2 Cellos is something so unique and diverse it dares to defy pop music, rock ‘n’ roll, heavy metal, EDM and just about any other genre of music as we know it to be. Surrealistically intense, the 2Cellos instrumental duo emerged from nowhere and began to thrill and intrigue audiences and fans worldwide, with their viral You Tube cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal,” boasting over 20 million views.
Hailing from Croatia, these astounding cellists, Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, have just released their epic third album titled “Celloverse.” Included on the record are astonishing renditions of “The Trouper Overture,” a combination of Iron Maiden and “William Tell Overture,” AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” Michaels Jackson’s “They Don’t Care About Us” and Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die.” They will be creating videos for each track. Supporting the release is a world tour, with a visit to NYC on April 22 at Best Buy Theatre.
Sulic and Hauser have also appeared on “Glee,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “The Tonight Show,” “The Bachelor Live Wedding Special” and have performed with Sir Elton John in his band as well as his opening. John describes their musical ability and the way they play together as “homoerotic.”
Extremely visually pleasing and classically trained as well, they are equally enchanting playing rock as well as Bach. I was thrilled to be able to speak with them and to learn how dedicated they were to their cellos as well as to their fans. The cello has never been so sexy!
Your brand new album “Celloverse” has just been released. Let’s talk about it for a moment.
Sulic: Yes, let’s talk about that. I am the one with the sexier voice. My name is Luka.
OK, then, sexy. Let’s go.
Sulic: Well, this is our third album, and it’s sort of like a back-to-the-roots album, self-produced like the first one. Our second album we actually had many guests on it, but we still felt we had to develop our own sound. We had many of our own ideas that we wanted to share with everyone. So it was like a back to the roots album.
Do you have any original songs on it, written by the two of you?
We actually have an original called “Celloverse,” after the album. We are very happy with the feedback. We just asked people on Facebook which track is their favorite, and many of them say “Celloverse.” We’re so excited about it.
You both wrote it together?
Is there a favorite track that you’re most proud of?
On this album we were focused a lot on breaking the boundaries between different genres. We really liked the results of those combinations like “Thunderstruck” and “The Trooper” where we really mixed two different genres together. Hard rock or metal with classical! We really showed the similarities. We really did something unique and different by combining those two genres. The videos of those tracks were most successful so far. So we are really proud of those.
You two are over the top. How many strings and bows do you break a week?
We just break stuff all the time: bows, strings, cellos. Everything just breaks because we play like animals.
I know, I’ve seen your videos. How did you guys meet, and under what circumstances did you come together and reinvent the cello?
We are both from the same country. Both a similar age, both with the same instrument. It was impossible not to meet, and we were even considered to be the biggest rivals.
Yes, I’ve heard.
As soon as we met, we felt something so intense and special.
So you met and said, “Let’s just jam and play the cello together”?
Hauser: For many years we didn’t have time to do it, because we were in different cities and different countries, studying in different universities. It was four years ago when Luka moved to London to study, ‘cause I was already studying there for five years, we finally would start something together. When we started, everything just exploded the first moment. The first thing we did together was “Smooth Criminal,” and it changed both our lives forever.
Do either one of you play any other instruments?
No, because if you wanna do something on the highest level possible, if you want to do it on cello, you have to be dedicated, completely. The cello is a very demanding instrument. You really have to dedicate your whole life, a lifetime dedication, if you wanna master it completely.
How old were the two of you when you started to learn the cello?
Sulic: I was five years old, and Stjepan, he was eight, so we played cello since we were children.
You’re in the middle of touring?
Yeah, we’ve been touring for four years. Actually, we have a huge U.S. tour coming up, and it’s almost sold out already, 42 shows.
Yes, I noticed that you will be in New York on April 22.
Yeah! We love New York. You guys have something so different than anyone in the entire universe.
True, you’re right. How did you meet Elton John?
Well, the first video, “Smooth Criminal,” there were so many people who watched it, and Elton John was one of them.
What’s the funniest or most embarrassing thing to ever happen to you while on stage?
Well, many things happen, like randomly. In many situations a bow breaks, a string breaks or a cable doesn’t work anymore, but for every situation we try to turn it around and make it funny and make people laugh if something happens. Actually, sometimes it becomes even better after something happens in a show.
I bet. Who inspires you musically the most?
Sulic: I have so many different periods. It depends on my mood. When I was growing up I was mostly inspired by great classical players, violinists, cellists, pianists, but later on people from other fields of music, other genres of music, so I cannot name one person who really inspired me. There are so many.
Hauser: I inspire him. He was my biggest inspiration. Actually, yeah: We inspire each other more than anyone, because we both want to be better than one another, so we practice.
When you’re not touring or playing, do you two hang out with one another as friends?
We’re always working. When we have free time we like to walk around in the nature. We love nature, sports. We’re outdoor kind of guys.
Where would you guys like to be in 10 years?
We wanna keep growing and be more successful and see how far we can go with the cello. We want a perfect cello.
What would you want your fans to know about you?
Our fans? They already know everything about us, so we just wanna say how grateful we are to them for supporting us from the very beginning. None of this would ever be possible without them. In classical music, there really isn’t a fan base to which you could turn for the support, so we are very lucky we have a fan base, and we can always count on the support of the fans. We are really grateful for that.
You have an enormous fan base.
Yes, it gets bigger every day. Our celloverse is growing!
When you tour, is it just the two of you?
It’s just the two of us, and then halfway through our drummer joins and it becomes a real rock show.
When you guys play, you make those cellos sound like a million instruments going on.
We don’t use any backing tracks.
Who arranges your music out of the two of you?
We arrange together, everything.
How long does it take for you to arrange a song—for example, “Live & Let Die”?
“Live & Let Die” we actually had help from a guy from New York. He arranged the piano part because we are not really pianists, and we did the cello part, but for a track like “Thunderstruck” it took us three months to arrange. It’s a very simple song, and we really wanted to create something special. We had to come up with different parts, invent classical parts that fit the rock style of AC/DC, and it’s like a combination of classical and rock. We had to come up with something like Bach or Vivaldi would have wrote. So it took us three months to arrange it.
Do you ever fight with each other about the arrangements, or disagree on how they should be?
Yeah. We record it, and then if we’re not happy, we just leave it for some other time, and we just do something else. Then we come back to it, and then it comes to life naturally.
Is there anything else that you would like to mention?
We can’t wait to tour the U.S. and play for our fans, and thanks to everyone. We hope everyone will enjoy.
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