Today we are proud to post our interview with Otabek Salamov, founder and front man of Uzbekistan’s finest power trio, The Needshes, who told us about making Uzbek audience’s jaws drop and remaining a teenager forever.



How did the band members all meet?

The band has gone through several line-up changes before I found two additional members, guitarist Ivan Petukhov and drummer Alexey Manakhov in 2016. Before that, I was performing with my fellow musicians constantly improving line-up and looking for not only highly professional musicians but also people really passionate about playing music in my band and my soul mates. Due to communication with so different musicians, thankfully I was able to meet Ivan and Alexey in one recording studio.

There is an artistic component to your music that is definitely seen in their videos. Who comes up with the design ideas?

Thank you so much. Most of the time it’s me, sometimes we can arrange brainstorm together and come up with something really cool and fresh.

When you wrote the song “Love” was there a specific person in mind as the other part of the couple? I like how you dedicated it to Amy Winehouse. I miss her.

No there wasn’t. The song is about love and unwillingness to change, to adapt to the environment and other people’s opinions. Sure, there is a teenage dash about it. But we’re all a bit teenagers, right?

Who are your influences?

James Brown, David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Jack White, The Killers, Amy Winehouse, U2, a-ha, RHCP.

As musicians, what is your mission as artists?

I’m playing music because I can’t imagine myself without it. I believe we can make the world a little bit better with our music. Different songs saved me at different times of my life from depression, anxiety, boredom, and other unpleasant emotions. I think everyone can admit it.

What is the songwriting/musical arrangement process?

As for the writing process, there is nothing special. For completing the album, it can be half of a year of seclusion in my home studio. I immerse myself in music and devote to each song as much time as it needs until I achieve the desired sound that was in my head at the moment of creation.

What are your favorite songs to play live?

Usually, it’s the song that people ask to perform at the end of the show as an encore. Most of the time their choice is “Time to See.” We never mind playing it one more time.

Lastly, what’s a fun fact about the band unrelated to music?

I’m an Uzbek. Every time it makes people’s jaw drop.

indeed. Check out Uzbekistan’s finest on Spotify.


Tina Romano