“It has nothing to do with Balkan music,” Antun Opic emphasises, well knowing that influences of that musical genre are certainly recognisable in his songs. Still, they are not of any greater importance than all the other genres that, owing to his distinct musical socialisation, he manages to fuse into an unconventional blend of world music, blues, and pop; allowing blaring trumpets to meet a swinging banjo, while gospel choirs are jubilating in the background. Sometimes the guitar romanticises in the style of Django Reinhardt, sometimes, it devotedly enthrals the listener in the manner of Paco de Lucia. In some of his songs, Antun Opic includes passionate gipsy and fiery flamenco only to recall Paul Simon's African borrowings in others.
He sings in English, not because he strives to get through to the largest possible audience worldwide, but because English happens to be the official language of an Anglo-American rock and pop culture that has been inspiring him ever since his early youth. Additionally, in contrast to German and Croatian, English is not Opic's mother tongue, which helps him to keep a certain distance as he slips into the various roles he likes to play performing.
In cooperation with the painter, lyricist, and composer Peter Schreyer, Antun Opic formed “Wildwuxx” ten years ago– a band that could build up a reputation in and around Munich mostly performing as a street band. He also played the guitar in the acoustic punk cabaret group “Strom & Wasser” with which he toured Germany and was able to acquire plenty of stage experience.
Featuring Tobias Kavelar (guitars) and Horst Fritscher (acoustic bass), his solo project has long become a fixed trio with considerable success all over Europe. Apart from Germany, they have played various shows in France and Slovenia, but there have also been frequent concerts in Croatia and Austria.
“This is, of course, also due to my personal contacts,” says Antun Opic, whose Croatian relatives live in a former war zone. “Much of the sunny country I used to call home had suddenly turned into a political hot spot. Today it is mostly a desolate place and people are traumatized.” he adds. Opic did grow up in Germany, but he and his parents went to Croatia on a regular basis to meet his grandparents even in times of war. “I find it horrifying that territorial wars are still being fought at the brink of the twenty-first century,” he says. In slipping into his various roles, Antun Opic seems to have found a way of telling his audience that there is a different, more emancipated approach of seeing the world.
Having released his first demo album on his own digital record label “Antuned”, his self-produced debut “No Offense” will finally follow this year in summer. It has been arranged and produced in cooperation with his guitarist and former guitar teacher Tobias Kavelar. “Tobias used to be my idol. He was my older sister's boyfriend at that time, and his guitar playing never failed to inspire me. When they broke up, we didn't have any contact for over twelve years!” says Antun Opic who obviously rejoices at the collaboration. Their music proves that their musical reunion is not merely a fortunate coincidence, but fortune fulfilled.
DIRK WAGNER (into English by Michael Neuber)
Antun Opic’s tracks