On Monday, New York Citys Gogol Bordello brings its high-energy gypsy punk to Cains Ballroom in Tulsa.
Formed in 1999 in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the act pushes borders outward, experimenting with Italian, dub, reggae, punk, Tex-Mex and classical influences planted firmly within the Ukrainian Gypsy influences frontman Eugene Hütz grew up with.
We dont really consider [our shows] to be high-energy; its just our energy, Hütz said. Were all performers by nature, and we have a great interaction and chemistry on stage that keeps us all spontaneous; its crucial. Every single person in our band, their energy is so impactful on everybody elses energy. For us, its just energy joyous, creative, cathartic energy.
The core of the groups early members were Eastern European, each with their own musical background. Fascinated by unorthodox bands like Suicide, Sonic Youth and Beastie Boys, the group well-known for leaving piles of destroyed sound equipment in its wake combined a postmodern approach with its unique heritage and gave birth to whats now dubbed Gypsy punk.
Its just a free flow, really, of creative joy, Hütz said. I really dont think theres any other way to approach art.
Pura Vida Conspiracy takes its name from the chant of a Colombian crowd during the bands Latin American tour. After leaving the stage, Hütz and company heard the crowd yelling Pura vida! It had an energy to it that Hütz felt life should have.
When we scream on stage, its to acknowledge all cultures are beautiful masks, but they only take you so far to a nice carnival or masquerade. True human spirit is beyond culture, Hütz said. Thats why my main interest is in human potential. Music is a way to explore that, and you can see how it links up with the idea of pura vida. Pura Vida is pure life; Conspiracy is wordplay on the fact that most of the people in the world are so focused on everything going wrong that they fail to see the 50 percent going right.
The albums definitive track, Hütz said, is We Rise Again. It continues the bands efforts to achieve a sort of world citizenship that was started with its 2010 release, Trans-Continental Hustle. Another Pura Vida track, It Is The Way You Name Your Ship, captures the motion of a rocking pirate vessel, an easy task with Gogol Bordellos primal sound.
The song is about the power of the word and its intent, Hütz said. Naming your ship determines where you go and how you get there.
He said the album stays true to the groups polyamorous sound and combines an adventurous spirit with a stronger rock anchor.
Once known for its incessant touring, these days, the act takes things just a little bit more slowly. Its members wanted more personal time and more flexibility to pursue other creative ventures.
Hütz said Mondays stop at Cains Ballroom in Tulsa might be the last time the band is seen in Oklahoma for quite awhile.
And it will be worth the trek from Oklahoma City.
The shows on the road, and we have some original members back. Its a very special tour, and youll see us in a cool, rock n roll experience, Hütz said.
Print headline: Nomadic sound, Gypsy punk stalwart Gogol Bordello brings its peripatetic sound to Cains Ballroom on Monday.