10 years ago passed away Ilya Kormiltsev - a man whom Boris Grebenshchikov called "the best poet of Russian rock." It is known to most as lyricist for the group "Nautilus Pompilius"however, he was also involved in publishing and translating novels by contemporary foreign writers. In January 2007, he was diagnosed with stage four spinal cancer, and on February 4, he passed away. He was 47 years old.
Ilya Kormiltsev was born in 1959 in Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg). He graduated from an English special school and the chemistry department of the Ural University. Since the early 1980s. Kormiltsev took an active part in the rock movement, wrote songs for the Ural rock groups Urfin Jus and Yegor Belkin's Group. Since 1983, the poet began working with the group "Nautilus Pompilius", and this work grew into a permanent collaboration. One of the founders of the group, Dmitry Umetsky, admitted: “With the arrival of Ilya, we have changed, Nautilus has become a social project. Slava and I had to pull ourselves up in order to communicate in the same language with him."
He said about working with Vyacheslav Butusov Kormilets: “Psychologically, we have always understood each other well and have always resolved issues using English methods. If I give him poems that he likes, he writes for those that he doesn't like, he doesn't write, and I don't ask him: why? … This is a very good way to actually cooperate. All the same, there was always a sufficient number of works that suited both sides. And to spend our spiritual strength to fight for our "brilliant opus" … We were brought up in a different environment."
When Butusov first read Kormiltsev's poem "Shackled by one chain", he could only say: "Yeah, Ilya, they'll jail you." They became idols for the youth of the late 1980s, the group had millions of fans. The Nautilus was synonymous with freedom, rebellion and protest.
Since 1988, the paths of Butusov and Kormiltsev diverged for some time. In 1990, Ilya took up publishing, published the magazine "MIX" ("We and Culture Today"), in the same year was published a collection of his poems "Chained in one chain" with drawings by Butusov. And since 1992, cooperation with Nautilus has been resumed. Grebenshchikov said that the creative tandem of Kormiltsev and Butusov is "a marriage made in heaven": "Butusov's music and his distant voice, tired of the pain of the world, gave Ilya's words an absolute reality, which made Nautilus - perhaps the most important group of Russian rock - and the word "rock" here can be understood in its Russian meaning - an inevitable fate."
The poetic talent of Ilya Kormiltsev and colleagues, and critics appreciated very highly. Umetsky asserted: “In my opinion, the Russian language existed before Kormiltsev and after Kormiltsev. He proved that Russian poetry can exist in modern musical forms. " The most famous songs of "Nautilus", the verses to which were written by Kormiltsev, were "This music will be eternal", "Casanova", "View from the screen", "Chained by one chain", "I want to be with you", "Walking on the water" and "Tutankhamun".
Despite the incredible popularity of "Nautilus", Kormiltsev believed that the group lasted longer than necessary. After the collapse of "Nautilus Pompilius" in 1997, Kormiltsev created a new electronic musical project "Aliens", released an album, and started translating. He collaborated with the journal Foreign Literature, published the book series Behind the Window, translated Tolkien, Beigbeder, Burroughs, Palahniuk, Houellebecq and other writers. In 2006, another collection of his poems and a book of prose "Nobody from Nowhere" was published.
In 2003, Kormiltsev founded the Ultra. Culture”, specializing in the publication of radical literature, which is why the publisher was accused of promoting extremism. Kormiltsev himself explained the publishing house's policy as follows: “Ultra is what is on the other side; this is not something that is the area of our politically correct consensus."
In 2006, Kormiltsev published an open letter in which he condemned Butusov for performing the songs of Nautilus at the meeting of the youth political movement Nashi on Seliger. After that, their relationship soured. Kormiltsev was categorically against any manifestation of conformism, he called his beliefs "transhumanist anarchism."
In January 2007, the publishing house "Ultra. Culture”was closed. In the same month, while on a business trip in London, Kormiltsev learned that he had spinal cancer in the 4th stage. After that, he no longer left the hospital, where he died on February 4.
In the 1980s. in the USSR, a whole rock movement appeared, whose representatives at that time looked and behaved shockingly: rare pictures of rock musicians that the entire Soviet Union spoke about.