For the given moment, the group consists of: Lyudmila “Mother” Yurchenko – vocals / Tatiana “MIST” Yesina – keys / Maria Shaginova – violin / Ivan Kolosov – bass / Danil Mihailov – drums
Lyudmila Yurchenko (vocals):
“Starting out, Karmuazine was meant to be your average rock project, something in the likes of Zemfira*, but with a more western sound. The idea of creating the band came to me while I was still in school, but it wasn’t until I went to university that realizing it became a possibility, since I didn’t know many musicians. There were lots of plans, and the desire was being solidified by the growing number of songs – the only thing left was awaiting the right moment.
One of my classmates knew about my dream and decided to introduce me to a friend of hers – a violinist. “A violinist!” I questioned it. But the friend calmed me down, saying that Maria is great – on the violin, on the guitar, on the piano, and she even writes songs…basically, I was interested.
The long awaited meeting soon came. I remember that night in the stuffy university auditorium – after having listened to my songs, Masha (Maria) started to accompany me on the violin – it sounded not bad at all, just that it wasn’t very rock-ish, it was more like a beautiful pop song. And even then Masha said, “How about I play on the violin, and you can sing and play guitar.” Of course this idea confused me. I was after the standard lineup: guitar, bass, drum, and maybe keys… But what ended up happening in the following practice meets, brought me to the thought that this could be something interesting – something unlike the rest.
In a few months time we had several songs, and our duet was sometimes accompanied by a mutual friend and pianist Mariana Surova. With that lineup we played our first two shows. After Mariana’s move to Moscow, we invited Tatiana Yesin to join us on the piano. This lineup became the base, the foundation of Karmuazine – unchanged to this day.
Our listeners wanted to hear our recordings right away, but since we didn’t have money for a good recording, we decided to do it in A. Ustimov’s home studio. Listening to ourselves from a different perspective, it was evident that a rhythm section was missing after all, and so the following two and a half years, this part of the band was constantly changing, until our little joined by bassist Ivan Koltsov and Aleksi Popov on guitar (a simultaneous member of My Own Misanthropy).
Our influence on each other is of different veins and directions, brought us to care for the music that is Karmuazine, from the beginning of its acoustic sound, what prevailed was the electronic component. That’s why it was decided that we would replace the live drums with electronic ones.
With this lineup, Karmuazine recorded their first demo which debuted January 18, 2008. I think it was right from that moment that the group really emerged with its own unique character, and the search for our own sound began moving in a decidedly specific direction.
Looking for our own style, we would come into contact with different subcultures, mixing styles, experimenting, but anything that we did, our music always reflected what we live on. Right now, so as not to torture our listeners who sometimes try to assign strange attributes, and the reasons behind them are not always clear. We ourselves named our music: dark pop. At least right now, it more or less it reflects in its full form the concept of our music.
Our music doesn’t carry any politics, religious, or any other propaganda-like character. It’s just a reflection of our inside world. The goal of our project is music for music’s sake. Yea, we like what we are doing, we feel like we are in our own place, when we go out on stage and we see the reaction of the Grateful Listener. I think it is exactly in this that each of us sees the meaning of our lives.”
Maria Shaginova (violin):
“I’ve been playing with Karmuazine from its beginnings in 2004. Initially, I was having trouble imagining what kind of style and even how a two person band might play. I almost couldn’t imagine how we could play ‘in electronics.’ But everyone around us, friends and strangers, all reacted very warmly to our creativity. Right now, our first shows bring a smile to my face. What we’re playing now is very different from what we were playing in the beginning. But our current sounds are completely satisfying to me, and I think it’s this kind of music that is worthy of being pursued in the long term.
Karmuazine’s lineup has frequently shifter, and this has always upset me. Of course, every new musician brings something new, the basis for development in a group is solidified members who not only see and hear each other but they also feel. The individuals who now make up Karmuazine, have come to be the most stable in their faith to our music, and now, I can’t imagine Karmuazine without them.”
Tatyana Yesina (keys):
“Karmuazine is the first musical project that I’ve been a part of. I decided to play in a band because I was curious, thinking that it’s just for fun and it won’t be for long. But Karmuazine has become the platform for making my ideas in music come true. Well, and of course the band has become my second family.”
Ivan Koltsov (bass):
“I joined the band in the fall of 2006, in September to be exact. Once at a party, Karmuazine’s then drummer offered me, “Vanya, do you wanna try playing with us, we really need a bassist, I think you could do it, it’s only for a year. At that time, and even now I play in My Own Misanthropy, but I wanted something bigger. Then I came to a practice and…man it was amazing!!!!! I wasn’t expecting it, the music was just incomparable. I thought for two minutes, agreed to play for a year in two bands, that’s normal. And then it started, energetic practices, learning new songs, a totally different approach to writing music , a different sound, a different style, but I liked it. A year went by in a flash, ending in August with a goodbye show – the band was leaving and I was staying. But what is distance these days – even living in different cities you can play and write music. Right now it’s raining outside, it’s dewy, I’m finishing up now because I’m late for practice. See you at the show.”
Zemfira – Russian rock musician from Ufa. She has been performing since 1998 and has sold over 3 million records.