Hi reddit, Gogol Bordello is in the house. We have a new album coming out next Tuesday called Pura Vida Conspiracy. We are here and ready to take your questions!

tweet: https://twitter.com/GogolBordello/status/357911656522727426

Yo we got to check out and really thank you for cool questions. We are always proud and looking forward to speaking with lovers of Gogol Bordello. It is good to know we have intelligent audience. We will see many of you soon on our tour. The Pura Vida is in full swing and playing all the new songs brings new fire.

Comments: 635 • Responses: 40  • Date: 

clashcity78 karma

Eugene! Thanks for doing this AMA. As a New Yorker: Thank you for giving our city so much love! I've been a fan for a very long time and converted many friends to your music over the years. Your voice and style are so unique that people sometimes question my sincerity when I recommend they listen to Gogol. They are however truly swept away whenever I bring them to one of your shows. They are chaotic, rhythmic, worldly, and beautiful. Ultimately uniting. I love when I can introduce someone to your music at a festival and they have no idea what they are about to experience. Thank you for putting on these passionate performances. (You play a mean fire bucket)

My question is this, given how important your message is to you and how dedicated you are to spreading the idea of appreciating different cultures, would you ever consider doing something like The Pied Piper of Hutzovina again? Even if it was scrapped together footage of behind the scenes world tours, visiting different countries and seeing the world through your eyes was an amazing experience. Please consider it!

..... Also wanted to say that since Super Taranta!, Gogol Bordello has been my dream wedding band. (It'll be in another year or two, but I could start stacking up on vodka and herring)

Edit: Spelling

gogol_bordello_87 karma

yes, thank you. Actually i was thinking of making pied piper of hutzovina kind of film in Brazil. Since i went to Brazil for the first time 5 years ago it was a place that blew me away more than any other adventure. Especially the northern parts of it. making a documentary there perhaps would be epic but effortless. that part of the world is epic without any additional camera angles. both its folkloric raw music is powerful and in fact Recife bands are most vibrant and progressive in Brazilian rock music. there is a lot of loose screw of course in that environment but it's my most memorable adventures.

nuraltoob51 karma

If I can't wear purple, what should I wear? Red and blue?

gogol_bordello_214 karma

Elizabeth says red. Red is the new purple.

I say stay naked.

frozenyogurtsucks50 karma

Love Gogol's lyrics. What books should I be reading to illuminate myself?

Counting down the hours to Providence! Can't wait!

gogol_bordello_67 karma

a pretty good one to start with is Power of Now by Ekhart Tolle. This can shed a lot of light on your human presence, creativity, and artistic source of the Universe.

theartfuldodger34937 karma

Hello, Gogol!!! Wow! What a world we live in that this kind of communication is possible!! Alright, my question is directed to Eugene specifically. Eugene, your music is very spiritual, and you seem yourself to be an incredibly wise, conscious human being. Having seen you at Terminal 5 on New Years Eve roughly two years ago, you were the definition of a human being fully realized on that stage. My question is, how do you, in day to day life, find peace and spirituality in the turbulent, maddening "rock and roll" life style? Do you have to take yourself away from the chaos or is it your engine? Not sure if my question makes sense. Thank you guys so much for the incredible music that you've made. It's changed the world. The new album is incredible! All of my love! Peace! P.S On a less serious note: You're stranded on a desert island and you can only bring three things. What are those things?

gogol_bordello_88 karma

this is very good question. i want to marry you. this quest for understanding yourself within chaos in fact is a central theme probably for everyone alive. the chaos is actually a form of order. And the moment you really internalize that idea your life will start looking a little bit different. Less hostile. More uplifting. You will see that perfectionism and constant rearrangement and external stimulation is not necessary. that by trying to order things too much you in fact is disrupting the flow of natural energy which is chaotic. the utmost idiotic examples of that is dictatorship regimes of some countries like Russia where turning an actual river to flow backwards was a promoted notion. this is how far off the humans can get from the grid. In our work onstage in fact you can see dealing with chaos in more unified and organic way. It's not only stage tactic it's just a louder expression of everyday interaction. And that's the way I see it.

Brouje35 karma

For Eugene, two questions:

  1. Can you teach me the secret to growing a great mustache?
  2. Can you take me on a gypsy themed adventure through the streets of NYC?

gogol_bordello_139 karma

  1. i happen to flip through some picture albums recently. And i saw many pictures from parties and tours and just live where it reminded me that i had mustache off and on for about 15 years. but how non-important it is for me. i appreciate your props for the style but it's pretty sad to see some people try to build their identity upon mustache. So don't do that.

  2. Sure, the train is leaving in 3 minutes be quick.

HallowedAntiquity32 karma

For Eugene:

1) Sometimes the phrasing of your lyrics sounds like you wrote them in Russian/Ukrainian and then translated them to English--it often makes for a cool and interesting effect. Do you sometimes do it this way?

2) Is anything that started out being very important to you as an artist now less important, or no longer relevant?

gogol_bordello_79 karma

  1. no, actually i have never properly studied english, and that's the results of that.

  2. yes, absolutely. Any obsession with any particular form is only a phase on the way to understanding ultimate unimportance of any form. The forms and styles are not bad in fact they are artistically advanced and interesting and exhilirating experiences. But they are only there to accommodate the essence and primal energy.

diarrheaphragm28 karma

Hey Gogol Bordello! Been a big fan for years. Gogol Bordello has been on regular rotation on my playlist since probably 2005. Saw you guys for the first time on May '12 at the Sound Academy in Toronto. The show was packed and hot as hell. Had a blast! Tickets were about $35 then and about $55 this year. Kind of a bummer for your poorer fans like me but I'm happy to see great bands like Gogol Bordello get successful and draw bigger crowds. My questions are:

-Does your relative commercial success conflict with your anti-capitalist/anarcho politics?

-If so, how do you reconcile these issues?

-Eugene, you clearly stole the show in Everything is Illuminated. Anymore plans in the works for acting gigs?

You and the rest of GB keep up the good work!

edit: Just looked you up on imdb and saw you've done a few other movies. Will definitely have to check them out.

gogol_bordello_48 karma

For your first and second questions: what is wrong with being sexy?

the others movies include Filth and Wisdom and Everything is Illuminated.

wiirenet17 karma

you need more movies to be sexy in please!!

gogol_bordello_129 karma

oh yeah. will you already please text Tarantino that my shirt is half unbuttoned and he can start roll the film?

msadvn24 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA, I remember when Mehanata was still at Broadway and Canal, just as GB was becoming popular!

What are some positive results you’ve seen happen in terms of immigration reform and/or freedom of movement that can be attributable to your music?

Also, when I saw you in Zakarpattia in the Pied Piper of Hutzovina doc, I flipped out because I was so glad to see that corner of the world get some positive attention! Has that one guy changed his mind about your music since then?

Looking forward to seeing you in Pittsburgh on the 28th!

gogol_bordello_38 karma

well we got our equadorian percussion player Pedro a European visa! so that's pretty positive.

thanks again for props on Pied Piper. You see, the only misinterpretation that that film has is as if i was discovering anything there. but i wasn't. I was reexperiencing. I have been to these places many times in my childhood. And that is why i went back there, to see if it's actually still there. that guy did not change any of my views on anything, he just confirmed them yet another time. and it was a beautiful thing that he could show what he shows without scraping the dirt and paint off his hands.

bring your friends to the Pittsburgh show! I have heard there is a fantastic vinyl store in Pittsburgh I need to experience.

thegirlwhocriedwolf22 karma

Hi Eugene, Elizabeth, and Thomas! Great job on Jimmy Fallon last night! I am such a big fan of Eugene's work in movies (Everything is Illuminated is in my Top 3 Favorites) and Gogol Bordello is my favorite band. Your music can make me feel sad, happy, pumped up, thoughtful, angry, and like partying, sometimes all at once. Your band’s ability to weave together stories, people, and emotions through music amazes me!

My questions for you are:

1) Is your band planning any activism work in regards to the new immigration bill?

2) What is your craziest tour encounter?

(tentative third question: are there any tour dates in DC on the horizon?)

gogol_bordello_36 karma

  1. We always speak the truth about our experiences. We speak about our experiences as immigrants and human beings. But we dont categorize ourselves as immigrants 24 7, we don't live in consciousness of that, we live in the consciousness that we are human beings. Being an immigrant is only a part of us, but it does not define our everyday consciousness.

  2. how much time do you have?

sbearse16 karma

Thank you for doing this AMA. I am a huge fan of your music and Everything Is Illuminated. 3 questions… 1. What has been the greatest challenge for Gogol Bordello coming together as a group? 2. What is the most beautiful thing you have seen on the road? 3. Have you ever thought about doing a collaboration with Bassnectar? Thank you again and see you in Providence!

gogol_bordello_31 karma

  1. we all three say what challenge do you have in mind?

  2. Thomas: people for me. For me, exhilrated faces of fans of people sharing music with us. There are many great beauties in the nature, but seeing an ocean of sparkling eyes is right up there with magnificent starry sky.

  3. you mean one more? Bassnectar has been a friend and a fan of the band for years. YOu can find his remix of "We coming rougher" on our special limited vinyl edition. Or his previous record.

blind_swordsman15 karma

For Eugene, are you planning on doing any more acting? I loved your work in Everything is Illuminated.

gogol_bordello_67 karma

I'm interested in doing some acting but not nearly as much as doing some directing. I have in mind several scripts that perhaps would fit into historical scifi spaghetti western category. So let's make the sign for that section in stores now.

loamy13 karma

  1. whats on your playlist lately?
  2. will yury be coming back or is pasha staying as accordion player?
  3. will you ever release the songs that didn't make pura vida conspiracy?

gogol_bordello_42 karma

  1. Tribe called Red. Bombino. Tamikrest. Seu Jorge (earlier stuff particularly with Almaz). Kozak System. Red Baarat. Elizabeth has been listening to a lot of classical music lately, Bach and Chopin for some reason.

  2. That's a great question.

  3. yes absolutely on the super special ultra ultimate VIP transformational astroprojectional liquid vinyl.

Gomets5112 karma

Big fan of the band! In fact "Immigraniada" came on my shuffle before I even saw this AMA. Anyway, I always find it interesting how diverse the members of the band are. How did you guys form?

gogol_bordello_81 karma

obviously we all are winners of respective country Idol competition. therefore we were not formed but deformed.

Aarontrio12 karma

Which looks better from stage - holding up lighters or cell phone screens? (I'm being serious)

gogol_bordello_89 karma

Set your cell phone on fire! lighted cell phones.

good_cunt11 karma

Hi guys, thanks for doing this! This is just a question for all of you: which country in Europe would you like to live in, based of the experiences you've had here?

gogol_bordello_25 karma

Thomas: Portugal. Anything around the Mediterranean.

Elizabeth: There's a big Portugal sense in the band.

me Portugal.

gogol_bordello_23 karma

Papua New Guinea.

passionofthewalrus11 karma

I saw you guys at Bonnaroo 2011. The greatest live show I have been to. So thanks for that and keep being great. Hope to see you in America again soon!

gogol_bordello_23 karma

yes thank you! we are coming out on tour with new record. dates already posted on the website. We are in a psychedelic trance just looking at our tour schedule.

EasternYugo10 karma

I've Got a few questions for all three of you guys! - What must i do to have you guys visit and/or perform at a school/ event? - Eugene- can you tell me what it was like making music with Goran Bregovic for the album 'Champaign for Gypsys'? I'm vastly in love with his music as well as yours -Elizabeth- What inspires the artistic outwear and face paint you apply during concerts? I've gotta say it's some of the most unique and interesting i'v seen! (btw thank you for the handshake during the Milwaukee concert a month back! -Thomas- when playing an instrument such as the bass do you ever mess up on stage? if so how do you fix it or blend it in with the song so no one really notices the flaw? -Eurgene- The energy the spirit, i gotta say when i got a group together to perform 'Start Wearing Purple' at our school the crowd went insane. I took the idea of letting loose and having fun and the crowd loved it. in fact they called over other districts to come and watch! thank you! One more thing! my friend and i had shirts with "start wearing purple" on them during your Milwaukee concert on June 8th! we're coming to see you guys again here in Chicago in august! can we meet you guys? it would honestly mean the world! Thank you!

gogol_bordello_12 karma

You must audition to have us perform for you.

Since I picked up my phone once on tour and Goran was on another line basically introducing himself which was not necessary and throughout us hanging out in France and later on in Brazil i had no surprise why he became a flagman for the Balkan sound. The man is a true authentic maniac. I am pretty hard to wear off and my energy is way above average but the week with Goran in Brazil left me almost breathless. No temptations of Rio nightlife, ocean and all this other awesome shit that people go nuts for would prevent him from waking up in the morning and after first sip of coffee going straight into the chorus of the song we're working on and staying on that until we got it right. We recorded in small house studio of my great friends a certain gypsy family in Rio. Which loosened up atmosphere a little bit. But intensity of Goran is borderline on insanity. The Balkan music is fire and obviously only very firey people can truly encapsulate it. This is the funk you can't fake for real.

For Elizabeth I have always really loved African cultures like the clothing and aesthetic of it. I have always been fascinated by the tribes. I was looking at a lot of those kind of photographs and thought it would be a good idea to do it. Thank you for coming to the show.

Thomas says yes. All the time. But as the great masters before me said there's no wrong notes only the note that follows the wrong note makes it wrong. So it's always fixable.

albertelo9 karma

Is the name of the new album Pura Vida Conspiracy Conspiracy taken from the Costa Rican phrase?

gogol_bordello_19 karma

It comes from spanish language, which yes is spoken in Costa Rica. In Colombia when we were playing people would shout PURA VIDA. You know once George Clinton walked out onstage to a crowd shouting "We want the funk" he said "wow let's put that on a fucking record". That is pretty much what happened here too. It's an interactive moment it's a sign that we are listening to you and your feedback to our music. And isn't it amazing how accurate that actually is? I couldn't think of a better motherfucking title for this album. For the first time i didn't have to walk around for a year contemplating what this 15 songs have in common. People said it, i just added word "conspiracy" to it.

By adding word "conspiracy" i was trying to show that the very pure life that is flowing through you and me at this every second appears to be as some completely alien activity to most of the people. Everybody is obsessed with living in a future, living in the past, and consequently the very life itself which is now is abandoned. Our music with its every note demands the attention to the present moment. I assure you that in a real reality whatever the reasons and whichever story brought you to listening to Gogol Bordello in its essence boils down to you accessing the feeling of your actual presence now. And that feeling is so good and it is so addictive and in fact lays in a heart of any fulfilling activity. We are just capable of cultivating it and whipping it into a shape of catchy songs and are able to tell our story through it. But I really believe that that's the singlehandedly the most powerful quality of our music. Is that it demands attention to the present moment and lets you be who you truly are no matter how fucking crazy you are.

Sukk-up8 karma

Who is, or what inspired you to write the song "Invisible Zed?"

gogol_bordello_10 karma

Wow, you digging deep! But are you "digging deep enough"?

Andrew13378 karma

First off, i am a HUGE fan and I love you guys so goddamn much! You're the reason I bought a nylon string guitar. Who are some of your punk rock influences, and who would you recommend for a guitarist wanting to get into your gypsies style?


gogol_bordello_20 karma

this is a really cool question. I am the right guy to ask. You see, what is known as gypsy style is quite abstract term. There is many gypsy styles which are all distinctly different. 3 main areas where gypsy musicians made guitar to be their focus are Spanish flamenco, French gypsy jazz, and Russian seventh string guitar style. For these 3 styles there are respective masters to look up to are:

Paco De Lucia Django Reinhardt Sasha Kolpakov

That's a pretty good start. For punk bands nobody can underestimate power of the Clash. LA is not only on our tour schedule, it is partly our hometown as both Oliver and Mike live in LA.

The_Big_Salad8 karma

Where can I find a "no human is illegal" shirt?

P.S. LOVE you guys! Your music is infectious and your live shows have such incredible energy. Thank you for my favorite and most powerful music experiences. Respect!

gogol_bordello_21 karma

On thomas' magnificent biceps! he is wearing one now.

EveCandyslade6 karma

Hi Elizabeth! Just saw in the answers that you're listening to classical music lately - if you could pick one classical instrument and learn to play it by magic overnight, which one would it be? :) xxx, Eve

gogol_bordello_16 karma

The tuba. Why not?

bassmon6 karma

Greetings Gogol Bordello! Thank you for taking some time out of your busy schedule for this AMA. I last saw you in August of 2010. My girlfriend and I will be joining the party again next month in Omaha.

In five words or less, could you sum up the Pura Vida tour experience thus far? Cheers friends!

gogol_bordello_9 karma

Thomas says we are bringing sexy back. Elizabeth is doing it.

braydenmeursaultlove6 karma

Hey Gogol Bordello, you have been my playlist for many nights on the road. I wanted to ask what your favorite US city is to play? I have seen you a few times in Denver and Boulder and you killed it.

gogol_bordello_16 karma

Those are some of our favorites actually. New York City, California, DC. The list can get long for it actually because we love going to places where most of bands don't bother. We all know that there is great music appreciators in the depths of deserts and Siberian woods. Music goes that far. So sticking only to megapolis cities is a kind of elitist illusion of grandeur.

antiflyingmonkeys6 karma

Eugene, Elizabeth, and Thomas, Are there any plans for Gogol Bordello to do a collaboration with other artists and/or bands? I was ecstatic to hear that you worked with Serj Tankian and would love to hear more collaborations!

Much love from Boulder CO! You guys are my favorite band out there!

gogol_bordello_11 karma

actually yes in Rio i have been making collabs with my friends artists who were passing through Brazil. Brazil will always put you in a special mood. It's a great place to collaborate. People get pretty jazzed on the ambiance and seem to be more spontaneous. that's how track with Serj Tankian came about and that's exactly how we made one of my favorite collaborations ever with Goran Bregovich. I hate collaborations over the internet. in retrospective they are quite meaningless. However sharing creative process in a funky place is completely different story. Next one coming up in Rio will be collab with Lenine. Truly amazing Brazilian songwriter with very edgy sensibilities.

Bladeripper85 karma

Guy, you are a huge influence to how I style my own music, ever since gypsy punk came out. I wanted to ask, why styles and artists made you want to become the musicians you are today?

gogol_bordello_17 karma

well i know that for everyone in the band it was Judas Priest. but i was different. it was for me Motley Crue.

robb15195 karma

Saw you guys in Berlin in 2007 (I think?), and to this day it is still the best show I've ever been witness to. Thanks for all the hundreds of hours of entertainment you guys have given me!!!

A question I guess... your shows are very high energy, how do you keep it going while on the road?

gogol_bordello_24 karma

do you want a real answer or answer that already prepared for yourself to hear?

ObiWanSkanobi5 karma

Hey, just wanted to say I've loved Gogol Bordello for years. After seeing you play in Charlotte last May, I have to ask: How many bottles of wine do you go through in an average show? Thanks so much for doing this AMA. Can't wait to hear the new album!

gogol_bordello_38 karma

actually is only one bottle. But don't be fooled that any inspirational power of Gogol Bordello comes from alcohol. That is an absolute illusion. I've been friends with alcohol since very early age and I continue to build my diplomatic relationship with it until now by becoming a better and better expert on my favorite red wine. But alcohol has never been important part of creativity. And nothing can replace genuine creativity. So don't look for it there. In fact my natural energy needs to be cooled off before the show a little bit and that is why i fell into a habit of having one or two glasses before the show and continue that process throughout the show.

w0nderlustqueen5 karma

Greetings my contaminated friends! Many thanks for bringing your music into my life! Looking forward to seeing you this weekend for my #10 & 11 show. Question for Eugene...have you read any of Thich Knat Hahn's teachings? Party in the present moment! See you soon. :-)

gogol_bordello_13 karma

No i have not. What area is he operating in?

Kelly_1384 karma

Thanks for doing this. I fucking love y'all. I grew up listening to stories about the gypsies so your music has a lot of meaning to me.

Is anyone in the band from actual gypsy blood line? If so, do you know of the Stanley Gypsies of North America? They were my great(x3) grandparents.

gogol_bordello_7 karma

Yes me. The name sounds familiar but there is many different (as you know perhaps) tribes of Roma. Just like there is many different tribes of Native Americans. And what they know about each other is a mystery for most of the time. My bloodline comes from Servo tribe. Mostly settled in East Ukraine and Russia.

regisgod4 karma

Favourite pizza topping?

gogol_bordello_14 karma

Thomas says jalapeno.

Elizabeth says cheeseccheesecheese.

I say ice cubes.

imalittlepiggy3 karma

I saw you reply to a question: "I'm interested in doing some acting but not nearly as much as doing some directing. I have in mind several scripts that perhaps would fit into historical scifi spaghetti western category. So let's make the sign for that section in stores now."

Pretty much everyone I know, myself included, would be all about that. "Historical scifi spaghetti western" truly sounds like a dream.... Please make it happen!

You guys are so amazing. If I could I'd marry all of you, Gogol Bordello & I, Forever and Ever. Thank you for existing!

gogol_bordello_9 karma

We kindly accept.

VvrAase3 karma

Eugene fuckin Hütz?!?! You are a beast my friend. Gogol Bordello is one of the most important groups in my opinion. I dont even know what to say. I've seen you guys several times and would like to say thank you for all the amazing music you put out. If I had to ask a question or two....

Would you please play Mussolini vs Stalin on your next tour? (One of my faves and I'd die happy to hear it live)

And Are any of you tattoo enthusiasts?

I swear on my life if you came around my neck of the woods (WA state) I would tattoo ANY/ALL of you all day long for free. You guys are a huge inspiration to a fellow artist/muscian and I would like to show you my appreciation.

Sorry for the rambling, I just wanna thank you for all the wonderful music over the years. Gogol Bordello til death!

gogol_bordello_8 karma

I will save that for Mussolini's resurrection.

Obviously some of us are tattoo enthusiasts. But some of us are extreme tattoo nonenthusiasts.

thank you and thank you and thank you... actually the closest i ever got to getting a tattoo was in San Francisco after the show when upon getting drunk with local skate punk kids one of who was a tattoo artist, we decided to go to his tattoo studoi about 5 in the morning and to get me finally some kind of tattoo that we were completely mad about at the moment. but luckily he forgot the keys once we got there. so here i am wandering with no sense of direction at all and no tattoos. but really hey thank you, some tattoos can be quite elegant.

intactivism3 karma

Hi Eugene..Thanks so much for the AMA! I've been a fan for a few years and the concert at Brooklyn Bowl a few years ago was the best show I've ever seen. Really excited to see you in music hall of Williamsburg on Tuesday. Is there a chance you guys will play Baro Foro?

gogol_bordello_13 karma


jolietjakemcfly3 karma

As travelling musicians what are some foods that are must haves while on tour?

Are there any comfort foods from home you bring with you on tour?

Do you have any local delicacies that you have to pick up on certain tour stops?

gogol_bordello_20 karma

Thomas says Ethiopian. The important thing just like with everything is stay adventurous and polyamorous. Used to when we toured in a van and played in tiny places and ate out of dubious restaurants I would bring a bottle of greatest olive oil and pour that all over basically anything to make it to be like a meal. that's purely practical suggestion if you are forced into eating shwag.

castastrophe3 karma

You guys inspire me to no end. I am going to your show in Chicago in August and I couldn't be more excited. Thank you for everything you guys do!

I have a very simple question: What is your favorite song to perform and why?

gogol_bordello_8 karma

Elizabeth is going to take that one - We Rise Again.

I say Lost Innocent World and Other Side of Rainbow. It's the perfect music to have hors deouvres to before we proceed to tub dancing afterparty immediately followed by a session in homeosonic spa.

Thomas says Dig Deep Enough.

Sudsybutts3 karma

Hello guys, My boyfriend and I really love your music, it always puts us in a wonderfully inspired mood. Completely non musically related question, what's the best advise you can give to a couple? I love you so much, you sexy creatures!

gogol_bordello_8 karma

What kind of relationship do you have in mind?

CrustMermaid2 karma

Is there any chance you'll be playing a show in Vegas soon

gogol_bordello_6 karma

I am sure the new record is taking us there. La Vida to Vegas all the way!