We caught up with gypsy-punks Gogol Bordello recently following the announcement of their forthcoming new record Seekers And Finders…
The Punk Archive: Hey guys! How’s it going?
Gogol Bordello: Going alrightski.
The Punk Archive: How has your 2017 been so far? What have been the biggest highlights and low lights?
Gogol Bordello: Well, here is one for you: three shows in three different countries in thirty-five hours; Sweden, Slovakia and London Hyde Park with Rancid and Green Day. Obviously a fuckin’ high and a half in itself and yes, a little low on sleep in those thirty-five hours. If that ain’t rock and roll I don’t know what fuckin’ is.
The Punk Archive: You’ve recently announced a new album. Talk us through the writing and recording process?
Gogol Bordello: I tend to take inspiration from my own experience, take life as it is and transmute it into a song. That’s when the band arrives and makes it better, brings all the enraged juices and pours them into that song until it becomes some kind of a stomping monster and that’s where my role changes from midwife, receiving the song, to a matador confronting the beast, drunk on my own wine. It’s a hell of an atmosphere.
The Punk Archive: What was your inspiration for the new album? What influenced you?
Gogol Bordello: There are many different themes, such as confronting inner-self sabotage, also rite of passage or, rather, the lack of rite of passage in modern society and therefore a necessity to invent one for yourself. That applies completely to the Saboteur Blues and Walking on Burning Coal tracks respectively.
The Punk Archive: Does the new album represent a change in sound for Gogol Bordello? What should fans expect?
Gogol Bordello: I think it’s our most dynamic album. There is a lot of spit and bite in its fabric, but there are also elegant vibraphones and what feels timeless to us; string arrangements. All of that allows to capture well our collective enraged soul. It was exciting to go into unchartered musical territories, and that’s how cinematic-psycho-spaghetti-western Love Gangsters came about which was exciting to have some of our dear friends from the New York art scene on the album: Nick Zinner, guitar player from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, adds some delicate guitar madness to Love Gangsters and Regina Spector, a kindred Eastern European spirit from our hometown, NY, blissfully duets on title track Seekers & Finders.
The Punk Archive: Do you get nervous before releasing a new record, or is the feeling one of excitement?
Gogol Bordello: With this particular record, it’s a feeling of fulfillment. I decided to produce this album myself because of overriding inspiration to do so. That’s a pretty big fucking job and many, many late, late nights will follow, so when that turns into months and months, however, every second of that time is dedicated to nothing else but sculpting the thing exactly the way you want it to be.
The Punk Archive: How’s your headline tour going? Do you prefer time on the road to being at home?
Gogol Bordello: I love both my time at home as well as on tour. Tour is a crusade, especially if you wanna have a fun tour, you’re gonna have to pretty much return crawling on all fours. At home you just start the day from crawling on all fours already, know what I mean? Tour disciplines you to a certain degree. Home; the reasons to be a warrior are quite elusive, so you know never where the fuck you might wind up.
The Punk Archive: You played here in the UK with Green Day recently. How was that?
Gogol Bordello: Judge for yourself. The Green Day guys pretty much orchestrated a near Woodstock-like atmosphere inviting Rancid, Gogol Bordello, The Hives, The Stranglers, The Damned and Jesse Mallin into one bubble. We all met over the years, but a line-up like that is so powerful it’s like a reset landmark for a whole tradition of punk rock bands with an actual lead singer that takes on frontline like it’s fucking French revolution barricade, so respectus maximus to Green Day for it.