MOSCOW, July 20 (RIA Novosti) - Grigory “Gustav” Guryanov, a drummer for the legendary Soviet rock band Kino, died Saturday, a fellow musician said. He was 52.
In the early 1980s, Guryanov, nicknamed Gustav, joined the New Artists artistic group that held underground exhibitions in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg. He also played drums or bass in several punk rock and electronic bands before joining Kino (Cinema) in 1984.
The band nearly finished recording its first, mostly acoustic album, and Guryanov was instrumental in “electrifying” its sound. He mostly played electronic drums and helped arrange the band’s compositions that became heavily influenced by British post punk acts such as The Cure.
Fronted by singer and guitar player Viktor Tsoi, the group became part of the underground rock scene in Leningrad, while tapes with its albums quickly spread all over the Soviet Union. It propelled to stardom in 1986, when Melodiya, USSR’s mammoth recoding company, sold 2 million copies of its fifth album “Night.”
As Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika policies removed censorship in Soviet mass media and television shows were free to feature young artists, Kino became a sensation, mostly among teenagers, who fell for Tsoi's image of a lonesome outsider and the band's dark and minimalist sound. All band members wore black onstage, and Guryanov mostly played his electronic drum set standing - and singing back-up vocals.
In 1987, the band recorded its most popular album, Blood Type, at Guryanov’s house in a Leningrad suburb. He played bass and synthesizer on some of the songs and contributed to the sound of the album still hailed as one of the highest achievements of Soviet rock music.
The group disbanded in 1990 following Tsoi’s death a car crash. Guryanov quit music and devoted himself to painting, occasionally organizing first rave parties and appearing in documentaries about Kino. In 1993, he became honorary member of the New Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg.
In recent years, he was suffering from hepatitis and liver cancer. He died Saturday morning in his apartment in St. Petersburg, Kino’s former producer Alexei Vishnya said.