Octopus Maiden: “We are all one animal”

From left to right: Maxim Nikitin, R.V., Vasilii Nikitin, Boris Burdaev, Vladimir Kosorukov / Photo by MusicSnake

Any fan of Russian pop rock music is familiar with the classic cult band, the Grim Bros. But what have these pop stars been up to lately? We caught up with them during their recent visit to New York City and got the scoop.

Lead singer, Boris Burdaev explained his new musical project, called Octopus Maiden, to us. This was right after a week of playing successful, crowded gigs in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and he looked exhilarated. “We decided to find a new way of making music,” he explained. “It’s working really well.”

The genre of the new project is definitely a step in a new direction for these guys. It is a shift away from the realm of pop, towards the world of psychedelic pop. The band first got together a few years ago, starting jamming and rehearsing together to see if anything came out of it. It turned out that they could make some really good music together, and that was how the Grim Bros started.

The Octopus Project is based on a dream that Boris had in which the entire world is an octopus with tentacles. “Every man in this world is a tentacle,” he explained. “We are all this connected thing, linked together. We are all one animal. And I think an octopus is a really good image for this animal.” This is also a good metaphor for how the band writes music together. They each contribute their own parts, and it all comes together and somehow ends up in its finished form.

“I don’t like making music alone” says Boris Burdaev. “Every creative person has his own channel, and I like to mix with other channels.”

Coming from Russia, the guys had a lot of interesting observations to make about America. They explained that if Moscow can be imagined as a thick-waisted, rich, glamorous woman with terrible taste, then New York is a slick corporate guy who makes a lot of money during the day and spends a lot of money on drug-fueled parties at night. The union between Moscow and New York is, to their mind, inevitable. The group hopes to achieve some critical acclaim in America.

“New York is one of the most interesting places to be performing right now,” said drummer, Vasilii Nikitin. They also recorded some new material for Octopus Maiden while in the city. Like many artists, they feel New York is an inspiring place. They are also very inspired by the music of the Elephant 6 Collective.

Octopus Maiden is currently unsigned to any record label.