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Serge Jarikov (“Group DK”)

SR – Let’s start from the beginning. How did your group arise, what’s its history?
SJ – Answer: Actually “Group DK”, it is a project. It is like it is not a group but a collective, a project called “Group DK”. Before “Group DK” the group existed with pretty much the same composition of people. That is to say, of course, the structure varied, but it all began at school in about 1970. 70’s years, then at our college, MIEM (Moscow State Institute of Electronics and Mathematics) … mathematics, there… Kruster, the headmaster, currently plays in the group “Master”, on the bass guitar, but that’s a side issue))) Then there were the middle 70’s when we earned money for our equipment, therefore the group was established earlier than that, insofar as it had many facilities. And if there are facilities, it means it is already a serious group. Since playing, performing all the same, western music, and here it was the apparatus that was very important. And now, just then, the middle seventies, there were dances, weddings, funeral and the philharmonic society in summer (when it was summer – vacation – went to the philharmonic and did a quarterly syllabus in a month))), in other words it became possible to earn three hundred roubles. Well, in those days that was good money. Bought drums in “Leipzig”, this was all on sale there. And, just at the end of the seventies, when this feeling occurred that it was necessary to modernise the system (this idea was already in the air), Russian-speaking groups appeared. We, by the way, also sang Russian songs, but they were such songs… comical, so to speak, mocking-songs. We wrote songs imitating Grand Funk or Zeppelin… here too there was such irony. As there was this post-punk or new wave 80’s, that is why Russian Rock, certainly beginning in the 80’s (more exactly 81-82), it is here exactly that which is called Russian Rock by which the eighties were defined. There was no more Russian Rock in the 90’s, it had already disappeared. And thus emerged this: When people play a certain type of music for a very long time, there is a definite change in its signature. For instance you can play Zeppelin for a long time but it will be terminated by the fact that you will make a parody of such things. New vision of everything occurs. That is to say that you should go through all this as if in the army, approach it like a learning curve. A mistake of musicians in the 90’s is that they simply took a guitar in their hands and began to make Russian Rock. This is their mistake. One needs to go through the entire history of Russian Rock – these Soviet bands, apportioned voices, apportioned instruments; it is called contrapuntal (it is necessary for the second guitarist to play counterpoint, it is deliberate). All of this is Soviet bands’ tradition, it comes from Soviet bands. It should be outlived and then you can depart to another level. Russian Rock 80’s actually ate the resources of the 70’s. What appeared in the 80’s is actually the tip of an iceberg and below it are the 70’s. Of course the 70’s are the yeast of Russian rock. Who in the seventies was not involved in music, we didn’t see it. Everything that has suddenly appeared in empty spaces has just as quickly disappeared. Many of the groups that came out in the 80’s did not live for long, they disappeared and the rest simply changed. There are still people, even now, who do not understand what took place in the 80’s, it is a generation of “arseholes” (from “feeling off” and “piss-up” – SR) – Cruises, Dynamic … are people of the seventies. Well, these were the elite of the 70’s. And the rock of the 80’s arose as contra elite to the 70’s. That is to say in the 70’s, these Cruises, Arakses, they are merry lads, who released records but only wanted to play by themselves. And there was also contra elite who had not released anything; they worked on dance pavilions, communicated with alcoholic folk and all that, wedding, philharmonics. They are the operators of the rocking horse 70’s who had ambitions. The 70’s contra elite also fell out in the 80’s. And in the elite of the 70’s nobody understood what was happening. Therefore they were very strongly disappointed. Most of them left and the others were left confused… why is this happening?! Why are there people who aren’t able to play appearing (as they thought)?! Tsoy, yes, all these 80’s groups, they seemed unprofessional to them. How can this be?! What nonsense?! Why this, what is it?! We performed, we studied, we finished music school, we learnt all this musical grammar, and here, this! Groups that took only one script, or any feeling of time which they could not understand, have appeared. They understood rock as music, as musical tradition. It was their mistake. Of course rock is a sub-culture, not music. And all this 70’s contra elite became the elite 80’s. What happened in the nineties? A clan, so to speak, modernists, Gorbachev clan, they disappeared. And with that went the old KGB (They created all this). Andropov’s idea to remove the entire party and to create another party based on the KGB, a party of proper communists instead of twisted ones. It was a fantasy idea and naturally it failed because in all projects there are traitors, and traitors appeared who wanted to sit on both sides of the fence. Andropov was mistaken. Then came Yeltsin. Yeltsin was basically the restoration of the status quo of nomenclature. This is the old party that had earlier issued decrees on the prohibition of rock music, and supported by Bogoslovsky, Pachmutova, Frenkel, and all who sang about the party, all these people together with Yeltsin cam to power. Gorbachev’s policy is what we have here, you see, youth, see what they think, but all these mouldy old composers, they only think about their stomach, and the state goes on supporting them. Yeltsin restored the old elite but on the basis of pseudonyms. Relations were understood under pseudonyms. There was Bondarchuk, now New Bondarchuk; there was Yevstignyev, now New Yevstignyev. The same with Fomenko, there was Golubkina, and the daughter of Golubkina, then appeared Fomenko. What is Fomenko? It is a derivative from the daughter of Golubkina, if to speak in mathematical terms. Here, this old elite has put their own figures. Naturally these figures were fixed on rock hangouts and they began to fuel this. Any organism rows from its roots. This new elite has not occurred with legitimism. That is to say that people of 80 years old, they have not accepted these new managers of Yeltsin’s epoch. But who has been accepted are the sorts of Shevchuk, all these groups, Rastorguev the same, all of these were taken from circulation and have lost value, as the representatives of rock culture. Under all their pluses and minuses, here estimations are a no-no. But the fact that DDT or Garrick Sukachev have no attitude to rock music is an element of show business. That is to say that people of the 80’s understood that rock is not show business, but it is as though it is a particular demonstration, a demonstration of certain existential values, roughly speaking, a way of life, an understanding of the world, why one is living, why I live, for you one value, for us others. Rock from around this region is sub-cultural. And it is as though this environment has remained but has not been claimed. As these Yeltsin managers have decided. But okay! You don’t recognise us. And we can do without you, and just sit there, your Russian rock of the eighties, well sit there, but we shall do our own thing here. In the 90’s there appeared all these Mr. Bigs’ and Our Radio. It is clear that history must again be lived through. As in science, first should be completed at school, then at college, then as an associate member, then as an academician… in music it is the same. It is necessary to go through all this. It was impossible to start up this new wave of amateur performance. It has turned out that these new managers have employed new sound producers, and in general new service providers, which don’t understand anything that happens. Well, for example, a technical issue, you take new records such as Real Records, there are even obvious defects in the sound production. People who are involved in it, they don’t understand what to do. They include limiters so that it was as loud as if one could reproduce it in a booth in the subways. And so on. There is no focus, there is nothing. You see there is a culture to recording, and it is necessary to focus on that. Roughly speaking, you should hear musicians as though they are on a stage and as though you are sitting in a hall: the singer, the guitar, a little further the drummer and even a little further, the keyboard, this is focus. Now sound is made simply without focus and it sounds as though they are playing behind your back as though you yourself are on the stage and they play around you. It cannot be like this. It is a mistake. It is that non-professional people have appeared. And these non-professional people think that so non-professionally they can make a sub-culture in the 90’s. Of course, anything they do fail. Therefore they have begun to say: Here you go, it is bent shit rock, Russian rock – shit rock, such a term. Clearly their problem was blamed on the shit 80’s. Well, because they have achieved nothing. You must remember what was in the book of complaints at Chekhov: “…. Well, since you have sacked me, I want to tell you that here there are swindlers and thieves….”. It’s the same history with the 90’s; it is deliberately blamed on the 80’s the fact that nothing was achieved in the 90’s. Rather than admitting that this is due to the fact that people do not have the know-how on this subject, not having the internal existence.
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SR – But how has DK’s destiny been manipulated through all this?
SJ – Answer: Well, first there was the stupid forbidding. For example, when DK appeared, forbidding immediately began.

SR – …But you see in any biography on DK, one can read that it was the most anti-soviet group…
SJ – Answer: Well, when vintili (grabbed), having gone after … for example when we did a concert in Rusakovo, cars with flashing lights twisting. We sent a person, the person phoned us and the guys simply stayed at home, and it was too dangerous to go there. Simply, just particularly vintili. And at that, vintili is like: before there was the Militia, there was DASPT (Department against Social Property Theft). The DASPT caught those who sold tickets; the militia caught and fined hooligans, alcoholics and drunkards (they were always to be found at concerts), and the KGB caught the authors of ideological diversion. We were marked in all spheres. Roughly speaking, with our song about alcoholics, it means that the militia immediately appear. As concerts were arranged to earn money for equipment, entrance was obviously not free-of-charge and thus the DASPT immediately appeared. Well, and plus there were the anti-soviets because there is a wrong side and a right side to everything. But since we had no right side, it meant the wrong side and here is where the special services came in. Another business in our strategy was to fight against them. They basically liked the KGB officers because they kept up ideology, but an interesting law operated, (now there are probably few who remember). Why did we release many albums at once? The law of the whip and gingerbread pertains here. That is to say that the enemy phenomenon, or bad as they considered, this phenomenon passes a maximum peak and after that there is gingerbread. If you have not reached this point then there is a whip. You can do many concerts and if there are no records on you then nobody knows you and you can quietly provide for ears. Our strategy was to record a heap of albums, distribute them and sit and wait. The result, ask for example Major Petrov:
– “Major Petrov! What do you think of this Rock music?” And he answers:
– “What, DK, an anti-soviet group, but they already have 20 albums”
– “Yes?”
– “Yes!”
– “Well, at the stage of 20 albums, signifies it is necessary to lead some talks-negotiations, so don’t fuck up”.
Adding to that, if Seva Novgorodtsev has been broadcast on BBC, this means that they are known abroad, this means that they simply won’t take anymore. Yes, and those KGB officers also, they also always conducted dialogue. And, say, the Ministry of Culture, party organisations, they forbade straightforwardly, they issued instructions and forbidden lists. And as groups were forbidden, now I can say this, as it is no longer a secret, groups began to collapse from within. For example, see, that group is dangerous (see, probably all experts wrote), it is carried out as… collapses from within; in each group there is a dipole (the plus-minus), you say: “Dima, you’re such a great guitarist, what about you Zjarikov? This is anti-soviet lyrics! Let’s just sing Russian national songs shall we, and you as the guitarist will write!”. Such things were done all the time. Examples: “The Time Machine”, “Sunday” (until now Romanov with Nickolsky had a hostile reception), that is that groups were deliberately screwed up from within. So. It wasn’t just pieces of paper. It was real working development of the destruction of the groups. A further example, Dima, our guitarist, a Komsomol member gives him money on the spot, more particularly a city-town Komsomol Committee … and what of DK, no DK, not necessary. I had one talk. One Komsomol member at the beginning of the 90’s said to me: “Listen, why is there DK? Let’s better work with us in the Duma. We will direct, in the Duma, all will be okey-dokey in the Duma, you have completed at MIEM, what, rock music?!” That is to say they destroyed the project.
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SR – In what Duma?
SJ – Answer: Then it was in a channel of re-organisation.

SR – So this was in the 90’s?
SJ – Answer: Yes, I speak about the 90’s. But what happened in the 90’s was prepared at the end of the 80’s. One needs to understand that if something happens then it was prepared beforehand, the previous resource is used. It is the general rule, what we see today is actually what arose five years ago. Nothing appears immediately. If there were such conversations in the 90’s it means they were prepared in the 80’s. And in the 90’s it was particularly said, what is DK for you, let’s go. The project was destroyed. The project kept something. These connections, directories. These connections began to cut-off. Here is what was forbidden. It now says: “Aaaa, nonsense”. Here I have written in HOMME magazine – “The founder of the forbidden group DK”, and the editor has removed the word “forbidden” thinking that it is something of little significance. No, this is serious stuff. The people put particularly. Novikov, with us Morozov, put incomprehensibly for that, then bought a broken tape recorder, made it work, sold and sat there for three and a half years, for that, that was done with tape recorders on one’s own. But he sang beside us, that is to say the soloist was removed. Then see, another soloist was found, a big effort began for the guitarist. So the directory in which all connections are kept begins to fail. Some figures related to music appear, some critics, incomprehensibly so, and the so-called friends begin this intriguing nonsense. And it wasn’t only at us. I have spoken with other musicians who have almost the same history. The most well known example of this is “Revival”. Until now, this conflict has not been resolved in any way. It clearly resides somewhere inside. Romanov with Nickolsky are simply at knives, although it is clear that it was a very powerful tandem. Because in itself, Nickolsky is more of a composer and Romanov is a group, and certainly Romanov-Nickolsky was a very powerful project. Yes, full of such examples. Therefore, in the 90’s there was an attempt by Gorbachev to cut these resources, those in the Duma and those elsewhere. And music, recording records, albums, to you DDT, Sukachev, Tsoy, heroes of our time, people who waited for change. All. There was a policy on destruction of this environment. Similarly, very similarly as now with Limonov. The same striving, only different. Music is music; Limonov is a party, some structures… Approximately too many. A person put not because he is bad, but that is why, that by means of this process, want to show to someone, someone proves something to someone, one clan proves to another. That is to say that something is happening above all this, there is a pattern emerging. An almost similar mechanism was in place at the beginning of the 90’s, end of the 80’s.
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SR – Is that to say that DK has ceased to exist?
SJ– Answer: Well, as a project, definitely not. Because it is a project which can have interchangeability of resources. Like with Vishnya we have recorded an album. He understands that he is part of the project, at a concert (March 2001 – SR), other people played and the project was kept going.
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SR – Well good. But now it is the right time to ask questions on type, what creative plans do you have?
SJ – Answer: Here there already appears to be a certain understanding of the situation. If building a strategy for the development of a project, there are issues such as: for whom it will be designed, at what level will the project exist (club level, at halls, or simply to play for a glass). Whether there is the target audience for which it is being designed. Certainly, after the 90’s, this is an issue. Firstly, a new youth who listens to electronic music has emerged. (Not for nothing have I returned to that subject). The generation of the 80’s, this contra elite of the 70’s, these were hippies or youth who searched for the meaning of life. They tried to go further and probably overdid it. In the 90’s the youth want to escape from life, they want to hide, they want to be high. Why has such an acute problem with drugs occurred? At that time there were addicts too, but this was not a problem. But now it is, and not less, alcoholics. There was another sense. If every hippy took drugs, as in the East, it was to go to nirvana, to open up some other world, to understand some things that we cannot see, but now drugs are simply a way of leaving this life. Now if you try to explain something that you know by means of music, these people don’t need it. You grant them that, why they leave from this reality. It is a completely different dimension, another vector. When, by the way, all these old figures return, the sorts of Leshenko, Kabzonov, renaissance of Soviet bands, is it a rebirth? Because of overestimating, this was wanted by many. As Berdyaev said: “…This is a test of freedom…”. Freedom was granted and it occurred that 80% said: “Noooo! We don’t need freedom, let there be a Tsar, who will act as a father to me”. From here and this type of sub-culture, appears the interests of Soviet bands, with songs such as “Love-love” and “Sweetheart”. This is show business which indeed as a basis. This doesn’t just intrude, it definitely has ground. Understandably, there were some groups that were captured, but others could come and the same would happen. Such music as that of Hendricks, Doors, music which tries to go deeper (DK and all this alternative music, it is also in this sphere), So, I am not sure if it is now still in demand. Who needs this and for whom is it interesting?
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SR – So the last concert was in 2001?
SJ – Answer: Yes, but first there was a concert which was free-of-charge, also there were a lot of people and outside there was a big queue. Even the organisers themselves were stunned…

SR – Why are you speaking of non-demand? Is this not a measure of demand?
SJ – Answer: Marketing was difficult to swindle, because the concert was free-of-charge and there were a lot of people who came according to a list of guests. Maybe they only came because it was free. But there were a lot of old men with children who knew DK from before. It wasn’t clear why they came there. Just to remember or for nostalgia. But concerning the music, the concert was successful. And the resonance of the concert was also successful. Those who couldn’t get in later regretted it. But if you take into account the commercial aspects of the project, they are not so clear. Because, in general, there were more people of the old generation and also the young generation came, who don’t understand this language. People spoke in a language that they did not understand. These improvisations that were good before are now bad and all this hanky panky, nobody is interested in all this. Everything has changed, because in the past when the instruments were bad, nobody enjoyed the sounds as such. You present the accord and everyone drops dead))). And now when cool instruments have appeared, the people have lost their ability to play. As an example. Before, there were homemade bass guitars that didn’t have harmony and didn’t have fingerboards at the end. To play and not “be crap out of tune” on guitar, which in general doesn’t build, it was possible only if a person was very well musically educated and must be very musically orientated. And now sound and that is all. All these groups from our radio: 7b, B2 – there was good and quality sounds, but there was no music as such. There isn’t such a thing that we call music, none of that effect, none of that magic, there is just sound. People who think that all this is rare and difficult, they of course, catch a thrill. But when the musician knows that this is just an expensive guitar or expensive lotion, here there is no personal, none of that that a person should show, and what he can … Plus, I don’t speak of ideology, there is also nothing. But before it was important. From where did this convention of acoustic concerts appear? There was nothing, just a person expressing his view of the world. It’s interesting for everybody, as it reading a book. Well, well, well, well in such a way he sees the world, it is interesting, maybe I also can see something but I don’t know what. There was curiosity about these things. But now it has gone. And in this I can see state of mind. The modern power doesn’t use this resource, or doesn’t want to use it. That’s why it is not in demand. It is important to be in demand. Because here there should also be the moment of popularisation and advertisement.
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SR – Your participation in the life of different musicians. For example Letov, “Funny Pictures”. Was DK, in a sense the foundry?
SJ – Answer: That’s why the project is called the House of Culture! Jura Orlov who played together with us (who was Copernic), Sokolovsky, Va-Bank began with us; we recorded a record together with Sklyar. I had one idea. Rock is world music, it appeared as a reaction of city folklore to professional singing, to Frank Sinatra, to Elvis Presley, to all these powerful jazz charges, which sing and play professionally. There was always a distance between listener (user) and artist, who was somewhere on the stage. And folklore existed when people sang for themselves. Rock is music, it appears to be a destruction of this discipline, when a person, who sings is the same as you. The image of the Beetles, the Rolling Stones, it was built on such sense or idea that we are the same as you. And the resource itself of this music was national. The city of course, but national. Everybody knows that people can have fun by themselves. The idea of rock (why it was unacceptable) – we can do everything for ourselves, we don’t need anybody for this. As Protestantism. There was a congregation, catholic priests, and suddenly it was said – God’s Kingdom was inside of us! We can cope or manage without you. We are ourselves! That’s why rock appeared on this wave. Here is your ideology and here is ours. You pour tales into our ears but we can do it by ourselves. By ourselves we create a sub-culture where we have our values. And on this appeared this music everywhere, here and there. And by the way, in Russia, it must be born the same way, not as an imitation of the Beetles (Everything what these funny guys did, all these Soviet bands, imitated the East, only in this vessel, as they say, to water down the soviet content, about love there, willy-nilly), and here the global phenomenon should go with the same principles. DK Group – House of Culture: in each region – factories, houses of culture, everywhere was red corners. There, people gathered together, bought port, and played to each other. And sang the songs, not soviet composers, about cherry, about cars, semi-cool, but not cool, but something similar. Here on this stage this new rock culture must grow, it should go with its roots in our environment. But not to go formerly from the Beetles. They have another musical language. If you listen to English music it is clear that the harmony itself comes from its culture. And, in as much as we haven’t any music tradition (Glinky – it was also borrowed), that is why it had it’s own tradition – pentatonic and others.
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SR – I interupt.. And if these roots are not in cool, prison and national song, are our roots musical?
SJ – Answer: Of course not. This is a very difficult subject. The fact is that we haven’t a national government as all Europeans, but it is imperial. Any empire is holding on to imperial resource, on to the resource of power. On what does America hold? On dollars, on currency. How did the empire hold which England built? On economical principle (generally, this is the principle of any Protestantism, Max Webber and others, that is Protestant countries live because of the bank, economical power), India was held, Austria, and so – nothing pushed as such. On to what do all empires hold – on to the resource of power? On what did the soviet empire hold? On power, on the army. At the time of Brezhnev 80% of produce went to the army, on all this tanks and stuff. Okay, the resource is finished; we have an army at our arse; everything is destroyed, including the empire. If there is no resource of power, the empire cannot exist, this is what has happened. And inasmuch as ethnic vessel didn’t work (nothing was muddled – it was fact), a layered pie appeared. There is Turkic, Finnish, Mordvians (roots)… It is clear that pentatonic and all this East, Tatars and so called, but to be more exact, Tuvinian roots (Tuvinian throat singing, this is pentatonic in obvious view). What we call “Urlovaya” intonation, this is Tuvinian throat singing. The same as Bogatikov, Kobzon. Listen to conservatives – this is obvious Tuvinian throat singing. There is some ethnic substrate, on which this sector of music is based. Cool music. If you look at our cool people, so most of them have Turkic facial features, they are a little bit Tatars. Also there is another sort of people; Finnish substrate. And the network of Russian substrate, what was Russian in the beginning, it had Swiss and European roots. So the harmonic language of Russian music is completely different. It is not based on pentatonic. There are really a lot of unisons but there is a very interesting harmony. Trubetskoy wrote that we have these three substrates. That’s why, with the example of our pop music, we can see from where our legs grow. If a person likes chanson, then you can immediately give him Kazansky registration. It is obviously clear that a person meditates musically. So there are lot of different styles of that music, which we have, and it (this music) is not uniform. Also there is other music that sounds completely different. For example, the group “Return” uses the guslar method of interpretation. As for the “Singers”, by the way, this is very obvious. They interpret the folk songs differently. And as such the approach to it emerges. The approach is also layered. There is a trendy approach and there is also an approach to songs, like pop, there the harmony is a little bit different, it reminds of a twist. We are just at a cool stage, that’s why we cut it. Moscow emerged as the place of convergence for the three elites. Also, in music, in Moscow these three ethnic traditions are combined. Also city folklore, it is the same. That’s why in DK we used this Muscovite harmonic language… And, if it is formal, we have all these ethnic substrates. So, with this approach, youth song has a different harmony than a cool one.
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SR – And if I may ask – in what style was DK still playing?
SJ – Answer: It is not a style, but a phenomenon which is famous all over the world, so called Moscow Conceptualism. Besides the working-class avant-garde of the 20’s (of the last century), which we only discovered in soviet time (from the stream of art), and which was famous all over the world, it was Moscow Conceptualism. This is definitely conceptual art where there is a main point, and this main point becomes the focus of the artist. For example, Sorokin, who, by the way, always liked DK, and it was he who acquainted me with Sergey Litov at the beginning of the eighties, at that time he was an artist of conceptualism, but now he is a writer of conceptualism. Sorokin – this is obviously conceptual art. The musical language is repetitive, the main thing there is concept, and the main idea is to create some moral substance, taken as a foundation. The foundation in soviet art was covert under some art effect. As for conceptualism, this foundation, it is like to get into, and to become obvious and naked. There is nowhere in the world where such art existed. Only we had it. There was original German conceptualism, but our soviet conceptualism, which was used as a resource, but to be more precise, it parasitized our soviet duplicity: There is official ideology, facade and real ideology. As for the rouble, there were different roubles: converted and unconverted. The same with our conscience, it was dissected. All over the world everybody lives and chooses the government who protects their civil rights. As for our government, it goes by itself, and we live by ourselves. Some connections appear between the government and us, which exist with cunning logic. And these triplicate consciences began to generate something by itself, its own art production in which this remains. This is triplicity, it is crooked, it is marasmus, the absence of copyright or plagiarism (the slogan “this art belongs to the people” – this is the license to plagiarism). The whole of this world is in consciousness. What is DK? This is the product of this consciousness.
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SR – Is there a stronger album, where this conceptualism is more obvious?
SJ – Answer: Well, they are all conceptual.

SR – And as for the developing of conceptualism – are these albums the same?
SJ – Answer: The developing was. Resources differed. DK is a conceptual project of course. But resources are different, that is why hen people get into this project they don’t understand sometimes what they are doing. It even requires that a person doesn’t play. For example, Vitya, a singer, who was working as a caretaker at the second bus depot. He finished at Tambov Music School with a diploma with distinction. He was a musician but worked as a caretaker, he wore a centre parting… at that time he was at his best (we recorded DMB together with him). And then, when he understood his mission, that he is a rock musician, everything disappeared. Here there should be an element of authenticity. Authenticity – this is you conforming to yourself, in a manner that suits the prototype. The most exact translation, self-corresponding. All the elements of this construction should be authentic, only in this case will you get effect. For example, when in DMB, Litov plays with Vityok (they made a concept together), there the concert hall stood on ears. Besides the concerts themselves, there were the study rooms of conceptual artists. They understood this language, this cuisine and of course they admired the absence of distance. An example. Cool song about deputy governor. In fact a simpleton sings this song (cool people sing other songs), this is a simpleton who imagined himself as a cool person. The romanticised the situation, but the environment is that of a prisoner. Someone who cut the throat of three people, robbed somebody, killed somebody, but the image of the simpleton is cool! In what conceptual method is this? In that, that the simpleton decides to be cool, you should present him as a cool person until the end. The idea of Sorokin: soviet novel, which carries through until the end. There is the failure to mention it in the soviet novel but he carries it through until the end. The core should be naked. If Dostoyevsky had an old hag bookkeeper, which died under the axe, and the soviet novel, which appealed all the time to industrial attitude and plan, if you carry it through until the end, you will get maximum horror. Ilya Masadov (there is such a writer), he goes further, he introduces everything in the element of esoterism, that everybody was a werewolf and a vampire. I think that this stage is further on. DK is the same. The same simpleton, if he has already written a song about the governor’s deputy, in such case he should describe the deputy as a person who has already spent 15 years in prison, that is, he killed three… And here Vityok is singing: One person I killed, another I cut with a chainsaw, because I am a cool and good guy. Everybody is laughing. It is clear that it is not a real song, it is not Russian chanson, but at the same time it is authentic. That is that he describes a real character. We have soviet consciousness that was always held back. This means that we understand that we are the slaves of this party but we don’t tell about it. Remember, “We pretended that we worked and they pretended that they paid us”. This “to pretend”, in conceptualism, has disappeared, everyone carries through to the end. That is, if the deputy gives, he gives until the end. If we present of give soviet song, this song is about toilet, about shit, about crap, modulation on one tone lower, on one tone higher, this is soviet song with counterpoint, because you worked together with them and you know who they are, they are arseholes, unrestrained drunkards, real tramps. BAM (Baikal-Amur Main Line), BAM! These tramps call us on BAM! Where is the conceptual act? We sing soviet song about a tramp. That somebody farted, but this is all with the voice: “Laa-la-laaa…” ))) All this la-la, all these attempts, this is the conceptual act. It is clear that the government understands it as mockery at them. What provocation is in the conceptualism? Conceptualism provoked the government. In fact, in the structure itself of these things there is nothing, but the government interprets it such that in this condition it begins to get angry. Simpleton is imprisoned… he wants to be romantic. Of course he robbed and killed but at the same time he wants everyone to love him. The same as the government. It wants everybody to love it. But when people say: “I love you”, well if a tramp said it, it is unpleasant. I don’t need such love, I need love from another. Well this technique is the carrying through to the end of some consciousness. Roughly speaking, there is a belief in everything. For example, we have Lenin, Brezhnev. We understand that there is someone, somewhere, who is Lenin, but we pretend that we love him. Can you imagine such a situation if Lenin is holy or Leonid Il’ich,… well I like Brezhnev… and the person writes to him. And everyone looks at such a person cautiously.
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SR – And is there a continuation of this today? Does anybody do it now?
SJ – Answer: I think not. If you do it now, it means repetition. Art can appear only once. This is the same now as modelling “Black Square” again. Doing this for a second time has no sense. But now there is the basis for it. For example, well, all our elite is chubby. They put everything not into science or into art but into their flesh. As they think – I give him a dime – Wow! They think that I am cool. Not that who can invent a new computer program, but one of those who can punch in the nose.
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SR – Are you producing for anyone?
SJ – Answer: As for producing, I am not involved with it directly. There are different reasons. I produce my albums because this is required for production, because mastering needs to be done, building sound. What is a producer? – this is a person who responds to a project, literally. Of course he should plan everything by himself. How is it planning? – Each thing is musical; it has its own musical zest. With different sounding, this zest can sound and can not sound. For example, two guitars sound good, or nice bass, or interesting lyrics, or some stylisation. It needs to be planned with technical help. With the help of compression, difficult compression, reverbs, everything needs to be planned. You as a producer know that in a particular thing, something should be interesting. In each thing there is a zest. The task of the producer is to plan the zest in each thing. That is why it is difficult to produce for other groups. Either he creates the group from scratch or he negotiates with the author so that he knows what he wants. Take Civil Defence as an example. There you can’t improve the sound. We, together with Letov applied maximizer, improved the dynamics of the sound… the group is lost. This is close, solid, compressed sound, recompressed, with the absence of dynamics – that is Civil Defence. This is cool; the feeling of anarchy emerges with the help of such sound.
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SR – The notion of Russian punk has the right to exist? They say that Civil Defence is our native Russian punk.
SJ – Answer: Of course it is not punk. Russian punk is Russian chanson. Literally, hooligans who still position themselves. Simpleton, he is positional hooligan. That is to say that he is a hooligan who doesn’t think that he is a hooligan. And a person who understands that he is a hooligan, this is a punk. As a style. Hooliganism, which positions itself. I think that Radio Chanson, this is the channel of Russian punk. Punk in eastern interpretation, under Sex Pistols, this is punk there but here it is not punk! Here this is such anarchic rock, extremely left plan, anarchy, and the mother of order but of course not punk.
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SR – Is it true that expression of New Russian and Russian Rock is attributed to you?
SJ – Answer: Yes, exactly. New Russian, we had such party programs. You see, before, as Limonov, found the national-Bolshevik party, there was national-radical party that we created together with Limonov. On the third day it collapsed on right-radical and national-Bolshevik. When this party was, we had a program. There was such thesis – New Russia with new Russians, the idea of a new person, esoteric idea, when a person dies in an old shabby view and appeared in a new one. New Russian, Russian, they should be like Jews to pass these forty years; they should disperse from the beginning. There can’t be Russian from soviet. First he should disperse, carry all these burdens, as Hermes showed on one of DK’s albums. Mother, substance, should be born as a new person and he should emerge from this chaos. A New Russian is not that person, who is fat, later it was vulgarised. And this phrase is our invention. Russian rock was the name of a magazine that I published.
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SR – Advice to young people – what technical mistakes they should avoid and what they should and shouldn’t do.
SJ – Answer: First of all, a lot of recording. Their rehearsal should be recorded straight from the console, make working notes, and to cut it short, listen to yourself a lot. Now people don’t listen to themselves, that’s why they make a lot of mistakes. Secondly – to learn sound producing. As a rule, everything, even a high paid or well-paid sound producer is not professional enough. You should record yourself more, listen to yourself more, and work at self-improvement under your own artefact. It not as simple as just playing and that’s it, but that this product will be like a loaf of bread. Your music is a loaf of bread and you see for yourself that here it’s bitter, and there it’s a little bit over salted, and you know all these things, you of course go further – and this is most important. And young people don’t like this and I understand it judging by one festival. To play, to enjoy yourself at concerts and records, oh, nooo – money! Which money? Record from console and that’s it. There is high-quality recording from the console, even as in the studio. Besides, in my time I gave advice to the group “Rada and Blackthorn” to make their album on the basis of old recording. The album was much better than singles that they have because there everything is more alive and natural. Because these things are so delicate. Here for the young people: More recording and listening to yourself.
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SR – To whom now should we be orientating in music?
SJ – Answer: It depends on taste. I like the group “Sputnik” for example. Now we should go back to the harmony of the 60’s. Only formally to come back to the complex harmony of the 60’s, to this late and complex jazz. Because in the 70’s, 80’s all pop music developed in the course channel, in pentatonic. And we need to come back to these complex jazz accords; to difficult, more delicate and more specific harmony. It’s high time to come out from this pentatonic. For me, Dobrynin was just a symbol of this soviet pentatonic. And of course the text should be with a sense. There should be an understanding on what to write, that you shouldn’t write some nonsense. Russian rock is a phenomenon that is connected to literature. There are advantages to Russian language that we should use. Clearly, that Russian language music is more interesting for Russian language listeners than English language listeners. It is also a resource. To cut it short we need to come back to the 60’s although there are many who don’t like all this.
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