A double presentation: Hard n’ heavy and Symfo-metal



When I finished interviewing Olga, the guys from Monolit were already on stage. They always impress the public with a bright show. This time there were no flames, strippers, or the dance team. Monolit grabbed my attention with something else – the quality of performance that looked like one of experienced and well-known stars. I can say this concert was more adult, the guys showed how they grew up professionally.  

Of course they would never do without any visual impressing – this time it was one more new hairstyle of the vocalist, and also a light makeup that looked surprisingly good. (The author of this article is very critical about male makeup.) And while performing some songs Maksym, the solo guitarist, wore a weird hat that somehow appeared on the stage. Later I could see many pics of band members with fans wearing that accessory, so it has become something like an essential part of the band’s shows and after-parties. 

Their new and first CD “Zhyty, a ne isnuvaty“ (“To live but not exist”) is in Ukrainian, only two bonus tracks are in Russian. First Monolit played the Ukrainian songs, including their biggest hits “Slava Ukrayini!” (“Glory to Ukraine!”) and “Naprolom” (“Straight Ahead”), the song from their professional music video.

The last song they performed was “Angel vo T’me” (“Angel in the Dark”), the bonus track in Russian from the CD. The public didn’t want to let the band go, so they came out for encores and played the songs the people demanded – the cover versions of famous Russian rock hits that sound like completely different songs when performed by Monolit.  

No politician could unite people as strong as the band managed to do it – all fans were cursing simultaneously as Monolit played the cover on “Serdtse” (“Heart”) song originally by the band Bi-2. Thanks to Monolit the song gained a new meaning, mood and an unofficial name “Suka” (“Bitch”) since this is the word Monolit have added to the original song and it is exactly the one all people were singing along with Kostya, the frontman of the band.

Another song of those originally by other performers was “Inoplanentiy Gost’” (“The Guest From Another Planet”) of the Mumiy Troll’ band. This song was dedicated to the people of Kyiv and…the mayor of the city who is known for weird behavior and said to be an alien. =) 

By the end of the performance the fans started to leave since it was already too late and many feared to be miss the last train or bus. As Kostyantyn, the vocalist, told me a few days after the concert, people were messaging him in a social network apologizing for leaving before the official end.  

The musicians promised to be available for signing CDs as soon as they come off the stage. It was impossible to come close and take a pic of them and the fans near the table with CDs and posters – the crowd was so huge that I only could stand near and wait for a victim to interview. Unfortunately Kostyantyn Gordeychuk was so exhausted on the day of the presentation, that I thought it would be too cruel to murder him with questions. What is more, he was so busy that didn’t even have time to talk – since he was one of those who organized the event. We met a few days after the concert. Virtually and after midnight. This is what Kostya told me. 

"This concert was not only to present the album, but also to make video footage for our official live DVD. There were several professional video cameras, a crew from the 1+1 TV channel was recording the video. The sound was also recorded channel-by-channel. After sound mixing and video editing we’re planning to release a DVD in the same way as we did with the CD. The title will also be “Zhyty, a ne isnuvaty”.  

We didn’t have a main sponsor who gave us all the money for everything. All in all we didn’t work for any trademark. The concert was held by me as the producer of Monolit and Oleksandr Milevsky, the producer of Symfomania. We ruled the event and were responsible for all issues. We hired a professional advertising agency to manage the PR campaign. What is more, the Universal Music Publishing Group label also supported us greatly.  

But we started searching for sponsors long before the album’s release. We clearly understood that a strong financial base is necessary to release, advertise and introduce a CD. It was also easy to attract investors because everyone knows about our achievements. I wouldn’t even fear to say that for now we have more than a hundred. These are facts, not just words. High-quality recordings and music videos, cooperation with the leading studios and labels, awards at different international festivals – it is something that is impossible not to take into account. As well as how actively we perform and travel (from 50 to 60 shows per year), and the main point is the quality of these shows. We haven’t had many bad performances in the last 3 years. By bad ones I mean those either in small or in bad places. This shows off the level of a band.

Of course when we started in 2004 and were not known yet, we had to play at all events. We were a young band nobody knew, we had no choice. And now I have to reject lots of offers. Because unfortunately not all events we’re invited to match the level we have. For example there are only 2 or 3 places in Kyiv where we can perform. The image of the club influences our name. There are many places where mostly not widely known and not very successful bands play, and they gather few people. If we perform in a club like that, everyone will think Monolit has been hit on the wall with their heads. All together and one by one. This is like what would happen if Angelina Jolie came to a Ukrainian village from Hollywood to play a role of a milkmaid in front of an amateur camera. Nobody would understand this. Our level is also proved by the fact that we already earn money with what we do. Not millions, but already something we can invest in development of our band."