Brainstorm (Latvian band)

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Native name Prāta vētra
Origin Jelgava, Latvia
Genres Pop rock, alternative rock, indie pop
Years active 1989–present
Labels Brainstorm Records
Sony Music Entertainment
Associated acts Bi-2, Reigani
Members Renārs Kaupers
Jānis Jubalts
Kaspars Roga
Māris Mihelsons
Ingars Viļums[1] (touring member)
Past members Gundars Mauševics (deceased)

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".[2]


BrainStorm formation and first years (1989-1996)[edit]

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.[3]

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.[citation needed]

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.

Contract with Microphone Records, Eurovision Song contest (1997-2000)[edit]

The next step 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.

New albums, MTV awards (2001-2010)[edit]

Brainstorm at Mežaparks in 2008

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,[citation needed] 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. In its recording a fifth person took part: bass guitarist Ingars Viļums. He also took part in a tour over Russia which presented the album.[4]

Brainstorm performing in 2010

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.[citation needed] All the concerts of this tour were sold out in record time.[citation needed]. At the beginning of 2006 Brainstorm released an English version of Četri krastiFour Shores. The lead single "Thunder Without Rain" became popular in most of Europe and received airplay on MTV Europe and VH1 Europe.[citation needed]

They received the MTV Europe Music award for Best Baltic Act in 2006.[citation needed] 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.


The band received three awards at the 2012 Annual Latvian Music Recording Awards.[5]

The album "Another Still Life", released in 2012, was written and recorded in the historic town of Hudson, in the Hudson valley upstate NY, and was mixed in a small studio beneath Radiohead's management office in Oxford, England.

The lyrics for the album's title track are made up entirely from the titles of paintings, rearranged and formed into cohesive song.

The song "Lantern" from their album "Another Still Life" (Available on i-tunes worldwide) tells the story of the bands childhood, the forming of the band and of their stadium size success in the Eastern Europe.

After album "Another Still Life" BrainStorm had tour in native Latvia gathering 89,500 people in 7 dates. (Latvia's population is 2 million).

During the summer of 2012 BrainStorm toures in native Latvia gathering 89 500 people in 7 dates. In autumn of 2012 they toured Russia in support of the album release there. On the festival season of 2012 BrainStorm played following festivals - The Great Escape (UK), Music Matters (Singapore), Rock For People (Czech Republic), Nashestvije, Kubana, Krilja and Red Rocks (Russia), Watergate (Estonia), Sziget (Hungary), Vilnius Music Week (Lithuan2013ia), Culture Co2013e (USA), Live Sessions Day (Spain), e.t.c


In June 2013 BrainStorm played in the “Glastonbury Festival” and so became the first band from the Baltics to be playing in this world known festival.


“Brainstorm” started the New Year announcing the first dates for the "7 Steps of fresh air" Spring Concert Tour in Europe. In total they played 7 shows - 2 in the Baltic countries (Estonia and Lithuania) and 5 cities in the United Kingdom.

On 23 January, "BrainStorm’s" song “Ziemu apēst” was awarded as the most valuable song of 2015 at "Latvian Radio 2" annual award ceremony “Muzikālā Banka”.

On 13 February, the IX annual award ceremony of “Nashe Radio” was held in Russia and BrainStorm got awarded in the category “Leaders of the Chart” for the song “Epoha”. This song has been holding in the chart “Чартова дюжина” for a record long time – almost 4 months, during which it reached the very top twice – in July and August.

On 15 February, "BrainStorm" released the song “Little Raindrops” that is the English version of the previously released “Ziemu apēst” from the album “7 Steps of fresh Air”. The first live performance of “Little Raindrops” was in the final show of the Lithuanian “X Factor”.

In the annual Latvian Music Record Awards ceremony “Zelta Mikrofons” (“Golden Microphone”) "BrainStorm" received an award for their live concert “7 Steps of fresh air” from the tour’s final concert in Riga and an award for “Alfa song of the year” from the “Alfa” shopping centre. That is the only prize where the winner is determined by a public vote and so the song “Ziemu apēst” got the most votes from the listeners, which brought the band their 31st Golden Microphone award in total.

In the middle of the year, the band also participated in several music festivals, such as "Янтарный Пляж" (Amber beach) in Kaliningrad, the festival "A-Fest" in Minsk and "Weekend Festival Baltic" in Pärnu.

On 20 August "BrainStorm" held their only concert in Latvia - stadium "Daugava", Liepaja, gathering more than 28 000 people not only from Latvia but also the Baltic Countries, as well as the United States, Canada, Australia, Russia and even Japan. Demand for concert tickets was so great that even before the start of the concert, it was declared a sold-out.

At the end of the year "BrainStorm" went to Moscow with their solo concert. In 2015 the band presented their latest album “7 Steps of fresh air” in the capital of Russia and it was very well received. During the year the songs from the album managed to not only rank the Russian radio charts, but also resound in music festivals – such as "Bosco Fresh Fest", "VK Fest", "A-Fest", "Нашествие", where "BrainStorm" performed as headliners.

The documentary “BrainStorm: Between shores” got awarded with National cinematography award “Lielais Kristaps” in the category “Best sound engineer” as well as public choice award.


  • "Glastonbury" (UK)
  • "Sziget" (Hungary)
  • "Rock For People" (Czeух" (Russia)
  • "Atlas Weekend" (Ukraine)
  • "Крылья" (Russia)
  • "Нашествие" (Russia)
  • "Red Rocks" (Russia)
  • "Weekend Festival Baltic" (Estonia)
  • Rock For People (Czech Republic)
  • Watergate (Estonia)
  • Culture Collide (USA)
  • Live Sessions Day (Spain), e.t.c


International Albums[edit]

International Singles[edit]

  • 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[edit]

Albums in Russian[edit]



  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-06. Retrieved 2015-08-05. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ «Мозговой штурм», by Михаил ЗВЕРЕВ, «МУРМАНСКИЙ ВЕСТНИК», 2006
  5. ^ "Brainstorm receives three Latvian Music Annual Awards 2012" (in English)

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Latvia in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Arnis Mednis
with "Too Much"