You guys will be touring with Elton John this summer. What's it like to go from music students to touring with one of the world's most celebrated performers?
It is such a great honor to tour with a big legend and icon and spend time with him every day! He is an incredibly nice and generous person, so supportive, trying to help us in every possible way and we are enormously grateful to him! After this summer, the tour continues to other parts of the world, so it's basically a journey around the world in a few months with Sir Elton John! An amazing experience!
Growing up in Croatia, what type of music did you listen to? In what ways do you apply your classical education to the stellar arrangements of these popular songs?
We grew up listening mostly to classical music. It was later that we discovered that we are actually rockers in our souls! Because of our classical music training, our ear sensitivity and feeling for finesse, we are able to bring a depth and emotion in a different and touching manner.
Who are your hero cellists?
Well, the project that we are doing is actually something new, so there really are no role models for what we are doing! We are setting our goals extremely high and trying to beat ourselves! But of course in high school we use to listen all the great classical cellists such as Daniil Shafran, Rostropovich, Yo Yo Ma, [Jacqueline] du Pré.
You've done arrangements of U2, Kings of Leon, Nine Inch Nails and Nirvana. What do you plan on arranging next?
We will try to expand 2Cellos and maybe add some more instruments for our next album! That way our choice will expand and we will be able to cover a wide range of songs. We are planning to do some AC/DC, Queen, Aerosmith, more Guns N' Roses. Actually, we wanna return rock 'n' roll back to fashion!
It looks like you guys want to rock! So how do you like your audience? Sitting or standing (like at a rock concert)?
We like our audience to go completely wild!
How does it feel to top the charts in Croatia, over Adele and Lady Gaga?
It is pretty unusual to see cello as a main topic in the media! It is, of course a personal success, but especially because it's a revolution for cello as an instrument! It gives us hope that big masses can still recognize the quality!
When playing, you guys do a lot of headbanging. Do you feel like a classical musician or something more primal – what is your connection to rock 'n' roll?
We play according to the mood of the piece. We don't separate music from classical or pop or rock. Music is emotion, and it is the message and character of certain songs that matters the most. We are trying to show it through playing to our audience. Of course when there is an intense rock song, we unlock the animal inside and go nuts and rock as hard as we can! We are young and full of adrenaline, we wanna rock!
How did you both meet? What brought you two together?
It is an interesting story! We were considered the biggest rivals as we were two of the most prominent young cellists in Croatia. It was a big surprise for everyone in the cello and music world when we decided to join forces and create something crazy! We met in different competitions and master classes, and every time we met we spent the most incredible time together. There was always lots of tension and chemistry between us.
We always wanted to play together and create chaos but Luka was studying in Vienna, and I was in London. We would almost never see each other. It was when he came to London last year to complete his masters that everything exploded! We started hanging out non-stop, walking through London all night and talking about ideas to revolutionize cello as an instrument, to expand its possibilities to do something new and exciting that will attract wider audiences to the cello, especially younger audience. Around Christmas we made the arrangement of 'Smooth Criminal' through over Skype in one hour and everything started!
Watch 2Cellos' Video for 'Smooth Criminal'