Gogol Bordello is an American punk rock band from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, formed in 1999 by musicians from all over the world and known for theatrical stage shows and persistent touring. Much of the band's sound is inspired by Romani music mixed with punk and dub, incorporating accordion and violin .
The band has appeared in several popular films, most notably Everything Is Illuminated in which lead singer Eugene Hütz co-starred with Elijah Wood in a dramedy/adventure story about the Nazi purges in Ukraine. The group appears playing a brass band in a set that included the "Star-Spangled Banner" and the traditional Yiddish song "Bublitschki". Gogol Bordello contributed the song "Start Wearing Purple" to the film's score. The band is the focus of the 2008 documentary Gogol Bordello Non-Stop. The band recorded the song "Let's Get Crazy" for Coca-Cola's Euro 2012 advertising campaign.
"Gogol" comes from Nikolai Gogol, a classical writer of Ukrainian origin. He serves as an ideological influence for the band because he "smuggled" Ukrainian culture into Russian society, which Gogol Bordello intends to do with Romani/East-European music in the English-speaking world. "Bordello", in Italian, refers to a brothel or a "gentleman's club". The band was originally titled Hütz and the Béla Bartóks, but Eugene Hütz says that they decided to change the name because "nobody knows who the hell Béla Bartók is in the United States." The band played their first show as the unofficial band at an after-hours club called Pizdetz where they became the house band and DJ Hütz became the house DJ.
Gogol Bordello's first single was released in 1999, and since then they have released six full-length albums, and one EP. In 2005 the band signed to punk label SideOneDummy Records. On 27 April 2010 Gogol Bordello made its major record label debut with Transcontinental Hustle on Rick Rubin's American Recordings, a subsidiary of Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment. Many of the songs on Transcontinental Hustle were inspired by Hütz's move to Brazil.
The band has toured extensively throughout Europe and America. They have made numerous appearances at international festivals and have toured with such diverse bands as Primus, Flogging Molly, and Cake. In an interview with NPR, frontman Eugene Hütz cites Jimi Hendrix and Parliament-Funkadelic as among the band's main musical influences. They have also mentioned Manu Chao, Fugazi, Zvuki Mu, Karamelo Santo, Sasha Kolpakov and The Clash as influences.
They performed live at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts festival 2011 for Bonnaroo's 10 year anniversary, playing a 1.5 hour set in the middle of the night and performed with Devotchka.
Gogol Bordello released "Let's Get Crazy" in 2012, the new song was part of Coca-Cola's advertising campaign for the European Football Championships, which were part-hosted by Ukraine. The track samples one of their earlier singles, "Wonderlust King", and the Coca-Cola advertising jingle.