Quiesence is such a moody yet also inspiring album. What draws you to powerful metal that has a lot of dynamics? How does it reflect your inner feelings/compass as a person? The riffs, tempos and melodies all unite to create something very strong. ‘Souls of The Abyss’ for instance, around the 4:20 mark starts marching into this gruff throaty screaming passage over a repeated riff pattern before the melodic vocals pour back in and it is very
effective. Your songs are very memorable.

R: Believe it or not, all the dynamics on this album came out quite instinctively. Me and Gabbo, the other guitarist, come from two pretty different musical experiences of one another and completely distant from Shores Of Null, but we both had this urge to create such bleaker tones. When we joined our band arranged them all together and we really liked how it sounded. And when Dave wrote the lyrics and the vocal lines we were totally captured by his
amazing rendering. Eventually Emiliano and Matteo completed what we had conceived. Personally, when I write a riff I have a strongly emotional approach to it and there’s always a mix of rage and melancholy leading to the creation of a song. In those moments, I’m very happy to be sad. :-) Concerning  what you say about ‘Souls of The Abyss’, I can’t deny that when Dave starts with the harsh part, I can’t help myself from getting excited, it’s beyond
my control.

This album is a victory in that, as a listener, I don’t want to skip. I want to play it from the dark intro of 0×0000 all the way to the ending charge of “Eudaemonia”, with big sliding riffs and then some fast parts. I hear Katatonia, Alice in Chains and more in your sound, but you also are your own beast. In this age of metal and hard rock how do you not get discouraged when people listen to mostly shit in the wider world these days? “Pain Masquerade” is a powerful song that made me think how people think they have to hide their dark parts or pain to be accepted as normal.

Davide (Vocals): Knowing that our album can be absorbed in one go without any interruption is very pleasing for us, actually this is the greatest praise we can get. Basically people can listen to what they want, trends change, and even the alternative scenes got their own trends, it’s pointless to examine it here. There will always be good music, you just need to dig deeper than ever to track it down, and you’ll be fucking satisfied when you’ll dig up a pearl from a dirty swamp, you know what I mean. I like your analysis of ‘Pain Masquerade’ and that’s quite exactly what I intended to express,people put on their armours and act stronger than they really are, society requires so.

Isn’t it interesting that metal can tackle and wrestle demons or feelings of isolation but also make us feel united as metal fans? What was an early record that got you interested in this form of music? Did you practice a lot as a kid or learn to play at a latter age?

D: Metal is a cultural beast, a good one. I’ve always found the metal environment very sympathetic. The first record I bought was Antichrist Superstar by Marilyn Manson, I was shopping with my mum at the mall and I threw it in the cart. It was the only bad example I could get on television when I was younger, and I loved the aesthetic as well as the music of course. I was already into punk and liked metal too, actually I liked everything with a distortion. But everything really changed when I discovered Iron Maiden and Mercyful Fate. I tried with the guitar when I was 12-13, but I was too lazy to learn an instrument, so I started to sing when I entered high school and formed my first bands. At the age of 17 I decided it was time for me to attend singing lessons, and that’s when things started to get more serious. I entered Zippo, my other band, when I was 18 and yeah, we used to practice a lot back then.

Good early influences. I think I am more a fan of melancholy and slower types of metal than blazing speed, overall. It just makes me feel like I jumped off a cliff into some vast and dark lake when I hear “Quiescent” or the bleakness of Alice in Chains “Down In A Hole” or there is the dignity and bold feeling of Black Sabbath’s “Children of the Sea”. I think many bands get so excited they rush everything otr just play faster for an adrenaline fix. Hey, that is cool, but don’t you think even more feeling can sometimes come from a slower tempo? It is like the blues comes out. Take a riff like Stone Temple Pilots “Sex Type Thing”. If you played it super fast it would sound stupid but at just the right mid tempo it is bossy and bold and a perfect big hard rock riff.

D: Metal has always been about pushing the boundaries: faster drumming, faster solos, higher clean vocals or more extreme growling/screaming, mentioning Satan and his numerous epithets as much as you can, as if it was a competition. Don’t get me wrong, I’m also into extreme music, but I prefer those bands that know where to slow down when the songs requires it and also those bands that have had an evolution over the years, updating their style without compromising a inch of their attitude. I’m a big fan of mid and slower tempos, I’m an evaluator of melancholy, I love when you can distinguish the single notes of a riff and the vocals can interact with it, when the hits of the drums are so powerful and yet so measured, when everything is so solemn, epic and crushing. I do agree with you.


I agree. Like Slayer got some shit for Diabolus In Musica being “Nu Metal” and that record is one of their heaviest! SO what if it is a little different, fucking idiots!?! “Kings Of Null” seems to present a story in the lyrics whereas other songs are more interpretive. Is there an overall theme you guys wanted to the record’s words or did you take it song by song. By the way, the first big heavy riff of ‘Kings of Null’ is so easy to headbang to! Shit, man!

D: I think ‘Kings Of Null’ is pretty interpretive too, there’s not a real story behind it. For that song as well as for ‘The Heap Of Meaning’ I got inspired by a very nice book by Janne Teller entitled “Nothing”. In general, the lyrics reflects different moods and they talk about life, a precious gift we get to know day by day. They’re gloomy, cryptic, full of metaphors and revolve around the joys and sorrows of common people, their hope and resignations.

R: We usually start our concerts with ‘Kings of Null’, the better way to warm up the audience and also to hurt my neck.

Yeah, it is a fucking crazy great riff! I love the dissonant beginning of “The Heap of Meaning”. Do you think we as a species have sought so much meaning and spilled a lot of blood over things like religion that were better left debated than killing over? That song stood out as extra special. Did you guys know when you were tracking this album that you were getting such great takes? How was the recording process?

D: All the blood that humanity has spilled throughout the centuries was often unjustified, especially for religious and superstitious matters. More broadly people fight every day to show their supremacy, in every field, but the thirst for glory or even a rabid ideology can make you blind and curse your own existence. Like I say at the end of the song “the bloody taste of triumph consumed us from within”.

R: When we wrote the songs we let our imagination run free, but recording was all another thing. Working with Marco Mastrobuono and Matteo Gabbianelli was a unique experience. They are professional dudes and they’ve been able to reproduce faithfully what we had in mind.


So Raffaele, you are also a programmer? What is it you do when not writing amazing fucking awesome guitar riffs?

R: If you really want to know it, I’m not the only one. Also Gabbo is a fucking programmer, and we both work in the same company. It’s our second

passion, therefore if we’re not playing we’re definitely writing some incomprehensible code.

Any places you have especially loved playing or travels that inspired your music?

R: I really liked playing the Doom Over London, a great experience. But playing your hometown gives you feelings I can’t explain, for example the latest Romaobscura Fest was one of the best musical experiences I’ve had so far. What about inspirations? It’s all about the mood and not to a particular geographical location.

D: I was in Budapest on the shores of the Danube when I first thought of the name Shores Of Null. Travels always inspire me, because the minds feeds on images, and images can be easily translated into words and music.


R: Thanks Morgan. I hope I can respond to your questions in person in the next interview.

D: Cheers!

Band pic by Daniele Di Egidio / Avantphoto.it


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