`Vive le Rockapops!’
Mumiy Troll (pronounced Moo-me Troll) is undoubtedly, the top band on the current ex-Soviet rock and pop scene. They have really made their mark with startling albums and live performances that are bursting with energy, combining warmth with total debauchery.
The charismatic front man, lead singer and songwriter of the band, Ilia Lagoutenko, has been the driving force since the beginning. Originally from the port of Vladivostok, in the Far East of Russia, he formed his first psychedelic punk band named Bunny Pee at the age of 11. This was at a time when Russia was still isolated behind the Iron Curtain, and any rock `n roll activities were considered subversive and were forced underground.
Ilia formed Mumiy Troll during the eighties, experimenting with different musical styles from neo-romanticism to big beats. Mumiy Troll released two albums available only on cassette and established a following in the underground scene of many Russian cities. At the same time the local Communist Party Chief labeled Mumiy Troll `the most socially dangerous band in the world — alongside Black Sabbath and the Sex Pistols’, some aggressive rock critics were calling them `sweet popsters’. Despite the attention they received from the Communist party and the press, they were still not widely recognized by the general public. As a career in rock n’ roll was not a particularly popular one with Russian government officials, Ilia was encouraged by his family to go to university and pursue another career. He spent the first half of the next decade in oriental studies and traveling the world in search of some purpose!
In 1996, having been almost forgotten, Mumiy Troll was offered a modest record deal in Russia. It enabled Ilia and his long-term collaborator, Leo Burlakov (now the band’s manager), to start their first proper studio project in London. The resulting album, `Morskaya’ (Nautical), along with some fantastic promo videos (in constant rotation on MTV Russia), intrigued the Russian audience enough to get Mumiy Troll the status of `Best Band of the Millennium.’ `Morskaya’ reached Number 1 in the Russian charts, as did their other albums. In the wake of `Morskaya’s’ success, the band toured and delivered one incredible live performance after another, exploding all the rumours about Mumiy Troll being a `one-hit wonder’ studio project. Having found their audience, Mumiy Troll are now viewed as a Russian treasure — `The Dostoyevskys of Modern Pop.’ Their enigmatically smiling leader has not only become a popular sex-symbol, but is a most desirable and adorable figure for the Russian media. Critics and journalists agree that they have finally met an intelligent, human, faithful and independent creator amongst the morass of second-rate Russian pop stars.
Mumiy Troll is now a household name in Russia, throughout the former Soviet bloc, and in an increasing number of other countries. Fan mail and interview requests arrive from all over the world. Even without any distribution outside Russia, Mumiy Troll has successfully played concerts in the UK, USA, Israel and Japan. Their live performance at Kanemori Hall, Hakodate, Japan, was broadcast by satellite to over 40 million viewers in Asia. Hong Kong’s Channel V has broadcast television documentaries about the band. Scandinavian radio stations play their songs…
In Russia, Mumiy Troll usually play 5,000 — 20,000 seat arenas on their tours. They headlined the Moskovsky Komsomoletz Festival in Luzhniki, playing for over 100,000 people! The band just finished an 18 month tour promoting their latest CD, `Exactly Mercury Aloe’, and are working on new material in English.
’The most socially dangerous band in the world’ has arrived!
Quotes from the papers:
’..the meteoric rise of Mumiy Troll, a Vladivostok band that has sparked a Beatlemania-like phenomenon in Russia.’
- Time Out, UK
’…the charismatic lead singer, with his raw energy, biting sarcasm and catchy choruses, is at present perhaps the only truly vital singer on the Russian music scene. The rest are either crushing bores, fools, or just con-artists..’
- St Petersburg Times, Russia
’…The band with no borders.’
- Hokkaido Simbun, Japan
’..Russia’s hottest band. Young Russians do not believe in Santa Claus, they believe in Mumiy Trolls..’
- Dagens Nyheter, Sweden
Ilia `Laguta’ Lagoutenko — vocals
Oleg `Punga’ Pungine — drums
Uri Tsaler — guitars
Sdwigg — bass
Special thanks to Melissa Ulsaker