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Gogol Bordello Return With A New Album Supporting Ukraine, And A Tour This Fall

Gogol Bordello
Gogol Bordello – Photo credit: Sanjay Suchak

I have followed the career of Gogol Bordello for a long time but their work has taken another dimension with the recent and tragic events that have devastated Ukraine. Ukrainian-born frontman Eugene Hütz (and self-proclaimed Gypsy punk-rocker) has always made raucous music, but his determination will resonate with even more strength in the band’s fiery new album “SOLIDARTINE,” due out on September 16 via Casa Gogol/Cooking Vinyl. “This is the music of survival and perseverance. That’s always been our main driving force,” Hutz has declared about this upcoming release. “We just want to give the world a timeless album with messages of human potential and power.”

Gogol Bordello’s eighth full-length album was inspired by survival in the face of adversity – a theme that can be applied to the pandemic and the war going on in his native Ukraine. “Our music was always about perseverance,” continued Eugene. “Rock ‘n’ roll comes out of a real place. Take a group of people who have endured immigrant traumas and dislocation. They create music, get successful together, become more baroque and experimental, and experience some years of relative calm. All of a sudden, humankind encounters these problems like pandemics and wars. This is when rock ‘n’ roll is the most necessary and where we perform the best.”

“We perform the best in times of adversary” would completely apply to the seven-piece band which consists of people of mixed heritage from different locations such as Ukraine, Ecuador, and Russia. Gogol Bordello has consistently riled up audiences with an inimitable patchwork of punk, dub, folk, Latin swing, and Eastern European magic.

“SOLIDARTINE” was produced by hardcore legend Walter Schreifels (Gorilla Biscuits, Youth of Today, Quicksand, Rival Schools) which means that the album will lean toward a more hardcore energy as one of the already released songs tends to let us think: “Forces of Victory” is delivered with their legendary urgency, a bolt of acoustic guitars and violin energy and the music and lyrics charge at lightspeed with plenty of anger. The band seems to have returned to its incendiary beginnings. “It’s a very extreme hardcore number, but here’s the mystical part of it,” Eugene observes. “It originally appeared on “Super Taranta!” [Gogol Bordello’s classic 4th studio album] When we recorded the first version of it, a lot of things were unintentionally empty. Entire chunks of the song are instrumental. This year, the words came to me in like five seconds for those parts, and they were distinctly about dignity, integrity, and resilience. The righteous cause of Ukraine is undeniable.”

Watch Gogol Bordello perform the song below, with the help of two Ukrainian artists: poet and novelist Serhiy Zhadan and electro-folk band Kazka. “The album is really about uniting the people of goodwill,” Hutz reveals. “Releasing any kind of art that doesn’t address the situation in Ukraine right now would be pretty despicable.”

As for the rest of the upcoming album, the opening track “Shot of Solidaritine” kicks off acoustically before launching into a raucous sprint at a breakneck pace. Their new single “Focus Coin” is another crazy punk track, speeding up like a devilish bluesy-ska number fueled by Huntz’s bottomless energy and an insurgent sound of loud guitars. Eugene explains: “The quality of your ability to focus defines everything in your life and that’s exactly what the first single, ‘Focus Coin’ is about. Your focus is the hardest currency there is.” There is also the post-hardcore classic “Blueprint” by Fugazi, injected with Gogol’s trademark Eastern European stomp. Meanwhile, “The Era of the End of Eras” features H.R. of Bad Brains, who punctuated the track with a key moment from the Bad Brains anthem “Sailin’ On.” “Walter and I were in tears when H.R. sent it in,” Eugene declared.

With “SOLIDARTINE,” Eugene and his crew recorded 13 tracks of unbridled energy packed inside the insurgent sound of survival. “I started playing punk rock as a kid. So, I was going back to it,” Eugene adds about the overall explosiveness of the new album.  “I realized music was a really great way to levitate above all of these trials of life.”

The album can be pre-ordered here:

“SOLIDARITINE” Tracklisting:

“Shot of Solidaritine”
Focus Coin
“Blueprint”
“The Era of the End of Eras (feat. HR)”
“I’m Coming Out”
“Knack For Life”
“The Great Hunt of Idiot Savant”
“Take Only What You Can Carry (feat. KAZKA)”
“My Imaginary Son”
Forces of Victory (feat. Serhiy Zhadan and KAZKA)
“Fire On Ice Floe”
“Gut Guidance”
“Huckleberry Generation”

Gogol Bordello

This fall, Gogol Bordello will be hitting the road in support of their new album, with the tour kicking off at Pittsburgh’s Mr. Smalls Theatre on October 20th and heading West to Seattle’s Neptune Theatre on Nov. 14th.  Tickets are on sale here.

TOUR DATES
Oct 20 Mr Smalls Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA
Oct 21 KEMBA Live! Indoor Pavilion, Columbus, OH
Oct 22 Bogart’s, Cincinnati, OH
Oct 23 Genesee Theatre, Waukegan, IL
Oct 25 JJ’s Live, Fayetteville, AR
Oct 26 Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa, OK
Oct 28 Granada Theater, Dallas, TX
Oct 29 The Aztec Theatre, San Antonio, TX
Oct 31 El Rey Theatre, Albuquerque, NM
Nov 1  Marquee Theatre, Tempe, AZ
Nov 3  The Observatory, Santa Ana, CA
Nov 4  The Observatory North Park, San Diego, CA
Nov 5  Majestic Ventura Theater, Ventura, CA
Nov 7  Belasco Theater, Los Angeles, CA
Nov 9  Fremont Theater,  San Luis Obispo, CA
Nov 10 The Warfield, San Francisco, CA
Nov 12 Revolution Hall, Portland, OR
Nov 13 The Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC
Nov 14 Neptune Theatre, Seattle, WA

Gogol Bordello is Eugene Hutz (vocals, guitar, percussion), Sergey Ryabtsev (violin), Pedro Erazo (percussion, MC), Boris Pelekh (guitar), Ashley Tobias (dance, percussion), Korey Kingston (drums), and Gil Alexandre (bass).

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