Alexander Marshal: Dad, a military pilot, was offended that I dropped out of the third year of a military school. But when he saw me on stage, he shook my hand: “Well done.” Photo: PhotoXPress
It didn’t work with ferns and herrings.
Alexander Vitalievich, hasn’t nostalgia washed over you?
Alexander Marshal: Volgograd is my youth, this is the Araks group, which at that time was forbidden to perform under its native name. They played as Phoenix. We spent two months in a hotel near the circus. I remember the smell for the rest of my life when some artists decided to fry a herring there. During this time, we try to present our program to the host commission at the local officers’ house. And so we play an hour-long concert, we gather in the living room to hear the decision. I’ve already changed my clothes. And then the most important official looked at me: “Young man, and who are you?” “Yeah, this is our bass player,” the guys replied. And then I realized that we will not pass the program. They didn’t even remember us! They told us that Soviet youth did not need rock.
And yet, we began to act at our own risk. And my parents came for the first time to my concert in Volgograd. Dad, a military pilot, was offended that I dropped out of the third year of a military school. But then he saw that I was in my place (and at school I was not in my place), he shook my hand and said: “Well done.”
After all, now you are not only a singer, but also the host of the TV show “Legends of the Army”. Why do you need this?
Alexander Marshal: I have been working in television for six years. I hardly make any money from this. And he agreed to the proposal of the Zvezda channel, because young people do not know anything about our past. I saw a girl ask what the name of Leo Tolstoy’s father was. She went through many options, but she never named Nikolai. I wish they knew the story. But I am closer to modern events. I was in many hot spots, I spoke with the family of the pilot Roman Filippov, who died in Syria. This is what I live with all my life. I grew up in military camps. They send me a lot of military-themed songs, but I write them.
After each trip to Syria and Donbass, new songs are born. I can’t write about anything. I envy poets who can write a whole poem about how a fern blooms.
I know many who have left. Such people have always been
Now many cultural figures have taken the following position: if someone does not agree with the actions of the authorities, they should leave the country. Even you said it. I would say that it is an appeal of unconstitutionality. We are all citizens of the same country, right?
Alexander Marshal: Yes, I said that in an interview. Look, leaving the USSR was very difficult because of the Iron Curtain. Previously, for those who did not agree, there were only places not so far away and psychiatric hospitals. Now the borders are open. Those who leave receive money to encourage those who stay. They want Maidan, blood. But they will not succeed, because there are millions of followers of the version to which I adhere. In the fall, in Khabarovsk, he performed on the square in front of 55 thousand people. I asked them to raise their hands and shout, and they all did in unison. What you see on the internet is a small number of people who, for various reasons, are against it. So let’s find out who’s right and who’s wrong. But while the guys are fighting, we have no right to say nasty things about them.
The scorpions even changed the words in the “Wind of Change” to pour water into the Ukrainian mill. Although we were friends, but they, as I understand it, just went crazy.
My son was sad when several of his classmates left. I explained to him: “Artem, you cannot put your soul into others. You can talk to them, but you cannot force them.” After school, Artem himself asked to join the army, special forces. I called a familiar general in the Rostov region, he agreed. And the son served there for two months until he tore his knee ligament, after which he was in the hospital for almost a year. But he is recruiting. If he gets a subpoena, he’ll go, I won’t excuse him. My father and grandfather would be proud of him. Deep down I’m glad they don’t see what’s going on. I can’t imagine how they would have survived. My grandfather was a cavalryman during the Great Patriotic War, he liberated Ukraine, then Hungary, and ended the war in Austria.
The father passed away in 2001, the mother – in 2015. They lived in Ukraine. And I was already on the “Peacemaker” list, I couldn’t come. Thanks to my friends, my parents and sister were reburied in Moscow. Can you imagine my feelings while all this was happening? You sit at home and on the table are urns with the ashes of relatives.
I know many who have left. Especially my age. I used to be friends with a lot of people, but now we don’t talk. There have always been people like that. I was still a boy when my father brought home a newspaper. There was an article that told how in the post-war years in Belarus, teenagers walked through the forest and fell into a dugout with a German warehouse. There they ate, dressed in uniform, drank “Schmeisers” and decided to play a trick. Scare the villagers. They flew with weapons – grandmothers began to pray. Is it the Germans again? And a man immediately jumped out with a list of local communists! Do you understand? These people will always be there. You can’t throw a barrel at the guys who are fighting for us. They return from the hospitals to the front, because they are ashamed in front of their dead comrades.
It is clear that now his audience is in Russia. But maybe someone else remembers Gorky Park. Have you tried to convey your position to someone abroad?
Alexander Marshal – Scorpions even changed the words in “Wind of Change” to pour water into the Ukrainian mill. Although we were friends, but they, in my understanding, went crazy. Are you afraid of your Chancellor Scholz? They have zero information about what is happening. They don’t know that the former artist leading Ukraine has already earned more than a billion from this situation.
In Germany, we met a purebred German woman named Vera. Her father was in Soviet captivity from 1943 to 1949. She was surprised by our attitude towards him. He thought he was lucky Germany was at war with us. Others would just destroy it. When he returned and her daughter was born, he called her a Russian name and urged her to be a friend of the Russians. And Vera is now “drowning” for Russia, she took part in a rally in Munich. She sent me a photo of a famous German rapper with Russian and German flags. He speaks Russian, since he himself comes from the GDR, and he also has a Tatar wife. I want to record a song with him.
Photo: Roman Merzlyakov/RG
Alexander Minkov was born in 1957 in the Kuban, in the village of Korenovskoy (now the city of Korenovsk). The creative pseudonym Marshal comes from a nickname at the Stavropol Higher Military Aviation School. Becoming a musician, he performed in various groups: “Araks”, “Flowers”, he achieved the greatest popularity with the group “Gorky Park”. In 1998 he started his solo career. Member of the Public Council of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.