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The MK ULTRA Magazine Interview with Elena Alice Fossi of Kirlian Camera

Interview by John Wisniewski

Photo by Terri Harrison

Kirlian Camera continue their dark musical journey on their latest ‘Radio Signals for the Dying,’ an album that takes the listener into occult adventures and magical places of dangerous beauty. This Italian band has gone through many changes over the years, yet they continue to evolve and be reborn. On the new album, Kirlian Camera manage to maintain a continuity to their celebrated previous work and yet take their subtle dark rock undertones embedded in electronic fields to a whole new level. Kirlian Camera’s main core duo consists of founder, multi-instrumentalist, and composer Angelo Bergamini, along with the hypnotic vocalist, songwriter, instrumentalist Elena Alice Fossi, who we chatted with about the new double album ‘Radio Signals for the Dying,’ available through the German label Dependent Records.


John Wisniewski: ‘Radio Signals for the Dying,’ is your new album, please tell us about the recording sessions for the album and what it was like?

Elena Alice Fossi – Would you like to know an honest and personal comment? At first, it was a nightmare. This album was born a long time ago, practically right after the release of the previous “Cold Pills (Scarlet Gate of Toxic Daybreak)”. At the time, I was extremely attached to the dark and eerie atmosphere of that album and this made me almost immobile. So, the first working part was truly difficult for me. For such a reason, the new album was supposed to be a simple EP, something to act as a bridge between the then-present and the future. Other problems had taken over and further slowed down – if not actually stopped – the studio work. Only later, much later, was the operation resumed, and things began to change. “Stella Ominis” was born and was like opening a gate to what would be the real course of the new album. From there, Angelo and I became a fury. At times we didn’t see each other for days and each of us was chasing our own musical vision, each of us with our own instruments. Other times, we wouldn’t break away for hours from a shared immersion in a kind of walking dream. He would mention a possible title, and from there, music and lyrics would overlap in a harmonious and natural way. It was as if keys were formed to enter certain hidden places. It goes without saying that this turned into something transcending studio work and explaining the technical process would be very uninteresting, because how more than 2 hours of material was actually realized is another story.

JW: Can you talk about the concept or central idea behind the album and the lyrics?

EAF – It all revolves around the title because signals are what we’re talking about. When we started maturing this concept, it seemed as if the world had shut down, literally. Yes, now the world is indeed ready to cerebrally die, after a simmer, which, however, has been accelerated in no small measure thanks to the events that have followed one after another in recent years. The world is giving up its freedoms because it is unfit for courage, responsibility, combat. This pseudo-welfare numbs fearful minds, and logical sense is willingly surrendered in exchange for an iPhone 15 Pro. The dying are many, too many, but – wait a minute – someone is responding to our radio signal. It’s not over! We exist and can go beyond the matrix and its underdeveloped little goats. And this may be the future because radio signals sometimes work out fine.

JW: How is ‘Radio Signals for the Dying’ perhaps different than other Kirlian Camera albums from the past?

EAF – “Radio Signals for the Dying” moves in the present, because our ‘here and now’ is a gold mine for those who are truly alive. This is the time of the grotesque, but it brings with it blessings that cannot easily be found elsewhere. The themes that in previous albums were more abstract and elusive are now within everyone’s reach, as their tangibility becomes difficult to obscure. Demons are among us and we like to shout it out. There is melancholy, anger, but also satisfaction at having kept away from certain traps. And it doesn’t matter if we have to get our hands dirty. With this album, we are ready to do that. Thus, even behind a synthetic sound process that remains dark and, at times, chilling, typical of certain Kirlian, one can hear concrete layers moving underfoot. Personally, in this album I feel at once like a delicate princess and an ogre who would like to tear you all apart!

JW: Since KC incorporates so many different sounds and genres in your music, do you feel that the presence of veteran metal musicians Mia W. Wallace and Alessandro Comerio, from bands like Abbath, Nervosa, Niryth and TriumphOfDeath/Hellhammer, gives Kirlian Camera an additional underlying heavy power when needed?

EAF – On stage we are pure energy and I hope the audience can feel it. Over time we wanted to enhance this side since a purely electronic-based performance was no longer enough for us. The themes we have been dealing with and developing in recent years are ticking time bombs, although I don’t know how many of our audience have the will and time to devote attention to this. Anyway, we demanded a more vibrant stage for our performances, and Alessandro and Mia embody this more “aggressive” choice of ours. When Angelo and I prepare songs in the studio we already have the conviction that in concert they will be supported in the best possible way by our two professional metal friends!

JW:. Can you tell our audience about any new or emerging bands that you are listening to these days?

EAF – An Italian band called ‘Hopeful Thing’ caught my interest… It’s a music project by singer/composer Irene Prosdocimo, a talented woman who lives and works between New York and Veneto.

JW: What is the dark music scene like in Europe right now?

EAF – Not that much into that, must honestly admit. I’m not saying this to be snobbish, believe me, it’s just that I’m not familiar with the scene you’re asking about, even though I know very well that KCs are often connected to that. I like Hanna Von Hauswolff, but I don’t know if she falls into the area in question? I like another female project called Rein, as well…

JW: I know you have a few side projects of your own, any news or upcoming releases?

EAF – We currently want to devote our full spotlight to KC. We are totally absorbed in “Radio Signals”, so you will soon be able to see a couple of unreleased videos at the moment related to two songs from the album in question. The only news inherent to SPECTRA*paris, one of my parallel musical projects, is a particular live show I’ll be doing in Berlin next October. I don’t plan to do any more at the moment, so those who are interested will find me in a very special setting, we don’t know yet whether in a church or something else, but we’ll certainly find a way to combine something striking and unique. As for Stalingrad Valkyrie, I already know that we’ll not last long without getting our hands on it, but the time to really work on it hasn’t come, yet…
JW: Does KC have are any upcoming festival, live dates or touring planned?

EAF – Wave Gotic Treffen on 20 May in Leipzig, then Amphi Festival on 28 July in Cologne, then probably Stella Nomine Festival on 17 August… and then there’s a SouthAm tour… plus a Euro-tour on late December/early 2025

JW: What lies ahead in the future for Kirlian Camera?

EAF – The future we have planned for Kirlian Camera is far too intense, so let’s try to dream it together and start putting a few building blocks here and there, step by step. The first brick with which we would like to design our castle is a live video that we have already started working on. Our global production is made of several records, but no official live album has ever been released until now, so many of our listeners are clamoring for it We believe the time has come! Another ambitious project we would like to start working on as soon as possible is a very special kind of ‘Best Of’. The idea would also involve distinguished figures from outside Kirlian Camera, but I don’t want to say that more in advance, since it’s too soon. And then, as someone already knows, KC is not a music project only, but has been working in the social field for some time. If time allows, we may need to write a book, just to explain who we really are and everything that has happened to us so far… ie the stolen gold record, the sticks in the wheels placed in our path and the true joy of being together now and be able to tell about it, provided we don’t end up in jail first, with the crime of having done something right, given the Orwell-style period we are in!?

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