Varashkevich: Krama was used as guinea pig

Days before the Be Free festival, Ihar Varashkevich, frontman of the rock band Krama, gave an interview to ERB.

ERB: What program are you rehearsing for the forthcoming festival?

IV: We are not preparing a special program because we have never played in Ukraine and it does not make sense to play only new songs there, for instance. We will do as we did during the Basowiszcza festival, although new songs dominated our playlist there. I do not know how long we will play in Lviv, no longer than an hour, I think. So, we can play anything as they have not heard a single song by Krama. Hits! It is always better to play hits.

ERB: You have just returned from Poland. Could you share your impressions of Basowiszcza?

IV: They used Krama as a guinea pig, for some reason. N.R.M. has never been used as a guinea pig. But Krama is OK for it. We joked about it, "Maybe we look like old farts and play old-fart rock? We opened the festival. I knew that we will play during the day, but I was not aware that we were the opening act – these are different things. I asked Radek, "What is it all about?" He replies "What's wrong with it?" I say, "What's good about it?" Radek says, "We have decided to change the format." So what, we decided? When we took the stage, there were only 50 to 100 fans. People were still trickling in with tents. It was a blank performance. I received images from the previous festivals and this one. You can tell by pictures a good show from the bad one. We are playing in broad daylight, like idiots, with 30 fans dancing. This year's Basowiszcza was somewhat strange. I do not know what it will be like next year.

ERB: Can Lviv festival compete with Basowiszcza?

IV: Why not? It depends on money, organization and fans. Most fans will be from Ukraine because it is a long way. Last year's Lutsk festival was a nightmare. We were kept for eight hours at the border on our way to Lutsk and eight hours on our way back, while buses with fans were turned away. Only about 50 to 100 fans made it to the festival. We will see.

ERB: What do you expect from the Lviv festival?

IV: You always expect a good show. But no one knows. If many people turn up, if the sound is good, the light is good, I think the concert will be OK. If there are just two lousy speakers, nothing will come out of it. People will not listen to it.

ERB: What is to be free for you?

IV: Freedom means an opportunity to do what I want. I am doing my favorite thing, music, this is my freedom.