Stigmata Magazine #2, 08/2001


First of all, who are STALINGRAD now?
Today it is just me and Elena Fossi from KIRLIAN CAMERA, plus a little help from KC's ex member Ivano Bizzi. To say the truth, on a very first time this band was just a solo-project by Ivano Bizzi and he liked the idea of making an album up with my help as a producer and collaborator, but then Ivano gave up, telling me he got no time enough to develop this project, so... we decided it had been a different story, involving me as a effective member and Elena as well, as we were fond of this "naive" band, not liking the possibility to see it dead forever.

... and Emilia is not going to join you in this walk of life?
No, Emilia is not right for this chapter, and the main reason is just her increasing involvement in her job as a cardiologist. Nothing is getting troubled with her. Emy is still involved in KIRLIAN CAMERA, even though in that band as well she could not assure her presence every time we go performing live. In addition, STALINGRAD is a very "under pressure" project - although I actually cannot realize why, to be honest... - and Emy is understandably and largely pissed off with those stories about our supposed nazi ideology. She is not a coward, but a girl of great courage and strength... Being a member of this band means getting excessively "nervous" at least, due to the endless stress coming from outside. Emy has to take care of ill people at the hospital, being perfectly lucid and efficient almost 10 hours a day... so she could not bear any stress like this in the remaining hours, otherwise she get mad. Elena and I are musicians, maybe we are a bit more fit to that delirium, fit to demented people (I do not mean the audience...), as it is our job... although it seems a bit nonsense to us, too...

You wrote me about the accident with Elena happened 3 weeks ago. Does she getting better now?
Just today Elena has to go at the hospital again, making another check, because some splinters entered her head and shoulders. Sometimes she feels she cannot remember everything she needs and has vertigo and violent headache, but I hope she will be getting better soon, otherwise it looks that some doctors took her situation too easily, on a first time. It is not a funny moment for her, but we all wait for better days to come very soon...

Stalingrad is a very special name. In modern history it's connected with the most dramatic episode of World W II. And for us, Russians, it's the living picture of Russian military valor. And if only a band's name has any significance, could you explain your case?...
That name contains all of the themes you have mentioned above, not being a political group, anyway. I perfectly know the Antifa activists are spreading around the same old boring updatings about STALINGRAD and KIRLIAN CAMERA, so I must say neither KC nor STALINGRAD are involved in any political wing. They are just two "free" entities, open to collaborate with every possible intelligent entity, whatever political source he/she comes from. Anyway, as usual, the name of this band is dedicated to Russia, as well as both KIRLIAN CAMERA and URANIUM USSR 1972.

Well, In Russian, Stalingrad also can be interpreted as Stalin's City. I know that sometimes you are introduced nearly as a "Stalinist". To make it clear - what do you think about Joseph Stalin himself and his role in history?
I honestly must admit surprises have no end! Yes, I know sometimes I have been taken as a radical Stalinist and sometimes as a Hitlerian... Bah, once again I see myself forced to saying I am not involved in anything special! Stalin... Well, I do not like his ways too much, let's say it is not my taste, but, given that I could not judge Stalinists as I am not Russian... let's say I respect them as well as I respect everybody else in general. Anyway, proletarian dictatorship is not my cup of tea: I come from the deep working class, being not a rich kid, so, as far as I am concerned, I must say I respect my sources, but couldn't imagine to be ruled by those blind sheep, nor by anybody else (this is neither right-winged nor left-winged snobbery, this is just a bitter consideration...)!!! Either, I am completely opposed to Capitalism and the USA. I think Europe and Russia should kick Americans out of their territories, with calm and with no real violence. I do not feel any hate towards the Americans, but their "culture" is not fit to our universe, definitely.

As regards your last 3 phrases I must say unconditional YES. But from other hand, it sounds like an unrealizable dream. First of all, I do not believe Europeans are ready to such step. For most of the "golden billion" people their welfare have much more significance than cultural or even moral values... Also such changes demand a firm hand. Does any European politician has it? Does any European people want it? Too much hopeless questions...
War was necessary when people was poorer and got no chance to enrich their wallets. Now people are still poor in the 'western world' and some 'eastern world', but some capitalist genius convinces them it is possible (with a bit of intelligence) earning some considerable bunch of money. So now war against capitalism has no sense, as capitalism is both a blameworthy bitch and a hope, at the same time, in mass's opinion. The real enemy is today the person who does not think that way. Everybody hates him/her, as he is a possible psycho-killer, a possible threat to everyone. The USA are fit with serial killers and Europe is recently getting great in that way! Well, somebody is trying to prove that some of those criminals are paid by some "national security secret service" to orientate people's hate towards an enemy, a monster. You might reply that going to get burned on an electric chair is not a big deal, in the end... But please, remind of the fact I have told "some" of those criminals are supposed to be "agents", or better "collaborators", and please do not forget some of them are fools enough to die for leaving some big money amount to their families. And some of them do not even suppose they'll be betrayed by their "allies"! Some of them succeed in not burning on any chair. Science-fiction?! I realize this is maybe the very first time one person opens this problem in public, but... That is that. Just a little example. Who am I to say these things? A mad! The enemy is the big power, and if somebody starts spreading information... then maybe some dream comes true, who knows?!? Then, anyway, please start thinking to all of those ones who has been glorified by the alternative culture as if they were "saints", and were just collaborators of secret services, instead... Ah, ah, ah, what a world !!! Little by little, people will get more and more infos about what governments are doing in real, and the USA are probably responsible for the best mass murder all over the world ever, and everybody knows that. If people begin having fear of the USA... the game starts. There is so much to do, I know it, but that's the way to follow. It is not impossible. Anyhow this matter is too complicated to be faced here, and then... I would not be kidnapped by the CIA!!!

That was one of the weirdest conspiracy theories I ever heard. But I think there is a lot of more "delicate" instruments and methods to manipulate people's consciousness - through suggestion, constant repetition, subliminal influence, etc - this arsenal includes lobotomy even. And this is what mass-media are doing. No need for "secret service agents" if Hollywood, MTV, CNN and all other parts of global empire of duping are acting quite plainly...
There are lots of ways, nothing remains ignored. The power needs to be present everywhere, into "normality" and "trendy ways", into "altered normality" and "shadow territories" (in fact, good part of the planet does not even own any television, computer or even radio...). A world that allows the U.S.A. and allies to use the Echelon (spy-satellite, able to enter every possible place, house etc. all over the globe) is a drifting world, no doubt... than, the Echelon has already been surpassed by a new and more capable system, if I am well-informed... I do not know if forgetting everything is a good strategy to keep on living safe.

Does your critical perception of American culture apply on everything bearing a label "made in USA" - music, literature, cinema...
Not necessarily. The USA are filled with several cultures, so, finding some fine product is not impossible, but... it is very rare that a real American makes any masterpiece. Good works often comes from "contaminated" zones, western movies apart (and I am sincerely pissed off with westerns... !). Anyway, I repeat I am not saying every American should be exterminated, no! I am trying to say that Americans should respect others' cultures, otherwise there is a problem: when an ethnic family risks to be destroyed, then... maybe there is some counter-attack. Americans are exaggerating with their tranquillity in this direction. They are well organized, but are not that able as warriors, history teaches... So they are forced to make this "invisible" war to colonize the whole world. But what happens when their strategies start to get "visible"? No one could not care less??? I do not know... I am not so sure...

America is the deserving child of Europe - one worth another, doesn't it? 120 years ago Fedor Dostoevsky wrote: "Well, it's on the eve of general and total downfall, your Europe. The ant hill long ago created there, without the Church and Christ, with shattered moral principles, lost all common and all absolute - this created ant hill is undermined in full".
I totally agree with that opinion. Anyway, the U.S.A. are ruling over the whole world, as in that continent a real strength was born: years and years of massacres have been leading to a man "made of flesh", driven by some few men made of some distorted intelligence, in fact most of them are not Americans but imported from all over the world. Those men-of-flesh are not that deeply strong anyway, as they are just flesh and bones with no particular light inside... In fact, Americans uneasily succeed in winning a war: Korea, Vietnam are just examples... Even the war against a nation like Iran has been troubled by unexpected failures... but, there were the allies there... so they succeeded in winning something, at last! Those empty-eyes people are... unbelievable... Americans make me feel tenderness!!!

Maybe a little bit sudden turning point, but what is your treatment of another significant person from WWII epoch - namely, Benito Mussolini?
I do not know whatever I may think about him, as opinions about Fascism are several, various and many-colored! Well, I am sorry but I could not say much more. I know I risk to be taken as a "silent wall", but ..."that is that".

Since STALINGRAD tracks on Thorak-tribute CD and "Za Dom Spremni" compilation, has the musical conception of the band been crystallized? Are you going to follow the way of monumental neo-classic on forthcoming debut-mCD or it will be as eclectic as KIRLIAN CAMERA is?
No, STALINGRAD is not as eclectic as KIRLIAN CAMERA. That project is more "naive", simpler, not looking for those uneasy paths which are fit to KC. STALINGRAD is more "retro", more monumental, closer to the old KC romantic visions. In fact our mother band had been making a certain "product" time ago, going to reach a certain final "romantic point" in 1992, with the mini-album "Schmerz". That work followed "Todesengel" and it was intended to be the definitive KIRLIAN CAMERA chapter concerning the uncultured "epical atmospheres" and the so-called "neofolk". Now, STALINGRAD is the development of such themes. Let's say it is less "poor" than the old KC-sound, but it starts where that style ends. STALINGRAD should be taken as a honest attempt to give some chords in addition to that sound, in total freedom.

In early 90ies neofolk and neoclassic were rather uninhabited areas. Now the scene is nearly overcrowded, new bands show up weekly, and some of them sound like clones. Since KIRLIAN CAMERA has developed it's own inimitable style, did not time come to make a revolution in another musical direction?
In fact, we are no longer involved in the so-called "neofolk" since time and, to say the truth, we have never been involved in, a couple of acoustic songs apart... We are operating in the global "electronic" scene, although (and do not know why) we are always linked to the neofolk scene. We have been even playing pop music for three or four years long, during 80's! We continuously try to learn everything possible, reprocessing it with no rest into our personality. For example, I can say we are currently listening to lots of Cuban folk music, but I do not think our next chapter will sound "Latin-American". Let's say listening to "alien" music (music one does not like that much...) is useful to make one more desperately linked with his deepest feelings, sometimes. I always listen to music I do not like!!! And, anyway it is important, as sometimes that distant style is able to teach something, as... who knows... maybe arrangements are particularly intelligent and enlightening, or, on the contrary are simply awful... Everything is useful, I repeat. The more one knows, the more he is able to decide, or simply... throw himself out of the windows...

Have you a chance to listen the above-mentioned compilations already? A kind of small review or just your impressions, please. Some of these releases are so extremely limited and so expensive...
STALINGRAD appears on the above mentioned compilations, then, DER LETZTE FLUG in particular has been put on to a sampler titled "Nightingale Compilation II", but I am afraid that sampler have got some troubles, and maybe has been cancelled, due to our presence on it, exactly. Once again the same old problems... Some people is terribly upset against us.
They do not even imagine we were nothing but honored to take part in left-wing project as well, if only any left-winged label asked us to do it.
Anyway... I did not know those samplers are so expensive. I think they include some good bands like DEATH IN JUNE and so on and are well done. I am not that used to listening to the so-called "neofolk" or "industrial", but "Za Dom Spremni" looks so cool and fascinating, for instance, that one is tempted to take a listen to, in effect. There is even a double vinyl special limited edition strange box including T-shirt and something in addition.

That man, S.Rukavina, has announced even more stranger release under a long-long French name, which supposed to be 4CD-set accompanied by a thriller with you and Douglas P. and some other artists as main characters... Do you know what it is about?
I know something might be done, but I sincerely do not know much more. I am waiting for more updatings, at the moment.

"Za Dom Spemni" is a Croatian greetings, popular amidst Croatian nationalists, especially such radical as Ustasa fighters. And I suppose the compilation has some pro-Croatian trend... Could you comment this?
The organizer of that sampler told us there is no connection between that album and any nationalism. Well, that's enough for me. I am not interested in any particular nationalism, as I instead believe in a world-nation, in which everybody has the same rights and speaks just one tongue. Then, we have accepted to perform in Yugoslavia, in Belgrade too... Nothing to do with any wing, I repeat: that's fundamental!

Please specify - are you going to visit Yugoslavia? Or those performances did happen already?
I have been contacted by some Yugoslavian guys via e-mail, some times ago. They asked us if we were in the right spirit to go there, and I replied there is no problem. They said there is some real chance to bring this bunch of ducks there... We will see.

Regarding your treatment of nationalism, such point of view seems to be natural for Italians, successors of Roman Empire which consolidated various ethnoses and allowed different languages and beliefs... As well as for Russians who have similar traditions of State organisation. Maybe, patriotism is more acceptable word, isn't it?
I do not know... maybe. But... "love" is the best... SCOOP!! STALINGRAD AND KIRLIAN CAMERA ARE A BUNCH OF BLOODY HIPPIES!!!! It could be... No, "love", love is strength, love is justice. And there is only one kind of a justice, no way to get confused. Christ is more terrible than Satan... I like him.

... Christ or Satan? :-)
Aehm... Christ, of course...

Hell, everyone (I mean artists interviewed for current mag) praises Love this time! Just nobody wants to talk about that captivating and intoxicating Hate, to justice it...
Hey, I sincerely do not think all of those "saints" really know what they say... Understood? Love, love... Love is sacrifice, and then... I am not here to glorify love or its aesthetics (yes, maybe now it is quite fashionable, who knows... ?). Certain subjects are ancient... This world is not ruled by Christ: this world is hell itself, right?!? Well, time to change, once for all!!! Satan is the real alternative since always... alternative to what... exactly??? Then... love is not a question of good feelings and flowers-in-the-hair... Love is rage. Love is JUSTICE. The angels of death are "white", but are more terrible than hell's legions. No one loves them, I know that. Love without love... But, anyway... please let's change theme, otherwise we'll be taken as "possessed fanatics", and that's not true... Truth is more... "particular"... Anyway... God is not that interesting to me. I have been talking about Christ, not about his executioner... and, at last, I guess talking about Christ is not possible, so I stop here.

Yugoslavia's collapse accidentally or not coincided with USSR disintegration, which 10th anniversary we will meet end of this year. What do you think about the date?
I hope both Balkan areas and Russia are finding out a possible third solution, avoiding capitalism and communism, which is "evolution"... such way has not been found by any western country, yet. Try to be greater!

Third solution? ... Third Position?
No, I have not mentioned any "3rd Position"... I told about a possible alternative solution, which is also called "evolution". Utopia... one might say, but saying that concept is utopistic is only an excuse to run away from responsibilities. A great nation should be able to go towards a real evolution... It means all of the nations are similar, as no ones succeeds in... This means racism is useless, as this world is filled with unable brain-dead. Races are completely equal, in their idiocy. So banal and so true.

STALINGRAD's first mCD - are release date and label for it clear already?
Release date should be September's early period and the label might be E.N.D.E./RADIO LUXOR again, but... on this last point we intend to think a bit more about, valuing the offers coming from other really trustworthy entities.

No need to be a great prophet to predict hard fate for CDs from a band under such name. The price of just two syllables may be very high, in financial measuring too. Here we return to the beginning of the conversation somehow; it was so easy to avoid all possible problems... Does it worth the added hassle?
I must be ingenuous, some times... because I am frank if I tell you I cannot understand why anybody should feel hurt by such a name. We are normal people, in a way... Musicians... REALLY! But I know what you mean... No, maybe it does not worth the effort. We are exhausted, but... we are comics... we'll have fun!

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