This 7-piece horn-driven ska-punk outfit come all the way from Minsk, Belarus and bring with them a spirited mix of biting satire and powerful chords. Lyapis Trubetskoy were once at the top of the charts in their country, as well as in the ex-Soviet Republics. Mid-way through their career, not content to merely churn out, they decided to shed their pop-star image and get real about their music and lyrics. And so they became an independent band with a cult-like following of loyal fans. In a much politicized environment of their homeland, Belarus is the last country in Europe run by a strong-arm man, LT is also independent politically: "We were never in support of the current regime nor of it's opposition. We're not calling on people to hit the streets and riot. My grenade must explode inside people's heads. To wake up the sleeping masses, that's our main goal", declared Sergey Mikhalok, the band's leader.
And wake you up they shall ... They caused a real stir with their '07 album, Capital, the title song and video, in which they slam the current obsession with wealth and war and portray defiant dictators Fidel, Hugo, Belarus' own Lukashenko, Kim, Mahmud and Saddam as pseudo-religious icons. The poignant message hits home, whether you're an anarchist or a republican. The clip was banned from airplay in Belarus and Russia, of course, but won numerous awards everywhere else and is a real hit with the YouTube masses. In '08 they released the edgier Manifest and made the entire album available for free digital download from their website Lyapis.com, in return fans were asked to send videos set to the songs on the album. Fair trade.
Their new popularity on the rise. Manifest was named Best Album by Ukrainian and Russian top rock radio stations, Lyapis Trubetskoy Best Band. Now Lyapis Trubetskoy are keeping busy touring at home and abroad, playing sold-out shows in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, USA and Canada. (Bliss Records, NYC).