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Luca Sellitto (Stamina)

Interview with Luca Sellitto from Stamina
by Jo Jo Hamilton at 20 January 2020, 5:33 AM

Luca Sellitto most famously known for his Power/Progressive Metal band, STAMINA, now releases his solo album “The Voice Within”. Today he performs this interview for Metal Temple Magazine, with Metal Temple editor JoJo Hamilton.

Thank you for performing this interview for Metal Temple Magazine Luca, I hope you are well and enjoying the New Year. Do you have anything you would like to say to the readers of Metal Temple Magazine?

Thanks to you for this interview! I'd like to invite all your readers who love Neoclassical and Power metal to listen to my album “The voice within,” because it's tailor made for them!

So Luca, your most famous for STAMINA, with whom you made 4 full length albums, a live album, a single and 2 demos. Why did you decide to write & produce the new solo album “The Voice Within”?

I wanted to go back to my roots, revisiting the style (Neoclassical Metal) that first inspired me to become a musician. I've been dreaming of releasing this album for many years, but commitments with my main band STAMINA and other daily life issues forced me to procrastinate. But in March 2019 I heard “a voice within” telling me to make this solo album and I took some time off from other things during the summer to focus on the recording process. Luckily BIRGITT SCHWANKE at Pride&Joy Music liked the album and offered me a deal. It's a cool label, which also released the latest studio album of my band STAMINA (entitled “System Of Power”) back in 2017.

During the creative process while writing the new solo album “The Voice Within”, what was the your inspiration and do you have a muse who inspires you during the creative process?

My love and passion for this kind of music was my main inspiration. There are also some other things which inspired me, of course: motivational books, movies, personal experiences, some close friends' experiences and whatever…Talking about musical influences how could I not mention YNGWIE MALMSTEEM, VINNIE MOORE, STRATOVARIUS, early SYMPHONY X and ROYAL HUNT?

Luca, you have collaborated with some awesome artists to create your debut solo album. Who has been your favourite collaboration from the new album and why?

Well, that's a tough question…I enjoyed working with everyone involved in the making of my album, even if it was a “long distance collaboration,” exchanging files through the internet. But singer HENRICK BROCKMANN was the only one who came to record here in Italy, so we had such a great time together. I'm also very proud of my collaboration with bassist SVANTE HENRYSON, because he's one of my all time favourite musicians. I was very lucky to meet SVANTE in person during the period he was recording bass parts for my album, because he came to play a concert as cellist here in the south of Italy, not so far away from where I live.

You performed with STAMINA in June 2018. How long after that did you start to write your solo album and how long did it take to write the music and lyrics?

Some of the songs are very old, for instance “Land Of The Vikings” and “Shadows Of Love” are from 2010. The remaining songs were probably composed between 2014 and 2018, but I can't remember exactly. The only thing that I know for sure is that “Etude” was composed only two months before starting the recordings and “The Champion's Code” had still some missing parts to be added. So, as you can see the stuff I included on the album was composed in about a decade. I know it may seem a very long time, but you have to keep in mind that during the same decade I also wrote more than forty songs for the STAMINA's studio albums.

I understand you made some educational guitar articles for learning guitarists. How did you go about getting these instructional articles published? Do you know how wide an audience these reached?

I suppose a lot of guitar players read those articles, because they were published on the American online guitar magazine “Guitar 9”, which is a well known website. I've been a guitar teacher for 15 years now, it was a pleasure for me to write those instructional articles. One day I decided to send them to the GT9 chief editor and he agreed on publishing them. I enjoy teaching very much, probably because both my parents were teachers (now retired), although they didn't teach music. I'm flying to Poland in a couple of weeks to hold a three days guitar workshop there and I have a one week tour with STAMINA opening for guitar legend VINNIE MOORE one week before. But I'm also still a guitar student and will always be. I don't wanna stop learning, music is such an infinite world. I still take lessons sometimes, I often buy new instructional books and try to incorporate new elements in my playing. I usually practice everyday for 2-3 hours at least, although my tight teaching schedule doesn't help and some days I just can't find the time. On a side note: I also give online private lessons via Skype or Messenger, just in case anyone reading is interested.

Luca, the new solo album “The Voice Within” has 8 amazing tracks, which of the song has been a personal favourite to you to perform while recording the album and why?

Thanks again for your kind words! “Etude” was such a big challenge from the technical point of view, because it incorporates various guitar techniques and is full of fast licks. I had to practice it for a few weeks before starting to record and I was so relieved when I nailed it! The solo on “Second To None” was also particularly fun to record. It's hard for me to tell you which is my favourite track, but I think “Land Of The Vikings” came out particularly well.

You say you want to bring new life to Neoclassical Power Metal, how do you propose to do this? What do you want the new album do bring to the table?

With this album I tried to bring back the fire and the mystic atmosphere of the great Neo Classical albums. I mean, stuff in the vein of early MALMSTEEN's records, early VINNIE MOORE, STRATOVARIUS, SYMPHONY X, ROYAL HUNT and so on.

During the production stages and the recording of “The Voice Within,” did you encounter any problems or was the process all plain sailing? How long did recording the album in the studio take?

Everything went very well and we proceeded fast. I had the luxury to work with some of the best musicians and singers in this musical style, so I experienced how easy is to record when you have such a professional team at your disposal. PATRICK JOHANSSON recorded his drums parts in two days in Florida. All the others were quite fast too. GORAN EDMAN sent me his parts (both lead and backing vocals) in a couple of hours and it was all perfect already, we just discussed about changing some very little details. I spent 3 hours in the studio with HENRICK BROCKMANN to record vocals on the song “What if?” and most of the time was spent just for the mic's positioning and other technical stuff. Once he started singing he was very fast.

You seem to have the album well produced on your own, do you think production will become another part of your career as well as playing/teaching or will you seek a separate producer in the future?

No plans in that direction at the moment, I'm not a mixing engineer. The album was mixed and mastered by FABIO CALLUORI, I only gave him some help during the mixing process, choosing and setting reverb, delay and that kind of stuff.

Luca, what do you see for the future? Will we hear more albums from “STAMINA” or will there be more solo material to come?

More albums from STAMINA and a new band that I will soon start with one of the singers who took part to my album “The voice within”. I don't know when I'll record another solo album, it will mainly depend on how much of my time and energy will be taken away by these two bands.

LUCA, on behalf of Metal Temple Magazine, I’d like to thank you for performing this interview today and may I wish you all the best for the future.

Thank you very much and greetings to you all!


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