Chimera's Fiery Sounds

by Sergey Chernov

Chimera, the innovative, unofficial house band of the TaMtAm Club, will play at their home venue this week.

The band formed in autumn 1990 under the name "Deputat Baltiki" after a well-known Soviet-era film of the same name. According to the band's leader Edik Starkov, who sings and plays trumpet, they were "post-punkers" at that time. "Everybody was a post-punker then, and we were too," said Starkov. "Now everybody is a hard rocker. So are we. We don't lag behind."

The band does have a heavy sound at times; their music is often pure improvisation built around hardcore punk riffs. "It could be said that we play occult music; that's why housewives don't like it," said Starkov. "If they'd listen to this music, there'd be more progress on the planet." At a recent concert, however, the band demonstrated how good they can sound as an acoustic outfit. Starkov, who writes all the lyrics, says that his songs have been influenced by fairy-tales and esoteric literature, such as writings by Yelena Blavatskaya. One of Chimera's demos was based on the Russian fairy-tale "Masha and the Bear."

In 1993 the band was invited to add some contemporary sounds to a theater production based on Bertold Brecht's "Threepenny Opera" at the Baltiysky Dom theater.

Chimera's only studio recording to date was released on cassette in January and can be found in local music stores.