Gig Seeker Pro


Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2007

Los Angeles, California, United States
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Pop Rock




"Music Connection's Artist of The Week: PRIVET EARTH"

Self-described “blitz-rock” artist Ivan Smirnov exudes a distinctive life-force that some of us feel could enliven a Disney movie, such as the Frozen franchise. The artist’s confident, princely and playful voice propels “Forest Queen,” royally convincing you he’s having a ton of fun, a swirl of dancers around him. In fact, we kept hearing a pronounced theatricality in these recordings (helped by strong orchestration) that more than suggests musical theater. “Ice Orkestra” has a similar entertainment value, an energy that is enjoyable to hear. “Big City” is a straightforward electro-rocker that we found less satisfying. We strongly urge this artist/ composer to make inroads into the film/TV realm, particularly animated musicals.

Score: 8.2 / 10

July 6th, 2015 - Music Connection

"Breaking The Ice by Privet Earth (10/10 stars)"

The story behind Privet Earth embodies what rock and roll should be about. The band’s creative force, Ivan Smirnov, began playing and writing his own compositions at eight years old. Influenced by American/English rock, Smirnov’s childhood also saw him receive a firm grounding in classical music. The guitar’s six-string allure, however, continued calling to him until, at age 19, Ivan had finished his first album. The independent, self-produced project featured his songwriting’s unique mix of classical and rock music that he refers to as “Blitz-Rock”. Embracing his passion, Smirnov found his way to Los Angeles and named his newly formed band after himself. The band recorded their full-length debut, Privet Earth, in late 2009 and garnered two 2011 Grammy nomination for, respectively, Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance. The band changed its name to Privet Earth in early 2013 and began recording this album, Breaking The Ice, in early 2013.

You won’t hear an album like this all year. Maybe longer. The strings and pure pop stylings colliding in the opener, “Ice Orkestra”, are enough to dispel any initial doubts about the band’s potential. It’s understandable, in 2015, that eyebrows arch when anyone, much less a relatively unproven musician and writer, claims they are introducing something truly new. Hearing this fusion of classical and pop elements never produces an expected style clash or finds one mode in the ascendant over the other. Instead, the elements seem to work in counterpoint with each other and the resulting tension deepens the melodic layers as well.

“Forest Queen” is sprightly and once again distinguished by a supremely confident, sparkling pop vocal. Even the most jaded listener, if they possess any objectivity, will be hard pressed to find fault with how Privet Earth impressively straddles the approachability of great pop music with compositional sophistication. In this sense, a clear antecedent for Privet Earth’s ambition is Brian Wilson’s seminal work with The Beach Boys. The songs depict a version of reality, not entirely faithful to our daily perceptions, but ringing with truth of a different sort and the musical intelligence guiding things never falters.

The funky “Dive” bristles with energy and genuine soul. The production deserves mention here because this, like the remainder of the album, is a strong example of how attentiveness can strengthen an artist’s sonic presentation. Every nuance of this performance has astonishing, intimate clarity. Smirnov’s vocals have surprising grit and inviting warmth. The inventive guitar and percussion keeps things percolating at a steady boil. “Bluebottle” is another outstanding example of the album’s songwriting and seamlessly fuses a hard-charging punk aesthetic to Privet Earth’s glaring pop sensibilities. The guitar has a barbed edge here, but it never overplays its hand and drops vivid fills throughout the song.

“Feeling” proves that Privet Earth is a musical magpie, able to shift between genres while retaining the core thrust of their approach. What begins as a piano-driven, almost retro flavored number evolves into a dissonant quasi-rock anthem with a bright pop sheen. My description likely does it disservice. Privet Earth specializes in producing a number of head-spinning reactions from first time listeners, but there’s no worry that such a fresh approach doesn’t have staying power.

“Embryo” surges with urgency from the outset. Smirnov’s voice inhabits this song with throat-shredding passion that fearlessly explores his upper register and the classical elements give the song pleasing melodic depth. The keyboard textures give the song a stylish, sleek flavor. Style is an important component in this album’s success, but it’s never an empty vessel. Instead, consider it an exclamation point on the considerable substance packed within this collection. Privet Earth has written and recorded a great album that holds up under repeated hearing and points the way to an even brighter future.


Jason Hillenberg - VENTS Magazine

"PRIVET EARTH (10/10 stars)"

Genre: Rock/Alternative/New-Wave/Electronic

Sounds Like: David Bowie

Pirvet Earth is the creation of Russian native Ivan Smirnov, who, after a childhood of musical training and the release of an album at age nineteen titled “JL White”, pursued his dream of international music success by moving to America. Despite initial hardships, Ivan Smirnov formed the band that would become Privet Earth in 2007. In 2009, the band made their debut album which was met with significant success; being well received internationally and winning a position on the 2011 Grammy ballot for “Best Rock Song” and “Best Rock Performance”. Privet Earth is currently sitting at #5 in the Reverbnation charts, and has held the number one spot at times last year. Smirnov is a very colorful character on stage, often dressing in women’s clothing, particularly gowns and dresses. His classification of his music is “blitz-rock”: taking classical influences and combining them with American rock n’ roll to make very unique original material. This album, titled “Breaking the Ice”, will be released March 10th.

“Breaking the Ice” is an enveloping typhoon of sound. The term blitz-rock is accurate, because the music seemingly attacks from all sides all at once and has a very surrounding capability. The evidence of Smirnov’s classical training and influences are apparent right at the first song. The tune “Ice Orkestra” consists of an exuberant violin section, yet the song has very catchy rock hooks as well as an excellent sense of melody. Many of the songs on “Breking the Ice” feature an all out assault of fantastic musicianship and rich melodic layering. It may seem very spontaneous and overwhelming, but this album is actually a pretty high caliber, well thought out, well executed example of musicianship on Smirnov’s behalf. Very little about this album adheres to typical popular song structure, it is very original, very fresh, and quite bold. The album is so energetic, too. It is a mixture of classical music and electronic dance, yet with the energy and sensibility of rock n’ roll. In many ways, it reminds one of the New Wave movement in the eighties, not so much from a musical standpoint as from a energy and liberation of creativity standpoint. Smirnov’s vocals are amazing, he has a very unique, powerful, and versatile voice that implements his own brand of great phrasing which matches the energy, creative spontaneity, and overall craziness of the music perfectly. Think the depth, breadth, and boldness of David Bowie, but spliced with electrifying power from someone like Justin Hawkins of The Darkness. Songs such as “Give It To The Wind” really demonstrate Smirnov’s unique vocal prowess that really tops off the creative edge that this music has to offer.

Sometimes when something like “Breaking the Ice” comes along that is so groundbreaking and fresh, people can be a little turned off by it, simply because it is a little weird or ahead of its time. Such was the case with David Bowie’s stuff, and such may be the case for some with Privet Earth. The music, although very innovative, rigorously perfected, and articulately delivered, may be too strange and unconventional for the masses, which are used to hearing simply verse-chorus-verse tunes. True, this traditional model is rapidly changing, but some of the synth lines, classical implements, and unique vocal and lyrical content may be a little to much for any immediate non-niche audience to absorb on a mass level. The “blitz” might be a little too much for the average American. Now, some of Privet Earth’s videos did hit number one in European audiences, such as Italy, but America is a very different market at this time, and still has a little catching up to do in terms of universal acclaim to new and innovative bands. However, these aspects of the American market are quickly changing, and Privet Earth’s music is likely to only become more and more popular as people become more familiar with it and recognize Smirnov’s unique talents.

“Breaking the Ice” by Privet Earth is truly an innovative and unique album that displays fantastic musicianship and originality from frontman Ivan Smirnov. The vocals are fantastic, the instrumentation and implementation of different styles of music works very well. Now, all the rest of the world has to do is catch up, if they haven’t already.

- Owen Matheson

10/10 Stars - All Whats Rock (UK)


September 2009 - "Privet Earth" Debut Album
October 2011 - "Ice"  5 song EP
July 2013 - "Breaking The Ice" album
March 2015 - "Breaking The Ice is re-released via Spectra Music Group.



Born and raised in Russia, Ivan Smirnov was heavily influenced by the American/British pop/rock scene as well as Classical and Electronic music, and started writing his own musical material in English at the age of 8.  Ivan lost his mother to cancer, when he was 12... He tried to express his feelings in his own unique genre of music, which he later called  ‘Blitz-Rock’...

A few years ago, after traveling thousands of miles and facing many obstacles, Ivan made it to Los Angeles. “The struggle was unbelievable!” remembers Ivan, “I used to live on $5 a week at times.  One day I even found myself homeless with the only thing I owned – my guitar” But he didn’t give up. His explosive performances, unique vocal style and enormous talent quickly gained this Russian wonder respect among everyone who heard his music. ‘Privet Earth’ was born!

Grammy ballot for "Best Rock Song" and "Best Rock Performance", collaborations with major sponsors such as FIAT, appearance on Vh1's Top 20 Countdown, # 1 Rating in the World in Reverbnation charts with nearly 12 million video views, international shows for stadium size crowds!... and this is just the beginning for Ivan and his Blitz-Rock project. Privet Earth has recently released the 2nd studio album "Breaking The Ice" featuring the explosive single "Forest Queen". The new record is already getting 10/10 star rave reviews from leading indie music publications all over the world, and Privet Earth has just been named “Artist of the Week” in “Music Connection” (July 2015 Issue)!

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