Foundation date: 1993
The country: Russia
Diana Arbenina (vocals)
Photo: Night snipers
Video: Night snipers
Biography of the group “Night Snipers”
“Night Snipers” is a Russian rock band, a regular participant in the festivals “Maksidrom” and “Invasion”. She had a halo of scandalous fame due to the non-traditional sexual orientation of two soloists.
In the photo: the group “Night snipers”
History of creation
The group arose on August 19, 1993, when Diana Arbenina, a philology student from Magadan, met Svetlana Surganova in St. Petersburg, who studied at a medical institute as a pediatrician, thanks to her friend Violetta Surovtseva. The girls were united by their love for the work of Nick Cave and Tom Waits, the poetry of Joseph Brodsky and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche.
Diana Arbenina in her youth
In a communal apartment on Kavalergardskaya Street, they composed their first songs. Soon Arbenina had to return back to Magadan. Surganova announced that she would go with her. It is in Diana’s hometown that the history of the group begins.
Arbenina and Surganova never hid that they both like girls. Their relationship from the very beginning was not exclusively creative.
The first performances of the friends took place at the Imperial casino. At first, Arbenina and Surganova performed as an acoustic duo. Diana had a guitar without a strap, so she had to put her foot on the monitor and lean on her knee with the guitar. Surganova played the violin lying on the floor.
Svetlana Surganova in her youth
At that time, the group did not yet have a clear name. A number of sources claim that at the dawn of their career, the duet was called “Two Pigs” (“Two Pigs”).
Surganova and Arbenina were not just friends
The well-known name appeared later, when the girls were returning home from a concert on a winter night. In their hands were sheathed tools, which the taxi driver mistook for guns. He asked the girls where they were going: hunting or hunting? After laughing, the participants decided to name the group “Night Snipers”. The meaning was explained to journalists like this: “We are still fragile women, so our guns do not shoot bullets, but love.”
The audience was attracted by the contrasting image of the girls: Arbenina created an aristocratic and arrogantly cold image, Surganova – more “homely” and mundane.
In 1994, the “Snipers” returned to St. Petersburg, gave many concerts in nightclubs. In 1996, the duet became a participant in the All Petersburg television music competition. In November, the Snipers did a short tour of Denmark. The group performed to students in Elsinore and Aarhuge.
“Night Snipers” in 1998
In 1997, Surganova was diagnosed with bowel cancer. The fight against the disease lasted 8 years, but Svetlana managed to win. For some time she had to walk with a colostomy bag, only in 2005 she managed to return to normal life. “Everyone supported me. When blood was needed, and I have a rare group, donors were found through friends, ”the singer later recalled.
Electric sound and first success
On August 2, 1998, Night Snipers released their debut album, A Drop of Tar in a Barrel of Honey. The solo-guitarist of “Alisa” Evgeny Levin supervised the recording. Songs from the album got into the rotation of radio stations. Critic Alexander Volkov called the duet’s songs “painfully real and recklessly sincere.” In the wake of the first popularity, tours took place in Russia, Finland, Sweden and Denmark.
The turning point for the group was the acquaintance with the producer Svetlana Loseva. She convinced the girls to go beyond the acoustic duo and create a full-fledged composition with electric guitars. At the end of 1998, Igor Kopylov, the former bass player of the Nautilus Pompilius band, joined the Snipers. Drummer Sergey Sandovsky came along with him (he played in the group until 2001).
Left: Igor Kopylov, right: Sergei Sandovsky
With the new line-up, the group’s fame grew rapidly. Dmitry Dibrov invited them to speak in the Anthropology program. In 2000, the group shot a video for the song “31st Spring”, which television channels refused to broadcast due to excessive “brutality”.
In 2002, a new album “Tsunami” was released. On December 20, in the Moscow club Tabula Rasa, the Snipers appeared on stage for the first time without Svetlana Surganova. When the fans began to shout out the name of the second participant, Arbenina invited the dissatisfied to go out. Rumors spread that the participants quarreled and live in different cities: Arbenina moved to Moscow, and Surganova stayed in a St. Petersburg communal apartment with her sick mother.
Svetlana Surganova then and now
Svetlana, as the more mature half of the duo (she is 7 years older than Arbenina), answered questions from journalists with restraint. Diana spoke more frankly. According to her, their relationship with Surganova has long begun to deteriorate. Svetlana pretended to be sick, disrupted concerts and eventually cheated on Arbenina. This is what caused the breakup. “There is no reason to stand together on stage, smile and pretend that everything is fine,” she said.
Diana Arbenina and “Night Snipers”
In 2005 the band played two concerts in Moscow together with the legendary Japanese musician Kazufumi Miyazawa. The show was called “Simaja”, the song of the same name was released as a single by Real Records. In April, the creative tandem performed already in the Land of the Setting Sun. Arbenina’s song “Cat”, which was recorded with Miyazawa, became a big hit in Japan.
In 2009, during a concert at the Music Hall, Arbenina brought a five-year-old girl, Masha, suffering from blood cancer, onto the stage. Masha lived in an orphanage and was a big fan of the group. Together with the girl, Diana sang “South Pole”. After the concert, the girl went on the mend and was soon completely cured.
On December 5, 2013, the group arranged a grand anniversary concert “XX years on stage”. In the first part, Diana Arbenina performed solo songs, in the second, Night Snipers joined her. The concert was closed by the song “Moscow Cat”, the soloist was sung by a group of fans of 100 people – “Sniper Choir”.
The current line-up of Night Snipers
Soon the composition of the group changed again. Solo-guitarist Ivan Ivolga and keyboardist Andrey Zhitkov left. January 13, 2014 the band took the stage with a new guitarist Denis Zhdanov.
In 2004, Diana Arbenina was awarded the Triumph Prize for achievements in the field of literature and art.
In the summer of 2007, Diana Arbenina, with the support of the AST publishing house, published a book of poems, Deserter of Sleep. The collection also includes lyrics, prose, illustrated collages. An audiobook of the same name was released in 2008. Arbenina read her poems to the accompaniment of Night Snipers.
At the same time, Diana participates in the TV show “Two Stars”. Their duet with actor Yevgeny Dyatlov took second place, and was awarded the Alla Pugacheva special prize.
In 2008, the group recorded music for the film “Kandahar”.
In 2009, Night Snipers began publishing the official magazine of the Gavrosh group. In the magazine, the musicians told fans about their lives and plans for the future. Another unusual project was our own online store of sniper paraphernalia “Patronolier”. More than 40 items of products were offered to buyers.
In 2016, Arbenina organized a fundraiser to create a name studio for Night Snipers. The studio began to build a year later.
- “A drop of tar in a barrel of honey” (1998)
- “Baby Talk” (1999)
- “Frontier” (2001)
- “Tsunami” (2002)
- SMS (2004)
- “Bonnie & Clyde” (2007)
- “Army 2009” (2009)
- “4” (2012)
- “Only Lovers Left Alive” (2016)
- “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” (2019)
“Night snipers” now
In 2018, the group celebrated their 25th anniversary with a world tour, presenting the public with a massive light show and unique set design. The tour ended with an anniversary concert at the Olimpiyskiy. The fans were in for a pleasant surprise: together with Arbenina, Svetlana Surganova again appeared on the stage. In March 2019, the women performed together at a St. Petersburg concert at the Ice Palace. According to Surganova, Arbenina first called her back in July 2018. Former girlfriends decided that you need to be able to forgive and not accumulate resentment.
Night Snipers: Reunion
In July 2019, Diana celebrated her 45th birthday on the Crocus City Hall stage. The press noted the poor physical condition of the singer. She was very thin and seemed ill. Diana explained that she had recently experienced a heart attack amid stress due to personal issues. What kind of problems, she did not specify. Diana added that she has been working too hard in recent years and now intends to lead a less stressful lifestyle.
Arbenina expressed her life credo as follows: “When I stand on the stage, I die on it. And if the person next to me is satisfied with the result of “four”, it is better for him to leave. Otherwise, why are you here at all?