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Saturday, October 1, 2022

Mateo Sujatovich explains the unstoppable success of Knowing Russia

Barely four years ago, Knowing Russia had just debuted on a record label and was taking its first steps on the local scene. Today he is one of the strongest names in Argentine rock, with a convening power that last year he filled four Gran Rex and now it goes for two Movistar ArenaNovember 5 (sold out), and December 16 (added now).

The project created and led by Matthew Sukhatovich (the “Russian” in the band’s name) too has just won two Gardel Awardsin the categories of Best Rock Artist Album and Best Cover Design.

Mateo Sujatovich, from Knowing Russia.  Photo: Martin Bonetto.

Mateo Sujatovich, from Knowing Russia. Photo: Martin Bonetto.

In addition, Mateo in May of this year toured Mexico with great success, and from September he will tour Paraguay, Ecuador, Colombia and Spain.

The hour of the Gardels

Mateo Sujatovich with his friend and producer Nico Cotton, at the Movistar Arena during the Gardels.

Mateo Sujatovich with his friend and producer Nico Cotton, at the Movistar Arena during the Gardels.

The new Gardel Awards gave a well-deserved recognition to the talent and dedication of Mateo Sujatovich. his third album The direction He beat figures like Fito Paez, Andrés Calamaro and Palo Pandolfo, quite an honor. Going on stage to receive his statuette he said:

“I won my first Gardel! The truth is that music is wonderful, my favorite place, it is what makes me live with passion, enthusiasm, fear and uncertainty. I deeply love music. Receiving this award is one more pampering of the many that I receive in this life that is so generous to me. I want to thank those who listen to me, read and accompany me. I am a fan of you, my audience. In addition, I have a spectacular team that works hard so that Knowing Russia grows”.

Tours and days off

Mateo Sujatovich, from Knowing Russia.  Photo: Martin Bonetto.

Mateo Sujatovich, from Knowing Russia. Photo: Martin Bonetto.

At a stop of the tour, Mateo talked about the current panorama of Knowing Russia. “These are days – he said – with a little rest and being at home, reconnecting a little with my home, my life and my people. Also organizing everything that will be the first show at the Movistar Arena”.

-How was the tour of Mexico?

-We went in March with the band to do the Vive Latino festival, and two months later I went to do a solo tour, with the guitar. I toured seven cities to see what the reality of Knowing Russia is about in each of those places.

-And what did you find, how is that reality?

-It’s good. It is a good starting point. I think the songs that stick the most are quite similar to the ones that stick the most here. It was very good to go see each place and discover that there is a good fan base.

-Have you ever been there before?

Mateo Sujatovich, from Knowing Russia.  Photo: Martin Bonetto.

Mateo Sujatovich, from Knowing Russia. Photo: Martin Bonetto.

-I had gone when the project just came out, in 2019. The possibility of being at the Marvin Festival had come up, which is quite small and indie. I went to play there, but it was pretty green because I didn’t have a press job set up. I still lacked a lot of structure and a little more know-how.

-Have you caught up with all the shows and plans that were postponed during the pandemic?

-Yes. We are already lined up. This year we are going to finish going for the first time to all the places we wanted to go but it was difficult to travel. For example Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile.

-How did you experience so many postponements of shows like the Great Rex? Did you feel like a good moment was slipping away or did you think it was going to happen anyway?

-I felt that the project was in a good moment and that things were going to be in place when I played again. Or actually a bit more advanced. But I didn’t know how much!

-It was growing without you realizing it.

-Exact. The dimension was to gamble to make a Great Rex and we ended up making four.

From Rex to Movistar Arena

Mateo Sujatovich backstage at Quilmes Rock 2022. Photo: Martin Bonetto

Mateo Sujatovich backstage at Quilmes Rock 2022. Photo: Martin Bonetto

-How did you experience the different Rex at the end of last year?

-In the first one I was very nervous, very aware that everything worked well and was in order, the lights and everything. I even corrected some lights between subject and subject! My assistant came to bring me a guitar and told him what had to be corrected about the lighting. I drove him crazy!

The other three shows I enjoyed much more. It was a great effort to do rehearsals with the band, preparing for such an event. Before, we had only done it like this for the two Nicetos, but there were barely 15 songs. Here you had to play really well.

I don’t know if the word is “professionalizing”, but with each step ahead of us, the group has to rise to the occasion.

-What can you anticipate from the first Movistar Arena, compared to the Rex?

-The Rex was the presentation of The direction. Movistar is a celebration of these four years and three albums. It is to celebrate what happens between Knowing Russia and its public, which is something truly spectacular and surprising. I’m going to do songs I didn’t do at the Rex and bring back old songs. The movement goes a little there.

The Rex were four, so I calculated that there were about 12 thousand people and I said that I wanted to have them all together. It’s one thing to have them all separate and another thing to have them all together!

It’s a date, a party, a super celebration! And again a challenge, because it is the first time in a place and it is a huge place. And surely there will be a lot of friends to sing.

-Before Movistar you have the tour of Spain, that is, they are going to arrive very sharp.

-But in Spain we are going to be with La Dirección Tour, so when we return we are going to prepare something else for the Movistar Arena, with another list, more musicians and other tricks. But yes, the band is going to be hot.

The new litter of rock

Mateo Sujatovich, from Knowing Russia.  Photo: Martin Bonetto.

Mateo Sujatovich, from Knowing Russia. Photo: Martin Bonetto.

-Is there a new litter of groups and soloists with a lot of calls? For example Bandalos Chinos and Zoe Gotusso and you.

-Yes. Zoe made a Big Rex and the Chinese go to Luna Park. It is a moment where some projects have obviously taken a good leap. They are people I have known for several years and with whom we have shared places, talks and gigs. We share a vocation and a job.

-What other bands would you mention from that renewal?

-There are thousands! Feli Colina, Chechi de Marcos. The Tsar… There are many things that are emerging and others that are more consecrated.

-And the rage for urban music surprises you? Duki and Wos are going to build soccer stadiums.

-First of all, it’s surprising that anyone sells out a big show in a couple of hours, be it Coldplay or Duki. When Wos came out to sell Argentinos Juniors, I was sure that he would sell them on the day. I don’t know Duki that well and that’s why I was a little more surprised.

The older generation and the heroes

-How did you come into contact with the previous generation of musicians, for example Fito and David Lebón?

-I feel familiar because somehow I’m closer to Fito or to someone who makes songs and composes with a piano. On the other hand, with another artist I can be closer generationally, but there is a break in the way of conceiving or creating a theme.

-Did you know any of those heroes as a child, because of your father?

-No. To nobody. When I was a kid, my trip was more into film music and advertising. I wasn’t as in touch with the rock ‘n’ roll who you had played with long before. Surprisingly, he met Luis again because I was a friend of Vera Spinetta. We were about 16 years old and we were all the time getting together to listen to music, from Sakamoto to Led Zeppelin and everything by Charly and Spinetta.

The last album and the one to come

The cover of the album "La Direccion", from Knowing Russia

The cover of the album “La Direccion”, from Knowing Russia

-How do you see now, in perspective, “The address”?

-I haven’t heard it for a couple of months, but I just heard it two days ago and I liked it. Sometimes I listen to my records when I have “long” car trips, so I can listen for 40 minutes at a time. And I loved it. The truth is that the disc is good!

-How do you see it with respect to the previous one, “Cabildo y Juramento”?

-Different. Something changed, but I’m not sure what it is. It was composed in a pandemic and it is cut from the scissors of being at home and having pandemic thoughts.

-Lockdown and confinement turned into creativity and productivity.

-Yes. They were composed in a completely different way, although little time passed. Obviously, in a short time, many things can happen.

-How is the next one coming, what do you have in your folder?

-I’m much more in a process of letting go of this one. As soon as I release an album I want to make another, but I really need to take a little more time, especially after making three albums in four years. . Even if it’s a getaway or something similar to a vacation. Feed on other things and let everything rest a little, so maybe new things appear.

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Reference from clarin www.clarin.com

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