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Fortress Madonna
Fortress Madonna
Named for a symbol etched into the back of a map to inspire German soldiers fighting at Stalingrad, Fortress Madonna is something of an anomaly. Their lineup is questionable -- anywhere between four to 16 members -- and their history is steeped in myth. Core members Nick Morewood, Bob Collins, Brian Sullivan, Russ Baxter, and Chris Flack came together in 1998 around enigmatic frontman Alex Serikov and created, recorded, and released their debut, One Hundred Beacons, on the Australian indie label Laughing Outlaw. After its release and a tour of Africa, Serikov, purported to be a former Russian Olympic gymnast and KGB agent, spent a great deal of his time in an undisclosed location in the Congo avoiding a mortal financial situation with some so-called "New Russians." In 2001 Fortress Madonna began work on an EP called Estonian Female Snipers that would prove to be the group's last project with its reluctant leader. In a December 2001 interview with Pop Culture Press' Robert Wall, Serikov said this of his next personal project: "I'm thinking about climbing Kilimanjaro; I'm fit enough but not too sure about the altitude sickness." Alex Serikov died on March 2, 2002, from high-altitude pulmonary edema on Mount Kilimanjaro. The surviving bandmembers released Estonian Female Snipers in March 2003. ~ James Christopher Monger, Rovi
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