DDT (band)

DDT (band)
For other uses: see DDT (disambiguation).

Yuri Shevchuk in 2007
Background information
Origin USSR, Russia
Genres Hard rock, Folk rock
Years active 1980–present
Labels Teatr DDT
Website http://www.ddt.ru
Yuri Shevchuk
Pavel Borisov
Aleksey Fedichev
Tyoma Mamai
Konstantin Shumaylov
Ivan Vasilyev
Past members
Vladimir Sigachov
Rustem Asanbayev
Rustam Karimov
Gennady Rodin
Nikita Zaytsev
Andrey Vasilyev
Sergey Ryjenko
Igor Dotsenko
Mikhail Chernov

DDT (or ДДТ in Cyrillic) is a popular Russian rock band founded by its lead singer, Yuri Shevchuk (Юрий Шевчук), in Ufa (Bashkir ASSR, RSFSR) in 1980. It is one of the most successful and prolific Russian musical groups of the 20th and 21st centuries.




The band was formed in 1980[1] and originally consisted of 5 members:

  • Yuri Shevchuk — vocals, guitar
  • Vladimir Sigachyov — keyboard
  • Rustem Asanbayev — guitar
  • Gennady Rodin — bass
  • Rustam Karimov — percussion[2]

In 1982, Komsomolskaya Pravda paper declared a competition for young music performers called Zolotoy Kamerton (Golden Tuning Fork). DDT submitted three compositions - "Inoplanetyane" (Aliens), "Chyornoye solntse" (Black Sun), and "Ne strelyai!" (Don't Shoot!). During the long-running competition, the group published their first album (on tape), Svinya na raduge (Pig on a Rainbow). The album contained elements of rock and roll, blues and country music. During this time Russian popular music was divided between sanctioned "official" performers who were admitted to the musicians union, and unofficial artists. Unofficial artists were often highly trained musicians who also had other jobs. A complex underground network evolved in the 1980s and "unofficial" music became widely distributed (although, of course, without any compensation for the artists), in a similar way to the underground channels that had existed for non-state sanctioned literature (samizdat). Such "underground" artists became widely known, and their unofficial albums were sometimes mentioned in the press. In the 1980s, DDT straddled the line between underground and sanctioned artists, but leaned more towards the unsanctioned category.

DDT's submission to Zolotoy Kamerton reached the finals and the group was invited to perform in a concert at Moscow's Orlyonok complex, together with the other finalist, Rok-sentyabr (Rock-September) from Cherepovets. DDT and three members of Rock-September, Vyacheslav Korbin, Yevgeny Belozyorov and Andrey Maslennikov, soon produced a collaborative album (on tape), Monolog v Saigone (Monologue in Saigon). After recording the album, Sigachyov and Shevchuk returned to Ufa.

Sigachyov distanced himself from the group, while Shevchuk recruited new members including Rodin, drummer Sergey Rudogo, guitarist Rustam Rezvanov and keyboard player Vladislav Strochillo.

In May 1983, DDT successfully performed at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, as part of a three-day, sanctioned festival, "Rok za mir" (Rock for Peace). Their performance, however, was edited out of the official television program covering the event.

The new collective produced the album Periferia (Periphery) in April 1984. After recording this album, some members of the group began to be watched and contacted by the KGB. Their music was banned, forcing them to go underground. In some ways this made them even more popular among young Soviets.

Although they never considered themselves political activists, Shevchuk always felt it his duty as a citizen and a songwriter to address not only the strengths but the weaknesses of his country's government, a stance none too popular in the U.S.S.R. DDT continued to work as a "non-conformist" group, producing albums and giving concerts throughout the Soviet Union. This was no easy feat, as they received little if any money for the records they produced during this period, and very little for their concerts as well. Like other dissident artists, they survived through a combination of cleverness, perseverance, and wit.

Shevchuk spent some time in Sverdlovsk (present-day Yekaterinburg), performing with the group Urfin Juis. In November 1985, DDT recorded the album Vremya (Time) in Moscow.[3]


In 1986, Shevchuk moved to Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) with his wife, son and mother. This relocation also helped him to establish himself at the forefront of the Russian rock scene. In 1987 he rebuilt DDT. Its new members included:

  • Vadim Kurylev — bass
  • Andrey Vasiliev — guitar
  • Igor Dotsenko — drums
  • Nikita Zaitsev — violin, guitar
  • Mikhail "Uncle Misha" Chernov — saxophone
  • Andrey Muratov — keyboard

In June 1987, DDT performed at a St Petersburg rock-club festival. DDT performed in front of a crowd of 3,000, even though the venue's capacity was 1,000.

In the summer of 1988, DDT toured across the USSR, and recorded a new album, Ottepel (Thaw). In 1988 they also made their first visit to the U.S., their concert in Los Angeles was covered by MTV.[4]

In 1989, they went on another tour with the group Alisa, performing also at a rock festival in Hungary. In 1990, DDT performed several concerts in the U.S. and Japan. They also performed as part of a concert in honor of Viktor Tsoy. After the U.S.S.R.'s collapse in 1991, DDT became even more popular at home and abroad, as their albums and concerts began to be broadcast and publicized widely. In 1991, DDT recorded another album, the bleak and keyboards-heavy Plastun (album) (Crawler), but after many months of work Shevchuk decided to shelve it; it was finally released in 1995.

In 1992 DDT released the album Aktrisa Vesna (The Actress Spring). This album yielded many hits, especially What is Autumn (Что такое осень). After releasing it, the band toured extensively. Soon afterwards the group changed its performance strategy by adding "programmes" - conceptually prepared concerts - to its repertoire. During December 1992 and January 1993, DDT presented its first program, Chyorny Pyos Peterburg (Black Dog Petersburg), and toured widely in CIS countries. On May 27, 1993, the anniversary of the founding of St. Petersburg, DDT performed a free concert on Dvortsovaya Square.[5] 120,000 people attended.

During the summer of 1994, DDT took part in the rock festival White Nights of St. Petersburg in Berlin. That autumn, the group was awarded the prestigious Ovatsiya award (Ovation) for Best Rock Group of the Year. Yuri Shevchuk was also named Best Rock Musician of the Year.

In the beginning of 1994, a new album, Eto vsyo… (That's all…), was recorded. In January, Shevchuk went on a peace mission to Chechnya, where he performed 50 concerts for both Russian troops and Chechen citizens alike.

On June 25, 1995, DDT performed a solo concert in Petrovsky stadium, which attracted tens of thousands of fans.

Afterwards, the group toured with its newest programme, Ot i do (From and To). At the end of the winter of 1995–1996, the group worked in the USA. In February–March 1996, they recorded a new album, Lyubov (Love), at Long View Farm in Massachusetts with two new musicians: bassist I. Tikhomirov (from the group Kino) and keyboard player D. Galitsky.

In the summer of 1996, upon their return from the United States, the group headlined several festivals, including VladiROCKstok, the first large-scale international music festival in the formerly closed city of Vladivostok on the Sea of Japan.


DDT during the autograph-session in Moscow, 2011

In May 1998, the band presented the new album Mir nomer nol (World number zero) which contained influences from industrial music and a wide use of computer technologies.

Since that time, the band has won many Russian music awards and numerous humanitarian citations for their creative and charitable work. Today, DDT is one of the most popular rock groups in Russia, and their concerts attract tens of thousands of people. Shevchuk and his group also regularly travel throughout the C.I.S. and other former Soviet republics to give benefit concerts: in the spring and summer of 2002, 10 out of 11 concerts that the band played were benefits for various social and cultural organizations. They are also reaching an ever-growing audience in the U.S. and Europe, and for the past 20 years have traveled frequently throughout the world making ever more converts to their unique sound. Shevchuk's music and lyrics are not only influenced by traditional "western" rock music, but also by the entire scope of Russian folk, classical, and religious music.[6] In many respects their years as an underground group shaped their philosophy towards their art. The question of their music's marketability was never part of the song writing process for there was no "market" in which to compete.

In 2005, they celebrated their 25th anniversary with an extended tour throughout Russia, Europe, and North America, and released a new CD entitled Propavshy bez vesti (Vanished Without a Trace) to huge critical acclaim.[7]

In 2007 DDT released the album Prekrasnaya lyobov' (Wonderful Love), a collection of previously unreleased songs which had been performed by the group for many years in addition to several new songs.

DDT during the Inache2011 tour

On March 3, 2008, DDT performed at the Dissenters' March in St. Petersburg to protest the controversial and possibly unfair election of Dmitry Medvedev as President of Russia. Recently, Shevchuk received considerable media attention following a pointed dialogue with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in which he openly confronted him (on state television) with questions regarding such controversial topics as democracy, freedom of speech, assembly, and the press in Russia.[8]

On September 24 and 26, 2008, DDT presented an anti-war program called Ne strelyay! (Don't Shoot!). These concerts were dedicated to victims of local wars, particularly the victims of the war in South Ossetia. The concert in Petersburg was shown on TV by Channel 5 without commercial breaks.

In the summer of 2009, DDT participated in the "Rok nad Volgoy" festival ("Rock above Volga") in Samara and in the international music festival "Sotvorenie mira" ("World creation") in Kazan.[9]

Om September 2, 2009, the band perfomed on VVC Square to protest against destruction of historical buildings in Moscow.

In 2011, DDT released the album Inache (Otherwise). The band is preparing to embark on a worldwide tour in 2011.

Shevchuk put together the first incarnation of the band in the summer of 1980, and although its members have changed over the years, Shevchuk continues to voice the concerns and frustrations of the Russian people in his music today just as he did in the band's infancy. The more than 20 albums in DDT's discography not only chronicle the history of a rock group; they are narratives that examine all aspects of life in the Soviet Union and Russia over the past 30 years.


Transliterated title Original title Translation Year of release
Svinya na raduge Свинья на радуге Pig on a Rainbow 1982
Kompromiss Компромисс Compromise 1983
Periferiya Периферия Periphery 1984
Vremya Время Time 1985
Ya poluchil etu rol Я получил эту роль I received this role 1988
Ottepel Оттепель Thaw 1990
Plastun Пластун Scout (this is an archaic term originating with the Cossacks, see Plastun) 1991
Aktrisa Vesna Актриса Весна Spring the Actress 1992
Chyorny pyos Peterburg Чёрный пёс Петербург Black Dog Petersburg (live album) 1993
Eto vsyo Это всё This is Everything (or: This is All) 1994
Lyubov Любовь Love 1996
Rozhdyonny v SSSR Рождённый в СССР Born in the USSR 1997
Mir nomer nol (Single) Мир номер ноль World number zero (single) 1998
Mir nomer nol Мир номер ноль World number zero 1999
Prosvistela Просвистела (It) whistled by (compilation) 1999
Metel avgusta Метель Августа Snowstorm of August 2000
Yedinochestvo I Единочество I Oneliness 2002
Yedinochestvo II. Zhivoy. Единочество II. Живой. Oneliness II. Alive. 2003
Pesni Песни Songs (re-mixed hits) 2003
Gorod bez okon. Vkhod. Город без окон. Вход. City with no windows. Entrance. (live album) 2004
Gorod bez okon. Vykhod. Город без окон. Выход. City with no windows. Exit. (live album) 2004
Propavshy bez vesti Пропавший без вести Vanished without a trace (Also: Missing in action) 2005
Prekrasnaya lyubov Прекрасная любовь Wonderful love 2007
Ne strelyay Не стреляй! Don't Shoot! (compilation) 2008
Inache Иначе Otherwise 2011


  1. ^ History of DDT, Official site
  2. ^ Yuri Shevchuk
  4. ^ History of DDT, Official site
  5. ^ Yuri Shevchuk
  6. ^ History of DDT, Official site
  7. ^ History of DDT, Official site
  8. ^ NY Times, Break in Protocol for a Rock Star With Putin, By MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ, May 31, 2010
  9. ^ Sotvorenie mira, Official site

External links

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