Lyapis Trubetskoi, a popular Belarusian rock band on Friday released their first-ever album that consists only of Belarusian-language songs.
Titled Hray (Play), the album includes 10 remastered tracks and two new tracks.
Lyapis Trubetskoi frontman Syarhey Mikhalok said that the album tracks had been composed in different periods of his life and "express the entire polarity of my views and emotions."
The famous rocker noted that the album was dedicated to people who break stereotypes describing the Belarusians as quiet, tolerant people who do not like changes. "We want to show that there are other Belarusians, those who can be defiant, noisy… who want to decide their fates themselves, who create, fight, achieve and surprise in different spheres," he said.
The band will debut the album in Vilnius on November 30, at Lithuania's biggest indoor venue, Siemens Arena, which has a seating capacity of 12,500 people.
Lyapis Trubetskoi are rumored to be on authorities' blacklist of Belarusian and foreign musicians and cultural figures known for having spoken out for democratic change in Belarus and for the release of political prisoners. The list is reported to include some 30 individuals and 15 bands.
In 2011, at least three Lyapis Trubetskoi concerts were cancelled in various Belarusian cities for what appeared to be political reasons. Fans travel to neighboring countries to listen to the rockers, who normally play to sold-out crowds.
In October 2011, Pavel Radzivonaw, a departmental head at the Prosecutor General’s Office, told reporters that the Tsentralny District Prosecutor’s Office in Minsk was examining Mr. Mikhalok’s video interview posted on www.1tvnet.ru in mid-September. In the video interview in question, Mr. Mikhalok branded the Belarusian leader "a liar, a thief and an ignoramus." "He is no president," Mr. Mikhalok said. "He has gathered ‘black’ brigades around himself and unleashed genocide against the Belarusian people…This is a person who hates his people and deserves a fair trial at best. However, criminals like Lukashenka don’t leave witnesses to their crimes.”