What You See Is All There Is

damaiste-cdWhat You See is All There Is: 11 tracks in pure Brit-Pop style.

The first album by Damaiste, self-produced, recorded between sept 2014 and March 2015, mixed by Morphing Studio Bologna in the knowledgeable hands (and ears) of Cristiano Santini (ex Disciplinata)

The two solo vocalists, Max and Chris, have completely different ranges, and for a long time this was the source of debate within the band and with their fans. The choice to merge between them the songs and the voices is deliberate, and shows the character of the band.

The songwriting style shows off the influneces of all 4 musicians. All the songs came into the recording studio as acoustic versions, with the lyrics and melodies coming from a single songwriter, then the band added the rest, arranging and modifying, often considerably, the structure of the song.

The songs talk about the lives of the songwriters, and all share a common, almost magical characteristic – each was written very quickly, almost as a throwaway.

The song that opens the album had a different name at the start (Mermaids) and also had a different structure; then the intro and outro were added, recorded on the final version, and with them came the lyric ‘Little Disorder‘, and from there it took just an instant for the song’s title to change.
Chris has a range like Simon Le Bon, so it’s no coincidence that Max chose ’80s keyboards with a sound like that Jupiter passed into history’

I See You Smile is the only slow song (ballad) and it was arranged remotely on a mac: Chris, the songwriter, sent the vocals and guitar to the others, Max added keyboards and Emi the Bass. The odd thing is that the final recorded version is exactly the same as the original demo, with the various keyboard and guitar tracks, unchanged, until the outro came 2 weeks before recording.

The voice which you hear in the outro to Sound Carpet is the same original vocal that Max recorded on his phone at the seaside when he wrote the piece. A simple radio filter and the mix with the initial guitar riff.

The track that changed its structure the most, in respect to the others, is the title track What You See Is All There IS – nicknamed Wysiati. Initially it was an acoustic ballad, written by Max and brought into the studio basically finished. Each take added something small, to the point of transforming the song, which in parts has a feel that’s close to Bloc Party.

The musical background of Damaiste reflects its songwriting style: together with Duran Duran and Bloc Party strong influences come from Blur, Placebo, U2 and Smashing Pumpkins.

Shut Your Mouth chronologically is the first song written by the band, authored by Emiliano. It underwent various mutations, and there are various different mixes. It’s an unusual song because of its structure, not typically a verse bridge chorus / verse bridge chorus / solo / chorus

Recording and mixing the Album, Santin gave the sound a compactness, as well as bringing together an overall style. The 2 songwriters, Chris and Max (with the exception of ‘Shut Your Mouth written by Emi) have completely different styles.

The finishing touch, the mastering, was given to Nicola Fantozzi, a technician with great experience, which you can hear in the power of the end product, particularly the bass lines

A particular thanks to everyone who’s made this dream possible:
Marco for the technical support in the rehearsal room between monitors, cables and microfones, Simone and Milly for their photographic support, style and above all else morale, Fify and Lucy for Max’s vocal coach, Mik for the artwork that makes us look like a ‘proper band’, Paolo for his advice on bureacracy and management, Cristiano for technical and musical advice, Weezer and Mark Zuckerberg for allowing Chris and Max to re-find themseleves after years of musical separation.

We thank a band (just one) each for having inspired our musical career from the start: U2 for Max, The Beatles for Chris, Joy Division for Emi, and AC/DC for Gianluca.

Then there’s the friends and fans that have listened to the songs live and applauded as much  out of love as anything else: without the warm support of friends this project would probably never have seen the light of day.

And finally, the biggest thanks goes to us 4: the sacrifices, the jokes, the laughs that have accompanied this work will remain ingrained on the vocal chords and the fingertips of each of us. Making an album, the first album, for someone who has a day job, is not a simple thing. It’s a thing full of motivation and passion.
Maybe, then, the real thanks should go to the music.