Zum Anlass ihrer aktuellen Releases und Touren haben sich Alisa von ShiOffline und Lizzie von Messed Up gegenseitig interviewt :
Lizzie asking Alisa
Lizzie: You use many russian words with a great western-european accent but also by writing them with Latin letters. It’s thrilling and eclectic. Can You tell me some more about that? I wondered because of what did You choose to use the russian words in your music/image?!
Alisa: I was born in Russia, in a city called Rostov on Don. When I was two years old my parents moved with me to Germany. They were the only people I was talking Russian with, that’s why I have this european accent. The decision to use Latin letters for the title of our Album is to aid its discoverability. Using russian and english represents my artistic approach to work in different layers and also to communicate my state of mind that wants to focus on internationality rather than living in a complexity of different nationalities.
Lizzie: Your outlook is a bit shocking for the "normal/usual people". I like it as well, but I’m not sure what about You? It is your choice to behave like this, or it’s some complicated issues that moving you to this point of Your life/career when You already are right now?! Can You tell me some more about your real feelings - did they correlated for 100% with what you are doing in Shi Offline?!
Alisa: Shocking is a hard word , haha. For sure it is my choice to express myself and the art
I want to make. I don’t want to be a part of beauty-fascism, created gender stereotypes and sexism that our society is still preaching.
That’s why I feel graviating towards the beauty of the “ugly” or the “ nonconform."
I feel comfortable with my outlooking because it’s my creation and not only a surface that someone else created.. of course it’s a reaction on this brainwash of our heteronormative society that told us to hate ourselfs, our bodies and emotions. A society that is teaching us to buy dumb shit to become a woman (or man). A society that judges about our sexuality , calling us asexual when we are not looking sexy and feminin enough , calling us sluts when we are too sexy. It’s hard to ignore preaching voices that were following me for ages . I want people to overthink the construction of gender, I want them to overthink their vocabularies and their behaviour. Let’s open our hearts and minds and create a world together where every being is able to live freely.
Lizzie: The next question is coming from previous - Tattoos. I’ve made the first one this February and second just a few weeks ago. It’s BW tattoos with low quality, but I don’t care) What about Yours? It is to impress yourself ?
Alisa: I like the aestethics of a tattooed body and i love if the tattoos are as simple as possible and as authentic as they can be without following a regular style. On the one hand this kind of antistyle / ignorant tattoos were a way of rebellion against beauty standards for me, like a reclaim of my body. On the other hand I think that having them is like a contemporary collection of fine art (I ’ m also working as a tattooartist ) and also of memories. These days maybe I would overthink this kind of rebellion that is focused on the destruction of my body because I think I could use the energy to change things in society.
Lizzie: Your music is so interesting but it is your favorite one or You like some other kind of music, any music bands to be mentioned?
Alisa: One of my favourite musicians are Kedr Livasniy , Arca, Ic3peak, Peaches, Low, Smerz, Eartheater, Yaeji and Aisha Devi at the moment.
Lizzie: Do You know the polish band SIKSA (shiksa in Hebrew) - https://www.instagram.com/siksa_forever/ - some of Your performances look so similar to theirs. Can You check their music/perform I’m interested how do You like them and what kind of expression d’You have after watching their shows?
Alisa: Thank you for showing me Siksa.
You are right, we are using somehow a similar language. For example
"Stabat Mater Dolorosa" where they are using the image of Caravaggios painting “The Incredulity of Saint Thomas" , like we did for a photo shoot.
Their sound is quite interesting . I like how punkish and minimalistic it is but I’m a bit sad, that I can ’ t understand their lyrics… maybe then I would see more parallels ( ^ω^ )
Alisa asking Lizzie
Alisa: Is punk rock the music of your choice, because its actually the music that you like and are listening to the most or also because its generally seen as a strong counter culture that has always been one of the most political genres? And what are your main influences besides punk rock?
Lizzie: 1.I think both alternatives are right. Punk
rock music has been inspiring me for a quite long time. Firstly, punk rock attracted me by its raw sound, angry appearance, and craziness. Just after that, I managed to figure out what it was all about. For us punk is an expression of freedom. We don’t want to be limited by any frames and obey the government and society. We have our own opinions. That is why it means that punk rock for us is not just the music. As for all the main influences, then I could notice that in music I prefer different types of music with the right message and lyrics. Speaking about it in wider sense, I was inspired by left-wing and anarchy ideas as well as their message.
Alisa: Are there any moments of fears that you have based on social pressure? Moments that you’re afraid to get attacked (possibly not only by words) because of your art and political statement?
Lizzie: As you rightly noted, our society is quite aggressive and cruel. We do not have a decent life and a well-paid jobs here. Not enough entertainment and we have no alternatives. I think this is the result of the post-Soviet heritage. Therefore, people only think about how to survive and give their children an appropriate education. It is believed that activists like us pose a threat to a stable society and government. That’s why we have a misunderstanding, turning into a direct attack on us. Luckily, the time of street fighting with the Nazis and other intolerant people has passed, but there are accidents occurring from time to time, and we must know how to protect ourselves.
Alisa: How is the understanding for the issues your thematizing within the punk rock scene itself in Belarus? Can the punk rock scene be seen as more aware as the general public? Are you backed by other male bands or primarily male bands or do you feel a headwind from them as well?
Lizzie: The total awareness about punk rock does not exist in our country because of the post-soviet mentality. People do not worry about problems existing in the rest of the world apart from the problems of their own. They think that punk rock from Western Europe carries a threat to them and everything that relates to West Europe causes people’s fears and rejection.
We don’t sing about something new to our audience in Belarus. We all have similar problems, misunderstandings. We all have one idea and support each other. If we say about feminism or unfair conditions be sure that all men will support us.
Our scene consists of 85% of men, and, to be honest, it were the men who helped us a lot to promote our band at the beginning of the Messed Up story. They do continue to support us now. I’m very proud that there is no place for any discrimination or incorrect behaviour in our musical surroundings.
Alisa: Have you ever thought about leaving Belarus to be more free or maybe less effected in your musical expression, performances etc. or is it clear for you that you want to stay in order to get things changed?
Lizzie: To be honest, we have thought about leaving Belarus many times. I don’t want to feel like I’m betraying it, but the understanding that I’m not fitting in Belarusian society is very strong. In addition to my disappointment, there are my frequent quarrels with parents who think they know what’s best for me in life like such things as happy family, children and success at work. It is funny and frustrating at the same time. I guess, the fact that every day we kind of defying the society testifies that we want to get things changed, but during the time of our generation it is impossible I suppose.
Alisa: Are you currently able to be fully free in terms of lyrics, styling, performances or do you still eventually feel some sort of muzzle because of the current state of society in Belarus? Are there things you would have liked to say or do that your currently not able to?
Lizzie: I’m free to an extent as I can let myself be.You know, I’m free to think, but i cant express my thoughts and ideas safely. It is quite clear that in Belarus it’s impossible to realize yourself especially as a musician with your own opinion. People like me will be always feeling the constraints in their work, their activities, etc., because this is how our system works.
As I’ve already pointed it out, I wanted to realize myself as a musician here. However, the difficulty is not only of us not having any massive gigs, which is quite understandable should one only take a look at the brutal cover of our album. It’s also about the same crowd that always keeps coming to our gigs and supporting our ideas. People are just scared to come out of their comfort zone. I believe it’s all about the fear.
Alisa: Imagining we would be living in an entirely just world, free of prejudices, sexism, patriarchism etc. what would your music be like? What would your subjects be?
Lizzie: Even if there were no such issues like homophobia, sexism, etc., I would still find something, you bet. Originally, the Messed Up never sang about the global problems of this world. It was important for us to address the issue of human individuality, its emotional side and feelings, but only when it’s correlated with pain, because punk rock music is more about pain and worries, rather than joy. We simply found the alcove, where we could unleash our energy and people would get it. That is exactly why I believe we would be singing about the human moral set, people’s feelings and worries
Die beiden Bands sind aktuell auch auf Tour live zu sehen in folgenden Städten:
01-11 - FRIDAY - Chemnitz @ Crasspub
02-11 - SATURDAY - Plauen @ Project Schuldenberg
03-11 - SUNDAY - Nurnberg @ Project 31
04-11 - MONDAY - Trier @ VillaWuller
05-11 - TUESDSAY - Wiesbaden @ Sabot
06-11 - WEDNESDAY - Cologne @ Autonomes Zentrum
07-11 - THURSDAY - Gottingen @T-Keller
08-11 - FRIDAY - Berlin @ Koepi
09-11 - SATURDAY - Hamburg @ Stortebecker
10-11 - SUNDAY - Potsdam @ KuZe
31.10.19 Erlangen - E-Werk
01.11.19 Aarau (CH) - KIFF
02.11.19 Ulm - ROXY
28.11.19 Chemnitz - AJZ Talschock
29.11.19 Augsburg - Neue Kantine
30.11.19 Konstanz - Kula Konstanz
05.12.19 Erfurt - Kalif Storch
06.12.19 Frankfurt am Main - Zoom
07.12.19 Karlsruhe - Substage