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Garik Sukachev, A Life Dedicated to Russian Rock

Гарик Сукачёв (Garik Sukachev) is one of the most prominent Russian rock frontmen, leader of the bands “Бригада С” (Brigade C) and then “Неприкасаемые” (the Untouchables) and author of many solo projects, film director and writer.

Garik Sukachev was born December 1st, 1959 in Myakinino a small village around Moscow. He has few nicknames among which “лидер окраин” (leader of the suburbs) or “русский Томом Уэйтсом” (the Russian Tom Waits). Fame came to Sukachev in January 1986 during первый андеграундный рок-фестиваля (the first underground rock-festival) “Рок-ёлки” (Rock-tree).

I have chosen the following quotes from several interviews to give you an idea of the kind of person is Garik Sukachev:

Я ни в коем случае не считаю себя рок-н-ролльщиком. Я, конечно, музыкант, от этого никуда не денешься, я здорово в этом разбираюсь, так как занимаюсь этим всю жизнь. Рок-н-ролл - это удобное клише, но я мыслю другими критериями - талантливо, самобытно, интересно.

(I don't consider myself a rock musician. Of course, I'm a musician, there is no question about that, I fell into music and will play all my life. Rock'n Roll is a convenient clich? but have other criteria in mind: talented, original, interesting.)

У русского рока есть национальные черты - как в поэтических текстах, так и в музыке, которая, хотим мы этого или нет, связана с музыкальными народными традициями”.

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(Russian rock has national features, as in the poetic texts, as in the music, which whether we like it or not, is associated with the musical folk traditions.)

Я уверен, что Россия - великая страна. Я считаю себя патриотом, я русский.

(I am convinced that Russia is a great country. I consider myself a patriot, I am Russian.)

Я познакомился со своей женой, когда ей было 15, а мне почти 17. Вообще жизнь - забавная штука. Я ничего не предполагал! Вообще я абсолютный фаталист, то есть как должно произойти - одному Богу известно!”.

(I met with my wife when she was 15 and I was almost 17. As a matter of fact, life is a funny thing. I did not expect anything! Actually I'm an absolute fatalist, what will happen, only God knows.)

Мы были весёлыми нищими голодранцами... и любили друг друга. Сейчас мы такие же весёлые, но уже не нищие и не голодранцы.

(We were happy begging ragamuffins... and we loved each other. Now, we still have fun, but we are no more beggars and ragamuffins.)

В песне есть своя вселенная. Но главное: любой художник предлагает публике самого себя. Останется ли он среди людей вовеки веков. Или только со своим поколением. Или будет всего человек десять, воспринимающих то, что он создал”.

(Each song has its own universe. But the main thing is that any artist invites the audience for himself. Will he stay among people for ever. Or only with people of his own generation. Or will it be just a dozen of person who can perceive what he has done.)

Люди любят совершенно разные вещи. Есть профессора, которые любят блатняк*. А есть шофёры такси, которые могут тебе поставить Стравинского. Жизнь - удивительная штука. И многие люди, которые раньше мою музыку ненавидели, сейчас идут на концерт с ностальгическим чувством”.

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* Блатная песня or блатняк: can be considered as Russian chansons. They are sometimes called “Criminal songs” as they celebrate the hard life and customs of the criminal environment.

(People like different things. There are professors who love Russian chansons. And there are taxi drivers who can put up Stravinsky. Life is an amazing thing. And many people who hated my music before, now fo to my concerts with a nostalgic feeling.)

Елена Коновалова

Garik Sukachev is leader of the bands Brigade Cand then the Untouchables and author of many solo projects, film director and writer.