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Andrei Makarevich: Band Mashina Vremeni has always liked it in Minsk

Andrey Makarevich has given an interview to the TV program Simple Questions with Egor Khrustalev.

Mr Makarevich, thank you very much for taking the time to meet. We have been waiting for you in Minsk with concerts. Shall we expect lots of new songs or will you be singing your best hits?

Andrei Makarevich, musician, singer, TV presenter:
There will be some new songs but as life shows people don't go to concerts for this. New songs can be heard on CDs but during concerts they want to hear what they already love. So it is necessary to maintain a reasonable proportion. We have not yet made up a program. This is usually done just before going on stage. But what are travelling to Minsk with joy. We have always liked to come to Minsk.

You know, I have recently watched a documentary and was surprised at what chords George Harrison takes. It seemed to me that the construction of songs by Beatles differs greatly from how music was composed in the former Soviet Union. Am I right?

Andrei Makarevich:
No, I believe that we took much from them as we loved them in the Soviet times. We took the main principles of work on songs. For example, they had a rule that says that if anyone, even one musician in the band does not like something in a song, he has a veto right so the band will not play this song. We had exactly the same practice.  And one very important thing: they never restricted themselves to some stylistic framework. Because it is idiocy. Each song itself decides how it sounds because so many different kinds of music are around. We did the same. 

How do you decide who sings what?

Andrei Makarevich:
We look at what is more suitable. For example, the song "Who did you want to impress?" was written by me but I tried to sing it, then Margulis sang but eventually it was Kutikov who performs it. 

When you were recording the album Time Machines in England, you worked together, 12 hours a day. There is an opinion, I remember a quotation: "A poet has the right to write poems until 30 and the rest is just memories." But I wanted to ask you about the feelings of adult musicians who met in that studio, which was once completely unattainable for them. Was it some psychotherapy for you rather than a great creative impulse?

Andrei Makarevich:
Absolutely not true. Of course, that place is like a temple. Because you know that McCartney played this piano, Harrison sat on that chair and I am now singing into the microphone used by not only Lennon but also Ella Fitzgerald and Elvis Presley. But as soon as you start to work, the feeling goes away soon, because all your head is immersed in the process: you know that you came here for a short time and for big money and you need to use this time and energy as well as possible.

It was more an anxious feeling or hard work?

Andrei Makarevich:
One does not exclude the other.

It happens when work is work and sometimes it is also pleasure.

Andrei Makarevich:
This is pleasure for us. Never in my life would I be engaged in music if it did not give pleasure.

What today gives you the greatest pleasure, when you can spend your time the way you want? Here you kindly invited us to a billiard club. You play billiards, meet friends, play the guitar?

Andrei Makarevich:
I play billiards. It's a great game, beautiful. I live in the countryside, and when someone cancels the meeting you get 1.5 hours of free time.  Of course, I go here. This is a wonderful private club where I know exactly who I will meet. And it is convenient to hold conversations like the one today.

I watched one of your television interviews preparing for our meeting and there you were asked what you had done with first incomes. You said you collected them for new equipment.  But today, any arrangement can be made even with the help of a cellphone. It has become so affordable...

Andrei Makarevich:
No, it is not that affordable. Try and create. Equipment and technology provides you with conditions only but does one have taste and talent?

But people can immediately get quality sounding drums, good sounding bass...

Andrei Makarevich:
This is not a high-quality sound. Unfortunately, humanity is quickly becoming deaf. And the bar for quality is falling.

The number has grown enormously.

Andrei Makarevich:
Quite true. These are related things.

Can you say that something influenced your music? At least at the beginning of Mashina Vremeni.

Andrei Makarevich:
There is a book that the Beatles wrote, "Anthology". I was quite impressed by the fact that they openly admit that they liked a line from Chuck Berry. They took this line and made their own song. And of their songs has such a source.  Nothing to be ashamed of. It is important what happened as a result. The same goes for our songs.

Could I ask you to make examples from your recent songs. Under whose influence were they written?

Andrei Makarevich:
"Sunny Island" (Solnechnyi Ostrov) is definitely from Led Zeppelin. "Puppets" (Marionetki) - Bob Dylan. 

You often come to Belarus. Do you have any connections here?

Andrei Makarevich:
I think no one is left. Some distant relatives life on the farm Malech. But they are very distant now because my grandfather left that place at a young age.

I wish all members of the band Time Machine great health. Tell them that we are waiting for you! Hopefully, this concert will be wonderful and you will have a lot of positive emotions, as well as the spectators who will come to the concert.

Andrei Makarevich:
Here it is true: after a good concert, I do not even know, who is in a better mood: the band or the audience.

Andrei Makarevich: Band Mashina Vremeni has always liked it in Minsk