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Interview by Sven Ericksen (Black, June 2015)

Über Facebook wurde ich auf das holländisch-deutsche Minimal Elektro Wave Projekt – NINE CIRCLES – aufmerksam, diese eleganten Sounds und minimalen Synthklänge hatten es mir angetan. Für die Texte und den Gesang ist “The Rose” Lidia Fiala zuständig und das Soundgerüst produziert Ex Psyche Mitglied Per Anders Kurenbach, ich habe die beiden via Mail angeschrieben und diese interessanten Antworten bekommen, doch lest selbst.

Hallo Lidia und Per Anders, lieben Dank nochmal für die sehr gelungene neue CD – Alice – habe die 17 Stücke in Ruhe inhaliert und bin wahrlich begeistert von der Veröffentlichung Eures Projektes NINE CIRCLES – ein elektronischer Wave Elektro Trip, auf das sich jeder Musik Freund dieser Ausrichtung freuen sollte. Man merkt natürlich sofort, dass Ihr zwei – Lidia und Per Anders – die elektronisch musikalische Klangerzeugung wirklich lebt- und daher ganz einfach gefragt: Wie kam es zum Projekt, das ja seit Mitte 2010 wieder belebt wurde, und vor allem – wie kamt Ihr zueinander und auf die Idee das Ganze neu zu starten?

Lidia: Die Band "Sixth June" hatte eine Coverversion von "What’s There Left" gemacht und hat mich gefragt, bei Ihrem Konzert im Bochumer "Zwischenfall" als Gastsängerin aufzutreten. Durch diesen Auftritt habe ich wieder Lust bekommen, auch wieder selbst Musik zu machen. Zuerst hatte ich es mit einem anderen Keyboarder versucht, aber das hat leider menschlich nicht funktioniert. Ich war schon über Facebook mit Per-Anders befreundet und wir haben unser erstes gemeinsames Konzert im Mai 2012 in Lyon gespielt – ohne uns vorher persönlich getroffen zu haben. Obwohl wir beim Soundcheck das erste Mal zusammen gespielt haben, hat es prima funktioniert und wir hatten großen Spaß auf der Bühne. Seit dem ist "Nine Circles" wieder mit Konzerten und auch neuen Songs zurück.

Per: Eigentlich sind wir uns ja schon 2009 auf Myspace begegnet. Ich habe sehr oft beim DJen und Online-Streamen die Musik von Nine Circles gespielt (durch eine Bekannte hatte ich in den 90ern die Tracks erhalten) , mich aber gewundert, dass man kaum etwas im Internet finden konnte. Keine Informationen oder Veröffentlichungen. Daher beschloss ich, einen Fan-Account zu erstellen, damit noch mehr Leute die Musik entdecken konnten. Irgendwann schrieb mich dann eine gewisse Lidia "The Rose" Fiala an, dass sie die Sängerin von NC sei und es wohl bald wieder Musikaktivitäten geben würde :) . Anfang 2012 schrieb ich Lidia im Facebook an und fragte sie nach Veröffentlichungen und Konzerten. So erfuhr ich, dass sie das Projekt fast wieder sterben lassen wollte, da sie mit ihrem Keyboarder unüberbrückbare menschliche Differenzen hatte. Wir schrieben uns daraufhin fast täglich und beschlossen, gemeinsam weiter zu machen.

Habt Ihr eine musikalische Ausbildung genossen oder wie seid Ihr zur Musik gekommen und seit wann seid Ihr jeweils aktiv?

Lidia: Als ich 4 Jahre alt war, hat mein Vater mich in seinen Mundharmonica-Club mitgenommen und dort habe ich meine Liebe für die Musik entdeckt. (Danke Papa!) Ich habe in meinem Leben viele Musikrichtungen ausprobiert; angefangen habe ich in den 70ern zuerst als Hippie, dann hatte ich eine Punk-Periode und danach habe ich den New Wave entdeckt, dem ich bis heute treu geblieben bin.

Per: Musik hat mich seit meiner frühesten Kindheit begeistert, zudem lag es auch in der Familie. Meine Mutter spielte Klavier und Geige, meine schwedische Großmutter konnte auch Klavier spielen. Als ich 8 Jahre alt war, kauften meine Eltern sich dann ein eigenes Klavier, wo ich meine ersten musikalischen Gehversuche übte. Mit 9 Jahren ging ich dann selber begeistert zum Klavierunterricht, wo ich 10 Jahre lang klassische und moderne Stücke und Spielweisen erlernte. Ein Faible für elektronische Musik hatte ich aber irgendwie immer schon gehabt. Was so im Radio lief, hatte mich immer begeistert.

Welche musikalischen Einflüsse und Inspirationen sind es, die Euch immer wieder zum Musikmachen motivieren und inspirieren?

Per: Ich höre zwar sehr viel Musik von anderen Künstlern, aber finde meine Inspiration eher durch meinen Alltag und meine Familie. Geschichten/Situationen, die ich höre oder selbst erlebe, tragen zum komponieren und zur Stimmung des Liedes erheblich bei. Natürlich inspirieren mich auch Lidias Texte erheblich.

Lidia: Ich spiele gerne an den Synthesizer-Einstellungen herum, bis ich etwas gefunden habe, was mir gefällt. Ich denke, ich bin relativ wenig von anderen beeinflusst, weil ich meine Gefühle in unserer Musik verarbeite, das kann man nicht bei anderen holen.

Haben sich über die Jahre Eure individuellen Musikausrichtungen und elektronischen Sounds von NINE CIRCLES weiter entwickelt, teils eventuell sicherlich der neuen Technik geschuldet ??

Lidia: Nein, durch die neue Technik haben wir andere Möglichkeiten, aber wir versuchen, unserem Stil treu zu bleiben, ohne dabei ganz stehen zu bleiben.

Per: Es ist für mich oft nicht einfach, mich zu rechtfertigen. Da gibt es die Minimal-Elektro-NERDS, die es absolut nicht gut finden, dass wir zuwenig mit alten Synthies und Drummaschinen arbeiten, die andere Fraktion freut sich einfach nur über neue Songs. Ich arbeite überwiegend mit Cubase und Reason, benutze sehr viel "free download" plugins, an denen ich sehr lange bastle. Aber ich verfremde auch aufgenommene Geräuschen, dass sie wie ein Instrument klingen. Somit klingen wir eh schon mal nicht so, wie andere Bands in dem Genre. Was uns auch unterscheidet von anderen, ist, dass ich nur ganz selten beim Komponieren mit der Maus arbeite, weil ich jede Idee "live" per Hand einspiele, egal ob Basslauf, Solo, Flächen etc. Und Lidia hatte das ja vorhin auch schon beantwortet, dass sie lieber mit den Synths "live" experimentiert. So machen wir das aber auf der Bühne teilweise auch.

Erklärt den Lesern doch bitte einmal das Konzept des neuen NINE CIRCLES Albums – wieviel Arbeitszeit wurde für das großartige Album investiert und wie läuft der Entstehungsprozess, incl. Studioarbeit bei Euch ab?

Lidia: Mitte 2012 haben wir angefangen, neue Songs zu komponieren. Einer der ersten war "Alice Don’t Jump". Den Text hatte ich schon 2 Jahre zuvor geschrieben. Ich habe ihn dann Per gezeigt und er hat den Song sehr gefühlvoll musikalisch umgesetzt. Ich habe dann einfach nur noch dazu gesungen. ;-) Der Song ist genau so geworden, wie ich es mir vorgestellt und gewünscht hatte, weil Per genau so gefühlt hat, wie ich. Ich glaube, wir sind so etwas wie Seelenverwandte. Das Rohmaterial zu dem Videoclip hatte ich schon mit meinen Freund gedreht, noch bevor ich mit Per "Nine Circles" neu aufgelegt habe, also lange bevor die Musik zu "Alice Don’t Jump" existierte. Bei anderen Songs entsteht zuerst die Musik, meist indem Per oder ich eine Idee haben und sie dann zusammen weiter entwickeln. Da wir relativ weit auseinander wohnen, schicken wir uns Musikfragmente über das Internet hin und her, bis der Song fertig ist.

Per: Wir haben an unserem Album über 2 Jahre gearbeitet, und diese Zeit war (fast) noch nicht ausreichend für mich. Ich bin nicht schnell zufrieden, und ich will jedes Wort, jede Textzeile, die Lidia singt oder spricht, auf seinen ganz persönlichen Thron setzen. Es klingt vielleicht merkwürdig für manche, aber so ist das bei mir. Und ja! Wir sind definitiv seelenverwandt!! Anders würde es sonst nicht klappen. Und was bringt Dir ein tolles Instrumental oder ein wunderbarer Text, wenn man beides nicht kombinieren kann? Da haben wir noch nie Probleme mit gehabt :)

Noch zwei Fragen zu – a.) die neue Platte heißt – ALICE – hat aber wohl nichts mit dem gleichnamigen Song der Sisters of Mercy zu tun und b) woher kommt die Betitelung im Namen von Lidia Fiala “The Rose”?

Lidia: Meine beste Freundin in Kindertagen hieß Alice und ich habe ihr zu Ehren den Song "Alice Don’t Jump" und das ganze Album gewidmet, damit sie und das, was uns beiden und vielen anderen Mädchen passiert ist, nicht vergessen wird. Mein Künstlername "The Rose" stammt noch aus den 80er Jahren, als Peter van Garderen meinte, ich wäre schön wie eine Rose und mich entsprechend genannt hat. Spätestens nach dem gleichnamigen Song war der Name dann festgelegt…

Euer Cover Outfit erinnert mich irgendwie an Joy Divison, also ziemlich sakral Düster – ist diese Ausrichtung so beabsichtigt?

Lidia: Das Cover mit dem Grabstein und dem Hochhaus im Hintergrund soll den Song "Alice Don’t Jump" visualisieren, und ist quasi der Videoclip komprimiert auf ein Foto. Daß es so "sakral düster" geworden ist, ist der Geschichte hinter dem Song geschuldet, aber kein allgemeines Prinzip. Zu einem fröhlicheren Thema würden wir auch ein fröhlicheres Cover machen.

Per: Die Album-Songs, die Texte und Hintergründe sind wahr, ehrlich und knallhart. Und es war für uns beide fast wie eine Therapie. Dass das Cover es Dich Joy Division erinnert, ehrt uns sehr, aber war überhaupt nicht beabsichtigt :-).

Die Texte von NINE CIRCLES im allgemeinen und speziell vom neuen Album, was inspiriert Euch dazu und wer schreibt diese, z.B. – “Vulkan” – “Dark City” – “Broken World” haben es mir sehr angetan, woran orientiert Ihr Euch hierbei?

Lidia: Ich habe alle Texte von "Nine Circles" geschrieben. Ich schreibe Texte, seit ich 14 Jahre alt bin und manche der Texte passen auch noch in die heutige Zeit, so daß wir sie dann für neue Songs verwenden. Ansonsten schreibe ich auch jetzt immer noch neue Texte. Bei meinen Texten inspiriert mich das Leben und ich schreibe über meine Erlebnisse, Gedanken und Gefühle.

Per: Einen Song hast Du ja für mich geschrieben: “A Face Behind The Clown”….weil ich in meinem Leben so oft gute Miene zum bösen Spiel gemacht habe. Danke dafür Lidia hat eine sehr große Sammlung an Lyrics. Für das Album philosophierten wir beide sehr intensiv über die Inhalte und ob es zu unserer Situation im Alltag passt – oder wie wichtig es ist, einen Song mit diesem Thema zu schreiben. Ich versuche, die Lyrics – und das, was Lidia dazu bewegt hat, sie zu schreiben – intensiv zu fühlen/nachzuempfinden und musikalisch umzusetzen…Mit all dem Wehmut, der Trauer, der Ungerechtigkeit. Aber auch wenn es darum geht, die Leute um sich herum wegzuschubsen und nur zu tanzen. Ich bin sehr kritisch mit mir. Ich gebe nicht allzuschnell einen Song als “FERTIG” ab.

Ist die Zukunft – für mich als alten Plattensammler übrigens eine grauenvolle Vorstellung – tatsächlich der digitale Megatrend – das Streaming – wo Millionen von Songs überall und sogar legal jederzeit bequem und billig wie nie zuvor, verfügbar sind?

Lidia: Wir haben zwar kürzlich unser Album auch als digitalen Download veröffentlicht, aber für mich persönlich ist und bleibt Vinyl immer die Nummer Eins. CDs und MP3s sind zwar praktisch, aber eine Vinyl-Schallplatte in Verbindung mit ihrem großen Cover ist eher ein Kunstwerk.

Per: Ich höre seit vielen Jahren kaum noch Schallplatten, bin aber seit NINE CIRCLES sehr überrascht, wie groß doch das Vinylinteresse ist. CDs werden wir nur schwer los, aber alles was wir als Schallplatten veröffentlicht haben, geht schnell weg. Ich gebe zu, dass ich mehr mp3s besitze als physische Tonträger. Aber ich werde in Zukunft wieder mehr Vinyl hören :)

Wie steht Ihr zum Thema Musikvideos – ich habe Eure Livespots schon begutachtet – bringt es Vorteile in diesen Audiovisuellen Zeiten Clips für You Tube, Facebook oder andere Kanäle zu erstellen?

Lidia: Ich denke schon, daß es Vorteile bringt, indem man dadurch neue Leute erreicht, die ansonsten nichts von uns gehört hätten.

Per: In einem Musikvideo kann man die Bedeutung eines Songs noch mehr hervorheben, das Ganze optisch noch klarer definieren. Ich halte da sehr viel von. Einen Musik-Clip haben wir ja schon gemacht für “Alice”.

Hattet Ihr schon Auftritte im Ausland absolviert, teilweise gibt es Künstler, die dort erfolgreicher als in der Heimat sind und gab es Livekonzerte an ungewöhnlichen Orten?

Lidia: Da ich Holländerin bin und wir erst einmal dort gespielt haben, habe ich fast alle Auftritte im Ausland. ;-) Die meisten Auftritte haben wir in Deutschland, wo Per wohnt – und ich mittlerweile auch. Aber wir sind auch schon in Belgien, Frankreich, Litauen und zuletzt in Schweden gewesen.

Per: Ungewöhnlich war es in Lyon zu spielen. Wir haben auf einem ausgedienten Frachtkutter gespielt, welcher als Club umfunktionert worden war, im Wasser schwamm und am Steg vertäut war….sehr merkwürdig..Aber nicht unangenehm :)

Der Synth Dino – Jean Michel Jarre – hat vor ca. 8 Jahren seine erste Veröffentlichung “Oxygene” mit den Original Instrumenten aus 1976 live auf einer Tour performt, wäre das mal ein Anreiz für Lidia oder auch für Dich Per Anders – alte Tracks und Platten nochmal neu performed oder gar unplugged zu präsentieren?

Lidia: Den Synthesizer von damals habe ich leider nicht mehr, ansonsten würde ich den schon gerne benutzen. Alte Songs in neuem Gewand haben wir bereits gemacht, aber eine "unplugged"-Variante mit Gitarren statt Synthies würde ich niemals machen.

Per: Wie Lidia schon sagte…wenn wir alle dafür notwendigen Geräte physisch zur Vefügung hätten, würde ich kein Problem haben, diese auch live so zu benutzen. Irgendwann werden wir das bestimmt auch mal machen, denke ich. Aber – unplugged – so mit Klavier – das könnte ich mir schon eher vorstellen…wenn Lidia das auch gut findet und die Leute das hören wollen :)

Welche Platten sind Eure All Time Heros im heimischen Plattenregal?

Lidia: Mein absoluter Favorit ist "Year of the cat" von Al Stewart. Danach kommen "Sheik Yerbouti" von Frank Zappa, "Mange Tout" von Blancmange, "Blue Monday" von New Order und alles von Joy Division.

Per: OMD (78-84), Kraftwerk (alles bis 1986), Human League (bis 1984), Massive Attack, The Prodigy…aber auch “World” von den BeeGees, der “I Feel Love”-Remix von Donna Summer, Johnny Cash, The Beatles….und viele mehr.

Sind Nebenprojekte für einen Künstler notwendig, da sich hier musikalisch etwas anders ausgelebt werden kann – oder braucht man eventuell überhaupt keine Nebenprojekte, wenn sich solch Prozesse vielleicht sogar integrieren lassen?

Lidia: Ich denke nicht, daß es notwendig ist, aber es macht halt einfach Spaß mit verschiedenen Musikern etwas zu kreieren.

Per: Also ich brauche manchmal diese Momente, wo ich musikalisch "ausbrechen" und etwas ganz anderes machen kann. Ich bin nicht festgefahren in meiner Musikrichtung und probiere gerne auch andere Dinge aus. Denn ich brauche diese Eigenerfahrung für mich. Es kommt darauf an, was es ist, aber ich nutze diese Erfahrungen auch für Nine Circles.

Und zum Schluss ein kleiner Ausblick : Was möchtet Ihr in der nahen oder späteren Zukunft noch mit NINE CIRCLES umsetzen und erreichen?

Lidia: Wir arbeiten derzeit an unserem neuen Album "Emerge". Fünf Songs sind schon fertig. Mal sehen, was danach kommt, soweit planen wir nicht.

Per: So ist es. Wir lassen uns treiben :)


Interview by Matthew Samways (Electric Voice Records, July 2012)

I was pleased when Lidia wrote me this morning asking us to announce the new Nine Circles "The Early Days" LP, alongside an interview conducted by Courtney a couple weeks ago. In 1980, lovers Lidia Fiala and Peter van Garderen joined together in creating atmospheric Minimal Synth songs with emotive lyrical content and an expressive delivery from Lidia. Having only recorded once in their time together during a VPRO hosted radio session titled "Spleen", it would go on to become a part of the infamous Radionome compilation LP in 1982. At the time, with contemporary's like New Order growing mainstream success, the minimalism of groups like Nine Circles was overlooked. In 1982 when Lidia and Peter's relationship ended, Nine Circles followed - with no intentions perusing their collection of over 50 composed songs from the previous 2 years.
Just over 25 years later Lidia's son Patrick decide to search his mother's name on Google and was she very surprised to find out that Nine Circles music was carried and bootlegged over the years, and even appearing on the cult Flexi-pop series. Read more about this interesting and touching story from Lidia with this interview by Courtney.
"The Early Days" LP will be released later this year by German labels Genetic Music & Anna Logue Records and UK based label Angular Recording co. and Canadian customers can visit the Electric Voice store.
Here is an unreleased track "Mercy" which will appear on a super special Electric Voice release that will be announced in early fall.....

I know you were super young when you were first recorded; what was influencing you at the time, musically or otherwise?
Well I was 4 years old when my daddy taught me how to play the harmonica, singing was already then a passion of mine. I was super young when I started to write my songs (15). It was a reflex of what was happening in my life! All my songs are parts of my life, even in this moment I still write and sing about my life. The music came together with the songs in 1980 when I met Peter van Garderen. He was already in a band, but left them to make music together with me, and not to forget we were very much in love.

Where exactly in the Netherlands were you raised? What was that like?
I was born in the south of Holland - let's say Framersland and Mines land.. I will not say anymore, sorry.

Did you like the mystery that had surrounded you as an artist, or are you happy with the ongoing interest in your music?
Well, let me tell you that I found out what was going on about Nine Circles only 3 and a half year ago, My son Patrick searched my name on Google and then he found much about Nine Circles, I was very surprised!
I made a Facebook account and one day Later Kristiaan Horvers wrote me, he was glad he found me. He told me everything he knows about Nine Circles and that was a lot more than I knew at that moment. Peter had released a CD that I did not know about and we were on the Radionome sampler (1982 VPRO). (They had) never reached in my hands, because the relationship with Peter was finished before the release of that record! Then a label found me Angular Recording, they Released a sampler with "Twinkling Stars" on it.
You can use this link to find out about the releases and some more info; http://www.nine-circles.de.be/
Next Rainer of Genetic Music found me, and then everything went fast from there. I found a new partner to make music, and soon we were on stage. The first time in my life in Bremen "shockwave" and it was great.. Finally after all those years I was able to make music again and sing and use all the songs I wrote (in 1980/1982 - 60 songs) and now well let's keep that a secret he he ...
I had to let the new keyboard player go because of personal problems.
Then I found Per (For more info look visit the Nine Circles website). Per-Anders Kurenbach - a fantastic human who is full of love, we were friends on Facebook for awhile, I told him that I had a concert planned in Lyon but I did not have a keyboard player, He told he would go with me on stage and so he did. We never met in person before, we just went to Lyon and get on stage, the first time we played together was with the sound check. The concert was the best ever.
So now Per and I are working on some new songs, and of course the old songs. We hope to have many concerts soon.

Assuming Dutch is your first language, why did you decide to write your songs in English?
I don't like Dutch it's too cold!

At this point, do you plan on continuing to challenge yourself as a musician?
Like I told my friends my dream is to die on stage.

You cited that the Internet and social networking served as the avenue for the revival of Nine Circles. What is your relationship with social networking and how do you feel about it's role in current underground music?
I think the internet is a perfect place for any one that has something to share, like music or art - you name it. People are listening to Nine Circles all over the world, how else would I have done that? I am not rich like the artists who can spend a lot of money on advertising themselves. I think the Underground needs and deserve a fair chance. There are so many good bands out there and often people think these groups of people loving underground music crazy. I am in contact with Peter van Garderen but only by email, he has a different life now and I respect that. He is sending me all the music and told me I can do what I want with it, do I will.
More I can't say for now.........mystery


Interview by Dennis Ohrt (Peek-A-Boo, Aug. 2011)

2010 saw the release of the critically acclaimed compilation "Cold Waves + Minimal Electronics Volume 1" featuring many rare and forgotten classics of the early 1980's New Wave / Minimal scene. One of the outstanding contributions was "Twinkling Stars" by NINE CIRCLES, Peek-A-Boo now had the chance to speak to Lidia about past, present and future of the band...

When you started Nine Circles, did you consider the band part of a scene or was it rather working on your own?
Well we were part of a group that all were making this new kind of noises, but yet we were standing alone.

Many English bands (The Cure, Joy Division, The Sound,...) had their first success outside England in the Netherlands, did those bands had an impact on Nine Circles?
Well The Cure was and is still my favourite but at that time I did not know them, that was later after I stopped making music and singing. There were some bands I knew and liked, like The Force Dimension, Smalts, De Fabriek, Genetic Factor, Van Kaye & Ignit, Fausto, but I don't think they had an impact on our music.

Was using just synths and drum machine (the lovely 4 sounds of the Boss DR-55) done on purpose or was it more a question of what stuff was around and affordable?
Well it was that we could not afford more, and we were happy to have the Yamaha CS-30 and Boss Dr. Rhythm.

Your first release was in 1982 on a compilation of Dutch VPRO radio, how did this happen?
A friend of us, Richard Zeilstra, was working at the Radio (SPLEEN). He had a program in which new groups had a chance to present themselves. He asked a lot of bands to send in a tape and he would pick some of the bands to be on a sampler, and so it happened that Nine Circles was on the "Radionome" LP aswell.

"Twinkling Stars" is probably your most famous song, can you tell us a bit more about it?
Well, I am very involved with stars and planets, in those days my life was so bad that I was wishing that a spaceship would come and take me away from all of it. I am still convinced that there is more than this life here on earth. :))

The song has recently appeared on the well-received "Cold Waves + Minimal Electronics Vol. 1" compilation, were you surprised even newspapers like "The Guardian" from England [Lidia was interviewed for a podcast] showed an interest in the band?
Well I was very surprised when my youngest son Patrick googled my name and told me that I was all over the internet. That was when I found out that my ex had released a CD, that there was a lot more out there and he forgot to tell me. ;(( Of course I am very surprised about everything that is happening time after time I wonder why people like this music so much...

The band split up after two years, did you ever try to form another group or was it a goodbye to the music scene for yourself back then?
When the love was gone, Nine Circles was gone as well. For 25 years I did not speak about or listen to my music simply because I did not have it. I did not talk about it, because I was thinking that this was a mistake and that nobody liked it.

You started playing live again in 2010, what can we expect from a Nine Circles concert these days and why didn't you play concerts back in the early eighties [Nine Circles just performed once for Dutch VPRO radio]?
Well you can expect the minimal sound like in the 80s, but of course there is a slight difference but we try to be as close as possible to the songs from back then.
In the 80's we did not have concerts because we split up at the wrong moment and because people did not understand us and were thinking that we were very strange people.

How has the live-setup and band changed for those gigs, as from what I read, Peter van Garderen cannot be part of Nine Circles in 2011?
Well the only thing that has changed is the keyboard player and the instruments. Peter Van Garderen has a different life and it happy like that, and I respect that. But he is in contact with me and is helping where he can to get all the sounds to me. So in a way he is part of it all, but he said I am free to publish what I want :))

Can we still hope for new Nine Circles material in the future and are you up for more concerts??
Well the concerts are still going:
July 30th: Frankfurt
September 17th: Lyon
November/December: Paris
(A list of our concerts can also be found on our website) And yes there is coming something but I can't talk about it yet.

In retrospect, do you regret not stocking a whole package of the "Radionome" compilation in 1982? It could have worked out as a nice extra pocket money these days seeing the prices on various internet-auction sites...
I never had a copy of that sampler. I even have never touched or seen it in real in my life. :-(

Was there ever a musical event or song that made it clear for you you have to become a musician yourself?
When I was a child my father taught me how to play the harmonica and from that time I wanted to make music by my own. I also wanted to play theatre, but I never had the chance to get anywhere with it, wrong karma I suppose.

As there are still so many almost undiscovered songs from the early minimal days, is there a song or band you can recommend that possibly not everyone has heard of?
Well a band like Genetic Factor, great music but not respected by anyone. :((

Lidia, thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions! I leave the last words to you, anything you want to say to our readers?
Well I want to say that I am glad to make music again, I want to thank Joa Saleina for her hard work within Nine Circles, she is a great musician.
I want to thank Martin Kleefeld for all his support and love. And last but not least some words to our fans: Thanks for visiting our concerts or listening to our music at home. Soon, very soon there will be more. :))


Interview by Alain Rodriguez (Vivante Records, June 2011)

Where do you come from both of you?
Well, actually I don't know where Peter comes from, he was living in Amsterdam in those days. I was born in the south of Holland and moved to Amsterdam as a teenager.

What is your experience with music?
There's always been music in my life. Peter's mother used to sing old Dutch songs and my dad was a drummer and played a lot of Gypsy music on a fiddle.

Were you involved with music before you met Peter?
Yes and no, I was interested in a lot of things in the 80s. Theatre mostly.

How did you meet and how was the band formed?
We met in Melkweg in Amsterdam in 1980. The way the band was formed is a long story, but here it is:
First I met Jan Snijders who had a band called 'Genetic Factor' with Peter Van Garderen and Richard Zeilstra. We quickly fell in love but only for a short while. After I broke up with Jan, I moved with Peter, we became very close and we started to make music together. It fitted like a glove between us.
Then Genetic Factor split up. Each of the boys found a girlfriend and started making music with that girl, like Peter and I. We were all living together in the same house. So there were 3 bands in one house with 3 floors.
Richard Zeilstra had a job at the radio VPRO. His show was called 'Spleen'. He wanted to give New Wave bands a chance. Bands would send him tapes and the best bands would get the opportunity to play live at the radio and a chance to come on the LP 'RadioNome'.
So Peter and I, who were very much in love at that time, sent our tape to him and then it happened; we were the only ones from this house to be on the radio. Richard said our music was special, but we did not realize it. We had just started to make music together. Our live was about making love, getting out of bed to make music and getting back into bed again. I was very happy, I was doing all I had ever wanted.

What is the significance of the name "Nine Circles"?
It originates from "The Nine Circles of Hell" from Dante Alighieri's "Divine Comedy".

What was the music scene like in Amsterdam in the early 80s? Were you in contact with other bands at that time?
It was a small scene and everybody knew each other. We were in contact with "Van Kaye & Ignit", "Cargo Cultus", "The Actor", "Genetic Factor", "Stephen R. Emmer", "Einstein", "Rob Smit", "De Fabriek", "Nexda", "The Force Dimension", "Smalts". We talked about music, helped each other when we did not know something. We had nice evenings together, going to the same concerts. We were good friends in life, but still with a distance in music, everyone was making sure not to give anything away, they where afraid someone could steal a track and make a hit ;)) This is why we did not play music together.

Was there a place that you particularly liked to listen and dance to music?
We mostly met at the "Mazzo", a club for this kind of music and videos. I think it closed at some point, because of drugs problems. (It has re-opened since.)

How did you work together? Were you writing the lyrics and was Peter developing the electronics?
I wrote most of the texts before "Nine Circles" started. They were not originally intended to be song lyrics. I also wrote new lyrics for some songs we made. Whichever comes first, the music or the lyrics, there is no particular order. We developed and played music together.

Your lyrics convey a lot of emotions and seem to be very personal. How did you approach writing them? Where did you find your inspiration? How did you feel when you were singing?
I started to write when I was 15 years old. It was a way to face the situation I'd had to deal with since I was born, to cope with my feelings. I was angry at the world and at people for what they had done to me, to my life, since childhood. With some songs ?I still have to make sure I don't start crying on stage. My songs are like circles that don't have an end or a beginning, like life, everything is going on and on and on...

Do you remember the first song you wrote together?
The first song we wrote together was "The Rose". "The Rose" is me trying to survive, I don't want to say more about it.

The only songs that you released were your two cult tracks "Twinkling Stars" and "What's there left?" on the "Radionome" compilation. Why, did you choose these two songs? Please tell us more about these gems...
We did not pick the song, Richard Zeilstra chose it from all our songs, he was the one behind it.
"What's there left" is about me beeing very mad at the invasion of computers. At that time, people were loosing their job because of it, they were not able to pay the rent and ended on the streets. And during that same period, doctors told me that I could not have kids of my own, or maybe later, in another way.
"Twinkling Stars" is telling the story of me waiting for a spaceship to take me to the stars where no one could hurt me.

It seems that you also appear on the "Colonial Vipers" cassette came out in 1982 under "Nine Cirkles"...
Yes, indeed that's us in spite of the typo. I wrote the song about Peter and he insisted to sing it himself. But I didn't know about the Trumpett-Tape until 2009 (Same for the CD from 1996). I was only aware of the "Radionome" LP, though I never owned one. All this stuff, after that LP, has been released by Peter, without my knowledge, after our relationship (and with it "Nine Circles") broke.

What specific instruments and equipment did you use?
We had a Yamaha CS-30 Synth, a Dr. Rhythm DR-55 Drum Computer, a microphone and a stereo double cassette deck to record the tracks.

Your music doesn't seem to be really dancefloor oriented, there is something "hybrid" about it. Yet when I listen to it, I can't help dancing...
The intention was neither to make danceable music nor not to make danceable music. It just happens that most songs are danceable.

Is there a track that you particularly like? Why?
"Foolin'", because it says exactly what I feel about some people in my life. (Those people who fit the shoe, know who I mean.)

If I'm correct you only played live once. Why is that? How come you never played live again? It seems like you wrote enough songs within 2 years to have been able to play great gigs...
Yes, we did about 60 songs! But we never had a live show on stage, only one concert live at the radio when we recorded the Radionome LP and we split up shortly after it was released, so we only played once. When my relationship with Peter ended, my relationship with music ended also, I mean "was interrupted" for 25 years.

There is a love story behind Nine Circles, Peter and you were lovers. What can you say about creating something with someone you love?
Yes, we were very much in love, and I think our music carries this. As I said, our life consisted in making music, going to bed, having sex and then going back to making more music... that says enough ;))

How did Nine Circles come to an end?
Well I don't want to go into details but when love went, "Nine Circles" went with it.

How would you describe this period of your life today?
It was the best of my life, than it was shit for 25 years - I thought music was nothing and nobody cared about Nine Circles - but since one year ago this great feeling is back, it is like going back in time!

Indeed! you reformed the band with a new member, Johanna Saleina. How did you meet her and how did she come to join the band?
I was in in the "Zwischenfall" club in Bochum (Germany) when Johanna played with her projects "Delos" and "Plastik Berlin" there. I was thinking about how to come back with "Nine Circles" and had no idea how, until I heard Johanna playing Synths. I am really happy with her, she really has that Nine Circles feeling.

How are you going to keep the spirit of Nine Circles alive in this new project? I suppose that your inspirations changed from what they were...
I don't know, we are not doing anything special, either it is there or it is not. But the past is still present, we have a lot of material we can work with and we don't have to think about new songs...

Are you still using the same equipment?
Yes and no, I have a Boss DR-55 again, but I am still looking for a Yamaha CS-30, which is very expensive these days. So we're trying to replace it with other old (Roland SH-101, Korg MS-10, ...) and new (Roland SH-201, Korg Microkorg) instruments.

Do you want to give Nine Circles a new direction in terms of music or lyrics?
No there is no need to change for me or Johanna.

What do you listen to today?
Mostly old-school New Wave bands like "Joy Division", "A Blaze Colour", "Somnambulist & M. Bryo" and many more. And some new bands like "Xeno & Oaklander", "Martial Canterel", "Ben Bloodygrave", "Nina Belief" and "Sixth June".

Thank you for your time and the interview, any final thoughts to add?
I hope that there is someone who can help me get the "Radionome" sampler!


Interview by Patrick Marsman (Le Voyage, Oct. 2010)

After twenty-six years being non-active as the lead singer of Nine Circles, Lidia the Rose has entered the world of minimal synth again. Thanks to her youngest son who googled her name on the internet, she became aware of the fact there were still lot of Nine Circles fans out there. A day after she made a facebook account Kristiaan Hovers from Nullzeit contacted her, and a year later she was performing with Nine Circles for the first time.
Last Saturday Nine Circles performed at Nullzeit in Rotterdam, after the gig Le Voyage had the change to make a quick chat with Lidia and asked her some questions. She also mailed us an unreleased track from Nine Circles to make available for our readers to download!

You've just had your second performance ever, how did that go?
I think it went great! Johanna and me have really enjoyed the show, it was nice to see that people reacted on songs like "Twinkling Stars" and "What's There Left".

How do experience the performing for a crowd? Are you nervous before a gig?
The whole week before a gig I'm a bit nervous... but on the stage I'm not uptight anymore and just really enjoying it!

We hear from a lot of people that the music of Nine Circles really hits them, the lyrics of the songs are sung with such deep emotion in it. We've just experienced that by ourselves when we've heard you perform, goosebumps all over the place! From where did you got your inspiration when you wrote the songs from the Nine Circles? And how do you manage to still sing with so much emotion?
The lyrics are representing my life. I've started writing lyrics when I was fifteen years old. Besides that I was writing poems that I called "Barensweeën". I'm planning to publish all these poems in a book. When I sing I still remember the feeling I've got when I wrote the songs, these emotions you don't forget. Therefore I'm able to sing with so much emotion, because it's real. With certain songs I find it even hard to not bust down in tears.

Could you tell us something about the gear you use during the performance?
It are mainly old synthesizers. I'm not good in brand names and stuff like that. It's our goal to work again with old equipment from the early days, to maintain that real Nine Circles sound. As a present for my birthday I've got the DR55 Dr.Rhythm. At this moment i'm still searching for the Yamaha CS-30. This together with a micro delay, an analog delay and a double cd deck were the only things we used back then.

Which minimal synth acts from nowadays you like? And which ones from the past?
Nina Belief, Led Er Est, Ben Bloodygrave are my favorites, I also really like Xeno and Oaklander. From the past I especially like the music from the 80's, there is a certain atmosphere in this music that I can't find quickly in the music you hear now. Back in the 80's i've listened a lot to Joy Division, The Cure and even Frank Zappa.

Do you have any plans for the future?
I'm definitely keep performing with Nine Circles together with Johanna. If I hadn't found Johanna there would be no Nine Circles now! I'm really proud and happy that I have the luck to work with her, she's amazing. We're also planning to record new songs because there is so much material left from the 80's we didn't do anything with back then... I've also started a new band with Martin and Ritch called "Notstrom". With this band we're also gonna release a single!