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Although borders are much more open than a decade ago, there is still a lot to learn about the scene in Russia. Let´s take a look at Helsinki´s "sister city" St. Petersburg and check out a band that shakes the underworld there...
<Who are you? Please introduce all band members with all their characteristics, spleens etc
Hello. We are the Glamorous Bastards from Saint-Pete - FLASH.
It’s important to say that our band includes not only 4 musicians but also our technical crew, our designers, web-masters, merchandisers, people who make some dirty and clean PR for us – all these characters are making fame for us and always support us as members of our FLASH crew. Our band is really a big family and every member has his own negative and positive features, but in general, they are very lovely and nice people. But we gotta say a few words about the current FLASH line up: Mikky Lovejoy – vocals. Damien Thorn – guitars, Nick Magpie – bass, background vocals, Keith Katt – Drums.
Where are you from? What kind of music do you play?
So, we are from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. In a few words we call the music we are playing GLAM-PUNK. But if u take a look at our music deeper, you’ll find a huge mix of different styles. Everybody can find something interesting for himself, from some old school hard rock and punk tunes to sweet romantic ballads and aggressive modern songs with some headbanging activity inside. But we hafta say that “GLAM-PUNK” is not a description of the only musical style or influence. We use this term just to describe the eclecticism of our music.
Who do you want to reach, or what do you want to achieve with your music?
We wanna conquer the world with it of course!
How did it all begin?
Honestly, we can’t remember the point in details but most probably it started at some bar or party. But it’s known for sure that it’s all began in 2002.
Who are your musical idols, what are your most important musical influences?
Can’t say that we have or worship any idols. We have some bands and artists of different musical styles who give us creative inspiration. But if we are speaking about rock and bands which are close to the rock scene they are The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, Motley Crue, Gorky Park, Skid Row, Backyard Babies, Hybrid Children, etc…
Who writes the music /lyrics, or are all in the band responsible?
Generally, the creative process is a collective task. And everyone in a band tries to put in each song a part of their feelings and a piece of their soul.
What do you do if you are not in the band (studying, working)?
When we are free of endless band activity, some of us are studying and some are busy with different club projects. For example, our front man Mikky Lovejoy is a DJ.
Create a slogan for your band!
Let’s leave the slogan creating to fast-foods’ marketing researchers. They’ll do it better for sure!
Would you sell your soul to the devil to become famous?
Luckily there’s no need to do it! We are quite famous around Russia and some European countries and our audience is just getting wider.
What would you pick if you had to choose between sex, drugs and Rock n Roll?
Choose?! Nobody told us that u can separate these words!
What is your dream, where does your motivation come from?
Our main dream for now is to finish with this wonderful interview, hit a club and spend some time with a couple of pints of cold beer in the warm company of some cute ladies.
What will you do if you don t get to have a career in music business?
We will go to the nearest sewage system, lay down in it and wait for Judgment Day.
What was the most exciting/the most disappointing moment in your band history?
Honestly, all our band’s history is filled with exiting moments. Too many of them. Once, when we were crossing the Russian-Finnish border, our drummer accidentally dropped his passport into a broken toilet bowl before passing passport control. It was funny as hell! And speaking of disappointing moments… During our national tour with a few bands our ex-bass player stepped in some shit and didn’t recognize it ‘cause he was drunk as a little monkey. It caused an awful smell inside of the tour bus. Everyone but him was very pissed off.
What was the most absurd thing that happened to you?
We’re sure that the most absurd thing in our band’s history happened to us during our Russian-Finnish border crossing. (Again!) We were on our way to some Finnish town to play a gig there. In the beginning everything was fine as usual. People from the Finnish customs asked who we were and about the purpose of our visit. Then they said “ok”, put the arrival stamps into our documents and let us go. But when we came to our mini-van, we were surprised to see it surrounded by customs’ guys with guns. They confiscated our car and put it to the hangar for detailed exploring. We were also taken with our hands behind our heads to some special building for the same reason. They took our cell-phones and passports and forced us to wait for an unknown time. Some person with a police dog came and started searching for drugs later. Then we understood the reason for our little arrest. Of course they found nothing inside our car or our pockets. They understood that they were mistaken, but were too proud to recognize their fault. Instead of being sorry, these people found another reason to kick our asses across the border back to Russia. They told us that we had only 3 safety belts in our car for 5 people in it. We don’t know what higher force helped us persuade them to let us into Finland. 3 people and all our equipment by van and 2 by taxi or hitch-hike! It was a real miracle that we finally reached the point of our destination, even if it wasn’t quite in time.
What happened during your best/your worst live show?
We can’t name one good or bad show, but can say that a show was good when the audience was happy to see the band live and totally understood what the musicians wanted to play or show, and everything went fine on-stage. And a bad one – when some technical problems start to happen with the band and spoil all the on-stage performance. Unfortunately, shit happens sometimes.
If your song is to be used as soundtrack for a panty liners commercial, would you agree?
Haha! Why not?!
Which song are you most proud of, and why?
We are proud of all our songs, ‘cause they are like kids for us. But for real we think that our best song wasn’t written yet.
What do you think is cool/totally sucks about being a musician?
The coolest thing of being a musician is that fact that you are doing what you like to do – playing music. And the one thing that totally sucks is the lack of time you get to spend with all these cute girls!
Would you participate in Eurovision or Idols contest?
We gotta say that the Eurovision song contest and Idols are completely different contests, and they have different rules. Speaking about Eurovision – yes, of course. Idols – no.
Which band would you enjoy touring with?
It would be an interesting experience to tour with the bands who it’s impossible to tour with now, unfortunately. It would be bands like The Ramones or classic Guns ‘N’ Roses.
What do you plan in the near future?
The future is now, the future is here! We are working on our new single, new promo material and some new musical projects which you’ll hear about soon hopefully!
Author: Victoria Maksimovich, transl. K. Weber, photos: Flash Date: 2009-03-01