Occidental Congress, Summer 1996

Past Memories

The following interview was performed with Angelo Bergamini, in the year 1996. It is called "Past Memories", title diligently suggested by friend Massimiliano.
This expression recalls the year of releasing (1996 is now far away...), but the atmosphere too, sometimes struggling for our hearts, there evoked.
In fact the leader string of Angelo's words seems to be just a severe sense of respect for Remembrance and Memory.
A toiled remembering too, as if we watch a faded photo in which they are always present black spots of Pain (and someone says that the Art is his daughter...). But the Remembrance is testimony of Existence, factuality of the Being.
Memory like surface that reflecs the image of Absolute. And that one of Kirlian Camera seems to be a shattered mirror, soiled by blood of those ones that, though they are not worthy to touch it, they tried a wrong reconstruction (Interpretation). We wish that the cutting string (the Obstacle) lopped off their fingers, so that they don't try anymore to applicate their denaturalizing logic. Our candid hands are, instead, still here. To make us witnesses, Guardian (of Divine).

1. Hello Angelo! Can you make a short biography of the band?
It's very long time that we exist as band and still far away is the time I started to play gigs, in 1974. Kirlian Camera borns in Spring of 1980, after a trial stage of a year with other improbable names. We made our first demo-tape in the first year of activity and, the next one, the first vinyl was out, a mini-album with four tracks, recorded for Italian Records, a Bolognese label of quite little likeable people. We continued to record singles and an album till the 1986, when we signed for Virgin Records. Then it was very difficul, a contract with a major. We, wanted try a "popper" direction, but, the situation dropped out our hand and we were forced to have to arrange the songs in absurde way. In '87, we lost our original singer, Simona Buja, and we called Bianca Hoffmann-Santos to replace her, then we went forward with the recordings of our ninth work (second album) "Eclipse" that were done in various studios, at Brescia, Carimate, and at London, with John Fryer, member-producer of This Mortal Coil and collaborator of Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, Marrs, etc. After this period, the band disbanded fearfully, no-one understood anything, also because Bianca was sick. The recordings of "Todesengel" began in 1989, I was desperate, absolutely nobody was interested to KC anymore. After a year, I met Emilia Lo Jacono and she joined in the new formation as guitarist and keyboarder, but, in a second time, I discovered that her voice fit, so, we finished the started work. We thought to open a label, to produce the new work, due the scant interest from outside and we printed, in the first time, only 500 copies. We thought that about 300 would be remained to us. Instead, something happened, finally, because in Germany, especially, a good request of "Todesengel" began to be. We had to re-print immediately, then we gave it to Discordia, then in Düsseldorf. From that moment, 11 re-printing were done. Incredible, for us. After we did other releases, tours, various concerts, etc., we are now located in Germany and, from there we want continue. Difficult, make a synthesis of 16 so intense years...

2. Could you indicate me generally the themes of our lyrics and what inspirate you to write them?
The lyrics I write sometimes are unbereable to myself. Unfortunatly, I write throwing them, usually, so, even if in first time, still hold by a "certain atmosphere", I convince that a lyrics is good, in a second time I become aware that something, sometimes, has not been, just, thought. But however! In our lyrics you can find, especially in the last time, continuous "inlays" of oneiric phases and other more tied to so-called dailyness. Very dramatic, the lastest ones, completely lost in a desperation in which, unfortunatly, we often reflect ourself perfectly. The presence of the death, as reference, is constant, but... is not a "gothic" call. It's paranoia.

3. Your covers emanate a very particular atmosphere (for who unknown them they often represent pictures of statues belonging to funerary monuments). Could you tell me what these "states" of human life represent for K.C.?
They are pictures tied to climate of our lyrics, often, perhaps even not consciously. The pain is the first thing I remember. It doesn't go away. It's normal talking about, writing about. Maybe I am a psychotic or, more easily, a fool, but, I must remember to myself and to who wants listen to us, that evil exists, stronger than we can imagine it, often. I have few words to definy the hell...

4. There are particular political ideas that influence your music?
I say not. Several times they speak of us like a "black" band. It's a problem within the brain of certain people, not mine, not ours.

5. You often play gigs in Germany and Austria. In which countries your music is better received? Did unpleasant episode like that at Turin on 20.01.1996 often happen? Do you think you art can be perceived by everyone or by only an elitist audience?
Germany answers better, but, more or less, all central and northern Europe, some zones of USA, Brazil, Argentina, Japan don't deny us "hospitality"! A tiny suite, we have also here, in Italy, and for us, it's ok in this way; it's however a dignified and affectionate audicence, we don't want understimate it. We believe to play a not-elitist music for an elitist audience! Apart all, I would say that we are a bit the "pop of the so-called researching music" that moves in a derivation constest not cultured. Our audience is very strange, not so recognizable sometimes; from industrial and post-industrial area, to gothic, to dark-metal, to mixed areas that follow various electronic, either ambient that EBM. We were not been particulaty "adopted" by specific tendency. Sometimes it's a bit uncomfortable, because when a record is out, various journalists (except someone) wait for us with a bit of antipathy, I feel it. Regarding problems with audience... no, I don't lament, the not important episode of Turin, is quite circumscribed, now. Years ago, in Italy, there was heavier air. Sometimes, in Germany, some naziskin goes into raptures a little much for our military clothes, but, there are not griveous problems.

6. Do you have some particular idea about religion? What do you think about Christianity?
I believe that Christ is the most beautiful figure of the history, an history made by deficients and murderers. His teaching should be followed, because I find that in it resides the unique possible beauty. Then, clearly, other interesting religions exist, but, no-one has that furly heroic, sad and disquieting impact. These ones, however, are very personal considerations. Unfortunatly, the various self-styled Christian ramifications, are an obstacle, for the persons with a minimum of logic. Can someone be Catholic and, contemporary, be intelligent? I don't believe.

7. In the booklet of "Todesengel-The Fall Of Life" you reference to problems you had with psychiatrists. If it weren't a too much personal questions can I ask to speak about it more deepenly? How this your experience influenced your artistical production?
It would be a too much long answer, however, I can say that I experienced hallucinating mental states and, it seems not be ended still. I don't want explain particulars, also because, speaking too much with audience, I risk to reveal some weak sides of myself that it's better not reveal, to be not stroken then, as usual from someone that wants to joke. I'll say that I often suffer of "unrealization", a symptom that moves out of reality and leads to a true nightmare that, in fact, is oneiric. You are not able to connect with reality. It's useless explain what you feel and see. Someone thinks that the lost of contact with reality could be a fascinating relief... I spent five years without ever returning in me, not even for a second; but I was glossy too, I could understand what happened, I didn't succeed to stem the pain. Often, in this last period, this happens still to me, and, the terror doesn't want to end. I had to fight very much, to be able to live almost normally. To live daily with this and other symptoms that I don't want explain now. It seemed impossible. Now I understand the reality of others, but, mine... I had to understand, study a lot of things, to not remain totally isolated in a psychiatric hospital and, sometimes, still someone requires from me the impossible. The will and the capacity of succeed are not enough, everything is not enough; they destroy you, and you, then, would liketo destroy "them", but you had to forbear, control yourself, to not have too many violent reactions. Our music is influenced in relevant way surely. When "Solaris" was out, several ones, disappointed, said that it was the worst work made by us. I don't know if it is a good record, but there, there is something like a silence staggered by few not inviting sounds; there is not poetry in usual sense. When "Metal Machine Music" by Lou Reed was out, same logic of criticism. Anyway, I am almost always in a state of self-control really stressing, when I act and when I speak. It's not a good life.

8. You did and partecipated to many soundtracks of movies and documentaries. Besides in your concerts you are used to show films when you play. Do you think your music is better perceived if supported by visual pictures or can it be listened to "with closed eyes"?
You can listen to it as you want. We, show images, because I don't believe they not fit, but it hasn't to do a problem not having them. We could say that an "animated" background can be useful for the most inattentives, to not annoy too much, or for those ones that need TV everywhere, otherwise they don't undestand anything. Anyway, sometimes, we try to show little conventional images. Two years ago we had unreleased images of ex-Jugoslavia; they were very raw, no children in tears, but war, deads: all without emphasis. This could be also "against-information", as said some time ago and, surely doesn't hurt. Sometimes, like in Sint Niklaas, in Belgium, audience lamented very much for images about Third Reich that we proposed; there was several people come to hear us, but almost nobody liked the videotape. How they are sensible!

9. How do you decide to partecipate to a movie with your music? Do you see it before integrally or do you accept to collaborate seeing also only few images?
Principally we work with a particular direction, in the last years (Marco Speroni); so, knowning together, we imagine before, a good part of atmospheres, easily talking to who played the movie or documentary. Then, a VHS copy of film is given to us and, from there, we start to record, following a little scheme that regards the spaces where put music. Now we are working on a complete soundtrack for a film that it will be presented at Berlin Cinema Festival 1997. It's a movie with dramatic theme, Italian.

10. Which are the most influencial bands and which are your preferred ones?
There is diffence between who influenced me and who, easily, I like hear. The influences could be: Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk, Gyorgy Ligegi, Penderecki, music for movies, Nico, the first Tangerine Dream, Joy Division, etc... Instead I like hear Swans, Sparks, Sol Invictus, Third Ear Band, Death In June, Laibach, Pet Shop Boys, Ultravox, the first Human League, Krisma, Klaus Nomi, Faust, Amon Düül II, Neu, Faust'ò/Fausto Rossi, Rabih Abou-Khalil, Suicide, Plastikman and also discotheque "stupidities" and many other things.

11. Could you say something about T.A.C.?
T.A.C., are principally a concept of Simone Balestrazzi and they are on the road from many years. Simone, remained the unique originary member, in 1991, asked to me and Emilia to be part of a new course of the band, and we accepted willingly. With T.A.C. we are working to two new realization; a vinyl single and a cd-album. Both of them will be out this year, the first for He(a)lter Skelter of Bologna and the second, still I don't know, precisly, maybe for Old Europa Cafè; then, we will continue to work with Discorsia, I guess.

12. Which is your relationship with Discordia? Do you feel good supported? Do you have a good contract?
We have an excellent relationship, with them. We are friends. Sometimes, due this, I have difficulties to explain what doesn't satisfy me fully, but everything, then is completely resolved and without any kind of rancor. They work good, for us. Yes, we have a very good contract, thank to it we can survive. After many years of toils, it seems not true, to be able to be free to compose without excessive troubles.

13. The interview is over. Thanks to have answered to my questions. Do you wish add something?
No, I have nothing else.

  • E. Dellanotte

  • Taken from http://oklim.tripod.com/OC/KC_interv.htm

  • English translation: Adalberto Orrigo