Alexander Gradsky:

«Rock-n-roll - this is the spirit»


Based on: "Our Curiosities"
Rock-n-roll - this is the spirit - Alexander Gradsky

- Recently at the ceremony professional prize of the USSR Union of Cinematographers you performed a song dedicated to the memory of Andrei Sakharov . How is it born?

- I was lucky to meet people who I love and respect "for the eyes." With Andrei Sakharov, I was supposed to fly to West Berlin for 2 days, because there were honoring Willy Brandt (somewhat strange show), were not only musicians, singers and actors, writers and politicians. And next to me ... the chair remains empty. The fact that Andrei will not fly, it became known a little earlier, and then happened what happened. I threw it in some kind of serious condition, something between shock and complete indifference to everything. Especially as at the funeral I could not be. In general, the mood ... But writing songs has allowed at least for a while to get out of this situation.

- December 23 you were without a guitar ...

- This song is performed without a guitar.

- Your current attitude to rock and roll?

- After all, for me and Beethoven - the rock and rollers, Vysotsky - rock and rollers. But Mandelson - no, Tchaikovsky - no, in all his works - no, except, perhaps, the 6th symphony, and "The Queen of Spades." After all, rock 'n' roll - this is the spirit! You know, I may now say things completely wild for the majority of Soviet musicologists who make pewter eyes, but I feel. And at the same time feel that others should not bother me. I can try to prove it to those people who want to listen to me. If a person is already set up that I said something stupid, then I told him nothing could be proved. For the same today rockers - Grebenshchikov, Choi, and even so Kinchev my favorite - it's not quite rock 'n' roll. I do not think this is a rock 'n' roll in a purely musical sense. After all, in a nutshell, our audience is very little understanding of music as such. The reasons are not going to look, the reasons are clear. For a long time people wean listen to good music, and a variety of ways: the prohibitions and constant propaganda on the radio primitive samples, and good music too, but monotonous! This may discourage listening classics from anyone. After all, if Glinka - is "Ruslan and Lyudmila" and only Tchaikovsky - "Dance of the Little Swans" if Oginski - it's "Polonaise" and so on. E., There's really any desire to listen to classical music disappears. But our audience is perfect for the perception of poetry. This is a purely genetic properties of our people, with many different levels of development. Almost any perceive poetry. Here music - the trouble. What does our present "rock and roll" - it looks like an ordinary our song only made with drums, bass, keyboards and sung with great expression. I always say this: let all our heavy metal sing under the seven-string guitar in the entrance, in the company of 3-4 people - it will be completely organic. And just sing a song so-called pop genre, such as "Apples in the snow," anything from Leontiev, Tolkunova, Lev Leshchenko and ... a song of Victor Tsoi. Under a bottle of port, at the entrance of the Moscow home - all the same. The difference is only in poetry. In Tsoi Grebenshchikov and it is more problematic.

- You mentioned Grebenshchikov. Your attitude to the "Radio Silence"?

- Yes way. I have long ceased to talk about other specific. Firstly, my opinion may seem to our audience too sharp. Second, you then begin to hide behind. And it is wrong. A man should have his own opinion. But the view expressed in the press - that's pressure. Especially if you are someone who likes and respects. The only thing I can say - I delight and shock of this work is not.

- briefly and diplomatically?

- Yes. I did not want to offend. People do work. However, in such conditions, in which Boris worked, it was possible to be more original. But apparently, something is damaged. Maybe it was not the charm "underground" in which the Russian group used to work? Perhaps the conditions were too good. And the result was not peculiar Boris plate. And despite the fact that his work "Soviet period" have little to do with music as such, yet I feel the spirituality in them, I feel "hungry man" in good against hunger. Then this happened. I think this is a very "well-fed" plate.

- You said that our people are more receptive to poetry than music. Many believe that in your work is more important than poetry ...

- You have no idea what you have just weighed a compliment. I do not consider myself a poet and music apart from his poems read with difficulty. And until 1978, almost did not write lyrics for their songs at all. So, sometimes. But here again we touch on the topic of modern rock 'n' roll, it could not be. Such comparisons suggest themselves: they are (I'm talking about Shevchuk, "cloud region", "Nautilus Pompilius", that is those who, in principle, I really like) exist officially since the year 1984-1985, we (I'll talk about themselves) - for a long time. And if the road was, in general, it is simple - from the underground to the stage without any transformation, and the only thing they have experienced - is obstacles to the stage. They prevented, but people want to hear them. And they are in the form in which they have, right out in the media. And I, frankly, am very pleased that I have this bit of my hand. And on the radio, I had opportunities, and the firm "Melody" listen to me sometimes. It turned out, I'm sorry for bragging that I helped someone. On the one hand, it is good that they come so quickly from the underground directly to the professional stage. On the other hand, they were, in my opinion, are not ready for it. Because a professional musician in another assesses the scene where he had previously worked on for a long time in a music school, the music school and then at the conservatory. This does not mean that every rocker must necessarily have a musical education. No! But most importantly, these guys sometimes lacking sense of responsibility to the scene as such, and to ourselves. Guys, playing for a long time, developed this feeling regardless of whether they have completed something or not. In the West, just listen to 50-year-old rocker, like 20-year-old, if you're interested. We have experienced skill, but there is no freshness. The young vice versa. The concert is seen as particularly strong. Of course, the problem of youth and veterans of the far-fetched, it should not be. And it so happens that the young due to rejection of anything trying to attract attention. And people think: "Here it does not recognize the authority of, probably, it is interesting in itself."

- You mentioned "Melody". There might listen to someone else's opinion?

- Of course. They are the same people. Well, how do you explain that I record my « Russian songs » released in 1981, at the height of the Brezhnev era? The record of the text and shooting demonstrations and hints, and so on. The record was held with difficulty, but passed. Somebody help! There is no such that she took the plate and left. There were and still are people who are always and at all times remain decent.

I sang under Khrushchev and Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko But "every broom new sweeps", and this is very much reflected in the rock 'n' roll, which imposes mark on many. For example, I had the idea to stick to traditional Russian artistic tradition. For example, taken long ago approved the text on which the state seal, and sung in relation to the present day, that is, figuratively. Allegory is at Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol and Saltykov-Shchedrin. Modestly speaking, they have me ... In this vast series of thousands of our artists I was, say, 1125-m. I took the poems of Burns, Sasha Cherny, Shakespeare and began to sing their own music in relation to what I think about today. But at some point I realized that I did not have enough of the poetry, I spoke And the last straw, so to speak, become work verses Sasha Cherny. Why is that? I became so spiteful, and I have so much bile it turned out that I am a little tired of it. And he asked himself: "Well, what do you think of yourself, then?". It is clear: the audience wants to know about your opinion. And you know what I dobilo? I usually speak in black because it seems to me that this color does not distract from the personality of the artist. So, one day after the concert in some Siberian city girl she came up to me and says, "Here you hesitate to call their own poetry and invented a pseudonym Sasha Black". Then I broke down completely! Then I decided that I would write my poems, And I "realigned" Vysotsky's death, I have "jumped" poetry, which with their gnarled have a strong impact on the audience.

- I had heard that your idol - "The Beatles." Which of them do you prefer and why?

- John. It is the eternal question - John or Paul. Why is that? Lennon - a moral litmus group, and the moral litmus determines the content of the music. Even so supergenialny people like McCartney, after the collapse of the group does not have the moral core. Though, probably, something John would have lost without the support of the group. The group "The Beatles" without John could not exist. Without Paul could! Although, in general, it is also nonsense, what I am saying. "The Beatles" exist only in the lineup, the four of us.

- On "Radio Silence" you said about the same thing, and David Gilmour, the question: "What do you think of heavy metal?", replied: "I'm on it and I do not think. " Your attitude to "Pink Floyd", on the one hand, and on the other hand, a "metal"?

- «Pink Floyd" - one of my favorite bands in a row of "The Beatles", "Rolling Stones", "The Doors", "Jethro Tull" and "Policy". I accept the highest professional groups such as the "Queen", and I think that's great. But not all. After all, a brilliant artist - this is where everything is very different. That's the trouble, "Rolling Stones": they present an album reminiscent of the 65th album of the year. This is fine, but boring. Although the professional level recording virtually all groups in the West stunningly high. Level work in concert 95 percent. Western groups is extremely low. I can say quite definitely that almost any group can stand on stage next. The charm of what we call Western music - is largely the charm of technology.

Finally, for the "Metal." It is, in general, hack. The fact that now there is a "metal" - is a narrow subgenre of hard rock. Especially as today's "metal" is our - this is not something that the modern Western "metal". Our "metal" - is more to the "Trash" and Western still bears the imprint of the pop-commerce. It famously done! Well, "Aerosmith" - is a fantastically catchy music, but to call it so much a "metal" is impossible.

- Speaking of hard rock, you can not get away from one another "eternal" question: "Deep Pёrpl" or "Led Zeppelin"?

- «Led Zeppelin", of course. No doubt. There's even no options there. "Deep Pёrpl" - a good group, a great artist, but now they can not hear, it's very old-fashioned. "Led Zeppelin" is any record can be put, and it is completely up to date. The same first plate - it's all great. We can even take 2 or 3 things "Uriah Heep", say, "July Morning" and kayfovat. They guessed this thing, and today she obeys perfectly. There are audible and the English ballad and almost Soviet romance.

- «Uriah Heep" generally pretty corny.

- Yes. But at that time we did not think so! It seemed, "Behold, rock 'n' roll."

- I think some mush of rock 'n' roll is not abhorrent. Same McCartney! ..

- And why not? It can be called corny, but we can say soulfulness, called sentimentality, but you can - lyrics, I do not like to hang tags. Do you love music, you perceive it, but as soon as you begin to explain why - the secret out.

- Do you have a family, children, and it breaks in everyday use the stereotype of rock musicians.

- Yes, some people think that the rocker - is something very free, not encumbered by family ties. But almost all well-known musicians and has a wife and children.

- The family will not interfere in the work? And your children are to what you are doing?

- No, the family does not bother me. On the contrary, it even helps to stimulate. And the children ... I have a boy 9 years old and a girl - 4. My son is like, what I do. But he was a musician. It is quite a long time engaged in music. He is a violinist, studying at the music school and makes, I think, the successes. At least, not lazy, and not the last student in his class.

- Be a fan Gradsky in 9 years?

- But he's my son!

- a political issue. What do you eat?

- At this point, pumpkin seeds.

- ...?!

- In general, anything is now much smaller, I lost 17 kg. Products I mainly buy on the market. In the stores it is something hard to find, though, of course, and there I go. I try to work harder to be able to go to the market.

- Do you feel any inconvenience our life?

- Of course, although the difference between me and say, man, do not have my fame - is enormous. Although the workers or employees have their advantages over the creative people. They (the workers) are at work to stand in line on the machine, make to order. I just do not. Division orders for me does not exist. The Composers' Union, where I am somehow embarrassed to do it. I believe that it is a creative organization in the first place, and as a creative unit I'm trying to work. A Union I use ... well, once a year, with his wife and children we leave the so-called creative cottage, pay the money, and we are allowed to live in nature and there is something to write.

- The poster of your recital on the list of invitees is "... Soviet writers, writers and so on. d.". You so love the Soviet writers?

- No, when I wrote the poster, it was just a joke. This does not mean that the Soviet writer - it is as if not a writer.

- By the way, about the writers. You can somehow understand the Slavophiles?

- Of course. Although in fact Slavophils and Westerners past were somehow closer to each other for moral categories. Today the controversy are, so to speak, means, I do not close.

- This confrontation.

- Yes, and zhlobovataya some.

- For the first time you went abroad at the beginning of the 88-year, 7 months have been in the United States. Why do you nowhere, in any interview is not to talk about it?

- Now everything is a lot of talk about his successes in America, that seems to me more profitable to keep quiet for the time about what I'm doing there. All I can say is that I'm working, I have a proposal for joint concerts, and some of them I was doing. I write, as you know, along with John Denver, and now I'm doing a song together with Charles Aznavour, Liza Minnelli and Diane Warwick, acted in concert with the "Treytful Dead", met with very well-known musicians, but I am far from being able to to think that my way to fame in America will be cloudless. It is necessary that you are accustomed to, as an equal party to the contest, and not just expressed interest in the manner of zoological.

- Have VAC songs written that you might exclaim: "Ah yes Gradskij, oh yes son of a bitch?"

- Of course, my last song in particular, although I generally expressed stronger.

Interviewed by Anton Klimov

"Moskovsky Komsomolets" 21.01.1990