As part of their mini EP release, Caelestis had a chat with us, opening the doors of their blue kingdom, a universe that is both musical and conceptual.
If we’re not wrong “Caelestis” comes from latin. What does it mean and why did you choose this name?
Cataldo Cappiello: Yeah, you are right. The word comes from latin, and it means “from the sky, divine, heavenly”. We chose this name to deliver to our listeners the consciousness that the music they are listening to is talking about all the “blue world” that lives and goes on around us everyday. Since ancient times, blue has been the color of purity and spirituality.
You did a huge amount of covers and some of them went very successful on YouTube. Why is it interesting to cover songs?
Vera Clinco: Covers actually give you the possibility to train your composition skills and to express your way of creating music and art. It’s so exciting and satisfying to see that after bumping into us with a cover, our listeners get passionate about our sound and then look for more.
Cataldo: Our fanbase actually grew much in the last months, and tha”s mostly thanks to the covers. Also, since we started, we found our identity as a band. Now our mind is clearer than ever about what we want to play and sing as musicians.
For instance the one of “Délivrance” (ed: Alcest cover) is very interesting with four different languages. Is that something you would like to do again in the future?
Vera: Yes, it totally is! Several languages lyrics is actually something I proposed to introduce since I’m also really interested in foreign languages and communication. Currently I’m studying Japanese and I can’t wait to be able to translate and do adaptations in this language.
Why did you choose to sing in your mother tongue?
Cataldo: We use Italian as our main language because it is the one we speak since… forever. Therefore, it is the one we know best. This allows us to write in a more “literary, poetic” way. We are familiar with foreign languages. Vera knows many more than me, but what remains is the fact that the full range of emotions and shades of meanings that we want to express can only be delivered in Italian, our Mother language. Also, Italian is a charming, complex language and full of history.
In France we know only a little about the rock/metal scene in Italy: Lacuna Coil, Rhapsody, Janvs. What do you think about it?
Cataldo: I want to put a spotlight on the Italian post-rock/shoegaze scene. We have some big names like Arctic Plateau and Klimt 1918. Also, there are some hidden gems here and there, like Emmecosta, who are based not too far from us, in the south of Italy.
You have quite your own universe and the color “blue” is really part of Caelestis’ identity. On your website, we can read “blue music for spiritual minds”. Can you explain more about it?
Cataldo: Blue calms the mind, brings nice feelings from the past, awakens the inner child. It is not just a color. It is a symbol of an entire mindset. I can’t stand going to the beach. The sun burns me, the sand feels uncomfortable, and I hate other people looking at me. So one would say that I hate the sea. But it couldn’t be more wrong than that. Often, at night, I stay awake, and I am haunted by the thought of those deep, distant waves, hiding so many perils and dangers, but at the same time, keeping the secret of the life. I love the sea more than most people will ever do.
Vera: Doing some research we also found out that in the Indian Buddhist culture there’s the Blue Lotus, which is considered a sacred flower symbol of pureness and universal love, so we also embraced it as a metaphor.
In a recent interview, Neige from Alcest said that, regarding him, it’s very important to understand the difference between religion and spirituality. Is it something you agree with?
Cataldo: I have a really personal view of life, spirituality and moral. I detached from religion when I was young, as I have always thought that the only force I can believe in is my own strength. I am not denying that there may be something greater and more powerful than us humans: I just think that’s not what I need. I believe in nature. That’s the true power that we cannot defeat, that is the essence of eternity. When people say that we are destroying our planet, I tell them that they’re wrong: we are just destroying the conditions for us to live here… but the Planet is safe, and it always will.
Vera: Totally. Unfortunately, nowadays people think of religion as a bunch of dogmas and rules to respect to be saved at the end of their terrestrial life. Religions are often used as a mean of control, not differently from politics or the economy. Each one of us is a complete being capable of anything and everything and the problems that come across our lives are not something to be scary of. We are all Gods, we’re all Buddhas and each one of us can do great things with their life and is capable to sail the greatest and most dangerous oceans. Because if they’re here in our life, it’s for a reason. It’s to make us grow.
You have a strong presence on the social networks and also you have a lot of videos on your YouTube channel. On your band channel, you even have videos about video games, which is funny. Aren’t you afraid that your listeners get a bit lost when they arrive on your YouTube channel or would you say it’s maybe more important to show that you’re not only a band but people that can also have fun like every one else?
Cataldo: I was waiting for this question. The main goal of our project is to create a community. We’re not the typical band who’s in search of being praised. There is not the “fan” and the “band”: we are all blue souls. You can see this on all our socials: we like joking, smiling, even making memes about us. Laughing about us is a way to make ourselves look less like “untouchable artists” and more like friends, people like our listeners. Obviously, different contents like instructional videos, videogames, polls and stuff like this are limited in number, and the main content of our channel is music. But we like mixing the cards and offer something unexpected to our blue souls.
Tell us more about “Underground Metal Alliance”.
Vera: UMA is an organization born in 2012 which aims to gather all the underground rock and metal artists. I work as a volounteer and deal with translation and sometimes foreign correspondance. It’s been growing a lot during the latest years and it counts more than 1000 members. Now we try to help promote and encourage artists in developing the right strategy to present their music. UMA also had several Uma Fest, which gave the possibility to bands all over Italy to play and lately more affirmed bands like for example In Tormentata Quiete or Negura Bunget.
Did you help italian bands or bands from Europe/all over the world?
Vera: Italian bands mostly. For a certain period we did try to develop this idea abroad too and it worked a bit in Checz Republic and… Turkey, if I well remember. But it’s not super easy to find regular collaboration.
To finish, our media is called “RockUrLife” so here’s our traditional question: what rocks your life guys?
Cataldo: I’d say “pizza”, but since I became celiac I became a sad and lonely person. Anyway, I will be simple. But honestly, love is what really rocks my life. I would be nothing without the love of the wonderful people who stay by my side every day. I am getting pretty lonely since I am working 24/7 on this project, but my friends and family always support and love me. And that’s what makes me go on, and always will.
Vera: Buddhist practice and art in all its forms rocks my life.