Following the cult acclaim for her second album ‘Arcana’, CZARINA returns with a dark electro take on alternative rock band A PERFECT CIRCLE’s 2004 single ‘The Outsider’.

Pushing the song into a more baroque Gothic direction which manages to caress and ravage vocally, there are hints of DEPECHE MODE and THE CURE in the synthesized filmic arrangement, particularly in the stringy resonances of the latter’s ‘Lullaby’. The track will be part of the ‘Sacred Geometry: A Tribute to A PERFECT CIRCLE’ tribute compilation by Coitus Interruptus Productions who also put together the JAPAN tribute album ‘Still Life In Polaroids’ on which CZARINA featured.

Based in the Spanish region Galicia facing both the Atlantic Ocean and the Cantabrian Sea, New Yorker Vero Faye Kitsuné, who makes her art under the imperial nom de théâtre of CZARINA, takes her more recent mystical inspiration from her relocation, projecting the vast landscape with a cosmic presence in her visual presentations.

CZARINA chatted to ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK about the making of ‘The Outsider’ and its impressive video which was made with her husband / creative partner DeadlyKawaii under their two-man production umbrella The Kitsunés on a limited budget…

What inspired you darkly synth up A PERFECT CIRCLE’s ‘The Outsider’?

The original track and performance are so iconic of A PERFECT CIRCLE, of Maynard James Keenan and of that particular era in music that it is hallowed ground. (The song and their record, ‘Thirteenth Step’, just turned 20 years old!)

I have to carefully dissect, deconstruct the composition and arrangements, and then drastically rebuild without deviating from the original chord structure and vocal melodies. My goal was to give the song my own perspective, spin and dynamic qualities, without repeating what was already done, and bring it to a very different and unique space through a new set of lens. During production, a lot of my other influences also came to mind in the process. There’s a bit of THE CURE, Siouxsie and Kate Bush vibes in there.

But I didn’t set out to do just a darkwave or synth pop version. I wanted to push my production and performance while maintaining the song’s gripping intensity – especially the visceral anger – but also give it an otherworldly, enigmatic atmosphere that feels ancient – almost like “a call from home” or “return to senses” type of thing. It was fun writing and integrating the string section, the choir and a new piano / synths topline melody against the arps and the heavy drums which I kept in that dark alternative / epic rock style of performance along with the vocals.

The original was driven by Billy Howerdel’s guitars so I felt it was only proper to throw in a very brief Phrygian mode guitar performance. The mix of various elements gave the song some new facets and dimension. As there were a lot of layers and parts going on at the same time (typical with most of my production work), my co-producer, mixing and mastering engineer, Von Hertzog (VHxRR, INFORMATION SOCIETY) had to dial in all the moving parts in analog to get that wide full range in dynamics. He gave the mix some massive cojonés. The result felt like a whole different world emerged from the core of the original song itself.

The video is suitably picturesque, mystical and uses drones, how did you come up with the concept?

I wanted to give the song a different meaning as to how it relates in a larger scale. We wanted to paint the visuals with a bit of nostalgic, cosmic fantasy and color – make it fun yet thoughtful. DeadlyKawaii and I created this alien, celestial world using all the surreal, beautiful surroundings available to us here in our home in Costa Da Morte, Galicia and convey the song from the view point of a true, yet curious and playful “Outsider” in the form of a dark astral entity looking in and pondering over humanity (or perhaps, another hopeless race of intelligent yet terribly misguided beings entering final stages of its cosmic cycle and really screwing things up in their home planet.)

We see this Outsider see truth, come to full realization, absorb and charge up some power to initiate the final act of judgement and become the source of destruction – not necessarily out of anger or contempt, but rather out of duty in the cycle of Creation as Karmic messenger and deliverer. We wanted the final performance to carry a tinge of sadness while delivering the final death blow.

When I was writing the treatment, I was focusing on the lyrics “You’re pounding on a fault line” and how it relates to stories of Judgement in esoteric mysticism. Some of these tales are echoed within video games I loved playing during my youth like the ‘Final Fantasy’ series (FF7 is my favorite) where humanity is being challenged to take action to prove their worth and turn things around or face demise in the form of “the terror from the skies” or a great tempest and deluge.

We wanted to exhibit the elements borrowed from this particular mix of ancient and modern sources and share our own thoughts on how society has created and long maintained unsustainable, destructive and hurtful systems in constant pursuit of decadence that would be responsible for fast-tracking humanity’s eventual death along with the planet and all creatures. Hence the question, “What would it take to get thru to you, precious?”. We see ripples of consequences cascading now with all the destruction by various forces of nature happening simultaneously in different parts of the world due to climate change. The video is trying to give that message and reminder a signal boost even though it is probably too late.

You recently did a cover of ‘Halloween’ for the JAPAN tribute album ‘Still Life In Polaroids’, is there a spiritual link with ‘The Outsider’ at all?

Both songs vividly paint and articulate the heightened emotions of emotional and mental crises and distress behind relationship breakdowns. Though JAPAN’s ‘Halloween’ was more painterly, atmospheric and cryptic in its writing, whereas A PERFECT CIRCLE’s ‘The Outsider’ was direct, aggressive and confrontational, I find both songs together emote the movements and reverberations of the painful fight for love, the weight of attachment and the despair that comes with eventual loss in full spectrum- from realization, hurt, anger, trauma to healing, self-reflection, and ultimately, acceptance, resignation and resolve. Both writers seem to urge us to feel the feels, but also look at ourselves deeply in the mirror, purge, release and transmute pain and move forward towards a higher direction. As long as we know how to navigate and move forward, we will always be ok.

Your 2022 album ‘Arcana’ attracted some critical acclaim in the independent online press, how do you look back on the making of it and its reception?

I’m overjoyed and humbled that the record resonated. ‘Arcana’ gave me the affirmation to always follow my gut and stay true and authentic to the vision and what I want to do. Von and I often talk about how the record pushed both of us, and we got somewhere new and vast. My own production is often huge, hairy and monstrous: multi-layered with lots of instruments – synths, orchestral and electronic parts on top of dynamic vocals. That’s just my natural inclination when I write and produce music. And Von is like the mad scientist who figures out how to balance and make the layered harmonics work thru various analogue mixing and mastering techniques to get to that giant, expansive range. I felt like we did something new and rare and I finally got to a sound I can call my own. It’s like opening a new portal and we had to crack several codes to get to it. The process was challenging but incredibly rewarding and exciting in the end. I’m very excited to work on the next one and see how this project evolves further in its own universe.

What’s next for CZARINA, live and recording wise?

I’ll be performing at European Dark Dance Treffen in Mannheim in November, which I’m excited for! My first time to play Germany and a gothic fest. I am closing the Arcana chapter of this project with one final music video dropping mid-December for the track ‘The Fox’s Wedding’. It is immediately followed by a really fun collab with a video game-inspired music video with my DarkTunes label boss, Extize, coming end of December. My third album is also now in the works which I hope to release sometime in 2024, along with more tour and festival dates here in the EU.

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its warmest thanks to CZARINA

‘The Outsider’ is released by darkTunes Music Group as a digital single on the usual platforms, available from

European Dark Dance Treffen takes place 16 – 19 November 2023, the line-up includes CZARINA, BLUETENGEL, COVENANT, DAS ICH, BOYTRONIC + many more, tickets available from

Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
22 September 2023