Gogol Bordello is a Gypsy punk band from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, formed in 1999 and known for theatrical stage shows and persistent touring.
Much of the band's sound is inspired by Gypsy music. The band incorporates accordion and violin (and on some albums, saxophone) mixed with punk and dub.
The band has appeared in a number of popular films, most notably in 2005's Everything Is Illuminated in which the lead singer, Eugene Hütz, co-starred with Elijah Wood in a dramedy and adventure story about the Nazi purges in Ukraine. The entire group was present for one shot in which they played a brass band in a set that included the Star Spangled Banner. They also played the traditional Yiddish tune "Bublitschki". Gogol Bordello contributed the song "Start Wearing Purple" to the film's score.
The band also has their own documentary called Gogol Bordello Non-Stop. This documentary was filmed in 2008 and follows the band's progress.
In 2012, the band recorded a new song titled 'Let's Get Crazy' for Coca Cola's Euro 2012 advertising campaign.
History and influences
"Gogol" comes from Nikolai Gogol, a classical Ukrainian-Russian writer. He serves as an ideological influence for the band because he "smuggled" Ukrainian culture into Russian society, which Gogol Bordello intends to do with Gypsy/East-European music in the English-speaking world. "Bordello," in Italian, refers to a brothel or a "gentleman's club." The band was originally titled Hütz and the Béla Bartóks, but Eugene Hütz says that they decided to change the name because "nobody knows who the hell Béla Bartók is in the United States." The band played their first show as the unofficial band at an after-hours club called Pizdetz where they became the house band and DJ Hütz became the house DJ.
Gogol Bordello's first single was released in 1999, and since then they have released six full-length albums, and one EP. In 2005 the band signed to punk label SideOneDummy Records. On 27 April 2010 Gogol Bordello made its major record label debut with Transcontinental Hustle on Rick Rubin's American Recordings, a subsidiary of Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment. Many of the songs on Transcontinental Hustle were inspired by Hütz's move to Brazil.
The band has toured tirelessly throughout Europe and America. They have made numerous appearances at international festivals and have toured with such diverse bands as Primus, Flogging Molly, and Cake. In an interview with NPR, frontman Eugene Hütz cites Jimi Hendrix and Parliament-Funkadelic as among the band's main musical influences. They have mentioned Manu Chao, Fugazi, Zvuki Mu, Karamelo Santo, Sasha Kolpakov and The Clash as influences as well.
They performed live at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts festival 2011 for Bonnaroo's 10 year anniversary, playing a 1.5 hour set in the middle of the night and performed with Devotchka.
Gogol Bordello released a new song titled 'Let's Get Crazy' in 2012 as part of Coca Cola's advertising campaign for the European Football Championships, which were part-hosted by Ukraine. The track samples one of their earlier singles, Wonderlust King, and the Coca Cola advertising jingle.
Late Show with David Letterman (July 31, 2007)
The Henry Rollins Show (August 10, 2007)
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (March 22, 2006 and September 5, 2007)
Programa do Jô (Brazilian talk show - November 10, 2009)
Late Night with Conan O'Brien (July 30, 2008)
Later... with Jools Holland (June 16, 2006 and April 16, 2010)
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (April 26, 2010 and July 17, 2013)
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (October 13, 2010)
The Daily Habit (November 8, 2010)
The Arsenio Hall Show (October 7, 2013)
2004 - Kill Your Idols - Hütz was interviewed in this documentary about New York's "No Wave" music scene.
2005 - Everything Is Illuminated - In Liev Schreiber's directorial debut, which stars Elijah Wood, the role of Alexander Perchov was played by Eugene Hütz. It includes cameo appearances by other Gogol Bordello members in the train scene.
2006 - The Pied Piper Of Hützovina - Documentary by Pavla Fleischer about a road trip she and Eugene Hütz took to Ukraine to trace his roots.
2006 - Wristcutters: A Love Story - "Eugene," played by American actor Shea Whigham, is partly based on Eugene Hütz, whose music ("Through the Roof and Underground", "Occurrence on the Border", and "Huliganjetta") is featured in the film as that recorded by the character's old band. Contrary to the belief that he has received no credit for this, the film credits show the copyrights for both Gogol Bordello songs, as well as giving thanks to Eugene multiple times throughout the credit roll.
2008 - Filth and Wisdom - The entire band appeared in this independent film directed by Madonna. Eugene Hütz is the protagonist. Madonna also allowed Eugene to add his own dialogue into the script.
2008 - Gogol Bordello Non-Stop - The development of the band was documented in this film directed by Margarita Jimeno. It follows the band's rise from underground legends to international fame from 2001 to 2007.
2009 - Larger Than Life in 3D - Live High-def digital concert footage shot in stereoscopic 3-D at the Austin City Limits festival in October 2009.
2009- Live From Axis Mundi: Professionally recorded live concert footage shot in New York.
2010- Grain: 'Against the Nature' appears on the credits.
Eugene Hütz (lead vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion) - Ukraine (1999–present)
Sergey Ryabtsev (violin, backing vocals) - Russia (2000–present)
Elizabeth Sun (percussion, backing vocals, dance, general performance) - China/Scotland (2004–present)
Thomas "Tommy T" Gobena (bass backing vocals) - Ethiopia (2006–present)
Pedro Erazo (percussion, MC) - Ecuador (2007–present)
Oliver Charles (drums) – USA (2009–present)
Michael Ward (Guitar / Backing Vocals) - USA (2012–present)
Pasha Newmer (accordion; backing vocals) - Belarus (2013–present)
Pamela Racine (percussion, backing vocals, dance, general performance) - USA
Eliot Ferguson (drums, backing vocals)
Karl Alvarez (bass)
Rea Mochiach (bass, percussion, electronics and beat programming in the studio, backing vocals) - Israel
Yuri Lemeshev (accordion, backing vocals) - Russia (2001–present)
Sasha Kazatchkoff (accordion)
Vlad Solovar (guitar) Romania
Ori Kaplan - saxophone, (co leads Balkan Beat Box with Tamir Muskat), backing vocals, (no relation to Oren Kaplan) - Israel
Susan Donaldson (percussion, backing vocals, dance, general performance)
James Ward (accordion) - Scotland
Andra Ursuta (percussion, backing vocals, dance, general performance) - Romania
Katheryn McGaffigan (fill-in percussion, backing vocals, dance, general performance)
Chris Tattersall (drums, backing vocals) - United Kingdom
Oren Kaplan (guitar, backing vocals) - Israel (2000-2012)