[From the translator:] [check out singalong English lyrics to some] [of IC3PEAK's songs further in!] ♪ La la la la la la ♪
[From the translator:] [check out singalong English lyrics to some] [of IC3PEAK's songs further in!] Stability in what? Stable hardship?
[From the translator:] [check out singalong English lyrics to some] [of IC3PEAK's songs further in!] ♪ La la la la la la la ♪
Boys, get your nails done!
♪ La la la la la la ♪
Not some prize. With land.
♪ La la la la la la la ♪
"Grusnaya suka. Grusnaya suka."
(distorted IC3PEAK's "The March" instead of the usual intro)
(crickets and birds chirping)
[MOSCOW OBLAST] (crickets and birds chirping)
[MOSCOW OBLAST] - (Dud) You've been living outside the city for a while now. - (Kolia and Nastia) Yes.
- (Dud) You've been living outside the city for a while now. - (Kolia and Nastia) Yes.
Living in a city is pointless
[KOLIA] [IC3PEAK] [Writes music] if you work on something at home 24/7, like music.
Filming outside the city is more fun too.
You come outside and find infinite opportunities.
(Nastia) I think the city has tons of technological noise too.
Modern cities overall operate in such a way
so as to upset your natural rhythm
so as to upset your natural rhythm,
[NASTIA] [IC3PEAK] [Writes lyrics, sings] your sleep rhythm, your biological clock, et cetera.
It's different away from civilization. You align with the sun.
I think it makes you more productive.
What's the #1 thing we need to know about Kolia?
I believe he's one of the most talented composers.
I'll hold back on big words like "in the world,"
but maybe, indeed, in the world.
#1 thing we need to know about Nastia?
Nastia is the most talented person I know.
♪ La La La La La La ♪ ♪ La La La La La La La ♪
[IC3PEAK] ["THE MARCH"] ♪ La La La La La La ♪ ♪ La La La La La La La ♪
♪ La La La La La La ♪ ♪ La La La La La La La ♪
I once heard the definition:
"IC3PEAK is modern art with music."
How accurate is it?
It's a nice compliment, I think.
Things are fusing together these days:
traditional arts and music.
I think music has assimilated everything that it could,
and maybe cinema,
because you can shoot music videos for your songs.
- You are equal in the duo? - Yes.
- Who gets the last say? - No one.
Let's say you're discussing your next music video —
whether you include the scene with the pioneers or not.
If you're for and Nastia's against, what do you do?
And sooner or later, one convinces the other.
So you've never, like,
butted heads and mothballed something?
No, never. We understand each other pretty well.
♪ Momma used to say: "Heed each word of your husband" ♪ ♪ I'm disobedient. I make it harder ♪
[IC3PEAK] ["PLAK PLAK" ("Boo-Hoo")] ♪ Momma used to say: "Heed each word of your husband" ♪ ♪ I'm disobedient. I make it harder ♪
♪ I don't care what daddy every planned for my life ♪ ♪ And instead of the stars I reach for a knife ♪
♪ Wish that I could hold you now like back in the day ♪
♪ But to do that I would have to desecrate your grave ♪
It's about how the family works
and how it can traumatize
It's about domestic violence
and how we ourselves create the society we currently live in,
and that we need to change it.
To change it we need to first change ourselves.
But, as I say this, I have to admit that I also believe
that the state SHOULD intervene in situations with domestic violence.
What needs changing?
We need to make these private things public and discuss them,
because we seem to think that
what goes on in the family, at home, behind walls
is too private and not for discussion.
Like the old Russian saying "don't take the filth outside."
So in simple terms...
- First, you obviously support the domestic violence act. - Absolutely.
[The Domestic Violence bill has been in development] [since 2016. It's been rejected multiple times] - First, you obviously support the domestic violence act. - Absolutely.
[The Domestic Violence bill has been in development] [since 2016. It's been rejected multiple times] Second, if someone's parents abuse them at home, they need to make it public?
Second, if someone's parents abuse them at home, they need to make it public?
(Nastia) First and foremost, they need to know that they have people to turn to —
for therapy, at the very least.
But if we had a proper, functioning law for this,
the person would know that they could go to the police
to report that they're suffering from abuse
and not get turned away or ridiculed,
or humiliated on top of that abuse.
Why don't we call for help in these situations?
Because we know we'll make it worse on ourselves mentally.
You literally cut deep in that video. You're holding a knife...
♪ Wall is smeared across with pinkish matter of your brain (boo-hoo) ♪
♪ I got really mad at you, I'm sorry for the pain (boo-hoo) ♪
♪ Every time I go to sleep, I see you there done in (boo-hoo) ♪
♪ Maybe dying after all is not that bad a thing (boo-hoo) ♪
Funerals and stuff.
I even wanted to post a slice of the video in my Fuck Yeah section on Instagram,
because domestic violence is a crucial topic that needs to be discussed.
But I didn't do it because...
Any given 50 seconds I'd cut out would contain a real call to action —
the message that this is an issue you solve with a knife.
It's a metaphor,
an exaggerated portrayal of the victim's response
in a society where your only means of defending yourself
is to dispense violence of your own.
That's it. And no one wants that.
So let's find a better solution for these issues.
You used to be a fan of the Voyna art group.
[Voyna ("War") is a group of performance artists] [and activists founded in 2007 by Oleg Vorotnikov,] [Natalya Sokol, Piotr Verzilov and] [Nadezhda Tolokonnikova] I mean... I know their work.
[Voyna ("War") is a group of performance artists] [and activists founded in 2007 by Oleg Vorotnikov,] [Natalya Sokol, Piotr Verzilov and] [Nadezhda Tolokonnikova] I don't think I've ever been anyone's fan.
[Voyna ("War") is a group of performance artists] [and activists founded in 2007 by Oleg Vorotnikov,] [Natalya Sokol, Piotr Verzilov and] [Nadezhda Tolokonnikova] Maybe when I was very young and listened to
Eminem, Marilyn Manson and Lena Katina from t.A.T.u.
and thought they were really cool.
But I was never anyone's die-hard fan after I grew up.
But yeah, I think Voyna's work is great and important.
But among performers of this ilk, I also like Osmolovskiy
[*"(Male) cock."] [Very strong word in Russian.] with his ХУЙ* spelled out with human bodies on the Red Square.
Pussy Riot, obviously.
So yeah, Russian political actionism is great.
Are you musicians or actionists?
I believe actionism is something inherently tangible.
To me at least.
So we're more like media artists.
Musicians and media artists.
(Dud) You've got books in English over there.
- I understand you and Nastia are fluent speakers? - (Kolia) Yep.
Because you studied translation?
[Nastia and Kolia studied translation from] [English and Swedish at the Russian] [State University for the Humanities] Partially.
[Nastia and Kolia studied translation from] [English and Swedish at the Russian] [State University for the Humanities] I'd say reading books in English helped me out more.
I'd say reading books in English helped me out more.
The more I read, the better grasp of the language I got.
When Kendrick Lamar releases a new track, do you look up the lyrics or catch 'em by ear?
No, some parts I can't make out because of the dial-
not even dialect, but just his manner of speech.
Or if it's machinegun rapping, I might look up the lyrics.`
But I always catch the general message.
But you mostly consume content in English?
Yeah. I think around 60% or so.
Maybe 50/50. I dunno.
♪ ...my heart stays pure ♪ ♪ This world is sick, my heart feels it ♪
♪ This world is dark, my heart lights up ♪ ♪ This world is vice, my heart was iced ♪
♪ This world is blur, my heart stays pure ♪
(rhythmic sharp breathing)
I may not be a perfect speaker. I have an accent and stuff.
But in terms of writing, reading and understanding, it's like my second language.
It was just a very natural environment.
We read and consume a lot of information in English.
So for obvious reasons, we thought this language was universal —
one they'd understand both here in Russia and in the West.
We understood English and thought all Russians did too.
But we were wrong, because not too many Russians know English that well.
In fact, if you listen to our earlier songs,
you'll find that there's not a lot of language in them to begin with,
because we had an idea for an even more universal language of shouting,
which you can understand no matter where you're from.
You can shout in Japanese, or English, or Russian —
if you cry out in sorrow or misery,
everyone will know which emotion you're feeling.
If it's a cry of joy or pleasure, everyone will know it too.
It's much more universal than a spoken language.
We fleshed out this idea.
Then worked with English. Then we did a US tour.
[IC3PEAK's first US tour was in 2016] We suddenly realized that
we weren't some third-rate culture,
that foreigners were really curious about us.
This tour helped us take a different look at ourselves
and our language, its uniqueness and beauty.
It's pretty weird, actually,
that this happened after we toured the US.
It's because people over there are really fixated on their identity and roots.
Because it's America. It's...
It's a melting pot of cultures.
They kept asking: "What about you? Are you..?"
When we hadn't even asked ourselves what and who we were,
and what the Russian language was and meant.
This patriotism that we could foster —
the love for your language
and culture, which...
I actually believe your culture is encoded in your language.
I watched your live shows
and heard Russian language, but couldn't tell...
The French city of Bordeaux.
(in Russian) ♪ I drown my eyes in kerosene ♪
[YouTube channel Vivi Vlogging] (in Russian) ♪ I drown my eyes in kerosene ♪
(in Russian) ♪ Let it all burn, let it all burn ♪
Are those Russian expats singing along?
Or maybe people like...
- When I was younger, I was a big fan of the band Yum!Yum!ORANGE. - I know them.
They played ska punk.
- Lots of English lyrics, but in some, in Japanese. - Yeah.
And I know, not knowing the words, sang along to the sounds.
That was back in the MP3 player days.
They usually know the meaning.
They look up translations
and try to reproduce the language with transliteration.
Most people at our European shows do just that.
They love the way Russian sounds.
They know the meaning because they read the lyrics.
They love the music. And so they all shout:
[*"Sad bitch."] "Grusnaya suka. Grusnaya suka*."
It's actually really fun and humbling.
[AD IN RUSSIAN] (♪♪♪)
My Russian is not perfect.
When my bad speech habits recently got exposed, openly and justly,
I shared this on Instagram,
this gave me additional motivation to work on my Russian.
As you're aware, I've been using the Profi.ru app for a while now.
It helped us find a professional that fixed our office tap.
I also found a trainer through it who taught me proper high bar technique.
And now it'll help me find someone to improve my Russian.
Russian language. Let's go.
Do you care about the tutor's sex?
[Any other wishes?] [I'm a doofus] (♪♪♪)
Ton of offers.
Okay. "Wonderful teacher..."
Achievements says she got 100 points in Russian on the Unified State Exam.
[*Dud is joking about cheaters.] Wait, he did her USE herself*?
Cool. Let's try her.
[Inga, hi.] [I've got a question.] [My job requires me to talk a lot, but I'm not great at it — ] [lots of weeds to pluck. Could you please check out] [some of our works, so to speak,] [to find my most common mistakes? ] (♪♪♪)
- Inga, hi. - Hey. Your cam is off.
(Dud) Whoopsie! Just a sec.
Informal "you" maybe?
Absolutely! Let's go informal. I'm all for it.
My speech is pretty dirty.
My old biggest issue was with this awful construct of
"I believe that that."
What other things did you notice?
Junk words, of course, which are fairly plentiful.
All the "sortas," "kindas" and "likes."
It's believed that junk words are used to fill dead air.
When someone's uneasy, they feel awkward being silent,
so they use them as fluff.
They could also be trying to grab your attention.
These people usually repeatedly use "look" or "listen."
Oh yeah! Look! I understand that...
[LOOK] Oh yeah! Look! I understand that...
Oh yeah! Look! I understand that...
I said "look." (Inga laughs)
Serioga shocked me the other day.
He said, "Yura, ask her how you spell 'doubtful.'"
Yeah, it's very common!
Just like "forgive me." "Foregive me."
- For real?! - I often tell people...
"One Winnie-the-Pooh dies somewhere every time you put the extra E."
Say, you probably keep a list of weird spellings somewhere?
Of course. Yeah.
I think the most common one is when people say "sorry."
It's one of the worst offenders.
Because you have to preface it with "I'm."
It has to be attached to someone. "I'm sorry."
(Dud) I say that a lot.
If someone throws a lazy, "Sorry," they're not sorry at all.
Thank you so much! Have a great day!
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(claps) Let's go! Russian! Language!
[BACK TO THE FOREST] (♪♪♪)
(Dud) What is this picture?
(Kolia) This was a gift from our fans after of a tour.
(Dud) Police car.
(Kolia) Yeah. And a kawaii Putin on the building.
["Kawaii" is Japanese for "cute."] (Kolia) Yeah. And a kawaii Putin on the building.
["Kawaii" is Japanese for "cute."] (Dud) Like in real life.
["Kawaii" is Japanese for "cute."] (Kolia) Obviously. Putin is the greatest kawaii character in this country.
(Kolia) Obviously. Putin is the greatest kawaii character in this country.
We won't talk much about your famous cop tour
that happened in 2018,
because you've talked about it a lot previously.
Besides, there's a documentary about it.
(Kolia) People are freezing outside. Let's let them in.
(policeman) Let's not just yet. It's gonna be...
(Kolia) No, let's let them in.
(policeman) It's gonna be a mess. (Kolia) No mess.
(policeman) It's gonna interfere with police work.
[Link to the Let It All Burn documentary] [in the description] Guys, it's gonna be fine. We'll survive this.
[Link to the Let It All Burn documentary] [in the description] (crowd woos)
(Dud) How did your lives change after it?
[In fall of 2018, Russian authorities disrupted IC3PEAK's] [tour of the country with canceled shows and arrests] [in some cities. This started after the band started] [singing songs about the current climate in Russia] Your habits, alertness, secrecy, stuff like that?
[In fall of 2018, Russian authorities disrupted IC3PEAK's] [tour of the country with canceled shows and arrests] [in some cities. This started after the band started] [singing songs about the current climate in Russia] We were paranoid for a while after this tour.
We didn't tell anyone where we lived, even to our friends.
We kept our physical location secret.
Even checked our phones.
- Because... - Checked your phones?
To see if we're being tracked or listened on.
'Cause we'd heard stories that this was possible.
Didn't put them in the fridge though.
- Didn't go that far. - No, we didn't.
You can put your phone in the fridge and, apparently, it'll hide the signal
and your location will become untraceable.
I didn't check this information. I just heard rumors.
(cameraman) You need a Faraday cage.
[A Faraday cage is a device invented by the English] [physicist and chemist Michael Faraday in 1836 that could] [shield devices from external electromagnetic fields] A fridge is a natural Faraday cage, so...
[A Faraday cage is a device invented by the English] [physicist and chemist Michael Faraday in 1836 that could] [shield devices from external electromagnetic fields] I was probably more shocked by those events than Kolia.
I was probably more shocked by those events than Kolia.
In the sense that I had trouble falling asleep because of anxiety.
I couldn't sleep properly for maybe a year.
But eventually it kinda stabilized.
Many think of it as an adventure,
that it was so fun, so punk, so exciting.
And it was, on the one hand.
But on the other hand, there was this uglier side.
It was fun, but also dicey.
(Dud) What do you think about the opinion
that if it wasn't for the FSB, IC3PEAK wouldn't have gotten so popular.
I love this one.
We're okay with it.
I just guess that these people found out about us...
People who say that probably found out about us after this cop tour.
But that's not true.
Lots of people knew about us prior.
It just coincided with our organic growth.
Of course it helped and gave us this sort of...
served as a booster of sorts.
But people who leave these comments or say these things
are just trying to rationalize our sudden, for them, success,
because they themselves hadn't heard about us prior.
There are certainly artists out there that spend a lot of time crafting their work
but for reasons unknown, they don't... I dunno, wake up famous?
I wouldn't say we woke up famous, because we'd worked hard for six years before that.
Why did you get into political satire?
Because it's fun
and funny, and it was time.
I always cared about politics one way or another.
In the sense that I don't think you can NOT care about it.
You always hear things. You notice what's going on.
As you grow older, you get closer and closer to it.
When you're little, it's sorta foreign to you,
these conversations about reforms and changes,
constraints and whatnot.
But when you grow up, you realize it concerns you on a physical level.
It could be a literal limitation of your freedom to travel or something.
How can you remain indifferent and emotionless about it?
And since art is a natural outlet for my feelings and experiences,
I guess I just got old enough for this
and figured I had a few things to say on the matter.
I'm guessing Putin's new term upset you the most?
Yeah. It did.
That's when you wrote Death No More?
Yeah, I wrote the chorus for Death No More
right after I watched the recording of his speech.
♪ Wrapped in golden chains, I'm drowning in this old swampland ♪
[IC3PEAK] ["DEATH NO MORE"] ♪ Wrapped in golden chains, I'm drowning in this old swampland ♪
♪ My blood is pure like uncut narcotics ain't ♪
♪ They'll mow you down with all the rest as you're protesting ♪
♪ I'll roll one up on my newly bought property ♪
I got overwhelmed emotionally,
because he said on this recording:
"There are challenges waiting ahead, but we'll overcome them together."
And I strongly felt like we were going in circles, again.
This feeling of hopelessness.
I didn't believe that we'd be overcoming any challenges
or facing new and sudden changes to our lives.
And so I wrote these lyrics. Just the lyrics.
Why are you upset?
Stability in what?
I'm actually upset about the way our... I don't like the climate in our society.
I'm upset that people are so cruel and distrustful to each other.
They're focused on themselves to the point
where they won't help others.
I want people to be more kind.
This will only happen...
It's only possible in a world where people get that they need to fight for survival
and where the government machine isn't crushing you and hammering into you
this idea that it doesn't matter what you want
and no matter how hard you try, you'll never succeed.
'Cause people, especially in the province,
oftentimes feel like their efforts have no chance of ever bearing fruit.
They feel like no one cares about them.
Ever since they were little.
Children feel unwanted.
Their parents got this way
because they failed every time, no matter how hard they tried.
You just stop trying altogether.
Realities like this in general upset me.
What does Putin have to do with it?
He cannot create an environment that would allow people
to grow and educate themselves.
He doesn't care about the gender situation in the country.
I don't believe he cares about things like education
and the fact that it needs reform and change.
I wonder if he cares about anything.
What's wrong with the education?
I think, especially now, this system is extremely antiquated.
People spend years in the same university doing God knows what.
I've studied in three universities.
I trust I picked up the best parts that each one had to offer.
Every time I hit a point where the faculty
didn't know what to do with you and what to teach you.
I'm upset about the number of political prisoners.
I'm upset about the, admittedly clumsy, attempts to censor art.
Being an artist myself.
I'm upset about
the trials, obviously,
where defendants almost never win.
And of course the irremovable government.
I don't believe though that if someone else comes to power,
or some different group of people, things will suddenly be great.
I believe only time can change things in this country.
I wanted to ask one last thing about the cop tour.
The lady from Andrey Loshak's short documentary.
- She's the art director of Voronezh Art Club. - Yes.
- She fought for you like a lioness! - Yep.
What happened to her?
- (art director) Uncle Zhenia! - Yeah?
- To the console. Dima and I will distract, you start the show. Let's go. - Okay. Let's do this.
As far as I know, she's fine.
Though it's been a while since we talked to her through our tour manager.
She's one of the reasons that tour happened at all
and why we wanted to keep going with it.
Her and the fans who came to our shows to listen to music,
knowing full well that it would be fun both musically and... legally.
Seeing all this kept us going.
She was one of the event managers who fought for us tooth and nail.
- I felt admiration for her. - Yeah!
It's one thing, to fight like that in Moscow where you have options if you lose your job.
- Totally different in Voronezh. - Yeah.
I mean, Russia's still got lots of folks with moxie.
I think they're people who understand what's up.
At what point do you go, "Enough is enough?"
At some point, they figure: "Enough lawlessness."
They draw a line: it stops here.
They don't let cops into their clubs without an order.
Don't allow blocking the entrance, et cetera.
Some draw the line much farther.
Like the door to their apartment.
But they can visit you at your place too.
Imagine Putin leaves.
What are gonna fight against in your songs?
We're not a political band.
We're not fighting against Putin.
We have some tracks that express our opinions on the climate in the country,
but we have lots of very different works
where we discuss very different subjects —
taboo subjects like death or love,
or anxiety, heartache and so on.
So I don't think this is an issue for us.
We don't need to fight something particular.
We're not one of those bands that need to be against something at all times.
Some of our opinions just happen to go contrary to what's commonly accepted.
Maybe that's why we appear controversial and somewhat radical.
But we're merely offering a different point of view.
I think that's normal and natural.
You've shared your woes about the life in Russia at large many times
along with the revelation that you almost disbanded
after your first tour because you got so depressed.
Something depressing that you witnessed in the province and got sad?
Our whole tour was actually pretty depressing.
First off, I think it was spring,
the most uninspiring time in Russia in terms of climate.
It's a transitional season for the nature.
The earth turns into this slushy, grimy muck.
The people are coughing and sneezing, and brooding.
The sky's overcast most of the time.
First time you leave Moscow, which for the most part is fine, to go some place,
and find out how people actually live.
They live in damp, mold-ridden apartments
and roast hemp on a skillets,
They're trying to do things
without proper education or any infrastructure or prospects.
You sometimes meet these unbelievably cool people
with mind-blowing dedication to some cause.
Surrounded by hopelessness.
They try to get somewhere over and over,
but are always met with confusion.
This got us depressed.
Nastia says she gets messages on the regular
from people she studied or grew up with,
walls of text saying how awful what she's currently doing is.
Do you get those?
I got a message from a dude with the last name Kostilev,
saying that I tarnish the last name Kostilev.
That was it.
Did you ask him why he though so?
No. But I was happy I'd found another Kostilev.
Could barely live without him, huh?
Yeah. Someone outside the family.
Practically found another family member.
I only have a mother.
We're on good terms.
She supports everything I do.
She might offer an observation.
We're not so tight to the point where we discuss everything,
but, I dunno, we have a normal mother-daughter relationship.
She accepts your look?
She's a performer herself. She's a dazzling woman.
She doesn't wear all black with black lipstick like me,
but she's not a gray mouse when she's out and about either.
That's why I believe she totally gets this.
She doesn't have any issues with it.
My mom never told me
what to do, where to go, what to strive for.
She always left me to my own devices
and did her own thing.
I think that was super lucky for me,
because this allowed to realize fairly early on what I wanted to do in life.
She never forced me into anything, like what to study
or what to care or not care about,
like family over art.
I'm really grateful to her for that.
At the same time, we can talk about pretty much anything.
I can come to her with some question and ask her,
"What are your thoughts on this?"
I lived with my mom growing up.
I lived with my father until I was 4, so I barely remember him.
My mom worked at a musical school.
She met my father at the conservatory.
She supports everything I do.
In the past, she didn't get in the way.
Today, she supports me. She's a fan.
(Dud) Didn't get in the way how, in practice?
I've always had an ambition.
She did her best to not interfere with this ambition.
For example, I wanted a guitar. She got me a guitar.
I played this guitar.
I wanted to learn to play the piano. She got me into a class.
This was more than enough to not get in the way.
I assume it was
unsettling for her to read the news
whenever we got arrested on our cop tour.
I tried to call her in advance to say:
"Yeah, we got arrested. It's okay."
"We're at the station for writing music."
She was more or less calm afterward.
But she was scared at the time.
My mom often tells me, "Yura, keep your head down where you can."
Do you get that?
My mom gets upset even whenever we
keep away from political events or statements,
or don't perform somewhere.
It usually upsets her.
Because she's a proactive citizen like me,
but I'm an artist first, which is why I do
the things I find fitting for the project.
Whereas she goes: "Why don't you go? Show your support."
I'm guessing she went to the free election rally on her own?
♪ This air is harder to breathe with each year ♪
[IC3PEAK] ["THE MARCH"] ♪ This air is harder to breathe with each year ♪
[IC3PEAK] ["THE MARCH"] ♪ I do not wish to kill people, you hear ♪
♪ I do not wish to kill people, you hear ♪
♪ No invitation, they enter my home ♪
♪ New proclamation and newly passed law ♪
"No invitation, they enter my home."
"New proclamation and newly passed law."
[*To the Russian Constitution.] Like the amendments*.
It's about the commonplace practice in this country,
wherein they pass certain laws
without asking the nation
and certainly not aimed at improving people's lives,
but instead to control them with force
and to introduce more restrictions.
No one asks you. Everything's decided for you.
You just say "hello" to whoever comes into your home.
What can be done about it?
I guess, we need to speak up.
Despite this feeling that you mean nothing and can't do anything,
you need to start by nurture in yourself
the ability to talk about the things that bother you without fear.
Find a way to teach yourself
to talk back,
to say no, to say what's bothering you
and discuss it with others!
The issue is that it's more than just taking to the streets that people are scared of,
going to a protest or a rally or something.
If we're talking radical solutions, even though they're not radical at all.
But sometimes, people feel like you shouldn't talk about this.
Why bring it up?
First, that's lazy. You just don't wanna bother.
Second, it could be the burden of the Soviet past where
you didn't talk about politics publicly,
only at home and only with people you really, really trusted.
(title card music)
How free are you financially?
- Free enough for what? - Just free.
We can shoot music videos that we like.
Which is the main thing, actually.
We're not constrained by budgets.
Our two latest videos didn't have set budgets.
We wanted to do something not matter how much it cost.
How much did they cost you?
Both pretty expensive. Over a mil.
[*~$15,000 at the time of making.] - Over a million rubles each*. - Yeah.
And this is not label money or someone else's?
- No, we're not signed. - Uh-huh.
There are no ads in them?
No, no ads.
It's all live shows and streaming.
- Look. There are no shows and probably won't be until next year. - Yep.
- Do you make enough off streaming to not worry about money? - Yes.
Thing is, we have lots of listeners abroad.
Which is actually a big factor in how much money we make off streaming.
I understand one American listener...
- One play of a song in the US is times more expensive than in Russia? - Yes.
How many times?
I don't know exactly.
I know it's... orders much.
[Monthly subscription to Apple Music] [costs 169 rubles (~$2.40) in Russia] [In the US, $9.99] I don't think it's very fair.
[Monthly subscription to Apple Music] [costs 169 rubles (~$2.40) in Russia] [In the US, $9.99] It's justified economically, but still very weird.
It's justified economically, but still very weird.
Because I'd love for Russian listeners to be equally...
precious both spiritually and financially.
I wish that was the case. But it isn't.
Sort of like the pinnacle of capitalism.
I mean, it's to the point...
- Economic segregation? - Yeah. So bad that it just doesn't sit right.
On the other hand, I'm glad we have listeners abroad.
♪ I drown my eyes in kerosene ♪
♪ Let it all burn, let it all burn ♪
♪ All eyes in Russia are on me ♪
♪ Let it all burn, let it all burn ♪
♪ I drown my eyes in kerosene ♪ (I drown my eyes in kerosene)
♪ Let it all burn, let it all burn ♪ (Let it all burn, let it all burn)
♪ All eyes in Russia are on me ♪ (All eyes in Russia are on me)
♪ Let it all burn, let it all burn ♪ (Let it all burn, let it all burn)
Nikita Mihalkov said this video cost between $30 and $50 thousand.
Yeah, I laughed hard.
[In December of 2018, Nikita Mihalkov released an episode] [of his show Besogon TV where he tried to figure out] [the message of the song Death No More. He came] [to the conclusion that there's no point in banning] [IC3PEAK's shows, but said the young people lacked] [proper morals and understanding of sanctity,] [sin and shame] But we were happy that Mihalkov praised our work,
[In December of 2018, Nikita Mihalkov released an episode] [of his show Besogon TV where he tried to figure out] [the message of the song Death No More. He came] [to the conclusion that there's no point in banning] [IC3PEAK's shows, but said the young people lacked] [proper morals and understanding of sanctity,] [sin and shame] even said it was high quality.
[In December of 2018, Nikita Mihalkov released an episode] [of his show Besogon TV where he tried to figure out] [the message of the song Death No More. He came] [to the conclusion that there's no point in banning] [IC3PEAK's shows, but said the young people lacked] [proper morals and understanding of sanctity,] [sin and shame] A talented director knows talent when he sees it.
A talented director knows talent when he sees it.
How much did it actually cost?
[*~$3,800 at the time of release.] 250,000 rubles*.
It's not a lot for something like that.
♪ I am walking down the street with black makeup ♪
♪ This town's almost always cold, folks are hateful ♪
♪ I have nothing to look forward to ♪
♪ But you'll come for me, so I wait for you ♪
From the very start, we wanted to maintain a balance,
because the music and the visuals are vital parts of a whole.
- It's an audiovisual... - Experience? Sensation?
Yes, it's an audiovisual experience.
You direct your videos yourselves?
- Yes, we... - Do you edit too?
We write the script together.
We direct together.
Kolia does the editing.
Before that, I do the storyboards.
But we discuss every stage of production, of course.
We don't instruct each other or something.
But then I also do the visual design —
stuff like our outfits and makeup.
But again, we discuss it.
I also do color adjustment.
So you do colors on this computer?
Originally I did it myself, though on another machine,
but now it's me and our cameraman.
I do key frame references, he does the rest of work.
I like Parajanov.
He was a Soviet director from Georgia.
[Sergey Parajanov (1924-1990) was a Soviet director,] [screenwriter and artist. His works include] [Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1965)] [and The Color of Pomegranates (1969)] He created video art.
[Sergey Parajanov (1924-1990) was a Soviet director,] [screenwriter and artist. His works include] [Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1965)] [and The Color of Pomegranates (1969)] His work balanced between cinema and art. Video art.
His work balanced between cinema and art. Video art.
- Childish Gambino. This is America. Is that modern art? - Yes, of course.
Childish Gambino is an awesome...
Donald Glover is an awesome actor overall.
He had some great projects prior.
He has a great TV show. I forget the name.
- Atlanta. - Yes.
He's played some cool parts. Take Community.
I love that show.
I love its writing.
I love Dan Harmon. He's one of the screenwriters.
He's currently working on Rick and Morty.
He co-created the show with Justin Roiland. They work on it together.
They have a sizable team, but they're the backbone.
He was one of the writers on Community too.
I love the writing there.
Donald Glover's career started with that show.
(title card music)
I'd say this is a historic episode in terms of visuals,
given the contrast between my and the guests' appearances.
Too bad you're not wearing a telniashka.
I hope you don't mine overly casual style.
Not at all. I think if you were to squat down on that log,
that would make for a pretty and perfectly natural look.
Does this visual style reflect your actual outlook on the world and reality
or are they deliberate character outfits,
which you exploit because the audience digs them?
I'll speak for myself. I love dressing like this.
I love this look.
So you'll go out with your friends dressed like this,
same boots, same shirt?
For the most part, yes.
Speaking for myself too, I actually have an issue,
which is that I can't differentiate
between character and real life.
This is an issue because leaving the stage or the set,
I remain pretty much the same person.
This can be hard on me emotionally,
leads to bouts of depression and so on.
If I do exaggerate some things artistically or poetically, it's minimal.
So if in another world — in another world! —
I asked you out, you'd have gone like this?
- I might've worn red lipstick instead of black. - (Kolia) Excuse me.
It would depend on how much I like you.
You said you liberally used Russian folklore in your work.
Russian fairy tales in particular.
♪ I'm from spooky Russian stories ♪ ♪ Doesn't matter where you're from ♪
♪ Daylight doesn't really scare me ♪ ♪ This gloom can't be overcome ♪
You also said that many archetypes used in those seemingly old tales
still persist and stand strong.
- Yes. - Like what?
For example, the gender paradigm,
which we to this day adhere to.
That the man is on top?
Not that he's on top, but that's he's the conqueror and the provider.
All fairy tales are about the journey of a man.
The woman is usually faced with trials and hardships,
but their ultimate purpose is that she meets this man.
I haven't found any other scenarios. (chuckles)
The female's role is generally rather passive.
She either suffers and waits
or takes on a more active role,
again, by facing certain challenges
to help her savior catch up to her
and ultimately give her her "happily ever after."
I mean, female characters in fairy tales
can be very strong, complex, even domineering,
but they still exist within a patriarchal paradigm.
Their value can simply lie in their looks,
or they're a prize you win on top of some land.
I mean, what else is there to say?
Isn't it the same in other cultures?
It's exactly the same in many cultures, particularly European.
I'm not exactly an expert on world folklore and the history of myths,
but women are typically auxiliaries to men.
You don't like that.
I do indeed care more about a different role.
I like the governing position, so to speak.
I mean I don't mind a man in that position either.
I just think that roles need to be distributed based on people's qualities,
not by the adage: "Your gender is this, so you act like so."
You can be soft and meek,
and prone to emotions typical for women,
and be fine with it, without feeling shame or breaking yourself,
or pretending to be some ultra- masculine, brutish conqueror,
slowly corrupting your identity until eventually
you're not able to feel real emotions anymore.
In other words, if a woman likes being feminine, and gentle, and fragile
and being the man's auxiliary, and both are fine with it,
If that's her choice, of course.
If she wants that, sure.
If she doesn't, if she's not okay with it...
Again, we live within a paradigm,
where women who wanna take on atypical social roles
find it more difficult to prove that they have the right to it.
Even when you objectively have all the necessary qualities and skills,
they don't always take you seriously,
because to them, your gender speaks for you.
You come in, and they see that you're a woman.
And you need to prove that you're not just a woman,
but also a match to a man at something.
Whereas a man standing next to you doesn't need to prove that.
It's easier for them.
I wanna live in a society where this issue doesn't exist,
where you don't need the extra steps and the extra effort.
If we take my formative years,
after I graduated from my IT lyceum,
I went on to study cybernetics.
I was one of the few girls in our class.
We had great professors who didn't care about the talented student's gender.
But some were old fashioned,
usually they were older men
who constantly made jokes about you.
They'd say: "Don't strain yourself with this stuff."
"You'll be some sort of manager anyway."
"All you need to do to get an A is dress nice to the exam."
You know? These types of nasty comments.
One might say it was funny or trivial,
but stuff like that either creates a barrier,
sucking the will out of you to pursue this job altogether,
or it can make you overly lax.
You start thinking: "Hey, I AM a girl. I can just wear a miniskirt to the exam."
You start playing by these rules, smiling and acting coquettish.
I think that's not okay either, because it gets in the way of your growth.
You find sneaky alternate solutions that also work,
but you don't grow as a person and just stagnate.
I think it's a necessary movement.
It's natural and reasonable.
And I'm glad that the waves of feminism that had swept the world years ago
are finally reaching Russia.
I think they're imperative.
Russia's starting to see positive change in this direction,
but women's rights are still being infringed upon,
and this movement, feminism, will most certainly benefit everyone,
not just women.
Patriarchy is not just infringing on women's rights.
It's simply an outdated ideology.
It's not just men infringing on women's rights.
I'm not entirely comfortable living in a patriarchal society either.
For example, I wanna be safe wearing makeup outside.
I wanna wear nail polish.
Maybe I wanna wear skirts.
And kiss guys outside.
But you can't really do that in Moscow.
Many Russians are wary of the topic of feminism
because many feminists broadcast radical opinions,
so people are like, "I'm not touching this."
"I can't/won't discuss something this spicy."
Some just go, "They're crazies."
Can you suggest a couple of feminists anyone could follow
to adjust their views and get into this matter more peacefully?
First, I'd like to say a few words in defense of radicalism.
I think this initial aggressive opposition is a totally natural reaction,
'cause you're so sick and tired of sexism and gender pressure
that you wanna push back.
It's a sort of natural anger.
That's why you act this way.
Yes, it may push people away,
but many eventually transition to a more peaceful stance,
because they realize that a sensible dialogue is more effective
that just shouting "you all suck."
So who's a good listen
for people who stay away from this subject
but could potentially get into it more?
I think Tania does great work these days,
the Gentle Editor, with her show Girl Friends
where they present some really important subjects
in a very benign, accessible and even fun fashion.
Certainly, one of the subjects is feminism.
I agree that patriarchy has to be destroyed,
but I disagree that men should go away with it.
I don't know who says that.
- I don't know these people. - I don't know these people.
Those people don't exist.
I think it's a myth created by haters who hear the word "feminism" and...
- It's fake news! - It's not true!
Men are great!
I'd say across all the semi- entertainment shows
that you could easily pick up,
this one's among the best.
Tanechka! (blows a kiss)
Best wishes to you!
You live together.
But... what are you to each other?
We're the closest people out there to each other, in every sense.
- Pals, pallesses... - We're a band.
We're a band, and everything else stems from it.
How long have you known each other?
I feel like we've known each other forever.
You grew up next door?
We grew up together, yes.
Into the people we are today.
We love that people don't know who we are to each other.
- It's fun. - We HAVE known each other pretty much forever.
We were growing up and evolving together.
- It's just that when I was asking around... - Uh-huh?
...I was told that you keep this a mystery,
but that you're 100% not a couple.
Maybe. Maybe not.
And then we kiss! (all three laugh)
I recently learned the term "geriatric mom."
Yeah, I read about it too.
[In an interview with Moscow Speaking radio, the head] [of the Union of Russian Women and former member] [of the Federation Council Yekaterina Lahova called] [women who give birth after 30 "geriatric moms"] Your thoughts?
[In an interview with Moscow Speaking radio, the head] [of the Union of Russian Women and former member] [of the Federation Council Yekaterina Lahova called] [women who give birth after 30 "geriatric moms"]
[In an interview with Moscow Speaking radio, the head] [of the Union of Russian Women and former member] [of the Federation Council Yekaterina Lahova called] [women who give birth after 30 "geriatric moms"] - I mean... - Getting ready to become a geriatric mom?
[In an interview with Moscow Speaking radio, the head] [of the Union of Russian Women and former member] [of the Federation Council Yekaterina Lahova called] [women who give birth after 30 "geriatric moms"] Well, I'll definitely be a geriatric mom if I ever decide to have children.
Well, I'll definitely be a geriatric mom if I ever decide to have children.
But first, I don't plan to, in the nearest future.
And I don't plan to at all.
To me, it's some kind of... I just find it funny.
I realize some might find the name offensive.
On the other hand, being a geriatric mom is somewhat cool even.
'Cause there's a lot of talk about having kids before a certain age
and that's it's very difficult to have children after a certain age
without any complications.
But this is yet another instance of
"the woman is not even a human being;
"she's a tool that's good for something until a certain point,
"beyond which she can't perform her primary 'function' anymore,
"and why does she exist then?"
For no good reason?
I find her statement absolutely appalling,
[YEKATERINA LAHOVA:] [I believe that if schools and families were smarter] [about this matter, girls would've known that ] [after 30, we consider them geriatric moms] though I was more outraged by the idea that women
[YEKATERINA LAHOVA:] [I believe that if schools and families were smarter] [about this matter, girls would've known that ] [after 30, we consider them geriatric moms] must be raised as soon-to-be mothers,
[YEKATERINA LAHOVA:] [I believe that if schools and families were smarter] [about this matter, girls would've known that ] [after 30, we consider them geriatric moms] while career and education are whatever.
[YEKATERINA LAHOVA:] [I believe that if schools and families were smarter] [about this matter, girls would've known that ] [after 30, we consider them geriatric moms] - I found THAT outrageous. - Absolutely.
But you have to agree that this ugly shell carried a medical truth —
that it's EASIER to have kids until a certain age.
Yeah, it's true.
- But medicine evolves. - True that.
There's a ton of ways today to extend this age.
So it's not that bad, actually.
Besides, what's more important —
leaving behind a genetic footprint
or raising the next generation?
There are kids out there who need motherly and fatherly love,
and they don't have to have been created by you.
So I don't quite understand this whole conflict, to be honest.
If you ever decide to start a family, you'll probably be adopting?
I've been in this camp for years now.
Yes, if I ever start a family, I'm not having my own kids.
I don't wanna give birth.
Waste of time?
I don't know if I can give a rational explanation,
but I simply don't have this want, or this need.
I don't have the desire to give birth.
At the same time, the idea to give someone my care,
to help them out, to raise them,
it doesn't scare me; it's actually attractive.
I just don't think I'm ready to start a family yet.
I don't know if I ever will be.
Maybe eventually, it'll come to me.
Are there any other archetypes?
Is there anything in fairy tales to explain why we are like this?
Well, there's the archetype of some
that you need to confront and push back.
All fairy tales are fundamentally about good versus evil.
But these concepts are pretty outdated too.
'Cause these days...
Like, when you think about what good and evil mean.
The world is not black and white.
There are numerous shades in between them.
Everyone has their own definition.
Whereas in fairy tales, they're simple and dumbed down:
this is bad, this is good. These things are changing.
But for some, this remains their paradigm of the world.
- "Enemies all around?" - Yes. "Some people are good, some are bad."
In reality, people are both good and bad at the same time.
(title card music)
Skrillex plays Sad Bitch.
(remix of Sad Bitch playing)
[Skrillex is an American musician, DJ and] [producer, winner of eight Emmys] How did you learn about it?
[Skrillex is an American musician, DJ and] [producer, winner of eight Emmys]
[Skrillex is an American musician, DJ and] [producer, winner of eight Emmys] From a direct message.
That's how I normally find out that someone's playing us —
people start flooding you with messages.
"Did you know that X is playing or listening to your track in a story?"
He actually did a remix after discussing it with us.
He said he loved the track and was going to play it.
We gave him the OK.
He's a world-class dubstep artist.
We're in the room where the music is created.
Here, out of nothing, comes the something that someone like Skrillex puts in his sets.
In reality, all the things you see around you are unnecessary.
All you need is a computer and a pair of headphones.
Which is what I often do.
Only when I get bored, I start using non-essential things.
Showing off a little?
- Not exactly... - Adding a little chic?
More like adding fun.
I get bored working with a mouse
and I wanna touch and turn something.
This is what my work mostly looks like.
You just sit down and work with the mouse.
You can record, you can edit here.
- Like anywhere else. - What's this program called?
This is Ableton.
Can you give me a tour of your hardware?
I touched this thing before we started rolling,
and I must say, I don't often get tactile experiences this intense.
I mean there ARE things I like touching just as much.
This is really cool.
Been a while since I've seen a piece like this. What is it?
It's a keyboard.
But the way it works is... there's no scale.
It's basically a nanopiano?
- Miniaturized. - Well... Basically.
It lets you do a lot of things.
It's not a set of keys; it's a seamless sheet
that lets you do all kinds of things.
Is it okay if I stroke it time to time while you talk?
Absolutely. Keep stroking. It should purr soon.
It's my Akai. It's mostly for live shows.
The reason it's here is because it looks nice.
It plays samples.
I mean, since I write and play all the music myself,
unfortunately, I can't play all the instruments at once.
So some of the instruments are pre-recorded
and I just put on individual parts as needed.
For example, I have my drums here...
although I usually play drums live.
- So you play on this piece of plastic on your shows. - Yeah.
Wait, does Akai still exist?
To me, Akai means VCRs and TVs that Spartak promoted in late '90s.
No, Akai makes all kinds of musical hardware.
They offer a pretty sizable assortment of shit.
What is this thing?
The synth on top is a module,
a disassembled module synth.
(Dud) It's a synthesizer?
Yes, it's a noise synthesizer.
It works fine even like this,
but you wanna keep building it so it can do more stuff.
The one on the bottom is more exciting.
It's an analogue synthesizer. They're made in Japan by a friend of mine.
He founded his own company.
And now everyone uses his synthesizers:
from Aphex Twin to the composer of Star Wars.
They named one of the planets in the recent Star Wars after one of his synths.
In electronic music, I like a lot of early industrial.
I like Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV...
I believe today, all of hip-hop, and all musical genres really, are actually electronic.
From the recent electronic works, I really liked the production on Billie Eilish's album.
It's got very pedantic, very subtle
and very silence-savvy production.
I love that in a work.
- Yeah! I believe it's much harder to work with silence than with... - Noise?
...some kind of substance. Silence is tougher.
When you're writing music, do you ever realize that the beat's gonna be a hit?
- Yes. - How do you know?
It's just a gut feeling.
Sometimes I feel that...
- "This is gonna rock?" - Yeah. And sometimes, it doesn't.
When you were writing Sad Bitch, did you know that it's gonna rock?
Or Death No More?
That they're gonna be super popular?
[Sad Bitch - 25 million views] [Death No More - 45 million views] Hmm... No.
[Sad Bitch - 25 million views] [Death No More - 45 million views] Death No More didn't feel like that.
[Sad Bitch - 25 million views] [Death No More - 45 million views] Sad Bitch did.
Keep in mind, I don't write songs on my own.
Nastia records the vocal parts.
And so a lot of it is her.
And she usually works after I'd completed a chunk.
So I normally know if it's gonna turn out good after Nastia has recorded the vocals.
If I like this chunk, then yeah.
So if we recorded a track right now that's not a demo,
but something you planned to flesh out,
you'd take that chunk
and send it over to Nastia?
Yes. I'd make a more or less finished fragment and send it to Nastia.
How long do you write a beat? Let's say, Boo-Hoo?
- The whole track? - The musical bed.
About 3 or 4 days.
The March was very quick.
- A day. - A day? - Yeah.
So you put it together, send it over to Nastia, and she adds the lyrics?
- Yeah. Also, after she's written the lyrics, the music often changes too. - Yeah?
You modify it a little?
Yeah. Sometimes, a lot, actually.
Sometimes, I completely rewrite the music.
This happens too.
(title card music)
We had one show in Brazil. This was a while ago.
It was great. It was in São Paulo.
We spent two weeks there.
Your memories from other countries are usually the people.
I remember that in Brazil,
pretty much 24/7, someone was hugging me, or I was hugging or kissing someone.
Not in any sort of erotic sense.
It's just what they do.
They hug, and kiss, and touch each other.
A very tactile nation.
How many people came in São Paulo?
I'd say about 500.
- 500 people came to see IC3PEAK? - Yep.
They were mostly Russian speakers, I assume?
There were next to no Russian speakers in the audience.
How does this work?
You go to Brazil. For a single show too.
How did that happen?
Some event manager who really wanted to do this show brought us over.
- American? Russian? Brazilian? - Brazilian.
We've toured the US.
We've done many European tours.
We did a stop in Mexico.
- The Chinese tour. - Yeah.
You played to locals or our expats?
A bit of both.
But there were a lot of Russians.
There's a pretty large Russian community in China, and it's growing.
You had a music video that you shot in Brazil...
but deleted from your channel.
We didn't delete it. We hid it.
♪ Unless you don't wanna back ♪
♪ Unless you don't wanna ♪
♪ I can be anything you want ♪
Why did you hide it?
Because it's very different to what we do these days in terms of visual style.
And it just doesn't match the...
Sometimes, you look at your old works and think that they're very cool conceptually,
and it's an idea that we wanted to share at the time,
but the quality was honestly subpar.
And you feel kinda embarrassed for it
and you wanna hide it from the view.
Quality or a different image?
No, the quality was... so-so.
We were just starting out. We were testing our potential.
Just didn't work out so great.
At the time, we were happy with it.
But compared to the videos we make these days, it's not very good, so...
It's not the only music video we've hidden.
We have something like 4 more videos where we studied all kinds of...
human flexibility and stuff — they're all hidden.
Why does it show guys kissing?
We released it right after they passed the law against gay propaganda.
This was our middle finger to this law.
[In 2013, Russia passed a law banning "propaganda of] [non-traditional sexual relations among minors."] [It let the authorities persecute people like lawyers] [that defend LGBT youths and the creators of Real Talk] [YouTube channel where children asked] [a gay person questions] This was our middle finger to this law.
[In 2013, Russia passed a law banning "propaganda of] [non-traditional sexual relations among minors."] [It let the authorities persecute people like lawyers] [that defend LGBT youths and the creators of Real Talk] [YouTube channel where children asked] [a gay person questions] We were going to Brazil and decided to make a video
[In 2013, Russia passed a law banning "propaganda of] [non-traditional sexual relations among minors."] [It let the authorities persecute people like lawyers] [that defend LGBT youths and the creators of Real Talk] [YouTube channel where children asked] [a gay person questions] to show how beautiful all forms of love are.
[In 2013, Russia passed a law banning "propaganda of] [non-traditional sexual relations among minors."] [It let the authorities persecute people like lawyers] [that defend LGBT youths and the creators of Real Talk] [YouTube channel where children asked] [a gay person questions] And I think we succeeded overall.
And I think we succeeded overall.
Just not in terms of technique.
But they're great guys. We still keep in touch.
And we really wanna go back to Brazil, but you can't at the moment.
These guys from the queer community were the people
who came to our show.
Originally, we wanted to shoot this video in Russia,
but because it wasn't clear how this law would be applied,
we were afraid this could get people in trouble.
And since our show in Brazil was approaching,
we told the guys flying us in about the idea,
and they said: "Awesome! Let's do it over here!"
When we got there,
things just fell into place, and we shot that video.
It was really fun, and the atmosphere was great.
I loved the guys that we worked with.
Very similar way of thinking to ours.
It was like coming to a Russia where it's warm
and the people, instead of holding their emotions inside,
spill 'em out.
Like when people here drink vodka and get drunk and start hugging everyone —
in Brazil, they just do it.
- The sun is their vodka? - Yep.
It's that simple.
I don't love putting labels on myself,
but I'm a part of the queer community.
So I felt this law didn't just affect my friends or something.
It affected me too.
Kolia shares my views on this.
Queer community? You're bisexual then?
I love all kinds of people.
I mean I realized it'd take ages to figure out all the genders,
whom I like and don't like.
I just came to the conclusion that I like people
regardless of their sex, race and what they identify as themselves.
But you're sexually attracted to both males and females?
Yes. I can be sexually attracted to anyone.
What was the most unusual person that you've met thanks to your popularity?
We recently became friends with Pabllo Vittar.
He's a celebrity from Latin America.
Turned out, he loved our music, which was a surprise.
We might even produce something together.
- They're a queer celebrity? - Yeah, yeah.
You guys hang out with the queer community.
You make music videos supporting them.
What's your relation to the queer crowd?
The queer crowd isn't always about gender or sexuality.
It's typically about a certain outlook.
I consider myself a part of the queer crowd in that sense.
Sexual orientation is a spectrum.
There's are no purely heterosexual
or homosexual people, for example.
- Nastia plainly said she was bisexual. - Yeah. - You?
I think I'm more heterosexual.
You wear makeup outside, right?
Do you like it or is it a part of the image you and Nastia invented?
No, I do like it.
It's like a mask you can swap.
Or you can take it off
if you gotta take the subway or want to go to the market.
Though it can be fun this way too.
How do they react at the market?
They barely do, actually.
There are of course some rare radical rascals
who are especially uncomfortable with it.
- I checked out male manicure. - Yeah.
ASAP Rocky's fingernails and some other people's.
I think it's awesome!
Yeah. It's cool, it's fun.
Do you do it?
Yeah, yeah. I tried doing manicure multiple times.
But I'm a fledgling still.
Getting my nails done is something I'm planning.
Guys, we coming?
(Linkov, cameraman 1) I did mine for the wedding.
Not the filing-type manicure. I mean painting!
- Wedding, he says. - What color?
No, get this. I saw a lot of them with stuff like the American flag.
With my love for the tricolor, I'd gladly paint the flag,
skulls, all that jazz!
Man, this is awesome! So many opportunities!
- Imagine those bikers, something-Wolves?.. - Night.
Imagine those Night Wolves with manicure
with wolves, the tricolor — that'd be cool.
- So many opportunities for this finger too! - Yeah.
You can paint whatever you want on it depending on the situation.
It's so awesome!
Yeah. Like hearts.
Like hearts. Yeah.
So... We're getting our nails done, right?
Boys, get your nails done.
Seriogas, you? Serioga?
- (Firsov, cameraman 2) Let's do it. - No. Too fast, or you in?
(Firsov) This one.
You can start with the middle one.
(Firsov) Yeah. (ding)
- Not ready? - (Linkov) Nope.
Okay. Three to one.
(Linkov) Who knows what comes next after hearts and skulls!
- You approve? - Of course. Why not?
I'm very much in favor of male makeup and beautification,
because it's just another way of expressing yourself,
like clothing, like hairstyles, like mustaches —
all the typical male things.
- The male makeup tradition has been around for ages. - Really?
Take places like France.
- Where you... - Powdered your face? - Yeah.
It was considered pretty.
And it was, and still is pretty.
If you wanna... Doesn't mean everyone has to!
If you wanna wear makeup, you shouldn't be afraid of being shamed
or that if you paint your nails, they'll call you names
and snicker behind your back.
Serioga, we'll see what happens in the hood.
(title card music)
(footsteps, bird chirping)
(Dud) Guys, what is this place?
It's a pet cemetery.
It's got a lot of cute headstones for kitties and doggies.
I do find it very cute.
And it's not that sad.
- Not that sad? - No.
I think it's sad when dead pets are just forgotten.
Here, they're remembered.
How do you feel about cemeteries and the whole ritualistic ordeal?
Death itself scares me. Me and everyone else, I think.
Funeral attributes don't.
I think they're beautiful, intriguing and unique.
In Russia... in particular.
- You mean our funerals? - Yeah, yeah.
For example, we have a tradition
to invite professional wailers
who show up to cry.
They get paid for it.
They're usually old women from the next village.
What they do is show up and cry their eyes out.
Attributes of Slavic funerals in general are quite fascinating.
I think there's something important to be said about wailers.
In our culture, you typically don't show too much emotion at funerals.
You need to be reserved.
And if you start wailing yourself,
it's sort of considered bad manners.
That's why there are people for that.
So you don't just not talk about death...
Death is not just a taboo subject that you don't talk about —
you're also supposed to act in a certain way when you face death.
18 months ago you did an interview with Tania.
You said you were using the coffin from the music video as a house decoration.
- First, I thought you were kidding. Second, you've moved since then. - Uh-huh.
We have this piece of the coffin that used to house my head left.
There's a shot where Kolia saws the coffin,
and in the close-up, my head falls out.
- And you used it as?.. - Yeah. I...
The previous part, I...
The bigger half of the coffin did indeed sit at our old place
on top of a cupboard, filled with personal things.
It looked pretty nice too.
- This is more like a... - Souvenir?
This is like a video prop corner,
because inside this piece...
I'd call it a "doll coffin,"
because this is us from our last video Boo-Hoo
where we were dolls.
These are the dolls. Obviously, we kept them.
And now they live here.
- Huh! Cute. - Yep.
I see you've got a censer here too.
Yes. This censer was a gift from a very religious friend.
I have a religious friend, Nikita Zabelin.
[Nikita Zabelin is a techno dj] This was his gift.
[Nikita Zabelin is a techno dj]
[Nikita Zabelin is a techno dj] Do you go to church?
I don't go to church,
but I really love the holy day of Easter for the Crucession,
because the Crucession reminds me of a rave party a lot.
I love that it's the only...
Easter is the only major happy Orthodox Christian holiday.
I love the fact that people gather,
they're happy, they can't wait to finally be done with the Lent. (both laugh)
A rave party?!
Yes. It's a lot like a rave party, isn't it?
I mean, the procession IS loud and impressive.
Church, temple or club —
there's barely any difference.
- 'Cause people go there... - For the atmosphere?
No. Not for the atmosphere. They want unity.
They seek people.
To not be alone. To escape loneliness.
I think those places are similar in that today.
The club replaced the church.
You spend your childhood in a church. Is that correct?
I mean I didn't "spend" my childhood in a church.
My mom was in the church choir.
I was little. Can't just leave the kid at home, can you?
She'd take me with her, and yeah, I'd wander the place.
I can't say this was entertaining,
because, as I said, they're strict about your behavior.
As a restless child that touches, and yanks, and licks everything,
you obviously get slapped on the wrist and scolded a lot.
But I still made myself useful, helped around.
I enjoy the atmosphere in the church.
It's familiar in a way.
What I love the most about temple interiors is the incredible acoustics.
It's like the subway. (chuckles)
Oftentimes, when I'm alone at a station, I suddenly want to sing.
I get the musicians who sing there.
It's got great acoustics. You just wanna.
Same with churches.
They're built in such a way that the voice sounds more grand and echoey.
What's your current take on religion?
I guess I understand the point of religion in the context of history.
But I'm not religious myself.
And I'm interested in religion as a work of fiction.
I love exploring it, this ancient fictional world
with its own narratives, characters and straightforward archetypes.
But I don't believe in God.
Haven't for a long time.
- For a long time? - I mean I never believed.
I don't mean that I used to believe but then turned to the dark side.
Why does humanity need religion?
The Bible, or any other religious text, is a collection of public and moral laws
that tells people how to act
so the society functions more or less steadily.
That was the purpose.
But today I see religious texts as nothing more than works of fiction.
But they're still fascinating to explore
to figure out the origins of some of the social constructs
that still exist and still somewhat dictate our lives.
You bring up the topic of death, which is taboo here. But is it?
Yes. I believe...
People in this country usually tiptoe around discussions of death.
Death is considered a tragedy,
albeit in religion, it isn't necessarily,
because there's hope for a better life out there somewhere.
But only if you've met certain conditions in this life.
Like any traumatic experience, death's usually swept under the rug.
So are you worries concerning it.
I believe these things need to be discussed
so people have an easier time dealing with them.
First, obviously, death is a part of life.
I find you wanna think about it as something that is there and exists,
and not be terrified by it.
'Cause some people are so afraid of death and try to suppress this fear so hard
that they can't enjoy a peaceful moment when they're on their own.
- So afraid of death that they can't enjoy life? - Yeah, exactly.
I think there's a huge divide between thoughts of death and self-reflection.
They're completely different.
Death is indeed the engine of progress.
I believe so.
(Nastia) More like fear of death.
I mean, death is the cause of fear, so...
People do everything in their power to delay it as much as possible.
- Think of medicine. - Yeah.
Or art. To leave something behind.
Some choose this solution.
Some hectically try as many things as possible.
Some try to forget.
Some believe that there's something else after death.
That's why the entirety of human culture is built around death.
♪ I kiss you though you're dead ♪
[IC3PEAK] ["I KISS YOUR CORPSE"] ♪ I kiss you though you're dead ♪
[IC3PEAK] ["I KISS YOUR CORPSE"] ♪ I thought you were my friend ♪
♪ I thought you were my friend ♪
♪ I am all alone instead ♪
♪ I am all alone instead ♪
Yes, it's about loneliness and the depressive state
where you feel like you don't have anyone close
and you're all alone in this world
with no one to share your... not even issues necessarily —
just things that bother you or amaze you or something.
- You're just alone. - Do you feel lonely?
I'd say I don't have any friends in the conventional sense.
I have acquaintances,
but not people I could come to with a problem or a grievance
or seeking advice. I don't have those.
But I can't say that people around me are to blame.
I guess it's just a feature of my personality.
It's hard for me to open up to people. (laughs)
Easy to the camera though. (laughs)
Do you ever get depressed?
Mmm... Yes, I do.
Depression definitely exists.
And it's not something made up or inflated.
It's not some brooding state of sadness.
Depression is a real disorder that requires treatment, not necessarily with pills.
There are different solutions and stages of depression.
But it's certainly not a delusion.
It's a real issue.
And it's probably the #1 disorder of our era.
Why do you think it is?
I guess, for many reasons.
Particularly, because we all live in big bustling cities.
We're completely cut off from nature and our inherent rhythm.
Lots of information, lots of light.
All these things produce this effect.
We can't keep up with the rapidly changing world, technology
and the pace.
- Capitalism is a big part too. - Uh-huh.
Big reason rather. Capitalism makes you...
- ...Go fast to survive? - Yeah. You chase success, money...
You never have any spare time.
You're always afraid you won't reach certain success milestones in time,
and generally, that you won't survive or end up homeless or something.
This causes perpetual agitation and emotional burnouts,
which lead to depression.
All this talk that people have become more prone to depression,
that times are grim,
that the world's spinning out of control
has to do with the acceleration of the digital era.
More information means more negative information.
And people are built in such a way that we prioritize negative information over positive.
'Cause if you were walking through a savanna 20,000 years ago
and saw leaves rustling in the tree,
you were better of suspecting a jaguar rather than a magpie.
That's why people do...
- Not much has changed in 20 years. - 20 thousand.
- In 20 thousand years. - ...not much has changed, yeah.
People do pay more attention to negative things.
I recently read a book by Steven Pinker
called Enlightenment Now.
It's about science and why it's so important.
At the end of it... It's a great book. Everyone should read it.
There's a great .pdf at the end with a bunch of diagrams.
It's a brilliant collection of diagrams.
- A PDF file. Visuals. - Yeah.
There's a great PDF file
with a brilliant collection of diagrams
that show why life today is better
and gets better every year everywhere.
For example, mortality rates are going down.
More people on average go to schools
and get better educated.
They learn foreign languages and travel more.
Because the media are so focused on negative events,
you get the impression that everything's terrible.
In reality, things are better than before.
I think the "everything is terrible" mindset is not very productive.
It's much more productive to notice positive shifts and repeat or even one-up them.
Trying to build a better world on some burnt ruins won't do anyone any good.
This was like an anti- revolution shot, man!
There's a ton of radical movements these days.
Everyone got radicalized.
I believe that neither Trotskyists nor fascists are the way forward.
They're ways backward.
Do you get depressed?
I used to, but I learned to overcome them.
- How? - Sport. I'm into sports.
read books, talk to friends,
try to go outside more.
So if you get upset...
No, I run every day.
Oh. Got it.
It pulls you out of... How does it stop you from getting depressed?
It just invigorates you physiologically.
[Runner's high is an elevated state similar to light] [inebriation observed in athletes of cyclic sports] [during prolonged physical activity] Talking about the "runner's euphoria?"
[Runner's high is an elevated state similar to light] [inebriation observed in athletes of cyclic sports] [during prolonged physical activity] Yeah. "Runner's high."
[Runner's high is an elevated state similar to light] [inebriation observed in athletes of cyclic sports] [during prolonged physical activity] It's hard to not run at this point, you know?
(title card music)
Brief questions, not necessarily brief answers.
Best city in Russia?
To me, it's still gotta be Moscow.
- Except Moscow. - I really love Kazan.
I love this city's terrain.
I love how windy it is. I love its mixture of cultures.
The people are interesting because of that too.
Yeah. I love Kazan.
Beautiful city. Nature.
It's interesting in that its people are genuinely different.
What would you invest in if you had a million dollars?
Music and new videos.
More than one, of course.
Probably same as we do know —
music videos and the time to make them.
Three of the most intriguing musicians in the world today?
Do I have to answer that?
Kolia gave a really interesting answer.
People will google after watching.
I'm sure he did.
I just don't like answering questions like,
what do you watch, what do you listen to, what do you like?
People are super lazy and will usually limit themselves
with the artists and performers that you named.
You're enlightening people this way, don't you see?
At the same time, I'm boxing myself in. I don't like doing that.
- IC3PEAK. - Okay. Anyone else?
As trite as it may sound,
but Kanye West is one of the most interesting and talented musicians today.
I love what he does and how he evolves,
and the fact that on every new release, he's radically different from the last,
and how he always shows new facets of his talent.
I actually didn't take him seriously for the longest time.
I thought of him as a very mainstream artist.
But after his album about being bipolar and all the depressive states,
I looked at him from a different angle.
I hope Kolia didn't list Kanye West! (laughs)
And let's say... Frank Ocean.
Why Kanye West?
Because he's an amazing producer.
And an amazing curator of art.
- Are Kanye West's sneakers art too? - Yes.
I don't really like them myself, but yeah, it's art.
The art... The art of style.
She's an awesome curator.
She doesn't write music herself. She works with producers.
At the same time, she has a very clear vision of what she wants to create.
If we're talking pop- or pop-ish musicians.
Otherwise, I obviously love legends like Björk.
She's indisputably great.
I really wanted to see her show in Moscow, but alas, quarantine.
I also loved FKA twigs' last album.
I love her singing style
and the way she works with sound, as a curator as well.
She dances. She has a unique body language.
Which is why her music videos are also centered around
sound and body choreography.
I'm currently very interested in this
because I wanna lean towards this more myself and to work with choreography,
because it has a strong effect on...
Music and the body, the rhythm, are one.
Once you start to see your body in a different light,
you begin to express, or transmit, sound differently too.
Including your singing.
How old will you be in 2036?
I'm 28 now.
My birthday's coming up, and it's confusing.
That's 16 years in the future.
I'll be 44.
I don't usually tell my age.
Not because I'm embarrassed of my... advanced age. (laughs)
I just don't like the concept of age.
I believe there's your physical body, which ages with time,
and there's your social body,
and their ages are completely different. That's one.
Second, by telling your age,
you automatically stick a bunch of labels onto yourself.
Particularly, if you're a girl.
I mean, everyone expects that by a certain age
you need to have achieved this and that.
You need to have a family or a career or whatever.
And you're judged against that.
I like the fact that no one knows how old I am
and that I'm this ageless person.
I find it very liberating.
For me at least.
What do you do when tour managers book you flights?
Tour managers are in the know.
Very few people care about that anyway.
I don't care about people's ages.
I don't care either,
unless they're hiding it.
- But I'm not hiding it! - Then you become a snooping hound!
- Great. Do the math then. - That's it.
Wherein is strength?
I'd say, in empathy.
In the ability to experience empathy.
In the ability to grow your emotional intelligence.
In empathy, yeah.
(title card music)
Contest! Let's start with the prize. What are you giving away?
The photo that we used in our Boo-Hoo video.
It was on the wall in the dollhouse.
- Do you have it with you? - Yeah.
(Dud) Oh! And I was wondering what were the pockets for.
- Right. This is... - That's us with our...
- (Nastia) Sort of. The daughter we adopted for the video. - (Kolia) For the shoot.
(Dud) Did the girl understand what she was a part of?
She knew at the shoot that something was wrong.
But, generally speaking, she did a great job.
And she was great, I'd even say "professional," on the set.
Yeah, she was really fun to work with.
- How old is she? - I think she was 8? No... - 8 or 7.
Did she comment the video afterward?
Her parents did. I believed they liked it.
- There was no negativity if that's what you mean. - Yeah.
Scripts of your videos are always super complex.
A ton of people in the comments try to decipher them
to figure out what you meant to say.
We came up with a simple idea.
Even though you always write and direct your videos yourselves,
why not try to bring someone else in to write a script?
Let's pick a song.
To win this wonderful keepsake,
people will need to leave a reply to the PINNED comment
with a very brief, one-paragraph-long video script for the song we choose.
What do we choose?
How about the song MKAD?
♪ Buried me outside the MKAD road ♪ ♪ (The MKAD road) ♪
[IC3PEAK] [MKAD] ♪ Buried me outside the MKAD road ♪ ♪ (The MKAD road) ♪
[IC3PEAK] [MKAD] ♪ Fed me full of dirt and dew ♪
♪ Fed me full of dirt and dew ♪
♪ But I clawed my way from Hades ♪ ♪ (Ah-ahh) ♪
♪ Now I'm back to torment you ♪ (♪ Torment you ♪)
MKAD. You're not making a video for it?
- (Kolia and Nastia) We don't plan to yet. - Gotcha.
Maybe if there's some superb idea...
Come up with a script for this music video
and reply to the pinned comment.
The suggestion that we like the most — we'll pick together, alright? —
will get this picture.
Now, don't expect that the winner will be made into a video.
That's not a condition.
But if these two love the script so much that they decide to shoot it,
you'll be a co-creator.
Thank you so much, guys! This was fascinating.
- (Kolia) Thank you. Likewise. - (Nastia) Thanks. - (Dud) Thank you so much!