Dark Entries is an independent Belgian music webzine with a focus on dark sounds. The webzine itself is completely in Dutch and can be found at www.darkentries.be. This blog was created with the intention to have an additional online place where our editors can post their English articles.
Many will agree: every opportunity is a good one to have a chat with Elena Alice Fossi. Not so long ago we've talked about the resurrection of Spectra*Paris, and again had a very good reason: the release of Martyrdom Europae, with which after a 17 years break side project Stalingrad , nowadays renamed Stalingrad Valkyrie, comes back to life. Angelo Bergamini also joined in the conversation that also was about the 40th birthday of Kirlian Camera, which makes 2019 an even more special year for both Italian legends.
DE: It was a
very big and pleasant surprise when we saw the name of Stalingrad
(Valkyrie) appearing at the NCN (Leipzig) festival, I think a lot of
people didn’t expect to welcome you back. Why did you decide to
return with Stalingrad (Valkyrie)?
- Don't know any reason why. Let's say it was about time. We recently
composed many songs showin' that particular romantic and epically
symphonic mood, so we opted for calling Stalingrad Valkyrie back to
arms! I've been wanting to do that for a long time...
Camera is very active nowadays, and two years ago you’ve made a
comeback with Spectra*Paris. Now also SVK joins in. I was wondering,
if a new song is born when you rehearsal is there some kind of
ranking in which project it (eventually reworked) will be released?
Or does it happen when you rehearsal with one of the projects a new
song arises that later will be released under another project?
– It's just a question of mood. We know listeners tend to identify
a mood with a music genre, so... if it's complicated enough, a
certain new song will be probably directed to Kirlian Camera, whereas
complexity meets pop, new drama, futuristic visions and so on.
SPECTRA*paris will take care of those paillettes Stalingrad Valkyrie
couldn't offer due to imaginable reasons (unless the other part, that
is Angelo, likes to paint fucsia a funeral statue!!!). But, it must
be added that even in our main projects we not that seldom like to
add some unexpected variation, sometimes going to put an atmosphere
upside down. It happened with the last – and probably final –
studio album of SPECTRA*paris, for example...
DE: SVK, KC
and SP are musically three complete different projects, in which way
are they different to you in ways of working?
- Kirlian Camera is “odd” enough for the people, so adding any
further influence or sub-genres to our main project looks kinda
impossible... it'd turn out to be taken as sheer schizophrenia, by
today's listeners! So, it comes out natural to direct any “massive
mood” (whether it goes to sound glam, naive or either apocalyptic)
to other channels, being differently labelled, in order to underline
that one finds himself to step on a different territory. All in all,
Kirlian Camera is our most complex creature, today. Someone labels it
as “Alien Pop”. We like it, it can represent us. Couldn't be
striking is that nowadays you added Valkyrie to your name. Is it
because this is a new chapter in your history, or does it have
– We've been informed that another band had the same name before we
came out with our first album, time ago, although they got no huge
popularity; so we decided to respect their long-service and went to
add Valkyrie to the name of the project. It was not a sad step at
all, as Angelo wasn't that sure he absolutely liked the original
name, so we looked for a proper additional word, one having some
meaning for Angelo too... Now, he looks happier by far, as his love
for Wagner is going to definitely put a big stamp on the band
Regen’ is definitely the key track on the Martyrium Europea album.
You sing: “Wir kommen wieder, wir wollen gewinnen”, which sounds
very victorious and in which you succeed. What’s this holy rain
you’re singing about?
– Many interpretations possible. Let's say SVK owns kinda real
disgust for current trends, whether they're musical, artistic,
political and social in general. The Holy Rain you ask about might be
found in our need to destroy today's rules, where REAL rebels are
fighting alone, being stripped of any respect, even by those who
claim to drive a rebellion against “new” and old totalitarisms
and oligarchies. The old world will be collapsing pretty soon. A new
world will rise, after a... holy rain. We wrote a song about such a
joyful need to fight against darkness. And if death is a necessary
ingredient of such an above mentioned future... then it's welcome!
Camera and Stalingrad absolutely have loyal followers in the dark
folk and everything related to this scene. I know some of them like
more the old stuff, and don’t follow the more recent things
anymore. Is the comeback of Stalingrad Valkyrie also an attempt to
please those people?
– No, we are not used to pleasing anybody. We several times proved
we are not looking for any special followers, but those who are able
to being open minded, those who are tuned in to music research
essence itself. We are not a “genre band” and that has been
undoubtedly proved many times, too. We could not have monocolored
fans: it is simply impossible, due to the effective fact we are
manycolored. Time ago, composers were used to jumping from an
atmosphere to another, from a deep state of mind, say sadness or even
despair, to joy and humour. That reflects kind of “being alive”,
as for a musician – a real one - goes: it is necessary not to be
fixed on any one way sensation, on one flat emotion only. It would be
extremely easier, for us, to pack up many “one genre” albums and
singles, as many other bands do in the electro/industrial scene (a
scene we are not particularly fond of, as you can easily realize..).
That would be perfect to exploit certain audience's request and we
would lose less time in research and study. Today's music market
tends to offer a global melting-pot called “Pop Music” in which
several well-sponsored artists are working being tied to majors: from
Editors to Madonna, from Imagine Dragons to Bjork. Different music
for a wide nation of listeners and, after all, it must be said there
is even more freedom than in some particular independent scenes.
Then, there are the niches: Experimental, Gothic, Black Metal,
Industrial, etc. All in all, we tend to going our own ways,
regardless of the world and of those who claim to be alternative –
ignoring the fact they are just another face of musical totalitarism.
Reading these lines, you will exactly realize how much pleasing one
audience or another means absolutely nothing to us. We are not slick
and never will be: our sodality (Kirlian Camera + Stalingrad Valkyrie
+ Spectra*paris) reflects our purity. We do not reject huge success,
but we are not willing to make a deal with this world. Music is our
own world and it is a bulletproof world, we could not sell it out for
whatsoever human reason, after so many efforts and sacrifice.
DE: If I have
to summarize Martyrium Europae in one word, I’d chose for
combative. Especially in songs as the earlier mentioned ‘Heiliger
Regen’ but also ‘War Aurora’. Do you think this adjective is
well chosen? And if so, what do we have to fight?
Bergamini - Combative
and romantic, yes, whereas “romantic” shouldn't sound like an ode
to broken hearts but as a strong feeling, one that doesn't find any
real acceptation nowadays...
artwork (and format) of the album is also very beautiful! Could you
tell us something more about it?
Alice Fossi -
Main image is coming from a Maximilian Pirner's painting, titled
“Finis (The End of All Things)”, seemingly made early 900's.
Pirner ain't that popular, today, so, given that his painting
impressed us much, we opted for using it, although the original front
cover of the album looked different, in the beginning. He is a
painter of from the so-called style being labelled as “Finis
Austriae” and I guess the sensation one may feel once taking a look
to the image in question is going to perfectly fits in the general
mood of our album. There's a deep sense of loss, decadence and
sorrow, but some real sense of power keeps on shining kind of
glorious over such darkness.
Europae contains a nice blend of neoclassical and electronic music,
which artists were an influence in making these songs?
previous interview you’ve told me about your eclectical musical
taste (Britney to SPK and back), which artists were an influence for
the songs of SVK?
– neoclassical and electronics are two main ingredients of our
projects, whether you go to meet St. Valkyrie or either Kirlian
Camera, not forgetting that even SPECTRA*paris got some strange
digression on such a field. However, Elena Alice comes from relevant
classic studies; she even was a praised singing teacher when she
practically was a child, so she sometimes deeply feels an utter need
to come back to the field in question. She is massively open to
cutting edge electronics too, so it comes out natural she – at a
certain point – would like to compose electro-symphonic music,
going to sing on it. “The Black Mother” is a great example of her
talent in regard to neoclassical attitude being aware of modern
rhythms, although... she kind of surprised me when she came out with
“Heiliger Regen”! I had no real suspect of such a powerful and
genuine rage, or... let's say Elena is a complete creative musician,
so... everytime she goes to surprise... although “surprise” isn't
the rightest word, if you know what I mean. It'd be surprising if she
didn't surprise, hahaha!!!
DE: You also
told me you were looking for concerts with SV, are there already
plans for shows?
– No dates, yet, although one is allegedly going to be planned in
Sachsen (Saxony). We held two shows, recently; they have been so
hugely appreciated that I couldn't understand this silence. It's to
be said we aren't that immersed in any promotion, at the moment,
but... who knows? Some people fear SVK, but I actually wonder why.
That's music. Don't fear the music, come on... people need real
music, REAL EMOTIONS, GENUINE FEELINGS!!! They're so thirsty of
and... we really understand them...
you’ve also released a new KC EP (Hellfire), and will release a
full album last year. It seems there’s a lot of creativity going on
at the headquarters these days?
Yes, a lot of creativity, you're being right! On the other hand,
Elena doesn't know any rest... she hardly sleeps at night! She's in
love with her gear, so she never likes the idea of having any social
life, for example! She's not a bear, but I guess she loves music
above all else, then... music is her real communication system: she
hates social networks and promotion. She never likes to pose for
photos, so I have to spit out blood for having some. Then, I have to
make a lot of shots once she is available for cameras! She's a very
kind person, so pleasant and genuinely well-mannered, but she
couldn't help being immersed in the studio hours and hours a day. I
have to do with an erupting volcano of energy and creativity!
DE: When we
talked a few years ago about the latest SP album, you’ve told me
Angelo decided to take a step back from the spotlight and let you be
the spokeswoman for all projects. He even thought about working
behind the stage, is he still considering this?
Well, here I am! You're right, I'd love to work behind the scenes.
Spotlight doesn't fit my identity, although so many times I have had
to play that role, in the past. And I don't like to speak about our
“interests”, exceptions apart. Then, one speaker is enough!!!
Elena Alice actually knows my feelings, you know... let's say none of
the two is so able with words, but, given she's remarkably younger...
then she'll have to take care of that; just a question of “seniority
Kirlian Camera you worked with Covenant on your latest album. Imagine
you could work together with an artist of choice for a new SVK track.
Who are you thinking of then?
Alice Fossi –
Vangelis Papathanassiou or even Klaus Schulze are the names who are
immediately coming to my mind, as well as Laibach, for sure.
I agree with you, but I'd like to add Miley Cyrus, though...
year KC will celebrate its 40th birthday,
apart from the new cd I’ve mentioned before, how will you celebrate
let's say we are going to release our first live album ever, AT
LAST!!! Then, ideas are so many that we'd need 10 years in addition
to make 'em all come true! A big compilation and a brand new album
are enclosed in the bag, plus some collaborations with artists we
feel real and particular respect for. Don't ask for the names, as
it's a bit too early, but... hey... they're sooo great!! We couldn't
imagine they liked our music, as they come from other areas. However,
there's kind of real admiration, among us... It's astonishing!
close with a kind of tricky question: Elena Alice, You are also
almost 20 years in KC, so imagine someone who’s not familiar with
KC comes to you and asks for five tracks he should give a try, which
ones would you recommend and why?
Alice Fossi –
I think “Sky Collapse” may turn outta be the rightest choice,
although it's so recent. Then, I'd add “Helden Platz”, “K-Pax”,
“Eclipse” and “The Fountain of Clouds”. But, hey... come
on... ain't that easy!!!