N.R.M. (Niezaležnaja Respublika Mroja, "Independent Republic of Dreams" in English) are a rock band from Minsk, Belarus, founded in 1981 as Mroja (Belarusian: Мроя). They are considered to be the most popular rock band in the country. They perform in the Belarusian language, and are a rallying point for political opposition to the Belarusian government, despite being the target of a performance ban from 2006 to 2009.
N.R.M. at concert wRock for freedom, Wrocław
|Also known as||Mroja|
|Past members||Lavon Volski|
N.R.M. were founded as Mroja in 1981 at Alexei Glebov University in Minsk by Lavon Volski (keys, vocals) and Vladimir Davidovsky (guitar). They held their first gig on 7 November 1981. Through the 1980s, there were several lineup changes. A few albums were also released. On 24 September 1989, the group played the Chervona Ruta festival in Chernovtsy, playing the songs "Šmat", "Australijskaja polka", "Mama — Mafija" and "Ziamla". In 1989, they recorded eight songs with producer Alexander Shtilman, released the following year as Dvaccać vośmaja zorka (28th Star) on Melodiya, the group's only release with the label. The lineup on DVZ was: Lavon Volski – keyboards and lead vocals, Benedict Konev-Petushkovich – guitars, Yury Levkov – bass and Oleg Demidovich – drums and backing vocals. Davidovsky had left the group that year and was replaced by Konev-Petushkovich, who stayed on until 1992. He was replaced by Oleg Pipin and a couple of others before settling with Pete Pavlov in 1993. The Volsky-Pavlov-Levkov-Demidovich lineup would rename itself to NRM in late 1994.
Their music tends toward melodic hard rock with witty and often indirectly political lyrics. Since the late 1990s, the band's albums and publicity materials generally use the Łacinka alphabet, the Belarusian version of the Latin alphabet that was widely used alongside Cyrillic prior to the establishment of the Soviet Union. Some songs from NRM's first album under that name, LaLaLaLa, were performed by Mroja as early as 1990.
Like several other bands that sing in Belarus, they have expressed their opposition to President Alexander Lukashenko, although they have never mentioned him by name in their lyrics. N.R.M.'s largest crowd was in Kiev in 2004, when they played in support of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, with band members expressing their hope that something similar would happen in their own country.
In the following years N.R.M.—along with many other Belarusian bands—was unofficially banned from FM station broadcast in Belarus. There was no written blacklist, but FM station managers said they received unofficial "recommendations" from the authorities.
Despite this unofficial three-year ban, the group continued its concert activity. Numerous performances abroad took place in Poland, Germany, Slovakia, Sweden. In their homeland, however, the group remained on the forbidden list, therefore they seldom held public concerts and played in underground conditions.
In 2007, the long-awaited sixth studio album "06" was released. It was recorded, according to Lavon Volski, under the influence of political events of spring 2006 in Belarus. The album "06" is compiled with songs of different styles. The Violoncello, mandoline, and keyboard were used, all of which were new instruments for the group. For the first time songs were sung not only by Lavon Volski, but also by other participants of the group and even a children's choir.
After a late-2007 meeting of Belarusian rock-musicians with the deputy head of the Presidential Administration on Ideology Oleg Proleskovsky, the band was removed from the banned list.
For its concert, at the "Rock Coronation Awards" 2009 ceremony in May 2010 the band got awarded in the category of “Event of the Year”.
In 2010, Volski left the group. N.R.M. continued playing as a three-piece band. Their next album D.P.B.Č was released in 2013.
|Year of release||Original title||Title||Label|
|1986||Stary chram||Old Temple|
|1989||Studyja BM||Studio BM|
|1990||Dvaccać vośmaja zorka||28th Star||Melodiya|
|1992||Lepšyja peśni z albomau 1988–1990||The Best Songs from the Albums 1988–1990||Kovčeg|
|1993||Vybranyja peśni 1989–1993||Selected Songs 1989–1993||ZBS|
|1997||Made in N.R.M.||Made in N.R.M.|
|1998||Pašpart hramadzianina N.R.M.||The Passport of N.R.M Citizen||Kovčeg|
|1999||Akustyčnyja kancerty kanca 20-ha stahodździa||Acoustic Concerts at the End of the 20th Century||Kovčeg|
|2000||Try čarapachi||Three Turtles||Bulba Records|
|2002||Dom kultury||Palace of Culture||BMA|
|2004||Spravazdača 1994–2004||Report of 1994–2004||West Records|
|2013||Д.П.Б.Ч. (Da pabačennia)||D.P.B.C. (Goodbye)||PetePaff Inc.|
- Peśniarok (1997), tribute to Pesniary
- Narodny albom (Folk Album) (1997)
- Serca Eǔropy in rock (Heart of Europe in Rock) (2001)
- Personal Depeche (2002), Belarusian tribute to Depeche Mode
- Generały ajčynnaha roku (Generals of Domestic Rock) (2004)
- NiezałežnyJa (IndependentMe) (2008)
- Budzma The Best Rock / Budzma The Best Rock/New (2009)
- Pete Pawlaw - guitar (since 1993), lead vocals (since 2010)
- Yuras' Ljaukou - bass (since 1981)
- Aleg Dzemidovich - drums (since 1981)
- Lavon Volsky - lead vocals, keyboards, guitars (1981–2010)
- Vladimir Davidovsky - guitar (1981–1989)
- Sergei Loskutov - rhythm guitar (1981)
- Benedict Konev-Petushkovich - guitar (1989–1992)
- Oleg Pipin - guitar (1992)
- Leonid Shirin - guitar (June–September 1992)
- Viktor Shot - guitar (September 1992–1993)
- Yury Tsyankevich - percussion (1992–1994)
- Viktor Smolsky - guitar (1993)
The band appeared during one of their concerts at an opposition rally in 2006, which was featured in the documentary, A Lesson of Belarusian
- Климов, Олег; Шаруба, Сергей (2004). "Убить N.R.M., или К неутешительным итогам музыкального года". Muzykalnaya Gazeta (in Russian) (4). Archived from the original on 2020-09-11. Retrieved 2020-09-11.
- "«Рок-корону-2009» получила группа «Без билета»" [beZ bileta received the “Rock Crown 2009”]. naviny.by (in Russian). BelaPAN. 2010-03-05. Archived from the original on 2019-06-10. Retrieved 2019-06-10.
- Viktar Dziatlikovič. Ich Mroja, ich NRM. Minsk: Sučasny litaratar, 2005.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to N.R.M..|
- N.R.M. official site (in Belarusian)
- Rock-rebels saved by the dictator
- Belarus hardman drowns out the sounds of revolution (Article in The Times about NRM being banned from FM stations in Belarus)
- Official fan-club site