The whole story began back in 1993 when Alex Krishtop (aka Doctor Leopoldus) when studying English came across a curious word in one textbook. It is the shortened form of the name of one small town in Wales. The full form of the word consists of 58 characters and being uncomfortable to pronounce it is usually cut to Llanfair P. G. So, it was picked as the name for a new band formed by Dr. Leo, Andrey Vlasov (aka Andrew Svensson — drums) and Dmitry Vyssotsky (aka Karlsson ¬¬— bass).
But it was not until the appearance of their third album — “Tree of Tales” — that the band's style had formed completely. Here all musicians exploded their talents. The fiery, crying and mourning guitar of Dr. Leo, precise riffs and sophisticated bass solos of Karlsson and powerful drums of Andrew Svenson has become the “trade mark” of the band.
During next 3 years the band’s music was continually getting heavier and apparently more of art-rock or prog-rock. Dr. Leo starts playing violin, recorder and mandolin and a keyboardist is added to the band. Also in 1998 the line-up was completed by Alexey Redin (aka Rob McReddin), an actor and a specialist in Medieval culture. Altogether Llanfair P. G. developed a performance based on Celtic folkore, Medieval farces and heavy music. Audience highly applauses to the new show, and journalists and DJs call the band a “heavy folk”, or “art-rock”, or “prog-metal”, or even “gothic”, since there was no exact definition to the band’s style of that time.
In 2000 Karlsson and Andrew Svenson left the band and were replaced by Dmitry Petras and Artem Mikhailov.
In 2001 the band released “Friendly Faces/Bestiarium”, a double-named album consisted of very diverse songs, from Breton traditional to extreme gothic metal symphonic piece “Witch Hunt”. This album was renowned as “outstanding”, “unique” and “superb” by several respectable reviewers, including The Dutch Progressive Rock Page. Even today the band occasionally receives inquiries on how to and where to get this release.
That same time Llanfair P. G. not only was actively touring, they performed at various festivals with well-known foreign bands such as Finntroll and Cruachan.
In 2001 Dmitry Petras left the band to commence his own project, Wolfsangel, and was replaced by Dennis Geit.
From 2001 to 2004 Llanfair P. G. seldom played gigs and although tried to record a new album this project failed. Even fans began to think that Llanfair P. G. had no new ideas and had got nothing to say. Eventually the band came apart in early 2004.
Immediately after that Dr. Leo called Karlsson and Andrew Svensson and offered to try to put the band together again. But it shouldn’t be yet another “come-back” for an almost completely forgotten once-a-star, Llanfair P. G. started off with some completely different music, now more based on the great Brithsh 60’s sounds overdriven with modern influences. They recorded a new album called “Three Again” which exhibits them as heirs to The Who, Led Zeppelin, Iggy Pop and Sex Pistols at the same time. To finalize, there’s a quotation from RockAndRollReport.com: “I have always maintained that rock and roll is a global phenomena and you have to go no further than Russian band Llanfair P.G. to prove this point. A primitive and wild psychedelic punk band, Llanfair P.G. just go to show that rock and roll is a universal language. I just think this is so cool and their tunes are great to boot!”
The Story Behind the Album
The main idea which inspired us when we started playing together again, after many years, is that music, epsecially rock music should not be in any way and by any means refined, is should stay raw, clear, honest and shrill and it was in its childhood. On the one hand it means that we should leave all virtuoso solos, complex arrangements and all those kinky things that in the long run can only be valued by musicians. Thus, we should stop playing “music for musicians” considering all that great mid-60’s British psychedelic rock and The Who in particular as our reference point. On the other hand, the second, but no less important thing was the sound. Initially we hoped we could reproduce the unique atmospere of early rock recordings, but very soon we realized that there’s no studio all around with such capabilities. It’s not a matter of technique, it’s a matter of ears of sound engineers. And then we decided to go our own way.
For a long time I've been getting more and more convinced that our would is becoming too artificial. Just think what we eat and drink for instance: a plain mixture of some obsucre 'preservatives', 'additives', 'sweeteners' and so on. Think of what we see on TV. Consequently, think of what we hear from those crappy commercial CDs. All tracks are recorded and re-recorded, then edited note-by-note, then re-assempled in pretty artificial sound space to deliver the astonished listener the sound which CAN NOT EXIST in real life.
Think, have you ever heard a live gig with that refined studio sound? It ain't possible. Moreover, some time ago I became pretty bored with refined sounds — to that extent that any noise perceived as heavenly music and any occasional side-note made my heart beat. So, about half a year back I asked myself a question: is it really impossible to record a live band AS IS, with no overdubs, with real acoustics; and if anyone made a mistake, then the whole track should be re-recorded together — or you leave it along with the track: the truth must be truth.
The decision came when I bought an old VS880 and my band moved to a new rehearsal room. The set for recording was: two mics for drums, one - for guitar and one - for bass. We had to overdub the voice since VS880 has only 4 inputs. Then a little reverbs and compressors were added and - lo! - the long-awaited ""pure"" recording.
This is what we’re in now, and “Three Again” is the new sound for lovers of pure music.
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