Posts Tagged ‘hardcore’

Active Minds

August 16, 2012

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Ветераны британского DIY хардкор-панка из Скарборо, графство Северный Йоркшир.

http://www.myspace.com/activemindspunk

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TEQUILAJAZZZ announce splitting up.

July 18, 2010

TEQUILAJAZZZ, cca 1997
Writing on the official website of St Petersburg’s alternative rock band TEQUILAJAZZZ, its singer and bass player Yevgeniy “Ay-Yay-Yay” Fyodorov announced that the band “has ceased to be active in the incarnation that you are all familiar with, and many of you love. RIP.”
Fyodorov added that the decision was made following the end of TEQUILAJAZZZ’s last tour in December 2009 and that the gig at St Petersburg’s Zoccolo club on March 25, 2010, was their last. A planned appearance at Kubana festival in August was cancelled. Fyodorov promised that further questions related to the band’s demise will be answered in a future in-depth interview. Fyodorov titled a similar post on the band’s download page “Open secret”.
He thanked everyone “who was with us and supported us on this thorny yet fun path for the last – it’s scary to say – 17 years. Your help and fidelity, altruism, idealism and other important and right things have made this time unforgettable,” Fyodorov added.
Cover of TEQUILAJAZZZ's first demo from 1993.
The band, formed in 1993 by Fyodorov with guitarist Konstantin “Balbes” Fyodorov (no relation) and drummer Alexandr “Duser” Voronov, featured three former member of pioneering Leningrad punk band OBYEKT NASMESHEK. Yevgeniy Fyodorov had also had stints in KSK and AVTOMATICHESKIYE UDOVLETVORITELI, while Voronov also drummed in NOL for a few months. After OBYEKT NASMESHEK split up circa 1991, future TEQUILAJAZZZ members played in one of Leningrad’s first hardcore punk bands, PUPSY. Their new project debuted at the TaMtAm club in 1993.
While initially influenced by the likes of NOMEANSNO, RAPEMAN, CRIME AND THE CITY SOLUTION or JESUS LIZARD, the band over the course of their career have significantly widened their palette. Their high ambition was noticeable early on, however, – even their first CD included lyrical nods to Serge Gainsbourg:

TEQUILAJAZZZ play “Rozenbom” at Art Clinic club in St Petersburg; lyrics are based on Gainsbourg’s “Chatterton”

The band signed with Moscow indie label FeeLee for their second full-length, “Virus”, which made the band one of the more popular alternative rock bands in Russia. The band’s biggest hit, “Winter Sun” (Rus: Zimneye Solntse) was featured on their third CD, “Celluloid”, released in 1998. “Journal of the Living” (Rus: Zhurnal Zhivogo) in 2009 was the band’s sixth full-length proper. There are also numerous singles, some self-released, live and compilation recordings; the band also backed KOLIBRI on their 1997 album “Sugar Demon” (Rus: Bes Sakhara).
The band’s lineup always included the core trio of Fyodorov, Fyodorov and Voronov but there were some extra members over the years, most notably guitar player Oleg Baranov (S.P.O.R.T, BONDZINSKIY etc.) from 1998 on. TEQUILAJAZZZ toured internationally, starting from a 1994 stint in France, although in the last few years of their existence they were not as active. They also opened for MOTORHEAD, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE etc.
In 2004 Yevgeniy Fydorov formed a “supergroup” with several luminaries of St Petersburg music scene, OPTIMYSTICA ORCHESTRA, which now is likely to be his main band.

TEQUILAJAZZZ play a song by Yevgeniy Fyodorov’s cousin Andrey “Dyusha” Mikhailov written in 1982 for KSK, “Blyakha-Mukha”, at a St Petersburg TV studio

UPDATE: St Petersburg Times interview.

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

Been a while…

January 11, 2010

Hello blog.
Quite a bit of time has passed since the last update. I think the chief reason I wasn’t motivated is because my ability to listen to music in digital format has been hindered somewhat. It’s still hindered, I’m not making any grand promises, no nothing, if I can’t be bothered I simply have bigger and better things to do with my life. Hopefully I’ll get around to doing a proper music zine, and not one of those little anarchist papers, or this blog.

Drunk Nach Osten #2 cover

Drunk Nach Osten #2 cover


Paaya in Brno, Czech Republic, has been stealing my bread – he has finished 2nd issue of his English-language East European punk rock fanzine which can be downloaded as PDF / MP3 archive here. “Contains interviews with HUMAN ERROR (Hungary), Sanych from DEFECT IN INDUSTRY zine and ME4TEC (Belarus), GRAZHDANSKAYA OBORONA (Russia), CRITICA RADICALA (Germany/Romania); scene report from Ukraine, articles about HC/underground in Latvia and History of Czech punk (KECUP, A64), lots of reviews, lyrics and photos.” They are making print version with a proper CDR attached in the spring.
Profane Existence
Those with interest in MP3s and East European punk rock will find gratification in listening to Scairt Radio #09, January 11, 2010 which features Russian diy crust/d-beat punk scene & boozing with Jan from Kismet HC. The full list of songs that were played, as well as a download link, can be found here.
The soy milk of human kindness that runs through my veins directs me to provide you with something as cheerful as the English translation of the lyrics to DISTRESS song “Last Day of the Human Race” which you will have the pleasure to hear on the radio:

Days are numbered, the earth dies
As a living organism it closes the circle of life

Last day of the human race

For our sins, nature suffers
The earth doesn’t forgive such a mistake

Last day of the human race

I have quite some catching up to do.

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

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

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

DISTRESS interview for Peruvian zine Holocausto.

February 2, 2008

DISTRESS – not to be confused with similarly named bands from Yugoslavia, Germany or Italy – are a Russian d-beat band that has been around for about five years. They have heaps of releases, toured various European countries a few times, and I guess there are quite a few interviews with them in various zines. Since the following one, with their singer Alex, would be published in Spanish, I think there’s no harm in putting the English version here.

Hi ALex. Could you tell us about the beginning of crust in Russia? And about DISTRESS? Is it big the scene in Russia?
Hello! D-beat / crust scene is new to Russia. At the moment it’s very small, and most of this scene is young people between 16 and 18 years of age. Like every new thing, it’s interesting for them. All of this activity, music. But I don’t think it’s serious for them, that it’s their culture and lifestyle. At the moment it seems to me that there is a big interest in music, in the look (dreads, patches, shirts), that is, there is a certain fashion that appeared now, and the messages that the bands or activists within the scene want to get through to them aren’t noticed by many. Perhaps such a situation exists elsewhere too. We travel a lot, we communicate a lot, but somehow this situation is more obvious for me in Russia. When we started with DISTRESS in 2003 there was no scene whatsoever. I guess at the time few people were interested in that part of the scene. And I think that was exactly the reason why the band didn’t have a permanent lineup for a long time. We played with a lot of session musicians, also with musicians from other punk and hardcore bands, tried to tour and record, but no one stayed in the band for a long time. For many people who played in DISTRESS it remained a strange culture, and the way the band was going wasn’t for them. At the moment I’m the only original member. Frequent lineup changes didn’t give much of a chance to be more active but we always tried to do something. Last year before a European tour our lineup had changed again, and after the tour one of the guitar players quit the band. Now there’s four of us, but we’re still active. And if we’d return to your question regarding the scene in Russia, I think that we can seriously talk about a crust scene here in say five years, when it would overgrow this upsurge in so-called popularity that it experiences now and when only the people who are actually concerned with problems of our sick society (wars, environment, animal and human rights) will stay in it. We shall see, the scene develops and I’m very interested in seeing what will be there in a few years.
When I listened to DISTRESS for the first time I thought it was a Swedish or Finnish band. Is your purpose to sound like that?
No, that wasn’t what we were shooting for. It wasn’t any sort of “commercial” step if I understoof your question correctly. We like the Scandinavian scene, and it’s our love for Swedish and early Finnish punk that has been a large influence on our sound.
Nowadays, what are your plans as a band?
It’s hard for me to discuss our plans now, but there’s a lot of them. Maybe we will try to play more gigs, go on new tours. But it’s not always possible, and a lot of things depend on a chance to get a visa for this or that country. The visa system is a big problem for us as a band. We don’t always have a chance to play gigs outside of Russia. In November 2007 we were supposed to do a minitour of Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway, Finland) but the consulate refused a visa to two of the band members. As a result, all of the gigs of the tour were cancelled. But still, for this year we already have planned a few gigs in Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia. We also have finished recordings for two releases. One is a split CD with WHEEL OF DHARMA from Finland and the other is a split CD with SUBURBAN SHOWDOWN from the States. I hope all of this is going to happen soon.
To keep a band, recording in an studio or making tours. Is it difficult?
I have told you a little about organising tours. Yes, it’s not always easy for us but it’s possible when you want to do it, when you really do. We’re doing it ourselves, and no one is going to make it for us. The bands are always facing some problems (tours, recordings). It takes a lot of time and energy, and not everyone is ready for this. It’s not just a Russian problem, it’s a problem for a lot of bands all over the world.
Do you know the scene in South America or here in Peru?
We have a lot of contacts all over the world but I know very little about the scene in South America. I have a few records and tapes with bands from Peru, and also a while back I was in touch with kids from Venezuela, APATIA NO. But that was a long time ago. We’re always glad to have communication and new contacts. Contact us.
What do you think about piracy, ripping records, copyright, etc.?
Copyright is shite. I can’t talk about piracy because I don’t know how this industry is developed all over the world. But I liked the form of piracy that has been developed in Russia until recently. Russia is a developing capitalist country with low living standards. Not everyone who lives here can afford a CD or DVD for 10 or 20 euros. Many people’s salary is 100 – 150 euros per month. In Russia it’s a good alternative to the large recording corporations and major labels. Ripping records isn’t for me. I like original editions, vinyl etc.
What does DISTRESS do about actual issues like animal abuse, politics, environment, etc?
We’re not taking part in the direct actions. In Russia such actions are very rare. Russia is a totalitarian police state where most of the population supports or tolerates the state policy. But we support the ideas of various autonomous organisations such as the ANTIFA movement, ALF and PETA, FNB, ABC.
Do you wanna add something to this interview for our readers?
I don’t know. There is a lot of evil and violence in the world. But there are people who do care about what happens tomorrow. Let’s think together about what each of us can personally do so that tomorrow wouldn’t be the last day of the human race. LOVE & PEACE, NOT WAR.
http://www.myspace.com/distressrawshit

PIĈISMO – Esperantocore highlights.

January 19, 2008

I think Ukrainian hardcore scene isn’t very large or terribly interesting yet. I quite like the Rivne-based crust band ZALUPA (too bad they’ve split up), but the really crazy diamond there is PIĈISMO (or PICHISMO). Formed in 1993, they claim the title of the world’s first Esperantocore band. There were some punk songs in Esperanto before them but there wasn’t a whole band. With time, the band had diversified its approach and started using Ido, Volapük, Klingon and numerous other invented languages. The sound has grown quite as diverse, and various releases reflect the interest of the band’s leader Gleb Maltsev in noise, electronica, grindcore etc. He didn’t get stuck in his South Ukrainian hometown of Tsyurupinsk for very long, and various versions of the band existed in Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Belarus and Latvia. Gleb’s now living in Kaunas, Lithuania, and gigs and records fairly often.
PIĈISMO is fairly prolific, as I’d mentioned. Just the tip of the iceberg, there you go.

“Ankoraŭ Unu Freneza Kanzono” live at Teen Wave festival in Yevpatoriya, Crimea, August 1994. Frenzied song this is, indeed. By the way, ta to Alex Volkov for making this available.

I like their first four albums the most:

“Subita Merdo” (1993; raw punk in Esperanto, original Ukrainian lineup, 4 songs released on a Darbouka Records 7″)

“Buĥtismo” (1994-1995; compilation of various punk / crust / noise recordings, various Ukrainian lineups)

“P.P.P.” (1997; crusty hardcore with members of Lithuanian band INVAZIJA)

“Esperantocore” (1998; also with INVAZIJA members)

I actually like early PIĈISMO enough to have released a tape covering their discography between 1993 and 1997. This post is a shameless plug innit?

http://www.myspace.com/pichismo
http://www.pichismo.narod.ru

P.S. E-punkoj, skribu min!

Gennady Bachinsky had died.

January 12, 2008

DEPUTAT BALTIKI 1991, Gena on the right

Russian radio and TV personality Gennady Bachinsky had died in a car crash in Kalyazin, Tver region, cca. 4 p.m. on January 12, aged 36. He left behind a wife and two children.

Gennady has played lead guitar in the Leningrad post punk band DEPUTAT BALTIKI (pictured, above; Gena is first on the left). After he quit in 1991, the band renamed itself CHIMERA. Bachinsky has remained involved in the band’s affairs as something of a manager. He also played bass on their 1994 European tour with STEINE FUER DEN FRIEDEN from Switzerland. He also played in MASHA I MEDVED, a project featuring CHIMERA members. He collaborated with Seva Gakkel, former AQUARIUM cello player who replaced him as a CHIMERA manager, on a CHIMERA cover that featured on a recent tribute compilation (“Totalny Dzhaz”, tape, Karma Mira / Outcry).

Bachinsky’s early 1990s activities have played a crucial role in hooking up St. Petersburg punks with DIY activists in Europe. He had distributed tapes by the likes of ACTIVE MINDS, HEALTH HAZARD, KITCHENER etc., and played them in his radio show on Radio Katyusha. His label Abdylda Records has released a couple of tapes by CHIMERA.

In St. Petersburg Bachinsky has worked on radio stations Polis, Katyusha and Modern. In 1997 he started a partnership with Sergei Stillavin. In 2001 “The Morning Show by Bachinsky & Stillavin” has moved to Moscow – Russkoye Radio, then Radio Maximum. In April 2007 the program was given a Radiomaniya-2007 award for Best Morning Show. For the last 6 months he worked on Radio Mayak co-hosting a morning show with Stillavin. He also worked as chief producer of radio directorate of the State TV and Radio Company (VGTRK).

Videos by DEPUTAT BALTIKI and CHIMERA featuring Gennady Bachinsky:

http://total-jazz.livejournal.com/126089.html