Eugene Hütz reflects on GOGOL Bordello’s legacy, success and the new album, ‘Solidaritine’.
“Punk is really about perseverance, and the resilience of an individual,” says Eugene. “In my personal experience, I have had so many episodes where I encouraged to ‘sway’ a different way. When I was in a movie (Everything Is Illuminated), and go and live in Los Angeles, and I was like, ‘that’s not what I do, that’s not who I am. I am an East Coaster, man. That’s where I’ll stay’. I do have my adventures, but New York remains my centre. You have to stay the course, and stay true to who you are.”
“It’s not about reflecting so much on Gogol Bordello, or what I do,” Hütz says. “It’s much more about reflecting about how it’s a part of a particular lineage – with Gogol Bordello, I wanted to create something that was distinctly Ukrainian, but not in a nationalistic way, but it a positive and cosmopolitan way.”
“This new album has kind of taken us back naturally to the punk, and hardcore roots of Gogol Bordello,” reflects the singer. “It’s time to come full circle back to our original sound that originally drew us into the world of music.” This desire led Eugene to enlist the help of Walter Schreifels [Rival Schools] who has a great pedigree in punk and hardcore. “We were friends, and tour-mates for a number of years. He is a great songwriter himself, and songwriting is probably my greatest strength. We had a lot of fun.”
It could be said that Gogol Bordello make music to comment on the times (the war in Ukraine, for example), but never to cash-in, or be on trend: “If you try and pursue where the general stream of where music is going, then you will corrupt your own joy. The joy and excitement comes from confronting [those trends], and the defiance to moronic standards. I will never lose that excitement.”
Watch the full interview, where Eugene talks about his origins, creative inspirations on the new album, and more: