История творчества группы "Ария"
- In the middle of the 80s an enormous number of domestic heavy metal bands came to stage. We could say it was the first wave of Russian Heavy Metal. What can you say about that time? - I just don’t know… I feel nostalgic about those years. Back then we had to constantly be on our toes – we always had some committees or administrators getting in our way. There was this wall that messed with our lives, but our lives were interesting. Right now the wall is gone, and it is not clear what to do next… All people want nowadays is to make some money and retire… Some still have their drive, their energy, but life gets more and more difficult. Apathy is everywhere… From a 1992 interview with Valery Kipelov, Aria’s vocalist Now, in 1999, seven years, two full albums and several independent projects later, Aria is still going strong, filling up the largest stadiums and arenas, and selling out practically every concert. It all started back in 1984, when Vladimir Holstinin, a lead guitar player for a group called ALFA decided that he wanted to play something heavier and left the group in search of others who shared his views. With the help of Alexandr Granovsky, an old friend and a base player, and a lucky meeting with Vladimir Vekshtein who agreed to become their manager, a new group was born. Finding a worthy vocalist was only a matter of time. It did not take too long, since the very first candidate won everybody’s affections. It was Valery Kipelov, a former vocalist for a band called Leisja Pesnja. With Aleksandr L’vov at the drums and Cyrill Pokrovsky at the keyboards the fist album named “Megalomania” was recorded in 1985. The group called themselves Aria, which bore a hidden challenge, since the musicians and the fans alike called themselves “arians” – a name displeasing to the authorities at the time. Despite such a name, the group never associated itself with nazi-type outlook on life. The communists did not even allow printing posters with the bands’ name, but despite the lack of publicity the first album was a hit. It showed the need for heavy metal in the Soviet Union, the unwillingness of young men and women to follow communist propaganda, to listen to the popular music they were presented with on the radio and TV. They were willing to risk their futures and freedoms to live the life they wanted. The tension around Aria was growing, and it turned into a riot at the very first concert of the band in February of ’86, when 40 people ended up in jail. But that was only the beginning. At the “Rock-Panorama” festival same year someone spilled water on the electrical equipment during the band’s performance. The music had to stop for almost an hour, but no one from the audience left. Aria was named the winner of the festival, despite lousy sound and lack of special effects due to water damage. «Melodia» – the official recording studio in USSR – later released LPs recorded at the festival – Aria’s performance was not included on the LPs. Due to that incident, the poets at that time refused to write lyrics for Aria, presuming that none of Aria’s future songs would ever be recorded. In spite of the future looking glum, the band continued touring and getting enormous audiences everywhere it went. At the end of 1986 after recording the next album («Whom Are You With?») disagreements caused the band to split, leaving only Kipelov and Holstinin as members of Aria. Alex Granovsky led the others to create a band called Master, which focused on playing trash metal, while Aria continued to play the melodic heavy metal of their idol, Iron Maiden. The album was named after one of the songs, but the name also signified the break, leaving the fans with a choice to make. Despite the loss of the larger part of the band, its spirit was still strong. About half a year
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