From Unearthing The Music
Inokentijs Mārpls is a rock band founded in 1985 in Riga, Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic. Originally known as Aklā Zarna, it was renamed Inokentijs Mārpls in 1987. Their music can be described as punk rock, heavy punk rock and ska. Inokentijs Mārpls’ lead singer and guitarist Raimonds Lagimovs, nicknamed Dambis, has long been renowned as the driving force behind Latvian underground music. He has organised numerous important DIY music events and released many underground records.
Inokentijs Mārpls is not only one of Latvia’s most famous bands, but was arguably the pioneer of heavy punk rock in the USSR. The band has performed at many underground festivals not only in Latvia, but also abroad, including in Lithuania, Estonia, Holland, Hungary and Russia. The band's modern sound is punk rock, rock'n'roll, reggae, new wave, rock music, heavy punk rock and jazz, etc.
Around 1984, Dambis and his childhood and school mate Māris Šverns bought an acoustic guitar and recorded their first songs, Pasaciņa and Meklē mani peklē. Performing under the name Aklā Zarna, around 1986 they started playing at concerts and festivals (at Polygraphs Club and Riga 7th Secondary School). Soon after Didzis Erra joined the band as its bass player. Māris Šverns and Dambis sang and played guitar. The name Inokentijs Mārpls dates back to the spring of 1987. That same year, Māris Šverns lost his finger and has not performed with the band since. Despite this personal setback, Šverns went on to establish a successful musical career of his own. Some of his songs were recorded at Dambis’s house and later on he established his own band, Baložu Pilni Pagalmi.
In 1988, the band recorded their song Mēs esam suņi and performed at the Purvinoji Žiema festival in Kaunas, Lithuania. The following year they played at the Vilnius Underground festival in Vilnius, Lithuania and at Durvis 89 in Latvia. That same year, the band was invited to Ostankino Television, Moscow, Russia to record a video for Satan’s Circle. The main theme of the video was about rock bands and the Riga Rock Club, but unfortunately, the video proved to be a failure. The show was censored and not broadcast, citing Nazi and pornographic propaganda.
In the late 1980s, Dambis launched a parallel musical project Amorālā Psihoze. Its musical offering is eclectic including jazz, psychedelia, new wave, alternative rock, experimental and avant-garde. During the first part of the following decade, Inokentijs Mārpls recorded two unofficial albums known as Dambja Izlase 1987—1990 and Hubb (1992). Samples of these passed from hand to hand, with one being rewritten from the other.
Throughout the 1990s, Inokentijs Mārpls continued to perform at the Riga Rock Club until its eventual closure. In 1991 the band performed at a concert at the Riga Secondary School No.93 and recorded the song Deģenerātu Zeme. In 1992, the band played at the Otrdienas Manevri festival, where the song Good Night was recorded. In 1993, the band’s iconic song America, Fuck Off, was released in the compilation albums LatvijasPunk/HC Izlase and Odekolns Izlase. In 1995 Dambis and Jānis Daugavietis launched the radio show Bitīt Matos, a show dedicated to Latvian non-commercial music, where they were later joined by bass player Didzis Erra. In 1999 Inokentijs Mārpls performed at the alternative rock festival Mirušais Laikmets in Riga and recorded some new songs, but unfortunately no recording of the concert has been released. The year 2000 began with the release of Inokentijs Mārpls’ official debut album Spēks no Tētiem, recorded in 1999 and released 13 years after the band’s first concert. The album includes fourteen songs. It is distinctly eclectic, difficult to perform in concerts, featuring reggae, folk rock, punk rock, hard punk, avant-garde and other genres and musical directions. In 2003, the record company Strongly Opposed Records released the album in the format of a long-playing record in Switzerland.
The song Pilsēta was included in the 2000 Latvian independent music promo compilation Starteris I and the song Jā, jā, jā! was included in the 2002 compilation album Starteris II. In 2000, in a concert at the Dome Square, the band played and recorded the song Asins Līst. The same year the band performed at the Trincstoka festival, where the song Lelles was recorded. The group also played at Tabūns non-commercial music festivals in Kuldiga. The band’s songs Revolucionārs and Hei, miskaste! are included in the compilation Tabūns. In 2001, the group performed and recorded the song Revolucionārs at the Hanazas Dienas contemporary folk music festival.
In early 2002, Inokentijs Mārpls recorded six exclusive songs, which they released on its second official album Bitīt Matos (Ezītis Sper Soli). Several songs became instant hits including Māte Terorists. Around 400 copies of the album were produced and not surprisingly, it quickly sold out. In 2003, the band’s song Sistēma Darbojas was included in Latvijas Punk/ HS Izlase Nr. 2. In 2004, the band went to a concert in St. Petersburg, Russia, where they recorded the song Ļubovnij Rokenrol. In 2005, the group performed at the Sutas Balss festival, where a video recording was made. Later in the same year, the band gave a concert and recorded a new song Es gribu vairāk, which were broadcast on the LTV1 show Siena šķūnis. ´
On April 27, 2007, Inokentijs Mārpls’ third official album Ķeras Pie Sirds was released. The album material was recorded at various studios, but was published by Gauja Records. The band celebrated its 20th anniversary with the release of the album. The new album includes fifteen songs composed between 2000 and 2006. The album also includes two cover versions including Ciku caku caurā tumba, originally recorded by Hardijs Lediņš' band NSRD. These cover versions reflect the band’s desire to revive the best songs of groups of the past. The most famous songs from the album are Eu, priekšniek!, Māt, es gribu būt nevainīgs and Motociklists. The album book is glued to the cover, not letting it disappear over time. The album design was created by Dambis in collaboration with Silvestrs Ūsiņš. Kaspars Bindemanis (keys), Nils Īle (percussion), Anastasija Zvirbule (violin) and many other artists associated with the band in previous years took part in recording the album. Currently, the group consists of Dambis (voice, guitar), Renarts Braufmanis (bass guitar) and Ēriks Lizbovskis (drums).
In 2007, the album Ķeras Pie Sirds was nominated as the Best Rock Album in the Latvian Music Record of the Year Award. However, the award went to the band Dzelzs Vilks with the album Sārtā Rītausma. In recent years Inokentijs Mārpls has performed at various festivals and concerts and is one of the few remaining punk rock bands in Latvia.
- Raimonds Lagimovs / Dambis (voice, guitar)
- Ēriks Lizbovskis (drums)
- Raimonds Lagimovs (voice, guitar)
- Māris Šverns (voice, guitar)
- Didzis Erra (bass guitar)
Former band members and guest artists
- Ivo Stankēvičs (died, February, 2021)
- Kaspars Bindemanis
- Kaspars Putriņš
- Renarts Braufmanis
- Māris Čistovs
- Artis Ozols
- Nils Īle
- Māris Šverns
- Didzis Erra
- Uģis Vītiņš
- Ivars Talacis
- Mārtiņš Lablaiks
- Indriķis Veitners
- Anastasija Zvirbule
- Agris Rostoks
- Edijs Galzons
- 2000 - Spēks no Tētiem, CDr, HUBB
- 2002 - Bitīt Matos, 7 EP, Ezis Sper Soli
- 2003 - Spēks no Tētiem, LP, Strongly Opposed Records
- 1991 - Dambja Izlase 1987-1990, independently recorded, home studio
- 1992 - Hubb, Independently recorded, home studio
- 2007 - Ķeras Pie Sirds, CD, Gauja Records