A message from the music industry that was as surprising as it was sad was found on Facebook over the weekend: “The band Russkaya has decided to break up,” the musicians write in a statement that they published on the social media platform. Her new album “Turbo Polka Party” is also her last record, a kind of “farewell present”.
For 18 years, the last seven-strong troupe stood on stage for the spirited mix of traditional Russian music, ska, rock and polka beats. Since 2005, the founding members, vocalist Georgy Alexandrovich Makazaria and electric bass player Dimitrij Miller, have been the faces of Russkaya. Now the “raging war” in Ukraine makes it “impossible for them to continue with an image and style that satirically uses Soviet themes and language,” the farewell post reads.
They continue: “What was funny satire in music before February 24, 2022 is now only tragic with a very bitter aftertaste.” The band members would no longer be able to go on stage without it “To feel the tragedy in every note and every word”. The war had a negative impact on the meaning of the lyrics: “Nobody in this band wants to represent something that in times like these is associated exclusively with war, death, crime and bloodshed.” So it’s time to stop.
The band’s fans are both shocked and understanding on social media. Comments like “You were my favorite counterexample” or “That’s a tough decision, but totally understandable” reflect the inner conflict of the artists.
Another reason for the dissolution was the increased shitstorms and hate comments that the members had to deal with, the musicians explained: “The band is portrayed as a Russian terrorist, although we are exactly the opposite of it.” After all, the troop itself has a multicultural one background and included musicians from Ukraine, Italy, Germany and Austria. Russkaya announced: “We stand for peace, diversity and cohesion.” In the meantime, even the fear of violent attacks has spread. “We fear for the safety of our crew and everyone else involved,” the statement said.
However, online support has not completely disappeared. Her colleagues from In Extremo regret the decision on Facebook: “We are shocked and sad. There are few bands that have supported us as often as Russkaja in recent years, and if they have not supported us, then we have met them at various festivals,” says a post from the six-piece troupe on Sunday.
“At their concerts, the focus was on friendship, tolerance and having fun together,” the musicians also emphasize, tying in with Russkaya’s message of peace. “They brought people across all borders to dance, sing and celebrate together.” They should be remembered just like that.
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The original of this post “Russkaya’s band-off after 18 years: “Only tragic”” comes from Teleschau.