On Thursday night, Russian ska-punk veterans Shluz release their fourth album, “Prilichno” (Decently), at club B2 in celebration of the group’s birthday.
Since 1999, Shluz has been entertaining crowds with provocative, joyful and buoyant tunes, advancing their style as they grow from a strictly punk band to an all-out ska-punk group, complete with a raucous brass section. In their latest album, they endeavor into the realms of jazz and swing.
Shluz is active to say the least, playing more than a hundred concerts a year.
As everybody knows, some members come and go, but at the heart, Aksana Tsvety (vocals) and Alexander Usachyov (guitar) remain forever loyal.
“We have traditions, of course — we don’t drink before the concert,” Aksana laughs.
A mighty show is the group's trademark, with uproarious tunes, whirling costumes and clever interaction with the crowd.
“I don’t like talking about the creative process when writing songs, I’m afraid to chase away the muse. I write the lyrics and a part of the music. Usually Alexander or Taras [Konak, bass guitar] complete the music,” Aksana says.
Vladislav Dashkevich (trumpet), Alexei Sakharov (drums) and Andrei Razinkov (trombone) round out the lineup.
“I like playing for any audience, really,” Alexei says. “At a festival you get this crazy energy, but in smaller clubs or bars, you feel comfortably closer to the public.”
Dodging politics or populism, Shluz’s songs relate the inner world of people living in a gigantic city.
“We simply hope to continue what we are doing — writing songs, playing our instruments,” Alexander says.
“We are happy with our fourth album. It has been a long time coming and is very dear to us,” he continues. “We play different music now — we experimented a bit, and we like the result. We hope the public will like it too.”
In parting, the band jokes:“Shluz does not have fans, everybody who comes to the concert becomes a friend.”