On a Tuesday night in 2009, Joel Edinberg awoke from loud music playing in his dream and realized he had to make it a reality. From this, the Somerville Symphony Orkestar was born. Their performances, as bandleader Edinberg explains, morph reality into an Eastern European punk parade on acid.
How would you describe your band’s music?
We focus on adding a reggae, jazz, and punk influence to the traditional scales and feels of Balkan and Klezmer music. As the great Tobias Funke once said, “You, sir are a mouthful.” There is a new scene in Boston that’s rapidly growing with different bands that all emanate from these Romani and Gypsy foundations.
Gypsy punk is the term coined by Gogol Bordello, who greatly influence our music, but with our added antics and more traditional sound we’re calling this scene Neo-Circus.
I understand that a tribe of gypsy badgers in Lithuania raised you. Was that a tough childhood?
Being raised by gypsy badgers is the only childhood that I know. There is just so much culture from the badgers that people don’t know about that is so amazing. It was just a normal thing to burrow in the ground for a new home and hunt coyotes. I know that honey badgers don’t care about much,
but the Lithuanian gypsy badgers always put in 110 percent in everything they do, which is amazing since that’s physically impossible.
What is your favorite liquor to drink? What is the ideal situation in which you prefer to drink this beverage?
Vodka. I don’t currently endorse any specific brand, but just straight. My former boss used to say the best cure for the common cold is four shots of vodka.
And pretty much any other situation is perfect for drinking it.
SOMERVILLE SYMPHONY ORKESTAR