OUT OF SIBERIA I was born in Siberia. I've lived in many places that are far, far from civilisation: mountain regions, forest regions, northern regions … I was raised in a small town surrounded by taiga forest and bordered by four circles of barbed wire. This town produced nuclear weapons and local villagers harvested leather and drove snowmobiles. Town people called (indigenous people) chukchas, but they definitely were not chukchas. They were coming to the town, selling leather, getting drunk, sitting on their snowtracks … I loved it when they drove me on their snowmobiles. When I was 14, one of the chemical plants exploded and my family was evacuated.
CHANGE OF PROGRAMME I've visited more than 70 cities in Russia and 12 in China. There's no city better than the other - they're just different. I spent half of last year near Hong Kong … in Shenzhen. I needed a calm place to complete a complex piece of software. Cities in China produce so much noise that it becomes similar to dead calm; I like it. I think the best music in China (is made by the bands) AK-47 and Gong Linna, because they're different and creative.
Before I started to create music I went to medical school. My mother thought I'd become a doctor, which I did, but not for long. I was a school contest winner and then entered the Capital Medical University, but this was not good for me. I started creating medical software as a programmer - life creates mysterious ways for us. In my spare time I played music - I created Bugotak to play the type of music I was missing … I didn't have any good music to hear. Everything around me - radio and albums - was not what I wanted to listen to. Music has to have sense, meaning, deepest feeling of the spirit. And I thought, "OK, I have this spirit with me." This spirit comes from the native Siberian folk culture. This culture is quite ancient, uncommon and not profaned. Tuvan music (Tuvan is a Turkic language from the Republic of Tuva in south-central Siberia) is a large part of world music. Yakutian jaw-harp players (from the Sakha Republic) are also a great part. Bugotak took this culture and mixed it with modern styles of similar feeling: industrial, ambient, nu metal. These styles are very close to Siberian nature: severe, harsh and passionate … it makes a strong impression on the listeners.
SOUNDS LIKE AN EPIPHANY Many things have changed in my life since I converted to Proventism. This happened in the high mountains of Altai (in East-Central Asia, where China, Mongolia, Russia and Kazakhstan come together). I was on a bicycle about 20 miles from the nearest dwelling when I experienced an earthquake. Stones were falling around me and my hair stood on end as if charged with electricity. I started to see the world in green. I also understood that the whole world is connected in a network. Human brains are just like computers and in all the things we do - everything from buildings to music - we create and send information to each other. This is called noosphere and it is inhabited by more complex creatures than us people.
MUSIC NOT GUNS Once I was playing open-air in Abkhazia on the Black Sea shore. How beautiful its climate was - just as wicked as its people were. They drank too much, took out their guns and fired into the air and then got into their cars. I was scared. But I thought: "You savages will listen to the music. Whatever it takes." I took my mic and said: "Get out of your cars. You. Now." Some of them got out, a few more sat down, put away their guns and listened to my entire programme. The next day there were no troublemakers. I hope Bugotak's music made them more philosophical, at least for one day. It might sound funny, but just for fun, half a million Abkhazians have driven out about half a million Georgians, killed some of them and left others without homes. There are still many houses uninhabited on the shoreline, walls riddled with bullets.
Abkhazians do not accept irony: their fun is to drink spirits, drive crazy and shoot guns. Our Siberian folks are peaceful. Except maybe chukchas; they have been practising the cult of power, and they could withstand the well-armed Cossacks. Legend says they ran through battlefields on foot, took Cossacks from their horses and ran off with that 80kg burden. I should have mentioned that chukchas is not only real folk's name, but also a common name for all Siberian natives - a bit foul, a bit funny.
POWER AND THE PEOPLE In Altai live the people of power called shamans. Many people want to meet them - to study their power and wisdom. I knew one of these students. His way to shamanism was long and difficult and when he saw his shaman of destination, he said: "Hello. Are you the shaman?" "Yes," answered the shaman. "OK," said the student after a long and awkward silence. "I probably have to go home." "Yes, you have to," said the shaman, and the student went home. The student had nothing to ask. It's like a mental disease. Instead of asking, "Why do I have to learn to understand?", people say: "We understand nothing, so there's nothing to understand. And don't bother us to learn."
As I said before, Siberian folk are peaceful. There's less than one person per square kilometre of permafrost. I don't think Hong Kong citizens can imagine that. But my music is full of that space. Siberian folk believe in paganism. Most other Russians believe in different superstitions. I believe that sanity will prevail in the future. I've always been a rebel against common misconceptions. If one does something just because others do it, one does it wrong. The majority is always wrong in their judgment, nobody does any research - they just judge. But everyone can achieve more if he thinks for himself, has his own mind. I have my own opinion about everything.
Bugotak is scheduled to play at the Fringe Club (2 Lower Albert Road, Central, tel: 2521 7251) on Thursday at 9.30pm. Tickets are available at the Fringe Club and online at bugotak.ticketflap.com.