Gogol Bordello played a secret gig last week for Ukrainian soldiers at an undisclosed location in the war-torn country, a performance chronicled by Vice World News. The band’s frontman, Eugene Hutz, was born in Ukraine in 1972 and emigrated to America 20 years later.
We had an opportunity to support our fighters, defenders, border guards and some refugees with our band — [to] support musically, morally, spiritually,” he told Vice. “Music remains to be a very serious force … a very serious weapon of defense for people for whom burning out and getting tired of war is not an option. People of Ukraine are standing their ground, protecting European values [and] democracy. Everything that you grew to enjoy is under attack right now in Ukraine.”
Gogol Bordello has already organized several benefit concerts to aid victims of the war in Ukraine and is donating a share of its touring income to the cause. At the secret gig, the band was joined by members of the National Border Guard Service Orchestra.
Exclusive: We watched @GogolBordello play a secret gig in Ukraine.
VICE World News was in attendance as the international punks and their Ukrainian-born frontman Eugene Hütz performed an exclusive set for soldiers at an undisclosed location. https://t.co/MefBXXzf9Z pic.twitter.com/q6EoBiEWVY
— VICE World News (@VICEWorldNews) August 24, 2022
“To see our songs being played so fiercely by soldiers and for soldiers was the greatest test of their worth,” Hutz added. “If you feel you want to participate in saving lives of Ukrainian people who are defending their peace and their motherland, please donate to Razom For Ukraine,” a Ukrainian-run non-profit organization that has raised millions to aid war victims.
Gogol Bordello’s new Walter Schreifels-produced album, Solidaritine, will be released on Sept. 16. A supporting North American tour begins Oct. 20 in Millvale, Pa. “The album is really about uniting the people of goodwill,” Hutz says. “Releasing any kind of art that doesn’t address the situation in Ukraine right now would be pretty despicable.”