From the 1980s to the present day, Алиса has been one of the most popular rock bands in Russia. Their lyrics, written by vocalist Konstantin Kinchev, are concerned with social problems, rock music, Slavic culture and, more recently, Christian faith.
Alisa was founded in November 1983 by bassist Svetoslav Zadery. The name of the band is borrowed from Lewis Carroll's book "Alice in Wonderland". The band's lineup was finally completed in 1984, when new vocalist Kostya Kinchev (born Konstantin Panfilov) and guitarist Pyotr Samoylov joined Alisa. Their debut album "Energia" (Energy) was released by Melodia, the state publishing monopoly, and was sold in numbers of more than one million.
But the relations between the two leaders, Konstantin and Zadery, were poor, and finally Svetoslav left the band. This occurred just one hour before Alisa was to perform at a concert. Alisa had to ask Кино bassist Igor Tihomirov to replace him for one concert. Later Zadery created his own band 'Nate!' ('Take it!').
The growing popularity of the band created a fan community called the 'Army of Alisa', known for their rough behaviour at concerts. It led to animosity between the band and Soviet officials. In 1987 the newspaper Smena accused Kinchev of Nazi propaganda and worshipping Hitler. Alisa's leader Kinchev filed a suit for calumny and moral loss compensation. After the year-long court process the magazine published the refutation. Alisa's next album was titled Article 206 part 2, a chapter ('Hooliganism') of the USSR Procedural Code, alluding to this process.
There were new lineup changes in 1988, when guitarist Igor 'Chuma' Chumykin joined Alisa. This change was followed by the heavier sound of next albums Shabash and For those Who Fell From the Moon. Alisa toured through Europe and Israel together with Aria. The album Black Mark, 1994, was dedicated to the memory of Chuma, who committed suicide by jumping from the window.
In the new millennium, with albums such as Seychas Pozdnee Chem Ty Dumaesh (It is Later Than You Think, 2003) and Izgoy (Exile, 2005), the sound of Alisa was changed to a heavier one, including elements of nu-metal, industrial and heavy metal. Music critics credited Clawfinger as Kinchev's greatest new music influence. This gave Alisa a new fan base among Russian hard rock fans, and three songs from Izgoy continually reached the top of the NASHE radio chart.
Kinchev was baptised in 1990, and since then Christianity has been the main influence on his alignment and his lyrics. Although early Alisa lyrics were typical for Russian rock - the social protest and rock 'n' roll hype - since the late 1990's their main theme has been ideas of Christianity, Russian patriotism, and Slavic unity.
Konstantin is in good relations with the priests of the Russian Orthodox Church, especially Andrey Kuraev. Alisa has participated in many religion-supporting festivals, such as 'Musicians for the Christ Savior Cathedral'.
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