‘We’ve Met Lots of Great People in Russia’

PHOTO by "Soviet Soviet" / Facebook
How an Italian band with a Soviet name is conquering the world

On Jan. 28, Italian band Soviet Soviet will perform at the Moscow club 16 Tonn. The post-punk rockers have always been successful in Russia and the trio will present their new album "Endless" during this visit. Lenta.ru spoke with Soviet Soviet drummer Alessandro Ferri about promoting on the Internet, the Italian music scene, Russian friends and Soviet heritage.

What are your impressions of Russia? Are you able to get around while on tour?

We love Russia. We've played here many times and we’ve visited many interesting places with Alex, our Russian promoter. We love walking the streets, but there isn't always enough time on tour. We also take pictures of local food, which is very entertaining.

Post-punk music has always looked towards Eastern Europe. You've traveled around the region a lot, so do you now understand why?

We don't know why. Many people here listen to this kind of music and I think this is okay. The atmosphere here is truly unique; it's not an exaggeration.

The name of your band sounds very special to Russian audiences. What does the word "Soviet" mean to you?

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We came up with it spontaneously. We just liked the way it sounded, especially if you repeat it twice. There was an immediate sense of energy and strength.

Except for the name, do you have any ties to the USSR?

No, there are no other connections. Well, except that we made a cover version of the song "Curami" by an old Italian post-punk band named USSR.

You said before that you have to work to earn a living. The situation is typical for Russian indie musicians, who aren't able to earn a living from music either. So how do you do now?

When you're a musician and still have to work somewhere, it's hard. Our situation has changed a bit. Only our guitarist Alessandro has to go to work. Andrea, our bass player and singer, and I decided to quit our jobs because we now have quite a lot of concerts and tours. Still, we are fortunate that we can make some money with our music. It's not easy but we try our best.

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Italian pop music was once very popular in Russia, but Italian rock or even indie music is little known. What are your recommendation?

This is a difficult question because there are a lot of great indie bands in Italy. Maybe you know Be Forest, they are our friends and we're from the same city. The mainstream in our country is pop music. Pop songs are played on repeat on major radio stations and music of this kind is discussed a lot. Artists sing mainly in Italian while bands singing in English rarely become popular.

And it's sad, because we have a large underground scene. I'll name bands like Aucan, Local Natives, His Clancyness, Brothers in Law and Pozdam.

What advice would you give to musicians who are just starting to promote their music?

One thing: don't forget to put in a link to your website (or Facebook page, email, whatever) when distributing music online. It's important that your audience can always be in contact with you.

You were a young band a few years ago, but since then a new generation has emerged. Are you in touch with those who are about twenty years old? Do they go to your concerts? Are they different from your generation?

We notice new audience at our concerts — very young people and adults as well. Of course, we are happy that our music relates to different generations.

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What Russian bands do you know?

We know some bands that we like a lot. For example, we played with Motorama in Russia and Portugal, and they were great. The usual thing is to get acquainted with musicians at joint concerts. In Russia, we have played with many bands and have met lots of great people.

And what bands do you consider the most important in your life?

We love A Place To Bury Strangers very much. We often listen to Mass Gothic and always to Jesus And Mary Chain, Cure, Gang of Four, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins and Dinosaur Jr.