What was the reason that prompted you to cancel concerts? What exactly happened?
You know, this is, of course, not a specific event, and it’s just a few events. For example, the fact that I had to leave, was associated with the prohibition of religious organization “Jehovah’s Witnesses”, one of which I am. From the point of view of the legislation of the Russian Federation I am a dangerous extremist. This in itself is reason enough. I, of course, present certain fears about what if I go to Russia, and if I back out to leave, and so on. Although I had the opportunity to go to Russia with concerts, but I can’t say that I felt easy, relaxed, light and joy in these upcoming tour. Just two days in a row the event occurred, which became for me such a signal. The first was the news that the American Consulate in Russia reduces its diplomatic mission closing the acceptance of applications for interview in Saint-Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Vladivostok and everywhere, except Moscow. And, of course, this raised the question about whether I would be able to get a visa. And the next day I met the news about the arrest of film Director Kirill Serebrennikov. And this story I was also very upset. And, in General, I felt that there will be some new events. And what will be there in November, not known at all.
Can we say that the story Serebrennikov was the last straw?
Is this a serious sign.
For you it is a sign of things first? How did you react to this story?
You know, if you talk specifically about the work of Kirill Serebrennikov, I didn’t know him. And soon, some of his works – past and present – I found out after the fact. I can’t say that what he is doing and going to do to me, that is close and that we are like-minded. This is not so. But at the same time it is clear that his arrest in connection with the “theft” or the alleged theft (this is unknown) is an opportunity to settle the score. Because there are people who steal more, do it brazenly and with impunity because they can. But some poor “such a case” – I would dare to make such a derogatory statement in the financial sense, right? I decided with him to resolve these issues. It is clear that he just is not a pleasing figure for other parameters and is therefore allowed under the cut. I understand that I can have something like that, because I am a person with the wrong views, wrong views, say so here. And one that is transparent about this, there is something, it turns out, criticizes, someone out there is blaming and so on.
From your point of view if now is the creative person is absolutely free to work in Russia, to Express themselves freely?
– From the point of view of creative I didn’t complain. On the contrary – in Russia there are many opportunities, there are a lot of people good, simple and easy to use. And in terms of any restrictions in your creativity… I haven’t seen them. Well, then, sorry, I’m a freelance artist: he could paint, compose himself, he make himself almost print. So for me the question of creative freedom, he is not worth it. But see, here’s the thing: this time dastardly. And here’s why. I was recently at the Metropolitan Museum in new York. And there we drew attention to the portrait of one figure of the late XIX-early XX century. He was interesting because he had a position on some issue, and he had opponents. And it is noteworthy that the man caused his opponent to a duel, and they decided that this way will put an end to this contentious issue that, relatively speaking, God or fate will decide who is right. You know? There is something noble, something fair. People openly declare their views and are ready to fight, ready to even give his life for it. And now, not so. Now you just shoot in the back, you just shoot from the corner, nobody will understand whether you are right or wrong. You have just found six grams of cocaine.
When talking about freedom of creativity, still wondering about whether this freedom in the context of cooperation with the government.
– You know, it’s hard for me to talk about it. When you get involved in some things related to the big money, of course, you become unfree. Because of some financial irregularities are inevitable. The legislation of the Russian Federation in the financial sense is pretty complicated, there are many additional fad. I’ve compared, for example, what it means to connect to Pay Pal here and in Russia. These are two completely different things. And it is clear that where there are a lot of money, there is bound to have some irregularities. They simply can not be because they have all by definition. Because it is simply not different. And if you really want to so for someone to get up and start to investigate, then find some violations can be anywhere. And then a question of desire and need, I want to make a case or not.
How now divided music community in Russia?
You know, I’m such a loner, I don’t belong to some communities. There are people with whom I sotrudnichayu and sometimes invite other artists. I have the most positive experience. And we are not trying to create some stumbling blocks to communicate with each other. And in General I’m a little man. If to talk about my size as an artist, that the stars are huge, and there are yellow dwarfs. Here I am yellow dwarf, I don’t know much and don’t understand.
You said that times mean. And this meanness of the present time, it is reflected in particular in a professional environment?
– This may impact if you get the some unwanted. It may not be necessary for creativity, it could be because you have something supported or not supported. As far as I know, Serebrennikov had some serious attitude to the Crimea. It could also be. Because I too once had a problem when I refused to travel to Crimea. Because I realized that this is a very unclean situation, go to Crimea, I run the risk of being in an international scandal. As a result, I run into a smaller scandal. It was a lot of bad. Generally speaking, if people were actively opposed to this decision… you Know, in Russia such a saying was: “Tell me to whom Crimea belongs, and I’ll tell you who you are”. This is a question that people have when applying for a job asked whose Crimea, and depending on this, decide they are professionally suitable or not. For example, already has a major position that the person is trying to convey or propel may be grounds to let him have it. Well, in General, for any of this to him and retaliated. The hour has come, as they say.
That will be a signal to return to Russia or at least to resume the concerts?
For me there is now absolutely clear the situation is the prohibition of “Jehovah’s Witnesses”. Not safe for me to appear in Russia, because I’m removed from the list of legal people. Relatively speaking, I have no right to have the kind of perspective I have. And this situation continues to develop. Today I read the news that somewhere in the Stavropol region arrested a group of people who ate barbecue and swam at the beach, on suspicion that they are “Jehovah’s Witnesses”. Because someone told me that there is something going cultists. And people were detained. Then released, of course, but leave it ruined. Another news: in Lugansk in the hall of “Jehovah’s Witnesses” (although they do not occur in the halls) found some the publication of “Nazi symbols” and some “evidence” that “Jehovah’s Witnesses” cooperating with intelligence agencies of Ukraine. In General, the armor is strong and our tanks are fast, and the farther into the forest, the thicker the guerrillas.
But still, what is the signal? Resolution “Jehovah’s Witnesses”? Or something else needs to happen to make you change the decision?
See, the thing is that I don’t have any solutions and I’m not going to put any conditions. Who do I need? So, on the big bill? I’m just afraid is elementary. I fear for my freedom, my integrity, and I want to remain active and capable of activities. Unfortunately, in the Russian Federation, now this, to me, very questioningly. Maybe something will change, will change the political course, maybe some things will happen. I don’t know. But when it becomes clear that this threat is either greatly weakened, or disappear altogether.