Male Factors

Male Factors is a Russian ska-punk band with a strong chanson influence. Their lyrics generally deal with criminality and drinking, and they were signed to Hobgoblin Records, a label notoriously owned by a former hacker and black marketer. They sang in Russian, English, Spanish, and German. They use the English name consistently.

The band started in 1999 with seven members: Nico (vocals), El Gordito (bass), Skanker (drums), Che Bo (keyboards), Tromboneiro (trombone), and SerЁga (tuba). Male Factors played their first show in October of 2000, giving several more concerts around Moscow the following summer before going to the studio to work on a debut album.

The album was 43-Proof SKA (43 градуса SKA). It came out on cassette and quickly gained a lot of listeners. That year Male Factors also added Mad Max on tuba and Trombontini on trombone. In 2002 Male Factors released a second full-length studio album, 43 ½-Proof SKA, The Proof is Going Up (43 1/2 SKA, градусы повышаются), which featured four new songs and eight re-written tracks from the first album. One track from this album, “KhuliganSKAya” (“ХулиганSKAя”), became something of a football fan anthem.

In 2005 Male Factors released a third full-length, Totally Normal Dude (Нормальный Полный Парень), consisting of fourteen new tracks. This was followed by a five year gap in new releases, ending with the maxi-single It Happened Like That (Так случилось) in 2010.

That same year Male Factors put out a new full-length called Between Black and White (Между чёрным и белым), which they released entirely for free on their website. Over the next several year Male Factors headlined a number of the biggest ska festivals in Russia, like Skashestvie (a play on another fest, Nashestvie), Ska All Stars Fest, Ska-Moskva, and Ska Connection. Male Factors was able to play alongside popular foreign ska bands as well, such as Bad Manners (UK), Skarface (France), and Moskovskaya (Germany).

Also in 2010 Male Factors was the only Russian ska band invited to open to the seminal UK ska band Madness at their Moscow show.

Since then, a number of Male Factors’s songs have been featured on major ska compilations in Russia and internationally.

Here is Male Factor’s football anthem “KhuliganSKAya” (“ХулиганSKAя”):

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Lyrics for “ХулиганSKAя”:

Пальтецо из кашемира,
Кепка – согнут козырек,
Брюки модные в полоску
И two-tone инспекторок.
Папbросочка дымится
И прищурен левый глаз.
Эй, шпана, давайте биться –
Мы на вас, а вы на нас!
Разлетайся воронье,
В бой идет хулиганье!

Крики, махач, свист и ругань,
Завертелось, понеслось.
Хулиганы бьют друг друга,
Разбивая руки в кровь.
В подворотне спиртом лечат
Тех, кто пострадал в бою,
Подшофе нам биться легче,
Не жалея жизнь свою.
Вой сирены – мусора –
Вот и кончена игра!

Встало солнце над столицей,
Фабрика дает гудок,
В отделении милиции
Хулигану клеят срок.
Хватит плакать детка, дура,
Все срастется, все пройдет.
Хулиганская натура –
Кто простит, а кто поймет.
Молодость берет свое,
Веселись, хулиганье!

 

Here is another Ska anthem, “Crazy Shoes” (“Бeшeный бoтинoк”):

Lyrics for “Бeшeный бoтинoк”:

У меня идут года –
Минуло уж 20.
Видимо пришла пора
Автомобилизоваться!
Я хожу по городу,
И среди машинок
Часто попадается
Мне этот самый бешеный ботинок!

Будет весь он в шашечку,
Маленький, проворный,
С желтенькими фарами
И веселой мордой!
Буду я по городу
Ездить очень быстро,
И на ветровом стекле
Будет солнышко играть лучисто!

Буду я с собою брать
Пухленький бумажник,
Буду всюду шлюх снимать
И сажать в багажник!
Буду слушать музыку децибел под 200,
Буду грязью поливать
Тех, кто стоит на месте!

Ока – машина в стиле СКА!
Можно ездить без заминок.
2 горшка – лучше не придумали пока.
Будет у меня бешеный ботинок!

 

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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.