The ambassadors of the Emerald Isle some call them, but they usually go by the name Orthodox Celts. If you’re unfamiliar with this name, it’s time to learn it! The name hasn’t yet made its way into a dictionary, but when it does, it should be defined as ‘painting the town green’! Well known for their hearty and energetic performances, blithe and feel-good sound, the Orthodox Celts acquired their international fame fair-and-square. And here with us today is a man who bleeds green himself, the singer and frontman of the band, Aleksandar Petrović, aka ‘Aca Celtic’.
Hi Aleksandar! We are thrilled to have you here with us. You have recently released a new album called ‘Many Mouths Shut’ and St. Patrick’s day will be the first time you’ll be playing some of your new songs for your devoted fans in Belgrade. Does this make you feel especially excited or maybe even anxious about the upcoming gig?
Hello, there! Not some of these songs, we’ll actually play the whole album live at this year’s Saint Patrick’s day concert. Anxious? A bit, but that’s normal when you’re playing some new stuff for the first time. Excited? Sure! As always. We like playing live and that’s where we are the best, so we feel excitement before every single gig. That’s the way it should be. If you’re not excited, then there’s something wrong with you.
‘Many mouths shut’ is the first album you’ve released after exactly 10 years. Is there a particular reason why you made your fans wait so long?
To be completely honest, no. The main reasons are that we played a lot after releasing the previous album and we didn’t find the time to be in the studio. I recorded vocals in October 2013. Then we finally entered and started recording the album, but since then we changed a lot of things during the production process and even changed the concept and all of that took more time than we planned. But it was worth it.
There’s been a change in the band line-up since the recording of your previous album. Would you say that this change has influenced the sound of your new album and in what way?
Every change influences something in our sound as every single person brings something individual with himself/herself. All of us in the Orthodox Celts are very different people, even when we only talk about music. And I think that the mixture of all our influences makes the unique sound of the Orthodox Celts. The main thing is that Vlada, our [new] guitar player started writing music and our new work together generated some of the best songs we have ever written.
You have also released a video for an original song ‘I wish you the very worst’ very recently. Can you tell us a little bit about the plot of the video and what has inspired it?
This is the first time that we made a cartoon [animated] video and we’re so proud of it. It’s the work of a young and very talented artist, Una Isailović. Our cooperation was incredible. She was able to put on paper every single thing that we had in mind better than I’d describe the song myself. This is our way to deal with all the hypocrites and obscure men who, like leeches, suck the blood of honest and normal people. To these kinds of bastards we really wish the very worst!
You said that the concert you played last October at Octoberfest in Novi Sad was almost like an end of an era because that would be the last chance to hear some of the old songs. Can we still expect to hear all the iconic hits live?
Some of them we’ll surely play. Just imagine how the fans would react if we don’t play “Drinking Song” or “Far Away”! They’d lynch us! Ha, ha, ha… But, jokes aside, the “new era” set list will consist of songs from the new album + the best of the Orthodox Celts and I think that’s the best way to please both sides.
The Belgrade Irish Festival [read Vanja’s article on the festival here] opened on the 6th of March. Have you visited it in the past and will you be attending any of the events this year?
No, as we’re busy like hell in March every year. Some of the programme really deserves attention, but we simply don’t have enough time for everything.
Would you mind terribly if I asked you a few personal questions?
No! Not at all! But, you must know that I’m a kind of guy who doesn’t mix the band with my personal and family life in a way that one affects the other directly.
I ran into you on the street a few months back and, being a huge fan, I wanted to ask for a selfie, but I was, in a way, ‘starstruck’. Do fans often come up to you and would you encourage your shy fans to approach you freely in the future?
Very often and I really want to meet everyone whenever I can. It could be tiresome sometimes but, hey, I understand that completely. I did the same when I was taking a photo with Shane MacGowan or Ian Anderson. That’s rock ‘n’ roll and I like it! And… I don’t think of myself as of a star. I’m just who I am!
And finally, since Living in Belgrade is all about exploring Belgrade, could you share your top 3 must-visit-see-do-eat-or-drink places in Belgrade with our readers? Feel free to be as creative as you’d like!
Whenever I go somewhere, wherever, I explore the place by myself. I’m not a tourist in that ordinary way. I’d rather say that I’m an explorer. I walked the whole Paris, for example, and I saw places and things you’ll never imagine or see. So, don’t listen to anybody, just keep your feet walkin’ and you’ll find what you’re looking for. Sooner or later!
Don’t miss the Orthodox Celts on St. Patrick’s day, March 17th at 9pm in Dom Omladine (22 Makedonska)
Tickets available from Eventim at this link for 1,350 RSD and on the door at Dom Omladine for 1,550 RSD.
For more information on the band visit their website.
Or their Facebook page.