Please The Trees
Please The Trees have been following the trail of inspiration and perfecting their sound for over six years now. The latest fruit of that pilgrimage is their brand new record, A Forest Affair, which also represents something of a fresh departure. Indeed, the Czech band’s indomitable and deep-seated spirit of adventure and keen desire to place themselves firmly in the context of the international music scene led them all the way to California.
Originally from the forests of a mountainous region in East Bohemia, lead singer and songwriter Vaclav Havelka has for some years been one of the most active figures on Prague’s independent music scene. Alongside performing solo and with a full group line-up, he has written music for several theater productions (including a staged version of Lars von Trier’s Dogville at the Estates Theater), hosts his own “Natural Bridge” show on alternative station Radio Wave, and – as part of the promotion company Scrape Sound – brings leading international alternative rock and country artists, such as Mudhoney and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, to the city.
The captivating, beautifully produced and stylistically varied A Forest Affair follows 2007’s Lion Prayer and Inkalesh from 2010 and represents the peak of Havelka’s career as a songwriter to date. Legendary are the band’s live performances on which Please The Trees build their strong reputation. Past tours of hundrets of shows included Europe, UK, USA and Israel. Former LA Times music editor says about the band’s performance at the Taix club, Los Angeles during the Culture Collide festival, the band played during their second US tour in 2011, at his prestigious blog buzzbands.la: Please The Trees from the Czech Republic offered robust arrangements where guitars didn’t sound like guitars and frontmant Vaclav Havelka brought his own flair to the stage (and off the stage). A bit Grizzly Bear and a bit Arcade Fire (minus the massive number of people on stage), Taix’s main room finally saw a band who went out into the crowd and lose themselves in their own music.
The joint musical project between indie rockers Please The Trees and the senior-citizens’ choir Elpida is an unconventional but excellently functioning combination. In 2010 the band’s lead singer, Václav Havelka III, participated in a campaign against senior discrimination, during which he performed PTT songs with the senior citizens’ choir Elpida. The choir of 20 women has been singing under the guidance of choirmaster Zuzana Seibertová since the autumn of 2010, and has appeared at summer music festivals and at small music clubs. “Being on stage with the band is amazing, although our eardrums have taken a real pounding. But the musicians get so wild that they are literally pouring with sweat. And that gets us fired up, too,” says one of the choir’s members, 72-year-old Emílie.
In 2012, Please The Trees and Elpida recorded a joint EP. Through this joint project, Elpida hopes to contribute to changing public perception of senior citizens. www.elpida.cz
BEYOND THE MUSIC
Please The Trees planting trees project
After spending time with a gardener friend in New York (who has been secretly planting trees around town), the band get’s inspired and starts planting a tree in every city where they perform. Each tree planting is photographed and documented, then posted on Facebook profile of the project.
Map of planted trees: http://g.co/maps/t9ne8
Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/p