Refraktor fanzine, 01/2003

In January this year your new album "Still air" was released. I had the impression, as if no one here in Germany get noticed your new release. There were only a few reviews and hints in some catalogues, but no more readable informations about "Still air". In the bigger scene magazines - there were no interviews with Kirlian Camera, so i would like to know, if you wanted to relased "Still air" quietly without doing a lot of action or do you you think that no one here paid attention for this release?
Well... I honestly must admit I have noticed no big difference between today and yesterday's promotional activity, although it is true there is certain silence from the media towards us since 1999, approximately, that is just the period when a stronger campaign against KC started. Our audience is today a bit larger than in the past, but managements, labels and magazines could not care less about it, as they want to prove their politically correct attitude to the various entities around. Let's make an example... The whole euro-american tour has been cancelled, as well as all of the other planned gigs due to this problem. All of the other bands are more or less allowed to play... even naziskin bands are sometimes allowed to perform alive: NOT US!!! Some antifascist organisations have officially taken back their accusations, probably realizing none of us is involved in any political activity, but... this is not enough, it seems. The reason why this is happening is extremely clear, I think: we have no friends excepts some "lonewolf" like us, as we do not like to be part of any group, wing, party, society, club and buffooneries like those. This is NOT a snob attitude: this is a horrible desert. Some "bravehearts" are trying to give us some chances, so it seems this year we will be allowed to hold two gigs in middle Europe, what a honour! I mean just one thing: there has been a great promotional activity dedicated to KC... the only bad point is that activity was against us! Somebody is used to telling bullshits like "promotion is promotion: no matter if it is negative...". No, it is not true, as a REAL negative campaign is enough to destroy a band. Of course, that is not enough to destroy us.

This release has been out a few month, so I am interested in getting to know, how this album was reflected by the audience. Were there reactions and the critics for "Still air"?
Critics have been strangely very positive and sometimes some journalists have even been writing this is our best album ever, as well as "Absentee EP" is our best minialbum ever. Our audience looks undoubtely satisfied, but I repeat... somebody starts thinking that listening to us is "too uncorrect", so some damages are evident. Part of the musical press is openly and UNDOUBTEDLY against us. No way out... we could release the best music humanity ever made, but there is no chance to be listened without prejudices. Making music is for us a real act of sincerity and love, so sometimes it happens that somebody is somewhere ready to accept this fact, but it is not so frequent.

What are the topics of the lyrics on "Still air"?
Lyrics talk about my last year, about its nightmares and its worrying coming. It has not been a fine period. Lyrics look at it with no mercy; I tried to analyse my times... as all this situation I am living is quite unexplainable, and I could not succeed in putting it into focus because it includes unusual elements. Lyrics talk about this delirium-like moment... I thought that being more than 40 years old could be a good barrier against nightmares, due to experience and rationality, but... sometimes it happens that unexpected events bring one to further dangerous edges he was not expecting.

What can you tell us about "Still air"? How long did the recording last? In which studio you recorded and mixed the album?
Sessions lasted almost one year. Emilia, Elena and I recorded basic tracks in Parma and in Toskana, in our flats, Patrick Leagas did it in Liverpool. Then we overdubbed sounds and mixed down the work at Ivano Bizzi's studio near Reggio Emilia.

When composing, do you need a certain atmosphere in the studio, to get in the right mood?
Yes, absolutely... and above all, no annoying people is welcome. The studio must be relaxing and calm, as our stress is enough: no need to increase it. The relationship between us is in those situations quite kind but sometimes there is some unavoidable tension, as I am a bit demanding, I suppose.

These days your new EP Absentee" has been released. What is the meaning of the title "Absentee"? (Do you think of a intoxicating drink?)
It refers to somebody who is somewhere around you but you cannot succeed in seeing him/her. It is just a sense of separation, a sense of being tore from somebody you love, you love with no limit but, probably, you won't see that person anymore. A sort of a relationship between you and somebody who is far from you, dead. The most important entity you have ever known, lost forever. A bit sad... sorry.

What can you say about the three songs on the EP? Were there not enough space for them on "Still air" or have these songs been composed after the release of "Still air" and must now have been released?
The several previously unreleased tracks you refer to have been composed a bit later, just a few days before STILL AIR saw the light, so it was impossible to put them on the album. Anyway, I think it is better so, since the newest songs have a slightly different atmosphere from the album's one. "Absentee-EP" is much more than a mere appendix to "Still air", but a really heart felt work apart, not totally so dependent from its "big brother". The days we did record that mini-album were actually intense and particular... "unforgettable" I should say.

Where do you take this creative energy, to work permanent on new songs? Do you have sometimes a feeling of creative emptiness, or has this never been a problem for you?
I am aided by my illness, called "Temporal Lobe Syndrome". This particular form of epilepsy gives one creative inputs very often, as the Temporal Lobe is the area dedicated to creativity, among other things... Anyhow, bloody stories aside, I must say I live a particular life, so, unfortunately, stimulations come continuously with no rest, and, believe me, sometimes it is not that fun. There is a strong need to keep on researching, inside me... avoiding to recycle old ways, as I have a real necessity to express what I feel and see, using various languages to be mixed with mine, various languages I deeply know, I suppose, able to stay balanced inside me, if only possible. Simple analysys, one might think.

It seems to me that you have no pauses, and now there has been released a book called "Kälte Container" and a remix album. Did you thought about the idea for this book long time ago or has it been a spontaneous idea releasing it? How important is this book for you and why has it been released with such a small numberof copies (only 3000 books)?
This project is not to be strictly taken as a KC project, in fact it is just an idea by the label we work with since the last year. They asked us if we would agree to let them release an official book about us, three years ago, and, since they looked really interested and involved in our music, we accepted. Then they asked us if we liked the idea of being re-mixed or covered by other bands, so to add a possible CD-album to the book, and we answered we were not that sure about that acceptation, but they had some good solutions and suggestions, so, at the end, we agreed with pleasure. It is not a real tribute, as the actual tribute should come out next year through a german label, although I do not know so much about it. Regarding "Kälte Container"... I must say we like it with no doubt at all, as some re-interpretations sound beautiful and have real 'feeling'. We did not care about graphics and global concept; we only gave a helping hand to contact some of the artists involved in. There are only 3000 copies of the standard book+CD issue as I suppose the label did not like to make a standard deal... but in the beginning 998 boxes were available too (including an additional CD, poster and t-shirt) too. They are now sold out, but the digipak-CD is still available. Probably, given that there is a certain interest about this project, the label might decide to release some additional copies on vinyl including some additional bands, but I am not that sure... we have not confirmed that version, yet. We'll see...

Is this remix CD only available with the sampler, or will this album be available without the book?
The standard CD in question is now available on Digipak, as said above, but the additional MCD titled "Der Blaue Container", included in the box-set version, won't be released anymore.

How did get to know the idea to this remix album? Which remix on the cd is your favourite?
Some of the tracks are re-mixes and some of them are just covers. Each band was free to choose the way it liked. I honestly must say I like all of the versions included in the work, as that track-list is just the result of a selection excluding several anyway-fine bands. A completely unknown band like Zosma impressed me very much, as their "Helden Platz" sounds fresh and well-done, above all if one realizes they have been the first in delivering the master, time ago. It is two italian guys with a canadian girl. I appreciate a lot the stuffs by Wumpscut, Naevus, Sword Volcano Complex, Shining Vril. The versions made by Andrew King and Leutha on the special MCD are doubtlessly original, and the electronic programming by Sixth Comm, Manipulation and T.A.C. is great. Allerseelen's version too... and, in general, all of the other ones. Yes, saying what's my favourite title is a hard job, as I repeat the songs have been chosen among several proposals. I would like to clarify one point: there is an entity called "Ultima Thule" on the special CD included in the box, but it is uncorrect, as the actual name of that band is "Ultima Thule N", not to be mistaken with similarily-named bands.

Isn't it a strange feeling hearing the own songs in different versions? Do you see your songs from another point of view in such a case?
Yes, sometimes some version sound strange, especially the ones by Collection D'Arnell-Andrea, Naevus and Zosma, but I like their interpretations very, very much, as they have something original and a real touch of class, which is not that usual, in the underground too. This album is often on my CD-player, as it sounds like a fine and non-boring compilation, to me. I do not think it is the same old poor stuff: all of the bands did great things. The only song I find bad is just Kirlian Camera's "Blue Room", do not you agree?!?

Do you have searched for musicians, which remixed your songs, or how was the contact established?
Most of the bands have been suggested by the label time ago, then we added some names like Sixth Comm, Wumpscut, Leutha, Zosma, etc... and supervisioned everything with label manager Massimiliano Medagli throughout more than one year.

Is there a certain gain, that you are try to reach with your kind of music?
Our making music is a sort of therapy to avoid being continuously in contact with the outside world. We are in touch with it enough... Making music is like keeping a flat clean, or putting cloth and napkin on the table even if you are alone, so to wait for terrible dreams and memories, sometimes. So to talk with them, surrounded by a poor but "pure" and silent environment. Making music is the last desperate chance to concentrate ourselves on uncomfortable or "particular" things, trying to talk about them... to talk about those unspeakable themes that a certain appreciable reserve or shame deny to bring to light.

Without any question you are in Germany very popular, but how popular is Kirlian Camera in other European countries and countries out of Europe?
Germany is probably the Country which appreciates us more, but also in some other lands there are people listening to us, especially in the Russian areas, Italy, France, Switzerland, Benelux and eastern Europe in general. Something is happening in the U.S.A. and Canada, too, but globally I frankly must admit many people is trying to silence us everywhere, all over the world. In Germany too, unfortunately.

You are always been accused of sympathizing with National Sozialismlismus. Isn't it very tiring to justify themselves on and on and say correct things, but some people never understand?
There are no words enough to explain how strong the campaign against us has been. People do not know everything. It is true that somebody, in the last times, is trying to take back accusations, but the situation remains the same. All of the bands around are performing all over the planet, often spreading bullshits and instigating their audience to act idiot... We are not allowed to play live, when even ultra-extremist groups are allowed to! Everybody moans if somebody cancels one date of their tours due to public order problems... Our tour has been TOTALLY CANCELLED!!!! We are trying to come back performing, trying with all our strenght to meet our audience again... We'll do the best we can and even more. We are trying to win against something too strong, too overwhelming. We risk to waste every release, every effort we have been doing throughout time, our health itself. It is hard... This moment is really hard to bear. I won't add anything more, as somebody somewhere surely realizes what I mean.

What do you think, why is Kirlian Camera being forced in the right edge? Do you have to fight with this judgement only in Germany, or is this also the case in other countries?
I think Benelux is the worst place, for us. Our audience keeps on trying to bring us there since time, but it seems that even local police does not like that idea, even if there are no confirmations. That is absurd. There have never been any clashes, during our shows!! No comment to say. Other Countries are starting to bring us noise, Italy among the others. It is unexplainable. We never did the things we are accused of, I must repeat for the umpteenth time. Even musical bands are now spreading bullshits against us, so to earn some poor idiot propaganda from that. What a bunch of saints and hi-quality brains!!! I want to call them GIGABRAINS!!! "Thanks pigs", as I have already said 2 years ago in an album...

I would like to ask you now some personal questions. First, I would like to know, what you (Angelo Bergamini) are doing, when you are not working for Kirlian Camera. How appears a normal day for you?
When I have free time to spend, then I am used to quarrelling with people down in the streets, ah, ah, ah!!! Jokes aside (?), I like to watch movies, or simply watch the walls of a room, trying to forget everything, in vain. Sometimes I simply like to think about something. I do not need anything in particular. I do not like to spend time along with other people and I avoid crowded places, if only possible... but it seems it is not so possible, especially when one is not rich enough to buy a place able to fulfil his need. I am not used to sleeping so much, but I promise sooner or later I'll be sleeping a lot, so to give more fun to the arse-hole faces I see everything around. The whole world in 3 "F": fun, fucking, farting. That's the reason why we are alive, I could swear it, right? Well, am I getting sane? Am I allowed to perform alive, now? Am I equal to all of the other babies???

Do you remember Kirlian Camera the first time on stage? Which memories do you have on that?
Yes, it has been a delirium, as usual. It was the Gay Pride Day: we did start playing a sort of a funeral march filled with annoying-frequency sounds, all dressed in black, ah, ah, ah!!! Audience started insulting us and screaming aloud as they did not want us on stage any longer. It was a bloody chaos. We suspended the performance and it started a sort of a quarrelling between two parts of the audience: one wanted us on stage again and the other one kept on saying we were a bunch of paranoids with no hope, probably with a certain reason. At the end, all of the audience was calling us on stage again, but we did not accept the invitation: "too late" I said. I had no that great sense of humour, at the times...

How was your first contact with music?
I was living in big city called Turin. Had no friends at all. My daddy had a small unprofessional recorder.... I started recording noises, my words, sounds from a destroyed acoustic guitar. It was 1967-68, more or less.

  • Michael Strohschein

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