Manage episode 354111365 series 2898977
Austrian ska-metal band Russkaja came to the US for the first time in 2022 and opened for Flogging Molly. Every night on that tour, they blew tons of minds. The band, who formed in 2005, is a blend of many influences. They mix intense metal with ska, polka and Russian folk music. They sing in multiple languages and have members from Ukraine, Italy, Germany, Russian and Austria.
The group is well-known in Austria. They are the house band for the comedy show Willkommen Österreich. And they have several albums out on Napalm Records. Their latest, Turbo Polka Party, releases on February 3.
Today, we speak with Russkaja's guitarist/songwriter Engel Mayr. We talk about the band's history and the Ska/Balkan music scene they emerged from (And outlasted). We talk about their biggest song, "Energia" (2013) and the excellent video that they made for it. And Engel even tells us which songs he wanted to cover for the new album but didn't get to. (Hint it's Psy's "Gangnam Style" and ZZ Top's "Sharp Dressed Man.")
Plus Engel tells us how the band addressed Russia's war in Ukraine while they toured the US--it started a week before they came over!