Andrius Mamontovas

Different conversations with Lithuania’s rock legend Andrius Mamontovas

Andrius Mamontovas: ‘I have enough stories to write a memoir, I just don’t have the guts.’

Recently, Loftas, a popular music venue in Vilnius, was fortunate enough to be the host location for Lithuanian talk-show, Kitokie Pasikalbėjimai (Different Conversations), and for this occasion, the guest was Andrius Mamontovas – an undoubted Lithuanian music legend.

For the rest of Europe, Mamontovas is probably remembered as one sixth of LT United, who performed Lithuania’s 2006 Eurovision entry.

Their humble performance, We Are the Winners of Eurovision, saw them finish sixth in the tournament that year, but to the people of Lithuania, Andrius is, of course, much more than a guy who entered Eurovision almost a decade ago – he is, in fact, anything but.

In 1983, as the Soviet Union was lurching towards collapse, Andrius founded his extremely successful band, Foje. As a result, he won the hearts of the Lithuanian public.Andrius MamontovasAs a proper, all-out, rock musician, it’s hardly expected Andrius is the creator of the Lithuanian rap movement. According to him, the genre was born in Easter 1993, when he and his brother Justas started a hip-hop project called POMPA.

The Loftas crowd even got a unique chance to hear Andrius rap!

The whole evening lasted for 2 hours, but it seemed to fly by in 20 minutes, which is what generally seems to happen when you’re having a good time with friends. Certainly, Kitokie Pasikalbėjimai, with Andrius Mamontovas definitely felt like a catch-up with an old mate.Andrius MamontovasApart from rapping live on stage, Andrius shared a lot of stories about his time in the army, and explained the experience taught him the skill to read through people.

The host of Kitokie Pasikalbėjimai, Justinas Jankevičius, also invited Andrius to play a game of how well the musician knew his own back-catalogue; Andrius had to finish his own lyrics, then name the album the song featured on. However, neither of the challenges were particularly tough for Andrius, after he solved each questions without a moment’s hesitation.

One of the most interesting themes discussed was definitely Andrius’ journey to North Korea. The captivated people in Loftas barely breathed, while listening to unbelievable stories from this dystopian, ghostly sounding country.

For Andrius, the trip to North Korea also made him appreciate Lithuania more, ‘I understood that we live in a very free country,’ he concluded.Andrius MamontovasAt the end of the show Andrius did a short Question and Answer session, and talked about favourite books, happiness, music, and of course, love.

The crowd was happy to find out Andrius has created around 300 songs, but only two of them were dedicated to women – apparently, different ones.

The musician also pointed out he prefers reading books in the original language if possible.

When asked if he’d write a memoir, he replied he definitely has all the correct material to include, but isn’t brave enough to speak out (yet).

Before leaving the stage, Andrius gave this advice to all young musicians: ‘You need to play and create. Make a good song, and the doors will open for you.’

Andrius Mamontovas on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrius-Mamontovas/113598969625

Kitokie Pasikalbėjimai on Youtube (Lithuanian) – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCV_59afytAhjWv9WWeixTFg

Photos by Tomas Vinickas