We have drawn a WINNER to our Less Than Jake/The Interrupters Tickets GIVEAWAY! Congratulations to Eric from Waterford, NY as you and a guest will be attending the show at the Upstate Concert Hall Friday October 24th on us!!! Also playing as special guests And We Danced and Firestarter.
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Tarakany! (Russian for Cockaroaches!) is a punk band in the truest sense of the word. They’ve been together for more than twenty years, played more than 800 shows and are fighting to get the word out about the political and social issues that are important in modern-day Russia. Over the years they’ve caught the attention of artists such as Marky Ramone (the Ramones) and Chris Barker (Anti-Flag), released 13 studio albums, a handful of live albums and have played across Europe and Japan.
Fr.U.N.T. Music had the opportunity to ask Dmitry Spirin of Tarakany! a few questions and he was gracious enough to take the time to chat with us.
Cardiac_in_Overdrive: Tarakany! has been together for over 20 years. What keeps you together as a creative force? How do you resolve your differences?
Dmitry Spirin: We all are big fans of punk rock and we love to make music together. This is our greatest pleasure. We still get high while performing on stage, composing new songs and recording at the studio. We also have the messages, which we want to share through our music. But this is not the matter. Every person in the band has a right to propose and every opinion counts. As the original member I even abandoned my veto power, as I believe that only complete creative freedom can lead to the effective results.
CiO: Is there a difference between American audiences and Russian ones? How about touring? Or is it just a bunch of guys shoved into a van no matter where you are?
DS: We’ve never played in America, but we did several times in Europe and Japan. I consider that for a popular band like ours the difference is always the same – people who knows us react in one manner, those who are just getting to know us – differently. It’s been a long journey for us to popularity all-over Russia, and now thousands of fans are singing along at our shows in every venue we play. I believe that mixture of American punk rock, Russian melodies and Russian lyrics could, at least, attract American audience and make them come at our show.
CiO:What has been the biggest creative influence on the band in the last couple of years?
DS: Lately, thanks to domestic and foreign policy of the Russian government, doing everything to reduce the democratic values and civil liberties in our country, we have plenty of topics for new songs. So Pussy Riot’s imprisonment, several public laws, Ukraine, protest rallies, outlawed demonstrations, and imprisonment of a few Russian democratic leaders inspired us to write some of our new songs.
CiO: What about the Russian political scene do you think is important for those outside of Russian to be educated and aware of?
DS: The main thing that we want to say – don’t you ever forget that there are no any Russians, Ukrainians, Americans, Syrian etc. We all are Earth’s citizens, always keep this in mind, when someone is trying to wash your brains. This is the only thing we all need to know about the political theater of any country. Nothing else matters.
CiO: Do you think being political through the medium of music makes your message more accessible to the younger generations? Do you feel like they’re listening?
DS: Undoubtedly. Rock music, especially our music, is the easiest way to communicate any ideas to the people.
CiO:What does the future have in store for Tarakany!?
DS: We will try to keep pace, arrange an American tour, record new songs. We just released our live album and we go on tour in October.
Tarakany! is currently on tour in Russia through the end of November to support their live album MaximumHappy! Tarakany! is Dmitry Spirin (lead vocals), Sergey Prokofyev (drums, backing vocals), Vasily Lopatin (guitars, backing vocals), Nikolai Stravinsky (guitar), and Alexander Pronin (bass). Catch them live (if you happen to live in Russia), or check out their music. They’re well worth a listen.
by Cardiac_in_Overdrive (@cardiac_ovrdrv)
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Wildfire is an interesting album, one that blends good, solid punk with elements of folk. An unlikely combination, maybe, but it’s this that gives rise to some of the album’s best moments. Dance With Me and SGAF are true blue punk through and through, but The Dirty Mugs’ rendition of the classic O Death features some truly gorgeous lead guitar work and a perfectly judged vocal, and that’s the sort of thing that sets them apart and makes you sit up and take notice. It’s the mixture of no-holds-barred energy and graceful restraint that makes it special – it’s punk, but not as you know it, with a keen sense of musicality and a guiding melodic sensibility that drives it.
Woodsfolk is a particularly good example of this, beginning with another solo guitar passage and building to a riotously infectious chorus. Wildfire also makes good use of gang vocals on What Sets Us Apart, a minute-long a cappella anthem for outcasts everywhere. As Close As It Gets is sobering and unhinged by turns in a way that brings to mind moody folk-rockers Murder By Death, which is no bad thing at all. The political commentary in Ruined and Arline And Junction is maybe slightly heavy-handed, but The Dirty Mugs’ sincerity carries them through and, what’s more, doesn’t feel preachy or half-hearted.
Wildfire ends with the defiant war cry of Expect Resistance, which tops off an album characterised by great songwriting, clever arrangements and beautiful musicianship. Punk’s energy and aggression married with the intelligence and musicality of folk? It’s a winner.