Viktor Tsoi

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Viktor Tsoi in 1986

Viktor Robertovich Tsoi (Russian: Ви́ктор Ро́бертович Цой) (21 June 196215 August 1990) was a Soviet and Russian singer and songwriter who co-founded Kino, one of the most popular and musically influential bands in the history of Russian music. He is regarded as one of the pioneers of Russian rock and is credited with popularizing the genre throughout the Soviet Union. He retains a devoted following in many ex-Soviet countries, such as Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Lithuania, where he is known as one of the most influential and popular people in the history of Russian music.


  • Almost everything can be forgiven to those who are honest. Say, for example, if we [Kino] play our music in an unprofessional manner, or sing our songs in an unprofessional way – and we have made countless mistakes of this kind – our fans will overlook this, but, if we do not try our best to be honest our fans will never forgive us.
  • The most interesting thing for us is the work of independent record companies. Most often, music "for sale", music for dancing comes to us. The ears get used to the standards. And independent companies have a small circulation of records of groups that are not guided by standards. It's closer to us.
  • I want to be myself everywhere - both on the movie screen and at a concert, do you understand? The most important thing for me is to maintain the self-esteem and freedom that I have now. But it is very difficult to save. You have to fight all the time. And if the question becomes that I will have to play music that I don’t want to play, but that people will like, it would be dishonest to play it, right?
  • The main thing is to remain yourself, and this is impossible for a professional actor. Although it is difficult to think ahead. It seems to me that cinema and music, complementing each other, can coexist in my life.
  • The most important thing is that we would like people to reach some kind of mutual understanding, so that these huge mixed nationalities, religions, social order, finally understand each other, if possible ... And then everything would fall into place, and there are no more desires would not be.
  • It is more important for me to preserve some self-respect and some inner freedom, which I now have, but it is very difficult to preserve it, I have to fight all the time with all sorts of temptations. And I fight with them ... If the question is put in such a way that I will have to play music that I do not want to play, but which people like, then it would be unfair to play it, for me it would be a temptation.
  • There is not any kind of meaning in the lyrics, in fact it was an attempt at completely deconstructing reality.
  • And I don't think that parents can teach anything at all. A child is a person with his own destiny, and it seems to me that we attach too much importance, so to speak, to the formation of personality by the parents. Parents can educate there, whatever they want, and the personality is formed by itself, under the influence the environment... But one and the same environment affects some in this way, others in a different way ...
  • Russia is a popular theme in France right now, in terms of Soviet memorabilia and stuff like that. But there isn't really a serious approach to Russia, we’re like matryoshka dolls to them: 'Hey, look, Russians can play guitars almost like we do'. A lot of bands have taken the opportunity to tour abroad, consciously accepting the fact that they will be touring on bad terms in terms of both pay and concerts. I didn't want to be a matryoshka doll. The problem isn't so much the money, it's the prestige of the country. If you want to go abroad, it's best to go as a tourist.

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