Cape Town - Music is energy. It can transform the mental posture of the listener any number of ways depending on what is being heard, and how it is being played.
Uplifting energy is what renowned gypsy punk outfit Gogol Bordello are all about and they are bringing their own unique brand of energy to Oppikoppi this year, as well as to One Night In Cape Town.
"We don't keep it. We give it. We cycle it and we cultivate it. Keeping energy, you aren't going to get anything done. You are eventually going to explode and go nuts. That's about it. When you have energy you have to give it and that's what we do," singer and songwriter Eugene Hütz told Channel24 from the United States.
"It's really not any kind of secret to it. By having energy and generating it, it's quite scientific actually, you just expand the bubble of the energy and people pass it around and that sort of energy comes back to you, so you always have to be careful what kind of energy you generate."
The secret is to generate a "very uplifting energy", as that is what the band gets back.
"That's really all there is too it. I mean, if you are going to project from the stage to thousands of people some kind of a miserable version of yourself, that's exactly what you are going to get back," Hütz says.
"You are going to get that misery multiplied back and your touring life is going to become a drag, eventually your entire life is going to become a drag and unfortunately that happens to many many artists. They just for some reason don't see the it, they don't crack the case that it starts with them."
Maintaining an uplifting disposition on stage requires self-discipline, with Hütz drawing parallels to what Gogol Bordello do on stage to the self-discipline required in martial art.
"There was always a parallel between what I was doing and on stage and martial art. It's always been so since I was a teenager and I was never too far away from the martial arts world," he says.
"The element of discipline from that world is definitely a part of our music. Not to say that it is so highly disciplined but just enough to keep the opposite side of the spectrum balanced. We kind of swing both ways from the discipline to non-disciplines. But you have to have that and once you do, you going to get a lot more fun shit done."
(Photo: Getty Images)
Asked about what brings the band to the country and Oppikoppi, Hütz replied just coming to South Africa was an exciting thing in itself as it was one of the most talked about non-mainstream places in the world.
"It's always been on our radar and it's just an exciting thing to do. We're ready," he says.
Gogol Bordello is made up of members from all over the world, and like South Africa, Hütz says that is inseparable from what the band is and does on stage.
"If you look into our laboratory you will see that I am certainly the principal. I am the songwriter and when I bring the material its already developed as far as the song and the story within it. I always bring something that already works on a fundamental level for the song or composition but then the awesome magic happens when the band takes it in its own hands and starts playing with it," he says.
"That is really where the colours get brought up and that's where another level of creativity happens, which comprises Gogol Bodello and that's how it's been and that's how we like and that's kind of our main export. That's what we love."
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