Russian rock idol puts up freedom against piracy

While the country’s lawmakers are searching for ways to tackle illegal downloading, Russia’s musicians are coming up with their own solutions.

The grandfather of Russian rock music, Ilya Lagutenko, announced that the first album by his new group Gornostay will be distributed over the Internet. Whether or not to pay for the music will be decided by fans.

Called “Air of Freedom,” the album is indeed about feeling free – to choose the music to play, to select the means to record it, and to distribute this music in any way you like.

“I would call Gornostay a low-fi dance project,” Lagutenko told RT. “It is more about what is going on with young musicians today. When you really use your iPads and laptops to write and perform music, you go on stage, and don’t really know how to transform this easily-recorded music live on stage.”

In addition to producing Gornostay, Lagutenko has also kept up with writing his own music. A living legend in Russia best known as a leader of the Mumiy Troll band, the musician is now gearing up for English-speaking crowds.

“We are a young band for an English audience,” Lagutenko said. “We’re in the very beginning. I don’t know how foreign audiences will react to our songs. We had a few good reviews, and we did quite a lot of shows. So the story has just begun.”

The perception of Russian music in English-speaking countries is quite odd, Lagutenko told RT.

“They all remember Gorky Park, and think that Russian music is all hairy heavy metal,” Lagutenko laughed. “Some will probably remember ‘a Lesbian band from Russia.’ There are not so many Russian musicians known abroad.”

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