The band Leningrad was thought and set up by Sergey Shnurov (a.k.a. Shnur) in St. Petersburg in 1997. Their debut album ‘Pulya’ was recorded by Leonid Fyodorov, leader of the famous Russian band Auktyon in 1999. Since the beginning Leningrad didn’t fit into any pigeonhole, only one thing was characterizing them – swearwords. Back then Igor Vdovin supplied the vocals. Vdovin quit Leningrad the same year and Shnur, who had been playing bass, took over the microphone. Vdovin is now a sought after producer and excellent electronic musician. In the same year Shnur and Leningrad recorded their legendary album ‘Mat bez elektritchestva’ live in the studio within a few days, where they manage to capture an atmosphere of a kitchen, where Charles Bukowski is reading, drinking and telling stories.
In 2000 Leningrad had their definite breakthrough with the album ‘Datchniki’. Leningrad made it into the headlines and their fame spread from St. Petersburg to Siberia with Shnur’s creative urge inexhaustible. In 2001 he recorded the album ‘Made in Zhopa’ with the project Tri Debila. Tri Debila was a sort of mini band for small clubs featuring vocals, tuba, accordion and drums. Although this turned out to be only a spontaneous short time project, the songs are an essential part of the Leningrad oeuvre.
Leningrad’s line up has changed quite a few times, although their backbone has always remained guitars, drums and a strong brass section. Sometimes keyboards were added, an accordion, double bass, xylophone, balalaikas or even a singing saw. Their last massive line up changes occurred in 2002. Shnur recorded the album ‘Piraty XI veka’ together with the musicians of St. Petersburg ska band Spitfire. Soon the whole Spitfire gang became part of Leningrad, which again significantly raised the musical level.
Between 2003 and 2005 the restless Leningrad released another three albums: the very popular ‘Dlya Millionov’, the experimental musical radio play ‘Babarobot’ and the album ‘Huinya’, which they recorded together with British cult band The Tiger Lillies.
Shnur also composed music for several movie soundtracks. He is one of the most looked for artists at Russia’s leading search engine rambler.ru. Besides the music Shnur himself is an actor, TV presenter and painter. He has also recorded one solo album – ‘Vtoroi Magadanskji’ – which is now available exclusively in a limited edition along with the album Hleb.