Posts Tagged ‘2000s’

BONDZINSKIY – the almost forgotten hardcore pioneers.

February 2, 2010


BONDZINSKIY, named after some mate of theirs, were among my most favourite local hardcore bands as I was just getting into the whole scene. Their music (self-described as ‘mournful gnash’) displayed a rather bizarre mix of influences, with some jazz and reggae leanings, and song had seriously intelligent, pissed off lyrics. Between 1993 and 2003 they have had a whole lot of lineup changes, with only the drummer Igor Mosin and bassist Dima Petrov being the regular participants in their musical bacchanals – their Sly & Robbie act has formed back in the mid-1980s in DURNOYE VLIYANIYE and even featured a stint with the local punk legends BRIGADNIY PORDYAD.

I’ve found an interview with Dima (who also played with Sergey Kuryokhin’s POP-MEKHANIKA, Nick Sudnik’s ZGA and in SPITFIRE for a bit) from cca. 2006 which had rather silly questions, so I chucked them out and translated what he had to say:

The band history is incredibly complicated and complex, by lineup as well as by creative progression. The story of all this disgrace has to be started, after all, from DURNOYE VLIYANIYE, where I met the drummer Igor Mosin, with whom as a constant rhythm section we have gradually morphed from one musical hypostasis into another.
DURNOYE VLIYANIYE formed sometime cca. 1988-1989 and played gothic new wave, successfully gigging in St. Petersburg and at all sorts of regional festivals in the ex-USSR. The band got played on the popular John Peel show on BBC and supported the famous SONIC YOUTH in Moscow.
In 1990 DURNOYE VLIYANIYE were invited to tour West Germany – the Berlin Wall, by the way, was still safe and sound. The tour involved playing with German punk and hardcore bands in 10 West German cities. This was when we got introduced to the grandiose music school known as hardcore – from the inside and fully. It can be said that this trip made a fundamental influence on our musical outlook. After encountering new sound, new approach, the energy of this music, we were swept away, shocked, charmed. These were the new unfamiliar ways, new horizons, new possibilities.
We were particularly inspired by FUGAZI, BAD BRAINS, NO MEANS NO, VICTIMS FAMILY. After we got home, we necessarily got an urge to enflesh these new ideas but as it is known, new ideas do not blossom in old soil. So Igor and I started to play new material and also seek new musicians who could organically co-exist with us in this musical space. As a result, the collective called BONDZINSKIY came into being. Over the years we played music with the likes of Andy Kordyukov (ex-MLADSHIYE BRATYA, 17 PILOTOV V OGNE), Gennadiy Larichkin (now the leader of BER-LINN), Sergei Sokolov (now in PRAVDA), Andrei Mashnin (MASHNINBAND), Andrei Gradovich (JUGENDSTIL, now 2VA SAMALIOTA), Roman Boiko, Ilya Orlov, Dan Gutsenko (and about half a dozen more – translator’s note).
The 1990s will remain for me probably the brightest stage of St. Peterburg’s music life. Many musicians outgrew the boundaries of the Leningrad Rock Club which by then degenerated to all-sufficient, closed caste structure which stank of officialdom with elitism and conspiracy of silence inherent in such a system.
The Rock Club somehow faded away – the new epoch started. On the basis of the just opened TaMtAm club an entire scene of great bands appeared: BIROTSEFALY, KHIMERA, ZVONKI, SPITFIRE, THE PAUKI, DOLPHINS, TEQUILAJAZZZ, 5 UGLOV etc. (sorry if I forgot someone).
As it seemed to me, no one thought about making money, commercial success, we played for ourselves, for our friends, because there was internal need for that. It was an atmosphere in which experimenting and NOT looking like a snob was natural. Those who played hardcore in the early nineties were very close-knit – not so much musically, rather it was the shared attitude to life.
Music, especially rock music, cannot live in isolation, without exchanging creative ideas. Any movement gradually chokes up on its own foam. What can be more disgusting than mass producing your own past? For me making headway was always crucial. Henry Rollins once said that the past doesn’t exist and you have to prove to yourself that you are still alive every day.
I haven’t got the slightest desire to analyse the music of BONDZINSKIY. Because depending on the mood I could fall either into self-glorification or self-condemnation. One thing that could be noted was that the riff structure of songs played a bad joke on the band. We could have easily turned each piece into 5 or 6 separate songs but we were just throwing ideas away. And also, we have made a conscious decision not to limit ourselves with any concepts, for us it was natural to combine styles that were practically incompatible. Sometimes it looked forced, sometimes it was fun but it was never banal.
Like every positive passionate phenomenon, hardcore will not die in the foreseeable future. As long as there is social tension in the world, the hardcore will be refilled with fresh blood of radical and not indifferent young people.
The old generation goes – the new generation comes, the process continues – everything is logical. Not everyone manages to keep the active attitude. However I am saddened by the fact that the social pathos is reduced. When I see a bloke who works as a bank manager and plays in his hardcore band in the evenings (instead of blowing up said bank), I feel sad.
Also, it seems to me that rivalry in the so-called alternative music has to stop. Unite, and unite some more, no matter what the style is. It’s such a pity that the concept of “people of goodwill” has vanished. I long for positive counteraction and confrontation with all the glossy, glamourous scene.
Lately everyone has been literally going nuts over the external attributes, often forgetting the inner world. A desire to look trendy turns into a sort of general hysteria. Unfortunately these sentiments are projected on the musical material, the music gets castrated, completely glossed over, everything is so clean and smooth that it makes me sick. The inner nerve disappears, the admissible filth which makes rock music what it is.
To be honest, I do not know [who our listener is]. While BONDZINSKIY was around, I knew about ten people who really liked it, and all of them were musicians. That’s why I was so surprised to be asked about ‘the legendary BONDZINSKIY.’
After existing for about 6 years (more like 10 – translator’s note), playing a number of gigs in Russia and abroad, releasing two albums (the 2nd one was recorded but not released – translator’s note), the band ceased to exist. We have probably exhausted our inner potential, and we got pretty much sick of each other. Now I’m working on a new project called GRANDSHUTTLEBANDA.
Naturally, it has nothing to do with hardcore. For me it’s a totally different style but I was always interested in doing something new. At the moment we have recorded an album but we are still looking for someone to put it out.

The aforementioned first album, “Lobovoi Mainstream,” can be downloaded here.

The second one, which DJ DNA from URBAN DANCE SQUAD mixed ended up never coming out but you can hear some stuff on BONDZINSKIY’s RealMusic page.

Some more links:
St. Petersburg Times interview (in English)
Post-Bondzinsky interview in SPT (in English)
Knives & Forks interview, in Russian
Muzykalnaja Gazeta interview, in Russian

Bio in Russian

WE BLEED CHARISMA – Minimum Rock ‘N’ Roll demo.

January 17, 2009

St. Petersburg’s WE BLEED CHARISMA had an extremely short career cca. 2005. To my knowledge, they only ever played one gig, at Deep Sound Club at that, with GOODOK and KYSHTYM-23, a KING-KONGS side project. That was for a reason, only one of the members is a native of this fine city – singer Pavel Sasin (‘TIL I DIE, DOTTIE DANGER) aka DJ Pablo Diablo. Kostya Severniy the drummer was originally from Severodvinsk where he fronted pop punk band VYSHKA. He later drummed in CUT’N’RUN and is now in WIDOWLAND, as well as playing as a solo act which I personally find rather distasteful. French guitarist Seb is a member of SLEEP TALKER and CALL ME LORETTA. I dunno where the seppo sheila (the term used ironically) Naomi who was a keyboardist played before or after WBC, can anyone clue me in? They recorded nine songs, of which only a couple were properly mixed (and consequently released on a bunch of compilations in Russia and France). No cover, no nothing, can’t even find a band photo. It is still good. The degree to which English was mastered by this lot (who didn’t sing in Russian) is obvious from the name. Uploaded by Kostya.

http://ifolder.ru/10069457

MESSER CHUPS don’t fail to amaze…

December 14, 2008

MESSER CHUPS

MESSER CHUPS


I went to a MESSER CHUPS gig last night, and was much amuzed. They’re one of my favourite local bands as far as recordings go but I wasn’t sure what the live version would be like. The tour videos that one of their CDs included were kind of, whatever, two blokes and a Bettie Page lookalike playing surf music with a video screen behind them projecting horror B-movie excerpts. But, well, the lookalike in question is named Zombie Girl. The playing – that of guitarist / bandleader Oleg Gitarkin (also in NOZH DLYA FRAU MUELLER), anyway – was extraordinary, huge sound, amazing technique. Their new drummer is Alexander Belkov of CHIKISS. Finally, there was one extra bloke on stage that night – Alexander Skvortsov (DURNOYE VLIYANIYE) did a few songs now and then. They were all in rather scary-sounding English. I take it he’s gonna be on the band’s next album but I dunno when that would materialise. They’ve got the whole greaser aesthetic down.
Oh, and speaking of Bettie Page, MESSER CHUPS’ cover of “The Model” by KRAFTWERK was dedicated to her memory.

Official website
MySpace

RIVUSCHIYE STRUNY – Live in St. Petersburg.

March 30, 2008

One of Russia’s top bands for me, RIVUSCHIYE STRUNY, have made a trip down to St. Petersburg this weekend. Unfortunately, I missed their gig at GEZ altogether and only caught the last couple of songs they played at Zoccolo, but it was enough to send me to crawl and convulse on the floor. I borrowed money, bought a t-shirt, borrowed a marker and had the shirt signed by guitarist Alexei Bortnichuk. Alex Volkov filmed both shows, and posted clips online.

“San Frantsysko” live from Zoccolo:

And some stuff from GEZ, with a random audience member swapping his beer for a chance to play Bortnichuk’s guitar:

And here’s what I had to say about the band’s second CD when asked to do so by Pulse magazine for its November 2007 issue:

RIVUSCHIYE STRUNY

“Maskovskaya Riznya Elektra Gitarami – Chyast #1 (1970)”

(Otdeleniye Vykhod)

I would say that this band is the closest that Moscow got to the genius that is the Stooges since “Moskovskiye Kanikuly” album by Nick Rock’n’Roll & Lolita. Some seventeen years have passed since then, garage rock is now trendy, and Iggy Pop himself has blessed Russia’s capital city with his appearances twice. Iggy and the Stooges have actually played there about three weeks before this CD was released. Anyway, the Rivuschiye Struny (Houling Strings) member with the most impressive CV would be one of their guitar players, Alexei Bortnichuk, formerly a member of Zvuki Mu and Mamonov I Alexei. His stardom, however, doesn’t overshadow the other band members. Although, like almost every record with at least a distant smell of real rock and roll, this is primarily a guitar album (the title means something like “The Moscow Electric Guitar Massacre,” albeit with a whole bunch of misspellings). But the energy, drive and imagination of the other members are impossible to miss in the raw, “simple” recording, and Vova Terekh’s poetry is rather brilliant as it is, despite the similarity of subject matter – the life of 1970s hippies / criminals – to that of Zvuki Mu’s Pyotr Mamonov and DK’s Sergei Zharikov. Well, I wouldn’t say that an attempt to imagine what “Fun House” would’ve sounded like in the Soviet Union sounds like a trendy kinda thing, but it’s defo TRUUUUUUE!

It was a five-star review, needless to say.

http://www.unitedsoundart.ru/projects/rs

Deadly Nazi Attack on a Punk Gig in Moscow.

March 16, 2008

Today (March 16) around 6.30 or 6.40 pm in the Moscow city centre at the exit of Kitai-Gorod metro station a group of about 15 neonazis armed with knives have attacked 5 people who were going to a hardcore / punk gig headlined by Karelian oi band NICHEGO KHOROSHEGO at Art Garbage club. As a result of attack a punk aged 21, Alexei Krylov from the Moscow Region town of Noginsk, has died due to multiple stab wounds some 15 minutes later, before the ambulance arrived. A girl attacked in the same incident survived by a chance – the knife got stuck in her backpack less than an inch from her body. There were several nazi mobs in the area each numbering 10-15 people attacking antifascists. The gig was cancelled a few bands in after some pepper spray was used and windows broken by persons unknown. The attack appears to have been planned in advance with involvement of some FC Spartak hooligans.

Alexei’s survived by his mother and two younger sisters. The family is poor and they need material help for the funeral. (Russian residents can send money via http://money.yandex.ru, account number 4100164493592).

Nearly two years ago in Moscow 19 years old Alexander Ryukhin has been murdered by a nazi gang on his way to a hardcore gig.

http://ru.indymedia.org/newswire/display/20208/index.php

http://avtonom.org/index.php?nid=1648

http://maximitch.livejournal.com/289528.html

http://tank-wwf.livejournal.com/13407.html (directions on using WebMoney account)

P.S. On March 19 between 200 and 300 antifascist activists have taken part in a march in Alexei’s memory between Kropotkinskaya and Smolenskaya metro stations in downtown Moscow. They carried banners, chanted slogans and burned torches. It went largely peacefully despite being illegal and despite fascists making plans to attack the marchers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmwD_B_n5uY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heLAp7mpn5c

CONFLICT OK! – Stop Madness, Stop Police.

March 15, 2008

CONFLICT OK! is an Estonian punk band that existed between 1998 and 2004 and seems to have reformed recently. They’ve released a full-length tape / CDR “Defekt” in 1999, and haven’t been terribly active with recordings since then. The later stuff, however, I consider to be better than the album, it’s livelier and sharper sounding. The lineup featured PAHA VÄRK and NOISEMURDER member Aarne on guitar and, on those early 21st century recordings, PSYCHOTERROR and ZLO member Liba on drums, while the singer Promille Promille now co-fronts J.M.K.E. In 2002 Aarne has compiled a few songs that were recorded after the album on a CDR called “Stop Madness, Stop Police”; some of them featured on compilations. Here it is, in glorious mp3 format.

1. Halb Ja Hea

2. Po-lits-ei

3. Konflikt

4. Teistest Parem

5. Võrk

6. Tallalakkuja

http://ifolder.ru/3296292

http://www.hot.ee/fucking/conflict/

RICOCHET – Radar video.

March 8, 2008

Anna Neva’s filmclip for a live version of “Radar” by Moscow’s DIY punk rock supergroup RICOCHET – not to be confused with the solo project of the late OBYEKT NASMESHEK singer Alexandr “Rikoshet” Axyonov. RICOCHET includes members of NO COPIES, SALPETRIERE, RAY, LOA LOA, YARCHE 1000 SOLNTS, SKYGRAIN, and their releases include a demo CDR and a full-length CD on their singer’s label.

The lyrics for “Radar” go like this:

we’re walking following our own footprints looking for the new roads in the fog of the mistakes of others in the coolness of our own shades. isn’t it the same force that makes us go in circles makes our hands choose, while our minds keep sleeping, following someone else’s choice?

yes! now and today is the day when i want to go out of your control. i want the dot of my life to explode and grow into something bigger, i want to go out of your radar.

www.myspace.com/thebackweaponricochet

CHIKISS – press release.

February 22, 2008

Well, since I’ve translated the following press release for my pal Galya Chikiss’ solo project (and even got paid with a shot of Perra Mexicana), I might as well put it here:

Chikiss has formed in the Summer of 2005 in a quiet resort town of Primorsk. It’s near the Finnish border, on the coast of Gulf of Finland. Against the background of beautiful nature two Sashas – band’s guitarist and drummer – have for ten years been recording their sound waves. The band has taken a certain shape in St. Petersburg at the home studio of keyboard player and singer Galya Chikiss who had first appeared in Primorsk in January 2005 to meet some like-minded people. Thus a new period in the life of all three has started. First they jammed at a historical early 20th century Lutheran church right on the Gulf’s shore; the rehearsal studio was right under the spire. Then they moved to St. Petersburg. The joint creative process has led to the creation of Chikiss band and provided a lot of fresh ideas to the legendary Primorsk-based experimental band 188910 (named after the town’s postcode) with which it shares members. Chikiss is a colourful, beautiful and lively phenomenon in the Russian music scene. Not quite standard yet rather minimal lineup (voice, keyboards, rhythm section, guitar, reverberators), electronically specific sound of live instruments; varied scope of sounds – noise and ambient sketches alternate with dance rhythms and soul-warming outer space love lyrics. In Galya Chikiss’ songs everyone can find something, concrete or abstract, catch a moment, a feeling – a high, a loneliness, a crush, an angst; joyful euphoria and universal sadness. In the two years of existence the band has made a fair deal of progress. Chikiss took part in the St. Petersburg festivals Plug&Play, Izolenta, Zhivaya Elektronika, Sisto Party, SKIF, as well as Kazantip and Space Of Joy festivals in Crimea, Ukraine. They’ve played in all the leading St. Petersburg clubs and at friends’ parties regardless of the musical theme as they could fit pretty much anywhere. Currently the band features three people: Galya Chikiss (lead vocals, keyboards, music and lyrics), Alexander Belkov (rhythm section, reverberator, backing vocals) and Alexander Dubrovin (guitar, reverberator, backing vocals). All three of them harmonically combine in Chikiss and interact musically as a single organism.

http://www.myspace.com/chikissplace

http://chikisspics.livejournal.com/

CHIKISS “Untitled Vitamin” net release

Yegor Letov had died.

February 20, 2008

Legendary Siberian punk rocker Yegor Letov (GRAZHDANSKAYA OBORONA, YEGOR I OPIZDENEVSHIYE etc.) had died in his sleep from heart failure on February 19 at his home in Omsk. He was 43. Yegor has been an enormous influence on Russian punk scene, and his old songs are some of the most important anarchist propaganda ever produced in Russian language. The rage and desperation of the band’s music – which was, at its best, mindblowingly innovative yet raw – did reflect the times he lived in. Letov’s poetry, strongly influenced by early 20th century Russian futurists, has often been more important than even his music. The youthful punk rock nihilism, anarchist and antifascist politics, existential horror and breaking through to the other side were all expressed equally thrillingly. Letov’s legacy is without a doubt controversial (in part due to his political activities in the 1990s, and the morbid, suicidal shadows he cast over some fans and friends) but nevertheless great.

Yegor’s actual name and patronymic is Igor Fyodorovich. He’s the younger brother of famous avantgarde jazz saxophone player Sergei Letov (TRI-O, DK, GOSPLAN TRIO etc.) Yegor’s first bands started to form cca. 1982 or 1983 which makes him one of the pioneers of punk rock in the Soviet Union. POSEV (named after a dissident emigre publishing house) left some home-made recordings and gave way to GRAZHDANSKAYA OBORONA (civil defense) in late 1984. The band, led by Letov and guitarist Konstantin “Kuzya Uo” Ryabinov, was also initially orientated towards making home recordings in Letov’s “studio” GrOb Records. “We’ve staked mostly on making and distributing tape albums as we had reasons to think that live performances aren’t likely to come our way very soon, and at that particular moment they weren’t likely at all.” (Letov writing in Kontr Kult UR’a zine #3, 1991). In late Autumn 1985 after an intervention by one of the band member’s mother who was a Communist party apparatchik, G.O. was forcibly dissolved. After a series of interrogations at the local KGB, Letov was sent to a mental hospital (which was a favoured tactic of silencing dissidents at the time) – he has gone blind for a while from the drugs that he was given there. Uo, despite a heart condition, was drafted to the army and sent to serve at the space rocket launch site in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Letov was let out of the mental hospital in March 1986 and started to record on his own. He also took part in the activities of the Omsk-based band PIK I KLAXON, also known as ADOLF GITLER.

In May – June 1987 Letov had recorded five half-hour samizdat tape albums which covered the material that GRAZHDANSKAYA OBORONA had by then (a selection of this stuff was compiled on Pops 2LP). Soon thereafter he had to run away from Omsk because following a scandalous gig with ADOLF GITLER in Novosibirsk there was further persecution from the authorities who tried to put him into a mental hospital again. He had hitch-hiked all over Soviet Union with his then-partner Yana “Yanka” Dyagileva (a very strong and important performer in her own right; Letov had produced and played on most of her recordings; she’d died in 1991, apparently a suicide). In January 1988, upon return to Omsk, Letov had recorded three more albums (the material was issued on Vsyo Idyot Po Planu 2LP), doing overdubs on crappy Soviet equipment. Uo, though demobbed by then, was unfit to play. GrOb Records had also recorded projects featuring POSEV’s Zhenya”Dabl” Deyev (P.O.G.O.), Vadim Kuzmin (SPINKI MENTA, CHORNIY LUKICH), Yanka, as well as Letov, Uo and Oleg “Managher” Sudakov’s long-running experimental outfit KOMMUNIZM.

In 1988 GRAZHDANSKAYA OBORONA started to play gigs, touring all over the country. The lineup remained unstable, but G.O. was recording prolifically, as were KOMMUNIZM, Yanka, Managher, Uo and Letov (as a solo performer). In Spring 1990 G.O. recorded an album of covers by another Siberian punk band INSTRUKTSUYA PO VYZHIVANIYU, and played its last gig on April 13 in Tallinn (now Estonia). Letov then broke up the band.

YEGOR I OPIZDENEVSHIYE (Yegor & the Cunted-Up) has recorded what is perhaps Letov’s biggest artistic achievement, Pryg-Skok LP, in 1990 – it combines garage punk, psychodelia and Russian folk into an enormously potent mixture, and Letov’s extreme, near-death experiences of the time (related to encephalitis he got hiking through the Ural mountains, and experiments with drugs and shamanism) have produced songs that are among the most incredible in Russian rock. It was followed by Sto Let Odinochestva 2LP, which is nearly as great.

In the mid-1990s Letov has come out of semi-retirement, reformed GRAZHDANSKAYA OBORONA and started touring under the aegis of various opposition groups, mostly of the Stalinist and Nationalist variety. Letov joined the National Bolshevik Party (NBP), and was among its most famous members for a while, along with writer Eduard Limonov, philosopher Alexander Dugin and pianist Sergei Kuryokhin. Letov, however, quit the NBP in 1998. He had later denounced the political games he played:

“I have been involved in the most extreme political camps, so I know the inner workings of that all. And I can report that all of it is very stupid and disgusting. All of it. It has to be experienced so as not to get involved in such stuff consciously, which is what I do.”

“I think that in order to live and be creative, which is the same thing, one has to be FREE. In my understanding, freedom means refusal from all the traps of this world. If I can use pompous language, I think that our civilization is a certain type of world order that is fed by certain energies – fear, pain, envy, destruction, the list could be endless. If all the NORMAL people would just get out of it, like out of a zoo, and live on a principle of self-sufficiency, self-freedom – not fighting them, not even contacting, creating our own squats, systems, labels, music, creative stuff etc. on a “do it yourself” principle – all the rest of the world will just DIE by itself. And it does, very visibly.”

“Just like we’ve been, we’ve remained a rebellious, superrebellious band. But the frontline is moving ever deeper and deeper, now it is beyond politics, ideology, religion.”
(from 2004-2006 fan-conducted interviews via the band’s official website).

In a 2007 Rolling Stone interview he claimed that he remains an anarchist, but is more interested in the environmental aspects of anarchism.

G.O. continued to record (though arguably never reaching the former heights) and tour internationally (Europe, USA, Israel, mostly playing to emigre audiences). They eventually reached a stadium rock band status. In the last few years Letov has busy reissuing the back catalogue in expanded and redone versions. He had also gotten involved in Russia’s underground garage scene. He produced and mixed a forthcoming full-length CD by St. Petersburg’s THE KING KONGS, as well as an EP by Moscow’s CAVESTOMPERS. GRAZHDANSKAYA OBORONA’s last full-length album, “Zachem Snyatsya Sny?”, was co-credited to YEGOR I OPIZDENEVSHIYE. Letov himself has considered it his greatest achievement. He is survived by his wife, G.O. bassist Natalya Chumakova.

On February 21 Yegor Letov was buried at Staro-Vostochnoye cemetery in Omsk, next to his mother’s grave.

Some tributes:

Artyom “Robot” Petrov (THE KING KONGS): “It’s a blow. Of course, it may sound high-blown, but really this is the end of a big story. He had influenced everyone. Turned everyone’s brains around, one way or another.”

Jason Flower (MEXICAN POWER AUTHORITY, Canada): “This is very saddening news about Yegor; punks and anarchists around the world have lost perhaps the greatest legend of Soviet-era and post Soviet-era underground to have ever lived.”

Alexei Nikonov (PTVP): “It’s a pity about Letov. Who’s up next? For all his freakouts, he was a part of our lives.”

Liner notes from Optimizm CD reissue:
Poganaya Molodyozh / Optimizm is basically the first united lengthy G.O. album which was recorded several times during 1985 and at the same time regularly released under all sorts of exotic titles: “The Best of G.O.”, “Diarrhoea Sounds of G.O.” (double album, pt. 1 Poganaya Molodyozh, pt 2 Optimizm), “First and Last G.O. Album”, “Omsk Punk History”, simply “Grazhdanskaya Oborona” etc. Quality-wise, all these recordings were of varying horrendousness and absolutely inhumane towards the listener (instead of drums, played and recorded was anything from a suitcase to a young pioneer’s drum to a hi-hat that was nailed to a piece of wood, the words were exteremely hard to understand, absolute lack of tuning etc.) There were really strange versions: one of the albums was nearly completely played on a DIY keyboard synth (!), another one (which also didn’t survive, regretfully) was interperced with absurdist, extremely short speeches and insets in the spirit of concrete music a la mid and later period KOMMUNIZM. In these recordings, apart from me and Kuzma, an x number of all sorts of people took part, the names of some of them can’t even be remembered now. The whole thing ended in late 1985 when the band was mercilessly dispersed by the oppressive organs of the state, I was forced to go into a psychiatric asylum, Kuzma – to the army, and all this material sort of hung in the air for a couple of years. For the first time it has appeared with bearable sound quality on album / compilation “Red Album” which I recorded on my own in the Summer of 1987. What the so-called “first” G.O. albums are, known among the people as Poganaya Molodyozh and Optimizm – they are basically remakes of the material off the aforementioned first, very lengthy 1985 G.O. album, recorded largely between January 12 – 22 in 1988 after Kuzma Ryabinov came back from the army and rehabilitated. At the same time some songs were completely redone (just like we did a year later with POSEV album), some were remade using the ancient (1985) tracks. The albums thus completed were remixed and rearranged several times over the next few years. This time you have one of the first, original versions. We were dividing the material among albums based on these principles: Poganaya Molodyozh included songs by POSEV, as well as those written in the earliest period of G.O. existence (November 1984 – early Spring 1985). Optimizm has the later stuff, from Spring – Summer – Autumn 1985, apart from ones like “I’m an Illusion”, “Children’s World” etc. which were successfully played and included in Red Album.
The bonus tracks are previously unneeded, alternative takes and versions, as well as material that wasn’t used before at all.

Yegor Letov, July 4, 2005

A word-for-word translation of a song that Letov had written in the mid-1980s and later redone on “Sto Let Odinochestva”:

Traces in the Snow
he looked into my back clenching his teeth
everything was seemingly real
but as he looked more attentively he suddenly realised
that i don’t leave any traces in the fresh snow
the ours thought that i’m a stranger
the strangers suspected that i’m fucked up
and all of them thought that i’m dangerous
since i don’t leave any traces in the fresh snow
and the dead mouse rots in the pocket
and in the pocket the dead mouse rots
no one’s ever gonna find anyone now
since i don’t leave any traces in the snow
i would’ve long been buried in the snow
i would’ve long been driven into a hole
i would’ve long been traced by my steps
but i don’t leave any traces in the fresh snow

http://gr-oborona.ru

BOYNYA NOMER PYAT interview for Croatian zine Vapaus!

February 6, 2008

Well, another interview, this time translated by mimoid and yrs. truly for Croatian zine Vapaus where it’s going to appear in (what I thought was still called) Serbocroatian. It’s with another mate of mine, based in Tatarsk and once nicknamed Deth [sic]. He plays in BOYNYA NOMER PYAT who are recommended, and is also something of a crust theoretician, amongst other things.

Hi. What’s up? Can you introduce yourself for people that read this zine? Where do you come from?
My name is Alexei Shvedov. I live in a small Russian town near Novosibirsk. Along with my friends from different cities we make e-zine Diversion (crust & Japanese hardcore). Also I played in two crustpunk bands – OTKAZ OT NASILIYA (RIP) and BOYNYA NOMER PYAT. Today besides BOYNYA NOMER PYAT I work on the project UBIYTSY BUKV (noisepunk). Not long ago we’ve create a message board in English dedicated to Japanese hardcore. Also we’ve made three short films between 2005-2007 and also I write prose (bizarre sci-fi) from time to time.
What was your first introduction to punk rock or hardcore punk?
I began listening to punk and hardcore when I was a young schoolboy, it was around 1987. The first bands I heard were CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER, HYPE, DEAD KENNEDYS, D.R.I., PLASMATICS and AGNOSTIC FRONT.
What kind of punk do you like to listen to today?
I prefer Japanese hardcore and crust, also I like crust from other countries (especially not modern), various old hardcorepunk, obscure ’77 punk, so-called progcore (bands like POLARIS, HAL AL SHEDAD, KOLYA), Swedish trallpunk… and a lot more… I’m definitely not interested in metalcore, modern hardcore and emocore.
Did you have any band before OTKAZ OT NASILIYA?
Yes, since 1990 I played in several punk-bands, but for the most part they lacked any social or political overtones: SIBIRSKIY MASTURBATOR, O.M.O.N., ORGAZM NE NASTUPIL. One of the most interesting bands that I can mention is DEGENERAL KREIZ (1992-95, instrumental noise). Not one of them is known abroad, but once I’ve seen a song by O.M.O.N. on some compilation.
So what can you tell me about OTKAZ OT NASILIYA? Why did you call the band like that? Who was in the band? Which bands influenced you? How did people react on your music? Did the band have some political background?
The name of the band was taken from some book on Eastern philosophy which I was interested in those days. OTKAZ OT NASILIYA is Russian translation of the term ahimsa (non-violence or disviolence). The lyrics were pretty dark and sociopolitical for the most part. Though sometimes they inclined into reflections. Despite the fact that I was interested in sXe ideology at that time, I was more attracted by crust and discore. People from TOCHKA ZRENIYA, P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. and others helped me to make a recording. There were two albums recorded, both were released on Moscow label Popa Begemota Records in the late 90s. The first demo was also published on 4-way split tape (SzSS label, Russia). Besides positive reviews there were some negative ones when people not into crust judged it totally inadequately. It looked both wild and funny.
I heard that OON was sXe band. So, are you still sXe? Can you describe your attitude towards sXe (I mean why are you sXe, if you are..)…
OON wasn’t a straightedge band as such, though I called myself sXe at that time. But that lasted for two years only and hasn’t reflected on band’s lyrics. Only there was a song “No To Alcohol” (later it was included in some Asian compilation tape), but it was not against alcohol primarily but against people who couldn’t control themselves in this matter. Today I regard straightedgers with caution, I don’t have interest or even sympathy for their music, lyrics and living attitude. But at the same time I prefer not to consume alcohol because it’s very comfortable, practical and pleasant.
Why did the band break up?
There were too many conflicts among people during recording and in real life…
So, after OON you formed BOYNYA NOMER PYAT. What does that mean? What kind of music you play? Do you still play?
The first demo of BOYNYA NOMER PYAT was recorded in 2005, though the material was prepared much earlier. Previously many local groups had the opportunity to record any time and for free because some of our friends worked in a small studio. But after the studio was closed it’s problematic to make any records. That’s the reason for such delays. Still I did want to play crust-based music, but without the DISCHARGE influence, so BOYNYA NOMER PYAT sounds like something between TOTALITAR, CRUDITY and Japanese crashercrust. Again I’m on vocals and guitar. The name of the group was taken from eponymous novel by Kurt Vonnegut – “Slaughterhouse-Five”. Two demos and split with UBIYTSY BUKV (all this had never been released but is available for download in mp3 format) were made. On the second demo I partially used tapes that remained after rehearsal of the third album by OON which has been never recorded.
Why you are those two bands only studio projects?
It’s very difficult to play in a band with people who do not share your opinion about reality. The problem is even not in different ideology nor in politics but in different perception of the world and personal attitude towards some processes. Also some of the musicians I played with became nationalists and I had no intention to collaborate with them. That’s why last records were performed with session musicians. Or from time to time I make it on my own (last BOYNYA NOMER PYAT recording).
What can you tell me about your e-zine Diversion? Why it’s only in Russian?
We began to make “Diversion” in the late 2005 after me and my mate got tired of explaining what is crust to various people in letters. It all began with compilation of a detailed FAQ in Russian and then it was expanded with translated articles and interviews. Later we began to do interviews ourselves (ISKRA, D.S.B., INEPSY). Since the zine is focused on Russian readers all materials are published only in Russian. Also there was one paper issue which included best materials from the website and many exclusive materials. On the one hand the zine justified its purpose – the number of questions like “what is crust?” became smaller now, but on the other hand – we unintentionally launched the process of the so called “crust fashion” (“all things change into fashion”). And it’s terrible. Today the site is updated ever more seldom and I even had an urge to close it at all.
I see that you like d-beat music. So can you tell me what’s d-beat for you? Today almost every band is d-beat because this shit started to be popular. What kind of d-beat you like: stuff like TRAGEDY or “old school” stuff like SHITLICKERS, DISCLOSE…?
I like old Swedish d-beat (CRUDITY, BOMBANFALL, NO SECURITY etc.) very much. But modern stuff rather repels me, especially all these European bands in the last fashion which bred like fungi. Also I don’t like DRILLER KILLER, SKITSYSTEM and stuff like that. I like TOTALITAR, KRIGSHOT, Japanese bands ANSWER CRYING, KRIGSHOG, DEVASTATED GOES, CRUDIA… I don’t like DISCLOSE very much, they sound too monotonous. TRAGEDY worship seems to me rather absurd. Especially if we take into account that TRAGEDY adopted all the main features of their “trademark style” from Japanese hardcore (some of their imitators have no idea about this and as a result they’re copying from a copy without any suspicion about the existence of the original). I’ve listened to TRAGEDY when they only appeared but today I’m not interested in them at all and I even haven’t listen to their last LP.
I’m from Croatia. Do you know any band from here?
Alas, I don’t know any contemporary Croatian bands. And after your country split into many fragments I no longer understand anything at all. Some time I’ve listened to old cassette compilations of Yugoslavian bands, but by now I remember little of it.
What can you tell me about your town scene? Is it hard to find places to play? Do you have some squats?
In the 1990s in our town there were several interesting bands and projects, but after one studio (which was also the place to jam) has closed everything has gone downhill. In my opinion, now there are no interesting new bands in our town, and the people who used to play punk in the nineties (myself included) prefer to do studio projects. A couple of years ago out of curiousity I went to a gig by some local pop punk bands, but that was just out of curiousity. So as far as punk rock is concerned everything’s dead here now.
Do you have problems with nazi skinheads? I heard that you in Russia have big problems with them, they are well organised and they kill people.
In our particular town there are no physical problems with nazis, although sometimes I have to take part in stupid debates with them because some old acquaintances have become nationalists, so I meet them sometimes, no matter if I want it or not (thankfully it doesn’t happen very often). In general, Russia has a lot of problems with nazi skins. They target both DIY activists and “normal” people. In the last couple of years nazi skins have committed several high-profile murders in different cities. They kill in the middle of the day and at night, always in a crowd. And that seems to be spreading. The more stupid the ideology – the more followers it has. All of Russian segment of the internet is full of nazi propaganda and descriptions of their “exploits”, and nothing could be done about it. I mean, the resistance is there, but the phenomenon is on too large a scale to be uprooted easily. As they feel their relative impunity, the nazis are getting more and more insolvent. Recently in Moscow a crowd of such mad teenagers have killed a well-known chess player from Yakutia (their choice was, of course, random). Most of them were arrested but naturally that didn’t reduce the number of their followers. The state doesn’t show much interest in the problem (although at times it does pretend), and most nazi attacks are treated by the police as hooliganism.
How is situation in your country right now? Is it hard to live in Russia?
In my understanding, Russia is a totally monstrous country with absolutely insane mentality. When it went from faux socialism into fake capitalism everything here got even more perverted, and all of life is going on as if in absurd theatre. Although, of course, you can adapt and not pay attention to it all, taking those monstrosities simply as natural phenomena like rain or hail. The education system isn’t good at all and is falling apart all the time, same thing with culture. I’m annoyed by glamourizing and propaganda of criminality in the mass media. The salaries are generally too low and do not correspond with prices for goods and services, although in the big cities it’s a bit easier. The police are corrupt and criminalised. There’s no hope at all that the situation will improve.
Do you want to add something in the end?
I don’t really know… Maybe I’ll just tell the readers of your zine that they shouldn’t follow some stupid fashion and not do to others what they don’t wish for themselves.

http://diversion.test-machine.com/ – e-zine DIVERSION
http://www.test-machine.com/sh5.html – BOYNYA NOMER PYAT
http://diversion.test-machine.com/disviolence/disviolence.html – OTKAZ OT NASILIYA
http://test-machine.com/burning_japan/– Japanese hardcore message board