|Victims of labels, prejudice, and intolerance, the most controversial duo in pop history is coming back!|
When Tribu Move presented the duo "lesbopop, trash, and sex" Tatu in november 2002, we never thought that Yulia Volkova (brunette) and Lena Katina (hot redhead) would become the most controversial artists in pop history since the SM gay band Frankie Goes To Hollywood! Their electro-pop-rock fusion would convert the world to the Tatu sound: in France, "All The Things She Said" sold 500,000 copies (#1 in the chart), "Not Gonna Get Us" was in the top 10, and their album "200km/h In The Wrong Lane" went double gold with 200,000 sales. Their album sold 5.5 million copies worldwide. After that, it's rumors after rumors, gossips after gossips… Everything has been said and written about Tatu: Are they lesbians or not? Former best friends and now worst enemies? Yulia dumped Lena for a guy? They are not lesbians since Yulia got a baby?… To wipe away all those prejudice, labels, and intolerance they have been the victims of, just like gays and lesbians, here's a true and honest interview to finally know the truth, the all truth and nothing but the truth! They have just put their own story in music and pictures in their new album "Dangerous and Moving". It will be out on 31 October as a regular CD and a limited edition including a DVD with the making of "All About Us", a remix kit to remix 2 tracks yourself, and a great poster. As a matter of fact, their new single and video "All About Us" is more than ever autobiographical! "All About Us" has been released in 2 Maxi Singles with many remixes from Dave Aude (Madonna, Anastacia, The Pussycat Dolls), Stephane K and Guena LG (Kylie, Britney, Gwen Stefani), the permanent D.J of Glam As You. Tatu has chosen this event to launch their new album in France.
New look, new album, new manager. What's different in the 2005 Tatu compared to the previous one?
Lena: You've changed a lot too since the last time we saw you! (big laughs) Let's see what's changed: we gave up alcohol! (laughs). Just kidding…
Yulia: It's been a deep and radical change: we've simply grown up, matured and we see life differently. So our music has evolved accordingly…
Lena: We wanted to participate actively in the creation of this album, so we were involved in all stages: from writing to recording to producing. More than ever "Dangerous and Moving" is pure Tatu!
The line-up of "Dangerous and Moving" is very "Hollywood"! You worked with the famous English producer Trevor Horn again (Propaganda, The Art Of Noise, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Simple Minds, Grace Jones, Seal…), but what can you tell us about the guests?
Lena: Yeah, we worked with prominent artists! Dave Stewart (The Eurythmics) has co-written the song "Friend or Foe" and Sting played the bass, Richard Carpenter (member of the legendary pop band in the 70s) directed the musical arrangements of string instruments on the whole album. Trevor Horn has only produced one track: "Craving (I Only Want What I Can't Have)". It's a beautiful ballad. Trevor has figured us out well, he has understood our personality and the way we work because we always want what we can't have… (laughs) We are really like that in real life! (big laughs)
Yulia: For the recording of this album, we moved for 6 months to Los Angeles. But the biggest challenge was to learn English! (laughs) We only had basic notions from school. To communicate with others, we had to practice the language a lot.
"Loves Me Not" is going to be the new anthem of the gay and lesbian community. In the song, you say: "He loves me - He loves me not - She loves me - She loves me not". Is that a new provocation?
Lena: This song totally belongs in the album. The main theme is not sexual orientation but the problem of our society: the lack of communication. People are focused on themselves, they become selfish, self-centered and they don't share anything! It goes beyond sexuality. The lyrics are more profound, serious and sincere than ever before. It's psychology!
Yulia: Actually, you should lie down on the sofa and we may begin the consultation. I'm sure you have plenty of things to tell us about your private life! (laughs) That's what we did! We examined each other and when we discovered what we were suffering from, we realized that we weren't the only ones and that the entire planet suffers from the same problems! It's time to react, so we must change and move… Hence the title of the album "Dangerous and Moving".
Lena: People thought that the title was about us. It's not true! In Russia the album is called "People In Violence", it's no longer psychology, we are going to the next level: physical violence!
So what are you suffering from?
Lena: We've known each other for 10 years and we are best friends. Now we are 23, it's time for us to assess our lives so far so we can move forward… So many things have been told about us that are completely untrue. We've been abused by the media! When ATTSS and NGGU were worldwide hits, we travelled around the world. Everybody wanted us everywhere… So when we weren't there, the media just made up stupid stuff about us to sell their papers. We said this, we did that… It was all lies!
Is that the reason why in the AAU video we can see newspapers headlines saying: "Are they lesbians or not?", "Former friends become worst enemies?"…
Yulia: Absolutely, we wanted to destroy idees recues and cliches! It's a parody of what really happened to us.
Lena: We are just as much victims of prejudice and labels as gays and lesbians! Where's tolerance?
I'm going to ask you the controversial question: Was your video for ATTSS where you kiss each other deeply done as a marketing ploy? To shock people and make the media talk about you to sell more records?
Lena: You're becoming like them! We never said we were lesbians, never declared or claimed anything… People and the media did it for us, but not us!
Yulia: When we kissed each other, we did it with our guts. We love each other a lot and we were dating at some point. We don't play with people and our feelings. At the moment we both have boyfriends, but tomorrow we may have girlfriends. It doesn't matter!
So you are bisexual?
Lena: We are talking about emotions and love, what we are feeling… We don't want to be labeled. Society does it for us! Let's talk about love. It's a very western thing to want to label everything.
Yulia: When we shot the ATTSS video and that kiss, we were talking about love, no matter if it's two boys, two girls, or a boy and a girl. When you're a teenager, you don't know what's right or wrong yet, you don't ask yourself questions like: Is this normal? Is it right? You follow your heart and emotions! This video has helped teenagers who were trying to understand themselves. We are always asked: Are you lesbians or not? But we are never asked the good questions: Did this video make homophobia decrease? Did it make people realize that love between persons of the same sex is normal? Did it help lost teenagers who thought they were abnormal, isolated, without any support and couldn't talk about it with their parents and family? No, we are never asked those questions! Never!
Is this new album autobiographical?
Yulia: Absolutely! Through our own story, we reach out to others. We are surrounded by people with no feelings and no souls! That must change! Being open is the key: being open minded, open to others… Let's open our hearts!
Lena: We receive thousands of letters from the whole world. They all have a common theme: people suffer from a lack of love. Either they can't find the ideal person with whom they will be in perfect symbiosis and osmosis, or they can no longer give because of their own inner pain: everything they've been through before, jealousy, hate, betrayal in a relationship… It's human of course, but we have to give hope to people!
The song "Friend or Foe" co-written by Dave Stewart reminds us of Bananarama's hits from the 80s.
Lena: That's because you've had a cruel summer that you're telling us this? (laughs) [Note: "Cruel Summer" was Bananarama's first hit] It's true that the chorus is reminiscent of the big hits of the 80s: very catchy and upbeat. When you hear the song for the first time, it's stuck in your head for the rest of the day…
In the AAU video directed by James Cox (director of "Wonderland"), you have an amazing look!
Yulia: Darling, we went everywhere in Beverly Hills to find our outfits for the video! We did not like what the stylists were offering us, so one morning we went shopping… (laughs) I think our credit cards still remember it because we went a bit overboard… (big laughs) I'm a fashion addict! I'm totally addicted, i think i need to go into rehab. (laughs) I read all the women's fashion magazines, i watch Fashion TV, i'm interested in everything i wear. I'd like to design clothes, personalize them and create my own brand.
I need a dress, could you design it for me and i'll wear it?
Yulia: (big laughs) No problem!
You seem to have a strong relationship with your fans?
Yulia: In Russia, we have a group of hardcore fans who have become our friends. They come home to drink and eat, we talk for hours about the latest news about Tatu
Lena: When we heard that Glam As You was offering us to launch our album and perform on its stage, we immediately accepted because it was for us the opportunity to meet our French fans. We have a lot of respect for them because we wouldn't be there without them and the love they have for us!
Tribu Move magazine, France
Translation: TatySite.net Team