RockOverdose.gr reached Eugene Hütz to have a chat about Gogol Bordello’s new album coming out in September and of course their "punk rock solidarity fire", they bring with them on their ongoing european tour, supporting homeland Ukraine!
Enjoy our chat!
RockOverdose: Hello Eugene, welcome on RockOverdose! Firstly, I have to ask you of course about the war in Ukraine. Did it affect the band negatively or you took advantage through your art to support in your way this situation?
Eugene Hütz (Gogol Bordello): Hello there! It's the later one, of course! As a band thats deeply connected to this cause we have quite a bit to say about this situation, and being on tour right now and being a band that understands this situation very well it helps us also with our own sanity because people who don't know how to help or just dont have opportunity, they are feeling helpless and at the same time there are people who want to act and do something about it, is important to be proactive as soon as possible.
RockOverdose: Apart from the tour do you have any plans for new music any time soon?
Eugene Hütz (Gogol Bordello): Yes! The new album is coming out in September. It was recorded in the winter and there are several collaborations with Ukrainian artists, like Serhiy Zhadan who was nominated for Nobel prize last year, he's a famous Ukrainian novelist as well and there is a song also with Kazka an Ukrainian synth pop singer. The album overall is produced by Walter Schreifels, who is a very central person in hard core and punk rock scene, worked with Gorilla Biscuits, Quicksand, Rival Schools etc We have natural undestanding cause we've toured together in the past creating punk and hardcore music together which was exceptionally fun because we know our way round! When you come together to co-create you become more playful and more creative, you know and that brings out all authentic fun to it!
RockOverdose: That's really great! Is there any single coming out soon?
Eugene Hütz (Gogol Bordello): Yes its actually three singles coming, all one after one! First single came out yesterday, it's called "Teroborona” which means Civil Defence and it's dedicated to all my friends fighting in civil defence units right now in Ukraine - you can see it on youtube already! It's a very powerful video and has a lot of chronicals from the war.
The second single will come out in two weeks, it's called "Forces Of Victory", that's the one with my friend Serhiy Zhadan and then September the 4th the album will come out! Check it out!
RockOverdose: Are you going to play any new material in your live shows?
Eugene Hütz (Gogol Bordello): Absolutely! We already do! That's why we write music and can't wait to play it!
RockOverdose: It's been almost 8 years since your last show in Greece? Why it took you so long? What is your best memories from Greece? You've played so many times here. I'm sure there are a lot of interesting stories to tell...
Eugene Hütz (Gogol Bordello): Really?!!! I think it's 4 or 5 ... maybe I'm wrong! One of the funniest momments is when we've been walking around the streets of Athens looking for "tarama" and we couldn't find it! Then when we were driving at the festival I noticed that we were driving for a very very long time, as it was supposed to be only an hour far - so I asked our promoter where are we going and he told me "Just wait a little bit!" and then he brougtht us to his mothers' house who was waiting us with a full plate of "taramosalata"!!! That was an amazing touch of hospitality! He just overheard us complaining about "tarama" and he just drive us to his village! It was all gone, we ate it in 3 minuted! It was amazing! Totally deserved the ride!
RockOverdose: What should the audience expect from your 2 shows on Greece?
Eugene Hütz (Gogol Bordello): Well, they can expect whatever they want, but It's gonna be what we get! This is punk hard core fuego - Fire of Solidarity! Is importand to be able to connect with this side no matter what time is in the world. The more of solidarity people get together, the more they understand!
When you see different people dancing around the same fire - so to speak - you understand that it becomes very tangible in their life they may have same joice and problems and they need to address them together!
RockOverdose: That's a great feeling, to have the audience with you! So, what about your cooperation some years back with Madonna being the director in the movie you have played? Would you ever think making such a cooperation?
Eugene Hütz (Gogol Bordello): Well, its been quite a while since that happened! It didn't have a dramatic impact in my life, there're no Μadonna t-shirts in our shows! As far as an experience it was amazing of course, she's a very wise and creative person, for that time being it was very significant for me and then I continued creating great momments myself. Sure for somebody this was the greatest momment but personally my greatest momment was when I discovered Dead Kennedy's when I was 13yo and it continues to be so. It's a very silly way of looking at life like that, you are made of what you're made of and it's always going to be like that whether you're shining at the momment or you're in a basement rehearshing, the shine remains the same! That's punk rock! We've been in so many highs up and so many obscurities, that I don't care anymore! The reality is that we never disappear and we always do our thing, playing every night!
RockOverdose: When you first started playing music what was your dream? After so many years being a band, do you feel that your dream became true?
Eugene Hütz (Gogol Bordello): Yeah it came true as soon I got up the stage! My dream has particularly came true when after I've been in so many movies I was invited to live in Los Angeles/Hollywood and persude a carreer. I think that my dream came true when I had that idea to "fuck of stay to what I do!"!!
RockOverdose: Well we're looking forward to see you soon in Greece! Any message to your fans especially here in Greece?
Eugene Hütz (Gogol Bordello): It's been pretty long since we were there and we do have memories from playing in Greece! I hope the people stick with our progress and evolution and I want to connect the solidarity of the Greek people that stand with Ukraine certainly and continue to do all we can for this atrocity terrible invasion as soon as possible!
RockOverdose: Thank you very much for your time!
Eugene Hütz (Gogol Bordello): Thank you very much! See you in Greece!
main photo credit: Cambria Harkey
Edit/Questions: Vivi Zapantiotou