Russian band Little Big: “Maximum disagreement”

Status: 07/03/2022 7:39 p.m

The Russian band Little Big doesn’t want to remain silent about the war against Ukraine – that’s why its members left the country. And the band is far from the only one. But the war also remains her topic abroad.

By Annette Kammerer, Studio Moscow, currently Berlin

On February 24, the day Russia invades Ukraine, Russian rave band Little Big posts a black tile on Instagram. As with many other Russians at the time, only two words can be read. Once in Russian, once in English: No War – No to war.

The band immediately gets a call with a clear message: the tile has to go. When they refuse, they realize that they are the ones who have to go now.

“Die or Go”

“We believe that our move will help us to say what has long been forbidden in Russia,” says the band’s lead singer, Ilya Prussikin, in an interview with the ARD Studio Moscow. They all only packed two suitcases, then they flew to Los Angeles via Dubai, where they immediately started working on a new song.

It’s called “Generation Cancellation” and was released last week. It’s an anti-war song that could hardly be more striking and direct. The English lyrics are as catchy as they are simple: “I have no choice / Die or go / My generation is a new civilisation”.

In the music video, kids are given hot dogs shaped like rockets. Two men in suits play chess with soldiers. A news anchor sits on the toilet. Its sewage is pumped out of the television straight into the heads of a family.

“New Civilization”

“We don’t agree at all,” Prussikin repeated again and again in the interview, exhaling heavily and with disappointment when it came to his home country. As a child, he often heard the saying, “The main thing is no war. Hunger – okay. Poverty – okay. The main thing is, no war.”

It’s something that most people would have agreed to recently, but now many are saying, “It’s not all black and white,” and thanks to the propaganda, they’re suddenly in favor of war themselves.

On the Internet, the band members are now listed as “traitors of the people”. Nevertheless, they mainly made music for Russians, according to lead singer Ilija. It works best abroad, where he can still say anything he wants. The band is planning a US tour this summer. and Europe. But they would prefer to perform in Russia itself.

Politically correct concerts

Meanwhile, concerts there have repeatedly been canceled because Russian musicians refused to sing on stages in front of the Russian pro-war symbol, the “Z”. For example, in Tyumen in April it was the band “DDT”. In the Siberian city of Omsk, rock band BI-2 refused to play in front of a banner that reads “For the President.”

It’s pretty obvious, music critic Artemiy Troitskiy said recently on the Russian YouTube channel Breakfast Show, that in the near future there won’t be any more performances in Russia by artists “who somehow criticized Putin or the so-called special operation.”

The list is long

In addition to the band “Little Big”, other famous artists have long left Russia. The departure of the rapper Oxxxymiron, who published a video on February 24th in which he condemned the war and then organized the benefit concert series “Russians against the War” in Istanbul and later also in Berlin, was particularly well known.

According to her Instagram account, the Russian artist Monetochka is now said to be living in Riga, while the band IC3PEAK, which has always been critical of the regime, has canceled all concerts in Russia.

Even world stars like the singer Alla Pugachova are said to be staying abroad. Her possible return to Russia from Israel, meanwhile, is the subject of much debate in the country.

Abroad better than home

Oxxxymiron recently filled a huge hall in Berlin, thousands watched the stream. According to music critic Troitsky, the artists who left found a large audience abroad – which is why the Russian rock scene outside of Russia is now even better: “Russia itself is full of shitty rock that goes under the letter ‘Z ‘ also performs regularly on all sorts of stages.”

Troizkij has respect for everyone who stayed in Russia anyway: “But if we talk about development prospects, then of course there are a lot more of them abroad.”

Meanwhile, Little Big is already working on “a lot of new songs,” says lead singer Prussikin. There would be enough material to process. “It’s the only thing we can do. That’s why we only have one plan for life: make music, shoot clips and perform, get energy from viewers and give them energy.”

Russian band “Little Big” leaves homeland

Annette Kammerer, ARD Moscow, July 1, 2022 2:36 p.m

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