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RUSSIAN ROCK AND UNDERGROUND

The most comprehensive guide to Russian rock and underground on the Web.


► ALISA


This is one of the most influential bands in Russian rock and has been around since the beginning of the scene. This brave band was well respected by Russian youth in the 1980s, in fact the band created a whole musical movement - a revolution, so to speak. People from different Russian cities appreciated ALISA and their creative work, even if they weren't rock fans. These ALISA followers were easy to recognize because they tend to wear a uniform consisting of red and black clothes and a special ALISA sign, which looks like an intricately- designed letter "A". One more very important thing about ALISA is that they pioneered their musical style through the Soviet and Perestroika times and they are still alive and recording new albums to this very day!

In March of 1983, a guy named Sbyatoslav Zaderiy started the band ALISA. He named the group after a book written by his favorite author - Lewis Carroll. After a short while the group took on a new vocalist named Konstantin Kinchev-Panfilov and the great history of the band began. Kostya Kinchev was a very charming and at the same time brave guy; he was the leader of the group from the beginning. He was the author of almost all of ALISA's songs and along with his outstanding poetical skills he was considered an incredible performer. The critics of the time named Kinchev as a "gorgeous demon" and his songs as "youth hymns". In the beginning the group played in a post-punk style and despite the fact that rock music was forbidden during Soviet times, ALISA's underground and hand-made records spread to interested fans all over the country. Official concerts were out of the question, but the band played on in apartments, indoor concert halls and other small and seedy venues, which only their loyal and devoted fans would know about. These concerts were extremely popular and the people who attended these concerts had the opportunity to listen to the new wave in Russian music. In around 1985, ALISA's first official albums appeared in the Soviet Union and on the only Soviet rock label "Melodia". This was a monumental year, when at once several rock bands, which were all forbidden to produce and disseminate music, released their records on "Melodia".


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ALISA was a real leader among the rock groups acting during the 1980s. They always had a lot of followers and admirers, but in 1991 they became more than just a rock band. They created an organized youth movement, which was very aggressive. Naturally it was named "Alisa's Army".

In the early 1990s ALISA's got the chance to perform big concerts through out Russia including Kamchatka, Siberia, Ural, along with a few tours abroad. In 1991 ALISA released the first full, live double record in Russian rock history. The record is named "Shabash" and dedicated to the outstanding artist Alexander Bashlachev, who was a close friend of Kinchev's. Bashlachev was a very talented young poet and performer. He played the guitar and sang in the same manner as Vladimir Visotsky. His poetic style is comparable to the one of the brightest poets of the Silver Age - Osip Mandelshtam. Unfortunately Bashlachev was a very sensitive person and committed suicide. The tragedy was unexpected and thus greatly shocked many people and friends of Bashlachev's. Kostya Kinchev in particular was greatly affected by the suicide and it took him years to accept the fact that his close friend was no longer with him. In honor of his friend's musical talent, Kinchev released the album "Shabash" in Bashlachev's memory.

In 1993, ALISA's permanent guitarist Igor Chumychkin had committed suicide as well. Once again this loss caused severe distress for the band members and they stopped playing or producing music for a few years.

At the end of the decade, the band once again became active in the music scene and toured throughout the country. They released new albums and celebrated a ten year anniversary. The discography of ALISA now includes more then ten albums in a range of styles - from really aggressive and loud to poetic and lyrical. A few years ago the band celebrated their 15 year anniversary and performed a great concert in front of their huge army of follows, which consisted of all different age groups. It was an unforgettable show proving that the band is not only alive but has staying power which will allow its talented and creative work to be shared with many generations of supporters.

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