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Träd Gräs Och Stenar

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With their trance-evoking mix of psychedelic blues-rock and folk music, Träd, Gräs och Stenar (Trees, Grass and Stones) played a central role in the development of progressive rock in Scandinavia in the early '70s.
They were also one of the biggest, and best-sounding, examples of the idea that the audience should participate in the music. Predating the anarchism and do-it-yourself mentalities of later punk and indie rock movements, the group manufactured their own instruments and audio equipment, pressed their own records, and played spontaneous concerts. They captured their raw, transcendent jamming on studio albums such as their 1970 debut and live recordings like 1971's Djungelns Lag before ceasing activity, sporadically reuniting during the coming decades. After being cited as an influence by the likes of Pavement and Acid Mothers Temple, they began touring and recording more frequently during the 2000s and 2010s, incorporating newer members such as guitarist Reine Fiske. Following 2017's Tack För Kaffet, an incarnation of the group renamed themselves Träden and released a self-titled debut in 2018.
Träd, Gräs och Stenar was formed in 1969 by drummer Thomas Mera Gartz, bassist Torbjörn Abelli, cellist Arne Ericsson, and guitarist Bo Anders Persson, remnants of International Harvester, and released a self-titled debut album in 1970. That same year, they wrote the music for the film Du Gamla du Fria but remained mainly a live band. Not only did they perform better live than on record -- they even had a program that pointed out live interaction with the audience as its main purpose.
Träd, Gräs och Stenar stood for a union of art with politics and artists with the audience. Practically, that resulted in concerts where the audience took part in the music, as can be heard on Spela Själv. This was also one of the ideas behind the illegal festivals at Gärdet that the band initiated. Guitarist Jakob Sjöholm joined in 1970 and the first few years of the decade came to be very productive for Träd, Gräs och Stenar. They toured throughout Scandinavia, took part in various festivals, events, and protests, and released the live LPs Djungelns Lag and Mors Mors in 1971 and 1972, both having grave sound problems. The studio album Rock För Kropp Och Själ, with its 20-minute title track, was released in 1972. Feeling dwindling support for their idea of organic art anarchism and reportedly also having problems with the police because of the amount of drugs at their concerts, they decided to disband later the same year.
In 1979, Träd, Gräs och Stenar reunited, including poet Thomas Tidholm, who had been a member of International Harvester in the '60s, and during 1980 and 1981, they toured under the name T Gås. If this reunion wasn't too successful and progressive rock was looked down upon in the '80s, the '90s saw Träd, Gräs och Stenar's influence being recognized again, with names like Pavement's Stephen Malkmus mentioning them as an inspirational source. In 1995, it was time for a more lasting reunion, and in 1996 they played at the Emmaboda Festival, which was followed by a number of festival gigs in the coming years. In 2000 and 2001, they recorded material for a new studio album, the first in almost 20 years: Ajn Schvajn Draj was released in 2002. The group resumed touring in subsequent years, including a Japanese jaunt with Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O., but guitarist Persson would later depart the touring version of the band. Träd, Gräs och Stenar issued another album, Homeless Cats, in 2009. Sadly, bassist Abelli passed away the following year, and drummer Gartz died in 2012.
The group continued with a mixture of old and new members, most notably Reine Fiske of Dungen and the Amazing. In 2016, Anthology Recordings released Träd, Gräs och Stenar, a box set containing Djungelns Lag, Mors Mors, and Kom Tillsammans, a disc of previously unreleased live material dating from the same time period. Tack För Kaffet, a studio album recorded between 2006-2012 and including contributions from Abelli and Gartz, was released by Subliminal Sounds in 2017. Träden, an incarnation of the band consisting of Sjöholm, Fiske, bassist Sigge Krantz, and drummer Hanna Östergren, released a self-titled album in 2018. ~ Lars Lovén, Rovi

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