Please The Trees (PTT) have been following intuitively the trail of inspiration for over eight years now, playing dozens of shows every year internationally. The latest fruit of their pilgrimage is their third stuio record called A Forest Affair produced by Jonathan Burnside (Gary Floyd Band, Sleepy Jackson, Melvins, Helios Creed, Consolidated) 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. With A Forest Affair the band received Czech Grammy award for the best alternative record of 2012.
Originally from the forests of a mountainous region in East Bohemia, lead singer and songwriter Vaclav Havelka III 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), screen music for motion picture Mista (with David Boulter of Tindersticks), 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 band has also released several EP’s and live recordings
In March 2014 the band returns to the US for third time. The tour consisting of 23 gigs in three and half weeks the band booked by themselves. During this tour the band performs with Rocky Erickson @Threadgills, Austin, TX, with Wrekmeister Harmonies & Ryley Walker @Crown & Harp, Dallas, TX, with Kid Congo Power’s @Longbranch Inn, Austin, TX and with Cheap Time @Green Room, Athens, GA. During this tour PTT recorded basic tracks for their to be fourth full length album at the High Bias Studio in Detroit with Chris Koltay (Liars, Women, Deerhunter, Holy Fuck, No Age, The War On Drugs, Akron/Family). The record is planned to be released in Spring 2015.
Please The Trees & senior choir Elpida
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.
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