We just want to play music, it’s the Punk Rock style. -Maxim Mikhaylov-
After months of getting along with Russian underground bands back in Moscow, and listening to their reasons and difficulties not to travel to other continents, it was such a surprise when my friend Rodrigo Jardon told me that ‘some guys from Russia’ were coming to perform at The Real Under as part of their Mexican tour. Rodrigo has been photographing underground music for some years and he knows a lot of people, among them, to singer Zuriel Perikillo Lopez, the guy in charge of the tour (and the band’s Mexican merchandise). We introduced each other before the band started, grabbed a beer and walked to the stage.
Tanator’s set had no mercy at all, neither the moshpit, headbanging and screams among the audience, even if you were not familiar with the scene, the violent rush took over yourself to become pure adrenaline. Lots of people asked for selfies with the band in a rough English. My Egor Letov’s t-shirt was the first approach with Tanator’s drummer, Pavel Krasnitsky, who is from Omsk, Siberia, just as Siberian punk icon Egor. Soviet punk, films and politics would be some of the topics for the following days together.
While their stay at ‘Moncho Plaza’, as the guys baptised an old friend’s apartment close to Azteca Stadium in the southern part of Mexico City, we met up for a talk, with Caifanes music in the background. Tanator’s first single was released in 2013, but according to Maxim, the leader, composer, voice and guitar in Tanator, “the music hasn’t changed, maybe only the sound”. Tanator conserves the same vibe from the beginning.
Their speech was a bit different. They don’t think about the fact of “going abroad”, they just do it. Also, both Maxim with Tanator, and Pavel with his previous projects, Theodor Bastard and Otto Dix, have toured around Europe previously. “Our fans just come by recommendations between people, one guy tells another, and through gigs and records, it’s very simple”.
Even though, the idea of a Mexican Tour came because Zuriel and Tanator guys met up in St. Petersburg. “We just drank some beer, talked about the tour and we did it. Now it was easier because we have met someone to help us, and after this trip we have more contacts to come back with a bigger tour”.
About the underground music scene in Russian cities, Maxim says that the country is having a very good stage in some genres as Metal, Rock or Hardcore, but the problem with bands is that some of them don’t work enough on their promotion. Egor, Tanator’s bassist, mentioned that some bands just don’t want to travel because of the difficulties that implies, “but we see no borders. Maybe the worldwide tours are for some bands only, like us or Fatum from Moscow”.
Egor also added that Russian bands shouldn’t be afraid, “language doesn’t matter if you’re open minded, that’s the most important”.
With a mix of Russian, English and Spanish, Tanator guys cheered up America football team during a boring match at the stadium, enjoyed Mexican tortas with beef, and went to buy cheap t-shirts with Metal band logos. “We just meet friends, Mexican people are very open emotionally, it’s very cool”, all agreed.
Pavel was very interested in Frida Kahlo’s and Leon Trotsky’s story, as well as going to the pyramids, “we can’t just visit Mexico without seeing Teotihuacan”; and other cities such as Toluca, Jalapa, Queretaro and Cuernavaca, received them with a great enthusiasm.
Their last gig in Mexico City was also a live session recording at YoX Discos in La Roma neighbourhood. Maxim mentioned that those recordings would become future bonus tracks or even a special release from Mexico tour.
Tanator is now working on their next European tour, but they expect to be back in Latin America in a couple years. “We will be back with renewed strenghts”.