Classically trained Croatian cellists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser are known around the world as 2Cellos. The men found fame in 2011 with a cover of Michael Jackson’s song, “Smooth Criminal,” that went viral on YouTube.
Over the years, Sulic and Hauser have become a worldwide sensation, signed a record deal with Sony Masterworks and joined Sir Elton John on his global tour.
From covers of TV show scores like “Game of Thrones” to rock anthems like Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome To The Jungle,” 2Cellos has been making a name for itself from Australia to Arkansas and everywhere in between.
Compass caught up with Hauser as the duo was in Connecticut for a tour stop to chat about set lists, collaborating and YouTube. Here’s part of that conversation.
Compass: You just started this tour that you’re on. How has it been going so far?
Stjepan Hauser: Tonight is our third show on this run. It’s going great. It’s going amazing. Great start to the tour. The audience is loving it and everywhere we go, it’s full of people. We’re really happy.
Compass: Do you play the same set list every night ?
S.H.: Yeah, but this time we play songs from our new album in the first half of the concert. We have our amazing drummer, Dusan Kranjc, who is incredible. He joins us for the second part of the show where we become this crazy rock show. And we also have an orchestra — usually a local orchestra — wherever we come to play for the first part of the concert.
Compass: You play a lot of well-known pop and rock songs as well as music from movies and TV shows. How do you decide what songs to cover?
S.H.: Well, when you hear the song you just know if it’s going to work on cello or not. It’s like intuition. It speaks to us. We have to listen to ourselves.
Compass: You’ve performed and collaborated with everyone from Elton John and the Red Hot Chili Peppers to George Michael and T Bone Burnett. Is there a dream collaboration that you would love to see happen?
S.H.: Adele. That would be really nice. She’s a great artist and would blend amazingly with the cello.
Compass: Do certain vocalists sound better with the cello than others?
S.H.: Sure. If someone is very expressive and has an emotional voice, it will for sure go good with the cello.
Compass: You’ve been on the road, off and on, since 2011. Have you gotten more accustomed to traveling all over the world?
S.H.: Oh, we love it. We get more experience and enjoy it even more because we are more relaxed and more prepared. We learn how to communicate with the audience better every time. It’s really nice. We’re living the dream.
Compass: Have you toured Florida before?
S.H.: Yeah. We’ve played there quite a few times.
Compass: You engage with your audience a lot through YouTube. Tell me a bit about how important that is.
S.H.: Social media is crucial nowadays. Everything functions through social media, so it’s very important for every artist to adjust, and that’s what we do. We adjust to the changing times. You have to be flexible and change accordingly. It’s great because we have this opportunity to share music with the whole world through social media.
Compass: Your last album, “Score,” came out earlier this year. Have you started working on new material or has it been too chaotic on the road?
S.H.: Oh, we are too busy touring. After the New Year, we will start thinking about a new album.
2Cellos will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 1340C State Road A1A S. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $74 for seated pit, $54 for levels 100 and 200 and $44 for level 300 and obstructed view.