Boris Grebenshchikov: Each – your chopper

The leader of group “aquarium” and the Trustee of the Fund “Mimio” Boris Grebenshchikov gave an interview to the journalist Katerina Gordeeva about the hoes, the girls, charity, rappers Face and Pharaoh, power, film, police, composer Messiaen and what to do if nothing can be done. “Pravmir” continues a series of conversations about life, death and love with our contemporaries. We are not driven by the responses of our interlocutors under the Orthodox canons, and we ask them to share their personal worldview.

Photo: Maria Pleshakova

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– Let me start with the ridiculous: I remember the first time I tried to interview you. It was 25 years ago, in Rostov-on-don, on the landing stage, where in absolutely wonderful company long-haired blond nymphs ended the evening after your super-concert of “Aquarium”. I then had a long wait until you will be free.

– Remember this story: there’s one wonderful girl kidnapped me and tried to drag into the woods. The girl named whether the Accident, whether the Accident, in short, some memorable way.

– Approximately so. I then looked at you and marveled: what a magical way without any effort you apply to people in General and girls in particular.

Girl, as I recall, then gave a detailed interview to the newspaper. And my wife was in great thought.

– This interview was not for me. But since then, every time they find themselves at your concert, I can see in the first row are one or two or even a few blond nymphs and dancing. Changing city, the program, and nymphs – always fresh, good and dance!

Is different girls! We are not related, but happy that they are: beauty always pleases.

80. a Photo: Boris Grebenshikov / Facebook

– A whole generation of girls grew up on your definitions of love and promises like that somebody will come and say, “I can’t take my eyes off you”. Some never got married because of such high expectations.

– I wouldn’t lie, it really exists. And if articulate have a heart’s desire, it happens. Another thing is that there’s usually not this way, as we would like. But this is a problem of the query. Roughly speaking, a man sitting and praying, “Lord, make it so that this is my work decided so and so.”

The case is solved, but this man loses his leg. Foot didn’t slip? Was not specified. Sense of humor the Lord God forever. If you want to get something, you get it, but you have to formulate very precisely and know that willing can be any side stories.

– Between songs about love, where we grew up, and your current that you live with now, the difference is not only temporary. “Songs of the Unloved” – I since the release of listen, think, still, in this sense, strategic capital. It formulates the anguish of a generation who feel under-loved.

Is more than one generation. Very often I have to deal with nedolyublennosti: I’m starting to unearth it and understand that I am under-loved, under-loved, my children, my parents nedolyublennosti was – we are all under-loved, we all. You start to think, why is this so?

And you know what that is, apparently, the universe wants to teach us something. I was thinking what, I wonder. And got to wondering, what if suddenly we are taught not to expect love from outside, and start to generate it yourself? Interesting to get the experience, eh?

But it doesn’t work: in the 90s we really wanted to love their country and love it. Then it is very motivating was the hope that Russia will become a truly free, happy and prosperous.

– My attitude to the country where I was born and live, has not changed, perhaps with the first class: in my eyes the Soviet Union launched the first Earth satellite. I still remember how it launched into space Laika, Squirrel, Arrow.

– By the way, I’ve always wanted to ask the witness – children of your time Laika was spared? It’s a huge experience for a child: in space – that is, in fact, anywhere you launch a living being without hope of return.

– You are now puzzled me. None of us never thought that these dogs need to feel sorry, on the contrary, all were proud of. I was five or six years. And all the talk was that about this space and all occurring in the context of heroism, of joy and pride, of course. Before my eyes the picture: the complete animated by joyful people Liteyniy bridge is a demonstration of some kind or just out people and enjoy when someone first successfully launched into space. We were proud and quite happy.

It is in no way cancelled my knowledge of how my mom in a parallel class at the prom, the boy made a joke about Stalin and the whole class was sent to Siberia camps. It was the 37th year. Only three of them returned home alive. For a joke, you know, sent to camps and most of it destroyed?

– Why is the class sent to the camps, does not affect the love for the Motherland, and space flight is affected?

– If you put hand on heart, that I will do gladly, because we sit in a beautiful place (the conversation takes place in Riga, on the outdoor veranda with views barely in the absence of the fall foliage of the birches and oaks and floating above the tiled roofs of the cloud), something that I now see before me is not the same as love, it’s admiration!

Two weeks ago I was sitting in new York and saw almost the same landscape. A week ago I was sitting in London and saw almost the same landscape. Eight days ago I was in Paris and saw the exact same landscape. Prior to this I spent a short time in Spain, and also I was looking at it without stopping. For me it’s all native, I love all of it deep and strong and nothing that love taken away.

And there is no piece of Land, about which I could say it to me dearer and more beloved than some other, non-native. The sky over us all one.

Photo: Maria Pleshakova

Did you hear about what cosmopolitans in our country and in our time, to put it mildly, not welcome?

– I’m not a cosmopolitan, I’m just a normal person.

– This is not enough. You have to show yourself a patriot and to decide about the enemies.

– Patriotism, as told wonderful classic, “the last refuge of crooks.” It is the absolute truth. Patriotism is a thing through which we buy and sell.

– How do you manage to evade the current agenda?

I can’t think of something to evade. Yes, and to involve me in this agenda, I think, is impossible: the power grew up on our music, at least most of it, what I often recognized by a variety of people, so they are barely aware that it’s better not to mess with me.

Not in the sense that I’m bad, but something there is in the “Aquarium” that begins to improve the lives of those who love us, a few in the other direction. In this, they are your life, trust me, I know what you’re talking about straightening not want. So, being smart people, they just try to stay away from me.

But I think, increasingly, there are situations when it is difficult to remain silent: here on the streets, young people with more or less political slogans, and adults healthy police officers in helmets beat them with batons. Is it possible to put up with it? Whether it is possible so “not to participate” in order to refrain from having to stand up for them?

You know, I grew up in the 50s and 60s years. Shooting in Novocherkassk, for example, was not that in my eyes, but I remember him. I witness this time. And it leads me to one, who was, however, a banal thought: from power to protect impossible. Power is a special structure which is not interested in how to make people’s lives better and to survive. Any power.

American police are not better than ours, there are even a lot worse – I’ve seen it for myself. I say this not in minus America, which are good. I objectively understand that the brutality of the police is the same everywhere because these guys are paid for, so they behaved brutally. In this structure, the sadistic expanse. If you’re a sadist and went to the police, then you have a plus sign like added: is drunk so clever – the two areas in it, as they say.

But the police do not make decisions by themselves.

– They are run by people monstrously corrupt. Not being terribly corrupt and decayed, corrupted power, the top will never be on, and once, won’t stay. You need to assume that any rulers – they are absolute monsters. There are countries in which it is not, but in these countries the system of combating corruption and corruption is the product of centuries.

– For example?

For example, Britain, which I share and which I take with great respect, precisely because there are people raised inner dignity. I’m not saying there’s no scum – is full. But there are people have a certain inner dignity.

Is a matter for the States to cultivate?

– Why, no, of course. It is a historical process. If we talk about Britain, they are so lucky: whatever they undertake, and they, too, were trying to destroy themselves, they still have the dignity, when a man will not be humiliated for the sake of a pound. And if he becomes humble, it will make it so that nobody wants this to continue.

– This is a fairly easy strategy: put the blame on the backwardness of Russia in time. They say, we still have middle Ages did not end and we just have to go the way of the civilized countries.

No no, Russia is not behind from anyone. She’s always been like that. She always will be. You just need to put an end to hope. Russia will never be another.

But Russia is fine as you are! Take it as a given: we will never have fair good fair noble rulers. They will not. But who said that the rulers must be good?

– With honest rulers somehow easier to live, after all.

– Then you need to go to live, for example, in Sweden.

But we grew up here, speak the language. This is our country, our Motherland.

– Kate, believe me, the whole world is ours.

Photo: Maria Pleshakova

– At some point the saving, in the sense of to escape the actual political agenda, for my, for example, generation was the theory of small deeds, developed into a large civil movement called “charity”.

– A terrible thing, by the way.

– Arrived. Why?

Because charity is when people say, “That’s this, that, and this, in theory, should deal with the state, but the state is not up to it. The state employs in order to hire more police and make more heavy batons, so we have to do what the government should do, nothing can be done”. Well, Yes, it is.

But you know what? I don’t think it’s a rebound or some kind of alternative path or way of implementing something that cannot be achieved any other way.

I think it’s a natural human desire: if you see that the person has fallen, you need to help him out?

This is normal everyday life. Today it is formed, is formulated around us into something truly beautiful. I have is a delight as it grows and expands into new territory, where even quite recently, it seemed that no one thought to act decisively.

– What do you mean?

For example, when I learned about our St. Petersburg “the Shelter”, I was very happy. Honestly: well, I did not think that this is all possible. But I got there, I began to see how everything is going – and was struck by the fact that healthy young people, boys and girls are able to do. In my eyes it all unfolded. And I am in complete awe of what he saw are. It’s perfect!

But St. Petersburg “Nochlezhka” came to Moscow and announced the construction of a Laundry service for the homeless, the people began to rebel.

– Don’t see anything wrong. This is normal. Then everything will happen as it should.

Three years ago you became the face of the Fund”, Mimio”, which helps children with a rare genetic disease – Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Preparing for the interview, I looked at the statistics: in 2015, the Fund has helped a hundred children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, in 2016 – there were already 160, 2017- 260, and this year the care Fund 380 children with this complex and, to date, virtually incurable disease. To what extent are you involved in the work of the Fund?

– If I start to interested in this, you go inside, it will be unworthy, unnatural. I don’t understand. I fully trust the people who the Fund was organized and engaged in such difficult work – help children with a serious illness. But, God forbid, I’m in the internal processes don’t fit – I do not understand anything! What I can do I can do.


– What you can do for them?

– I can trade my face again. Unable to play concerts in their favor, which I do, two. The most important thing I learned, a Fund to exist and to help, more than anything, need the money. Without the money from this disaster won’t make the money we need to collect, earn. Here I can be useful: to play concerts, engage in some way to the topic of people who trust me, so they helped too.

To help Fund “Mimio” here.

– Do you play concerts as guest star or as a man suffering from this case?

– No, I’m not sick, I prefer to be healthy after all. But it seems that if something can be done, then the Lord sends him the opportunity. Before, when I could not, He told me that opportunity was not sent.

– Now would be about the cross?

– No.


– Actually this is a very complex formulation about “the cross”, because it seems that we were born to crosses to carry back and forth. This is not so. Without us it is possible to carry, is first. Second, these crosses don’t need to be dragged.

With the ward Fund. Photo: Olga Pavlova

– How do you explain the sudden interest which has now arisen by the end of 80s – beginning of 90s?

– You how found?

For example, watching the heated debates surrounding the film Serebrennikov “Summer”. However, I understand that you have this film of complicated relationships.

– I have with this film no relations.

You finally watched it?

Yeah, I watched about the first 40 minutes.

– What happened in the frame that you left? At what point?

– Oh no, God forbid, you! I left because I had a rehearsal. I’m not a conceptualist, I’m watching a movie and watching a movie. But, of course, for me it was important that people in the film bear the names of people I knew Choi is Choi, Mike is Mike, Natasha, Natasha, and the Pig, although the Pig I didn’t know to be honest. So, when I watched the movie, I thought, maybe not very ethical to come up with people who really existed, very different motivations, justifications, and everything else.

But Muscovites did what was expected of them: they turned a story that we had, from my point of view, was stunningly beautiful, interesting, very alive and real, the story is not real, fake, around which nothing living could grow up and be. I felt as if someone had specifically asked: “Try to destroy all the good that was, and turn it into a ridiculous musical.” And they brilliantly coped with this.

Because the story is that the guys who this movie was made, they did not see, not see and do not see what we had. I have nothing against Cyril, I have nothing against the company that filmed this movie. They have a vision, they have every right. But this is not my life, not ours.

– Listen, but it is at least in part by your history, but not even you told. This right here is a quote “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is a story about how we, my, our generation, imagine your generation. How we love you, we forgive, grew up on your songs.

– Because I have this story straight, then you can absolutely unequivocally say: we had a completely different motivation, and life was real and scary and interesting, sometimes a little dangerous, but just a little bit.

You know, there’s a film in which removed the husband and the wife in a divorce telling the story of his family life. And it turns out that these are two completely different stories. You say that “Summer” – an unnatural and fake story, and I’m in the finale roared terribly, because it seemed to me that in the picture your story is told exactly as I imagined them.

Yeah, I know, many of my very close and beloved people were in awe of this movie and also cried.

Well, maybe you’ve imagined it, but I lived there. And I can say that our life from what was told, you’ll be the difference between a minus and a plus. We lived much more interesting.

But right now, during our conversation, I realized why I was crying at the end of the film.

Is there?

– Because of unfulfilled expectations. So much you and your songs including we were promised so much ahead of you was going to happen – but just for ten years the window of opportunity slammed shut and we entered into the era of stability that only in home and technical sense, perhaps, different from the era of stagnation.

– Listen, we their music has made possible the 90-ies. And then… and then each ordered this freedom in its own way. And people, who valued freedom and who lived the rock-and-roll – they are in power now, no, there’s other music I love.

Boris Grebenschikov and Viktor Tsoi. 1984. Photo: Boris Grebenshikov / Facebook

Just what does it matter? What was can not end and disappear. Even medieval music with all its specific laws and specific environment – and it’s not to say that it was over. I include anyone from the elderly and listen to them. This music gives me now that I’ve given then a wonderful state that I can use for their own purposes. This music is part of me.

A few years ago we went with my daughter in some Church in Paris. Go through it, and suddenly begins to play on: at first he playing quietly, it is not clear, and then suddenly start such a hellish move of the sounds that a normal person even can not think because they are all turned over, they antiheroine! And then you realize: Holy shit, wow! And then I realize that it’s Messiaen! This is the same Church where Messiaen 60 years was organist, and someone present it continues to play.

I thought then that it will be necessary for this music to return, to return once more. And so today, while I was driving here, I decided that I have four hours and let me listen to Messiaen, because nothing else I listen to today is not wanted. And I got a brutal pleasure! And I will listen to it some time because it is good for me, allows me to broaden my idea of what harmony is. Therefore, about Messiaen, for example, we cannot say that his music ended.

– Who do you listen to Russian rappers, which today is the new rock for young people?

– The day before yesterday someone suggested to me Face. And I listened to and possibly watched his interview. At least now I know.

– How are you?

– The word “as” does not fit here. My preferences are not important. I mean like the fact that it is. If I fit with your criteria, and I’m 64 years old, it will be pretty stupid to look.

But you’re listening to.

– I listened. I was interested to understand why people do it, why, what does he like about it? Whether he likes it at all or he does it because it is profitable or something else. In General, it was interesting to me, considering the great influence of his work on people – triple interesting.

– So impressed you Face?

– No, Messiaen impresses me. And about the faith I now have in mind that he is.

Past the veranda is the company youth with a boom box, from which you can hear loud Russian rap. The interview had to be suspended.

– Know who this is?

– Yes, it’s Pharaoh. I know this song’s clip, which, apparently, is worth more than any of my album: shooting from a helicopter, and thunder. It is expensive. But it works. Five million usually looks like this clip is a monstrous amount of people. Very much.

Are you trying to keep up? Quantitatively, qualitatively.

– No, I have no interest in it, I have other interests. I imagine about how do I find what I’m looking for.

– What are you looking for?

Photo: Kira Wygrywac

– This is probably the most serious issue of those that we discussed today. See the combination of trees, clouds, the red roofs and everything? It has no borders, it is more real than “I” because “me” is still a made-up thing. What is now sitting and talking to you is, of course, man, but “I” this person is absolutely not necessary. Me, Katya, it is not necessary “I”.

In this concept, death is not terrible.

– To put it mildly, not. And what amazing? You know, I’ve been through all sorts of stories with fear of death. But then suddenly realized why I was scared: scared was because I got confused about the concepts and my concept of greed has taken over. Greed about what the greed to be, in fact, can not, must not: how is it, I will die, and they will all live?

Or: how is it, I will die, and trees, clouds and a red roof that will not see!

And thank God that I don’t see it, because I became part of it immediately, as soon as I die. I mean I already have it. Alive or not is irrelevant.

In this concept, nothing to fear: neither age nor aging.

– And what is there to fear? Life begins after 50 and after 60 is really good.

– I think this is a special excuse, which I say forty years, they were not afraid.

– No, it’s true. In forty years I never knew what I know now. Now I’m stronger, more interesting, more important for myself. What others think about my life, I do not really matter. I know that I do not have 24 hours to have time to do at least a tenth part of what I want to do. But the more I spend time on a particular item, the better it will be and the better will be shared. My life consists of such details. So, back to the question, I’m looking for: looking for opportunities to do something that I felt like a new, interesting and stunningly beautiful.

– Are you still interested to play concerts?

– More and more. Comes to the ridiculous: I look forward to every concert. In the morning you Wake up and think: “Oh! I wonder what will happen tonight as it will all be”. I see a thousand things that you can do better.

– It depends on the audience?

Absolutely not. As such, communication with the audience is not there: we give, and those who want can take it. Then is it not the communion, and merge it literally – we give you take. And everyone is happy.

Photo: Boris Grebenshikov / Facebook

– But you’re dealing with a huge audience that your comments, including political, may be quite an impact. Previously, between songs at concerts you have allowed yourself to such statements.

– Sometimes I allow myself this now, when people ask me questions, but I know that’s stupid, it’s pointless. Policy by itself is meaningless. Hedgehog it is clear that no politician ever says a word of truth, it is simply impossible because of its working conditions. But when musicians, artists speak out about politics – they’re funny.

But there are situations when silence is approval of something bad. Here we are sitting on the beautiful veranda, and at the same time, the same pieces of silver sits for a year under house arrest after an unjust accusation. How is it to be?

– To accept this fact.

– You had a year to sit in the apartment, not going out?

– I don’t know, I have no experience. But the fact is that any other response but to accept this fact – ridiculous.

– To fight.

– With whom? With the national guard? Have you ever tried to fight the law of gravity? To go from the tenth floor of the window and think: “I’ll fight the law of gravity”? You will fall and break. To deal with government is to fall and break. The important thing is that it is meaningless, because the essence of the state to be against the man. No need to fight it, but you need to keep that in mind.

I’m talking about to not fight with someone and for someone. For the same Serebrennikov, Sentsov, Dmitrieva, many of whom could be overcome.

I know a lot of people who all the time fight, fight, fight and have a lot of money for it, normally I go around the world and very self-respect. They are very adamant to speak out, really demonstrate their fight. Only from this fight, other than themselves, and anyone not getting any better. But they respect themselves. Although the main topic of their conversations is the chest respected. Here they are going to discuss her Tits. What’s the point in this fight?

– The struggle is different. And the humility is, in most cases, the indulgence of injustice.

– When you are riding a tank, you’re like that man in Tiananmen square, can stand up and think that the tank you not going. But we are Russian, we know that the tank will go. One hundred percent will go, guaranteed. And this tank will then drink vodka and brag about it so much it crushed.

Okay. Why are you stood with a poster “Freedom to Yury Dmitriev”?

Because it works sometimes. But I’m not saying that nothing needs to be done. Just each person has their own tools, their own methods of “making”. Someone they are not, he sits at home, someone watching TV, someone is drinking vodka, someone enters the area, demonstrates. And someone is in the opposition, to discuss this here a breast, there a little, three or four, but they are such that even slight occasion manage to quarrel.

– What kind of opposition?

I can’t vouch for everyone. There are others, of course. I know that Gregory Chkhartishvili, who Boris Akunin – man amazing dignity, honesty and integrity – believes that it is something can do while in opposition. Although I think, in the depths of his soul he realizes that all he can do, he does in his books and does much more than any political figure. Each are given their chopper, each person has his own place in the universe: an infinite number of people an infinite number of hoes that should be able to use.

And about Russia, if you really serious, honestly, I can’t imagine people who genuinely might like what is now happening: open Facebook, just getting scared, gray eyes. But I see the same in Moscow also in St. Petersburg, go out on the field of Mars or go anywhere in Moscow – sitting in small cafes decent guys, young, old, anybody, everybody busy, all interesting. The most interesting part of some projects, some music, something else is boiling.

In this case, all clear, all understand that somewhere at the top, mold the whole sitting – but nobody cares. Because they are the top – do not control the process of life, mildew can seriously undermine the rights and ruin the life of some individual people, but all people life hard to mess up. You can, of course, Stalin, as we know, tried.

– There is an interesting place in the diaries of Hope Mandelstam, when it comes to Stalinist Moscow to ask for her husband and describes her as beautiful, full of life and joy of the city. Mandelstam himself already in exile, and will soon be arrested and will die. But – in the moment! – this Stalinist Moscow a good and cheerful.

– One follows from the other, beautiful Moscow did not cost the arrests, fortunately. Here’s another story. I’ll try to explain. Brahmins in India have expressed a very interesting idea: they said that Russia is a country where the Asuras are reborn, it is huge. Those who had been Asura, they tend to terrific selfishness terrific power, and enormous talents. They are demigods. And their brutal power is what in Russia is valued most. And in General, and Russian women in particular: they respect strength, it attracts them. They kind of want to experience this power for yourself. This is a very rare property, and it is very typical for Russia, as I see it.

– I would have linked it more with the history of Russia XX century. The country pulled on their shoulders exclusively women, whose fathers, husbands and sons first killed in the First world, then shot in the revolution, then repression, then the Second world and again the repression and camps. Mom was raised by my grandmother, and that is also a mom, whose husband disappeared somewhere in this historic chaos. That is – an entire generation without men.

– You can come up with thousands of possible explanation, and all will be right. My experience tells me that to describe the life of words – very stupid, because words can’t even cover one hundred-millionth of what is actually happening that we have no words.

You life describe life in words.

– No, I just allow the words to gather in such clusters, which lead me into raptures. And then each of these words interpreterpath in their own way. Often the interpretation is similar. And often different ways.

– You’ve been relistening to your old songs?

– Very often! When I drink more than you should and sit with your friends who love Aquarium, can I put this, this or this.

– What, for example?

– Any rare greatest things that nobody heard. Antiques or something. Then it turns out: “Oh, I can’t remember. Wow! Wow, wow!” I listen and think, “How cool what we did!” Listen, learn, think: we’ve done that, now need this – I find it very interesting.

– You do not plan to stop touring, stop, and, finally, no more distractions, to look at the trees, the roofs and clouds?

– No. I love what I do. I love to play, to travel, to move. Tours, concerts, recording – all this does not bother me to look at clouds. Maybe even the opposite!

Boris Grebenshikov. Photo: Kira Wygrywac

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