Eugene Hütz, Gogol Bordello's Gypsy-Punk Hero

Gogol Bordello live 300

Gogol Bordello live in Washington, D.C. Joel Didriksen for kingpinphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption Joel Didriksen for kingpinphoto.com

The gypsy-punk band Gogol Bordello has been making supercharged music since first forming in 1999, six years after frontman Eugene Hütz landed in the U.S., having fled the Chernobyl disaster in his native Ukraine.

The multinational, multi-ethnic group includes a violinist, guitarist, accordionist and bass player. The band's philosophy: to "make the contradictions of life sound harmonious" with a head-spinning mix of ska, punk, metal, rap, flamenco, roots reggae, dub and more.

Hütz tells Fresh Air contributor Dave Davies that the traditional gypsy music at the bedrock of Gogol Bordello's aesthetic is "the closest thing to rock 'n' roll you can find in the history of music before rock 'n' roll as we know it appears."

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