||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2009)|
Eugene Hütz at Lollapalooza 2015
|Birth name||Yevgeniy Aleksandrovych Nikolayev|
6 September 1972 |
Boyarka, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
|Instruments||Guitar, vocals, fire bucket|
|Associated acts||Gogol Bordello
Eugene Hütz (pronounced [ˈjʊəɡeːnə hyts] Ukrainian: Євген Гудзь Ukrainian pronunciation: [jɛvɦɛn ɦydsʲ], Yevhen Hudz′; born Yevheniy Aleksandrovich Nikolayev-Simonov, Russian: Евгений Александрович Николаев-Симонов, 6 September 1972) is a Ukrainian-born singer, composer, DJ, and actor, most notable as the frontman of the Gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello.
Hütz was born in Boyarka, to a Russian father and a Ukrainian mother who was of half Servitka ancestry. His father was a butcher who also played guitar in one of Ukraine's first rock bands, Meridian. When he was 14, he and his father made his first guitar out of plywood, his first distortion pedals out of radio parts and his first drum set out of big metal fish cans, skinned with massive layers of scotched tape. Hütz learned English through his musical "mentors" because
"Russian rock always had lyrics that were superb and more advanced than the original Western rock ‘n’ roll, I think. Of course, Western rock is much stronger when it comes to performance and production, but Russian song writers were the champions of writing lyrics. So naturally I picked mentors who taught me how to tell a story, like Johnny Cash or Nick Cave or Leonard Cohen or Shane MacGowan from The Pogues. I learned English through my mentors. I feel like they are kind of my uncles in this sense."
Hütz's ride to the United States was a long journey through Poland, Hungary, Austria and Italy. Descendants of gypsies called the Servo Roma (a tribe known for its blacksmiths, horsetraders and musicians), Hütz and his family fled their hometown after hearing of the Chernobyl meltdown. However, it is Hütz's Roma and Ukrainian background that is his central inspiration, influencing his lifestyle and the music of his band Gogol Bordello.
Hütz started his musical career in Ukraine with the band Uksusnik (Vinegar Dispenser). While in Vermont, Hütz formed the punk band The Fags. Later, Hütz moved to New York and took on his mother's German maiden name of Hütz. It was in New York where he met members of Gogol Bordello including violinist Sergey Ryabtsev, accordionist Yuri Lemeshev, guitarist Oren Kaplan, drummer Eliot Ferguson and dancers Pam Racine and Elizabeth Sun. The first name of the band was "Hutz and the Bela Bartoks," but "nobody knows who the hell Bela Bartok is in the United States."
In 1999, Gogol Bordello released their debut full-length Voi-La Intruder, produced by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds drummer Jim Sclavunos. In September 2002 the band released their second album Multi Kontra Culti vs. Irony. In 2005, the band released the E.P. East Infection followed later that year by the SideOneDummy debut Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike, recorded by Steve Albini. Gogol Bordello’s next offering, Super Taranta! (produced by Victor Van Vugt) became one of their most critically acclaimed releases with music critic Robert Christgau calling Gogol Bordello “the world's most visionary band.” Their next album, Trans-Continental Hustle, was released on 27 April 2010 and the LP on 11 May 2010.
Gogol Bordello's live shows and Hütz's stage presence has earned them invitations to places such as The Whitney Museum in New York, The Tate Modern in London and the Venice Biennale in Italy. Gogol Bordello has played events such as Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Glastonbury, Roskilde Festival, Reading, Virgin Mobile Fest, Leeds, Bumbershoot, Austin City Limits Music Festival, Byron Bay Bluesfest and A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise.
Since moving to New York, Hütz has also made a name for himself as a DJ with a style best represented on his experimental side project J.U.F. (Jüdisch-Ukrainische Freundschaft) and a newer incarnation, MITITIKA. He has also performed and recorded with the Kolpakov Trio.
Hütz made his film debut in the 2005 film Everything Is Illuminated, playing the character Alex. In addition to starring in Everything Is Illuminated, Hütz wrote and performed (as part of Gogol Bordello) some of the music for the film's soundtrack. Much of Gogol Bordello makes a cameo appearance in an early scene in the movie.
Hütz is also the subject of the 2006 documentary, The Pied Piper of Hützovina. Directed by Pavla Fleischer, the film chronicles Hütz’s annual trip across Ukraine and Eastern Europe exploring his musical and cultural roots.
Hütz is an avid supporter of Romani rights, using his music to introduce the gypsy culture to a wider audience. When he’s not touring with Gogol Bordello, Hütz can be found DJ-ing at the Bulgarian Bar also known as "Mehanata" in New York or touring with the Russian gypsy group Kolpakov Trio, led by his mentor Sasha Kolpakov. Eugene has no siblings, although he refers to his maternal cousin as his brother; his cousin made an appearance in the movie Everything is Illuminated playing the trumpet. Both Eugene and his cousin are 1/4 Romani. His maternal grandmother is his tie to his Romani roots, although this knowledge was kept away from him until he was fourteen. In October 2008, Hütz told the L.A. Weekly that he had moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In November 2009, he told Pagina/12 that he had moved to São Paulo.
- Kill Your Idols (2004) as himself
- Kill Your Darlings (2004 short film) as the prince
- Everything Is Illuminated (2005) as Alex
- The Pied Piper of Hützovina (2006) as himself
- Gogol Bordello Non-Stop (2008) as himself
- Filth and Wisdom (2008) as A.K.
- "Interview: Eugene Hütz, the moustachioed-gypsy-rocker". The Independent (London). July 13, 2007. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
- "Euro clash". The Sydney Morning Herald. December 10, 2005.
- "Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello: An interview and a spiritual experience - Janky Smooth". Retrieved 2015-08-25.
- Kravtsova, Yekaterina (16 November 2011). "Gogol Bordello unplugged: The kings of gypsy punk return to the city for an acoustic gig at Glavclub next week". The St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
- "Interview:Hutz-pah". Seven Days (Burlington, VT). July 27, 2005. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
- Inside Music: Consumer Guide
- Perry, Kevin (2007-01-30). "Eugene Hütz interview about The Pied Piper of Hützovina". London: The Beaver.
- Freeman, Hadley (2008-01-17). "How a Gypsy punk inspired a whole new catwalk look". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
- Broadley, Erin. "Gogol Bordello's Eugene Hutz Talks Festivals, Filth and Wisdom," L.A. Weekly. Retrieved on 2008-10-03
- Eugene Hütz at the Internet Movie Database
- Eugene Hütz on National Public Radio
- Gogol Bordello Non-Stop (2008)
- Kill Your Idols
- Interview with Eugene Hutz by musicOMH.com, 2008
- Eugene Hütz Interview with L.A. Weekly, October 2008
- Eugene Hütz Interview with Aaron Hillis of IFC News, October 2008
- Eugene Hütz Interview with ION Magazine, July 2010
- Interview with Eugene Hütz and Santeri Ahlgren, December 2010