Posts Tagged ‘obituary’

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.

Grigoriy Sologub died.

February 27, 2009

sologub
The legendary St. Petersburg musician Grigoriy Grigoriyevich (Grikha) Sologub died in a local clinic on February 27, 2009 from heart failure. Born on July 19, 1961 in Leningrad, he was one of the pioneers of the new wave / punk movement in the city. He started out playing guitar, accordion and singing in ska / new wave band STRANNIYE IGRY (“Strange Games”) in which he joined his older brother Viktor in 1981 after a stint in hard rock band TEKH. POMOSHCH. They mostly used translations of French modernist poetry and chansons for lyrics (Brel, Brassens, Tzara, etc.) and combined them with inventive music that was devoid of cliches, innovative (for the Soviet scene of the era anyway) and alternately funny and sad, or bittersweet. They recorded two underground tape albums; “Metamorfozy” was issued on cassette in 1996 by Manchester Files, while their second, “Smotri V Oba” from 1986, was released on LP by Melodiya in 1988, one of the first Leningrad rock releases. Songs from both were also featured on “Red Wave” compilation 2LP. The band split up by 1986. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s STRANNIYE IGRY occasionally played reunion gigs – the most recent ones I can think of were in the Autumn of 2008. Local label Bomba-Piter works on a 3 CD set featuring STRANNIYE IGRY both studio albums and a live set from 1984. In early 1986 the Sologub brothers formed IGRY (“Games”). They were more guitar-orientated and heavier-sounding, more post-punk in approach. They toured internationally, recorded two albums in 1989 (one of which, “Krik V Zhizni,” was given a CD release in 1994 by Kontras) and mostly ceased activity in the 1990s. Both Viktor and Grigoriy Sologub played together in DOLPHINS which was one of the first hardcore bands in the city and existed between 1993 and 1995 (they released a self-titled tape on Kontras in 1996). Grigoriy also played in bands on his own. In 1992 he joined Alexandr “Alex Ogolteliy” Strogachov in ISRAIL who recorded an album which was issued on CD in 1998 – under the name NARODNOYE OPOLCHENIYE, because after a bit Strogachov gave the project the name of his most famous punk band. In 1994 Sologub joined MASHNINBAND, punk / alternative rock band with whom he recorded “Trezviye-Zliye” in 1995 (CD release in 2006 on Manchester Files) and then quit. He played in jazzcore band BONDZINSKIY for a short while – they had one song with ska bits and Sologub played it brilliantly, telling his bandmates that “no one plays ska in this city better than I do.” The alliance didn’t work out, and Sologub went to Canada to try and sober up through Alcoholics Anonymous. In 1997 he returned to musical activity becoming the new frontman of ska / pop band 2VA SAMALIOTA. That was probably one of the few projects that he was involved with which did release anything while he was actively involved (“Don Pedro, Gomez & Mamochka” CD on Zvezda Records). He was punk as fuck, a total nihilist, academically trained musician, and a true backbone of the local scene. It’s a pity that he lacked recognition in his lifetime. He always played in some of the best and most intense local outfits, and his music has been important for me throughout my life.

Eduard Nesterenko died.

November 17, 2008

Eduard Nesterenko, 2002, photo by Sveta Belikova
The world seems to have an unlimited supply of bad news sometimes.
Eduard Nesterenko had died after a long illness on October 31st, 2008, at Mariinskaya Hospital in St. Petersburg. He started out as a singer / guitarist in new wave band Kofe in 1984. In December 1987 three of its ex-members formed a new post punk band, PETLYA NESTEROVA, which was Nesterenko’s best-known project. Their debut album, “Kto Zdes?”, featuring members of IGRY and KINO, is recommended most highly. He also played in Durnoye Vliyaniye for a year or so. While he wasn’t as active musically in the nineties and noughties, he kept a version of PETLYA NESTEROVA going and sometimes moonlighted with other bands, e.g. dub band SAMOSAD BEND features him on 2007’s Digun 2CD.
Nesterenko was buried on November 3 in St. Petersburg.

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

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

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