What keeps me coming back to Cayamo is the opportunity to discover different musicians. This past year, one of the new musicians I discovered was Ellis Paul. Part of Paul’s band was an incredible piano and accordion player Radoslav Lorkovic. Over the next several days of the cruise, Lorkovic also turned up jamming with several other musicians. I meant to conduct this interview immediately after the cruise, but life events delayed my intentions. I was glad to finally conduct the email interview this week. Be sure to visit Lorkovic’s Facebook page, as he is indeed an impressive photographer (as we discuss) in addition to his musical prowess. This interview includes a new Talking with Tim milestone, a musician quoting NFL legendary coach Vince Lombardi.
Tim O’Shea: You are currently touring with Ellis Paul, what attracted you to working with Ellis?
Radoslav Lorkovic: Ellis has been a great friend through the years. Music is just a natural part of what is really a great ‘hang’ Being on stage is little different than having a drink at three AM in some ridiculous club laughing. The music, however, is quite serious and precise. It is presented without out the baggage of seriousness. He also plays everything in C sharp–for me the most difficult piano key. It’s a massive exercise in a way.
I had known Ellis for some time before he approached me about playing music. It was a scene from a movie. I was at some swanky brunch with my friend Jimmy Lafave. We were in Connecticut. Music highbrows were helping themselves to brie and mimosas. Ellis and his longtime manager Ralph Jaccodine were there. Ellis lurked shyly in the corner. Ralph approached me slowly. Quietly — yet assertively– he stated “Ellis would like you to play with him.” I replied to Ralph “Tell Ellis I’m interested.”
O’Shea: I first became aware of your work after seeing you perform at Cayamo earlier this year. As amazing an experience it was to see you (and the other artists perform), I am curious if you can talk about how enjoyable it was for you?
Lorkovic: Cayamo was for me –and I imagine all the other musicians on board a true milestone. The obvious grandeur of the experience provides one with that “I have finally arrived” feeling. Being on the Caribbean in the lap of luxury — AND being at the music festival you always hoped to be a part of. Yet again — the company, Ellis. Don Con and Ralph, notched it up considerably further.
O’Shea: Some musicians are reluctant to play live, while others relish the opportunity to perform live (I would put you in the latter category). What is it about jamming and playing live that so clearly appeals to you?
Lorkovic: Quoting Vince Lombardi –”Playing live isn’t everything, it’s the ONLY thing.” Making great records is obviously significant –The Beatles proved that. For me playing alone or having one person in the room is like night and day. It is a 180 degree turn. Instincts kick in that were completely dormant. I also compare it to being a pilot. You aren’t taken seriously untill you have thousands of hours under your belt.
Jamming to me cuts to the essence of those instincts. Being onstage in front of thousands and being trusted to play a song you have never heard is precisely what I thrive on. It is thrill of being suspended in air and instantaneously deciphering how to land on your feet.
O’Shea: After being classically trained, what was it about R&B that attracted you to exploring it?
Lorkovic: That blues scale my buddy played for me in the tenth grade was all it took. A switch had been pulled in the railyard –I never looked back, until much later, when I revisited classical music from the eyes of a blues and rock ‘n’ roll player.
O’Shea: You have released five solo CDs to date, any plans to release a sixth CD in the near term?
Lorkovic: I’m still in the process of ‘releasing’ what actually is my sixth cd –Wastelands and Casinos, I finished it a year ago. It was a treat to record it with my dear friends in Austin at the amazing Cedar Creek Studios.
O’Shea: You recently joined Twitter and have been on Facebook for quite awhile. Have social media tools enabled you to market yourself more effectively?
Lorkovic: I’m actually quite amazed by Facebook. It is par for the course for promoting your shows or recordings –a logical extension of Myspace. Facebook gave me –quite accidentally — a means of being recognised for a passion of mine comparable to music –photography. I have quietly devoted comparable energy to photography as to music –it is just recently — thanks to Facebook –that that cat is out of the bag. The opportunity to get instantaneous feedback on images — both from people I know and trust — and complete strangers is astonishing to me.
O’Shea: Creatively what’s on the horizon for you in the rest of 2011 and 2012?
Lorkovic: Another huge passion of mine is skiing — I did good last year — maybe fifty days — mostly at Mammoth Mountain –I hope to match that — then its festival season —buckle your seatbelts…