Interview to Siderartica, August 2005
It happens to meet interesting people always rarer, full of grea charisma, rich and complex personality, and in the same time also blessed by the sacred fire of the Art, that one with the capital "A", also known as pure talent - limpid - seducting. Among the best realities in the Italian scene Siderartica, together with Kirlian Camera and Stalingrad, decline the multiform creative vein of a real artist, brave, volitive, never banal, never predictable. Elena Alice Fossi.
- Hi Elena, I know you are very busy and I immediately thank you for your availability! Can you talk about the various projects you are involved in at the moment and that surely interest our faithful fans?
- Ok, let's start with KC, where we are finally finishing the new album "Coroner's Sun". It's a double cd in limited box and double digipak that includes, apart the main record, a collection of remixes of songs taken from "Invisible Front". The bands involved in this project are Wumpscut, Punto Omega and Sensory Gate. Everything should be out around end of November. Concerning Siderartica, in October the Russian reissue of "Night Parade" will be out; then, around February/March, a double album containing our fist live dvd, that we will shoot in Berlin in November, and a remix album, unreleased tracks and a "single-cover". Even Stalingrad could awake, a possible work that, however, won't see the light at least till end of 2006.
- Which feedback did you have for the last excellent Siderartica album?
- I must say that, at the moment, it's very good. The second album always frights me a bit, because you feel the spectre of the first one, making feel you a shit if you are not so ingenuously spontaneous. But, "Shapes and Colours from the LAnd of God" has been understood, apprecied and, why not, well promoted. I hope that this will be good also in the future, it would be a good ransom, as our first album "Night Parade" remained in the shadow till now, due to little promotion - and because really few knew us! -
- Start and continue with projects like Kirlian Camera and Siderartica, today in Italy, how much does it cost in terms of time, dedication, effort and money?
- It's useless deny that for these projects we spent much time and dedication, because we want that they keep their own life and indipendent order each other. Each of them contains a mother concept from which every other ideas derive that we translate in songs, so in our head we have to work with different thoughts, different instruments, even if with communicating souls between them. Concerning money, I must say that we work very much at home, adopting stylistics choices even contestable, for the current moment. But, we like the old electronic instruments like SYNTHI A/AKS or using vintage-like sounds as those of MICROKORG. We are aware of the fact that working entirerly with pc or similar would be more usable and quicker, but, for us, it's surely more boring and less catchy. Once the recording work is ended, that we do at home with two old adat, we mix manually. In the recording studio we just do the mastering work. This, naturally, allows us to contain the expenses, that otherwise would be excessive high.
- Kirlian Camera and Siderartica are just the latest stages, maybe stable and definitive, of your personal musical path; previously to these two realities who Elena Alice Fossi was, in which projects she was involved and how did she survive?
- I immediately anticipate that when I was young I wan't one of those easy that at 14 were already at the 20th year of paino and lyric studio of international level! Simply, about 8 years ago, I met Andrea Savelli, that played bass and sung in a local band and my first musical approach was to do some chorus for them! Soon, however, I began to arrange and harmonize with the tracks and then they asked me to sing as solo. In that moment I thought to take some singing lesson and I went in conservatory. At 22 they called me to teach singing in a musical school. I didn't think to be ready for this step, but I really wished to try. Really, the thing worked well and after one year, another musical school asked for the same thing. Meanwhile our band was "purified", the conceiteds were at home and now we called "La Fille Biaise". This project, shabby at the maximum levels and with nothing ready to have success, was my first true passion!
- And instead who is Elena Alice Fossi today?
- Recently, after six years of music teaching, a job with some compromise for me, but very satisfying, I left the schools and I moved to Kirliancity to concentrate myself on what I always really wished to do - in fact I have no money! Often, people who talk with me, students, doctors, professionals, workers, entrepreneurs, make notice me how I was lucky as I had the chance to satisfy my choices, but when I answer that even them could dedicate to their true passion of their life (when they have it!), everybody laughs embarassed and try to explain me that they couldn't leave their economic sureness, that they would be kamikazes drunk by alcool. Today I consider myself lucky for this, because I was able to throw away that "social conditioning" that paralyses the dreams, and I live completely with my musical projects.
- Since the first time I met you, through a simple mail exchange, I was impressed by your genuine availability and courtesy; during the concert kept in Prato on May of this year I verified the kindness and naturalness with, once out from the stage, either you that Angelo Bergamini exchanged words with the audience, without showing any stupid or ridiculous star attitudes.
Even if this appears totally "normal", "obvious" and "logic", it's not obvious when you approach to some so-called "artists". Which is your opinion about?
- The other day, in the meat counter of a supermarket a woman served me and her kindness almost touched me. That extreme if not ridiculous courtesy sounded strange, even if I was aware that all in all she acted like a normal meat seller should do! But this world is full of artists, unfortunatly. You find them in the cinemas dressed of monkeys that throw pop corn to other monkeys, in the fish market, able to scorch the ears with very bad vocal chords, on the poor stages and prestigious theaters, able to make you see with how much passion they did homework for this morning exam. IT's sad and ridiculous slips in the boast of a trained seal...!
- When will we have - we fans of Siderartica and Kirlian Camera - a new chance to see you live around Italy and maybe just here in Tuscany?
- Sometimes I feel that Italy is for us a bad beast disguised of Whitesnow! Let's say, everyone wants us, but, if the concert date is the same of a gothic fashion, goodbye audience! However the attended people are "wild" like us, so, in the end, it worths to play! However, on 15th October we will be in Prato with Kirlian Camera, (just under your house!) to present our new release, "Coroner's Sun". It will be a premiere either for Italy that for the world.
- Which do you think are the main differences between "Shapes and Colours from the Land of God" comparing than "Night Parade"?
- Surely the atmosphere that you breath in these two records is different. The first one is leaden, nocturne, the second, more fabulist, visionary. Then, concerning the creative side, in "Night Parade" there was a bigger band work, while in "Shapes..." I worked mainly alone and with more electronic instruments.
- What do we have to expect musically from Siderartica for the future? Are you preparing new material? And which sound direction will it follow? Will it keep the line traced by the wonderful "Shapes and Colours from the Land of God" or would you put consistent news in the band sound?
- Except the double that I quoted before, I'm already thinking about the next album, but there is NO hurry for its release! I have the title and the music pasted in my few left neurons and, if it will remain as I image it, it will be a little bit different from "Shapes nd Colours...". I see it like the triumph of several little robots that move and shake everywhere and the sound will be based on a more wave-electronic rhythm. It's still early to talk and the rigor is not my prerogative, but if I feel this change of direction, I must follow it!
- Which is your musical background? Which are your tastes and what do you like to listen to at the moment?
- When we started to use instruments and microphones, we listened to stuff like CCCP and similar. Now we are directed to other listenings. Personally I like some classic music or sutff like Morricone, Arvo Part or the most traditional and commercial Vangelis, but I also listen much pop music of various kind. My favorite listenings at the moment are Loreena McKennitt, Goldfrapp, Ultravox, Visage, Laibach, Kraftwerk, Laurie Anderson, SPK, Chemical Brothers and Gennaro Cosmo Parlato.
- How would you judge the current dark and electronic Italian scene? Which is the bands level?
- Despite what it could seem, I think that is promising. Especially if we talk about project, even if not very known, but with good probabilities to succeed, that personally I like very much and judge even better of the known ones. For example, Chirleison, which music is based on medieval sounds enriched by good female vocal texture; Criminal Asylum, their first album seems to be really inspired and that, currently, are working on a good album in my opinion, interesting and powerful... Then Judah, Letatlin, Der Bekannte, bands of Old Europa Café, Small Voices and other realities that, compared with foreign projects, surprise for clear superiority.
- I hope that this question is not too much irritating for you, in that case you are able to not answer: recently you were protagonist of a burning interview released by the bimonthly :Ritual:, where you answered evidently bothered and displeased to the provoking questions of the interviewer. After time, do you want to tell us your point of view?
- First of all, I anticipate that I'm not here to judge neither the choice, nor the intelligence of the interviewer; I'm aware that her idea could have a good "commercial grip", so promotional for both of the sides. The fact is that unfortunatly these questions seem to be dedicated to that part of people that, badly, eat gossips without any good taste. They adviced me to avoid answering, but I wished to do, not without the anger of the irritable (to answer was a funny moment!), but with some irony, maybe, sometimes, a little heavy - or "foul-mouthed", if you prefer (!) - avoid to consider things that, sincerly, you can "miss". It seemed to me a funny way to not favor the proposed nonsense. It was funny, however, just see that for a little interview like that they spent 3 pages, in fact there were more insult to the band than my answers! They did everything to tell the fable of Siderartica and their lost intelligence. I'm sure to be able to detach the chances to "talk" and, the morning I received that interview, they were not there. Take it seriously would have mean to favor the bad part of the world. Till these are the manners, Siderartica haven't to supply explanation to nobody, because there is nobody that worths to listen to them; till the democracy in the world will continue to accomplish the more sinister populism and forum - where you use nicknames to open the gate to the cowards - we will be elsewhere.
- The music of Siderartica is very refined and elegant, soft, precious and magnific; this distinguishes you from many bands in the scene that have funerary, pessimistic and existential-depressive attitudes. Instead in your songs it seems to me to see a more optimistic and solar vein, even mysterious and spiritual but never disquieting, instead vital. Even your look and our way to set reflects in my opinion the approach to your music, elegant and sensual. Do you think you agree with my affirmations?
- Some true "black" attitudes are inside the deeper spaces of some. Turn them into look, music and fashion generally is sometimes fascinating, but mostly idiot and reductive. And when you live with a strange sensation of terror, when the life dressed the purest black, due to the facts, unavoidably, you want to build something playing with something that is also a bit glamour, to find solutions over solutions dressing colours boots, to create systems, remedies against what is negative or sickly describing a magic night, not sinister, to resume those few fragments of beauty that can enter in your eyes with the violence of a thunderbolt through magnific figures and not corpses of shrunken crows. The hope becomes an excellent startpoint. The arrival is the land of God before the death...!
- Quantitatively and qualitatively your creative vein is literally impressive! Is it possible to conjugate all the musical projects that see your involvement? Do you think you dedicate the right space to each of them?
- This is one of the most beautiful compliment someone ever did me! Now somebody will think that I offered you lots of money! The projects are already many and hard to put them on, at least for me. And I say this sincerly. But the ideas that are born during the days are even more and I would need a real musical cast to give life to all those thoughts. So, from one side I cannot renounce, me and Angelo too, to the existence of various "rooms" where put every concepts, but, from the other side, we are physically few to make this process painless. Each project needs a healthy and not hypocrite concentration and, in the same time, we need every project. Nobody here want to play music as you cook the crepes, so, every time, we try to dedicate the right space to everything, even if we slow down the musical releases.
- Which do you think it was the contribution that Elena Fossi gave to the entity Kirlian Camera?
- Angelo often used good collaborators, once closer, once more external. Personally I esteem my precursors and I find that the voices that went along the long KC path were always chosen with taste and criterion. From my side, I always thought as a band like a kind of family, as it should almost contain inside a blood tie and I discovered in Angelo a great companion in this sense. We work together effectively since few years, but I believe that both of us can feel a real closeness with the thoughts that then we translate in music. More than a collaborator, singer, or what else, I feel that KC can be also my home...
- How did you get in contact with Angelo Bergamini ( - please in this sense make him my best wishes and appreciations)?
- In the summer of '99, Angelo - that thanks and greets! - was looking for a kind of support voices for Emilia, that was always more busy with her medical job and always less present in the band. So, Gianluca Becuzzi, ex Limboman, that had contacts with Angelo and he was my compatriot, thought to suggest me to him. Really Gianluca and me didn't know, but he listened to my singing. So, a morning in July he accompanied my in Parma...
- How do you see yourself in 10 or 20 years? Where do you believe the experiences you are doing will bring you?
- For what I'm doing, the future can reserve me a fuchsia tomb under the central station bridges of Bucarest, but I would find more comfortable a real recognition for what we are doing. This would mean that who listen to the music is changing his orientation and for us, it's obvious, would be as winning a great challenge. The third hypothesis consists in a pair of new flaming tits taken care by and excellent plastic surgeon, maybe within fifteen years it costs less!!!
- Just concluse yourself this interview giving a message to Siderartica and Kirlian Camera fans...
- Too many crocodiles live on this earth and their tears cover the oceans of mud. Everyone chose his form and his colours with awareness and bravery, and cut its own destiny. The land of God is calling us...
- Lots of thanks for the time you dedicated to Stereo Invaders and for your availability. I hope to accomodate you again soon on these pages maybe to comment the next releases of the bands you are involved in.
Taken from: http://stereoinvaders.altervista.org
English translation: Adalberto Orrigo - 15.04.2009