Sayat Ayik interviews The Bambir (Yerevan) about the past, present and future of this progressive rock band playing with an Armenian folkish twist.
BBR: Yes, there are two groups: “BAMBIR” first generation, the folk rock band created in 1978 founded by Jag (Gagik Barseghyan). However, the very first rock band founded by Jag was created in 1969 called “Angin Karer” and in 1978 the group was renamed as “Bambir”.
We are the second generation and we are called “The Bambir”, playing progressive rock music with folkish twist. Our band was created in 1992.
AAN: I have a Bambir album, called “Bambir” I think (there is no name). It’s published in 2005, produced by Artyom Ayvazyan and Varuzhan Avetyan. Are there any plans with those songs? I liked these most: “Hazaran Blbul”, “Jrahars”, “Alabalanitsa”, “Dghyaky”.
BBR: Thank you for remembering that album. Most of the songs of this album are Jag’s. Now we are playing our own repertoire composed mostly by Narek and some songs by Arik. The songs of the “Orange Album” that you are talking about – if ever we play, we will play them only with Jag.
AAN: What kind of plans do you have for the first album?
BBR: We are preparing to record and to release the album “Imitate” in France starting from the end of August (2010). This album is completely composed of the songs of “The Bambir”.
AAN: Is Gagik ‘Jag’ Barseghyan still with you?
BBR: Jag is the founder of “Bambir”, as you know. It happens to as to have concerts and realize some projects with him. For instance, we have recorded together Jag’s new album called “Armenian Scotch”, it includes exclusively Jag’s songs. The Album is dedicated to H. Tumanian’s and R. Burns’s poetry. Presentation of the disc will take place in the Museum after Tumanian, on October 1st this year.
AAN: Who is the main composer of the band? And do you have frontman?
BBR: Narek is the main composer, Arik composes too. Each sings its own song. When it is Narek’s song he becomes the frontman, when it’s Arik’s, Arik becomes the frontman.
AAN: How can we listen or how can we buy your album? (after publishing of course)
BBR: The album “Imitate” will be released in Europe and most probably distributed in Europe too. But now we are in the process of recording. We think to finish the mastering process at the end of this year.
BBR: It helps your music to be discovered and to be listened by hundreds of people, which is good. However, we do not intend to share albums, but we do share some songs.
AAN: Music industry is adversely affected by Internet’s unlimited free sharing. Are you pessimistic about the feature of the industry?
BBR: We are not pessimistic. It is just that we will have to adapt to the new features of the market.
AAN: How about the Armenian culture, literature, arts? Are you interested in these subjects?
BBR: We surely are interested in Armenian culture. We start with it – our name is “The Bambir” which is an Armenian medieval instrument. We play progressive rock with Armenian folkish twist. Thus, Armenian cultural heritage IS in our music.
AAN: What does “personality of artist / musician” mean for you?
BBR: No personality, no artist, no musician.
AAN: Does your country have enough opportunities to become a more notable and more popular musician? Or, do you want to live in another country for that? Like USA.
BBR: Actually our country does not have that many opportunities and our management works on organising tours and concerts abroad. We gave 7 successful concerts in Moscow in the beginning of June. As we said, we are recording our album “Imitate” in France, it will be distributed in Europe, and we are participating in Eurovoice Music contest this year in Athens, 23-24 September. Festivals and concerts abroad are planned for the nest year. Live in another country – not really, we love our country. We would like to travel a lot and live in Armenia.
AAN: What kind of things have effect on your creativity?
BBR: Narek – Every time it is different, feelings would come when you are in nature, in a toxic city, they would come freely or instantly. Arik – Nature in general, the aura and the energy of city.
AAN: What’s the difference between a “product” and an “album”?
BBR: The product has an expiry date on it whereas the album, the music does not have any…
AAN: Are you able to make living by making music and working in this industry or do you have any other profession?
BBR: We do not have any other profession and do not have time.
AAN: What will you do next?
BBR: Finish recording our album “Imitate”, do the distribution and participate to festivals and concerts abroad planned for the year of 2011.
The Bambir perform “That’s fine with us” in the Eurovoice contest
23-24 September in Athens
Broadcast in Europe
Watch videos of live performances and “That’s fine with us”
You can also follow The Bambir on MySpace, YouTube, and facebook!