Somojo Magazine

Radomir Vasiljevic

Radomir Vasiljevic - Six Strings and a Piece of Wood
photo by Djordje Radev, FOTO CENTAR

Discography.
CD “Six Strings and a Piece of Wood”

Hi, how are you?
R: Fine,thanks.

Would you mind introducing yourselves and telling us what instruments you play?
R: I'm a classically trained guitarist from Serbia, and play guitar,only guitar and forever the guitar..:). Three years ago, and a little more, I started the collaboration with Goran Kulić, and together we made the music that we are talking about today..

How long has the current band line up been together?
R: As I already said, our cooperation started 3-4 years ago.
G: Actually, we are not a “band” in the classical sense. This CD was kind of an experiment.  It started from the idea to make some music together, put it on internet, and see what kind of reactions we can get. And after more than two years, we are very satisfied. More than thousand of fans from all around the world. That was the reason to make a “real” band for Radomir to play our music live. You can see how it looks and hear how it sounds live in the video gallery on radomirvasiljevic.com , where you can also download the whole album for free.

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t yet heard you?
R: Refreshing and sophisticated.
G: Acoustic guitar instrumentals...somewhere between classical, Latin and new flamenco... with some Serbian ethno motives. Easy to listen to, but not too easy. And very importantly  – played by a great guitarist! I often quote  comment from one of our listeners from USA: “IN A DAY OF NOISE, IT'S A BREATH OF FRESH AIR.” I'm glad that someone feels it in that way...

What can your fans look forward to in the next 12 months?
R: Just be patient, we are so close to begin playing live all around Europe.
G: Besides that, as we said, we are making music for the next CD. And we both think that this one will be even better.

How did you meet each other?
R: It was a coincidence really, we didn’t expect that we’d be able something particularly good or creative.
G: Yes, we met each other while working together on a mundane commission, which didn’t allow us to be especially creative.  But then we started talking and we realized that we had similar ideas about instrumental music for guitar, so we decided to give it a try as a team.

Radomir Vasiljevic - Six Strings and a Piece of Wood
Radomir, photo by Djordje Radev, FOTO CENTAR

How did you come up with your name for the band?
R: At first, it came from the name of the CD… We were drinking coffee on a terrace after recording. Really tired after hard work, we didn't speak anything. There was opened suitcase near us, with the guitar inside, and in one moment, one of us (I really can't remember which one) said: “..Look at it...just piece of wood..and some strings..and whole world inside..”
G: After all this time, our music started getting a “new life” being played live in concerts. And finally we decided that “Six Strings and a Piece of Wood” would be just the name of the first album. The whole project is now under Radomir's name. And the titles of the songs… well, most of them mean nothing. They are invented words that, to us, somehow capture the atmosphere of our music..

What music did you listen to while growing up?
R: Julio Iglesias in the first place.
G: Hm, that’s a tough question. Everything, really...From Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin to Sting and Peter Gabriel. And Duke Ellington…. And Tchaikovsky.
Put it all together with our Balkan genetics, and you get “Six Strings...”

How long have you played your instruments?
R: Twenty years.

Are you self-taught or did you have lessons?
R: I have a master’s degree from the Faculty of Music Arts in Belgrade.
G: My primary education is mathematics. But I always lived in the world of music.

What is your current equipment?
R: I play two guitars: Masaru Kohno and Rodrigues classical guitars. Two great pieces of wood.
G: I use Digidesign DIGI 002 system, UAD-1 card, FOCUSRITE Liquid Mix 16, FOCUSRITE TrackMaster preamp, DIGIMAX 8 and different condenser microphones (Rode, SE Electronics, AKG, Studio Projects...)

If you had an unlimited equipment budget what would be on your shopping list?
G: Believe me, so many things… But first it would be a high class mic preamp, an AD/DA converter and some high class reverb..

Do you use the same equipment live as you do when in a studio?
G: As much as it is possible...

Would you sign with a major record company?
G: If the contract is good enough for us – yes, of course.

Do you have any new recordings planned?
G: Sure. We have already written our second album. Now we are creating the arrangements and soon we'll start recording it.

How much involvement do you have with the arranging and production of the songs when recording?
G: The whole creative process our own..

Do you find the process of recording enjoyable and does it get easier the more you do?
R: It depends on my mood at the moment.
G: The first phase of composing is really enjoyable. But it requires a lot of energy. After those periods of inspiration always come periods of emptiness. And the recording process is interesting, but it’s really hard work.

Do you try to capture your ‘live’ sound on recordings or do you think that the ‘live’ sound and recorded sound should be different experiences for your fans?
G: Sure, in live performances there should be a lot more improvisations. Different arrangements, too. People expect to hear a new and fresh energy, rather than the same thing they already know from the CD. We always try to have some interesting guests on different instruments.

Do you any favourite tracks from your album?
R: Yes, a few.
G: I'm very satisfied with “Salsalata” and “Tango Mador”.

Who are the main songwriters for the band?
R: Both of us.

Radomir Vasiljevic - Six Strings and a Piece of Wood
Goran, photo by Djordje Radev, FOTO CENTAR

Do you have a method for writing songs? (lyrics first, music first, etc)
R: Our music is purely instrumental.  The method is simple - first the theme, then the bridge, a second theme, coda...You understand, of course.
G: We often just leave it to inspiration to make final decisions. Sometimes one of us creates the basic theme, the other one creates the rest of the song, and a few times we even tried to connect some totally independently composed parts and then realized that they are going together so well... There are no rules.

Is there anyone who you would like to collaborate with on writing songs or performing?
R: Maybe some bandoneonist from Argentina. I’m fascinated with the sound of bandoneon.

Who are your favourite songwriters?
R: Joseph Haydn and Leo Brouwer.
G: Hm... Maybe Sting and Duke Ellington...

Which countries have you gigged in?
R: All countries of ex-Yugoslavia, as well as Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Greece, Italy, and the Czech Republic.

Which countries would be at the top of your list to tour?
R: The UK, USA, Germany and all of South America.
G: Wherever the audience want to hear our music..

Who would you like to tour with?
R: My ensemble with its current members: Miloš Jovanović on guitar, Zoltan Pogany on bass, and Zoran Miladić on drums and percussions. And my producer, Goran.

How do you promote your music and get your music out to new fans?
R: Playing our music at gigs, that’s the best way.

Do you use any websites like ‘Reverbnation’ or ‘Soundclick’?
G: Yes, many of them... We’re kind of successful on ourstage.com

Do you think such sites and the internet are good tools for independent and unsigned artists?
G: It's great to have the opportunity to get your music heard all around the world. But it is not enough for real success. You can get some reactions, see how people react to your music, but on these sites most visitors are other musicians with similar aspirations as yours. But if you are looking for real audience, you have to work a lot on self-promotion in “old fashioned” ways – radio, TV, music magazines, internet marketing and live performances.

How do you relax?
R: Playing football with my friends. :)
G: A lot of sleeping...and keeping it quiet around me.

Do you get nervous before a gig? How do you calm down?
R: No, I can hardly wait to start playing

What are your day jobs if you have them?
R: I’m a professor of guitar.
G: I own a small production studio. I do it all: composing, arranging, recording… Applied music for commercials, theatre, radio, TV...

Has your music been used on any film soundtracks?
R: Yes, our song “Gipsy Market” is licensed for Paul Sampson’s movie “The Night of Templar” with David Carradine and Billy Drago. I have to say that we are very proud because of that.

Is it something you’d like to get involved in if the opportunity came along?
R: We’ll see, if it gives us a chance for progress in this business - why not?

Is there anything you'd like to add?
R: Listen to us!
G:
And again - visit radomirvasiljevic.com There you can download the CD “Six Strings and a Piece of Wood” for free.

Radomir Vasiljevic - Six Strings and a Piece of Wood
CD cover designed by Dejan Podlipec

 

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