VIKTOR TSOI :: Interview from Polytechnic Gazette (Leningrad) February 24, 1984

In your eyes, what is the most important thing in music? What is the secret to its popularity?

Viktor Tsoi: Relevance, I think. But in general, the songs have to be good.

We know your poetry – from the simple, everyday, to the all-disturbing themes, all the way to the complex, brimming with subtext. Which do you feel closer to?

V: I can’t imagine myself without one or the other. The world is multilayered, and so is the poetry.

Through which medium can you best express your thoughts – poetry or music?

V: I’m not quite sure. Probably the text and music are one…after all, they share the same thought. But I don’t really write poems, just songs.

Which contemporary Estrada* groups are you interested in most of all?

V: The same as you. Аквариум (Aquarium), Зоопарк (Zoopark), Алиса (Alisa). Actually, Алиса has recently started working again with Kinchev – we’ll probably see them at the rock festival.

And what about western music?

V: The most interesting work to us is that of the independent record companies. Most of what we encounter is music that’s “sellable,” music for dancing. The ears grow accustomed to the standards. But the independent labels release records in small batches, which don’t adhere to the norm. We’re more into that.

Viktor, do you find that either here or in the west there are groups comparable to yours, creatively speaking?

V: I don’t look for them. Although we listen to a lot of music. That comes with the job. Maybe there is some degree of influence, but each of our songs goes through its own prism.

Which do you prefer, concerts or studio work? And what do you plan on making more of, acoustic or electronic music?

V: Concerts and recordings are inseparable. Right now, we’re very acutely dealing with a sound problem for our Kino concerts. We want to make the concerts more passionate, that’s why we’re focusing on those who have heard our songs and know them.

What kind of problems does Kino have?

V: Just organizational ones. We don’t have issues with the music. We have a lot of ideas and motivation to work.

What do you expect from the public – from your audience?

V: I’d like for there to be, among the listeners, only those who really feel my music is near and dear to them. It’s nice to play for people who understand you.

We’ll wrap it up with the traditional question about you future creative endeavors.

V: In April we’ll finish recording our new album. Then we’re traveling to Kiev to take part in a short film. And we’ll be getting ready for the rock festival here and in Vilnus.

February 24, 1984.

Original article can be found at:


Estrada – A typical Russian phenomenon with roots in the fairground culture, literary evenings, and the Russian theater of the 19th century. Estrada encompasses everything from music, theater, and poetry recitations, to dance, puppet shows, and the circus. (Hubertus Jahn, Patriotic Culture in Russia During World War I)

Published by Blue Bardot Music

From Russia With Music

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