The Croatian duo 2Cellos have long been heralded as the boundary-breaking revisionists of string, whilst their genre-bending hits have achieved both critical acclaim and commercial success.
Their recently released second album – full of their staple reincarnation of pop-rock classics – leads with ‘Supermassive Black Hole’, their unique take on Muse’s popular anthem.
One half of the pair, Stjepan Hauser, has always been passionate about broadening the cello’s appeal: “We just wanted to show people all the possibilities of the cello and attract a wider audience to this instrument because many people don’t even know what cello is capable of.”
Things moved quickly for the duo after their reinterpretation of Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal’ went viral on Youtube: Sony came knocking with a record deal, Elton John invited them on tour, and they soon shot up the Billboard charts.
With these successes came a hoard of celebrity fans and their new album ‘IN2ITION’ has a track-list which reads like a Who’s Who of the music industry.
When asked how they came to decide who they would try and work with, Hauser nonchalantly closes his eyes and points his finger in the air: “Like this…we just picked out names from the list. “
Indeed, for whilst ‘Glee’ star Naya Rivera features in the lead single, she turns out to actually be one of their lesser-known collaborators. As Hauser explains; “We have history with Naya Rivera already so we thought it would be a great idea for her to be a guest. Of course with Elton John it was an obvious choice, we were on tour with him for a year and a half.
“And Lang Lang we also met a few times before since we are from the same label, it was great. He comes from the same similar background , classical music. He also tries to break these boundaries and present classical musical to a wider audience.”
Co-opting the piano genius of Lang Lang is one thing, but when it comes to live performances, Elton John has claimed the 2Cellos are the most explosive act since Jimi Hendrix took the 60s by storm. Luka Šulić – the other half of the duo – is equally proud of the originality that runs through their gigs:
“Our show is very unique because it starts slower and more calmer and it gradually builds up to a rock and roll crazy atmosphere.”
To add further kudos to their project, ‘IN2ITION’ was produced by the legendary Bob Ezrin, best known for his work with Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper and Deep Purple.
The 2Cellos are currently touring the United States and their CD is out now.