Tuesday, July 08, 2008

FBO: 'Favorite New Yakutsk Band: Infinity'

Whilst on a cultural symposiatic tour across Russia's least-developed and least-seen places in the Far East, FBO representative Robert Reid met with Yakutsk's most popular 16- and 17-year-old heavy metal band INFINITY.

All the buildings in Yakutsk, the world's coldest town over 200,000, stand on stilts due to the road-crunching, fence-crashing permafrost, but in June and July temperatures reach the 90s. What does a metal band sing about in such a place? 'This song is Chyorni Lubov,' the lead singer Shipik, said as his girlfriend hugged him. 'Black love -- it's about the pain of love, not having love, bad love.'

This July the Asia Children's Games - a mini Olympics of sorts - came to Yakutsk, and Infinity was invited to play a set near the statue of Vlad Lenin in Lenin Square. It will be their last. Just months old, the band is likely to break up soon, as its members are heading to different colleges and universities this fall.

Important things to take from INFINITY:

* the five-piece band plays all originals; they've made 10 so far, and three days before their likely last show they were working up a new one.
* the band practices in a second-floor room overlooking warehouses and a lake at Kosmos movie theater near the Yakutsk airport, a 20 to 30-minute ride from the center.
* the band wore Kiss-like face paint at a Halloween show. 'The first and last time ever,' said bass player Dima, the most vocal of the band during practice, and with a passing resemblance to Dylan if you look closely.
* Yes, in deepest Russia, when practice is 20 minutes from being done, and you don't know what to do, blues jams and (rather inventive) takes on 'Smoke on the Water' get rolled out.
* The band signed my notebook like a yearbook; singer Shipik signed a 10-ruble note as a souvenir.

The FBO will be compiling 'INFINITY IN YAKUTSK: A Documentary' in coming months.

Good luck to Infinity, even when it breaks apart.

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ -- Komsomolsk, Russia


Hiser Odt, Alan said...

Such vast spaces. Must be nice to practice in an old ballet studio. Maybe thats where "White Nights" was filmed.

Tammy said...

do these kids know about the heavy metal monk?