Something dark, mysterious, and unifying in the psychedelic songs of the Moscow rock band
“Four women playing psychedelic music with a touch of krautrock.” This is the way Moscow based group, Lucidvox presents itself, performing loudly, somberly, “ungirly,” singing “my secret is ice cold, it calls you, flaming with fire.” Lucidvox recently released an EP called Дым (Dym, Smoke) in which they hadn’t changed their love for speedy rhythms, echoing guitars, shamanistic rituals, and Slavic-pagan symbols. They’ll be gathering at the international music forum Tallinn Music Week 2017, where they will be one of the groups representing Russia. We asked the group members, Alina (vocals), Gala (guitar), Nadia (drums), and Anya (bass) a few gender oriented questions and then some.
How do you feel when people call you a “girl band”?
Gala: What’s wrong with that? We really are a band, made up of women, and I think this is apparent through our music and lyrics. But it’s important that we are not a band just for girls.
Alina: We call ourselves that, so we just feel like we are a band where four girls perform. Nothing out of the ordinary 🙂
Have you ever been approached by guys to join the group? Is the decision to be an all-female band fundamental and unchangeable?
Gala: No, they haven’t really come. Actually it doesn’t seem like it was conscious, but that’s just how it happened from the beginning, and now we’re a fully functioning collective with everyone in their own place. It’s difficult for me to imagine that I would feel free with some other people.
Nadia: It wasn’t just once that I’ve been called upon to play with other bands, like “Ленина Пакет” (Lenina Paket, Lenin’s Bag) but I felt so uncomfortable with the other people – it’s not about the field, just that, Lucidvox is like my own home…it’s fun to go and visit other people but at the end of the day you always want to come back home.
Alina: I think it’s hard for me to imagine a guy performing with us. Probably because there is a sort of understanding between us. Besides that, we really have been like a family for a long time. I think it would be weird for the guy also, playing in a girl band that came together a long time ago. I mean, it would probably be more interesting for him to play with women rather than an already established collective, next in a single vector. Then again, maybe I am wrong.
What should one know about the new EP Smoke? Did you learn anything new about yourselves while recording?
Gala: What’s worth knowing? Nothing much, be detached. Everything that we wanted to say we got to play.
Nadia: I think it’s important to know that we like it ourselves and are happy with the result: after all the recordings, you just want to step out into the street, put on your headphones and melt into your music, instead of trying to critique it all the time. This time I was able to do that.
Alina: I found out that the duduk is a very difficult instrument :). But seriously, we learned that working on material doesn’t need to be rushed.
You purposefully use Russian melos, Russian lyrics, and Slavic styles. Why do you do that?
Gala: For me, it’s important that everything has “spirit.” More of the story can be kept there and and the spirit of our culture is close to me. When you’re in a quiet, quiet snowed-in forest or picking summer berries in the fog near a gloomy lake during sunset, you can still find that, there.
Nadia: Some kind of ethnicity was borne of itself, this is in part connect to the Yakutsk culture, which brought Anya to our group, and probably something gloomy, mysterious, and unifying bewitches us (right now I have Huun-Huur-Tu in my head.”)
Alina: Because of the Slavic style, there’s probably a lot of people thinking our music is for those people in the t-shirts with wolves. There is a certain stereotype in the perception of this symbolism. I think our music destroys that stereotype.
Lucidvox “Don’t Go”
You’re studying music that came before you in an effort to combine Russian roots and rock and roll? Do you have any heroes in Russian rock?
Gala: It’s difficult, to be honest, to recall something worthy in that vein. For some reasons it sounds like this kind of music is for guys who walk around in t-shirts with wolves on them, carrying a wooden sword slung around their back. The first thing that comes to mind is Гражданская Oборона (Grazhdanskaya Oborona, Civil Defense), that’s Letov, and as I recall it is a scary little Russian mysticism…on the contemporary scene the closest for me who are continuing this line is Shortparis.
Nadia: I like the Russian roots in Lovozero and Тихих камней (Tihikh Kamnei, Quiet Stones). Me and Glasha have been getting inspired by Russian choirs (and not just Russian ones) and at the same time we’re listening to bands like Goat, Flamingods (by the way, we’ll be playing with them soon at Tallinn Music Week which is really great), Lightning Bolt, Ty Segall, Show Me The Body. As a result of all this, something of its own comes out.
You’re going to Tallinn Music Week to perform in front of an international audience. What do you think are your strong suits?What is it about your music that entices?
Nadia: The strong suit is probably that we are confident in what we are doing now, in our own style, image, and even our own personality on stage. So the people that come to see us, I hope, want to see something that they can’t see with other bands and other concerts. Maybe that’s what identity is.
Alina: The strength, probably, in a genuine desire to share music with others, the desire to share with others a truly original space.
Which bands from the Tallin Music Week do you like and are familiar with?
Nadia: We know a lot of the participants, but I of course, in my soul, am a fan of Спасибо (Spasibo, Thank You). I recently traveled with them to MENT, the Slovenian festival and they were one of the few nada who forced people to dance, not to think about anything, from beginning to end. Shortparis the most interesting group to me, and not only for the local participants of TMW, but overall, in our scene.
Alina: For me, the most interesting isn’t even the bands, but how the Russian performers will be perceived at the festival. This will be my first foreign music festival. It will be interesting to hear the groups in a different context.
How is the Сторона (Storona, Side) page tied to Lucidvox? Are you all still involved in its production? How does it help your band with music promotion?
Gala: We’re not involved really and it doesn’t help the promotion. We try not be just a “page”, we call it a web-zine – a musical creation about local contemporary music, cultivate interest and advance that scene as a whole, that is currently, unfortunately, very underground.
Nadia: Сторона is me and Glasha’s little baby, a second comfortable abode parallel to Lucidvox, and it’s nice for me to see, that even though it’s 15 thousand people at the moment, they have found something for themselves there.
What do you think, is it possible tone in a rock group and have a family at the same time? What are you going to do if you come upon the problem of having to choose between music or a husband and child?
Gala: I think that history gives us plenty of examples when musicians had families and there is nothing impossible. Is it really something that needs to be chosen? I think it’s probably not easy but it’s possible to stay yourself doing what you love, and being a mom.
Alina: We’re one family! So the addition of kids would only make our family greater.
Original article: http://www.colta.ru/articles/music_modern/14186