Letting creativity flow
Interview with Seismal D
By Markus Thiel – March 8, 2019
With a portfolio of many successful collaborations with several well-known international artists like Pig & Dan, Moonbeam, Frankyeffe or Sam Paganini and having served his musical menus to a lot of today’s top DJs like Richie Hawtin, you can count Seismal D aka Daniele Vantaggio currently as one of Italy’s most influential and skilled artists of electronic music.
The open-minded and musically broad educated producer and composer left well-trodden paths to create his own vision of a Progressive Techno and Deep House influenced sonic cosmos. Since 2011 he is also the host of the m2o national radio show WonderBeat, introducing remarkable artists to listeners far beyond Rome’s borders. No wonder that he was recently signed on by Canadian Progressive and Deep House star-producer and label owner Deadmau5. We talked with Daniele about his philosophy of producing music and the importance of creative collaboration as well as his influences and musical roots.
What were your initial impulses for making music?
That’s a rather complicated question. As my father is a drummer, my brother and I were breathing music in and out since we were kids. While I got more and more interested in electronic sound, my brother chose the drum kit and became a pretty famous jazz drummer in Italy. As for me, since the young age of 11 I had the longing to create some new, unheard of sounds and therefore started studying music and producing, ending up with this amazing job!
So you went straight from playing drums to playing with synths, drum machines and the like?
Actually, yes! My first musical passion emerged into hardcore techno and hardstyle. So my father bought me my first production station to get started!
When did the final shift to producing music take place? Were any idols responsible for that?
Actually, this goal existed right from the beginning. Since my mother was computer technician, she had found the first usable programs to write sequences on and arrange some tracks. My idols were The Prodigy, Underworld, Justice, Daft Punk and many other techno artists of the time like Robert Armani, Speedy J and Joey Beltram. But one of my greatest inspirational sources derived from listening to Danish producer Trentemøller and French artist Emmanuel Top. That must have been around 2003. After all there have really been many artists I got deeply influenced by. While trying to get ideas from them as well as learning by playing with those conceptions, I soon realized that it wasn’t enough to fulfill my heart’s desire.
So you decided to become a professional? Through studies?
Yes! My father took me to the first electronic music academy in Rome around 2003 because I started using Cubase SX 2 around 2002 followed by SX 3, but it turned out that it was too difficult to figure it all out by myself. Subsequently I started my studies at the conservatory because first of all I wanted to become a musician. After all I really fell in love with Cubase because it allowed me to create what I wanted, even with the few VSTis that were available at the time. (laughs)
Oh, yes! I remember...
Beautiful times! The beginning of everything!