A Brief History Of Russians Best Punk Rock Artists

There will forever be a great debate about where punk originated. Some say the Sex Pistols in England were the first punk rock band. Some say the Germs in Los Angeles were the birth of punk rock. Many others claim that punk started at CBGB’s in New York. Regardless of where punk truly started, in the late 70s, punk rock music and culture spread across the globe. One of the places where the punk rock had special significance was in the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was plagued by censorship and groupthink, and many young people were searching for a musical style that would allow them to voice their discontent.


In the late 1970s, countless Soviet youth embraced punk rock’s nihilism. A great many Soviets lived in cramped apartments, faced constant shortages of basic goods, and felt that their futures were bleak unless they embraced government propaganda. Young Soviet punks began to imitate their Western peers by wearing clothes from Russia’s military surplus store. The Soviet propaganda machine immediately disavowed punk rock. Punk bands began to play under the radar shows in tiny apartments. Bands such as Atomaticheskye Udovletvoritely (Automatic Satisfiers) and DK gained a steady following in Leningrad.


In the 1980s, Siberia became the heart of the Russian punk scene. Yegor Letov started a band called Civil Defense. Letov founded a claustrophobic home studio in the city of Omsk where he recorded dozens of Soviet punk bands. The Soviet government considered Letov a dissident and sent the KGB to arrest him. Letov spent three months in a hospital for mentally ill people, where he was given huge doses of psychotropic medication that nearly left him blind. Letov was not the only punk to end up in a mental hospital. The Soviet government routinely placed people who they considered enemies of the state—including musicians, artists, and journalists who didn’t tow the party line—in restrictive psychiatric care.


After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Russian punk became increasingly commercial as it did in other parts of the world. In 2011, a guerilla punk rock collective known as Pussy Riot bucked commercialism and began to make international headlines when they staged a series of performances that were critical of Vladimir Putin’s repressive policies. Pussy Riot’s emphasis on women’s rights and LBTQ issues was a departure from the masculine Soviet punk scene of the 70s and 80s. In March 2012, three members of Pussy Riot were arrested on charges of “hooliganism.” Two members ended up doing hard labor in a Russian prison. As protests against Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian government continue to rage, politically motivated punk rock bands such as Mirrored Lips have gained many devoted listeners. As long as the Russian government insists on arresting those they consider dissidents and silencing political opposition, the evolution of punk rock in Russia will surely continue. Punk rock music is a powerful means of expression for many Russians who are struggling to overcome oppression.

Is New York Pop Punk Making A Comeback In The Bronx?

A lot of people may think that pop-punk is gone for good but apparently they have made a comeback recently especially in the Bronx. As a matter of fact, some people saw Simple Plan and New Found Glory have a tour that is entitled Pop Punk is not dead. It was just pushed around a bit but now is it making such a huge comeback but now people are just waiting for new tracks about it to come back for a bit. It is true how it was big back in the day especially in TV shows where there were many shows about it. Pop-punk became huge in pop culture as a lot of music fans would walk around the streets dressed as their favorite pop-punk idols and it would look normal. Nowadays, a lot of pop-punk bands are emerging and they are getting invited to play in music festivals not only in the Bronx but in other areas of the world as well. Thus, you can’t deny the fact that it is time to bring those lovely merchandises that you kept. It was safe to assume that the pop-punk genre died back in the day when many bands decided to call it quits. Now, there are many reunion tours and a lot of people are paying their good money just to see these people perform at a high level. You can’t blame them for doing so because it is what they are all about.

Some good pop-punk bands a few decades back included Green Day and Blink 182. Their nice beat caught the attention of music fans all over the planet and some of their songs are still being played up to this day. When you dress up like those people today, chances are people would still recognize you and today’s young blood would know those musical icons. Pop-punk bands such as My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, and Paramore saw their popularity rise to fame during the early 2000s. Twenty years later, their songs are still catchy and you will still find places that will play their songs as they know it would draw crowds in. It is no secret that music is pretty popular in the Bronx with a lot of people wearing earphones and head bumping to the beat wherever they decide to go. It is such a great thing to do for them as it would ease their tension wherever they decide to go. Blink 182 and My Chemical Romance are just some of the bands that did tours to promote their latest albums. You can’t blame some of the pop-punk bands for switching to pop for a while when they saw the popularity die down a bit. They did not hesitate to go back to pop-punk because it is their passion to make more music like that. We should be thankful there are bands like that who love making pop-punk music to the best of their abilities.

The Story Behind Wax Trax Records

Wax Trax! Records was an influential American independent record label that helped elevate underground new wave, punk, techno, and industrial music acts. The brand grew out of a few underground record stores then became a legendary record label, as documented in the film INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT: The Story of Wax Trax! Records. Some of the recording acts associated with the label include Ministry, Front 242, KLF, KMFDM, Underworld, Front Line Assembly, and My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult.

From Record Store to Label

The label’s roots trace back to 1975 when founders Jim Nash and Dannie Flesher launched a record shop called Wax Trax Records in Denver. Three years later they opened another store in Chicago that featured European imports along with underground music. The stores thrived throughout the seventies, eighties, and nineties. 

These stores helped promote British acts that didn’t get much exposure otherwise in the United States. The Wax Trax stores became important local scene hangouts that helped expose countless underground punk bands and new wave acts experimenting with new electronic instruments.

Early Success with Ministry

After Jim and Dannie relocated to Chicago in 1978, they formed the record label that took the same name as their stores except added an exclamation mark. Some of the early bands they signed included Strange Circuits, Strike Under and Divine. In 1981 the label released Ministry’s debut single “Cold Life” after the band’s founder Al Jourgensen met Jim and Dannie. Initially, they suggested he play guitar for their band Divine, but then Jourgensen decided to make and submit his own demo and call it Ministry.

Ministry started as a synth-pop project based around Jourgensen’s experimentation with new electronic sounds. The band steadily evolved toward a harder, more industrial sound. They went on to sign briefly with Arista Records for their debut album With Sympathy in 1983. Then Ministry released several more singles for Wax Trax! Records including the legendary club hit “Every Day Is Halloween” in 1984. The following year Ministry signed with Sire and released a string of commercially successful albums.

Mastering the Club Sound

Wax Trax! Records had its most success in the eighties marketing 12 inch singles of cutting edge electronic artists. Jourgensen, who worked for the label, encouraged the signing of the Belgian electronic act Front 242 in 1984. Front 242 then supported Ministry on their American tour as the opening act. A few years later Front 242 signed with European label Red Rhino then supported Depeche Mode in 1987 while maintaining its relationship with Wax Trax! Records. The band’s first club hit was “Headhunter” in 1988 from the label’s all-time top-selling album, Front By Front.

Other acts signed to the label in the early to mid-eighties included The Blackouts, Minimal Compact, Revolting Cocks, Wiseblood, Coil, Luc Van Acker, and The Young Gods. By the late eighties, acts that joined the roster included Fini Tribe, Front Line Assembly, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, PIG, KMFDM, and Meat Beat Manifesto. In the nineties, the label signed Sister Machine Gun, Braindead Soundmachine, Excessive Force, Black Dog Productions, and Psykosonik.

These bands cultured small groups of die-hard fans that were quite distinguished from the pack with colorful and aggressive hair styles, colorful and geometric clothing styles, and sobriety outlooks ranging from straight-edge to exotic substance use. As much of the scene involved hanging around venues before and after the shows, this culture even trickled down to the pets that fans would bring along with them. Heck, they were likely pioneers in the realm of treating their dogs to cannabis products, which seems to have finally caught on with the main-stream world of late.

Bankruptcy and Rebirth

Wax Trax! Records filed bankruptcy in 1992 and were acquired by New York-based TVT Records, as Jim and Dannie held on to creative control of the label. After Jim Nash’s death in 1995 TVT continued to keep the Wax Trax! brand alive until TVT shut down in 2001. Dannie Flesher passed away in 2010. Julia Nash gave the Wax Trax brand a new life as a Chicago pop-up shop in 2014.

2018 Documentary Film 

In 2018 the documentary film INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT: The Story of Wax Trax! Records were released, chronicling the label’s history. It was recognized by various film festivals across America including in Chicago, Seattle, Denver, Nashville, and Santa Cruz. The 94-minute film was directed by Jim’s daughter Julia and Trent Reznor composed the music.

How Johnny Ramone Became A Punk Rock Legend

Johnny Ramone (1948-2004) was a founding member of the American punk band The Ramones and helped bring a more rhythmic and pulsating guitar sound to punk music. The band was formed in 1974 and remained together through 1996. Here are some key highlights that defined the career of Johnny Ramone.

Rise to National Prominence

The Ramones formed in New York City at a time when the music scene was about to change. The energy crisis caused petroleum-based companies such as record labels to tighten their spending. Consequently, major labels resisted signing new acts and relied on established artists during this period. Most punk bands started on indie labels, whereas The Ramones were signed in 1975 to Sire Records, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group. 

The band’s name was inspired by Paul McCartney, who said he used to book hotel rooms under the name “Paul Ramon” in the Beatles era. Each of the band members adopted the last name, Ramone, although none were directly related to each other. 

Johnny Ramone was born John William Cummings. His autobiography called Commando was released in 2012, eight years after his death. His love for underground bands like The Stooges and MC5 drove him from plumbing to music and connected him with bandmates Douglas Colvin, who became Dee Dee Ramone, then singer Jeffrey Hyman, who became Joey Ramone. The band added drummer Tamas Erdelyi, who became Tommy Ramone.

The band’s self-titled debut album was released in April 1976 after it was recorded a few months earlier. It contained the single “Blitzkreig Bop,” which became one of their staple songs with fans. It kicked off a long string of hits that became familiar with audiences that listened to modern rock or alternative stations in the 1980s and 1990s. The band’s most well-known songs include “I Wanna Be Sedated” and “Rock and Roll High School.”

Historical Significance

One of the reasons The Ramones stood out from other punk bands and were more commercially successful was due to their polished sound. The band kept the production basic without fancy studio tricks even when working with “wall of sound” producer Phil Spector. Certainly, the hooky melodies helped make the songs memorable, along with occasional controversial lyrics such as “Bonzo Goes To Bitburg.”

The interesting political contrast within the band is another nuance that makes them unique. Most rock bands distance themselves from conservative views and politics completely, whereas The Ramones gave voices to both sides of the political spectrum. While Joey Ramone voiced a left-leaning position, Johnny leaned to the right, telling the press he thought Reagan was the best president of his lifetime. When inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, he said “God bless President Bush.”

At one point Johnny Ramone even claimed that punk was a åright-wing movement, although many prominent rock historians disagree. Johnny was known for reckless behavior in his younger days, but by age 20 he stopped drinking and taking drugs. Even so, the guitarist suffered a near-fatal injury from a fight in 1983 that required brain surgery. This incident was reflected in the band’s next album title, Too Tough To Die.

Personal Life

In 1984 Johnny married bandmate Joey’s ex-girlfriend, Linda Danielle, who took the name Ramone. Some people believe this relationship put a strain on Johnny and Joey’s friendship. But when Joey died in 2001, it had a profound effect on him, he said in the 2003 documentary End of the Century. Johnny died in 2004 after a five-year battle with prostate cancer.