Home Rece Demo Rece Album Redazione Download Links News&Pubblicità Mail Varie Webmaster
News Sito Rece Classici Rece Concerti Interviste Concerti Chat        

Leggi la traduzione in italiano

Paride: Ciao! come va? are you ready for some questions?

Katya/Johnny: Bonjourno Italia!! We miss you already!! Yeah! Let's go!

Paride:  is actually "Counterparts" a kind of HKC's "best of..." for the American audience more than a real new record?

Johnny: I wouldn't call it a "best of" because it features a lot of new exciting material that no one has heard before. But... it also features tracks that were previously released on vinyl in small numbers. Putting those songs on Counterparts gives a wider audience a chance to hear our older stuff on CD.

Kat: We've had a lot of singles on vinyl. We decided to include those out of print vinyl tracks on this CD. Some songs from Lasergun, and Emperor Norton…For those kids who don't have turntables or don't have vinyl. So really it's all for the kids who cant get their hands on wax. We also added a few tracks from the European release for kids in Amerika to hear. LAST BUT NOT LEAST…. There are some of our newest and in my opinion best tracks on there too.

Paride: how come you chose to cover "Hong Kong Garden" by a young Siouxsie?

Katya/Johnny: HAHAHA! That's a funny story! A fan from Hong Kong saw us on the cover of some local music magazine. We quickly became on of his TOP-3 bands, along with Kylie Minogue, and Madonna! LOL! He sent his demo to all three of these artists. His accapella version of Siouxsie's "Hong Kong Garden" quickly grabbed us and made us consider this unlikely collaboration! 
Katya: OH DEAR!!!! You must hear his karaoke Hong Kong Counterfeit MegaMix/Ensemble/Mash-Up!!! He ecstatically sings various lyrics from several of our songs over a generic karaoke techno beat! It sounds as though he's trapped between death and dying on an ecstatic and erotic journey. Very Creative.

Paride: how did you get in touch with Kinetic Media?

Johnny: While we were doing a gig in Miami. Great team.
Katya: . Indeed, they're really fantastic. They put all of their efforts into making their artist's visions come to fruition.
I can't quite remember the details how we met, but it was during one of our shows in Miami

Paride: how about your past musical experiences before HKC? Did you play in other bands? ..A short biography.

Johnny: I started out learning classical guitar at age 8. I also picked up drums too. Around 13 I started experimenting with analog synthesizers. I became obsessed and started collecting/playing them. About a year ago I decided to start building my own. It's an ongoing love affair/obsession. Analog in general makes me inspired and crazy. This continues into outboard gear like the Neve EQ's and preamps I love to use. Nothing sounds like those old beasts. They have soul. These electronic instruments got me into stuff like new beat, EBM, and Industrial. Before that the only electronic music I listened to was New Wave.
Katya: Johnny is a true musical genius! Winning competitions in classical music since he was very very little! I have almost no classical training. I sang in a prestigious choir at the age of 7 on national TV in USSR, but threw it all away for the love of Italo Disco and Break Dancing Zaps and Bleeps! LOL;)
In the 90's I started DJ-ing in various underground NYC clubs, and dives, spinning 80's wave, minimal elektronik and eurobeat/italo for kitsch fetish crowd.
J Those were the only freaks that would allow Italo sounding music in their clubs at the time when techno-beats ruled the floor.
I also played fake keyboards in a few goth bands, performed at the legendary NYC Pyramid club, and even opened for GENE LOVES JESEBELLE ;)
But it wasn't what I was looking for. 
One sexy night I was delighted to meet Johnny with whom we formed HKC. We both loved bands like: Strawberry Switchblade, Visage, Lime.... so it was very easy and mutually inspiring!

Paride: what instruments did you use in the beginning and what's your current gear?

Johnny: Looking back at the time we made "Metal Disco EP" is kind of pitiful!
J We were heavily relying on only a few instruments. Definitely the TR808 was a big part of every song back then. I think the only other things we had was a Roland MKS80 Super Jupiter, Roland SH101, and a Sequential Circuits Pro-One. We also had a few nasty little stomp boxes that we would put stuff through and see how crazy it would sound.
As for current gear, I have at least 10 more monosynths and about 5 polysynths including Prophet 5 and my very favorite; THE MEMORYMOOG! Besides synths, I'm heavily into using vintage outboard gear like Neve pre amps and EQ's. Vintage effects I also love. Tape echos, flangers, etc…
Katya: Acquiring so much new gear, oh dear! We had to relocate to a new studio. The new space is splendid! The lofty structure is divided into 2 areas; the chill out area, and of course the music studio with an additional isolation booth. It's all decorated in modernist style; minimalist cold grays, track lights, modern art, you get the idea.

Paride: when will a new record come out?

Katya: BOTH new albums are out already on KINETIK MEDIA on CD!
We are expecting the albums on vinyls this month!
Johnny's solo project "TOTAL MACCHINA" LP was released under the name DREAM MACHINE with artwork inspired by Russian Constructivist art! And of course our "baby" "COUNTERPARTS" LP/CD!

We are also expecting a new SURPRISE release!!! LOL

A couple of DJs and musicians sent us their fan-art COVER VERSIONS of our songs! They were so brilliant that I sent the audio samples to the record label! Not only they were into the idea of making a HK COUNTERFET TRIBUTE ALBUM, but they also contacted their musician friends to participate in this full-length album! The HKC COVERS album will be called: "FLATTERY" LP (THE HIGHEST FORM OF COUNTERFEIT)
Another recent string of good luck is meeting world famous designer Karim Rashid who expressed interest in working on our new album cover. 
Johnny: It was cool because we've admired his art for a long time now.
Katya: So "Flattery" LP will features his BRILLIANT DigiPop cover art!!!!
Personally I must say that it's quite amusing being a cult-icon, LOL
J ha-ha-ha! Just like the old italo disco records I use to listen to when I was little! First we had fans use our photos as their computer screensavers, then pins, fan-art drawings, and now cover songs! Very touching I have to say ;)

Paride: can you say something about your side projects?

Johnny: Well I started out on Gigolo Records with my solo project Inform3r. My EP "Sex Offender" came out a few weeks before "Metal Disco. The later side projects that Katya and I did together, like; Puberty Love, 'Lectronix, etc.. were all created basically because we wanted to experiment with a slightly different style/sound without changing the essence of Hong Kong Counterfeit.
Katya: Johnny's Inform3r "Sex Offender EP" was the first EP on Gigolo to have a full color cover (about a year before Fischerspooner). It was an important release not only because of the music, but also for it's innovative visual presentation. As for 'Lectronix, it gave us an opportunity to work with electro/hip hop pioneer, Man Parrish. The follow-up 'Lectronix EP, "Get Zapped" featured interpretations of our music by amazing artists like Capri, Tampopo, Kitbuilders, and Johanna of Le Tigre.
First side project we did was "Puberty Love"...it was like a sillier, sexier version of HKC, which was out on Lasergun records as a single with remixes by: David carretta, Tampopo, Savas Pascalitis.

Paride: when will you cover "Tomorrow" by Amanda Lear?

Katya: Tomorrow of course!

Sergio: releasing a record with S.h.a.d.o. Electro was something you had planned since a long time? 

: S.h.a.d.o. Electro is a really great team!!!! We were into releasing an album on CD for European audience (not just vinyl).
It resulted in an amazing digipack full-length "PARADISCO" with so many new tracks, even a cover of KRISMA! No need to say: the cover art designer created the most captivating beauty of a cover inspired by Krisma's album covers!

Sergio: how did you approached to electro music?

: katya and I started making the kind of music we thought we would like to hear. We were collecting and dj'ing 80's italo music for years before actually making tracks. At the time there really wasn't anything like that out there. It was an exciting time because it was new.
Katya: It was just an experiment to try and capture and create the sound of something we both love. I don't think of it as "electro"…we just use electronic instruments because they sound so alive!

Sergio: what's your relationship with Gigolo Records?

: My friend from Dopplereffekt suggested I show my tracks to Hell. Hell heard a few of my tracks and called me the next day offering me a chance to sign on to Gigolo. It was great. I released my Sex Offender ep and toured many places under contract with them. It also allowed Katya and I to help shape the image of the label by creating the "Ziggy Stardust/Arnold" logo. After that we designed the Sid Vicious logo. Katya went on to help direct Tiga's "Sunglasses at Night" music video.

Katya: Hell called too early in the morning, we were still sleeping! He suggested releasing the tracks from MP3s! Johnny was absolutely against doing that.
So "Sex Offender" was released from a master CD, but even still they released an un-finished version of "Chemical Alteration"
Johnny designed his own GigoLOGO using the face of Bowie's ZIGGY STARDUST cleverly pasted on the body of Gigolo's trademark bodybuilder.
The design definitely stood out. It was nothing like the label's 70's inspired faded PLAYBOY-ish graphics, but vibrant neon colours. After designing the "SID" logo, I introduced Hell to his new LOGO beauty AMANDA LEPORE (David LaChapelle's muse) during the making the video and doing some promo photos. Now she proudly graces the label's record art. Johnny also had his track "Random Jazz" and Gigolo Compilation 5. 

Sergio: why did you cover "Plastic Doll"?

: We were contacted by Memory Boy Records/John Selway about doing an italo-disco cover for a release on his label. "Plastic Doll" was one of the choices. We both love that dark track…just the lyrics about all the pain of life is priceless…Something you would find in a Jungian writing on the psychology of "difficult" girls, LOL!!

Sergio: who the hell is Dr.Lektroluv?

: A really cool dj with a green face.
Katya: A gynecologist from Mars with great taste in music!

Sergio: why did you sign for Angle Records?

: We met Nicola in Milano. We all got along wonderfully and he told us this great concept for an album. We were interested.

Katya: Nicola is a truly distinguished Gentleman and artist! His concept for the cover art of "CRACKED ACTORS/TELEVISION MAN" is brilliant! He put a still of Warhol's actor Joe Alessandro!!! Very appropriate for the songs!
Playing Club PLASTIC in Milano was lots of fun also!

Paride: what can you tell us about the US scene? and what do you think about the European one?

: I personally never paid any attention to any scene. I'm all about finding a night with a good vibe, going out with my friends and getting crazy.

Katya: It seems to me that the European scene (especially from Holland / northern Europe) is more oriented towards a sort of sincere musical expression. However the USA Electroclashers seem to be more driven by the glamour and kitsch, but of course there are exceptions for both.

Paride: where does all this passion for Far East come from?

: Katya has always been fascinated by Asian culture, art and politics.

Paride: do you live together?

: We live together in NYC and work together at the studio in the country.
Katya: And we shop together all the time too!

Paride: Love question: are you and Johnny engaged?

: It's not modern enough, Isn't that something people did in the last century?

Paride: what relationship exists between HKC and cultheroes.com?

: Cultheroes.com is a site that Katya and her friend Vadim started to pay homage to a lot of inspirational figures in 80's music, cinema, and subculture. Benji Hanoben joined us to do some interviews for cultheroes.com and we are expecting an interview with BOYTRONIC in the near future!

Paride: how do you set up your live shows (laser, neon lights...)?

: Kat and I both sing and there are some live synths going on but not as much as I'd like. It's hard though because my synths are old and not roadworthy. In the future there will be a different method but I haven't nailed it down exactly what it will be yet.

Sergio: how would you define your dj sets?

: Katya and I switch off in 45-minute intervals usually. We spin almost all 1981-84 Italo and I mix in certain contemporary electro tracks I like. It's always a lot of fun. MUCH MUCH easier than playing live.

Paride: Katya, who does take care of your hair and your look?

: I'm very Infatuated with the DIY movement. I often design my own clothes based on punk/new romantik inspirations, or sometimes collaborate with other designers. But I also love hi-end names, but as long as the designs are innovative and I feel like I connect with their way of thinking. (Sonya Rykiel, sometimes Dior, Issey Miyake OF COURSE!)

Sergio: your italodisco top five, five for each other so that we can put together a cassette compilation


       1. Catch -Sun La Shan
       2. Ultimate Warlord
       3. Dance Your Love Away- Michael Prince
       4. Cardboard Lamb - Crashcource in Science
       5. Travel Sex- Travel Sex
       1- Anything by SUN-LA-SHAN / VENICE (from SuperRadio label)
       2- Baby's Gang (most of it)
       3- Travel Sex- Travel Sex
       4- Dog in The Night
       5- Too many to name, my dear….it changes every day, ha-ha,

Sergio: did you like Adriano Canzian's record?

: I'm not sure who that is. Unfortunately we don't get exposed to the wonderful radio and media Europe enjoys. But we do like Adriano Celentano!!
Katya: Adriano Celentano!!! Is one of my favorites!!!!
I eve like his movies (VERY-Very difficult to find in USA!)

Sergio: if I say N.O.I.A. you say...?

: "Looking for Love"!!!
Katya: " My True Love"

Paride: what Italian bands do you love?

: Really old ones that your mom probably likes! Ricci e Poveri especially! Katya likes Romina & Al Bano Power, Patti Pravo, Sabrina!!(Of course) and Matia Bazar(from electronic period).
And of course Italo-Disco and KRISMA-A-A-A-A-A!!!!!

Paride: do you know Mino Reitano? Do you like him? What do you like about Italy?

: I've never heard of Mino either. Unless we're in Italy we don't really get exposed to the great Italian artists. L We like so many thing about Italy. The architecture, people, and food are the things that I remember the most. While in Milan we took a little train ride to Modena to visit the amazing Ferrari museum. Galleria Ferrari! I was in shock! I've been a Ferrari enthusiast since I was 7 years old so I was ecstatic.
Katya: Italy is one of my favourite places in the world! Beauty, music, architecture, men ;) 
Unfortunately I'm not familiar with Mino Reitano ;(
It's difficult to obtain any European media (music/film, etc) while living in USA. Everything is domineered by big commercial corporations with pushing Amerikan media in our pretty faces (sometimes English media…but even that not much.)

Paride: when will you come back in Italy?

: These days we play a lot of gigs in USA. But we will love playing in BELLA ITALIA again!!!!! Maybe we'll just go soon just to visit our friend Sandra, and stop by Lamborghini museo!
Johnny: Hopefully soon. We love our Italian fans.

Paride: what kind of GIORGIO do you like?

Johnny & Katya
: The kind when E=MC squared!

Paride: Chrisma or Krisma?

Johnny & Katya
: Definitely Krisma!!

Paride: Moskow Disco or Moscow Reise?

Johnny & Katya
: Moskow Discow!

Paride: now a question straight from my heart: favorite drink? with or without lemon?

: It varies, sometimes Pinot Grigio, sometimes Stella or Peroni.
Katya: I prefer chemicals, Ha-ha-ha… but I like good wine/Champagne. Also really enjoy Japanese soy drinks!

Paride: in the end, ask yourself something and answer :)

: Johnny, did you like this interview? Hmmmmm YES! 
Katya: What should I wear tomorrow to the disco?
Answer: -Don't worry, my dear…you look fantastic in everything ;)

Katya/Johnny: Big Kisses to Stillborn Magazine and all our Italian fans! Welove you! We love you!



Paride "CDM" Polimeno & Sergio "Piggy" Chiari



© Tutto il materiale è di proprietà degli aventi diritto. Vietata la riproduzione.
Stillborn Web Magazine 2002-2004