Vezhlivy Otkaz

“Vezhlivy Otkaz, which means “polite refusal” in English, is one of the most original and erratic rock bands in Russia. It was formed in 1985 with a then-popular reggae/ska blend. Since then, they have gone through numerous stylistic changes, flirting with everything from free jazz to Russian folk. Their sound, however, has always been unique and immediately recognizable. Roman Suslov’s rhythmic guitar work and unusual high-pitched vocals gives VO’s music a precisely constructed, crystal-clear sound that is completely devoid of any of the extra noise so typical of rock-n-roll. The sound is so well organized that sounds almost academic.”
(Artemy Troitsky @ “Moscow Times”)

“This Moscow sextet’s 2010 album, Geese and Swans, is truly unique and excitingly unpredictable.” “Countless groups have used rock song forms to launch extended instrumental excursions. But rarely, if ever, quite like this.”
(Dave Lynch @

“Geese and Swans incorporated few war songs but new material keep arising and has already been arranged into a War Songs suite. Otkaz has by far not for the first time turned to war matters (Civil War doublet in Geranium, or Waltz in Go to it!..) but this time only the war is brought to the foreground of an entire album–devoid of propaganda and naturalism, tormenting, violent and obscure.”

“Some imprints of various music styles from Prokofiev to tango nuevo and Soviet songs might be found in the music of Geese and Swans. It has the undertone of both British progressive rock of the 1970s and continental orchestral quasi-avant-garde of the 1990 - 2000s. An unconventional band set, complex rhythm patterns, intricate melodies and junctions between piece parts produce a totally unique sound which VO seems to have been seeking for all this time.”
(Gregory Durnovo @ “Kommersant”)

“As such, Vezhlivy Otkaz is virtually reconstructing the 1910-1920s of Russian history, namely, a combination of Russian musical avant-garde (futurism&constructivism) with the grassroots culture that never really happened.”
(Dmitry Ukhov @

The band members:

  • Roman Suslov - vocal, guitar
  • Dmitry Shumilov - bass
  • Mikhail Mitin - drums
  • Andrey Solovyev - trumpet
  • Pavel Karmanov - piano, flute
  • Sergey Ryzhenko - violin

Вежливый Отказ, Москва 2012


  • Pyotr Plavinsky
  • Arkady Semyonov
  • Roman Suslov
  • Gor Oganisian

Former members and participators:

  • Maxim Trefan - piano
  • Pavel Tonkovid - saxophone
  • Sergey Batov - sax
  • Arkady Shilkloper - flugelhorn
  • Vladimir Davydov - sax
  • Sergey Vysotsky - sax
  • Pyotr Plavinsky - keayboards

Sound engineers:

  • Andrey Pasternak
  • Anton Marchuk
  • Pavel Bruskov


  • Sven Goundlakh
  • Andrey Pavlovsky
  • Dmitry Gutov
  • Konstantin Zvezdochetov
  • Igor Gurovich