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Brainstorm

Brainstorm in Mežaparks 2008
Background information
Origin Jelgava, Latvia
Genres Rock, Pop, Piano rock, Alternative music
Years active 1989–present
Labels Microphone Records
Brainstorm Records
Associated acts Bi-2
Website brainstorm.lv
Members
Renārs Kaupers
Jānis Jubalts
Kaspars Roga
Māris Mihelsons
Former members
Gundars Mauševics (deceased)

Brainstorm (Latvian: Prāta Vētra) is a successful Latvian pop/rock band. The band became popular internationally in 2000, when they finished third in the Eurovision Song Contest 2000 with the song "My Star".

The band was formed in the summer of 1989 in Jelgava, Latvian SSR by four former classmates – Renārs Kaupers, Jānis Jubalts, Gundars Mauševics and Kaspars Roga. Soon after, their underclassman Māris Mihelsons also joined the band. The title of the band was taken from what one old foreign lady said about their music, who characterized it as a "brainstorm".

In September 1992 Brainstorm released their first single "Jo tu nāc" (Because You Come) and finished 9th in the most popular Latvian music contest, the "Michrophones" questionnaire. After this came their first album, Vairāk nekā skaļi (More than Loud) 1993. The most popular song from that album is "Ziema" (Winter), which has also a video.

1994 was the quietest period in the band's history, although this year they released maxi-single Vietu nav (No Vacancies!) with only 500 copies.

In 1995 one of the band's earlier songs "Lidmašīnas" (Airplanes) became one of the most commercially successful single in Latvia and song of the year on Radio Super FM. The band also performed in Germany and the United Kingdom.

After experimenting with alternative music, Brainstorm returned to mainstream music and released their next album Veronika, which was very contemporary and popular with the teenage audience. The most popular songs from the album were "Dārznieks" (Gardener), "Apelsīns" (Orange) and "Lidmašīnas" (Airplanes), and the popularity of the band's concerts increased.

At the end of the year Latvian radio stations started to play the song "Tavas mājas manā azotē" (Under My Wing is Your Home), which was in the 1st place of the Latvian Airplay top for 9 weeks and became the biggest hit of 1996.

The next step to success was signing a contract with Microphone Records, one of the biggest record companies of Latvia and releasing the next album, Viss ir tieši tā kā tu vēlies (Everything's the Way You Want It) in 1997. The album attained gold status and made Brainstorm the most popular band in Latvia. The most popular songs of the album were "Viss ir tieši tā kā tu vēlies", "Mans draugs" (My Friend), "Neatgriešanās" (No Return) and "Tavas mājas manā azotē". Almost all the songs of this album became the band's unofficial hits because of the band's concerts and vocalist's Renārs Kaupers ability to entertain any audience.

Because of the vast popularity of Brainstorm members, they received offers to manage TV and radio shows and to take part in the musical performance of the theater Dailes – The Good Soldier Švejk, which became the most visited theater show in Latvia. Brainstorm's first international single was recorded in the year of 1998 in Germany with Volker Hinkel, the producer of Fool's Garden. This single is "Under My Wing", the English verse of "Tavas mājas manā azotē". The single was aired in the Baltic States and also other countries. Soon after this, the band was awarded Grand Prix of the Karlshamn music fest in Sweden.

In 1999 Brainstorm released their fourth album Starp divām saulēm and first international album Among The Suns, which is the English version of "Starp divām saulēm". The album was recorded in Sweden and Denmark. All five singles of the album – "Puse no sirds" (Half of a heart), "Starp divām saulēm" (Among the suns), "Lec" (English version – "Try"), "Prom uz siltajām salām" (Eng. version – "Ain't it funny") and "Tu izvēlējies palikt" (Eng. version – "Welcome to my country") reached the top of the Latvian radio charts shortly after release.

On 13th of May 2000 in Sweden, in only 3 minutes Prāta Vētra or Brainstorm became an internationally noticed band when they participed in the 45th Eurovision song contest. Their song "My Star" got the 3rd place among more than 20 contestants. "My Star" got in almost every country's radio airplays, Among The Suns can be bought in many countries.

In August 2000, after more than 10-years of performing, The best of the Brainstorm '89-'99 was released that included band's most popular, interesting and unreleased songs.

2001 was the year of Online album release or, in the Latvian version, – Kaķēns, kurš atteicās no jūrasskolas; "Maybe" from this album is Brainstorm's one of the most popular international compositions. The video of the song was shot in Prague and it got into ethers of many countries of Europe. The second single "Waterfall" also achieved success, the video for which was shot in Finland. In Latvia, the most popular song of this album was "Spogulīt, spogulīt" (Mirror, mirror), which contains the lines of the fairytale about Snow White by Brothers Grimm.

The next album Dienās, kad lidlauks pārāk tāls or A Day Before Tomorrow was released in 2003. The lead singles of this album – "Colder" and "A day before tomorrow" ("Plaukstas lieluma pavasaris") – were produced by a famous German producer Alex Silva. The Main body of work was Produced by Steve Lyon , UK producer ( Depeche Mode, The Cure , Reamonn, Amplifier).The album was recorded in Germany and Denmark.

In 2003 Brainstorm warmed-up The Rolling Stones in their concert in Prague. Brainstorm presented a saxophone to Mick Jagger for his birthday.

In 2004, one of the band founders died on the night between 22nd and 23rd of May in a car accident on the highway between Riga and Jelgava – bassist Gundars Mauševics or as his friends called him – Mumiņš.

Despite this loss, the other band members continued working.

In 2004 Brainstorm and a well-known Russian band Bi-2 recorded the song "Skol'zkie Ulitsy" (Slippery Streets), which was included on their album "Inomarki", released on 2nd of March, 2004 and which reached number 1 on radio charts in Latvia, Ukraine and Russia. In 2005 Brainstorm released their album Četri krasti. The most popular songs of this album were "Četri krasti", "Rudens" and "Pilots Tims".

On 21st of August 2005, during their tour around Latvia, in the concert in Mežaparks, Brainstorm had a record audience number – 40,000 fans. It was also biggest audience in Latvia to attend a concert ever. All the concerts of this tour were sold in record time. At the beginning of 2006 Brainstorm released an English verse of Četri krasti – Four Shores. The lead single "Thunder Without Rain" became popular in most of Europe and had a big airplay on MTV Europe and VH1 Europe.

They received the MTV Europe Music award for Best Baltic Act in 2006.

Contents

Biography

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1989–2000

For me the main thing about music is whether or not there is a songwriting, and I felt like the songwriting is really strong".

Michael Stipe of R.E.M. about Among the Suns album by BrainStorm

This is a major band for future… I reckon My Star will be top three UK hit.

Jonathan King, British music industry expert at his Tip Sheet publication

BrainStorm's story started in 1989 at Jelgava, the provincial town of Latvia. Back then they were five 14 year-olds and the choice of line-up was more logical than musical because all of them – Reynard Cowper (vocal), "Magic" (guitar), Peter Scott Jr. (bass) and Nick William Simon (drums) – were in the same grade. Only Mike Minolta (accordion and keyboards) was one year younger, and that's why he joined the gang several months later. In any case, half a year after their first rehearsal (at a local registry office!), BrainStorm's line-up was complete and hasn't changed since then.

In 1995 Airplanes, an old song from the group's early days, became the all-time best-selling single in Latvia and the Song of The Year for Radio Super FM!

BrainStorm gained their reputation as the good guys of Latvian rock with the 1996 release of the Veronica album. After some period of fascination with alternative rock, the band returned to more mainstream, more joyful and melodic sound with this. It was really worth it as at the end of the year their hit Under My Wing, after nine weeks (including Christmas week!) being at the peak of the Latvian Airplay chart became the best-selling single of year 1996.

In 1997 BrainStorm signed to Microphone Records (EMI Licensee in the Baltic countries) and it has been impossible to stop them ever since. BrainStorm's next release All Is Just A Way As You Like It was one of the first albums in Latvia to go Gold, but that was just the beginning…

In 1998 the first international single Under My Wing was recorded at the Maryland studio in Germany. It was produced by Volker Hinkel (of the German band's Fools' Garden hit Lemon Tree fame) and received praiseworthy airplay all over the Baltics as well as in some other countries. This was followed by instant triumph at the Karlshamn (Sweden) festival where BrainStorm with their explosive stage show became the Grand Prix winners and the collective favorites. The excited media praised Cowper's charismatic showmanship and vocal skills. (Cowpers, by the way, has a bachelor's degree in journalism and have just starred in a new feature film by the most famous Latvian director Janis Streichs. Premiere planned September 2000)

At the end of 1998 the first international album Among The Suns sessions started at Denmark's PUK Studio (producer Lars H. Nissen) and EMI Studio in Stockholm (Stefan Andersson). Released at the spring of 1999, Among the Suns got Platinum five months later in Latvia and all five singles from the album have reached #1 in local charts! Till now album has been released in the Baltic States, Greece, Turkey, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, Japan, Hong-Kong and Hungary by EMI affiliates, with numerous other countries (including UK and Germany/GSA) scheduled. Videos for both Under My Wing and Weekends Are Not My Happy Days singles have been play-listed by French music channel MCM. Add to all this their role as supporters for Supergrass shows in Denmark and you'll see that that's not the story you expected to hear from Latvian band!

Nor that was what Eurovision 2000 audiences were expecting at 13th of May in Stockholm! Performing their newest song My Star (the first ever Latvian entry for Eurovision), BrainStorm got maximum votes from four countries (Estonia, Norway, Belgium, Finland), coming third at the final counting. Written by Reynard Cowper and produced by A-ha guru Tony Mansfield, this truly lovely ballad (as they say – atypical for Eurovision, typical for a great hit) received excited praises and immediate interest from media all over the Europe (including The Times, Select, Tip Sheet, Melody Maker, Smash Hits, Fono, Music & Media etc.) and have been released in almost every European country since then with a UK release scheduled for July. Saying it short – it's a success that nobody from this region has been capable of succeeding before…

2001

It was May 2000. Bob Dylan was touring Sweden and being bored between shows watched telly in his hotel. "Eurovision" song contest's (held previous day at Stockholm) review was on. God only knows what his Bobness was thinking seeing all this. But then came a moment, when Bob got really excited. "Yeah, this guy definitely has it!" he growled. "What the hell he is doing in a place like that?" The guy was Reynard Cowper, spaghetti legged singer of Latvian group "BrainStorm", christened as 'the best (and most un-thypical) "Eurovision" band ever by late "Select" magazine. And honestly, Dylan was just more or less repeating what Michael Stipe of "R.E.M." have said after hearing their album "Among The Suns": "Their songwriting is really strong". After all – Dylan and Stipe are two men who know...

Yes, but it's 2001 now, and who cares about all this anymore? Nobody, of course. And "BrainStorm" was the first to forget about what was called their first international triumph, and ready to prove that there is a life even after "Eurovision", where they got exposed almost accidentally (they had never seen the contest in their life before, as Latvia participated just for first time in 2000).

After extensively touring Europe for the remaining part of 2000, at the beginning of 2001 recording sessions of follow up to their last years success with "My Star" single and "Among The Suns" album (released in 18 countries, including UK, Scandinavia, Germany, etc.) began. Plan was simple (it fact, "BrainStorm" always love to keep it simple – that's one of their crucial strengths). To make album as great as they have always done with songs as good as they are writing for almost 10 years becoming the most successful band from Baltic region ever. Only this time it must be even better.

To do this, "BrainStorm" got in touch with producer Tony Mansfield (A-ha, B52's, etc), responsible for their international break-through hit "My Star" again, and closed in "Ridge Farm Studios" (England) and "Puk Studio" (Denmark) for the most intense, most creative and hard-working sessions during their existence. The result was worth it. 11 beautifully ethereal and dreamy songs full of fresh romance, bitter-sweet wit and sheer excitement. "Brainstorm" par excellence it is...

One thing everyone needs to keep in mind about "BrainStorm" nowadays is that the great guitar driven indie-pop of "Among The Suns" is gone now. It's the great indie-pop of "Online" (that's the title of new album) we're getting instead. Not that the boys have forgotten their guitars back at home. Simply their sound has become more sophisticated, more complex and rich, a bit experimental (with lots of electronics, drum and guitar loops used) but still shamelessly appealing, radio-friendly and commercial in the best sense of the word.

"We believe that spirit of BrainStorm still lives in every of those tracks. We just changed our clothing of sound," – that's their comment and that's how it is. "BrainStorm" is back, and these are definitely good news for all of us. Just pay a listen to their catchy ballad "Maybe" (chosen as "Online's" first single) and you'll feel high as first time in love again... Would you mind?

2003

BrainStorm: Renārs Kaupers (Reynard Cowper) – lead vocal, guitar Kaspars Roga (Nick Rogue) – drums, percussions Māris Mihelsons (Mike Minolta) – keyboards, accordion, tambourine, piano, back vocal Jānis Jubalts (Magic) – guitar, back vocal Gundars Mauševics (Muminsh) – bass guitar, back vocal

"There is this beautiful thing that great bands have something… Identity and I think BrainStorm has that,” Anton Corbijn

“There is kind of innocence to BrainStorm’s sound, something that is unique to their culture or what I imagine is unique to their culture and that made them special to me,” Alex Silva.

The experience of being citizen of Latvia who has been raised up in former Soviet Union and being witnesses of so called “iron curtain” and Latvia’ s return into Europe has made unique musical influence and background for the members of the band that reflects and goes through the music BrainStorm makes. Singer Reynard reveals: “The truly first influences of BrainStorm I can name Russian cartoons and Latvian popscene in 80-s. Talking about cartoons – I still love those songs and listen to them time after time, they have some kind of unique happiness and sadness at the same time that is hard to describe and that's how I also see most of Stormer's songs. And only when we were some 14–15 we started to learn what happens on the other side of the moon.”

The beginning of BrainStorm is dated with year 1989 even thought the seeds was found already when singer Reynard and drummer Nick danced and sang together around Christmas tree at kindergarten and later on all members of the band sang the same lines at the choir of the school they all attended in their native city Jelgava, Latvia. Through the years knowing each other and making music together already fourteen years (they were 15 years old when formed the band) the chemistry between guys has created the atmosphere of the real family: “Good old family thing, in this case just five fathers together. It's so hard sometimes to find just one way out of five”

BrainStorm for several years is the biggest band of the native Latvia, latest 3 records they made and “Best Of” has reached Platinum status on sales, every radio single goes straight to #1 on airplays, they gather several prizes each time nominated for Latvian Music Awards, they play as big crowds as tiny Latvia can gather and closing concert of their latest Latvian tour on 1st of September, 2003 gathered 25 000 big audience and beat the record of Skonto Stadium. But sooner or later it is time to go into international music scene and BrainStorm can be called ice-breakers in this field by being if not first that for sure one of the first band’ s from Eastern Europe to enter Western music market. Their breakthrough was on 2000 with hit single “My Star” and followed by album “Among The Suns” (with releases in 18 countries, UK, Germany and Scandinavia including), album “Online” released in year 2001 stormed over Eastern Europe (Gold in Poland) and Scandinavia with ethereally dreamy and catchy melody “Maybe”. Over 3 years band has toured Europe on their own tours as well as supporting Rolling Stones in Prague, The Cranberries in Germany, Italy, Belgium and Czech republic, Depeche Mode in Baltic States and Supergrass in Denmark.

But we are here and now and today – on a day before tomorrow – BrainStorm comes with album named “A Day Before Tomorrow” – the slideshow of life in 12 chapters called songs that shows band’ s piece of mind and heart, the way they think and feel about this world. Here and now: “The title of the album includes the philosophy we believe in – we don’t say simply – today, because – of course you have to live in the moment you are, but also have to remember there is day after it and by remembering that you care about future, have your dreams and visions, but still – you don’ t let the beauty of the moment simply to slip away, because you value it and don’ t live only in the illusion about unknown future.”

For making of their 6th studio album “A Day Before Tomorrow” that is 3rd album for international release BrainStorm teamed with 2 producers – Echo award winner Alex Silva (his credits include successful work on Herbert Grönemeyer’ s album “Mensch”, Suede, e.t.c.) and Steve Lyon (worked with Depeche Mode, paradise Lost, Reamonn, e.t.c.). Art-direction, logo and pictures for the album sleeve and press were made by famous rock-photographer Anton Corbijn.

As to latest success in December 2003 BrainStorm got the awards for “the best pop video”(“A Day Before Tomorrow”) and “the best band” on Latvian Independent Television Music Awards. On annual Latvian Music Awards which took place in Riga in January 2004, BrainStorm got prizes at the categories they were nominated – best pop song – “A Day Before Tomorrow” (Latvian version), best rock song – “Colder”, most played song on the radios – “Colder”, best rock album – “A Day Before Tomorrow”, best video – “Colder” (directed by Manuel Werner).

BrainStorm feels blessed for being able to work with people they did for the latest record: “We've always believed in miracles, and that's how it goes and sometimes things just happen if you believe. Who could imagine 2 years ago we will make photos with Anton Corbijn or do records with Alex Silva? But still it's not about the names, souls are on the same wave feeling friendly and having good time together. Life is about believing in miracles.. and celebrating life, of course!

Anton Corbijn after working with BrainStorm says: “I can’t tell you how much I felt at home with them and felt we were all together trying to achieve something..” Producer Alex Silva also experience warm welcome into BrainStorm’ s world: “There is this uncomplicated thing about the band. They read books, play chess... They are very cookie bunch, they embrace people, invite into their circle that is very nice and warm. But cockie is one word to describe them all!”

The faith, friendship and passion to their piece of Art is what keeps BrainStorm together. Challenges, contradictions, stereotypes and difficulties for those guys can even be called as blessing – as they want to break them, get over them and prove it is possible to make what they have in mind. As BrainStorm love to say: “What doesn’t break us just makes us stronger”.

“...we were divided in regions and religions we were counted in nations, populations but we can can break through if we want to oh, love we have keys to the higher ground...” (“Daddy Is Talking To Me”, from BrainStorm’ s album “A Day Before Tomorrow.”)

2005

The beginning of BrainStorm is dated with year 1989 even thought the seeds was found already when singer Reynard and drummer Nick danced and sang together around Christmas tree at kindergarten and later on all members of the band sang the same lines at the choir of the school they all attended in their native city Jelgava, Latvia. Through the years knowing each other and making music together already fourteen years (they were 15 years old when formed the band) the chemistry between guys has created the atmosphere of the real family: “Good old family thing, in this case just five fathers together. It's so hard sometimes to find just one way out of five”. This is what BrainStorm said about themselves and their unique chemistry by the end of 2003. And then in May 2004 stroke of the destiny took away one of them – in the car crash died original bass player of BrainStorm – Muminsh (Gundars Mausevics).

In memory of dear friend Muminsh and faith in what is band’ s calling BrainStorm decided to continue. BrainStorm by the end of 2004/beginning of 2005 has done recording of 7th studio album with producer Alex Silva with whom band recorded 2 songs on previous album. Between studios times in January band did joined American band REM as support act for 9 shows in Europe. New album will be called “Four Shores” and is set to release in autumn 2005 with Latvian version release in Latvia in May. Anton Corbijn has done photos for the artwork.

The title “Four Shores” underlines the sore place where BrainStorm has been placed after losing the original band member and soulmate Muminsh in tragic car crash last May. The touch of the Muminsh lives through the new songs as the band started writing the songs for new album before the tragedy. It is obvious the lyrics have been influenced by this loss.

“There is this beautiful thing that great bands have something… Identity and I think BrainStorm has that,” Anton Corbijn

“There is kind of innocence to BrainStorm’s sound, something that is unique to their culture or what I imagine is unique to their culture and that made them special to me,” Alex Silva.

The experience of being citizen of Latvia who has been raised up in former Soviet Union and being witnesses of so called “iron curtain” and Latvia’ s return into Europe has made unique musical influence and background for the members of the band that reflects and goes through the music BrainStorm makes. Singer Reynard reveals: “The truly first influences of BrainStorm I can name Russian cartoons and Latvian popscene in 80-s. Talking about cartoons – I still love those songs and listen to them time after time, they have some kind of unique happiness and sadness at the same time that is hard to describe and that's how I also see most of Stormer's songs. And only when we were some 14–15 we started to learn what happens on the other side of the moon.”

BrainStorm for several years is the biggest band of the native Latvia, latest 3 records they made and “Best Of” has reached Platinum status on sales, every radio single goes straight to #1 on airplays, they gather several prizes each time nominated for Latvian Music Awards, they play as big crowds as tiny Latvia can gather and closing concert of their latest Latvian tour on 1st of September, 2003 gathered 25 000 big audience and beat the record of Skonto Stadium. But sooner or later it is time to go into international music scene and BrainStorm can be called ice-breakers in this field by being if not first that for sure one of the first band’ s from Eastern Europe to enter Western music market. Their breakthrough was on 2000 with hit single “My Star” and followed by album “Among The Suns” (with releases in 18 countries, UK, Germany and Scandinavia including), album “Online” released in year 2001 stormed over Eastern Europe (Gold in Poland) and Scandinavia with ethereally dreamy and catchy melody “Maybe”. Over 3 years band has toured Europe on their own tours as well as supporting Rolling Stones in Prague, The Cranberries in Germany, Italy, Belgium and Czech Republic, Depeche Mode in Baltic States and Supergrass in Denmark.

The previous album BrainStorm released was in 2003 – “A Day Before Tomorrow” – the slideshow of life in 12 chapters called songs that shows band’ s piece of mind and heart, the way they think and feel about this world. Here and now: “The title of the album includes the philosophy we believe in – we don’t say simply – today, because – of course you have to live in the moment you are, but also have to remember there is day after it and by remembering that you care about future, have your dreams and visions, but still – you don’ t let the beauty of the moment simply to slip away, because you value it and don’ t live only in the illusion about unknown future.”

For making of their 6th studio album “A Day Before Tomorrow” that was 3rd album for international release BrainStorm teamed with 2 producers – Echo award winner Alex Silva (his credits include successful work on Herbert Grönemeyer’ s album “Mensch”, Suede, e.t.c.) and Steve Lyon (worked with Depeche Mode, paradise Lost, Reamonn, e.t.c.). Art-directon, logo and pictures for the album sleeve and press were made by famous rock-photographer Anton Corbijn.

During 2004 BrainStorm did tour Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Czech and Slovak Republic, Baltic States, e.t.c.

In 2004 BrainStorm and well known Russian band Би-2 have recorded together song “Скользкие улицы” which is included in new album of Би-2 “Иномарки” released on 2nd of March, 2004 and which has taken position nr. 1 on radio charts in Latvia and Ukraine and Russia.

BrainStorm feels blessed for being able to work with people they did: “We've always believed in miracles, and that's how it goes and sometimes things just happen if you believe. Who could imagine 2 years ago we will make photos with Anton Corbijn or do records with Alex Silva? But still it's not about the names, souls are on the same wave feeling friendly and having good time together. Life is about believing in miracles.. and celebrating life, of course!

Anton Corbijn after working with BrainStorm says: “I can’t tell you how much I felt at home with them and felt we were all together trying to achieve something..” Producer Alex Silva also experience warm welcome into BrainStorm’ s world: “There is this uncomplicated thing about the band. They read books, play chess... They are very cookie bunch, they embrace people, invite into their circle that is very nice and warm. But cockie is one word to describe them all!”

2008

Brainstorm or Prāta Vētra is a successful Latvian pop/rock band. The band became popular internationally in 2000, when they finished third Eurovision Song Contest with the song "My Star".

The band was formed in the summer of 1989 in Jelgava, Latvian SSR by four former classmates – Renārs Kaupers, Jānis Jubalts, Gundars Mauševics and Kaspars Roga. Soon after, their underclassman Māris Mihelsons also joined the band. The title of the band was taken from what one old foreign lady said about their music, who characterized it as a "brainstorm". In Latvian it translates as "Prāta Vētra".

In September 1992 Brainstorm released their first single "Jo tu nāc" (Because You Come) and finished 9th in the most popular Latvian music contest, the "Michrophones" questionnaire. After this came their first album, Vairāk nekā skaļi (More than Loud) 1993. The most popular song from that album is "Ziema" (Winter), which has also a video.

1994 was the quietest period in the band's history, although this year they released maxi-single Vietu nav (No Vacancies!) with only 500 copies.

In 1995 one of the band's earlier songs "Lidmašīnas" (Airplanes) became one of the most commercially successful single in Latvia and song of the year on Radio Super FM. The band also performed in Germany and the United Kingdom.

After experimenting with alternative music, Brainstorm returned to mainstream music and released their next album Veronika, which was very contemporary and popular with the teenage audience. The most popular songs from the album were "Dārznieks" (Gardener), "Apelsīns" (Orange) and "Lidmašīnas" (Airplanes), and the popularity of the band's concerts increased.

At the end of the year Latvian radio stations started to play the song "Tavas mājas manā azotē" (Under My Wing is Your Home), which was in the 1st place of the Latvian Airplay top for 9 weeks and became the biggest hit of 1996.

The next step to success was signing a contract with Microphone Records, one of the biggest record companies of Latvia and releasing the next album, Viss ir tieši tā kā tu vēlies (Everything's the Way You Want It) in 1997. The album attained gold status and made Brainstorm the most popular band in Latvia. The most popular songs of the album were "Viss ir tieši tā kā tu vēlies", "Mans draugs" (My Friend), "Neatgriešanās" (No Return) and "Tavas mājas manā azotē". Almost all the songs of this album became the band's unofficial hits because of the band's concerts and vocalist's Renārs Kaupers ability to entertain any audience.

Because of the vast popularity of Brainstorm members, they received offers to manage TV and radio shows and to take part in the musical performance of the theater Dailes – The Good Soldier Švejk, which became the most visited theater show in Latvia. Brainstorm's first international single was recorded in the year of 1998 in Germany with Volker Hinkel, the producer of Fool's Garden. This single is "Under My Wing", the English verse of "Tavas mājas manā azotē". The single was aired in the Baltic States and also other countries. Soon after this, the band was awarded Grand Prix of the Karlshamn music fest in Sweden.

In 1999 Brainstorm released their fourth album Starp divām saulēm and first international album Among The Suns, which is the English version of "Starp divām saulēm". The album was recorded in Sweden and Denmark. All five singles of the album – "Puse no sirds" (Half of a heart), "Starp divām saulēm" (Among the suns), "Lec" (English version – "Try"), "Prom uz siltajām salām" (Eng. version – "Ain't it funny") and "Tu izvēlējies palikt" (Eng. version – "Welcome to my country") reached the top of the Latvian radio charts shortly after release.

On 13th of May 2000 in Sweden, in only 3 minutes Prāta Vētra or Brainstorm became an internationally noticed band when they participed in the 45th Eurovision song contest. Their song "My Star" got the 3rd place among more than 20 contestants. "My Star" got in almost every country's radio airplays, Among The Suns can be bought in many countries.

In August 2000, after more than 10-years of performing, The best of the Brainstorm '89-'99 was released that included band's most popular, interesting and unreleased songs.

2001 was the year of Online album release or, in the Latvian version, – Kaķēns, kurš atteicās no jūrasskolas; "Maybe" from this album is Brainstorm's one of the most popular international compositions. The video of the song was shot in Prague and it got into ethers of many countries of Europe. The second single "Waterfall" also achieved success, the video for which was shot in Finland. In Latvia, the most popular song of this album was "Spogulīt, spogulīt" (Mirror, mirror), which contains the lines of the fairytale about Snow White by Brothers Grimm.

The next album Dienās, kad lidlauks pārāk tāls or A Day Before Tomorrow was released in 2003. The lead singles of this album – "Colder" and "A day before tomorrow" ("Plaukstas lieluma pavasaris") – were produced by a famous German producer Alex Silva. The album was recorded in Germany and Denmark.

In 2003 Brainstorm warmed-up The Rolling Stones in their concert in Prague. Brainstorm presented a saxophone to Mick Jagger for his birthday.

In 2004, one of the band founders died on the night between 22nd and 23rd of May in a tragic car accident on the highway between Riga and Jelgava – bassist Gundars Mauševics or as his friends called him – Mumiņš.

Despite this tragic loss, the other band members continued working.

In 2004 Brainstorm and a well-known Russian band Bi-2 recorded the song "Skol'zkie Ulitsy" (Slippery Streets), which was included on their album "Inomarki", released on 2nd of March, 2004 and which reached number 1 on radio charts in Latvia, Ukraine and Russia. In 2005 Četri krasti. The most popular songs of this album were "Četri krasti", "Rudens" and "Pilots Tims". Brainstorm released their album

On 21st of August 2005, during their tour around Latvia, in the concert in Mežaparks, Brainstorm had a record audience number – 40,000 fans. It was also biggest audience in Latvia to attend a concert ever. All the concerts of this tour were sold in record time. At the beginning of 2006 Četri krasti – Four Shores. The lead single "Thunder Without Rain" became popular in the biggest part of Eastern Europe and had a big airplay on MTV Europe and VH1 Europe. Brainstorm released an English verse of

They received the MTV Europe Music award for Best Baltic Act in 2006.

Discography

  • Vairāk nekā skaļi (More than loud) (1993)
  • Vietu nav (No place) (1994)
  • Veronika (1996)
  • Viss ir tieši tā kā tu vēlies (Everything is exactly as you want) (1997)
  • Starp divām saulēm (Between two suns) (1999)
  • My Star (2000)
  • Among the Suns (2000)
  • Izlase '89-'99 (2000)
  • Kaķēns, kurš atteicās no jūrasskolas (The kitten who didn't want to give up : the band's traduction, otherwise it's : The kitten that refused to go to the sea-school, a Latvian expression that means "the kitten that refused to be drowned") (2001)
  • Online (2001)
  • Dienās, kad lidlauks pārāk tāls (The days when the airfield is too far) (2003)
  • A Day Before Tomorrow (2003)
  • Veronika (2004)
  • Četri krasti (Four Shores) (2005)
  • Four Shores (2006)
  • Tur kaut kam ir jābūt (2008)
  • Шаг (Step) (2009)

See also

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
none
Latvia in the Eurovision Song Contest
2000
Succeeded by
Arnis Mednis
with "Too Much"

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