KLONAVENUS is an Italian duo set up in 2005 by Paolo Chemnitz (vocals, lyrics, samples) and Saffio (music, programming, mixing). During the early years of the band they self-released an impressive number of EP’s. They finally signed to EK Product and released their official debut album “Klonawelt” in 2012. The next album “Angst” got released in 2015 on Space Race Records (subdivision of EK Product). The sound of the band has been often described as a mix of EBM and Electro-Pop. And that’s what they also revealed at the last year released new album “Motion:less”. I’d a chat with Paolo and Saffio.
‘CINEMA IS PROBABLY THE MAIN INFLUENCE ON OUR MUSIC’
Q: KLONAVENUS is active for numerous years now. Do you notice important changes/evolutions in your sound and influences? And what have been the main facts coming directly into mind?
Paolo: Since the first days, we always have alternated a more sunny component with a more introspective one (Dark-Wave influences were prominent). Our debut album “Klonawelt” is full of funny and powerful Synth-Pop anthems. Then, starting with the second album “Angst”, our darker side prevailed. An aspect related to our growth and our awareness, perhaps we have understood that the era of light-heartedness was gone! Years ago I personally also started to read many books about existentialist philosophy (from Schopenauer to Cioran and Caraco), a mental influence that helped the evolution of the conceptual aspect of the band.
Q: You last year released your newest album “Motion:less”. 2020 has been a hard year because of the pandemic so did it have an influence and impact on your artistic activities/life and the achievement of the album?
Paolo: The new album was written before the pandemic, although its release was postponed from April 2020 to September 2020, considering that during last Spring everything was completely closed. The filming of the first video clip (cf. “My Crying Bride”) has also been postponed for several months, a situation that initially made us lose some enthusiasm. We haven’t been able to play the new songs live yet and we are very sorry about this, we hope to be able to do it as soon as possible.
Q: What kind of album is “Motion:less” all about and why did it take that long to achieve this new opus?
Paolo: After the release of the debut album “Klonawelt”, our paths divided because I stayed in Rome, while Saffio moved to Berlin. If “Angst” was composed within two years, with the third album we wanted to wait for the right moment. Living far away, is not easy to discuss ideas directly, plan/play concerts or share time in the rehearsal studio, that’s why “Motion:less” was born without any rush. We have also been really still for months, writing only one unreleased track for a compilation powered by our label and a single track released in a very limited 7” vinyl. Paradoxically, when we only did demos or EP’s ten/fifteen years ago, we played a lot in Italy and we were able to give more continuity to our project.
Q: I’ve always experienced KLONAVENUS as the perfect mix between EBM and harder Electro-Pop influences. What does it say about the sound you try to compose and do you have personal references and criteria when composing your music?
Saffio: I think our sound is not easy to label, despite being classified as EBM and Electro-Pop by the fans and critics. We certainly have a wealth of influences, first and foremost 80s New-Wave, which over the years has grown and opened up to different sounds, but always with a Dark-Electronic character that also draws on genre films, especially horrors and thrillers. The incipit of the musical composition therefore stems from the visual suggestions and soundtracks of the films we love, especially those of the 70s and 80s.
Q: What’s your way of working and what’s the input of each member in the writing/production process?
Saffio: Each KLONAVENUS song usually follows these steps: the instrumental composition that I elaborate very instinctively following my mood, but also respecting the concept of a new album defined together with Paolo, who takes care of writing the vocal melodies and the lyrics. At the same time he chooses some samples, inspired by some movies he likes (we can say there’s a touch of Industrial music in KLONAVENUS).
Q: You guys have already released several clips. What do you like in making clips and what do you try to express? What’s the link between the lyrical content of the songs and the clips?
Saffio: As explained above, cinema is probably the main influence on our music. We wouldn’t know how to create our songs without the suggestion of watching films we love. Consequently, our clips best represent the union of the two arts: cinema and music.