Combining elements of punk, Gypsy music, and Brecht-ian cabaret, Gogol Bordello tell the story of New York's immigrant diaspora through debauchery, humor, and surreal costumes. Leader and singer Eugene Hütz's taste in music was spun out of black market tapes of the Birthday Party and Einstürzande Neubauten in his native Ukraine. After being evacuated to western Ukraine in 1986 following the Chernobyl disaster, Hütz became enamored of the mystical, outsider qualities of Gypsy music. Living as a refugee in Poland, Hungary, Austria, and Italy before moving to the United States in 1993, he experienced life as an outsider himself. After arriving in New York, he teamed up with guitarist Vlad Solofar and squeezebox player Sasha Kazatchkoff. American Eliot Fergusen added a strong rock sound on the drums and the band was also augmented by Sergey Rjabtzev on fiddle, a former theater director from Moscow whose past experience would prove helpful in the future in crafting Gogol Bordello's bizarre stage shows (like one that tells the story of superpowered immigrant Ukrainian vampires).