Hipodil (Хиподил) is a Bulgarian rock band, founded 1988 in Sofia by four classmates from the local Mathematics High School. The band describe their music as alco-agro-porno-punk though elements of ska, hard rock and heavy metal are used en masse as well. Hipodil's popularity however is based in large on their aggressive, sarcastic, sometimes vulgar and explicit but yet humorous lyrics. Because of that Hipodil are known as a "scandalous and rebellious" band. Their main goal is to entertain the listener and themselves; most of the lyrics concern topics such as alcohol, sex, women; they frequently ridicule famous Bulgarian and non-Bulgarian people (and sometimes songs). Nevertheless, the band has some pretty serious tracks with complex and socially-oriented lyrics. All the lyrics are in Bulgarian and are written by vocalist Svetoslav Vitkov (Svetlyo). Most of the music is composed by guitarist Petar Todorov (Pesho). In a great number of songs, guest musicians take part, adding mainly to the brass section.
The four classmates from the Sofia's Mathematics High School Nikola Kavaldjiev, Miroslav Tellalov, Nikolay Savov and Petar Todorov formed in 1988 a punk band which played only own songs in Bulgarian. The first public performance of the band was at Sofia's Summer Theatre, an open air stage in the largest city park, where the band performed the song "Zidaromazachi" (Wallplasterers), a parody of the ruling communist regime, which got them into minor trouble with the authorities.
In 1992, after a couple of line-up changes and after recruiting the new vocalist Svetoslav Vitkov, Hipodil recorded the songs "Bira s vodka"(Beer With Vodka), "Bira" (Beer), "Chift ochi" (A Pair of Eyes), "Himna"(The Anthem), "Jenata"'(The Woman) and "Klitoren orgasm"'(Clitoral Orgasm). Next year, the band released their first studio album called Alkoholen delirium (Alcoholic Delirium). The band immediately launched a self-bankrolled national tour, which turned quite successful. At one of the tour concerts in Varna, a mass alcohol-fuelled disorder erupted and all band members and some of the audience were arrested. This event, along with the explicit lyrics of most of their songs gave Hipodil their "scandal aura".
The Varna incident inspired a song - "Hipodili" (Hipodils) - which Hipodil put in their next album, Nekuf ujas, nekuf at(Kinda Horror, Kinda Hell), recorded and released in 1994. This song became a Hipodil anthem and a huge gig favorite. The album release was followed by a massive national tour with some 20 dates across the country.
In their fourth album Nadurveni vuglishta(Horny Charcoal), released in 1998, the band showed obvious growth in terms of music and production and experimented with other styles, mostly ska. This album was the most commercially successful album of the band and the first to be released on a CD. It was also the most controversial as some of the lyrics provoked Bulgarian Ministry of Culture to mull legal actions against the band for obscenity. The ministry later dropped its plans but the dispute fuelled the album sales and Hipodil suddenly found themselves among the best-selling and most radioplayed acts in Bulgaria.
The album's opening track, "Bate Gojko" (Big Brother Gojko)rocketed to the top of Bulgarian airplay charts and was among the few Hipodil songs to have a video clip. The first ever instrumental track of Hipodil is also on this record, just like one of the best ballads of the band - "Otnesen!" (Scatter-Brained) and a dose of the traditional mockeries with Bulgarian celebrities.
In the end of 1999 the vocalist Svetoslav Vitkov went to work in the USA, but despite that the other band members decided to start recording new material, inviting several singers from other Bulgarian bands, who replaced Vitkov on the vocals. The new album, called Hora ot naroda (People of the Folk), appeared on the Bulgarian music market in the year 2000. The music style is similar to the previous works of Hipodil, but a little bit more soft-sounding and mainly ska-influenced. Not so typical for the band is also the often usage of keyboards. Vitkov appears as a lead singer in only two of the songs - "Partizani" (Partisans) and "Drugo nyama" (There's Nothing Else), and as a backing vocal in "Choveche" (Dude).
Hipodil will never be remembered for a musical and/or lyrical and/or production brilliance and yet the band constitutes integral part of the post-Communist era popular culture in Bulgaria. Both critics and fans agree that the band's songs and behaviur truly reflect the changes in Bulgarian society in the 1990s and present them in way that young people of all classes and background easily understand.
After a chaotic hiatus in the beginning of the 2000s due to the absence of some band members from the country, their desire to pursue other careers and the inevitable frictions between them, in 2007 the band is gaining new audience especially among fans that have been too young to truly witness their initial rise to popularity. Vocalist Svetoslav Vitkov announced in May 2007 that he is to release an album in June with his new band Svetlio & The Legends. The band features Ventsislav Mitzov, Hipodil's tour and session keyboard player, and four other musicians.