Ciao 2001, 1991
Ten years have passed since the debut EP of Kirlian
Camera, for Italian Records; in all this time the parmish group, around the
figure of Angelo Bergamini, continued to live in shadow. There was an album in
the '83, "It Doesn't Matter Now", then incredible singles, strictly connected
with the pop but with elevatest sensibility like "Blue Room", "Ocean Rain",
"Helden Platz", the latest two even for a major, the Virgin. In the '88, finally,
the second album, "Eclipse (Das Schwarze Denkmal)" on which John Fryer (This Mortal
Coil) collaborated on, released by Rose Rosse. Today a new work on CD, about which
you will find the details in the next numbers, that brings in surface the name
of Kirlian Camera.
Personally I consider it among the few great Italian bands generated by the
post-punk and after, a group with absolute value, at world level
and with a mercilessly European imprint, uncompassionately romantic, fiercely
decadent. Some press wanted to put it in bad light, trying a thin pleasure I
don't know how much satisfying and justifiable, by ignoring or worse by attacking
Kirlian Camera for their presumed attraction toward the nazism, intended in
political terms and not firstly aesthetical-artistic as it's true,
eventually, in the reality. The story is old: in United Kingdom Death In June or
In The Nursery suffered the same accusations, just to put a couple of examples.
But it doesn't matter. What we are interested more it's just to underline that
a band like Kirlian Camera would deserve so much attention and less superficiality
from who arrogates the right to judge.
It's not easy to find their previous works: looking for them for who has nothing can
be a must, especially after listening to the new CD just released "Todesengel. The
Fall Of Life".
With Angelo I crossed goals and contains of the project Kirlian Camera.
Starting from the past, I was always curious about the cover
of "It Doesn't Matter Now" that seems to me just totally distant from Kirlian
I say immediately, the graphic sucks. Originally the cover had to be just the
photo of the front of the cover; I think that at the end of the year or in '92
"It Doesn't Matter Now" will re-released with the original cover
projected for it.
Does some continuity remain with that work?
Yes, even if we try to move because if we repeat too much it gets bad.
I see "It Doesn't Matter Now" as an ingenuous work that I absolutely wouldn't do
anymore, expect some little thing: but I did it... then, unlucky, it sold so
Then there was "Blue Room", a single who deserved better luck,
with that devasting b-side, "Call Me"...
Did you like it? I'm happy because that they destroyed me that piece...
the single went quite good, however; I mean it sold about four thousand copies;
I knew this just a couple of years ago. I remained to four hundred copies sold
that they told me about; they froze all and never paid me.
The passage to the Virgin and the two singles "Ocean
Rain" and "Helden Platz", both of them very nice. Do you think that the contract
with a major made distant part of the indipendent audience that often sees these
passages to big labels with suspicion?
Yes, as you say there was this suspicion. Putting in the hands of Virgin we
tried to create a hybrid as that one done also by Kraftwerk or, in
some ways the Pet Shop Boys, that I like very much, even if I listen to
different things like Death In June or classic music. More than suspicion
I would say that there was a wall created by certain press against us;
even when "Eclipse" was released at the presentation of the record organized
by the label there was people saying: I refuse even to listen to them,
because they are nazists". The fact that the alternative press
began to hate us, created damage.
Why do recalls to some kind of culture, as happens for
Death In June in Great Britain, seem to implicate right-wing
political sympathy at all the costs?
I was always interested to every thing was mitteleuropean culture, especially
austrian-german; either for what concerns the readings, that for
what concerns the cinema, that for me is a passion maybe superiore than the
music. I also like people who were involved in some themes, i.e. Fassbinder...
The center is there, the area of the art I love, I don't care if right-wing
or leftt-wing oriented, to be honest. I agree with Douglas
Pierce of Death In June when says we are how you want.
It was announced a release of your material in Canada;
I was unable to know anything about. What did it happen?
There was a friend of mine, playing in a band of London, Dogs D'Amour,
with whom we decided to release something; I wished it had to be released
only in the United States and Canada because here nobody cared of it...
the idea was to release two hundred copies of a box with a new record,
a copy of "It Doesn't Matter Now" with a new cover and a tape with material
done in studio, plus a very extended biography, and a big photo like a poster,
even if very "humble"... But we run out of money, and even if we did
the disc lacquers we had to stop... I believed everything was ready and
instead nothing was ready. Then I thought to assembly everything in Italy;
here there was no way to do a product, a box a little different from usual
because nobody is able to do it, in any firm... so sadly we left everything
and from there the new Cd was bon, with other new pieces. So the compact
began in '89 and finished two months ago.
What could you tell me about this new work?
First of all the line-up has changed, but it's stable since a while; and
it's the second stable line-up I have in eleven years of
undecent carrier. It's a very different work, it's very slower; the tracks
are extended, it's very dark, very cloudly, deadly... and very romantic,
more than usual. Maybe it's what we always wanted to did; now we did it
with no compromises. There are some tracks without drums, several chorus...
and much pain; it's very sad.
Returning back, to "Eclipse", why did you choose
to realize a cover of "Epitaph" of King Crimson? Was it a signal of your
No, not of the origins, even if I listened very much the King Crimson of
"In The Court..." and "Red". It's a love transmitted till now, they are
things I still listen to. "Epitaph". I cleared "Epitaph" very much because
I prefered to realize a lost in space cover than in King Crimson style...
then, it is how it is... However I formed especially with Pink Floyd and
cosmic music; I'm over thirty years old and if I wished to find
something I had to direct toward that direction. I knew Roberto
Cacciapaglia, I was in the zone of Cosmic Jokers, but with no recordings.
I really listened to everything. But I didn't like authors like Hendrix,
Stones, Beatles... substantially I don't like rock; or better I prefer
the '50s rock, I don't know, Gene Vincent or Buddy Holly that at least
Already in "Eclipse" there was this remarkable
tendency to the epic, in particular in some tracks like "Tor Zwei",
Yes, and this is the road we follow also in the new work; there is
more instrumental music, also here we tend to the epic. Maybe it's
a bit more monochord, we often stop on a note and no more. There is
also a version of "Vienna" of the Ultravox that lasts eight and half
minutes, especially for violins, violas and chorus; and, I precise,
they are not samplings of violins and violas. The global has many
rather funerary things, but also technological.
Concerning the lyrics, they were always important...
Especially in this new CD. The sadness grows because here is
a sort of desperate scream of the idiots, if I can say in this way;
there is almost the glorification of the physical death as exit from
the pain. There is a continuous reference to the death, or better
an unique reference, much more than in past, clearer even if not
aggressibe. The death is meant in a pretty sweet way even if we
saw several deaths, even very bad; however it's the main thing, it's
the recognizement of a tendency that we all feel very much in the
new work; as tiredness to live, too... Just to laugh a bit, all in all...
English translation: Adalberto Orrigo - 14.12.2004