Brainstorm (Latvian: Prāta Vētra) is a 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, Latvia by four former classmates – Renārs Kaupers, Jānis Jubalts, Gundars Mauševics and Kaspars Roga. Soon after, their classmate Māris Mihelsons also joined the band.
In September 1992 Brainstorm released their first single "Jo tu nāc" (Because You Come) and finished 9th in the Latvian popular music contest, the "Michrophones" questionnaire. After this came their first album, Vairāk nekā skaļi (More than Loud) 1993. The main single from that album is "Ziema" (Winter), which has also a video.
1994 was the quietest period in the band's history, although in that year they released the 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 singles 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. The most popular songs from the album were "Dārznieks" (Gardener), "Apelsīns" (Orange) and "Lidmašīnas" (Airplanes), and attendance at 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 topped Latvian Airplay charts 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 in 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. The main tracks from the album were "Viss ir tieši tā kā tu vēlies", "Mans draugs" (My Friend), "Neatgriešanās" (No Return) and "Tavas mājas manā azotē". Subsequently the band received offers to manage TV and radio shows and to take part in musical performances at Dailes theatre in Riga as part of The Good Soldier Švejk, which became the most visited theatre show in Latvia. Brainstorm's first international single was recorded in 1998 in Germany with Volker Hinkel, the producer of Fool's Garden. This single was "Under my wing", the English version of "Tavas mājas manā azotē". The single was aired in the Baltic States and also other countries. Soon after this, the band was awarded the Grand Prix prize at the Karlshamn music festival in Sweden.
In 1999, Brainstorm released their fourth album Starp divām saulēm and their 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 from 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 13 May 2000 in Sweden, in only 3 minutes, Prāta Vētra or Brainstorm became an internationally noticed band when they participated in the 45th Eurovision Song Contest. Their song "My Star" achieved 3rd place among 24 contestants with their country's debut. "My Star" was played internationally thereafter. In August 2000, after more than 10 years of performing, The best of Brainstorm '89-'99 was released and included the band's most popular, interesting and unreleased songs.
The Online album was released in 2001 or, in the Latvian version, – Kaķēns, kurš atteicās no jūrasskolas. The album featured the track "Maybe." The video was shot in Prague. The second single "Waterfall" also achieved success, and had a video which was shot in Finland. Another track "Spogulīt, spogulīt" (Mirror, mirror), contains the lines of the fairytale about Snow White by the 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 German producer Alex Silva. The majority of the album was Produced by Steve Lyon, UK producer ( Depeche Mode, The Cure, Reamonn, Amplifier). The album was recorded in Germany and Denmark. In 2003 Brainstorm were the support band for The Rolling Stones at 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 23 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 2 March 2004 and which reached number 1 on radio charts in Latvia, Ukraine and Russia. In 2005 Brainstorm released their album Četri krasti. The album featured tracks such as "Četri krasti", "Rudens" and "Pilots Tims".
On 21 August 2005, during their Latvian tour Brainstorm set a record for the most people at a Latvian concert with 40,000 people in attendance at their concert in Mežaparks. It was also the biggest audience in Latvia to ever attend a concert. All the concerts of this tour were sold out in record time.. At the beginning of 2006 Brainstorm released an English version of Četri krasti – Four Shores. The lead single "Thunder Without Rain" became popular in most of Europe and received airplay on MTV Europe and VH1 Europe.
They received the MTV Europe Music award for Best Baltic Act in 2006. In 2009, War, an album written singularly in Latvian and Russian was released into Eastern Europe with reasonable success, the English version, Years and Seconds, followed a year later with more popular audience feedback, although the meanings of several songs had to altered to fit English lyrics. Concerts have been held by the band recently in Western Europe and they continue to gain popularity in the United Kingdom due to their similarity to Beirut (band).
The band received three awards at the 2012 Annual Latvian Music Recording Awards.
- Among the Suns (2000) (FI #13; BEL #42; SWE #47)
- Online (2001)
- A Day Before Tomorrow (2003) (POL #47)
- Four Shores (2006)
- Years and Seconds (2010)
- Another Still Life (2012)
- My Star (2000) (BEL #8; SWE #22)
- Weekends Are Not My Happy Days (2000) (BEL #13)
- Maybe (2001) (POL #1; GRE #8)
- Vyhodnye (2004) (UKR #21)
Albums in Latvian
- 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)
- Izlase '89-'99 (2000)
- Kaķēns, kurš atteicās no jūrasskolas (The kitten who didn't want to give up; the band's translation. Otherwise, it is 'The kitten that refused to go to the sea school'; a Latvian expression that means 'the kitten that refused to be drowned'.) (2001)
- Dienās, kad lidlauks pārāk tāls (The days when the airfield is too far) (2003)
- Veronika (2004)
- Četri krasti (Four Shores) (2005)
- Tur kaut kam ir jābūt (2008)
- Vēl viena klusā daba (2012)
Albums in Russian
- Шаг (Step) (2009)
- Чайки На Крышах (2012)
|Awards and achievements|
Latvia in the Eurovision Song Contest
with "Too Much"