Welcome to new section of our site - Direct BG. Here you will find exclusive information, about Aquarium, first hand. Everybody, who loves Aquarium, is interested in the opinions of BG about different things. Here you can read an exceptional interview of Boris Grebenshikov. We will UPDATE this section, often. Watch out! Last update: 13.05.06

***01.09.04***

- How and when did the concept of a multilingual website originate?
- The idea to make our site (www.aquarium.ru) multilingual was there right from the beginning, 1996. Then it was hampered by the sheer impossibility of the task - A.Lebedev, who designed the site didn't have time and resources to find translators. Then I started asking M.Morozov for the - at the very least English-language - version. He created it, but his previous commitments could not allow him to really live in it, so it was - sort of - neglected^-). Now - finally - thanx to Maria (Golikova) - it's happening.

- How long has it taken to develop the multilingual site (Aquarium On The Web) once work on it actively began?
- Maria knows - I'm away on tour most of the time.
(Maria Golikova: I joined the project in Autumn of 2002 and work on the site actively began in the Winter of 2002-2003).

- Who is responsible for the actual content and design of Aquarium On The Web?
- Maria and Zoja.

- How difficult has it been to find translators for all of the languages?
- We're still looking. But people write us and offer their help.

- What other languages will be added in the future?
- We need Japanese, Chinese, Brazilian pages - at the very least.

- Several of your paintings are pleasingly displayed on Aquarium On The Web. This site offers an opportunity for international fans to see more of your talents, that have previously only been available to fans in the Russian Federation. Can we look forward to seeing more of your art and perhaps the photos from your recent photography exhibit on AOTW?
- Definitely - there's some more paintings and a lot of unseen fotoworks coming soon (though I don't see myself as a serious painter, I must confess :-))

- A recent hot topic among artists and fans has been the subject of free mp3 on the internet. What are your thoughts on free mp3s on the internet, in general, and on AOTW? I think you might have a rather unique and insightful perspective on this subject because of the way your music had to be circulated in the early years.
- We put our music into the Net for free. I think it is the way it should be. In the 70s and 80s in Russia "un-official" music was not made for sale; it was wonderful if you could earn something playing it, but the commercial element in music was non-existent. In other words, we were making music that we ourselves and our friends liked, we did not feel we have to take so-called "general public" into consideration. That can make music unique and interesting. The possibilities Internet and mp3 offer put me in the same frame of mind: music don't HAVE to be commercial or answer to economic criteria. By making our music available for free, we hopefully give more freedom to ourselves. And as an aside: personally I download a lot, but I'm also buying even more. As a general rule, if I like something I downloaded, I go out and buy it :-)

- Fans at recent "acoustic" concerts in Moscow and Kiev had the pleasure of hearing some of the new songs you have written over the summer holiday. Please tell us about the new songs. Can we expect to hear them during the upcoming tour season? Will any of the new songs find their way onto the new album?
- I've written about 17 new songs in summer, we already debuted about 10 of then on our "acoustic" tour; at the moment we're rehearsing these songs with the whole band and we hope to record them this autumn. The album of unreleased Aquarium songs (called "Reproductor"), on which we worked all of the last year, is temporarily put on the ice, to be continued someday :-)

- Aquarium has a new album cooking in the oven. :) Fans know to expect the unexpected with each new album. What will you share with us that we can look forward to, about the album currently in production?
- We hope to start recording it in November, if Allah so wills! :-)!

- Let's discuss a bit about the upcoming 2004-2005 tour season Aquarium is now beginning. What is the name of this tour and what can you tell about it?
- See, we never do big tours - with us it's more like 10 days on the road, back home to the studio, chill out, back on the road, life is split evenly between moving and staying in one place. Too long on the road, people start being crazy. We balance. So it's sort of one great never-ending 14-year-tour. All the tour info will be appearing on our sites. I can only disclose one of the possible names for this autumn: "Cultur-Multour, Aquarium Tour" :-)

- English speaking fans in Europe would like to know if, this year, you will, again, play in Great Britain and perhaps add other English language countries, such as Ireland?
- To be established. Britain - very possible this year. Ireland and Scotland - we'd love to play there.

- Can German fans expect Aquarium to continue to play their usual venues in this country?
- As soon as we can, but not this year, I'm afraid.

- Aquarium On The Web has a French section. Does this indicate that a French city might be added to the tour this year?
- We are actually planning an acoustic concert in Paris some day soon. Only this summer I was in France twice.

- Fans in the USA were thrilled to have a southern city (Houston, Texas) added to the BG 50 American tour last year. Can American fans count on Aquarium playing Houston in 2005 and perhaps adding even more southern cities? :)
- The American tour 2005 is under construction at the moment and we're counting on playing Houston (and Austin, home of my (late?) favorite band Cotton Mather. Any news, guys?). We'd like to play more Southern cities as well.

- Since I am writing for the English section of Aquarium On The Web, I would be terribly remiss if I did not ask the number one question of English speaking Aquarium fans. When will you release a new album, in English? :)) Yes, we have often been told that the poetry of the Big Russian Soul cannot, adequately, be captured, in our language :) Yet, many years, English versions of Pushkin and Tolstoy, to name a few, have been treasured. Can we not, also, love and appreciate the poetry in the songs of Grebentshikov, in English? :))
- It's not going to happen right now, but there could be some more English-language songs in the future :-). At least two songs are already waiting in our vaults. And a whole lot of covers will be appearing on our site soon. Watch out!

JP - Namaste !
BG - Namaste to you too, June!

Interview by June Pearson, jpearson_aotw@yahoo.com
01.09.04

 

***13.10.04***

I have been seeing quite a bit of discussion on the new songs/new album and the Reproductor project. So why don't we start with further discussion in that area?

- "Mama, I Can't Drink Anymore" seems to be the popular favorite of the new songs.
Will it be on the new album?
- No, it's going to be on the one after the next one.

- The comment I have heard most often about this song is that the simplicity of it is reminiscent of your much loved earlier songs. This is also being said of some of the other new songs. Do you feel your songwriting has changed or entered a new or different period with these new songs?
- I don't analyze, I have fun with it. :-)

- Will you keep this simple acoustic feel of the new songs on the new album?
- We'll see!

- There was much talk, among fans, that the "Reproductor" album was to be a return to Aquarium basics and now talk that this might never happen since that project is currently shelved. Was this album ever intended to be a return to the classic Aquarium sound?
- I don't know what they mean. Classic A is change, surprising people.

- Whenever a group has such a strong impact on a culture, as Aquarium had on Russian rock during the latter decades of the twentieth century, is the nostalgia of the fans for the past sound inevitable? Does this nostalgia affect your current music in any way?
- Consider me as a master woodcutter - I have this piece of great wood, called today, and me and my friends are carving a beautiful something out of it to the best of my abilities. No nostalgia, no catering for last years's fans' expectations - it was a different piece of wood then.

- What spoke to you in "You Belong to Me" to cause you to include it in the line-up?
- I heard it in my friend's car in Riga and was suprised to hear a beautiful song by Dylan that I don't know. Couple of days later I was singing it.

- Aquarium has made a tour of the Ukraine in September and played concerts in Moscow and St Petersburg so far this month. Fans have told about these concerts from their perspectives. What were some of the highlights of these concerts for you?
- A pleasure they were listening and dancing to so much new stuff. I thank them!

- You met writer Paolo Coelho while in the Ukraine. What do you think of his work?
- Very nice.

- What books are you currently reading while on the road?
- Holy Blood Holy Grail. Recently have finally read Dan Brown.

- What is upcoming for Aquarium in October and November?
- Recording of the new album.

Interview by June Pearson, jpearson_aotw@yahoo.com
13.10.04

 

***30.11.04***

- This month your fascinating photo exhibit Infra St. Petersburg has been added to Aquarium On The Web. What inspired you to create this exhibit?
- I was on tour somewhere in Russia, had the laptop and some time on my hands and started playing around with photoshop. Was rather intrigued by the results and decided to take some photos of St.Peterburg specially to be put through the process I liked.

- Which gallery is currently displaying the photos?
- At the moment all the energy I have is channeled into our new album, so exhibitions wait till next year. Plus I’m still looking for some unusual form or material to print these photos.

- What kind of camera do you favor?
- Nikon E8700 and small Sony DCS.

- How were these unusual photos created?
- Lots of different filters.

- Will the photo exhibit move on to other cities? If so where can it be seen in the future?
- We’ll see after we finish the album. In the meanwhile, I’ll put more of them on the Net.

An Aquarium fan from Ireland wrote to me requesting that I ask you some biographical questions. It is quite difficult for your fans who cannot read Russian to learn about you. So please answer a few questions on this topic today . Then perhaps you will indulge us by answering a few more in future segments of Direct BG.
- Where were you born? Did you spend your childhood there?
- Born in St.Peterburg (then it was called Leningrad) and spent all my life there before going on the road in the late 80-s.

- Have you ever lived anywhere else?
- Not on a permanent basis. Some time in New York, London, Chester.

- What were the professions of your parents?
- My mother had the law degree from The University, but worked drawing models in Leningrad House of Fashion; later on she worked as a sociologist; now she’s retired. Father studied to become a sea captain, but something went wrong and he worked most of his life in the institute of sea studies. He died of heart failure in 1975.

- Do you have any siblings?
- No.

- What was your favorite game or pastime as a small child?
- Building plasticine castles, inhabited by scores of strange soldiers and having long wars, while listening to russian classical music on the radio (the only thing state-owned radio would transmit). Also reading – I started to read long before I went to school, Jules Verne and that type of books.

- Did you like going to school?
- Not really, but there was some bright sides.

- My last question, for today is from another Aquarium fan who has written. He would like to know how Oleg Shar injured his foot. He would also like to express his wishes that Shar is well now.
- He was jumping around, playing with his kids and hurt a tendon.

Thanks for again answering questions :)

Namaste!

June

God bless you!
boris

Interview by June Pearson, jpearson_aotw@yahoo.com
30.11.04

 

***25.01.05***

Let's continue our biographical discussions with a bit about your teenage years and the 1960s.

- The decade of the 1960s in the U.S. and U.K. is often romanticized. What was it like to be
a teenager in the USSR during the 60s?
- Great. I didn't know I lived in totalitarian society and so felt great, being a young member of komsomol and Beatles/Stones/etc fan simultaneously! In fact, entering the komsomol, we had to vow to "stay in the avant-garde of Soviet youth". Many years later somebody pointed out to me, that I stayed true to my vow! So it was r'n'r in the soviet garden of eden.
(Komsomol - Russian abbreviation of Vsesoyuzny Leninsky Kommunistichesky Soyuz Molodyozhi , English All-Union Leninist Communist League of Youth in the history of the Soviet Union, organization for young people aged 14 to 28 that was primarily a political organ for spreading Communist teachings and preparing future members of the Communist Party - Encyclopedia Britannica)

- How were you able to gain access to the culturally revolutionary trends of western youth at this time?
- Russian press critisizing them and word-of-mouth.

- What was school or the educational system like for you and other Leningrad teenagers during the cold war period?
- We did not condescent to take it seriously or - indeed - to pay it any mind.

- Were certain subjects and professions encouraged over others, as was the case in the U.S.?
- Scientist. Engineer.

- What music was officially accepted in the USSR in the 60s?
- Bland.

- How old were you when you first developed an interest in music?
- I sang since I started to talk.

- What was your first instrument to play?
- First, last and the only - acoustic guitar, badly played. Everything else - as a joke.

- When and how did you get your first guitar?
- As befits a future godfather of Russian punk - on a junkheap. Seriously. My father had to repair it.

Let's move forward to some current events.

- Is "Bez Slov" an official release and will you tell us a bit about it?
- Yes. Bez Slov is an "official" release (limited, though)? at the moment only sold on our gigs.
I recorded it myself during several nights in 1993. Bez Slov was an uncontrollable urge to compose some electronic music without knowing anything about keyboards or recording. So during some winter nights in ‘93 I sat in my meditation/work room, plugged everything in and recorded the results. Later this music was used once to accompany an exhibition of my paintings – then the tapes got lost – and resurfaced last year. That’s about all :-).

- Why has violinist, Andrei Surotdinov, been absent from some of the recent concerts?
- Andrey at the moment is working on the music and arrangements for one musical in Moscow and also is writing some music of his own. That does not preclude him from recording with Aquarium and playing appropriate concerts :-).

- What are Aquarium's plans for the new year?
- Finish the new album (in February), play around Russia for a while and contiuing work on "Reproductor". There may be a big European tour in autumn, if Allah so wills.

- We are looking forward to you coming back to Texas. Any chance that will be soon? :~)
- Thanks. No concerts in USA are planned for this year.

- What are your wishes for your fans and friends for the upcoming year?
- I pray that they be happy and their souls enjoy good music!

* Biographical segments will continue at a later date.


Interview by June Pearson, jpearson_aotw@yahoo.com
25.01.05

 

***24.02.05***

- I understand that Alik Potapkin recently left the group. Is Aquarium seeking a new drummer?
- At the moment Aquarium is not interested in sticking to the usual formula of bass-drums-guitar-keyboards band. We're cut down to four and that stretches our imagination and makes every new concert a fresh challenge. We want to see what we can do outside of the accepted scheme.

- There is always much spirited discussion among Aquarium fans over which songs/albums to introduce new fans to first. If you had a new friend, who had never heard Aquarium, what A. songs would you put on a CD and send to him?
- Not for me to answer. As soon as I've wrote the song and we recorded it, it's not mine anymore. How can the tree decide which leaves and flowers to present to the world? What happens - happens.

- What do you think about performers that are lip syncing at live concerts?
- Feels like making "love" to a rubber doll, movements are there, but no love behind them, no energy, nothing. I pity the people who have to do that.

- Do you think that in today's visually oriented world, that new bands have to produce elaborate videos and stage/dance shows to be commercially successful? Is making good music no longer enough?
- There's "today" and there's eternal. Commercial success is one thing, music is in different dimension. Music does not need pictures to go with it, it paints its own worlds inside the soul - or for the soul to live in.
If people need to make videos for their music to earn them money, there's nothing wrong with it. But it's not wise to confuse pictures with music.

Interview by June Pearson, jpearson_aotw@yahoo.com
24.02.05

 

***01.05.05***

- Much is spoken and written about how you have influenced and changed music, peoples lives, and even the world's largest country. Yet, I have seen little written of how all of it influenced you. Today, I would like to talk to you a little about how thirty years of fame has affected you as an individual. Perhaps this interview will give the public a glimpse through your side of "the looking glass". :~)

- People say: “Aquarium songs help me to live” or “you rescue me, you saved my life”. I wonder if they consider how much pressure such dramatic statements can put on you. How do such statements make you feel?
- makes me feel good. means our music did what it could. i like our music :-).

- Do these kind of words put you in the position of feeling like lives depend on what you write?
- no, not at all. i'm responsible for what the songs say. if they work for people, it's ok with me. i know the effect that my favourite music has on me and it's truly religious, so i can understand our music can have the same effect on somebody.
well, to start with - my own life depends on what i write. :-) this much i know, so it's ok.

- I think that, at least on a conscious level, you have to try to put such pressures aside in order to retain some sense of self and normalcy. Nevertheless, I know that it must have had a profound effect on you. How do you feel that such adoration has affected how you?
- this ain't no pressure. they adore a product of their own imagination they created listening to our music. me, a fallible and weak human, is a total stranger to them. these two are only connected by name and an energy link, and i'm grateful for the energy of love that flows from the “bg” to me, and i try to channel it back into music, to return their love.

- Is it possible after 30 years for you (or for anyone) to grow accustomed to this unbridled devotion and not let it influence your decisions?
- i hope it's not really influencing me, though i feel the warmth of this love and i'm grateful.

- Do you think that having so many people interested or even dependent on your words and music has made you a better or more insightful person due the responsibility it has placed on you than, perhaps, you might have been had you not been famous?
- my obligation is to make the songs true, to catch the unexpected beauty in the turn of a phrase or a note. and this is a practice akin to yoga - or a meditation - practice. in this aspect, it certainly made me better.

- Bob Dylan, said recently in a rare interview, that a nation of fans held him and his music up as the embodiment of the philosophy of their generation during the 1960's when he did not even share the same beliefs that they held dear. Has anything like this been done to you, also? Is history (as recorded by loving fans) portraying you to be something you never wanted a part of or believed in?
- i never took what is being said about me seriously, so i don't mind.it any time they do it. it's their toys. i never expected anything else. but generally i'm rather pleasantly surprised how tactful and respectful most of them really treat me.

- During the 1980's, many people saw you as the embodiment of all their dreams of a free lifestyle. Yet, they did not support you in your quest to further your freedom or fulfil your own dreams nor, apparently, even allow that you should have dreams of your own. How painful was it for you when those who claimed to have undying devotion for you and your music turned on you so viciously, when you first began to take your music to the rest of the world?
- it hurt some, probably, but then again i understand them. it's cool with me.

- More recently, when all your years of creating music to bring people happiness and pleasure was recognized by President Putin, again, many found fault instead of rejoicing that the music and way of life that they had followed for many years was finally receiving recognition from the government that had never wanted it to exist. Is it disappointing to you that the nature of the very people you have spent your life creating for and giving so much of yourself to, can only allow them to be angry and every time anyone else recognizes the value and beauty in the music they profess to love so much?
- i don't think of it at all. my interest lies in the magic of music. i never was creating anything "for" people and never thought of "giving much of myself to them", i write and sing and watch the moon and the sun, and share what comes to my mind and heart.

In sharp contrast to the questions usually asked famous western musicians, (where such uestions are considered impolite, taboo, or simply not so interesting) you are relentlessly challenged by Russian journalists about your spiritual/religious beliefs. Why do you think that your search for spiritual knowledge and religious beliefs are so interesting to the Russian public?
- they are intrigued, i think.

- How much do think the years when religion was outlawed in Russia has fueled the interest in your personal beliefs?
- it certainly gave religion a certain coolness. about me - hard to say.

- Do you think all of these things we have been discussing, including fame, have increased your own need to search for the spiritual to keep you grounded or to have something real to believe in?
- i don't know. what i do is pretty instinctive.

- Has being questioned so often about your beliefs caused you to be stronger in your convictions ?
- i've no convictions at all. i just sense truth in certain things.

- What or perhaps who influenced you to be so open and forthright about your belief system when that is usually such an innately private subject?
- if people ask, i answer. there's nothing private about God, He's everywhere anyway.

When we discussed the program (Evenings in Polytechnical) in which you participated, I was reminded of a similar television program in the U.S. The celebrity and host engage in an in-depth discussion of the celebrity's career, followed by questions from the audience. The host brings the program to a light-hearted close by asking each celebrity who appears the same set of amusing questions. We have had such a serious interview, today, that I thought we would end on lighter note with those same questions.

1. What is your favorite curse word? :~)
No answer

2. What is your least favorite curse word? :~)
No answer

3. What is your favorite sound? :~)
No answer

4. What is your least favorite sound? :~)
No answer

5. What turns you on? :~)
- a lot ;-)!

6. What turns you off? :~)
No answer

7. If there is a heaven, what do you want to hear St. Peter say (to you) when you reach the Pearly Gates? :~)
- Welcome! what took you so long? :-)

Interview by June Pearson, jpearson_aotw@yahoo.com
01.05.05

 

***August 2005***

- Are you writing new songs this summer? :)
- yes, a couple of songs are in the making, though quite unlike those from yesteryear

- In the official information it is given that there will be less concerts in the upcoming season. Could you tell us why?
- There will be less concerts, because we don’t have enough time for the work in studio, which is a shame – after all, there’s far more people who listen to us on cd’s, and we can do more in the studio, if we only have the time

- Are there any concerts being planned for cities where Aquarium has previously not visited?
- The concert schedule is being formulated at the moment; just about the only thing I know, we’re going to play a big Ukrainian tour in September-October, if Allah so wills!

- The following questions are inspired by the readers of Direct BG. Thank you for indulging us by answering a few of these.

Many of the currently prominent political figures in the Russian Federation are from your home St. Petersburg and are about your age. When you were growing up or attending university did you ever have occasion to meet or become acquainted with President Putin or any of the others?
- I don’t believe I’ve met the president or his people when i was at the university; once in India, though, i’ve met socially a FSB general who was drunk and told me that I was under his surveillance back then in the 70-s-80s (probably, not true).

- On the "Zoom, Zoom, Zoom" album cover Alexandr Titov is credited. On which songs did he play and will he be playing with Aquarium more in the future?
- Sasha is playing on “creme & caramel” and I would love to play more with him, but he lives in the UK and for now it’s still not easy for him to travel to Russia. Time will tell.

- Who is your current favorite band since Cotton Mather broke up?
- Mostly nowadays I’m listening to System Of A Down and Johann Brahms/Anton Bruckner, though I’m looking forward to the new RHCP, Damien Rice, Sir Paul and The Stones. That’s apart from the daily dose of Indian classical :-)!

- What do you like to do when you are on holiday or what comprises a good vacation for you?
- On the holidays I mostly sleep, read, write and visit special places :-)!

Will there be a future generation of Grebenshikov music? Do any of your children write songs or have their own bands?
- Our son Marc composes electronic music, but still not satisfied with himself, so it’s too early to say :-)!

- Thanks very much for the summer songs in English! :)
How did these songs come to be?
When were they recorded?
Can we look forward to more songs to be forthcoming in English?
1. Covers that we put out on the site had been recorded throughout last year and the half. I do this, when I’m particularly tired of sitting in the studio and doing nothing apart from watching the backs of our sound engineers editing some stuff. Then I go into another room, set up the mike and ask someone to let me actually record and play something. There’s a lot of these demos in the can (well, not a lot, actually – I love doing them, so we just did some more).
I was always a bit shy to sing in english, considering that there’s a lot of great voices singfing in this language and there’s no need to add some mediocre attempts to this canon. But some songs I love so much, I just had to get them down on tape.
2. Yes, there actually is some songs written this summer;
I’m uncertain as to when we’ll start thinking about them;
we’re doing this ucrainian tour, two video and we still have a lot of unfinished songs from last two years. But something will surface, I hope, very soon.

- Thanks for taking time from your well deserved holiday to talk with me today.

Interview by June Pearson, jpearson_aotw@yahoo.com
September 2005.

 

***March 2006***

- Hi, Boris !
What have you been doing?
- Hi, June!
I'm in the studio all days, working on the album. With Allah's help, we finish it in two & a half weeks' time.
Title - to be established yet. Though there's an idea.

- First please tell me about the concerts that were cancelled
- Just local authorities. Nothing serious - it was blown out of proportions, methinketh :-)!

- Tell us how Andrey Svetlov came to be the newest member of Aquarium .
- Igor Timofeev told us he's in town for couple of days and he's a very good bass player from Paris - He was drafted to play bass on a recording of "Words Of A Rastaman" and we liked him. And he was in SPb by chance, playing a gig - so he received an invitation to join, and now moves between SPb and Paris.

- Which guitar do you most often use when composing?
- Guitar - whatever's at hand; last 2 years it was Takamine.

- Do you write lyrics out by hand or type them on a PC?
- Lyrics - only by hand. Comp does not do it.

- Did you watch the Olympics?
- I last watch sports when i was about 12 ;-).  Then music took over.

- Do you write most of your songs indoors or outside? I suppose since you have been doing most of your writing while you are on summer holiday I get the feeling that you compose outside.
- Compose - ugh, this is a new one :-)! You know, you're right - it's outside. This gives me ideas :-)! Thank you!

- Thank you, Boris, for taking time to talk with me.

Interview by June Pearson, jpearson_aotw@yahoo.com
March 2006.

 

***April 2006***

- Hi Boris,
Please tell us about the new album.
- Hi June,
The album should be out on april the 5th. The title is - translated -
Careless Russian Rover (If we stick to celtic tradition). Celtic - because the title track and "Glasses" ( that is our longest running chart song, 16 weeks in the charts and running, 4 weeks at #1 at that) - are my variants of ancient celtic melodies.

- The album consists of songs written over the course of 9 years, incl. 5 songs from 2005 summer.
- The album consists of 2 parts - The Main album (1-13), and "P.S" (tracks 15-19), divided by track 14, where nothing happens, except for some bell-tinkling. Therefore people who think one album is enough already, stop when bells start tinkling; while careless hot-blooded adventure seekers fearlessly proceed to track 15. :-)

- When did Maxim Lande return as manager and what brought about the change back in managers? 
- The change in management happened in January, when I was in Iindia. I guess Vlad felt a sudden urge to do something else for a change, while Max was missing us and synchronically felt an urge to step back into his shoes.

- When did Ekaterina Arapova began working with the band and what does an administrator of the band do? :)
- Katya Arapova, close personal friend of Boris The Ru (Boris Rubekin), was glad to become our assistant manager (Sister-administrator). She takes care of us in the course of everyday life, changes diapers, feeds and provides us with sisterly advice, cables and blank cd-r's. :-)

Interview by June Pearson, jpearson_aotw@yahoo.com
April 2006.

 

***May 2006***

- What does the goat represent and why is it prevalent in many of your songs?
- It just is, I had no intention for it to represent anything. it comes and feels itself at home within a song, i guess. my songs seem to be comfortable for them.

- Was album done in a theme to bring to mind previous albums or periods of Aquarium?
- no :-)!

- Most prevalent in Careless Russian Rover is the influence of ancient Irish melodies.  Irish and English ballads of old immigrated to the far reaches of the globe. They are still found today preserved in unique forms, often in isolated pockets, in places as widespread as the Smoky Mountains of the U.S.A. and certain areas of Australia. 
Do you see influences of ancient Irish melodies in the Russian music of your grandfathers?
- no :-)! folk music we had was gypsy music. i always thought we missed out on something and i have to bring it back.

- Have you listened to the Irish ballads found in other countries ?
- no. i prefer original stuff - and scottish flavour.

- Do you listen current irish bands? If so do you prefer the traditonal or the modern ?
- some. traditional feels more fulfilling - Archie Fisher, Robin Laing, Silly Wizard, Young Dick Gaughan, Chieftains, Planxty - although young bands like Shooglenifty, Flook and Peatbog Fairies I fully approve of. 

- What Irish music do you listen to that brought forth the inspiration for CRR?
- All of the above plus everything else. But when we were recording, Archie Fisher was playing in the car nonstop for 4 months - I just could not listen to anything else.

- Tell us about the amalgamation of the man on the cover of "Careless Russian Rover".
- a lot of things :-)! It amalgamates the whole known universe.

- There are a few songs on CRR that you have reproduced. Does this signal that the Reproductor project has ended?
- Who knows :-)! With Aquarium I'm never certain... :-)!
But have we reproduced anything here apart from skorbetz (which first recording never made me happy)?
afanasii existed only as a live joke - we never recorded it before. All others I think were the first try.

- Although it is easy to see from Aquarium's point of view how desirable it is to take your classic songs and record them with the most modern equipment; it is also easy to understand why some fans are not anxious to hear their favorite songs changed. Please explain how Aquarium reproducing their songs is different from Da Vinci running the "Mona Lisa" through photoshop for a few improvements. ; )
- We tried it on territory and it did not work. I was always opposed to that idea - though I may try it again sometimes for sheer pleasure of breaking my own principles.

- What ideas have you found new in sufism that have captured your interest ?
- It's not that. I just knew something all my life and sometimes somebody formulates it really well 3000 years ago :-). I do not think anybody bettered sufi's attitude to God and "difference" between religions.

- Why are you giving less interviews this year? 
- I don't like interviews. The album is out and they are free to do whatever they want with it, it does not need explanations. one interview is enough.

- Will there be a second year on the radio of "Airship" ?
- Who knows? At the moment I passed over one year mark, from now I'll play it by ear. I hope to cover the summer, though, then we'll see.

- Will there be summer songs in English this year? please, please  ;)
- :-) ????

- Will Aquarium tour outside of Russia this year?
- no. I'll tour outside when there is a record for outside - sort of @best of@, designed with non-russian speakers in mind (though, of course in russian), released by any reliable label.

- As always, thanks :)

Interview by June Pearson, jpearson_aotw@yahoo.com
May 2006.