Transylvanian Gypsy Kings Q&A
By Crimson Cat
How did you three meet?
Met on cruise ship in Latvian waters where Lucian and Nicu were searching for bass player while playing for cruisers. Zurka was escaping wife whose hair was too big.
How did the band name ‘The Transylvanian Gypsy Kings’ come about?
The combination of keys, violin and electric guitar is an interesting mix.
How do you boys make it work?
Its traditional set up in Transylvania- sometimes keys is accordion, sometimes sax is added. Violin is king. Electric bass and violinist versatile as they also do vocals although Nicu lead vocalist- Lucian specialise in hip hop and Zurka in Latvian ballad.
When and where was your big break?
First big exposure was at Canberra Folk Festival “Inspired Queen” competition 2006, where we paid hommage to Freddy Mercury, admired in Romania for his masculinity. Then invited to Falls Festival Marion Bay 2007 where TGK were the first band to play! Most gigs were 2-3am, good for beating jetlag.
You released your first album “Cu Drag” in 2008. How was it like recording that?
Very much fun recording album in Oz in Castlemaine with Justin Marshall (plays with Zulya). Talented man who even played some percussion with us.
What does the album title mean?
“Cu Drag” means “with love” in Romanian.
What’s the band’s favourite song on the album?
Maybe is football manea? Final track with bouncy rhythm like football.
How would you best describe your music?
Transylvanian folk meets disco and hip hop. Smattering of Eastern European tongues, shredding violin solos and crooning from Nicu in motorbike jacket.
Who is the band’s inspiration?
Inspired by many Transylvanian musicians from non-stop bars as well as folk musicians and pop idols. And by looking in the mirror.
Does wearing leather get uncomfortable or sweaty?
Of course, is worth it though. Sometimes we have to take it off.
The Transylvanian Gypsy Kings perform at Red Bennies on Sunday 30th May 2010.