Meet Russia's Female-Fronted Protest Rock Sensation

The Russian punk rock band Louna and its sexy, butchy lead singer Lou Gevorkian talk about gay life in Russia, their beef with Madonna, and the masks we all wear.



Lou, do you or any of your bandmates have a gay following?
Gevorkian: Of course, I have quite a lot of lesbian fans here. They are my friends. We always share our problems and emotions with each other. They’re just normal people who listen to rock. I don’t divide people between sexual minorities or majorities. I’m only interested in the human qualities of a person.
Your heavy-metal punk sound isn’t generally a genre that’s thought to have many gay fans. Is that assumption wrong?
Kazarian: I agree. And as I said earlier, gay culture [in Russia] is basically coming from richer people who are not into rock music. But you’ll find many lesbians listening to rock music. Besides that, we tend to play heavier than usual rock, and that probably appeals even less to the LGBT audience. I think that is a common prejudice. The LGBT community is definitely a minority in every country, but fans of really heavy music — like death metal, grindcore, hardcore, etc. — are a minority too. So we’re ready to try to fix that injustice.
Gevorkian: As far as I know, in Russia there are lots of girls who have homosexual relations who love rock and punk music.
What’s next for Louna?
Kazarian: I hope a lot. We’re already working on new material, and we’re definitely getting better at that. We’ve just released a DVD and a live CD in Russia, we’re currently touring Russia and I hope Behind a Mask finds its way to an international audience. Music has become something of a one-way mirror in the world. You in America, Europe, and the rest of “the West” see yourselves in the reflection but nothing of what we do here. What music you make influences your bands, and ours in Russia as well because we see you. What has been missing is that what we do here isn’t seen anywhere except for here. We’d like to change that.
Behind a Mask is available April 30. Preorder the album here.

Tags: Music