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World Of Music/Mir Musiky Frank Zappa Interview

  Below is the only (I'm almost sure in it) FZ russian interview. It was published in first ( and it seems last :-) 1990 issue of WM ( World of Music magazin ) aborted child of joint Billboard-and-Musika-perestroika-venture. I skipped some stupid trivia of russian editor blah-blahin' about what great musician he had pleasure to introduce to mindless Moscow Cinderella fans and start with interview itself. ( Hope I was close in this translation to the russian original as it's possible for just humble Siberian Nanook. Hope also that the language of the translation is english :-) Anyway, enjoy!

  WM: Mr. Zappa, why are you here?

  FZ: This is my fifth visit and for this time I'm just business agent. I was hired by _Financial News Net_ to help make here an agreement on holding in Russia joint bisiness-show.

  WM: Why does your efforts here seems to be dedicated only to the technical side of this show?

  FZ: Why not? I'm interesting in soviet culture and I also want international relations to be strong and dynamic. I believe that business contacts are shortest way to make peoples relations really good. Anyway, they are much more effective than that on the official level. As for the money I was paid for it, it's really modest sum, not enough in fact even to buy me an airplane tickets.

  WM: But why you don't want that the music helps to improve relations between our countries?

  FZ: I'm sure that music isn't suitable for it. This isn't its function. Music should be music and business be business. I never mingle those two separate parts of my life activity. But as a musician I've once have a chance to visit your country. Do you know that we were invited to play on Luzhniky Stadium in Moscow during Reagan-Gorbachev summit?

  WM: No, of course, I don't.

  FZ: Yes. Someone from TASS /* official soviet news agensy */ called us and asked is it possible for us to performe in Moscow next weekend? We was on our European tour so this call reached me in West Germany. I said, Well, I will be happy to come but there are a little technical problem. It's impossible for the 5 trucks, 3 buses and 43 people of my tour personal to travel from Germany to Moscow in a few remaining days without aid of some good transport aircraft. So I said OK if you can organize the delivery of all my men and stuff I'm agree to come. But alas the technical side prove to be a real deadlock for you. I'm remebering now one moment of this telephone talk. Then I said to this guy, If your soviet managers can't deliver one rock band fron Mangheim (sp?) to Moscow I want to know how russians and american plan to fly to the Mars together. How will they manage to do the job? Yes, I'm remebering saying this little joke then.

  WM: Do you visit another countries as businessman only?

  FZ: Yes.

  WM: So it sounds there aren't too much place for the music in your life now.

  FZ: I've just completed recording the music for the new movie of J.-Y. Cousteau( sp? ). It's about ecology, oil wells and spoiling of the sea near Valdize (sp?) in Alaska.

  WM: And what place in your life takes your guitar now? Some times ago you said it takes ninth.

  FZ: I fear it's below any place I could imagine in my life now. I haven't been playing guitar almost for a year...

  WM: Did you put it aside forever or you think time will come and you take it back in your hands?

  FZ: No, I didn't part with it forever. I just haven't a band right now so there no need of playing the guitar. But still I don't mind to play one day here in Soviet Union... I've been playing rock music for twenty five years and never performed in your country. I think I miss it in my musical career. So I hope that one day I will come and play here for your audience.

  WM: Do you ever think that you would be performe here together with some russian musicians who play not only rock'n'roll?

  FZ: As far as I know there are in Stas Namin Center /* entertainment and record company under which label the recently released FZ LP was issued */ some people who play classical music. But up to this time I hadn't had a chance to meet them.

  WM: You've happend to play with many famous musicians, and sometimes it seems strange that they'd agreed to do it knowing very well that they always would be only second beside you. And nevertheless they agreed. How can you explain it? Is it due to your indisputable musical superiority or there are something else in it?

  FZ: I think they had many reasons and every one his own than they've said they want to play with me. But basicaly there was two sorts of them. There were some who thought it will help them to make the musical career and another who felt it will help them to brush up they skill. Of course I prefer people from the last group, but unfortunately for many musicians in United States the career is much more important than the music. But I always could choose so tried to play with good musicians.

  WM: Are you trying to share your musical skill and experience with your son?

  FZ: I'm trying all the time to stand as far as it possible from him because I don't want his music to become similar to mine. But I advice him very often how to talk with people, how to deal with somebody evil and wicked, and sadly there are a lot of that type in american showbiz.

  WM: What is your position in modern american rock music?

  FZ: I think much modest than befor. But all what I've done for american art already makes people everywhere to respect it. You see most of my fans live abroad.

  WM: Are you successfull in business? Are you rich?

  FZ: I have enough money to visit Moscow with couples of guys who plan to film video here... But I have no pet monkey... no llama to play at home... and I don't sleep in oxygen chamber like Michael Jackson ( sp?).

  WM: So now you make business rather than music. But don't you fear to find yourself one day in dubious position of best guitar player among businessmen and best businessman among guitarists?

  FZ: It's really don't matter too much for me. It's important what you yourself feel and think about the things you are doing and not what somebody else. I want to say one thing about business. Some people think that if an artist let himself be involved in business there are something disgusting in it. But I don't see why you should put some limits to the inventiveness if you have it. I think that people with artist or musical background can help business to look better. Yes, I have no doubts that there are much more successfull businessmen around but I'm also sure that even some brilliant among them don't know something in business that know I. So I feel that I am not the last one.

  WM: Is Barfko Swill (sp?) good example of that inventiveness? But even if you are right in a sense I still doubt that in some real serious business affair an artist can expect something like profit?

  FZ: Barfko Swill name you mentioned is just an occasional combination of letters. Stupid name for stupid american company delivering goods, customer just call in and you deliver all he want to his home. That's my wife business. In fact I've only gave her money and forgot about it, but believe it or not this not seriouse business, as you said, brings pretty good profit.

  WM: I see. Thank you very much Mr. Zappa for this interview and we wish you success here in Moscow


  That's all, folks

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