Andrius Mamontovas & Foje

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23 august 1963

Foje was formed at the Antakalnis Secondary School (as it is now called) in Vilnius by Andrius Mamontovas, Arnoldas Lukošius and Darius Tarasevičius in 1983 under the name of "Sunki Muzika"(with a literal meaning of "heavy music"). few months later Algis Kriščiūnas joined the band. In 1984 it was renamed to Foje (with a literal meaning of "foyer"). In 1985 the band records their first songs in a Vilnius studio. Due to line-up changes the band is not able to continue and a new line up with Darius Burokas (bass) and Romas Rainys (guitar) changes the name to Foje and records the songs ‘Distancija’, ‘Saugok vaikystę’ and ‘Laužo šviesa’ in 1986. A performance at the ‘Lituanica -86’ festival and an appearance in the movie ‘Kažkas atsitiko’ boosts the band into popularity. The song ‘Laužo šviesa’ (Scrap light) becomes an underground hit (much to the annoyance of the regime). Activities are postponed for the next two years when the individual bandmembers have to do their military service. In 1989 they return to the stage as support act to Icelandic band The Sugarcubes. After more line-up changes the band performs at the ‘Roko maršas’ manifestation (part of the singing revolution) and releases their first music on MC. Part of the songs return on the first official album ‘Žodžiai Į Tylą’ (Words Into Silence) in 1990. After the release the band tours parts of Western Europe and the USA. In 1991, with the financial aid of the Canadian Union of Lithuanian youth, the album ‘Gali Skambėti Keistai’ (It Can Sound Strange) is the first Compact Disc by a Lithuanian artist.

In 1992 the band is almost constantly touring and releases an album with old demo’s and outtakes. 1993 sees the return of bandmember Artūras Butkevičius and they records ‘Vandenye’ (In the water’ which would turn out to be the band’s commercially successful album with hits like ‘Atsimenu tai’, ‘Arbata’ and ‘Pasiimk mane’. At their 10th anniversary show in 1994 the album ‘Aš Čia Esu’ is released on vinyl picture disc only which is also called the ‘pizza disc’ due to the hideous coverart. In 1995 they participate into a British-Baltic exchange show in London together with Latvian band Prata Vetra resulting in the English EP ‘The Flowing River EP’. The band was walking on its last legs however and in 1997 decided to disband and performed 3 huge gigs in Lithuanian cities of Klaipėda, Kaunas, and Vilnius, with an attendance of 60,000 in the final performance on 17 May in Vingis Park of Vilnius.

After the disbanding band's leader Andrius Mamontovas started a successful solo career being nominated and awarded best solo act in the national music awards. He currently holds 15 Bravo Awards (the Lithuanian equivalent to the Grammy) in total, awarded for the best song, best album, best show, and best act of the year. Mamontovas has also written soundtracks for several short films, and music for the theater play Ivanov by Anton Chekhov (directed by Nekrošius) at Teatro Argentina in Rome. Mamontovas als performed at the festival by the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on May 1, 2004, celebrating Lithuania's accession to the European Union. In 2006 he initiated a LT United project, intended to represent Lithuania at the Eurovision Song Contest. The song ‘We are the winners’ reached 5th place in the finals. Since 2000 Mamontovas also has an English language project called Cloudmaker.
Two of Foje’s songs ‘ Laužo šviesa’ ( Bonfire's light ) (1989) and ‘Meilės nebus per daug’ (There will never be too much love ) (1994) were voted by the media professionals into the TOP 20 best Lithuanian songs of the 20th century in 2000.

On the web:

- Andrius' unofficial website: http://am.area.lt/

- Website dedicated to Foje: http://www.foje.lt/

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What do we think:

DB: Lithuania started it's new wave period when they finally got the chance to build on their own identity. With their guitardriven, bit gothic like, sound Foje stole the hearts of the young nation. Serious rockband and it's almost unbelievable that years later Mamontovas created the tongue-in-cheek ESC song 'we are the winners'. The song is in no way representative to what the man made but it showed he also has a sense of humour.


With Foje:

- Žodžiai Į Tylą (Words Into Silence) - 1990

♪♪♪ - Gali Skambėti Keistai (It Can Sound Strange) - 1991

- Kitoks Pasaulis (A Different World) - 1992

♪♪♪♪ - Vandenyje (In The Water) - 1993

- M-1 (dancemixes) - 1994

- Aš Čia Esu - 1994

♪♪♪♪ - Kai Perplauksi Upę (When You Will Swim Across The River) - 1995

♪♪♪ - Vilnius - Kaunas - Klaipėda – 1999

Solo work:
Pabėgimas – 1995
Tranzas – 1997
Šiaurės naktis. Pusė penkių - 1998
Anapilis – 2000
Visi langai žiūri į dangų – 2000
O, meile! – 2002
Beribiam danguje – 2003
Saldi.Juoda.Naktis. – 2006
Tyla – 2006
Geltona. Žalia. Raudona - 2008

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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