Ty Sycáci

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If Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention wrote lyrics in Czech and were influenced by punk as well as East European folk, they might sound something like Ty Sycáci -- a chance-taking, unorthodox alternative…
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If Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention wrote lyrics in Czech and were influenced by punk as well as East European folk, they might sound something like Ty Sycáci -- a chance-taking, unorthodox alternative rock/avant-rock trio from the Czech Republic. Ty Sycáci's work is as creative as it is eccentric; one doesn't have to speak a word of Czech to realize just how quirky and off-center the band is. Ty Sycáci was formed in Brno, Czech Republic, in 2000, when lead singer/founder Petr Vása hired guitarist Petr Zavadil and bassist Tomás Fröhlich. Unlike the vast majority of rock bands -- Czech, American, British, Australian, Latino, or otherwise -- Ty Sycáci has never used a traditional drummer. Its sound is built around vocals, electric guitar, and electric bass, although the threesome occasionally uses various percussion instruments. When Ty Sycáci was formed, all three of its members had belonged to various Czech bands. Vása had been the leader of Z-kopce and Osklid, while Zavadil and Fröhlich were ex-members of a band called Pluto. Vása's involvement in the arts has not been limited to music; the singer is also known for what has been called "physical poetry," a type of avant-garde performance art. And Vása has incorporated his "physical poetry" during Ty Sycáci's live shows; on-stage, he does odd things like using his hands to make drumming sounds on either his chest or his cheeks. Ty Sycáci is known for having a very dramatic and theatrical live show and in fact, the trio has developed a play that has been described as a "punk opera." The play is titled SSSS, which is short for Samota, Sláva, Smrt, Spása and in English, the Czech title means solitude, glory, death, and salvation. Not long after its formation, Ty Sycáci signed with the Brno-based Indies Records (a small independent label that has been documenting the Czech music scene since 1990). Indies released Ty Sycáci's debut album Máj v Debnu in 2000. The following year, Indies put out the trio's sophomore album, Lék a Jed (which in Czech means Medicine and Poison).