ESC+Plus has talked to Green Grey, semifinalists of this year’s Ukrainian national selection for Eurovision. The band will perform «Future is now» in the 3rd semi-final set to take place on February 18th.
ESC+Plus: Hello! First of all, thank you so much for your time and congratulations on having been selected to take part in the Danish national selection for Eurovision 2017!
Can you tell us about you, your musical career and important achievements?
Green Grey: Green Grey is a rock band from Kiev with a 23-year history. The work of the band is a crazy mix of different styles and musical genres – Rock, funk, trip-hop, dubstep, techno and electro. The band was the first band in the musical history of Ukraine to take part twice in MTV Europe Music Awards – in London (1996) and Berlin (2009).
Green Grey were the first in the history of Ukrainian rock music to arrange a huge show with Djs, light effects, pyrotechnics and stage transformations.
Six studio albums, numerous national and international awards and dozens of songs that are known all over the post-Soviet space – these are some of the many achievements that I would like to mention.
ESC+Plus: What impelled you to take part in the Ukrainian selection for Eurovision 2017?
Green Grey: The quality of Ukrainian selection has grown over the past 2 years. The representative of Ukraine is not appointed from somewhere above. There is a transparent voting system. We also like that representatives of different genres are approved for participation in this contest. Due to these factors, we found it interesting.
ESC+Plus: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the semi-finals? Did you expect it?
Green Grey: Yes we did expect that but for sure it was a pleasant news. (laugh)
ESC+Plus: What would it mean to you to represent Ukraine?
Green Grey: We want to convey to the world community that in our country there is high-quality modern, relevant and interesting music. We want people to associate Ukraine not exclusively with A. Shevchenko, K. Kaladze, Chernobyl, corruption and war. So far we are known as a country with a rich, but tragic history. We look into the future. And it has already come!
ESC+Plus: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?
Green Grey: There is no story at the background of this song. There is only future in front of it. The song is about the future, that it has come: you’re either in the boat, or you stay behind. «Here and Now» – that’s an outstanding idea of beatniks from 60th – Aldous Huxley and Timothy Leary – that we share.
ESC+Plus: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Kiev? What are you strengths to reach the top in the competition?
Green Grey: We understand that musically Ukraine is mostly unknown to European society. We started our career 23 years ago as the band, targeted at European market. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, back in the days when Ukraine became independent the was almost no music here. We appeared – a band of young musicians and producers, who decided to set high-quality music on the way. We have created music, that was matching European trends of that time – grunge, funk rock meta and the rising wave of electronic music. Symbiosis of live rock, dance and electronic music variety under the ideological motto «New Europe’s new Youth » – that’s how our band was created. So we have done actually.
Green Grey is still the energy of rock and roll and always modern sound. All those years of artistic career we have been trying to assimilate the Ukrainian music for the western market. As open cosmopolitan people we support the multicultural development of music and world in general worldwide.
Speaking of the strong sides – for a long time we are considered to be the face of alternative subculture of our country and so we feel the power of all those people.
ESC+Plus: Have you thought about your stage performance?
Green Grey: Yes we have thought of it of course! We know what the stage performance will be! It’s going to be an awesome crazy SHOW! We gonna use all that ultra-modern stuff here.
ESC+Plus: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What is your favorite song in the history of the competition?
Green Grey: Our favorite song is “Rock halleluiah!” by Lordi (Finland) – a cool band breaking down the event stereotypes! Especially we’ve got interested in the competition in the last two years. Mostly it’s the merit of the general producer on Ukrainian side – Konstantin Meladze. Ukrainian music segment raised to a new, more qualitative level due to his absolutely correct and interesting approach.
ESC+Plus: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?
Green Grey: «ABBA». We wouldn’t mind to repeat their success. (Laugh)
ESC+Plus: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?
Green Grey: The main thing we want to say you: «Peace!» Green Grey, with love.