Siberian surf rockers the Red Elvises formed in Los Angeles in 1996; founded by singer/guitarist Igor Yuzov and singer/bassist Oleg Bernov -- Russian natives who previously teamed in the cult favorite folk-dance group Limpopo -- the group later grew to include balalaika virtuoso Zhenya Kolykhanov and drummer Avi Sills (the lone American-born member).
Combining classic rock & roll with a slew of ethnic influences (and featuring lyrics sung in both English and Russian), the Red Elvises rapidly began selling out clubs throughout the L.A. area, and in mid-1996 issued their debut LP Grooving to the Moscow Beat. Surfing in Siberia followed early the next year, and the 1998 release of I Wanna See You Belly Dance was accompanied by a documentary about the band produced for the cable network VH1. An appearance on the prime-time soap Melrose Place preceded the 1999 release of the Red Elvises' fourth album, Russian Bellydance; Shake Your Pelvis, and the live EP Your Favorite Band followed a year later. Welcome to the Freak Show and Bedroom Boogiee kicked things off for the band at the start of the new millennium, both issued in early 2001. The band took time to tour and gain some good publicity until they came back to the studio to record Rokenrol, their 2002 release. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi