New Gogol Bordello Album About the 'Pure Joy of Being Who You Are'

Balkan music and Latin America 'have discovered each other and are going bananas,' says frontman Eugene Hutz

Gogol Bordello
Courtesy of Gogol Bordello
May 1, 2013 11:25 AM ET

Gogol Bordello will release a new album, Pura Vida Conspiracy, on July 23rd on ATO Records/Casa Gogol. It will be the group's first for their new label after parting ways with Rick Rubin's American Recordings. The disc, recorded last December at Sonic Ranch in El Paso, Texas with producer Andrew Scheps (who also worked on the band's 2010 album Trans-Continental Hustle), brings together the group's global influences, most notably Latin and Eastern Europe styles.

After spending several years living in Brazil, Eugene Hutz, the Ukrainian frontman of Gogol Bordello, went home to Kiev, where he began writing the songs for Pura Vida Conspiracy and building Casa Gogol, an artist collective and venue that will open this fall.

Gogol Bordello Graduate From School of Rick Rubin for Next Album

"After all the connections I made in Latin America I asked myself, 'I want to bring all this awesome shit where?'" Hutz tells Rolling Stone. "I want to bring it home. So that coincided with a group of my musical friends basically saying, 'Man, what do you want to do? Who will get it together? Let's make this kind of venue that you will run – in Ukraine – a cultural venue.' Right now the focus is mixing Balkan music with Latin American, because those two have discovered each other and are going fucking bananas."

Hutz, who describes the album as the band's "most energetic performance," found that he was very open in his songwriting this time around, focusing on the idea of human potential and how that can be expressed in music. The songs are based largely on his own experiences (also true of the band's prior releases), though Hutz is hesitant to reveal the themes behind each track. Fans, he says, will be able to hear what the music is about.

"I think there's a lot of lucidity on this album," he says. "I was able to talk about things that were easy to say this time, for some reason. It took no effort. It's highly energetic, but it sounds quite effortless. I had no struggle with the songs. I laid it out. I felt a certain mastery was in my palm."

"Malandrino," the first track to be released, offers a hint of the upcoming album, a raucous collection of songs with a live sensibility and undeterminable genre. The first number, titled from a Latin phrase referring to a rebellious character, was inspired by mariachi music and features what Hutz calls "some fucking cool Mexican horns.

"That's a song in which Gogol Bordello may fully celebrate their own character," Hutz says. "It's just about the fucking pure joy of being who you are – as crazy as you are and taking no shit, taking no judgment from society."

Gogol Bordello will support the new album with a slew of global tour dates, which kick off in Portugal on May 10th. The band will tour in the States beginning May 30th in Ohio and will perform at several festivals, including Wakarusa, Download and Metallica's Orion Music Festival.

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