Ukrainian “Gypsy punks” Gogol Bordello collaborate with rapper Gipsy.cz|
The New York-Ukrainian rock group Gogol Bordello describe their music as
“Gypsy punk”. It is perhaps appropriate then that they have hooked up
with Gipsy.cz; the Czech Romany rapper has done a special remix of the
track Alcohol on the Czech release of the band’s latest LP. I discussed
that collaboration and more with Gogol Bordello singer Eugene Hutz.
Gipsy.cz appeared on stage with Gogol Bordello at Prague’s Archa theatre
on Saturday night during Alcohol, a song Gipsy has remixed as an extra
track on the Czech version of the album Super Taranta! Just ahead of the
show, I grabbed a few words with Gogol Bordello’s charismatic Ukrainian
frontman Eugene Hutz. Hutz, an occasional actor, literally made an
impression on the world stage when he appeared with Madonna at Live Earth
How did the collaboration with the rather less well-known Gipsy
“It came about as all good collaborations do, hanging out, becoming
friends, tossing ideas about and basically improvising together. Then it
was like, let’s put it on a tape.”
At Live Earth Madonna called you and your violin player her “Gypsy
Romany” friends. What did her use of that introduction mean, and that you
actually appeared there with her?
“It means a lot of stuff in terms of public perception. First of all it
was very…you know, Madonna rehearses everything micro-detail style, and
they were not random words. It’s important to let people know who don’t
have any idea what ‘Romany’ is. If you go out in Canada or the States
and say, Romany they’ll say, what does it mean, Romanian? That’s why
the phrase was constructed like that – Romany and Gypsy, so people can
make the connection, and know the proper term and the derogatory term.”
You made the film Everything is Illuminated here in the Czech Republic –
what was that experience like, and do you have any particular strong
memories of spending time in the Czech Republic?
“Yeah (laughs), I have a lot of memories. Most of them are very foggy.
If you watch the film you can see that I’m hungover most of the time.”