Sasha Mercury: Sure purpose I realized 7-8 months ago when I started writing people I don't know: "Thanks for speaking"
Difficult it has been for groups wishing to climb the stage rock'n rollа. Despite all the metamorphoses of the genre, Russian rock remains true to its traditions. And after more than half a century, it is the best way to openly talk about what worries the society.
Group MERCURY gathered less than two years ago, but has already achieved a lot: festivals, broadcasts, radio, constant concerts.
Their genre of “social rock”, their texts are metaphorical and sophisticated, they are professional musicians of the highest level. With lead singer and songwriter Sasha the Mercury we met in St. Petersburg to talk about the band's history, musical purpose and plans for the future.
- Sasha, tell us a little about the group, how it developed, how gathered.
- We have quite a young group: we meet in February 2017, i.e. we are only a year and a half. In this short time there have been several changes in the team, and at the moment in the band: I – Sasha Mercury, Yevgeny Kazakov – lead guitar, Dmitry Rokin – rhythm guitar, Dmitry Saulin – bass guitar and albert Potapkin – drums, who played with the group Nautilus Pompilius, Agatha Christie, Night Snipers and Aquarium and other famous performers.
During those six years we managed to record the first album, remove the two clips, take part in festivals Revolution, Emergenza, Taman Anniversary in 2018, we are constantly on radio and TV, in September spoke at the Moscow city Day.
- How did you manage to attract such a stellar participant?
- I wonder, in fact, happened. We were supposed to start recording the album, we had time and we were looking for a sound-producer. Shortly before the start of the recording, we met with Vladimir Gorelov, he played in the band Night Snipers. We caught up with Dmitry and asked him to act as sound-producer, but owing to his employment, he advised albert. And it so happened that at this moment we were left without a drummer and albert himself suggested to sit behind a drum kit and simultaneously involved in sound-producing. We naturally agreed. He is now a full-fledged member of the team and we are very happy.
- Brought a lot to the group professional of such level and experience?
- Of course, each new musician updates the sound because of the game each individual. Of course, albert, because of his tremendous experience brought a lot to the group. Also, thanks to the rhythm section, which we have experienced – our bass player also played with many bands and
has the experience of touring – the band sounds absolutely on another level. But we don't stop looking for a new sound.
Speaking about the album, we got a lot of negative and positive reviews. The latter was more, including from critics. Soon, we will write the single. Also in the near future we will release a clip, under which we launched the project on Planeta.ru.
- What is the idea of the video, can you tell?
- Of course. I do love everything to do with mods, I love good old rock-n-roll, the same warm attitude to the film "Stilyagi". I would really like that we and our viewers and listeners caught up in the era of the 30's and 40's of the twentieth years of the USSR. We would like to remind you that the time is characterized not only by the fact that it sounded catchy motives and a society was United by one goal, but also the fact that it was a very heavy period. The people of that time were scared to speak, then was scared to even dream because any dream said out loud or to the wrong person, in the evening you could come, "Black crow" and take in a certain direction. We want to show that, despite this, people still dreamed and achieved something in life. The clip will be built on the fact that there are people who dream about something but because of certain circumstances do not implement their wishes. A bunch of our time as well will be present.
- What other topics you want to cheer and to convey to his listeners?
- When we shot the video for the song VOLTO, we raised the topic of the closeness of others: we wanted to show that in our time society has become quite enslaved and afraid to open your emotions. We encouraged people to rid stagnant mask: a mask of indifference, a mask of ”I don't want to hear and nothing to see around,” the mask of one typical behavior.
In the clip "Kill me" talked about the fact that people did not use violence against each other. We didn't want corny to show how the other people humiliated. We used the white ribbon as a metaphor for the shackles that have plagued the heroine of the clip and in the end plunge to the bottom of her mental and physical pain. We have the whole clip is a metaphor and cannot be taken literally. The story we have developed just in the part where we were showing themselves in the ring. Everything else is just symbols.
Also we would like to draw attention to environmental issues – it is a global campaign which will involve not only music and videos, but also performances. We want to invite ecological society to show that rock musicians also struggle for the preservation of the environment.
- The desire to raise serious social issues, and the choice of style of a “social rock” what is the reason? The influence of Russian rock, which was originally the music of protest and raised social issues?
- Now, looking at the music industry, I see several cults, which take precedence over others: the cult of sex, the cult of alcohol, recently, there was a cult of family values, but mostly is a club and Okolona music. Looking at some problems that are not covered, we decided to devote herself to the field of "social rock". We also participate in the screenings, which are dedicated to human rights and charity events. Many note that one of the sections of our site is "crisis centers", because we are trying to help people not only with their music. During the filming of the video, when we put together a campaign to raise funds, we contacted people whose home is a psychological or physical violence. Honestly, when I read these letters, I cried because I didn't know how to react otherwise. We helped those who turned to us: to guide people in day centres, gave the contacts a crisis-centres and just talked to them.
- What, in your opinion, should take measures to combat the problem of domestic violence?
- An article about domestic violence decriminalized. I often hear, when people go to the police, what is the maximum that can do is to impute a penalty. I believe that we need to review at the legislative level, this moment, to introduce a social policy to build more centers where people can apply, to do more social advertising and advertising crisis centers. We need to make sure that people are not afraid to discuss this issue. The state does not want to admit that domestic violence is a trouble, considering that it is a private matter of each person, but the institution of the family cannot be ignored.
- What kind of audience it attracts more? Young, ready for change, or a grown-up, more bone?
Is a more Mature audience. Among our students there is practically no audience 14-18 years. Most likely, this is due to the fact that teenagers do not listen to rock, rap and more. A large part of our audience is a thinking audience of 25 years. The specifics of the texts is such that it will attract people who will want to look in lyrics most – not what lies on the surface. The layering of the song suggests the possibility to listen to the track a few times, read the text and understand what the author want to say and hear in music that are unable, fully, to open up through text.
Now songs listens to the young generation is quite simple in its essence: "I went to the store, I bought a Snickers". To an audience like this our text is strange and unusual. I listen to the songs that now appear on the air and think: "Here everything is so simple, people like it and here I am with my "breathing for a quarter"". And what "breathing for a quarter"? It's such oloudah, but before that you need to reach.
- And at festivals like took?
- If to speak about the festival Emergenza, these were our first performances. In fact, we had a good school life, got interesting tips, interesting insides. In particular, how to gather the audience for the concert. Given that speeches were once a month, it was necessary each time to collect on his 20-30 minute talk listeners, and each time more and more and more, and more. In the end, in the final more than two hundred groups throughout Russia, we awarded eleventh place, and we are only a year was at that time! If we talk about the comments that we were given, there was not a single bad word. The only thing we were advised to add electronics to present sound synthesis.
If we talk about the festival of the Revolution, we also reached the final. We were approached by people, talked about what we fancy, what we fancy music. And at each performance we tried to make something interesting. For example, at the final of Emergenza, we turned to the topic of the environment, we made a video which showed the post-apocalyptic picture: the process of destruction of the Earth, showed the reasons why it happened, the survivors and what they are taking in order to restore and preserve our planet. We had a huge balloon, which, on one of the songs I stabbed with a needle and it broke a lot of little balls. People did not expect.
- What festival was the most useful?
- Emergenza Revolution and I can't highlight the festival, which has become the most useful to us, each beautiful in its own way. But, if we talk about the festivals in which we participated in the General, the most useful was the Taman. There was a completely different audience: we were received like never before. Reaching for our hands, the cries from the crowd: "Well, come, come closer", a large number of spectators who came after the speech. All this is the magic that every artist should at least once in life to feel, to understand, that not in vain you stand on the stage, not in vain play musical instruments, that this is your destiny. Here comes the understanding that Russian rock is alive and will live.
If we talk about destiny, I realized only 7-8 months ago when I started writing people I don't know: "Thank you for the great performance." After the release of the album – it was a massive attack on my accounts and the accounts of the group. I do not tire to tell the case which struck me in the heart. Someone wrote to me: "I'm under your squat song". I thought at that moment: "Well, the squats man, good for you." And then I find out that in his childhood this man had cerebral palsy and what he crouches under our music – it his feat. There have been cases, which we call musical magic: people are reconciled to our songs, buy musical instruments, because they see the example of a simple guys that everything is possible and everything is real, if that's what you live. We don't have rich parents and a greater source of funding. That's really what inspires people, including creativity. I always send poems for review, and then ask: "what's you answer? And exactly are you?". And every time I think, why it needs someone to do for me?
- 28 September in St. Petersburg hosted a solo concert in honor of the birthday, that was interesting, it was the acoustics?
- No, it was not an acoustic concert. We have done electric house concert. We found a unique place for him to conduct a "DOBROIZLOFT" Ligovsky prospect is a loft, but this is a concert venue with good sound. In addition to the already popular songs, was heard our new songs. Also, for the first time in 10 years, I have performed the song on the piano – for me this was a feat, because last time in public I played back in 2007.
We chose a format that is appartment because I wanted to do something intimate, not because I don't collect, but because I wanted comfort. It's September, winter is coming and people want cocoa, blankets and warmth and that warmth and care we came upon our listeners and played a great gig.
- A noticeable increase in the audience from concert to concert?
- It is, Yes. At the first concert, we gathered about 30 people came, mostly friends. Now I can be proud that come to us from Sweden, Switzerland, Belarus and other countries. I was on a Business outing, this event is for people who develop their own businesses. After the picnic began to write: "What a cool group! How come we didn't know you" and immediately took the concert tickets.
And as a General, mostly about you people learn? Concerts, live performances, festivals?
- We conduct an active policy on the Internet, we have a very steep PR Manager is Nona, she leads our group, there is an interesting content that concerns not only us, but other musicians (in particular, we always congratulate our colleagues), about musical instruments, about the new trends in music. Kind of a little mercury media. Basically learn through webcasts, radio, through advertising in social networks.
- Sasha, thanks for the conversation, good luck in the upcoming performances and recent birthday.
Interview by Juliana Benesova