By Jae-Ha Kim
Tribune Content Agency
March 21, 2017
The classically trained duo, 2Cellos, gained millions of fans after they released their version of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” on YouTube. Signed to Sony Music Masterworks, the group’s latest CD, “Score,” features their take on classic songs from films (“Titanic,” “Chariots of Fire”) and television (“Game of Thrones”).
During a break from rehearsal, Luka Sulic phoned from his home in Slovenia for this interview. “Stjepan (Hauser) is based in Croatia and that’s where our studio that we record in is,” said Sulic, 29. “So we travel a lot for work. But we love it. Over the past few years, the best reward for us has been doing something that seems to inspire a younger generation to play an instrument or make music. That’s the best reward you can get and we are very happy when parents tell us that their children started playing music because of us.” For tour dates, check out the band’s website or follow them on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Q. Where did you perform your first major show?
A. I grew up in Slovenia, so it was somewhere there or one of the neighboring countries. I started playing when I was 5 years old, so I’m not sure. (Laughs) But I do remember that my first cello competition was in Austria.
Q. Do you notice a difference in how your fans react to your shows based on where you’re playing?
A. Our fans are wonderful and appreciate what we do. I think maybe the fans in the United States are very loud, particularly in Middle America. Texans are very loud, but we love it. They are very enthusiastic in South America, too. It’s wonderful.
Q. How much time is spent touring and being away from home?
A. Now, it’s about 50/50, because we are trying to balance things out, because it’s important to develop other aspects of your life and not just your career. I’m a family guy, so I like to stay home with my family.
Q. Are you fluent in any other languages?
A. In the Balkans, people have to understand each other, so I speak a lot of languages, but it’s mostly for the Balkan region. (Laughs) I speak Slovenian and Croatian, which is basically the same as Serbian and Bosnian. I speak English, Italian and a little German. But we speak with music. It’s a language everyone can understand and it is the most important language for us.
Q. When you’re on tour, how much time do you have to explore?
A. Most of the time, our days are spent performing and then traveling to the next city. But we try to get a little time to try the local restaurants and see what the locals suggest as something very beautiful. I really seek out nature, so I like to visit beaches and national parks — anything outdoors.
Q. When was your last memorable vacation?
A. This past December, we had a concert in Auckland. I took two weeks off and drove through New Zealand and got to see so many beautiful parts of the country. I noticed they had all these shops selling All Blacks (rugby) merchandise. I didn’t get to attend, though.
Q. What is on your travel bucket list?
A. I would love to visit South Africa one day. I would like to visit Iceland and also see the fjords in Norway. There are many places in the United States I would like to visit, too. I visited Joshua’s Tree and it was just beautiful. I want to go to North Dakota. I haven’t been to Yellowstone yet. I want to see all the great national parks you have there. I want to spend time in Arizona.
Q. What are your five favorite cities?
A. Queenstown, New Zealand, my hometown of Maribor, Slovenia, Dubrovnik, Croatia. I really like London, and Las Vegas.
Q. Does it take you a while to adjust to foreign food?
A. No. We like everything and we eat everything. It’s fun to try the food that is popular in whatever region we are in. Even if we have restaurants at home that serve that kind of food, you can taste the difference when you eat it in the country it comes from.
© 2017 JAE-HA KIM
DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.
Luka’s message to my cello-playing son:
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