Lumen is a Russian rock band from Ufa. It has released 7 studio albums to date.
The band considers February 12, 1998 as its birthday because on that date it had performed as "Lumen" for the first time. The band's earlier works have an alternative rock sound with a strong influence of punk. However, they took a heavier approach on later releases. The lyrics are usually written by singer and frontman Rustem "Tem" Bulatov. The band's songs are inspired by diverse controversial events and issues which take place inside and outside Russia, as well as personal struggles.
Rustem Bulatov (vocals), Igor Mamaev (guitar) and Denis Shakhanov (drums) had been jaming together with different bass players. Finally, Yevgeni Ognev was accepted as a full-time member. During this period, the band did not have a constant name and was playing cover versions of Grazhdanskaya Oborona and Kino songs, as well as writing their first original material.
In 2001, Lumen had a headline performance at Navigator Club in their hometown. The show was later released as their first live album.
The major part of the year was spent in the studio working on the debut full-length record. One of the songs entitled «Sid & Nancy» was released as a radio single which later turned out to be successful. It had been amongst the 13 most charting songs of Nashe Radio for about 2 months. It also helped the band to get a spot at the big festival organized by the same radio. The musicians consider this show as one of the most important in their careers as well as the turning point for the whole band.
The band released their debut album called "Без консервантов" (eng. "No Preservatives Added") which contains 18 songs, including their breakthrough single "Sid & Nancy". The song called "Urmanga" features the lyrics written in bashkir language. However, it remains the only song performed in another language apart from Russian.
In 2004 band began to work with Vadim Bazeev – today he is a director and a producer of the group. They also have published album "Три пути (Three Ways)" – their second studio work. After the album release they started their first tour of twenty cities in Russia.
At the beginning of the year band published their second live album "Одной крови (Same Blood)". This album included two new songs «Не спеши (Don't hurry up)» and «Благовещенск (02)(Blagoveshchensk (02))». In October of the year they have published third studio record – album "Свобода (Freedom)". Sound of the group began tougher, some songs are very acute social. Lyrics from song "Государство (State)" are still actual – "It's kind of democracy here but it's actually an empire. I love my country so much, but I hate the government!"
In August 2014 the band cancelled their concert in a festival in Ukraine after it found out that proceeds of the festival would be used to support the Azov Battalion of the Ukrainian army; that at the time fought in the War in Donbass. According to Lumen the Ukrainian army was involved in neo-Nazism and held a punitive expedition in Donbass.
In ten years, step by step Lumen became the most famous Russian alternative band. In October 2007, the band won two prizes at the RAMP Awards from the main alternative music channel in Russia "A-One", they were the laureate of nominations "Best band of 2007" and "Best album of 2007". In October 2008, Lumen won the "Band of the Year" prize at the Russian Alternative Music Prize. Their first radio hit – "Sid and Nancy" was released in 2002 and became a hymn for huge number of teenagers who found their own ego in Lumen's lyrics and realised that they were soul-mates. Then two of their songs "C4" and "Skolko" ("How much?") found the same destiny as "Sid and Nancy". The song "Gosudarstvo" ("The State"), featuring lyrics that are very critical of Russian political situation, became the most audience-demanded song on A-One.
Lumen’s following releases only increased their success. Today Lumen have 10 official releases among them five studio albums, five live albums and two live DVDs. It is easy to imagine but difficult to believe that just within a few years Lumen came to be known as big and well-known artists without any special support from major labels or some fake PR. And they moved from small venues and joint concerts to solo concerts at the biggest and most famous venues in Russia. Lumen always search for new approaches and are not afraid of experimenting with their sound. Some say that they are representative of the new wave in alternative music; some call them followers of traditional punk music. But the band itself doesn't care about any labels or definitions. They make honest and uncompromising songs and don’t try to stick to a "format" or state of affairs. Their songs always find thousands of admirers throughout Russia and their life as a band is a storm of drive and real emotions, and for this reason their numerous concerts always draw huge audiences.Rustem Bulatov (Tem) – vocals, sampler
Igor Mamaev (Garik) – guitar, backing vocal
Yevgeni Trishin (Shmel) – bass, guitar, keyboards
Denis Shakhanov (Dan) – drums
Yevgeni Ognev (John) – bass, in March 2007 he left the group
Live in Navigator club (2002)
Одной крови (Same Blood) (2005)
Дыши (Breathe) (2006)
Буря (Tempest) (2007)
Лабиринт (Labyrinth) (2011)
Дыши (Breathe) (2006)
Буря (Tempest) (2007)
Record МИРА (2010) – documentary film about recording album "Мир"
Live at Teleclub (Ekaterinburg) (2011)
The Best (2007)
Пассатижи (Pliers) (2003, maxi-single)
TV No More (2008, internet single)
The RAMP Awards are awarded annually by the A-One TV channel.Best Artist – 2007, 2008
Best Album – 2007 (Pravda?), 2009 (Mir)
The Fuzz Awards is an annual Russian awards ceremony established in 1997 by rock music magazine of Fuzz.Best New Artist – 2007
Best Album – 2008 (Pravda?)
The ZD Awards are awarded annually by the Moskovsky Komsomolets.Best Alternative Act – 2009
Lumen on Last.fm
Lumen: Forward-Looking Politics, Old-School Rhetoric (in English) – farfrommoscow.com
Interview with Lumen in Murmansk (In Russian)
Lumen discography at MusicBrainz
Music Videos on YouTube
Excerpts from Songs