‘I don’t feel “home” anywhere,’ says Antun Opic, the half German, half Croation author of No Offense, a glorious amalgamation of its creator’s diverse musical influences. Despite Opic’s declaration that the album ‘has nothing to do with Balkan music’, it’s an easy entrance point for a Western European listener unaccustomed to the kind of magpie attitude Opic has to recording – No Offense certainly contains the jaunty, syncopated beats and humour that characterise other modern Balkan artists like Maz Pashm. On the other hand, there’s a smattering of jazz, country, folk and what can only be described as ‘Opic-ness’.
With such a promising and refreshingly original debut, it’s heartening to find the man no less colourful than his music. Antun Opic answered our questions honestly – and also wrote us a poem.
Hello, please introduce yourself and your music to the uninitiated.
Hello, my name is Antun Opic and I will try to answer your questions with the answers to the questions below.
Tell us a bit about your latest release?
I started with my own songs about five years ago. I worked a lot on my own then, but ‘No Offense’ is the result of my band that starts to get its shape – Tobias Kavelar, Horst Fritscher and me. The recording process was also the forming of my band. We worked together on arrangements and recorded it together and we were experimenting with guest musicians to add some spice. I wonder what the next album might do with us!
What was your best ever gig?
I live for performing. I will always take any gig very seriously and it is not remembering a good gig that makes me happy but being able to look forward to some.
What’s the worst thing about being a musician?
Well, if you cut your finger cutting onions, you have a problem.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by chance. and human beings.
Inspiration is there, all the time, everywhere.
The question is: when is it going to happen?
If you won a billion pounds what would you do with it?
I’d have to give it to someone who knows how to deal with money, but before that I might buy a few instruments and gear, of course. I’m no better… but it’s not money that drives me. If money was driving me I would be doing something else.
Which of your songs is your favourite and why?
Songs are funny guys.
When they are born,
you couldn’t imagine they haven’t been here before.
The learn to walk, to speak.
Then they have to work.
They’re proud of their strength.
And they also get tired.
And they sleep.
They even hide sometimes. Sometimes.
I have some – hiding in my pocket.
Some of them are already quite old.
With white hair – not very fashionable clothes.
I think they won’t come out anymore.
They are used to my pocket and quite content.
They have a very steady rhythm, you know?
We don’t see each other much.
Then I have some… they are not sufficiently equipped.
You could say, they are not born for our climate.
If I let them out now, they’d freeze!
But they sure want to come out.
They just wait until I can afford to buy them proper clothing.
I also have some… they are a bit like a foreign currency.
They feel very rich.
But in this part of the world nobody seems to care.
I’m a little worried about those lately.
They act very stubborn and aggressive – I tell them to be patient, of course.
I travel a lot to show them the world.
I want to introduce them to everybody and show them everything.
Because I want them to have opportunities, you know.
I don’t know how to say…
Somehow I feel responsible for them.
Yes, that’s it.
I really need to take care of them.
You know how hard it is nowadays.
And where they come from everything is just easy.
I don’t know how they all got here, actually.
Somehow I can’t remember.
I don’t even know why.
And I really also have my problems with them.
Sometimes they’re a real pain in the ass.
They always put pressure on me.
And sometimes they all speak at the same time. Puh.
Did you know how much a song is able to eat?
They literally eat me.
But mostly it feels quite comfortable to have them close.
It’s cosy and warm, and, you know…
I have always somebody to talk to.
sometimes I catch one of those guys just in the right moment!
And I tell you, there’s nothing like catching a song in the right moment!
What are you plans for the future?
My plans are linked to reality. I like reality also but I dream double to get half for real. If something happens – I’m there
Finally, we’re always looking to expand our musical horizons. Do you have any recommendations of bands or artists we should be looking out for?
Danjal and Rob Longstaff
No Offense is out on September 30th on Antuned.