Why this band name?
Well, the name Orthodox Celts came at once when people from British council in Belgrade, who organized our first gig, back in 1993., asked us how to make an announcement. As we didn’t have name yet at that moment we started thinking and it came suddenly, spontaneously, directly from nowhere. And it describes all we actually are!
Who is in the band?
The Orthodox Celts are:
ALEKSANDAR PETROVIĆ – LEAD VOCAL
DEJAN LALIĆ – OCTAVE MANDOLA, MANDOLIN, BANJO, BACK VOCALS
DUŠAN ŽIVANOVIĆ – DRUMS, BODHRAN, ACCORDION
VLADAN JOVKOVIĆ – ACC. GUITAR, BACK VOCALS
NIKOLA STANOJEVIĆ – VIOLIN
DEJAN GRUJIĆ – BASS, BACK VOCALS
DRAGAN GNJATOVIC – WHISTLE
How would you describe your style and where does your music come from?
We’re Celtic Rock band. When I say say Celtic, I mean that we play Celtic traditionals in our own arrangements and our own music made under the influence of Celtic musical heritage. But we do that with the real Rock attitude. Our main influence were The Pogues, alongside with The Dubliners and The Chieftains, when we talk about Irish and Celtic music, but our Rock influences are much wider: from The Clash to Iron Maiden and from The Smiths to Willy DeVille. My own main influences were: Shane MacGowan, in the way of writing lyrics, Ronnie Drew, as the man which attitude I adopted the most and, believe it or not, Ian Anderson, Willy DeVille and Bruce Dickinson as a complete personalities.
Do you have any formal musical education?
Actually, I do. I have musical school education. The first music I fell in love with was “Swan Lake”, but first song I learned to play on guitar was, as the most of the world would answer, “Smoke On The Water”.
How many albums do you have? Is there a favorite one?
Five studio albums, one split release with the band “Pachamama”. Sixth album is on the way and it will be released during the fall 2016. Hmmm… Don’t you think that any answer but: “The favorite one is the next one” would be stupid?
What bands are on your playlist these days?
Mostly as for the whole of my life: Tchaikovsky, Jethro Tull, The Pogues, Iron Maiden, Willy DeVille, Bruce Springsteen…
And, talking about the newer and younger bands: PowerWolf, Eluveitie, Arkona, Amorphis, Gamma Ray, Sentenced…
And many more.
I work on the Radio, remember?
What do you think of Belgrade music scene?
Too many cover bands, too many wrong people in wrong places but also many bands who has something to say and to offer but don’t have the places where to do that nor the time in media.
Are you involved in any other projects?
Yes, I’m also the frontman of Heavy Metal act Despot and the editor and the host of several Radio shows on the National Radio Belgrade 1.
Is it possible to make a living from music in Belgrade? What would you change in the industry?
Technically yes. In practice it looks like this: all of us have our permanent jobs and music is our own world with our own rules. We are the band with our own music, our own attitudes and our own way of expressing ourselves, not just interpretors of some others’ stuff. I’d try to make Rock’N’Roll mainstream again.
Where do musicians fit in today’s world? What is the mission / purpose?
Does artists fits in any world? I don’t think so. I don’t have any mission, I just do what I like the most. That’s my way of expression my own. Maybe my wish to make the people think and to use their minds can be called as a purpose or the mission.
Thank you for taking time to do this interview, what are you going to do now?
I’m goin’ to rest a bit, then to prepare my Radio show on National Radio Belgrade 1 for tomorrow, to spend the time with my family, then watch Celtic – Astana Champions league qualifying match and pack myself for hitting the road to Poland where we play next Saturday.
Get in touch with the band: Orthodox Celts official Facebook page