“Why don’t you call on the Day of Alla Pugacheva, the other stars? They are in fact a number in Jurmala…” — said the mayor of Riga Nile Ushakov, he shrugged: “we Have Kubana”. Say anyway, that this festival, overcoming adversity and persecution from the Krasnodar region, and then from the Kaliningrad region, with the move to the Latvian capital acquired Baltic charm, but has not lost its atmosphere of freedom. Garbage, Guano Apes and “Cockroaches” along with other rock heroes are intertwined in rich, non-trivial lineup.
Photo: press service of the festival
Open air occurred for the second time of guitar riffs and drum rhythms on a wonderful island Lucavsala. In the same days on another miracle-the island — Sziget in the middle of broad Danube in Budapest who wanted the same the other iconic festival, with the island bearing the same name Sziget with the motto of the event is “Liberty Island”. Almost a cube, ahaha… Freedom in both cases was rife. However, this steady figure of speech in our case played a cruel joke, we have in Russia freedom in the literal, not in figurative sense “obavili”, and as a result we have what we have. “Kuban” kicked, “Kazantip” was banned, Outline at the last minute canceled… “W.” now rushing across the border, like a cat on fire in order to keep up everywhere and see everything.
Dozens of scenes and pavilions on Sziget’e, hundreds of artists, musicians and groups from around the world in the submitted lineup. Dessert after a characteristically creaking your voice Rihanna, fervently wipeaway “Ma-ia-hoo ma-ia-ha kavere on the mega hit” Dragostea Din Tei by the Moldovan band O-Zone and warm-up before our “Leningrad” at the head with a Cord, Therr Maitz Anton Belyaev and headliners Muse is a luxurious and hilarious to spasm in the throat gay Berlinesque cabaret in the big top Magic Mirror… And, characteristically, nobody came to oshtrafuyut organizers for the Mat on the stage or throwing tantrums because of the desecrated “homopropaganda” spiritual braces…
In Riga, Lucavsala alleys in the days of “Cube” people, of course, was still not as relaxed as in Sighetu Marmatiei, and kissing in the shady alleys, holding hands, just the boys with the girls… But the spirit finally regained freedom, of course, was in the air. Although producer Ilya Ostrovsky and calls the festival “a teenager”, saying in a new place all have to start over, the second “volume” of this story is a good opening sentence, so there is every chance to pass this round even faster than the previous one.
Despite the change of location, the festival continues to stick to their line, inviting those teams that are close to guests of the Peninsula (more precisely, now Islands of freedom in spirit and sound. The emphasis is on international artists, mainly playing heavy alternative: Korn, System Of A Down, another story — The Prodigy, Infected Mushroom, Die Antwoord. The list of “hall of fame” open-air, which was marked by powerful sets of these mastodons in different years, you can continue. Pulled up to him and the younger generation of overseas artists, and our local group, forming a kind of musical realm. The laws in this democratic, there is a place in almost any genre, if it is, of course, is not about sugary indie (for the festival this direction is not quite in the “format”) and the Pope. Pop is not to be confused with the stage one performance of the legendary entertainer at every open-air is the icing on the cake, one of the chips, an unusual way of distinguishing him from others. Last year, for example, such icing was Lev Leshchenko, which have prikololsya youth audience applause no less than at some of the iconic rock band.
Through the “iron curtain”
In this time, this distinction became a concert singer, actor, screenwriter, film Director Vakhtang Kikabidze. Since 2008 to see it in Russia is impossible: it is the personal position of the artist after the Russian-Georgian war, although with the media he does not communicate on any political topics. So the performance of the legendary Bubba “Kuban” for the Russian public, in large numbers in Riga, was unique. However, the scene gathered guests from other countries, students of different ages, nationalities, punks, rockers, music lovers, of course — travelers from Georgia with the flag of his native country in his hands. The legend of pop listened with bated breath, people were almost more than the concerts of your favorite rock and punk bands. Vakhtang Konstantinovich, graceful and elegant, came out on the Playground in the stylish black suit, delighting all colorful songs, tales, parables, stories from life that pack in an autobiographical novel. Several, he shared with “ZD”:
The biggest compliment I got was from Utesov. Once in the Central house of the actor was a holiday, and I see Leonid Osipovich, surrounded by a whole band of actors, artists, which is sent directly to me. I did not expect, he was always my idol. He said, “Now you don’t Vakhtang Kikabidze. You Vakhtang Bernes”. I have this for life remember. Besides mark Bernes — another person who I think made a huge contribution in the world culture. Third — Klavdiya Shulzhenko. I also like jazz, every day can listen to ray Charles, James brown and Joe Cocker. By the way, had a curious case in Tbilisi: he had a hobby — to grow tomatoes, and in Georgia he was given to try a delicious variety going for export only. But when he asked to bring him the seeds all thought it was a joke. Joe Cocker was very upset. I can still so many stories to tell…
Enjoyed “Kuban” in Riga and concerts the two “forbidden” now in Russia the artists from Belarus and Ukraine, Siarhei Mikhalok, who two years ago closed group “Liapis Trubetskoy” and gathered Brutto, Oleg Skrypka, unlike fickle Michalka, true to their “Cries of vidopljasova” for almost thirty years. The tour, which was the show in Riga and is called XXX. Oleg plenty of “fed” fans and the old hits and fresh things, cheerfully danced and even climbed up on the side beam of the frame of the scene. “It was raining, it was very slippery, and then I’d climb to the top” — shared the singer’s fervent emotions with “ZD”. A great interview in which he shared his view on the relations of Russia and Ukraine, and also spoke about current events in his creative life, read in one of the following editions of “ZD”.
Michael, unlike the Violin, has traditionally refused to talk to the press, played the songs of the new project and the song “spesovsky” times that he does not sing former colleagues who formed a team Trubetskoy that causes many confusion. Criticized and the first plate Brutto for the abundance of texts about a rocking chair, and ball game is a social-philosophical manifestos, which the artist has always been famous for. Evil tongues joked that he was over-exertion at the gym. It seemed he did not care what people think of him, but a year later he released the album “Rodny Krai” quite different kind, and wrote in social networks: “to Continue to pose as agniyu Barto and write deliberately primitive texts, I will not. I will return to the poetry, which is close to me. I will return to some metaphors, and it will be like “Iron” or “warriors of light”. This is my kind of author I want to”.
The Subways experienced a “strong resonance”. Photo: press service of the festival
From rock-n-roll heaven in the sound space
An explosive audio mix was prepared for public two foreign groups, which alone can blow up the dance floors and crazy fans, and if you listen to them one day, you can perenosyatsya impressions and to fall into a deep euphoria. The British The Subways — classic rock-n-roll in the best tradition. They have become the mascot of the open-air, year after year coming with an incendiary set. Soloist Charlotte Cooper, along with guitarist and vocalist Billy Lunn told the “REAR”, how does it feel to be a symbol of the festival:
It’s an honor for us. Every year we are waiting for their performances here because you feel a strong resonance out of the public. Although we are positive, energetic and try to do my best on any of his concerts, this reaction occurs not always. It’s worth it.
— You became internationally popular after a performance at Glastonbury in 2004 and said then that moved from the audience of 250 people to a ten-thousandth. Now the festivals have not lost their influence?
— Not at all! For us they are as important as then, in the beginning. It’s like a litmus test to understand if you are, that’s the direction you’re moving. Recently, we even performed at a metal festival in Hungary. Strange experience, not our public, but he was also curious, and we applaud.
— You starred in the guy Ritchie movie “Rock-n-roll” and there was your song “Rock-n-roll Queen”. Please share your impressions?
— There were plenty. When you are writing music for themselves and for the fans, it all happens a little differently here, we felt a lot of responsibility, felt not only musicians, but also actors. We would like to write a soundtrack to any movie from beginning to end, it would be another achievement for us. We love to experiment…
Compatriots The Subways Enter Shikari — live another “landmark” of the festival. Their music is a mad mix of posthardcore, rock, electronic genres (dubstep, trance, drum n ‘ bass. Melodies and rhythms these guys bring to the space, especially when combined with imaginative visuals, from abstract figures, strange alien creatures and other unusual characters. All this sounds convincing as the music of the future, working artists tear of the aorta, and for each song, a message, which they shared with “ZD”:
— You are considered pioneers of a new style of electronicore. With what ambitions you started your career? Planned to make a revolution in music?
— Actually, no. The music for us was a hobby we were doing it on the weekends, in my spare time, and it lasted quite a long time, until it became for us a serious business. Then, we have become more ambitious, but still for us it was always important to enjoy the process, and not chasing laurels. We always experimented with different genres — rock, electronics, — mix, ideas, solutions to unusual proportions, as if borders do not exist. And we really managed to cross, we found their unique sound and continue to develop it.
In June held a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, and the majority of people voted for her withdrawal from the EU. What was your reaction?
We were shocked by the results because most of them are thinking to stay, but there were people who, probably, from folly or fun voted against it. Now the majority of our compatriots simply shocked by the results and are unable to fully realize what happened. Art and politics are two different things, and everyone has to do their job, but we do not care what is happening in our homeland.
Sometimes you Express your opinions on politics, society, and in his compositions. You think those songs will affect people?
Only time will tell. We believe that it is very important to Express their opinion, to speak about their everyday concerns. And since we all die one day, it’s nice to have a “catalogue” of his own thoughts and beliefs that we personally collect in their albums. If you say something, I agree with those who suppress you, so never be afraid to speak.
Female rock under the Molotov cocktail
Arrived at the island two divas for many years proving that women not only have a place in the rock: often they are implemented successfully many of the stronger sex. Garbage, headed by the flamboyant Shirley Manson became one of the most successful teams of the 1990s and in total has sold over 17 million albums, not to mention the whole baggage of big rewards. A mixture of post-grunge, electronica, alternative rock, flavored with elements of industrial, Gothic rock, trip-hop and techno — a distinctive feature of their music. “Stupid Girl”, “I Think I’m Paranoid” interspersed with other hits flowed from the horn of plenty. To someone could seem that the years take their toll and now the team lacks power and energy, but I think this is one of the examples where the musicians can do anything: winning a place in the sun and love the fans, they hold it thanks to the impressive wealth of material, which became a cult.
Alternative rockers (a little less even call them alternative metal) Guano Apes from Germany — another legendary band with a girl at the helm. It seems that the years do not take a Sandra Nasic, the singer remains in great shape and all with the same fuse takes netlenki 1990s, when the hype around the team originated in Russia. At their first concert in front of thousands of fans to Moscow was Packed, the crush reminded what is happening on the “farewell” speech Zemfira. Then gifted the Germans have become one of the main discoveries of the foreign scene. Now, many notice that they are increasingly moving away from the heavy alternatives in the direction of the light rock. However, the musicians with this opinion do not agree about what “ZD” said guitarist and co-founder of GA Henning Rumenapp:
— It’s hard to describe how is the creative process from the inside, but our older albums are, on the contrary, appeal to the roots, the original source of Guano Apes, which was from the beginning. I think it’s all in the attitude. When we started, we were 19-20 year old musicians, hot and naive at the same time. People looked at us and thought, “God! This discovery, this new band!” So they probably thought that our first song — “Lords Of The Board”, “Open Your Eyes” was more emotional for people they special memory with which they began to compare everything that comes later. For them it was like a first kiss, a first date. The public has long become accustomed to us, has not ceased to love us, but it seems that we have become softer. This is a psychological thing, although, of course, a new record can not fully replicate those that were before, and we want to attract a new audience.
— How time has changed your ambitions?
— We are older, wiser, began to pay less attention to material values, to notice their mistakes, to understand what things in the works working and what is not…
Among the heroes of the 1990s were seen and famous Mexicans Molotov, whose hit and video “Puto” is especially memorable for the Russians. Their lyrics combine English with Spanish, obscene language (Spanish mostly) is an integral part of “lyrics” and the music sounds not only from the world scenes, but also in games and series. Several times the team was under threat of collapse, has gone underground, did “Mat” pause in their activities, but the concert “Cuban” proved that fans still remember it, and are willing to dance to your favorite tunes incendiary. Finally got to open-air and the legend of the American club scene the band Nashville Pussy, which in Russia are not called because of its name (in the literary translation “Nashvillle vagina”). The team plays vigorous hard rock, psychobilly and the so-called cow-punk. These musicians are good friends of Lemmy Kilmister, leader of Motorhead, and more than once played with him on tour.
Nashville Pussy banned in Russia because of the name. Photo: press service of the festival
A miracle, and not a pattern…
In the current situation where artists and their fans in Russia must always look at what is happening, not to sing or to say “extra”, and some just are deprived of the right to vote, the atmosphere is open-air in Riga — forgotten feeling of freedom, opportunities to enjoy the music and mingle with an international audience, being in a pleasant, comfortable environment. This festival with a complicated fate, what “W.” I talked to the “Comandante” of the event Ilya Ostrovsky (full text of interview read on a site “MK”).
The Subways experienced a “strong resonance”. Photo: press service of the festival
— Last year because of the crisis was difficult for many festivals. You have to move to Riga was preceded by many twists and turns, but banned in Russia. How did you manage to survive in such difficult conditions?
Up to a certain point, when there was an agreement on holding the festival in the Kaliningrad region, everything went smoothly: we have well sold the tickets were announced all the artists, and we actively prepare for the event. We felt the impact of the crisis after the repeal in Kaliningrad, because the transfer of a colossus not just from one site to another, and abroad at the last moment, less than a month and a half, is an unprecedented event in the history of the music festival culture. Here you can sign like a Pro extreme: “do Not try to repeat it!” I can say for sure: the fact that we were able to hold the festival last year, is a miracle, not the regularity. Everything that has happened, we survived with great difficulty, with enormous financial losses and organizational problems, but, fortunately, in Riga found support and understanding from local authorities.
— Why Riga?
— When the festival in Russia has become impossible in principle, it was necessary to choose countries. The Baltic States was the most convenient place for our visitors and for the many artists who were just going on tour around this time. So other options like Georgia, Ukraine, Abkhazia, and even Crimea (it’s probably the only place in Russia where open-air could theoretically take place) is not approached from the point of view of logistics. In addition, before we agreed with Kaliningrad, I conducted preliminary negotiations with the authorities of the Latvian capital. If not for the fall of the ruble, we would have immediately stopped at this city, because the soil has been prepared and all the preliminary approvals completed in late 2014. After moving to the island Lucavsala I realized that it is a perfect place for us, if not Krasnodar Krai…
“Needed a pretext to ban the festival”
– What, in your opinion, causes problems with the authorities in Krasnodar Krai, and then in Kaliningrad?
– No matter how pretentious it sounded, in the changes that occur in our society. Those individuals who had a hand in the cancellation of the festival, can appear only in a society in deep crisis. It’s not even in the economy: a crisis of values, in which the state as the substance responsible for the global cultural changes, somehow begins to take a very stern stance on certain issues. When Kubana for the first time held in 2009, it was clear that the festival with the participation of foreign teams, held in the Russian tourist region, is something positive, new and modern, attracting visitors from abroad. It was called the development of event tourism, and by 2014 the same event beginning be characterized as propaganda and the introduction of Western cultural values. This is true, the problem in relation to Western culture. If in 90-e years all began to pray on foreign stars, jeans, a coke and some gum, but now has been rolled back in the past, the revival of some Soviet values, which more recently caused an ironic smile, the West began for some reason to be considered hostile and cause rejection. This process is especially actively occurs in the regions, and we did not realize. Kubana fell out of trend, and the attitude towards it has changed. It was only necessary to find a pretext to ban the festival, and it is very easy because any large – scale event-be it a city Day, victory Day, or open-air – can produce a huge number of claims on any one of them can be seen persons drunk, happen some offense. Although our festival has never been the “leader” in their number, our “opponents” pulled the facts out of context, emphasize the negative side, forgetting the positive. When in 2013 an incident occurred with a group Bloodhound Gang, everybody talked about him and not about the fantastic theatre production of Emir Kusturica “Time of Gypsies”. When in 2014 Noize MC came on the scene, in the buff, the media discussed this trick and not the performance of Alexander F. Sklyar with the Cossack choir, which he dedicated to the militia of Donbass, although it would seem, today, this infopovod more relevant.
– How to behave the organizers of the Russian festival in such an environment?
– You just need to take a more conformist position, to consider what is happening today, and around the Foundation stones. I didn’t do it, because it seemed to me, what is this island of freedom, where there may be any artists, where nobody will restrict. If now I were asked, I would have acted differently if I knew what consequences all this will lead, I would have said “Yes”. Not because I’m ready at any moment to bend and adapt to any situation, I just think that the existence of a good music festival in Russia, even in something as limiting is better than none.
– However Riga gives freedom in the choice of artists…do you think it would have come the same “Vopli Vidoplyasova” or Brutto’s festival in Russia?
– I think not, and I would not have called, in the current situation is inappropriate, may lead to difficulties and problems, and I don’t have the resources to convince the powers that it has the right to life. Of course, now my hands untied a lot more, but those artists who are denied entry to Latvia (Valeria, Gazmanov, etc.) – are outside of my interests. Although the fact that they can’t come here – the same savagery on the part of the Latvian authorities, as the ban on entry of Ukrainian artists in Russia. If to speak about democracy and freedom of speech, everyone has the right to Express their point of view on any issue: AF Sklar – to devote speech to fighters of Donbass, Noize MC – support the Ukrainian side, the singer Valeria to shout “Crimea is ours!”.
– As this year’s selected line-up?
– We, unfortunately, do not have such financial and institutional capacity to make such a strong program, as it was in 2012-2013. We tried to approach the choice of each musician very carefully and fill the line-up though not super-stars, but those artists who would be interested, on the one hand, our audience, and on the other listeners in Latvia. Their musical tastes are often very different. For example, “Kubanskie” Pets is punk-rockers NOFX, who performed at the festival back in 2010, and Latvia, maybe more were waiting for IAMX, playing a rather quiet indie-electronic music. I’m glad now managed to show a Mexican team Molotov – crazy heroes of alternative 1990s and the early 2000s, they certainly made a splash. Another band I have long wanted to bring, but couldn’t invite Russia because of their name – Nashville Pussy. Is great friends with Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, they were often together in the round. And, of course, Riga gave me the opportunity to call as specget Vakhtang Kikabidze, who arrives in Russia since 2008.
The cherry on the festival cake: unique performance
Vakhtang Kikabidze. Photo: press service of the festival
– Specget is a different story altogether. How did the idea every year to invite to the festival artists who, it would seem, distracting from the overall context? Yury Antonov, Mikhail Boyarsky…
There was Valery Leontiev and Lev Leshchenko. It all started like in 2010, I attended a concert of the boyar in one of the capital’s clubs, which was jam-Packed with young people. When I saw that the artist took the stage alone, with a makeshift sword, a hat, without a music band and within an hour kept the audience’s attention, I thought, how cool would it look at the festival in front of a huge number of people on the beach. We managed to negotiate with Mikhail Sergeyevich, and it was one of the most fantastic and successful performances. From the moment we decided that bringing an unusual speccast will be our tradition, and every year, his appearance on stage is very exciting for me. I never know whether the choice I made, but in the end it all goes with a Bang. In 2014 a fantastic success Valery Leontiev. In the case with him, I especially highly doubt that this is the singer who needed the festival: after all, knights and Antonov – every song is a hit. Leontyev also have hits, but we cannot say that dozens of them. Nevertheless, he staged a real extravaganza: came on stage in a leather coat, a black hat and first performed the song about the fact that someone who likes pop music and he’s a rock-n-roll. It was one hundred percent hit, the whole room was his steel to light fire, to rise some flags, banners. He did not expect such a warm welcome. Last year, in Riga, was held the phenomenal appearance of the lion of Leshchenko, but if Leontiev has charged rock-n-roll, the second concert was held in the emotional atmosphere of a creative meeting. Then he and a half hours sat at the autograph session, the queue for signed lined punks, the freaks, and the choir sang “Victory Day”. At that moment I began to understand what real, not the workers and not imposed by the patriotism that comes from within.
– What is the bar today you put before yourself?
– The events that had to endure, I was very grounded. I took a few steps back, I understand this clearly, and now I have only one goal – to return the scale of the festival, which already existed, and – no matter on what territory, and then have to see what will happen. I no longer think about anything: it’s possible that just his Napoleonic ambitions and plans, I somehow karmically spoiled the prospect for their implementation. Now I am guided only to small steps to get back to that level where we were in 2012-2013.