Brainstorm

Brainstrom/ Prāta Vētra is a Latvian pop group. Originally formed in 1989, they have released a number of albums in Latvia, Russia, and internationally, singing in Latvian, Russian, and English.

Renārs Kaupers (vocals), Jānis Jubalts (guitar), Gundars Mauševics (bass), Kaspars Roga (drums) and Māris Mihelsons (accordion, piano), met while still in school and started the band in Jelgava, Latvia. Their first single, “Jo tu nāc” (As You Come) in 1992, and their first album Airāk Nekā Skaļi (More Than Loud) gained fair popularity inside Latvia. After a period of relative inactivity, Brainstorm’s single “Lidmašīnas” (Planes) was successful enough to finance a tour through Latvia, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

With this growing success, Brainstorm signed with a major record label and sought a larger European audience by recording an English version of “Tavas mājas manā azotē” (Under My Wing Is Your Home) which has topped Latvia’s charts for nine successive weeks in 1996. 1999 saw more international acclaim as Brainstorm released an album (Starp divām saulēm/Among the Suns) in both Latvian and English versions. They were chosen to represent Latvia in the 2000 Eurovision Song Contest with their single “My Star,” sung in English. It placed third and received international airplay afterwards.

In 2002, Brainstorm recorded A Day Before Tomorrow with UK producer Steve Lyon, known for his work with The Cure and Depeche Mode. In 2003, the album was released in Russia in a special edition with their first Russian-language song, “Выходные” (Weekends), featured as a bonus track. This was followed up the next year with “Скользкие улицы,” sung with the popular Russian group Bi-2, which reached number one in Russia, Ukraine, and Latvia—and received numerous awards from MTV Europe and the Latvian Music Awards.

Tragically, bassist Gundars Mauševics was killed in a car wreck in 2004. The band has continued without him, never fully replacing the bass position, but occasionally inviting Ingars Viļums to fill in on bass.

2006 saw the band’s biggest hit in English: “Thunder Without Rain” and, in 2009, they released their first Russian-language album, ШАГ (STEP).

Today Brainstorm remains popular across Europe and Russia, and continues to release a steady stream of music in English, Latvian, and Russian.

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Brainstorm’s biggest Latvian-language hit on YouTube is “Ziemu apēst” (Eat Winter):

Lyrics for “Ziemu apēst”

Kad paliek auksti
Es gribu ziemu apēst
Sniegu apēst
Kā konfekti.

Ledus gabalu lauskas trauslas
Slēpjas zem septītās ribas
Un tad, kad paliek auksti
Es ziemu apēst gribu.
Bet naktīs nevaru aizmigt
Kad vētras ūdeņus plosa
Tad es jūtos kā vientuļa sala
Var kā krūzīte bez osas.

Kad paliek auksti
Es gribu ziemu apēst
Sniegu apēst
Kā konfekti.

Kad paliek auksti
Es gribu ziemu apēst
Sniegu apēst
Kā konfekti.

Caur blāvu virtuves logu
Rīta saule laužas iekšā
Kā ostā atgriežas kuģi
Tā es atgriežos tavā priekšā
Un kā reiz rakstīja dzejnieks
Tādas lielas laimes jau nav
Ir tikai mazas laimītes
Un tagad kopā mums ir katram sava

Kad paliek auksti
Es gribu ziemu apēst
Sniegu apēst
Kā konfekti.

Kad paliek auksti
Es gribu ziemu apēst
Sniegu apēst
Kā konfekti.

Man pieder debesu gabaliņš
Tur starp Enguri un Roju
Kuru ikvakaru rietos,
Caur logu samīļoju
Un reizēm slīkstu asarās
Tās birst kā no sieka
Es vienkāršu raudu,
Raudu no prieka.

Kad paliek auksti
Es gribu ziemu apēst
Sniegu apēst
Kā konfekti.

Kad paliek auksti
Es gribu ziemu apēst
Sniegu apēst
Kā konfekti.

 

Brainstorm’s first Russian-language effort was “Выходные:”

Lyrics for “Выходные:”

День проснулся, город дышит,
Мы уйдём, пока никто не слышит.
Ты к рассвету, я к закату –
Всё равно придём куда-то.

А под утро мы, как дети,
Попадёмся в эти сети.
Парики и смешные косы –
Снимем всё, и все вопросы.

Припев:

Ага, а мы гуляем, мы крутые,
Ага, а мы хорошие, не злые,
Ага, когда проснёмся – будет вечер,
Будут выходные.

Снова день, коты на крышах,
Нам пора, уходим тише.
Там, на пляже, где тает лето,
Казалось ведь, навсегда всё это.

А под утро мы, как дети,
Снова попадёмся в сети.
Алилуйя, Харе Кришна,
Так громче! Ничего не слышно…

Припев:

Ага, а мы гуляем, мы крутые,
Ага, а мы хорошие, не злые,
Ага, когда проснёмся – будет вечер,
Будут выходные.

Ага, а вы гуляете, крутые,
Ага, а вы хорошие, не злые,
Ага, когда проснётесь – будет вечер,
Будут выходные.

Find Brainstorm on Amazon

Zach Hicks is a PhD student in Comparative Literature at the University of Oregon. He is currently participating in SRAS's Home and Abroad scholarship program. His main areas of interest are twentieth-century Russian and Soviet literature, socialist modernism, and critical theory. Outside of academics his major interests are martial arts, the outdoors, and music. In Russia, he plans to continue to increase his language proficiency, to learn as much as possible about the Russian underground music scene, its tattoo culture, and to become a student of Russia’s native martial art, SAMBO.