In 2000, Viktor Broniuk (a history student) and Denys Repey (a music student) formed a band in Vinnytsia, Ukraine that they called TiK (from the Ukrainian Тверезість і Kультура – Sobriety and Culture). In 2003, the guitarist Kostiantyn Terepa and the drummer Oleksandr Filinkov joined them.
On August 29, 2014, Larysa Zariczniak of the New Pathway interviewed TiK frontman Viktor Broniuk on behalf of KontaktTV via Skype from Vinnytsia.
LZ: As a student of history, how do you understand the current situation in Ukraine? Are there moments when you stop and contemplate all that has happened in this past year?
VB: Everyone has what they get and people only realize that once it’s taken away. Right now is a deciding moment for us because people have to choose their own independence and sovereignty – either be slaves or be free people living in an independent Ukraine. Living in your homeland, where you were born. Everything happened like it was supposed to happen…All regular citizens of Ukraine want peace to come…Here in Vinnytsia, another convoy has arrived to the military hospital from the ATO zone and in Vinnytsia there are many of injured…We are very close to the fighting and everyone here understands that we need to fight for peace because only then can peace come quickly.
LZ: Have there been changes in Vinnytsia since the Maidan?
VB: Things have changed. Today, in the east the meaning of being Ukrainian and understanding what that means has changed. In cities like Dnipropetrovsk and Mariupol – and even in the liberated Sloviansk and Kramatorsk – people have finally shed that old Soviet mentality and today we are celebrating the creation of a new Ukrainian state.
LZ: You performed on the Maidan in Kyiv?
VB: Yes, but we don’t live in Kyiv…so we spent more time working here in Vinnytsia…Today, we’re working with various organizations, businesses and NGO’s to help all the people affected by the war. Of course, not everyone can help all the time in this but if everyone helps a little bit – things will work out.
LZ: You cancelled your shows in Russia in March, will you ever go back?
VB: You know, I can’t go perform in a country that kills your brothers and creates these problems. So I can’t see it happening. Putin isn’t Russia and I have many friends in Russia who are normal but the question is, do they have the right to have an opinion?
LZ: Has the music industry changed in Ukraine during the Maidan and now during the war?
VB: Of course. Today there is a number of people who have decided to pursue their social work rather than focus on their music. They do still sing since songs support the patriotic soul but many are now working in a more organizational field [helping Ukraine].
LZ: Are you bringing anything specific and interesting to the show in Toronto?
VB: We’re planning a couple of surprises…I think our show at the Toronto Festival will bring in a lot of energy from our Ukrainian music which flows across the oceans but never loses its relevance.
LZ: Will you be shooting any videos at the Toronto Ukrainian Festival?
VB: Of course we will. We will be shooting something – we just haven’t decided what yet. We are working with some companies but we also want to use social media to spread our concert at the Toronto Festival out to the larger Canadian audience.
LZ: Do you have any messages to the Ukrainian-Canadian audience today?
VB: I wish everyone peace, happiness and laughter since, that way, the world will be a better place…Just wait for us – we’re coming soon! I would also like to thank everyone who helped support our arrival to Canada, particularly the Ukrainian Credit Union for their support in this wonderful initiative. I think we’ll be working with them closely in the future and again, I would like to thank everyone and we will see you all at the Ukrainian Toronto Festival!
TiK will be performing on the main stage at the Toronto Ukrainian Festival at 9:00 pm on September 13, 2013. If you would like to meet TiK in person, they will be holding an autograph signing session at the UCU Wealth Strategies Group building on 2254 Bloor St. W. on September 13, 2014 at 3:00 pm. Please check http://www.ukrainianfestival.com/ for more information on this year's festival.