MySpace exclusive interview - 01, July 2009
01 Hi Elena, hope everything is doing well with you and the girls! I know you’re even so often out: where are you now, Italy or France? Music or photos?
ELENA – We have been recently flying here and there and still we keep on doing that, because of several gigs... Germany, Sweden, Luxembourg, Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, United States, etc. Furthermore, I/we have some forthcoming meetings with photographers and videomakers in Berlin, Milano and London. Then we’re about to make a videoclip for one of the singles included in the new album. In addition I must make a quick dash in France because of a fashion magazine photosession.
02 I’m told you’re at work on brand new material... is it kind of sequel to "Dead Models Society (Young Ladies Homicide Club)" or simply a new single... or what?
ELENA – early January I started working on a new album, to be supposedly issued by late September. Some ideas regarding a new concept have been flashing in my head for a quite a while... so now I finally can set the blocks in order. Seven songs are already finished and six are on the way to be... there’s large excitement in the band, as we are deeply involved in such a concept-work! Then we’re also working on a 2-disc mega-ep containing an audio CD and a video DVD which includes some live performances recorded during TV-shows, unreleased videoclips, unreleased songs, re-mixes, versions, etc... practically a further album! The single version to "License to Kill" will be available soon for free om MySpace and probably a bit later on iTunes...
03 May you let us know anything in advance regarding the concept? Will you keep the links to noir-shaped classy fashion world, going to develop the previous chapter’s main theme or are you rather driving to any different destination? Your debut release has been great, by the way!
ELENA – I keep a story by, still noir-oriented, for this second album... it takes Brian De Palma’s "Phantom of the Paradise" as a starting point, reinvented in spy-story terms. Here it started the idea of weaving together the threads of the story regarding both the record company "Death Records" and the James Bond adventurous world. In a few words, charming agent 007 will have to investigate on disquieting facts having Swann – unquestioned boss of the Death Records – as a main and surely weird character. There’s a echo of the "Twin Peaks" climate wrapping around the whole plot, then. Previous chapter’s sarcastic style remains, going to be even increased, as it is now strictly connected with the SPECTRA*paris roots.
04 I know you don’t like to "disclose secrets" and the title of a work is usually kind of secret you attach some actual importance to, but... could you make an exception in our case?
ELENA – AH, AH, AH!!! Secrets will out anyway!!! Well, the double ep title is "GOLDEN NOIR", while new album’s is "LICENSE TO KILL".
05 Well, you couldn’t express your imagery in a better way, I guess! Simply... both titles sound actually great!!! On the other hand, it was logic to expect a Bond-connected work from your side... as I think such atmospheres had to make a fine aquaintance with SPECTRA*paris, sooner or later! May you tell me some song titles in advance?
ELENA – songs’ first confirmed titles are "License To Kill", " "007 Gold", "Phantom’s Theme", "Movie Ghouls", "Death Records"...
06 Are you collaborating with any guests in particular, this time?
ELENA – Yes, I do. At the moment I’m just co-writing some music with a special help from Sensory Gate (italo-german combo specialized in soundtracks and re-mixes: they already reworked material from Nine Inch Nails, Kirlian Camera, Collide, etc.), Dope Stars Inc., Blank, Latexx Teens, Plastic Autumn, Peter Godwin, and maybe some further names... I don’t know whether all of above mentioned artists will be taking part in the album, in the double EP, or wherever, but... I’m just recording some material with them or, at least, I already started exchanging some interesting ideas with.
07 Just a remarkable collaborating team! But couldn’t avoid to notice you’ve mentioned Peter Godwin... do you mean the singer of the legendary Metro which even David Bowie made a cover of, or just same name bearing guy?
ELENA – It’s just Peter from the Metro...
08 Oh well, nice surprise, indeed! He made a handful of hit singles, Metro aside, such as "Images of Heaven", "Baby’s in the Mountain" and so forth, among other stories! What’s his role in your production sessions?
ELENA – I repeat I’m not sure about an effective presence of some of the above mentioned artists on "this" album, but, as for Peter Godwin goes, we’re interested in making a vocal duet on a Metro song, re-worked by SPECTRA*paris and, let’s say ... Metro... We’ll see... Anyway, Peter is in the meantime heading a brand new project called "Nuevo", that’s a very well conceived new adventure!
09 It looks like your first album gained a remarkable sales success, in spite of your label’s poor promotional efforts. What’s the actual secret of such a brilliant "do-it-yourself" success?
ELENA – thanks to the multimedia world, which is definitely embracing us all in this new millenium, spreading news, infos and promotionals is surely easier. Although I’m surely not a fan of this "big brother-like absolute e-control" which is putting out its strong roots more and more into our private life, I must admit that in a way it turns out to be useful, especially when those whom should take care of your band are feeling satisfied after having sold, say, 5000 copies only, not having any real will to call upon all their resources. On the contrary, I must thank the collaborators of our band for their tireless work on our promotional activity. They have had the will to spend part of their own free time on the Net, trying to spread news regarding SPECTRA*paris as much as possible. Terry, Kathleen, Manja, Bette... great team, indeed!
10 Even once you’re on stage, your audience’s enthusiasm and warmth look manifest. You and your band are greatly respected: in your particular case, prevailing opinion seems to largely appreciate female beauty, musical cleverness and real passion: 3 points driving all together to same destination... and, strange enough, you have the female audience warm support too! Tell us more about such a strange "Spectra case", seemingly able to get together a many coloured audience coming from different music areas such as glam rock, new pop, metal, electronica, goth and so forth...
ELENA – probably that’s just the most thrilling, exciting thing, for me! Noticing an always warm audience made of different "music nations" is a very important point for a band, for this band. I guess that having a chance to get in touch with different worlds it should be fascinating for the audience, instead of being always looking for comfortable confirmations. Discussing a subject such as fashion having a "gothic glamour slight touch", while haute couture catwalks become the heart of a sarcasm-filled thriller... well, that sometimes succeeds in calling a nearly multicoloured audience into the thing. Our gigs are often supported by video sequences setting particular stories in an amalgamed yet half-theatrical context, to represent a kind of "in the spotlights show", where charming models parade as if they were androids of a well-trained army, not denying a certain cynicism which hides some real despair. And the culminating point comes in in the moment of their death, as soon as violence and beauty are looking each other, just going to run on the same road, in search of a new form of existence...
11 Among other things, your band’s harmony/complicity on stage seems to come from years made of common musical experiences and friendship, but I’m told your combo has been set up quite recently, am I being right? Is that the same line-up you’re recording the new album with? What musical stories "your girls" are coming from? I noticed you are sometimes adding some additional collaborators on stage and in the studio: you’re quite a numerous team, aren’t you?
ELENA – I frankly must say I had to weigh the things a little, before opting for setting up an all-female band. I was afraid of taking a wrong way, afraid of finding a sad confirmation to all those clichés according to which the women are particularly inclined to being naughty and hostile to each others. Moreover, I had no real experience about all that, as I had male friends and collaborators only till then. I met Alessia, Marianna, Cristina and many other girls who became members of the "Young Ladies Homicide Club", such as Cinzia, Kathleen, Nancy, Sarah, Manja, Francesca, Claudia, Antonella, Terry... in different periods. They all come from various musical areas and many of them have already had some remarkable experiences in the music field, some even coming from the conservatory, although none of them could give a damn about having any "thick classical attitude". They come from pop, metal, dark and punk areas. Anyway, unbelievably and by means of whatsoever unexpected odd blessing... this factor has created the rightest combination. So, today we look like an army, rather than a band! Even when we go shopping... stores starts quaking with terror!!!
12 A ordinary question, now, to better catch your background: who are the musicians you like?
ELENA – I feel great respect for Angelo Badalamenti, for those unique, disquieting, sophisticated, innovative atmospheres he managed to compose throughout of time, and first of all it comes to my mind the soundtrack to the "Twin Peaks" saga. Well, I couldn’t deny I don’t appreciate jazz music that much, but I can’t stop listening to that, due to all those traces of apprehension and "foggy pain" running trough the score. Another real passion is Ennio Morricone and while skimming through his wonderful works, I couldn’t forget mentioning the almost recent brilliant work he made with a great help from chinese/american cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who re-interpreted the solo parts of the tracks in a masterly way. Another composer driving me crazy is Zbigniew Preisner, known for his soundtracks to the Kieslowski movies and now collaborator of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour. But I like some bands too, such as Rammstein, Interpol, Marc Almond, David Bowie, The Muse, Goldfrapp. As for "great singers" goes, I love Jessye Norman and Salvatore Licitra, two touching and poetic voices.
13 So what’s about your band’s preference list?
ALESSIA – Feel rather brit-oriented among the other things, so... Jesus and Mary Chain, Spiritualized, Syd Barrett, My Bloody Valentine, The Kinks...
CRISTINA – The list risks to become really long, so Queens Of The Stone Age and Ark are just the first names crossing my mind now, then, as for "the classics", I’d name T.Rex, Judas Priest, Kiss...
MARIANNA – Here are some names and styles... Antonio Vivaldi, Queen, medieval and Irish music, Amorphis, Dark Tranquillity, Borknagar, Emperor, Tool...
14 By clicking on the S*P MySpace, I noticed that big part of your audience either comes from the United States or America in general, anyway. Any planned USA tour? Have you ever performed there, yet?
ELENA – in the light of this new fact, we’re just thinking about enlarging our range of action. Yes, I have noticed myself the trend you are mentioning and effectively there are rumours about a possible tour! The American fans are getting considerably closer to us and that really is a very pleasant thing, so... I guess the moment has come to overcome the barriers created by whoever, in order to materialize SPECTRA*paris in the New World!!!
15 A charming female scenery involving Jane Birkin, Brigitte Bardot, Anne Hathaway, Hilary "Billion dollar baby" Swank, among the others, naturally comes to my mind as soon as I gonna look at you on stage, or at your pictures... A world filled with class, style and erotica in the best meanings for these words. Then I go listening to your voice, that voice sometimes evoking dreamy lost wonders... the same voice often coming out with a personally agressive and desperate attitude... incredibly smelling of "rock legends", even a bit echoing the ghost of, say, Janis Joplin, especially on stage. A huge universe made of high-style and deeply-felt sounds... Am I being right? Actually you don’t look like a ordinary persona at all...
ELENA – Well, I’m recovering consciosness after flattery, so now I should be up to answering, AH, AH, AH!!! Each of the characters you mention is just like a room of my home; I mean I find familiar the combination of all such names ranging from the Nouvelle Vague’s classy and pleasantly frivolous characters to a more sorrowful on, just like J. Joplin. Explaining such a "oddily shared flat" isn’t a easy deal, indeed: but I’m sure I couldn’t have any chance to reveal my own personality through the daily things, which often aren’t part of my "baggage". Certain mimic and vocal emphasizings I show on stage only, are helping me to break my chains. I love erotism/erotica, I feel it spreading out within myself since when I was a child. Beware, though, as I don’t mean it in a broad sense: so called "pussycats", for instance, could be doubtlessly deleted from my "erotic dictionary"! I feel the need, the task to make all the pain break out in a storm of senses. I need to throw beauty up, without either hesitation or false shame... doing that on a stage, by using certain lyrics or in front of a smart photographer. Only those whom are walking on this path are able to realize the meaning of such sentences... There’s a lot of people surrounding me who have pretensions to knowing me, exactly, but they even don’t know what I’m talking about...
16 Elena I know you won’t work as a model any longer and, anyway, you practically left the fashion world at 23. I’m sure that you did the right thing, as despite you’re extraordinarily beautiful, I like the idea you’re 100% into the music plot, given your talent, both as a singer and composer. By the way, I’m told you studied under a very special teacher, that is Ennio Morricone’s lead singer Susanna Rigacci...
ELENA – Well, I didn’t model that much, in real. I got some fun in knowing a bit more about that world, but I did never took it that seriously. The thing that really I took too seriously is just the music, unfortunately. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else, it even risks to become a morbid affair... As for my beginnings, yes, I’ve been lucky as I had a chance to be effectively trained by Susanna Rigacci, at the Accademia Musicale of Pisa.. Of course, it happened some years ago, once I had been studying as a opera singer! I guess she would go shocked, if she met me now... Anhyhow, she has been a great teacher, my current music choice apart, which is clearly driving elsewhere. Seeing and listening to her singing now as a "primo soprano" for Morricone... it excites and touches me hugely.
17 Another question to your friends, in the end: working with Elena is kind of relaxful or rather exacting thing? And how are you getting on in the band? What’s about your relationship? I’m told (and I’m gonna realize it by myself...) there’s huge cohesion in the air, despite such a all-girl plot!
ALESSIA - I personally find Elena's way of working easy to get along with,she's really professional, she knows what's the best and knows how to get the most of us.
As for the band... actually it's great, I'm excited about it... it doesn't seem to be that different from what you can see on stage, we basically enjoy ourselves, we share a peculiar humour and we adore the music we play. I guess that's the good marriage between these factors that makes the huge cohesion you mentioned, since I feel it, I'm glad it reaches the audience too.
CRISTINA - it’s fantastic, the best music experience I ever had, not to mention real friendship and force of cohesion, exactly! Elena is truly incredible!!! And in regard to the others, I feel true friendship in this band... Harmony and respect are just the only words jumping in my mind everytime I think to SPECTRA*paris!
MARIANNA – I’m really happy having met Elena, as well as I feel glad to collaborate with her. In spite of the fact we come from quite different music areas, we immediately found huge affinity, as far as personal and musical situations are both concerned. She’s a unique artist and a wonderful person: once in the studio she’s determined and perfectionist, so often we are going to think the same thing in the same moment... Performing together on stage is nothing but fantastic and, at the same time, it turns out to be the most natural thing ever. Then, on a personal level, Elena is really enjoyable, a bit "crazy", but just all that is necessary to consciously make fun of society’s absurdities. All at the same time she’s intelligent, sensitive and never stops surprising me... I get along so well with her, as if we are playing music together from time immemorial... There are great cohesion and complicity within the band: we get on well together, having a lot of big fun... I feel neither envy nor "competition" among us, as we love SPECTRA*paris and we’re ready to dive ourselves into a new adventure...
Taken from: http://www.myspace.com/spectraparis