‘For whatever reason in the cosmos, I’m connected to Russia again.’. Joanna Stingray brought Soviet rock to the West. We asked her about her old friends and her new book.

Joanna Stingray’s new book Stingray in Wonderland was recently released by the Russian publisher AST Nonfiction. Stingray is a highly significant figure in the history and culture of Soviet rock: she smuggled unofficial recordings of Soviet rock bands out of the USSR and introduced Americans to Russian underground culture. Then, she came back to her musician friends in Leningrad, bringing equipment and instruments along with her. In 1986, Stingray released the record Red Wave in the United States. It included recordings of Kino, Akvarium, Alisa, Strannye Igri, and other legendary bands, and its release essentially enabled the West to discover Soviet rock. Stingray spoke with Meduza about her new book.