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“We recorded it feeling that soon they will come for us” – Russian punk band BLANK GENERATION share perspectives on the war Ukraine

4 mins read

Even when it comes to anti-Putin Russians, many of them have a habit of turning away from speak out, letting Russia gain increasingly authoritarian and dictatorial traits. And even though free speech is suppressed and people cannot assemble to make their case, that’s not the case of our today’s guests, Samara based punk act BLANK GENERATION. The punk rock act just released their new album “The End“, and we’re pleased to give you its full stream, along with the band’s commentary on their work, their take on the war in Ukraine and the tough situation in our region.

“I grew up with hardcore punk, anarcho-punk, punk 77, garage punk and old rock.” – comments the band’s bassist and vocalist VS7782. “That’s why I’m familiar with the principles of freedom, do it yourself and street resistance. I am from Russia and after February 24 I will not move away from what the bastards from the government did.”

VS7782 gives us a close description of the events of February 24th: “February 23 is a holiday in Russia. Public Holiday. This day is the “day of the defender of the fatherland” this holiday appeared after the Second World War. A common holiday for all men, since there is military service in Russia, but corruption also flourishes in Russia. Therefore, only children from poor families go to serve in the army.”

“24 February. I woke up from a phone call. My guitarist Alexey called me. He yelled into the phone “fuck they brought in the tanks.” I knew immediately that the war had begun. After that, local liberals held anti-war rallies, which were violently dispersed by the police. Many were against the war, but then all the levers of state propaganda went into action: television, pressure at work, intimidation, and so on. At the same time, the levers of the repressive organs began to work: independent media began to close down, protesters began to be arrested, activists from various organizations began to be arrested.”

π‘Šπ‘’ π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘‘π‘’π‘‘ 𝑛𝑒𝑀 π‘šπ‘Žπ‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘Žπ‘™ π‘€π‘–π‘‘β„Ž π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ 𝑓𝑒𝑒𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑔 π‘‘β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ π‘ π‘œπ‘œπ‘› π‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘¦ 𝑀𝑖𝑙𝑙 π‘π‘œπ‘šπ‘’ π‘“π‘œπ‘Ÿ 𝑒𝑠.

“The war divided the people. Many who were previously against became for. We followed what was happening and tried with all our might to resist as we had done before. The problem is that a very large part of the population is poor and poorly educated, it is easier to influence and intimidate them. There are fewer people with critical thinking.” – admits VS7782.

“Group concerts were closed, disrupted, someone was arrested, someone was fined. We watched how the pseudo-democratic country collapsed and turned into a totalitarian, police state. State propaganda speaks of an external enemy in the form of America and NATO. Many are afraid and believe in propaganda. I always had a question, how can you trust the authorities that have fucked you for 20 years?”

Expounding more on the new release, the band says that on “The End”, they wanted to combine all eras of the history of punk.

“60s with their hippie rock, 70s with art punk, 80s with crossover trash, 90s with hardcore punk. The theme of the songs varies on taboo topics in Russia: politics, drugs, love, sex, religion. Social problems and problems in the left movements were also touched upon, for which the revolution is an end and not a means.”

Blank Generation

Touching on the hard-hitting drawing displayed on the cover art for “The End”, the band confirms that it personifies the question: is this the end or not? “Many (who do not think correctly) this year went through unpleasant procedures associated with repression. A cover about imaginary traitors to the motherland, about what if all of us are waiting for and how it will change the world.”

π‘‡π‘œπ‘‘π‘Žπ‘¦, π‘Ž π‘‘π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘’π‘π‘™π‘’π‘‘ π‘‘π‘–π‘šπ‘’ 𝑑𝑖𝑣𝑖𝑑𝑒𝑠 π‘Žπ‘™π‘™ π‘π‘’π‘œπ‘π‘™π‘’ 𝑖𝑛 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘€π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘™π‘‘. 𝑏𝑒𝑑 𝑖𝑛 π‘œπ‘’π‘Ÿ π‘’π‘›π‘£π‘–π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘›π‘šπ‘’π‘›π‘‘ 𝑖𝑛 π‘†π‘Žπ‘šπ‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘Ž π‘’π‘£π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘¦π‘œπ‘›π‘’ π‘Žπ‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘  π‘‘π‘œ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘ π‘Žπ‘šπ‘’ π‘π‘œπ‘–π‘›π‘‘ π‘œπ‘“ 𝑣𝑖𝑒𝑀.

Looking into the future, BLANK GENERATION predict that sooner or later, any regime will fall and be replaced by a new one.

“As long as capitalism reigns on earth, there will be war, famine, and poverty. In the future, I hope people will be able to grow wiser, respect each other not only in Russia, but also in other countries, and then we will all understand that we are earthlings and we need to develop together. Only then can we solve all our problems.”

Asked about his background in music, VS7782 told us that he first heard punk rock at the age of 8. “After diving into bands like “Purgen”, then I heard The Exploited for the first time. Later he began to pay attention to Belarusian anarcho-punk bands. With the advent of the Internet, I discovered proto-punk, punk77, CBGB scenes and this music influenced me, as well as the early hardcore scene (Black Flag, Bad Brains). If we talk about the first local bands, then I liked “Pitfall”, “Turbolax”.”

Speaking about the current state of their local punk scene, he that there are a handful of dedicated, dedicated activists in their area. “One gets the impression that there is a punk business, and not a punk movement, but maybe it just seems to me that way.”

Looking into the future of their local punk rock scene, VS7782 sees it in rather dark colours. “There are no concerts planned yet, because so far we ourselves do not quite understand how we should move.”

“We’ll certainly try our hand at putting out shows in local venues and organize various donations, but the feedback has been very poorly so far”.

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