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The MK ULTRA Interview: Lucia Cifarelli

Interview by John Wisniewski for MK ULTRA Magazine

Best known for her work with industrial band KMFDM. She was formerly the vocalist for the band Drill and also performed in KMFDM offshoots MDFMK, KGC, and Schwein.

Cifarelli got her start recording in studios in New York, eventually forming her own band, Drill, along with future Black Label Society bass guitarist John DeServio. Drill released one self-titled album, spawning two music videos and getting a third song featured in the movie Empire Records. Later in 1995, Drill opened for Stabbing Westward’s Wither, Blister, Burn, and Peel Tour. The band broke up shortly after the end of the tour.

Cifarelli joined the KMFDM-hiatus band MDFMK in 2000. The project lasted for one self-titled album. In 2001, Cifarelli and Sascha Konietzko worked on the supergroup Schwein and its albums Schweinstein and the subsequent remix album Son of Schweinstein. After the MDFMK project was discontinued, Cifarelli was asked to return as a member of KMFDM. She has been a member of the band since 2002’s Attak. She’s recorded two solo albums, From the Land of Volcanos. One single off the album, “I Will”, appeared on the American Pie 2 soundtrack. Cifarelli performed on the band KGC’s 2006 album Dirty Bomb. She released her newest solo album I Am Eye July 2021.

John Wisniewski: Lucia, when did you join Drill, the first band that you were in?

Lucia Cifarelli: I actually formed Drill, with Dan Harnett, a guitar player who I met through the classified Ads in a NY paper called The Village Voice. I believe we met in the early 90’s.

JW: How did you join KMFDM? When did you meet Sacha Konietzko?

LC: I met Sascha long before joining MDFMK & later KMFDM, When he did a remix for my band DRILL for the movie “Empire Records”(1995). It was for a song called “What You Are”. Later in 98’ or 99’ he reached out to me when he and Tim Sold were looking for a female vocalist/songwriter for their project MDFMK. Joining KMFDM was a natural progression from there

JW: Any favorite industrial bands?

LC: Young Gods,, Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Sister Machine Gun

JW: You have also worked with Sascha Konietzko

LC: Yes, I am currently working with him now, on the latest KMFDM release “Let Go”, scheduled for release February 2.2.2024. I’ve co-written every KMFDM album with him since Attak in 2002

JW: On the band Schwein. What was that experience like?

LC: I collaborated with Sascha Konietzko and Raymond Watts on a couple of tracks that we recorded in London, and then Sascha and Raymond finished the project in Japan with the band Buck Tick. That’s pretty much the long and short of my involvement in that project.

JW: What was it like recording your Solo album?

LC: I’ve recorded two solo albums actually. The first is called “From The Land Of Volcano’s” which I released 18 years ago. Then theres “I Am Eye” which was released in 2021. They were two totally different experiences. My first solo album was recorded in London with producer Ian Stanley (formerly of Tears For Fears), and “I Am Eye” was recorded with Sascha Konietzko in our home studio. We wrote and recorded “I Am Eye” during the first COVID lockdown, when the world had come to a screeching halt and the KMFDM tour we were scheduled to do with MINISTRY was cancelled. It was a magical experience actually. It was the first time I was the origin point of the music. Because for the greater part of my career I’ve focused on lyrics and melodies in the collaborative process, this was a creative leap for me. I’m actually in the early stages of recording my next solo album, which I’ve already written. I just need to organize how to fund it

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