I’m a warm blooded creature who loathes winter. That being said, it’s time I paid Russia (AKA The Russian Federation, AKA the former so called “Evil Empire”) a visit to gather some interviews and insight for “Punktology” the story of the worldwide punk movement, so today I’m off to receive my Russian Visa from the Russian Consulate in NYC.

Why am I going to Russia in October of all months?

1) Cheap Airfare – The only way to travel

2) Extreme Curiosity – I’m a child of the Reagan years and the cold war fear of nuclear annihilation. I’ve got to see the belly of the “former” beast. Like Sting said, I’m pretty sure the Russians love their children and I bet they love their punk music too.

3) Punk Music – I’m already discovering a big and impressive punk, rockabilly and psychobilly scene. I want to witness it first hand and bring some of that home to you, dear reader, while of course gathering content for the documentary “Punktology”

and a whole bunch of other reasons I’m not going to get into here.

Could be slightly dangerous (really?), there is an 8 hour time difference, it’s going to be cold and I don’t speak one word of Russian. This is going to be a blast!

I’m reading and researching and learning about Russia and there is no way I’m going to get even a sliver of insight in just 8 days but I want to try.

Thanks to some research my trusted associate Alba put together and some recommendations from friends, I’m reaching out to some Russian punk, rockabilly and psychobilly bands and fans.

If you know any Russian Punk comrades that I should reach out to, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE leave a comment here or send me an email to punkoutlaw@aimtvgroup.com so I can try to work you or them into my agenda.

I’ll be in Moscow 10/21-10/24 and St. Petersburg 10/24-10/28.

Thanks!

24 thoughts on “To Russia With Love (and Trepidation)

  1. Thanks Raven.. it’s on my “to get to” lists trust me. Hope you can help me out with some good leads when I get there.

  2. I saw your page.. I’m definitely interested. Looks like your touring pretty heavy when I’m there.. maybe I can catch a show. I’ll send you an email today. Thanks!

  3. lol wow )) nice idea )) u must be very mighty and even tough guy I guess!! )) Ha, I just wonder who calls Russia an “Evil Empire”? )) Actually I am from Russia, but not from the European part of it. To be more precised – from Siberia and here the weather is colder and the music is heavier! )) So, crazy trip to u anyway and have fun!! ))

  4. Hi! I live in Moscow, I’m an old punk, I am 45 years old. Doing video, photos, contemporary art, to speak English, but very little. Familiar with many punk rock bands. Maybe I’ll be helpful?

  5. Hey there! Good luck with your trip! How long are you going to stay in Russia and what cities are on the list? I’m from Yekaterinburg (Urals). If you get here – let me know! I play slap-bass in neo-rockabilly/psycho band the Stockmen.. got plenty of punks around here too 😀
    Also you should visit Ukraine. There’s a big rockabilly/psychobilly community in Kiev, they held the biggest festival in Eastern Europe every spring. This time it’ll be for 3 days (04/30 – 02/05), Meteors are headlining, plus bands from Europe, Russia and Ukraine of course.
    Cheers!

  6. oh, sorry, didn’t notice the dates at the bottom 😀 Well, if you are going to stay in Moscow and St.Petersburg there are two main venues to visit for rockabilly/psycho events – “Money Honey” in Petersburg and “Grease Club” in Moscow, but I guess you already know about these 😉

  7. Dude, living here I can suggest you one thing – carry a pepper spray or something when visiting far ends of the city. Lotsa guys like chavs.

  8. Hey Andy,
    Thanks for the tips man.. very helpful. Yes, I hope to get to Ukraine maybe for that festival.. that sounds fun as hell. If I get to your neck of the woods I’ll let you know. Thanks again!
    Robert

  9. Hi Natasha, Nahhh.. not a tough guy at all.. but please don’t tell anyone.

    “Evil Empire” was sort of a term in the 1970s and 80s when our government in the U.S. tried to make us afraid of Russia for their own political gain. I was joking of course..
    I’m more afraid of our own government than other countries.. I want to get to Siberia next and take the Siberian railroad but probably in the summer!
    When I get to Siberia you’ll have to show me around!
    Robert

  10. Hi! I live in Siberia too) Our city is called cultural center, because here Dostoevsky 4 years was in prison.
    I adore rock music and regularry attend concerts.
    As for the most famous Russian punk-bands., the most famous are concentrated in Petersburg: “The King and the Joker’, “Pilot”, and Moscow: Distemper (ska-punk), Naiv and others.
    I’m sure you’ll be very impressed by Russian music and people!

  11. Well sure I’ve caught that you were joking lol. Ah, shame on me, but. . I really didn’t know that about politics :/ well.. my knowledge in this very sphere leave much to be desired. .
    Ok, if you wish you can also go to Siberia. Actually I have many friends, who works as guide-interpreters and somethimes I also do. As for music..all of my friends plays only metal – black or death one. .

  12. It’s ok that was a long time ago (the 80s)! Siberia is on my list to visit! This 1st trip is a little short because I didn’t know what to expect. but now I wish I could stay longer and see more!

  13. Hi!
    I’m from Saint-Petersburg, but at the time you’ll arrive at our city, I’d leave Saint-Petersburg and go by train to other Russian city to celebrate my 24 th birthday with girlfriend.
    I’m in punk rock since I was 15, I’m playing drums in a while little-known rock band, and I’m very interested in history of Western punk rock scene and in history of Russian punk rock so if we could meet in real life or correspond on Internet I could talk you a lot about old and new Russian bands that played in past and playing now, I can talk you a lot about punk scene in Leningrad/Saint-Petersburg (our scene is oldest punk scene in Russia and one of the oldest in Soviet Union – first Russian punk band Avtomaticheskiye Udovletvoriteli appeared in Leningrad at 1979 while other bands became to appear in 1980s and later) and some little I know about psychobilly scene here (oldest and still existing psychobilly band in Russia – the Meantraitors – appeared in Leningrad too but 10 years later than AU).
    I don’t think that it all would be interesting after you leave Saint-Petersburg but I’ll try to connect you if I shall turn to the city (and I turn to SPb at 10/27). I think our talk would be usefull for both of us.
    Cheers!

  14. Hey, Thanks for the email. I am in Moscow now but heading to St. Petersburg tomorrow 10/24 and I’ll be there until 10/28. If you have a cell phone email me at rob@aimtvgroup.com and I’ll try to give you a call so we can talk.. if you speak English? Otherwise we have to get an interpreter. Spasibo!
    Robert

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