The following article was published in N-SPHERE February 2010 issue.


Although it is perhaps a bit late for a set of questions related to your release “Flowers of Exile”, the Spheres would like to take this opportunity to delve a bit into the ideas and aesthetics this album embodies.

Compared to Masse Mensch Material, Flowers from Exile seems to employ a more fragmented and complex spectrum of feelings and sides. Lyrics like “Everything within me turns rapist/Everything turns saint” shifted from a black and white dichotomy to fragmentary shades of grey. Would you describe this as a new way of seeing things or a more mature view?

Well, I’ve never been into portraying stuff as black and white. The grey areas are certainly the ones worth exploring. Life is never black and white. However, we are human so we like to keep things simple, easy to digest. But if you want to really satisfy a curiosity for something, you need to dig deeper. That’s what we did on “Flowers”. It’s not the devil that lies in detail – as the saying goes – but truth. And concerning maturity, well, I guess we all grow older, and writing songs is a craft, or if you do you job well you also try to get better at it, bit by bit. I hope we achieved that here.

“Swords to rust – Hearts to dust” – The War–Love–Death triptych is used extensively in Rome lyrics. How does this tie in with the message you are trying to send across?

Well, actually, I don’t believe we have a message as such. There’s postmen for that. But I won’t try to deny that there are certain things we want to get across because they are truly important to us and our personal worlds. The most important things at the end of the day are love and respect. Some find it in pride some find it in the letting go, but certainly, warmth is what we are all looking for, as corny as it sounds. As to the War–Love–Death triptych, well, war has certainly always been an interesting and somewhat rewarding setting for our stories. War and death are quite honestly the most impressive backdrops if you want to talk about love. It offers you the possibility to turn a bit more “dramatic” lyrically and get some notions across that would – for the most part – seem kind of unforgivingly over–the–top in a regular day–to–day situation.

“We who fell in love with the sea” almost seems an assessment of relinquishment to the Sea. Would you argue that it could be interpreted as a contemplation of death, the Sea becoming both womb and tomb?

I’ve always been drawn to the sea and seamanship. As Melville wrote, each man finds the sea to be a mirror of himself. So whatever you once set out to look for you will most certainly find among the waves. 9 roads out of 10 lead to waters and if you follow these you will reach the sea at some point or other. The sea, to me, has always had this quietude of a higher, holy order. I, personally, need to live next to the sea at least a couple of weeks of the year in order to keep going. It seems the most refreshing way to reload. It’s a place where you certainly go to bury things – especially if you want no roses to grow on that grave – and for me it’s been the place of birth for so many things, like songs or decisions concerning the path to take.

The Father and The Sons, The Master and The Servant, The Bride and The Sea, The Artist and The Clay, The Man and his Grief are all regarded as eternal enemies that continuously search for one another, forever swapping roles with each other and amongst the pairs as well. Do you believe that we, as humans, are cursed or are we blessed with this malleability of roles?

That’s tricky. I doubt that we are truly cursed. I choose to believe that we often make ourselves ill with the roles we choose and are either to lazy or stubborn to let them go or run from them. And I’m not too sure about their malleability. You see, people like these things and I have to say that these roles are perfect for metaphors in songs if you set out to transmit something. It’s something people automatically respond to. These archetypes run through all of literature.

Spring and the New Dawn stands almost at the centre of Flowers from Exile. Do you believe that innocence can be reinvented by means of experience?

That’s a truly great thought right there, thank you for that question! I don’t believe innocence can, as a whole, be either reinvented nor re–established. But I am quite confident that we can kid ourselves into believing that. I think, and maybe that’s just my early theatre background speaking, we can reinvent ourselves by kidding ourselves into believing we are leading a different life. After all, that’s what we all do, everyday. Every waitress I talk to is an aspiring actress, every friend I have is embarking on a writer’s career, or similar… just waiting to start or finish that book, record or whatever. Most of them never really do it. And then after a while they see it’s too late. I know so many people who kid themselves on any given day and I am convinced that we only have to act accordingly to be what we really want to be. I think success is only happening in our heads. I have been a musician and writer for ages even though I only recently got that record deal. It doesn’t matter. You don’t need everyone’s approval and recognition. It’s a curiosity you set out to satisfy and the only thing stopping you from being what you want to be is social pressure. I suppose that was not the answer to your question at all.

The plural “we” is also used in the lyrics (“We Men Of Cold Politeness”/”We break the windows to breathe”). Would you consider that through this representation of the self in your songs, man becomes a symbol through the erasure of the body and the embracing of an “us” or this could be carried out on other levels?

Well, I have to be careful here, as I don’t really like to dissect my work that much. I believe it’s best to leave it to others. Furthermore, there is quite a simple reason for the “we” in the songs. I wanted to make these men speak, these soldiers, deserters, refugees who refused to bow down to the oppressor. My great uncle was one of them. And I believe I just wanted to explore that world and try and find out what it must have been like to live among these fine young men. But I never wanted to create a sort of holy collective. There was – in all spheres – only partial unity. You can only find purity in a close–up.

For “A Culture of Fragments” you chose a Romanian to recite the lyrics. Do you believe that Romania’s history and development could be couched in terms of fragmentation or does this concept transgresses borders of nation and national identity?

I think it transgresses these notion, actually. We have friends in Romania and since we like to work with different languages the choice was obvious. And of course there’s another reality to that as well. You see, in Spain the whole world was fighting, although the world for the most part chose to ignore that fact. There were fighters from all nations and colour there. Also Romanians. And the repercussions of that conflict are here. Even to this day.

Does your latest release, The Assassin single, mark a new artistic endeavour or a more sculpted concept that you tried to illustrate in your previous works?

I believe this to be a new departure on all levels. We are trying to create something truly new.

The text that promotes this new release ends with “ROME: unmasked, honest and authentic!”. To what degree do you consider masking and the creation of a persona relevant to the artistic process?

I think it is important to work with personas/masks. It’s something you do on instinct anyway, but it is a natural thing because it allows you to explore worlds that are different from your own. At the end of the day, what keeps us interested in art is that it allows us to satisfy our curiosities. The world’s biggest pleasures come from that feeling of having explored something, of having grasped some truth, some insight. Masks, (method) acting are extremely helpful with that.

In connection with its title – “The Assassin”, does the concept of this single embody the notion of destructive creativeness?

To some degree, certainly! I am sorry but I can’t go into more details here because I would reveal to much of what is coming. The path, most certainly, is the right one ;)

Would you also see murder as a transcendent rather than solely a bodily experience?

Murder as a bodily experience as such is way too vile to be of interest here. The assassin we are referring to is surely not an evil individual, but a more complex character.

A large part of your audience comes from the neofolk/military pop scene. Do you feel that musically and/or lyrically there is a connection between Rome and that subculture?

Well, our first recordings undoubtedly were inspired by one or two bands from that subculture among many, many other important influence, and I never tried to deny that. But honestly, ROME is about other things. I am not interested in scenes or groups of people who have chosen to create a new way of peer pressuring each other into creeds and codes. There are many fine individuals in there, and we have met some of them, but at the end of the day I honestly don’t care whether I fit into a specific genre or not. I am thankful for every fan we get, no matter what musical background they are from, and I like the idea of remaining somewhat unpredictable. We have always made the music we like, not the music anybody expected us to make. We try to make every record sound different and new (if only to ourselves) and I believe as a ROME fan you should get used to the idea of having to find out with every new record whether you still want to consider yourself a fan or not. I don’t mean this in a bad or ungrateful way. We are not trying to scare anyone off and I believe the essence of our message and our lyrics has been and will remain the same in all that we do, no matter what musical direction we go.

questions by Diana Daia

photo by Vel Thora

Full article here.



The following article was published in N-SPHERE February 2010 issue.


One concept used by you in the making of this album is obvious to the listener from the very beginning (name of the album, lyrics) and that is the notion of duality (love/destruction, death/peace, math/emotion, creature/creator). In what way is this influential for you, not only as artists, and relevant to your music?

Our need for harmony found in duality and opposites continuously seeks to reach a state of balance. Harmony of thinking is a form of safe thinking and we have experienced it, as nothing is secure in life. Often enough, with a little kick the house of cards that we are trying to put together collapses.

The title “Math & Emotion” aims to bring together the impossible: logic and feeling. Consequently, the question arises: what is one supposed to do next when they are thrown off the path. Is this survival of concealed feelings indispensable for not losing your mind? Is our organism programmed to continue, to gradually accept life?

Man is capable of overcoming extreme situations in life, but finding out where this will comes from is often inexplicable. I believe that our determination to make music is given solely by the will to survive in order to achieve balance. The other extreme would be mental idleness, the end of communication, the petrifaction of one’s own character, and simply a living dead condition – awaiting death. This is a constant struggle.

Has the concept of duality also been an influence in choosing the band name Klangstabil? If not, what made you decide upon this name?

The name “Klangstabil” came by chance. We wanted to purchase a synthesizer by phone and I asked the vendor whether the electronic instrument was “klangstabil”. The right term to use in this case was “stimmstabil”, which means that a device produces clean sounds.

Maurizio noticed the slip of the tongue, and we found the name appropriate for us immediately. The combination of the two terms [Klang=sound and Stabil=stable] which holds the concept of duality actually came later.

What do you think of employing different artistic means as a support to your musical performances? (considering the fact that visuals have an increasing impact during concerts in the industrial/electro scene nowadays)

Strictly speaking, we want the audience to perceive us as who we are. No disguises, no masks. Using the proper volume becomes the most important means of expression for our body of work.

Using video is another matter, mainly because we haven’t dared to tackle the issue, as there are many who can produce high quality videos nowadays. We would like to collaborate with video artists who can interpret our songs visually, like Oleg Kozlovski with “Vertraut” or Pablo Iglesias Algora with “Beziehungsohr” have done. It enriches and adds depth to the work.

If you know a video artist or a filmmaker who would like to make a video for us, let us know. We admit that we cannot pay, but we guarantee proper exposure of the artwork.

The Klangstabil ethic is “One step back, two steps forward”. Is it hard to create a connection between decades, especially through electronic music?

I wouldn’t call it hard, one should be conscious about their responsibility as mankind doesn’t have to deal with acoustic shit anymore. The purpose should be creating something new, unheard, not only something copied, as that doesn’t lead to progress.

Have you been involved in any other projects before the formation of Klangstabil in 1994?


Both of you perform in English, Italian and German. Is it hard to maintain a consistence of the message and music, considering the fact that you have different cultural backgrounds?

A future language is the language of Emotion that can be understood while crossing the borders of nationality.

Two obvious influences in the creation of “Math & Emotion” are geometry and the game of chess. Do you believe that existence can be simplified to permutations and concepts such as “a common denominator” and “a square within a square”?

Interesting question. The “common denominator” refers to both logic and emotion existing under the same roof, which of course does not work so easily, it is always an irrational and complex matter.

Related to “a square within a square” (nice metaphor): to achieve oneness and to feel secure within that mental unity is a nice thought, but not in reality – at most it can be achieved in the cemetery.

You used the phrase: “We erase ourselves in a zero sum game” – how would you develop this to someone who wants to make sense of Klangstabil’s message?

It relates to emotional mutilation. When someone perceives the realities of war or lives in the aftermath of a wretched relationship for instance.

The album also seems to place emphasis on some values/notions differently understood by society (conformity, tolerance, love, liberty to name just a few of them). Would you consider yourselves, as artists, militant to some extent?

Of course we would like to change many things in this world, but we would never make use of our physical power to put into practice our ideas.

When we mention in a track that we would like to destroy everything at once, then those are our extreme thoughts but certainly, they don’t make of us what we were and are. This notion of destruction has become “normality”, implemented in our lives as we get it from the media daily. The question should rather be: what should I change about myself in order not to cope with the world in this manner anymore, and to some extent, even attempt to change it. We fight against an uncreative and blocked reality that we have to face daily and it’s up to us if we want to give up or continue our battle.

What should the audience expect from future Klangstabil material?

We are currently working on a new concept. In the past years we have focused on the reality that surrounds us. Now we’re creating our own reality. Thank you for the interesting questions! (Maurizio Blanco and Boris May)

questions by Diana Daia

Full article here.



The following article was published in N-SPHERE February 2010 issue.


“Rosemary’s Baby” is the film that turned Roman Polanski into an internationally acclaimed director and also gave horror films a new course. Instead of playing on gory notes or on the out–of–the–ordinary right–in–your–face setup, this film hides the outlandish in the mundane and plays its violin while the protagonist (Rosemary) unveils it gradually.

Like in one of his previous films – “Repulsion” – Polanski uses small details to create tension, but in this case it is not about the mind falling apart and ultimately turning against itself, nor is it about the eye that sees what doesn’t exist, but it is about what exists, and what the eye doesn’t usually see.

There is a hitchockian tone that traverses the whole film and yet at no point the movie’s intention is to create confusion regarding its plot. Quite on the contrary, we know what we are supposed to know from the very beginning and we keep knowing and witnessing, until the film reaches its shocking conclusion.

It is not the horror, or the surprise of what we do not expect, it is the horror of what we see and others don’t or aren’t around to see.

By demystifying the forces and the things that we perceive as supernatural, we are given a familiar view with a familiar image of them and we can also grasp a way they can work out in our own terms and perceived reality. That is because when we see an entity rising from the depths and paralyzing someone, for instance, we have a familiar image that triggers our feelings of awe, fear etc, thus our reaction is something induced. However, when that same person paralyzes out of the blue, we still assume and wait for a logical explanation, because that familiar ground is not present to trigger anything. But if coincidences continue to appear and a real pattern is forming so that we can see it in the flesh, stripped away of conventions, it may turn out to be way more frightening.

When we see that odd sex scene in the film, we assume it is a dream, when we see the scars we may look surprised, until Guy (Rosemary’s husband) admits that “he wanted to do it that night”. When the actor, that took the role Guy also auditioned for, wakes up blind, we initially suspect it was an unnoticed medical condition that worsened until it spanned out of control, but when Hutch fell into a coma hours after he talked to Rosemary and insisted on seeing her the day after, we start to doubt it is all a coincidence.

There is something about the people in the early films of Polanski, something eerie about them, even in the way they are filmed, in their faces, something that makes them unreliable even in their best and most sociable mood. You can see this in this movie and you may also notice it in “The Tenant”, which partially uses the same ground.

As I said before, the film is very straightforward, there is no mystery, there are no plot twists, we know what is about to happen and it will happen. The horror is in the eye of the beholder and in the contrast between what people seem to be and what they really are. It is the same as in “Psycho”, but we do not have a psychical condition here, there is a supernatural context dressed in ordinary clothes.

To have an unfamiliar ground is easy to do, but also easy to dismiss. However, to have an unfamiliar ground channeled in familiar methods is not that easy and it is effective.

The same setup is used again in the already–mentioned “The Tenant”, but where “The Tenant” creates, this one unravels. There, a pattern is forming and we see it, gradually. Here, a pattern is formed from the beginning and we experience and only then unravel it.

For some this may be an uninteresting approach, since we know what will happen before it does happen, but this is not a film to simply watch, but to experience – then it becomes frightening and this is where Polanski shows the aces hidden in his sleeve.

There is another aspect, as well. If you have a standard horror film, it will work only as a horror film, as there is only one way to encounter it. But if you drop standards and create a film that may work as a horror film as well as a psychological thriller as well as some occult story as well as some parable, then there are many ways to encounter it.

All in all, if you like the more flashy stuff or the ones that shove your nose in surrealism or gory effective imagery, this may not be the film for you; but if you liked films such as “Repulsion” or “Psycho”, or if you want to see something stripped off the familiar genre “mannerisms”, you may give it a shot and see if you can rock Rosemary’s cradle.

That’s it for tonight – viddie well, little brothers, viddie well…

Movie still: Rosemary’s Baby

review by Shade

Full article here.



The following article was published in N-SPHERE February 2010 issue.


Name: Alexandre–Gustave Eiffel

Lived: 1832 – 1923

Location: France

Profession: engineer, specialist of metallic structures


Ever since the beginning of structured social clusters, a strong preoccupation was directed to shelters and constructions. Their intrinsic motivation, be it towards adoration of deities or for mere everyday life, lingers on up until this moment: to conquer nature, to master the basic materials that seem so frail, yet so sturdy against the passage of time. At the end of the 20th century, architecture was already considered a form of art, floating imponderably between the creative and engineering planes.

With time, technology advancements opened new gates to creation. From the simple gardener who invented reinforced concrete, to the current underground “green” housing solutions, markers stand witness in history, each with its own tale and contribution to the new millennium urban life. Such is the work of Gustave Eiffel, a French contractor with a comprehension of technology ahead of its time. As metallic structures emerged little by little into construction practices in the midst of the Industrial Revolution, Eiffel’s works brought forth the early machinations of what is today known as industrial art.

The famous Eiffel Tower that stands as a landmark of contemporary Paris, the Statue of Liberty – American national symbol, the Nice Observatory’s dome, the Garabit Viaduct that crosses Truyère river in France, the Western Railway Station of Budapest, all brought to life a melody in steel, smooth lines from harsh materials. The inherent grandeur of his bracing systems and bolts, raises high above the ground, still alive in silent magnificence even to this day.

Eiffel and his contemporary structural engineering colleagues have definitely put their imprint on today’s urban skylines. And a smiles comes to mind, when remembering Hugh Jackman retorting in 2001’s “Kate and Leopold” – “Good Lord, it still stands. The world has changed all around it, but Roebling’s erection still stands!” – as he impersonated a time traveler of the late 1800s standing awed in front of a 21st century Brooklyn bridge.

Artwork: The Eiffel Tower, 1900, by William Herman Rau

by Vel Thora

Full article here.



The following article was published in N-SPHERE February 2010 issue.


Name: Aurélien Police

Location: France, Le Mans.

Occupation: Illustrator.

Definition of personal sphere: Calm and music. Oh, and so some coffee to get started.

Artwork in 4 words: Summarize/Is/Very/Difficult

What is inspirational for you: Clouds, light, rust and my poster of Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes above my desk.

Currently favourite artists: Dave McKean, William Turner, Edward Hopper.

Tools of trade: Canon EOS500D, PC, Wacom tablet, Adobe Photoshop, Artrage.

Current obsessions: Finding something not too stupid to answer to that question because I’m only “interested” in things and never “obsessed” by them.

Personal temptation: Gruyere.

Artwork: Thotho Cover


Full article here.



The following article was published in N-SPHERE February 2010 issue.


An eerie gray light and some other unknown reasons keep me awake again. All is tired and senseless around me. I am tired and senseless… The other avatars of mine are mute tonight, and strangely I am not used to the silence in my head anymore. Looks like it has been too long since I was last oblivious to the world that revolves around you.

Go from point A to point B, like the tiny well programmed robot that you are, and subsequently to point C, to collect the reward of another lost and petrified day. And then redraw your steps in slow motion, analyze them, for some other tiny well programmed robots will be passing here soon. And since you have to leave something behind, this is your best option: a highly accurate course, plotted down to microns, so others don’t get lost in your presumably creative misery. That is of course if someone will be ever tempted to walk this translucent path of yours. And some time from now, when you look in the mirror, it will be granted to you the privilege of wiggling your fingers in a flashy outburst of silly joy, shouting: “Yay! I helped.”

I know you’re somewhere. You’re mute tonight, just like the other avatars of mine.

by Bahak B

artwork by Vel Thora


Full article here.