Young cellists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, known as 2CELLOS have had a stellar five years. They’ve gone from making huge hit videos on YouTube to touring in front of thousands. The duo are taking the next step in their career by touring Australia in November and will be doing a special show at the Sydney Opera House.
Last week Luka from the duo chatted to us about their newest work to be released on their new album due to be released next year, as well as other huge things, like playing support to Elton John.
What was it like touring with Elton and being his tour buddy?
It was incredibly valuable experience for us. Amazing exposure. We would open the shows in these big arenas around the world. Also, we got used to playing in front of really large crowds and it helped us a lot in what we were doing. To get confidence, to get experience. We wanted to look to see how we could control the crowd and entertain them.
We come from a classical background. We’re used to playing in small places and just being thrown into this rock and roll world. It was amazing for us.
I read that you performed in front of thousands of people. That must have been confronting.
Yes. At the beginning it was stressful and challenging. Over time, you have the PA, you have the screens. They help a lot. We also play electric cellos which are much louder than the acoustic instruments. It’s much easier to amplify them.
Our shows are really loud and I like it that way because we try to be all rock and roll.
I’m not familiar with electric cellos, how much do they differ in playing them from your former setup?
In playing them, there isn’t much difference, but we still record the acoustic instruments as our regular instruments because nothing can replace a traditional cello in the studio.
When it comes to playing live, it’s easier to just amplify the electric cello. They sound much cleaner and louder in an arena or a stadium.
We use various guitar effects as well. Distortion, reverb and delay. We just want to make it sound beautiful while also loud.
You’ve been together for five years and you’ve had lots of success as we’ve described with your support for Elton. Do you think five years ago about how 2Cellos would be at in its success right now?
We didn’t expect everything would get so big so quickly. The first video we did went viral. People started to call Elton John, all the TV shows, Ellen DeGeneres, Jay Leno and all those record labels.
But after that, the real work actually began. The YouTube success was just a shortcut but after that real work came by. We thought about the next steps that we should had taken. We wouldn’t have grown so fast if we did that. We could have ended up being a YouTube sensation but that would have lasted a couple of months, a year or two, nothing more if we didn’t put in the work.
We’ve developed into a serious band, and that I think is cool to think about.
You mentioned hard work. Can you expand on what hard work you did outside of those YouTube videos?
With everything in life, you need to be involved 100 per cent. Since we were the creators of our own vision since the beginning – we weren’t the product of a label or a pop group like One Direction – we thought of it as our own baby.
This is better because you rely and are responsible for your own destiny. That’s why you need to get involved yourself in these things, you know?
Everything we did, every music video is our idea. Every song, every step we take in our careers – it comes from us. We are control freaks, really!
In many ways a control freak can be seen as a good thing. Can it be a good thing?
Yes, but it can be tiring. You just need to let go sometimes and enjoy life.
In Sydney you are performing with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in a special performance. Can you expand on that performance? How will it differ from the other shows on your tour?
This will actually be a new thing that we are going to do. Because our new album is coming out next year and we’re gonna play a part of that album as part of that show. You have that as a bit of exclusive information!
We just wanted to do something special, especially at Sydney Opera House which is a special place for us to play. We’re going to share it around the world.
Luka, you have a classical background and you really are keen to keep yourself in the classical mode of performing, but you also have an interesting meld of rock put into your performance. Is it hard to stay in classical mode that are related to cello players?
We always include in our shows some classical stuff. We start off with film music but finish off with Bach many times. It’s also a great way to promote classical music to a wider audience. To spread the word. It’s one of our missions.
What type of film music are you into?
I love film music, so on our next album we’ll have Hans Zimmer, James Horner, Ennio Morricone, Nino Rota and many beautiful themes from great movies.
Our new album is going to be with the London Symphony Orchestra too, which is a good step from the Sydney performance. It’ll be out at the beginning of next year.
I noticed you marked your fifth anniversary with a huge open show in Zagreb. What was that like?
There were 50,000 people there. It was insane. We had Croatian legendary singer Oliver Dragojevic and an Italian legend, Zucchero who came and guested in that concert too. We also filmed that show as well and we’ll put that on YouTube as well.
You seem to be having so many momentous occasions.
We try to film as much as we can because it’s very important. If you want to succeed globally you have to share your music as much as you can globally. That’s the future.
What would you like people to come away with from your shows here in Australia?
We want people to have the time of their life, that they go home satisfied with happy emotions, energy and passions. Enthusiasm is what we’d love to see from them.
We also want to inspire young and old people who come to the show. To get them to create. To get them to make music. Whether it be a guitar, or a band. It doesn’t have to be with cellos.
There is so much diversity out there from grandmas to kids. Everything in between. I’d like to get all of them to get inspired. It’s wonderful to see so many generations together, and people who follow all kinds of music.
2CELLOS are touring on their 2016 Celloverse tour in Australia and New Zealand between 26th Novemeber and 6th December. They are performing in Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland. For more info and tickets, head here or to their website.