Police drummer Stewart Copeland and Sean Lennon are among the musicians who have contributed to a song co-written by Primus frontman Les Claypool and Ukrainian musician Eugene Hütz of the band Gogol Bordello that’s been released in support of Ukraine as it continues to fight against Russia’s ongoing invasion.
The track is titled “Zelensky: The Man with the Iron Balls” and pays tribute to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.
Along with Claypool, Hütz, Copeland and Lennon, the track also features Grammy-winning bluegrass musician Billy Strings and Gogol Bordello violinist Sergey Ryabtsev. Stewart plays percussion on the song, while Sean contributes guitar and vocals.
“The night of the invasion, I was dining with close friends of mine from Poland who were hosting their family visiting the US from their town, which is 50 kilometers from the Ukraine border,” Claypool says. “Needless to say, they were stressed and concerned about what was happening in their homeland. After a few vodka shots of solidarity, I started texting with my buddy Eugene from Gogol Bordello to get his perspective and insight.”
He continues, “In that vodka-laced dialogue, we started mutually praising Zelensky for his surprisingly epic display of courage. ‘Zelensky has balls of steel!’ we agreed. It was then that we decided that some freaky, ‘East meets West’ art needed to be thrown that way.”
“Zelensky: The Man with the Iron Balls” is available now via digital outlets. Proceeds will be donated to the humanitarian aid organization Nova Ukraine.
Incidentally, Copeland plays with Claypool in the jam supergroup Oysterhead, which also features Phish singer/guitarist Trey Anastasio. The band is scheduled to headline final day of the three-day Sweetwater 420 Fest in Atlanta on May 1.
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