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On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got a hardcore legend and a fierce Ukrainian bandleader who recently worked on a record together: Walter Schreifels and Eugene Hutz.
Hutz is the founder, chief songwriter, and energetic frontman of Gogol Bordello, which has combined elements of punk, folk, Eastern European, Latin, and myriad other types of music for the past 20+ years. It’s a remarkable career that’s taken Hutz from his birthplace, Ukraine, to places as far flung as Vermont, Brazil, and New York’s Lower East Side. He’s also had forays into the film world, collaborated with everybody from Madonna to Primus, and gotten crowds jumping at pretty much every festival you can think of. The war in Ukraine has naturally been on Hutz’s mind, and he’s organized benefits and spoken up loudly about it this past year. At least one song on the brand new Gogol Bordello album addresses it directly. Speaking of that record, Solidartine, and Hutz’s penchant for collaboration, it was produced by Walter Schreifels. Check out “Fire on Ice Floe.”
Schreifels isn’t just a producer; in fact, that job is probably like the tenth thing on his impressive resume. He was a pioneer of the New York hardcore scene as a member of both Youth of Today and Gorilla Biscuits, and from there he went on to sing and play guitar in Quicksand. A restless writer and performer, Schreifels formed half a dozen short-lived projects over the past couple of decades, in addition to reuniting sporadically with his various bands. Quicksand has released two great albums since getting back together in 2012; they’re heading out on a package tour soon with Clutch and Helmet. There’s also a reissue of a great record by another of Schreifels’ short-lived projects, Rival Schools, coming later this year. It’s hard to keep track of everything he does, but well worth the effort.
These two NYC pals talk here about the city’s importance and vibe, as well as getting into deeper conversation about the war in Ukraine, how running can help prepare you for being in a punk band, and about how the pandemic might have led people back to hardcore music. Enjoy.
Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast and thanks to Eugene Hutz and Walter Schreifels for chatting. If you like what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all we have to offer on this very website. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!