Biography of the Splin group
The St. Petersburg band “Splin” is one of the most famous and popular indie rock bands on the modern Russian stage. Their difficult to understand, sometimes even depressing texts won the hearts of both the older generation and today’s youth.
History of creation
Although the official date of the creation of the Spleen group is May 27, 1994, the prerequisites for the formation of the team were formed much earlier. One of the significant events for the future group was the acquaintance in 1986 at the Leningrad Institute of Aviation Instrumentation of three novice musicians: Alexander Vasiliev (vocals, rhythm guitar), Nikolai Rostovsky (keyboards) and Alexander “Morris” Morozov (bass guitar).
Group “Mitra”: Vasiliev, his future wife, Kuvaev and Morozov
It was this trio, who later became the backbone of the Spleen group, in 1986-1987 began to purposefully gather together with Oleg Kuvaev and Vasiliev’s future wife named Alexandra for joint rehearsals and recording music. This was the beginning of the Mitra group, which had nothing but instruments, a microphone, a tape recorder and Alexander Morozov’s apartment.
The musicians did not have professional equipment
In 1987, the musicians of the Mitra group made an attempt to join the Leningrad Rock Club, an organization that united the city’s rock bands and held concerts and themed festivals, but failed to pass the audition. “Mitra” did not achieve much success on the music scene and broke up, which was directly related to the departure of its leader Alexander Vasilyev in 1988 to the army and his subsequent attempts to find himself either in studying economics or in business.
Group “Splin” in his youth
The rest of the Mitra team continued to contact each other, and when Vasilyev and Morozov got a job at the Buff Theater in 1993, the musicians, secretly from the management, used the local studio to record an album called Dusty Reality. On May 27, 1994, the album was completed and later released under the name of the group “Spleen”, which means “spleen, melancholy”. This date is considered the band’s birthday.
The main stages of creativity
The debut album “Dusty Reality” was sold in St. Petersburg with a circulation of 10,000 copies and received mostly warm reviews from critics who saw notes of “Aquarium”, folk, rock and jazz in the work of the young group. At the celebration in honor of the release of the record, the group met guitarist Stas Berezovsky, who joined the team. Shortly thereafter, drummer Nikolai Lysov joined Spleen.
Appeal to listeners on the cover of the album “Dusty Story”
In the period from 1994 to 1996, the group begins to perform in clubs in St. Petersburg. It is noteworthy that during these years Vasiliev worked on the Radio Record, but he never used his official position and did not air the songs of Splin. In parallel with this, the preparation of the next album, entitled “The Collector of Weapons”, was in full swing. The first clip of “Splin” was released – Oleg Kuvaev, the future “father” of Masyanya, drew a video for the song “They told me a word.”
An important stage in the early years of Spleen’s career was a performance at the Generation festival in 1995. The group was not among the winners, but was able to impress even the most demanding listeners and earn their interest. Among them was the well-known music critic, journalist Andrei Yuryevich Vulf. Among those who bypassed “Spleen” in the fight for the Golden Pear prize was the rock band “Tequilajazzz” with leader Evgeny Fedorov.
The permanent leader of the Splin group Alexander Vasiliev
In 1996, Splin released the second album, Weapons Collector, for sale, but participation in the rock festival Fill the Sky with Kindness, organized by Yuri Shevchuk from the DDT group, becomes more significant for the development of the group. At the Petrovsky stadium in St. Petersburg, for an audience of 35,000 people, the leaders of Russian rock music played: Alisa, Auktyon, DDT, King and Jester, Tequilajazzz and many others.
In the same year, on the advice of Konstantin Kinchev from Alisa, the group took part in the Vote or Lose campaign. The organizers at all costs wanted to prevent the victory of the Communist candidate in the presidential election and “promoted” to the masses the idea of voting for Boris Yeltsin. However, Vasiliev was not embarrassed by the political background of the event – he wanted to gain experience by speaking to an audience of thousands.
The year 1997 in the history of the Spleen group was marked by the release of the third album, Lantern Under the Eye, after which the group became known to music lovers. This disc includes several absolute hits: “Come on, Lama”, “Nevsky Prospekt”, “First Snow” and others. The texts and music of all compositions were written by Vasiliev.
Cover of the album “Lantern under the eye”
Also, the year was remembered for a successful performance at the Maksidrome festival. Despite the presence of eminent competitors in the face of the Agatha Christie, Alisa and Tequilajazzz groups, the music of the Splinov was recognized as one of the best along with the band from Ukraine Green Grey.
Photos from the festival “Invasion”
In 1998, Alexander Ponomarev became the group’s manager, who marked the new policy of the rock group – touring with concerts in major cities of Russia. Trips around the country and the release of the fourth album “Pomegranate Album”, which included one of the most recognizable compositions of the Orbit without Sugar band, as well as “All this nonsense”, “There is no way out” and 9 more songs, brought the group all-Russian fame and love.
The most significant event of 1998 for Spleen was the performance before the Russian concert of the cult The Rolling Stones. Keith Richards liked the design of the Pomegranate Album, and nostalgia played its part – the legends of the rock scene remembered themselves in their youth.
During this period, Nikolai Lysov left Spleen, and Sergey Navetny came to replace him. Following Lysov in 1999, the team temporarily leaves Nikolai Rostovsky. But the group was replenished with flutist Yanik Nikolenko – his instrument appeared in almost every song of “Splin” for the next 8 years. The period from 1999 to 2000 is notable for the overseas tour of Splin, in which the musicians performed in front of the public in New York, and the release of the fifth album, Altavista.
In the photo: Alexander Vasilyev and the Bi-2 group
The period of rapid growth in popularity was 2001 with the release of the new album “25 frames” and the Fellini Tour tour of Russia jointly with the rock group “Bi-2”. After the concert tour, Alexander Morozov left Splin, and Nikolai Voronov began to play the bass guitar part with him. Among other things, Nikolai Rostovsky returned to the team. A new composition of the group called “New People”, released as a single, gained popularity (later the album received the same name).
The stage of growth was inevitably followed by a recession, in 2003 and 2004 the albums “New People” and “Reverse Chronicle of Events” were released, which, according to most music critics and fans, were weaker than the previous ones in terms of text and in terms of the very quality of music. In addition, drummer Sergei Navetny left the group, he was replaced by Alexei Meshcheryakov.
The period from 2005 to 2006 became extremely difficult for the development of the group, since guitarist Stanislav Berezovsky and flutist Yan Nikolenko left Spleen. Over time, Vadim Sergeev became a solo guitarist, but Spleen no longer had a permanent flutist. In addition to a sharp change in the line-up of the group, an important event was a large-scale tour in the USA of 4 concerts, which aroused keen interest from many fans of rock music.
In 2004, “Spleen” celebrated its 20th anniversary
In 2007, “Spleen” actively travels with tours to major cities in Russia, Belarus and Germany. In the same period, the album “Split Personality” saw the light of day, which received an award from the radio station “Our Radio” as part of the “Chart Dozen” award for the best album of 2007. There were new changes in the composition: instead of the departed Nikolai Voronov, Dmitry Kunin became the bass player of the group.
By 2007, “Spleen” acquired a line-up that has been preserved for many years. In subsequent periods, the team focused on releasing studio albums every two years, annual Russian and international tours, and rallying the existing group lineup.
The 2009 album “Signal from Space” was united by the theme of searching for an answer to the question “How to get off this planet?”. 2012 saw the release of Illusion, half-recorded with an iPad. Two years later, the Resonance album went on sale in two parts.
The recording of the next album “The Key to the Cipher” was no longer carried out at the Dobrolet studio, where the group’s previous discs were created, but at Vasilyev’s own studio. According to the musician, this allowed him to work more thoughtfully on the vocals.
The album “Oncoming lane”, released for sale in May 2018, deserves special mention. The musicians of the wind section from the Leningrad group took part in the recording. Musical critics greeted him quite warmly, the texts of Alexander Vasilyev deserved special praise, but the paucity of the musical arrangement itself was noted. The leader of the Splin group himself noted that one of the goals of creating a new album was “saving souls with highly spiritual music.”
Concerts of the group and the life of individual musicians of the Splin group are often accompanied by various scandalous episodes.
In November 2001, the press circulated information about the appearance of an illegitimate child with Alexander Vasilyev in the late 90s. The scandal consisted not only in the very presence of the child, but also in the fact that Vasiliev tried to pay a large sum to the pregnant girl in exchange for her silence about the incident. According to some reports, the girl refused his proposal and left his life forever.
Vasiliev may have an illegitimate child
An unpleasant incident was accompanied by a rock concert “Threesome is easier” on November 30, 2005 in the city of Yekaterinburg. The Splin group was also supposed to take part in this event, but the team, without explaining the reasons for its absence, did not reach Sverdlovsk. Rock music lovers who were going to attend the concert, mainly due to the presence of Splin in the program, massively began to return tickets to the box office. As a result, the event was held with a half-empty hall.
In 2011, the Splin group was invited as guests to the Ukrainian TV program X-Factor. After a live performance, TV presenter Oksana Marchenko extended her hand to Alexander Vasiliev for a handshake, but he did not shake hands in response. The leader of the Spleen group also did not wish anything to the participants of the show. At the same time, there are points of view according to which what happened during the TV program was just a mutual misunderstanding.
In December 2016, “Splin” performed with a concert in the city of Alma-Ata, a large Kazakh metropolis. The scandal associated with this was not caused by the actions of the band’s musicians, but by the local police. During the concert, one of the band’s fans present was detained directly in the hall for noisy behavior. Opinions about his actions differ. Some of those present said that the man simply got up from his seat and began to dance. The police also claimed that he tried to break into the stage. Be that as it may, the incident left an unpleasant imprint on the entire event.
- “Dusty Reality” (1994)
- “Gun Collector” (1996)
- “Lantern under the eye” (1997)
- “Pomegranate Album” (1998)
- “Altavista” (1999)
- “25th Frame” (2001)
- “New People” (2003)
- “Reverse Chronicle of Events” (2004)
- “Split Personality” (2007)
- “Signal from Space” (2009)
- “Illusion” (2012)
- “Resonance” (2014, in two parts)
- “Key to the cipher” (2016)
- “Oncoming lane” (2018)
Spleen group now
“Splin” remains one of the most popular rock bands in Russia, the band continues to regularly conduct concert tours throughout the country. In 2018, “Spleen” was noted for its performance in April on the TV program “What? Where? When?” and the release in May of the new album “Oncoming lane”.
“Spleen” continues to delight fans with new creativity