weekly updated blog for Oi! – punk – ska – reggae
The scene in Russia is growing each day, Kids of the Streets is just one of the examples. After the band released an EP (2009) and two full-length (2008 & 2010), illness of bass-player Steve forced the band to calm down. Now the band is back on the track again: the band recently released a new EP and will tour Europe in november. All questions answered by Big Skin Max.
October 2011 – band website
Can you shortly introduce the band and the members?
We are Kids of the Streets from Voskresensk in Russia and we play streetpunk & Oi! There are four members in the band and nowadays we are: Max (BigSkinMax) – vocal and drums, Alex – guitar, Max – guitar and Mr. Steve – bass guitar and back vocal.
We are all interested in the skinhead and punk culture and don’t think that today these movements (God, I hate this word) can exist without each other. All of us are working on the factories and warehouses, but unfortunately after Steve had a stroke at the beginning of this year, he couldn’t work anymore, and now he makes his money by playing on the contrabass in the bars. It was a real hardness testing for him and for all of us. But we found the power to go on and after that we even made the new EP “Get Off!”.
Only me (BigSkinMax) and Alex are in the band since the very beginning. At that time I was a guitarist, but then on Under Attack I had to change my position because of many reasons.
Your Under Attack CD from 2010 sounds really good. Did this resulted in any releases and distribution outside Russia?
Thanks! As I already said, we released the new EP on 7″ vinyl this year. It was released by two Russian labels: Street Influence and MLM Records and the Finnish label Bruised Knuckles. The EP was printed in Germany. I also saw our Under Attack album in some European Distros but I won’t tell you all of them – just can’t remember.
You hail from the Moscow region. When i think of Russia i think about fights between Nazi-clowns and anti-racists. How this effect the skinhead scene in Russia? Is it easy to openly organise gigs?
Well, there is the problem, and it’s not an easy one. Five-four years ago it was really hard to make an open show, because there were not so many antiracists in Moscow. We made secret meetings before the gigs and went there only together. For example, the presentation of our first release Oi! For the Rebels was cancelled, because the boneheads called to police and said that there’s a bomb in the club. When the police found nothing and went away – the boneheads came. But we kicked their asses on that day.
But when we became stronger, the police itself became the problem. The point is that lots of the policemen are nazis and they don’t like what we do of course, and do everything to cancel our shows. Since that time it became stupid to gather up together before the gigs, cause it is too noticeable for cops.
Well, what I wanna say is that a real tactic war is taking place here. And it’s not funny. Knifes became usual arguments in the fights, so people must be very careful and even brave, I think. And these are no fairytales mate – that’s the real life. Some of our friends are in jail, some of them are dead… That’s the great shit that a man can put a knife in someones ass, just for stupid political ideas which were created by people who themselves are already dead for many years.
But the scene is growing fast and we hope that there will be more of us. Even now we see, that the police, the government, the nazis and fucking politicians have to believe that we do exist. They see it and understand that they can’t control us by any political stuff. We are just electorate for those freaking bastards and they don’t believe that any movement can exist without any concrete leader. For them – we are nonsense – and that usually means ‘the enemy’.
Many clubs in Moscow were closed after antifascist/antiracist shows took place there, and we still don’t have the club that we could call our home, you know… But everything is coming up to that moment – and since then that would be much easier to make open shows in Moscow.
You must understand that the right-wingers have a real strong scene here. They are playing everything – nazi-ska, nazi-rap, nazi-hardcore, even nazi-crust. That’s fucking unbelievable but it’s true. They are parasitising on each young culture and skinheads are the last of them, cause I haven’t seen a real bonehead for a few years. All of them are now stupid looking like hooligans, and no the skinheads at all. Well, it would take your whole website, so I will stop my story right here.
How is the relation between the redskins, sharp skins and non-political skins in Russia? Is it possible to get along together or are it separated scenes?
Hmm, I’ve always said that no political idea can make a good man of a total idiot, but a good person can easely turn into a freak as soon as he gets involved in politics, but that doesn’t mean that the scene is much divided. I would say that there ís a division, but it’s not so strong to stop the gigs where SHARP skins play with RASH on the same scene. Of course even some fights take place on such shows, but in my opinion that’s happening because young guys have fists and sometimes they don’t use their brains. I mean that the real confront between SHARP and RASH don’t exist. We have the same culture, the same enemies, and I don’t see any reasons to smash each other.
I remember one funny story – it happened three and a half years ago in Moscow. Once, we decided to kick the boneheads’ asses after they organised a nazi-ska gig (a friend of mine told me then that he goes there cause it’s the act of revenge for the culture. My position was close to it – I couldn’t believe that someone is playing Nazi-Ska). Well, there were 25 of us and the plan was to get the bastards in the metro. Two of our scouts were telling us about all the moving of the boneheads by the phone. And then, suddenly we met in the underground the RASH mob, they were also going to beat the bastards, but in the other place. For 20 minutes we were trying to decide where to go together. In the conclusion we decided to go where we wanted not gathering together. So, that’s how our relations look like in life. We have the same way, and the different goal, but a lot of SHARP skins are good friends of RASH.
As for the gigs – for me it’s important not to hang the flags and not to shout political shit, while we’re playing. Everybody has a ‘right to riot’ but let me speak what I want, till I have the microphone, and I will listen to you, while you will be singing about the red revolution (but I don’t promise that I will sing with you). I mean – the red banners must be behind the red bands on the stage if the gig is united.
About non-political skins… In Russia – SHARP skins are non-political. All the so-called ‘trad-skins’ in Russia (they call themselves like that – I don’t have anything against the real trad-skins) are glad to shake hands with Nazis and with antiracists on the same time. That’s why the words ‘political apathy’ are not very popular here. As for us – we don’t give a shit about that – for us ‘political apathy’ means the hard citizen’s position. And this position is much stronger than any popular political idea.
Well, as you can see, everything is hard for the understanding. I’ve heard that in Canada and even in Europe people call SHARP skins a movement which is close to politics. For us it’s nonsense – we call ourselves SHARP just to let people know that we’re not boneheads. In fact – we’re all just the skinheads, who don’t like racist, nazis, the government and any politics. Just like in 1969, yeah?
You recorded a song called Fight Back The Terraces for your last full-length. The Russian competition is fastly growing cause more and more oil tycoons are involved in buying and funding clubs. How does the influx of capital and foreign players influence the Russian soccer culture?
For many years in Russia football was just a cause for jokes. But we enjoy that the situation is changing – cause Russian clubs now play in the Champions League and they don’t play bad at all. But to tell the truth – I don’t really like that our football is changing just because of the billionaires.
It’s important to create the new generation of talented players. I don’t see any tendencies to that. The football schools just don’t exist – no one tries to find the new faces, new guys from Siberia, who can show the really great game. That’s making us really sad. And it’s not just the football problem. Our sport exists just because of the enthusiasm of the Soviet coaches and not because of oil tycoons and anything else. Russian capitalists just want to take; and never give. It’s cheaper and faster to buy the Brazil player instead of creating the base for Russian young sportsmen.
You’re planning a tour through Europe in November this year. Was it easy to organise this tour? Which countries do you play? What do you expect from it?
Yes, mate, we’re go on tour and it’s quite exciting. I don’t remember how we came up with the idea. I guess, the first impetus for the action was the message we got a year ago from Prague Trojan Skinheads. They said that there were fans of Kids of the Streets among the guys from PTS-Crew and they would be glad to make a gig in Praha if we someday would be on tour.
On that day I thought – well, maybe in a few years, mates. But then we had a great tour on Russia and the idea of visiting Europe became our decease. It was the new sound, the new people in the band and we were waiting for the action. But then at the beginning of this year, as I’ve already said, Steve had a sudden stroke, and all our plans were seemed to be ruined as the left side of his body didn’t move. But the time was running and Steve was getting better much faster then the doctors thought. We were playing very often and soon we became even better and ‘groovier’, then we were before this terrible thing.
Then Tim from Bruised Knuckles contacted Alex from Street Influence and they decided to release our new EP on 7″ vinyl. I remembered about the invitation to Prague and wrote to them, then to Minsk. Then we found a guy in Warsaw, who knew about our music and he agreed to organise our show. The guys from Prague helped us to connect to the St.Pauli Skins in Hamburg, who were also glad to help us.
So, our tour now looks like that:
30.10.11 – Grodno, Belarus with Mister X (Belarus)
01.11.11 – Warsaw, Poland with the Last Resort (England) and Mauser (Poland)
05.11.11 – Prague, Czech Republic
09.11.11 – Brno, Czech Republic
11.11.11 – Bratislava, Slovakia
12.11.11 – Hamburg, Germany with Phlegmatix (Germany)
13.11.11 – St. Petersburg, Russia
26.11.11 – Kiev, Ukraine
We will also play with the Stage Bottles and Flatfoot 56 in Moscow.
All of that makes us really happy, and we expect good shows, lots of fun and sweat and meeting new friends, what else should we expect mate? None of us was in Europe before, if we won’t look at the fact that I lived in Sweden for 3 years when I was a kid (from 4 years old to 7).
Do you have any closing comments?
I would say our classical words on this case:
KEEP FIGHTIN’ THE GOOD FIGHT! STAY SKINHEADS! STAY PUNX! STAY SHARP!
And of course, we’ll be glad to see all of you on our shows this year, or next year Wait for our new album in spring 2012!!! Cheers & beers, mates!
Click at the image(s) to purchase band releases from Aggroshop.com