The Russian rock band Mumiy Troll has a huge following in its native country, where it plays more than 100 gigs a year. Now, the band is selling out shows in North America, and Variety Magazine reports that 2010 tour dates are expected throughout Europe and Asia.
Mumiy Troll was founded in the late 1980s by friends in the far eastern Russian port of Vladivostok, then a closed military port with little access to popular music. The band was briefly blacklisted by the KGB, although Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms soon ended the threat.
After separating and then re-forming a decade later, the band released its first album in 1997. Performing in a style known as "rockapops"-a term coined by lead singer Ilya Lagoutenko to describe a blend between rock and pop-the band has gone on to become one of Russia's most popular musical acts, with a major influence on Russian rock music in the post-Soviet era. The band also has a following in Japan, China, and Europe.
With the April 2009 release of Comrade Ambassador, the band's first album commercially available in North America, Mumiy Troll is now enjoying success on a new continent. October saw the release of the group's first English-language EP, titled Paradise Ahead.
Currently in the midst of a 38-city tour, Mumiy Troll is selling out shows in small clubs throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. The group has another tour planned for 2010, with an itinerary likely to include dates in Spain, Italy, Holland, the UK, Ireland, the Baltic States, India and China.