Berenike Schatteneiche was born in Tuscany in 1990. She grew up there traveling between the coasts of southern Italy, the Emilian hinterland and some European countries. She approached music as a child, but she probably secretly listened to it even before she was born.
Her father was in fact a guitarist as well, who played with his brothers and nephews, and was a great fan of Elvis Presley, Modugno and Charles Aznavour. He listened to Mozart, Beethoven, as well as to Pietro Mascagni, Luciano Pavarotti and many great artists of Italian music from the 60s to the 70s.
It follows that the musical influences of the artist include Mia Martini, Cocciante, Mina and Renato Zero. But there were also Gipsy Kings, Guardian Angel, Mal, Gilbert Montagne, Savage, Big in Japan, Decameron and Turbo Diesel at the time!
Among her earliest memories there’s still a indecipherable and incredible voice coming out of the radio speakers inside his Ford Scorpio. That was the ringing, unclassifiable and unprecedented voice of Farrokh Bulsara, who historically left the stage name of Freddie Mercury.
Since her first years of piano lessons and exhibitions between 2000 and 2002, Berenike gained the necessary impetus, also prompted by her father, to move on the six strings. Her first guitar is a vintage acoustic Eko Country, model J. 56/1 12 strings, by Recanati luthiers.
The guitar neck was too wide for the teenager’s tiny hands, her fingers hurt and the totally cracked guitar paddle keys vibrated too much, making each chord cold and dissonant.
In high school she met the first underground groups components of her first bands formations.
Her younger sister, hoping to see her going around the world on tour one day, gave her first electric guitar with amplifier, a Stratos for beginners, dark and ringing at the same time.
With that scratchy Stratos, Berenike approached the most acidic grunge of Nirvana, together with two schoolmates, dubbing their trio the Bad Apologies. One of them moved to London without leaving a trace behind.
Next she rejected grunge and funk, throwing herself headlong into the most unexpected Swedish death metal of In Flames, and Finnish of Children of Bodom, trying the first songs in an old farmhouse, as the backbone to a band, Blood Red Sky, renamed later The Back of Beyond, shoulder to shoulder to two teenage brothers of Chiesina Uzzanese, a small town in Pistoia’s province countryside.
But the musical influences of her quirky sister, already an extroverted dark personality since she was a teenager, are the most thoroughly felt and rooted in her shadowy soul.
Thanks to her, and to her Dream Theater loving cousin, Berenike knew the whole metal scene, but among the shocks of the first Sonic Syndicates, the melodies of Nightwish, and Within Temptation, the irrepressible cries of Cradle of Filth, the heartbreaking dream of the first Sonata Arctica, the impressiveness of Stratovarius and the grin of Ozzy Osbourne there’s no shortage of Sopor Aeternus to act as a cherry on the cake!
Alone she discovered the power metal, and the uncontrolled speed of the earliest Dragonforce. She loved Fabio Lione’s Rhapsody, Vision Divine and Roberto Tiranti’s Labyrinth peaks.
Absolutely pure love, however, is for the first records of the Brazilians Angra.
Those were the years in which Berenike met the former guitarist of Perla Nera and Giardino del Mago (2012), who later bacame her great friend and mentor over time. She renamed him “Sorlotti”. The evening she met him, in 2006, they played guitar for the first time together with other skilled musicians in a spacious historical rehearsal room in Lamporecchio (PT), which was located next to a junkyard, known to all local artists.
Just squeezing into that room, during the after-hour, the Sorlotti recognized Berenike’s good ear for the first time, letting the girl have fun jamming on his best golden yellow Ibanez and his best digital pedal pod.
She shouldered an Ibanez SA120 when in 2010 she rided on stage in a square in the Tuscan province, alongside her sister with whom she joined a group dedicated to ballad rock, the Blank Insight, from Montecatini Terme (PT). They were all more or less good listeners of different metal subgenres, though the five elegant rockers performed also pop rock songs in countless live shows on many stages, both outdoors and in clubs.
They were loved by the public, acclaimed and won all contests. In addition to the video dedicated to the unpublished “What about the stars?” song, she recorded with them the “Tales From Another Dream” EP in 2012, at the Mornaite Studio in Sesto Fiorentino (FI), fulfilling only to a small extent, albeit with a beginning, her desire to create her own music. They were her ballad rock project group with whom, among many small concerts, Berenike also shared the stage in 2013 with Ivan Cattaneo (La Bambolina, 1983).
Since 2013 she had been a guitar student by “the master of Montecatini guitar masters”: Walter Davi, a skilled composer from Ferrara who teached her all the most used guitar techniques with his wise sympathy and thorough familiarity. In addition he gave her a smattering of what was the Italian musical environment in the years in which he had been a sound engineer for important recording studios in Milan.
Berenike is an eclectic and multifaceted artist. After composing some unpublished works with her former band Blank Insight, she participated in the Campari Soda contest. Blank Insight members continued to rehearse all together regularly until the end of 2014.
The debut bands of the Tuscan underground saw her forging acid guitars with strident timbre, with rhythmic and solo session roles. Meanwhile she met and attended the lessons of vocal coach and singer-songwriter Marco Del Freo (member of the cast of the television variety of Rai 1 Mille lire al mese conducted by Pippo Baudo and Giancarlo Magalli in 1996 and winner of the Festival Internacional de la Canción de Viña del Mar in Chile in 1988).
On the occasion of a 2015 clinic in which the Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro presented his album Sounds of Innocence, Berenike talked with him about music in the well-known Pisan Blitz club of the Niccolai brothers. She has often participated in some amazing jam sessions also that saw her performing alongside Gianna Nannini’s former drummer, Gennaro Scarpato.
Berenike defined herself as a chameleon in her stylistic choices as well as in her musical tastes.
Shouldering a titan white Jackson Series Kelly™ JS32, she moved on to the most stubborn death doom metal of Necrocommand, of her guitarist friend Black Wolf, from Burial band, next to whom she will pull up some of her most heartfelt pieces to take them live to Tuscan clubs such as the Riff Club in Prato, alongside the roaring Suicidal Causticity from Florence, and with a guest of the evening, Adeptor former frontman. They also perform in Turin’s venues, such as Bruino’s Devacian, to finally record their heartfelt “Sinners Blood” Demo in a home recording studio in Agliana (PT).
The powerful sounds of the band, which was her greatest commitment in 2016 and created her highest expectations, stroke the audience, who hailed the ecstatic Necrocommand and who fully appreciated Berenike in all the extravagance of her personality.
Behind her friend Sorlotti and the former Nomadi drummer, Beppe Ferrara, in 2017 Berenike donated the entire proceeds of a concert to aid citizens affected by the earthquake that had recently hit Amatrice.
In March 2019 Berenike appeared in the Mediaset episode of Ciao Darwin Terre Desolate as the winning singer representing the team, in the guise of a “messalina”, with the sound flag “Tanti Auguri” by Raffaella Carrà.
In June, with a view to bringing together some pieces by Steve Vai, she organized a live duet with Lizard drummer Sasha Di Vita at the Contro club, in Prato (PO), in front of a tiny audience of deeply estimated artists.
In July 2019 she competed in the Voci d’Oro Festival in Montecatini Terme, singing “Sally” by Vasco Rossi on piano, and she met and shared the stage with an already talented Andrea Mandelli (“Andre”, Amici di Maria De Filippi 2022) during a gala dinner dedicated to the related telethon charity compilation.
Berenike started composing and arranging songs on guitar again in the summer of 2022. She has been attending piano lessons from Professor Luca Torrigiani (Cesare Pollini Conservatory of Padua) since January 2023.
Berenike spent many holidays in the old family home, where she used to organize the most diverse themed parties, which often attracted artists from the surrounding area and musicians ready for the most authentic improvisation. One of these took place most of the evening on a large truck platform. In August 2008, in order to host a three metal bands live, Berenike rented an entire building.