11/02/2007: "OK! magazine transcript & translation"
Transcript by nfne
Translation by Argos
We met in a chinese restaurant at the Kutusovskij prospekt. Yulya and Lena came by after an exhausting photosession and ordered chicken with cashews. Together with Yulya her lover Parviz. In two months they will have a child, and approximately at the end of December t.A.T.u. plan to release their third album “Upravlenie otbrosami”. Besides this OK! talked with the girls about much more…
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We met in a chinese restaurant at the Kutusovskij prospekt. Yulya and Lena came by after an exhausting photosession and ordered chicken with cashews. Together with Yulya her lover Parviz. In two months they will have a child, and approximately at the end of December t.A.T.u. plan to release their third album “Upravlenie otbrosami”. Besides this OK! talked with the girls about much more.
Q: Not long ago I saw there Valerij Polienko, author of the hits “Ya soshla s uma” and “Nas ne dogonyat”, and all the company, with whom you began. the conclusion that you were surrounded by not quite healthy people…
Y: Well, artistical people usually aren’t healthy.
Q: And how did you survive? At least you got not hooked on narcotics…
L: Oh, for me drugs were always a severe taboo. How often people told me: It's all the same, sometime you will try - I was never going to do it.
Y: We just bumped (chuckles). Show-business generally is an unhealthy matter. Who sniffs, breaks, hangs himself, jumps out the window. Because of one thing. But we only appear such weak girls who can easily be guided. We can, if anything, tell them to piss off.
Q: But you never were frightened? I remember at “Podnebesnaya” even some bandits appeared, there was almost a shooting.
Y: The bandits didn't come to us but to Vanya (Ivan Shapovalov, first producer - remark OK!) What's to do with us? We just sang, We came across noone. Though, as a whole, what has been created at “Podnebesnaya”, that's complete scrap. In fact this was one of the reasons why we left Vanya.
Q: And where is he now?
L: Practically unknown. We didn’t communicate with him for a long time.
Q: But he’s still alive?
Q: Your image the last years was less scandalous, but at the same time your popularity went down. Do you agree?
Y: I wouldn’t say so. People didn’t hear less about us, we just consider us to be more calm, without noise and screams. At the beginning you throw yourself upon some artist, but then, when you got accustomed, the hystery leaves. That's all. Though we ourselves became different too. Primarily many things about us were built on a scandalous image, but now we don’t want to make up something, we want just sing and record songs. Then we were schoolgirls, but now we are 22-23 years and I’m expecting my second child. We think we are more serious with everything.
Q: Products rose almost to double prices in a month, do you know?
L: Yes. My mom told me (laughes).
Q: You don’t go to the shop yourself?
L: I do, but I never look on the prices. My mom asks to buy something and I buy it. The shop-assistent says, how much it costs and I pay. Probably it's unusual.
Y: You are too choosy, Lenok. (chuckles)
Q: Well, if in the pocket are 1000 dollars, what's the difference if the milk cost 20 or 40 rubles?
Y: A big one. The milk is worth 20, and at the cash desk they pull out of you 40 - you'll be a fool with your 1000 dollars. (laughs). In reality the most important thing, that you are near to your close and loved people. Everything else is not so important.
Q: Take away the fame, the money - it seems to me, you will begin to talk differently.
Y: Listen, I swear you, I don’t fear this! I'm prepared to give birth and and bring it up together with a loved person at his home. And I will feel excellently. Another thing what I like now, I’m singing. But when it stops to please me, I’ll go away and nothing terrible will happen to me.
Q: By the way, you are one of the few Russian pop-stars, who are not afraid to give birth frequently.
Y: And what is it, that the others fear? It's for nothing! Very pleasant sensation.
Y: Well, at least pleasant during the time when you are pregnant (everybody laughs). You almost long for it.
Q: I'm interested. I never could feel it myself.
P: I'll show you (everybody laughs)
Y: I don't understand what I should fear?
Q: Well, you know, the rules of the show- business...many even put down the wedding ring on stage to preserve the aureole of independence.
Y: When I marry Parviz I won’t put down the ring! I am absolutely not ashamed of my love. Look, for the first time I walk so free with my beloved person, but not because I had different principles until then. Before I didn't even want to be photographed with someone. Now it’s as if I had no past.
Q: How’s that?
Y: Yes, I’m simply really in love for the first time! Of course, with all of the past there was some relationship, but for me it's that serious the first time. I want to create a family. A real one.
Q: Frankly speaking, I always thought that…
Y: (interrupts) That I’m stupid, yes? (everybody laughs). Many people think so.
Q: No, that Lena will be first to create a family. She always looked more home-loving to me.
L: Well, with my previous guy I were together for two years. We lived together, without parents and were almost a family. But not long ago we parted company.
Y: Thank God!
L: Volkova, I'm with you…
Y: No, I don't want to say anything - he’s a nice boy, kind, but he’s simply not for you.
Q: How’s that?
L: We had different world-view. I didn’t quite welcome his view of life, he didn’t understand me much. Especially now that I’m with another guy, who’s really close to my soul. I caught myself with the thought that the first time I didn’t want to change something of my partner. Up to this time I always wanted to educate, read lectures…I was more a mom. Now there is nothing like that.
Q: And where do you usually get acquainted?
Y: We don’t remember such things. Why?
L: I know my current lover for eight years.
Q: I say to that, you go only to a selected place. We sit in a restaurant, where there is no pleasant folks, in my view. The idiots at the adjacent table already point with the finger on you.
Y: Well, if they approach, they are told to piss off at once. Here's no difference, where we go. Everywhere enough idiots.
Q: id you become acquainted with Parviz?
Y: By our mutual friend. He told me all the time that he has a fiend since childhood whom he madly loves, for him he'll tear off the head. He talked and talked and one day I couldn’t stand it anymore: "Listen, how much is possible? Come on, bring your friend!" He brought him. So in fact, I got acquainted.
Q: And you immediately fell in love?
Y: Yes. Even that he had such a past…Understandable that all women love him. But what to do now? He had a girl, I had a man…Above all, now we are together
Q: Just you have children…
P: Well and what? They live with us, we love them.
Y: I never left my first child. Yes I accidentally got pregnant and what now? It’s life. But I gathered experience, mind, went through fire and water. Maybe without this experience I wouldn't be what I am. I see for example that there are other qualities in men which I didn’t recognize earlier. The word "responsibility" is now not an empty sound.
Q: But the Yellow Press writes about you any filth until now.
Y: Writes total rubbish! But people believe it…Yes, with whom I was a bit together, slept and so on? Who is a saint, show me! I even argue that this will not be,
Q: Let’s talk about your creative work. In summer you recorded in America the third album. You, Yulya, were already in that moment pregnant. Interesting, does pregnancy seriously influence the voice?
Y: Of course. The voice gets more sympathical. Additionally, when within you lives a person, you cannot scream with full power, yell like a lunatic. You have to restrain yourself.
Q: That is - your famous high-frequency yells won't be on the album?
Y: They will. Just this will be less yelling than wheezing. (chuckles)
L: We joke already that we almost seize the guitars and start performing ballads.
Q: By the way, I saw one of your live performances. The sound was more powerful, the guitars harder, but you were like all the same little girls.
Y: So is the special thing in this, isn’t it?
Q: Well, you move somehow not enough for this music. Held down, or something…
Y: Well, I don't know. Personally I don’t have such fear. But how should we move? Clap the hands and lift the leg? That all was already in the past, it's not interesting for us. I behave on stage as it pushes me, and the rest, I don’t care. I don’t even care how much people are in the audience. If it happens that 50 people come, I perfectly well sing with pleasure all the same. I’m in excitement, you understand? I give such concerts in karaoke-clubs - just for my company. I climb on the table and sing four hours without a break.
Q: And what do you sing?
Y: Everything, what our Russian stars howl. Some "Lobe like in a dream" (laughs). And it’s unimportant who is beside me and what they think about me.
Q: Len, you have such relation to singing?
L: Honestly I am nervous until now before walking on stage. I don’t know why. Yulya always talks to me: "I'm with you, calm down, everything is normal!" But I can’t. Of course I’m not so nervous as before the first concert when I couldn’t hold a glass of water, it was shaking in my hands. Now it's not like this. But I suffer nevertheless. Generally I am a terribly self-critical person nagging myself permanently.
Y: This is the most frightening quality of Lenka! Even if everything goes well with her, she will say that it’s not so completely. She traveled around the whole world with 23 years - no, nevertheless everything’s bad! (laughs)
Q: By the way, I never was beyond the borders, can you imagine?
P: I'll take you with me (everybody laughs)
Y: Holy Christmas, I lose a husband!
Q: You travel through the world, live in Los Angeles for months, but later you return to Russia, where many things, in principle have to bring you to horror. How’s your return?
L: You know, in comparison to Europe you don't feel so much difference. But America and especially Japan - that's of course another world in comparison with us.
Y: The whole disrespect of the people to each other - that’s the first you notice here after America. They push you, you yourself apologize and nevertheless you will be coated with foul language from head to toe. At first you are indignant, but then you get accustomed and become the same. But what other choice you have?
L: Completely uncomprehensible, from where such cruelty in people.
Y: Let’s take such an example. Lena and I came to this Gay-parade. Lord, what a difference how your orientation is. What’s their business? There come in crowds such boxers, skinheads, bark at these guys, hit their heads, though these are all Russians! The own people kill each other! In the west it’s impossible that such things occur. There, if you don’t interfere with somebody, you can be who you want and go where you want. You go to a club to relax, and nobody cares how you are dressed. But here, if you are not "en vogue" then you are a fool and can go home to dance.
Q: Where is it this severe?
Y: It begins with "Dyaghilev" and ends… Oh, everwhere!
Q: I never was in "Dyaghilev".
P: I'll take you with me. (everybody laughs).
L: Not long ago I had an amusing incident. I came to some clothes shop and looked at a dress. But I was dressed rather modestly - jeans and sweater and I had no make-up, overall a common person...
Y: Like a tramp.(chuckles)
L: The consultant comes to me and asks: "Girl, did you see the price?" Well, how is that possible?! In Los Angeles you can go in a boutique in your sweat suit and everybody will greet you and begin to ask what they can do for you and the like. There people can even go to the restaurant with jersey and jogging shoes and can feel comfortable! Here they usually don't let you in.
Q: It seems that in the west you are more respected than here.
L: This is really like this and it’s very offensive. Here hardly somebody says: "Such young girls - they have made their way in the west and opened everybody the road!" Here they will only envy you and get mad.
Y: Lesha Mitrofanov wanted us to get the Order Of Friendship. The whole council gathered for this occasion, And Kobzon said: “I think that the girls are unworthy for this, who are they?” And I sit there and think: “Do they even know a single song of yours beyond the countries borders? And do you know, how much work it costs to be recognized in the west?" Unfortunately I hear often: “Now, what did they achieve there? They kissed each other a few times, and that’s all!”
P: I think like in 2001, when I was in London, I sat in a very serious company in a restaurant and the girls turned around to MTV almost every hour, at the same time as Mariah Carey - everyday. All the english people said: "Wow, fuck! We thought you have just Matryoshkas with balalaikas, but you are obviously so moving!" In Russia they don't quite appreciate it.
Y: Offensive, of course. Especially as we never asked to spread the red carpet and carry us on their hands. We just want that they respect us.
Q: Interesting, how is your rider?
Y: Hotel, shower and food - personally we don’t need more. We have hard demands for equipment, so far as we play live. But so…We have no personal stylist - we do the make-up ourselves before the concert, no costumer - we dress ourselves. Is it important? Wash oneself, eat a bit, sleep a bit after the performance. Everything else, bullshit.
1. November 2007