Tree No Leaves to play Ottawa Tavern on Dec. 21Written by Mike Bauman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
From its two-piece setup to its genre-bending tunes and multitude of online releases, Bowling Green-based Tree No Leaves is a unique local music act.
“That’s by design, I think,” said Tree No Leaves’ Dustin Galish. “A lot of us live in this kind of ADD culture, so it’s hard to keep an interest in one type of thing, you know? There are bands that I follow who have a very specific sound, and I appreciate that. But for myself, I’ve always liked the approach of trying lots of different things.”
Tree No Leaves is more than just Galish handling vocals and guitar and drummer Jared Schneider taking care of the rhythm and beat. Both also play keys and a wide range of other instruments, including electronic drums, bass, autoharp, omnichord and kalimba, among others.
“We try to cover the whole gamut,” Galish said. “And so it’s electronic-based rock music because we don’t have a big drum kit. There’s not huge amps on the stage. It’s more of an electronic experience, but certainly the ambient and the trip-hop kind of ideas [are present].
“That’s a lot of the stuff that we listen to, and so we try to bring that influence into, like, kind of a rock-pop song.”
On Dec. 21, concert-goers will get to experience Tree No Leaves’ wide scope of sound when the band performs at Ottawa Tavern. Formed in early 2008, Tree No Leaves may never have existed if it weren’t for “Guitar Hero.”
“I’ve always been a video game nerd,” Galish said. “And so I was just like, ‘Wow, I actually have very good rhythm,’ which really in [“Guitar Hero”] it’s what it’s all about. I was just kind of seeing that I had some coordination there that I wasn’t aware of. I was like, ‘Well, I guess I’ll try the real thing,’ which is way harder.”
Nearly seven years after that popular video game inspired him to pick up the guitar, Galish has helped create an extensive catalog with Tree No Leaves. Including live recordings, the band has put out 17 different releases since 2008, all of which are available for free on its website, treenoleaves.com.
“I love that aspect about music,” Galish said of making Tree No Leaves’ music available for free. “I can be honest in saying I don’t really pay much for a digital album. I mean, I have physical albums that I love. That’s still there.
“But I think online music, if you really want to get it out there, just present it as art. Just put it up for free. People will go after it.”
That willingness to share Tree No Leaves’ music for free has also helped the band gain an international following. The song “Civil War II” off the band’s latest album “Tragick Magick Mystics” will be the featured song for the month of January in Speak UP, a Brazilian magazine which features various articles on Brazilian and international entertainment, culture and tourism to help natives learn English.
“People actually kind of learning English through the music of Tree No Leaves, it’s kind of like the dream for me because you’re communicating with people that don’t even speak your language,” Galish said. “The fact that we recorded the album and that happened within two to three weeks after we released it, that kind of came together; that’s really exciting, as well.”
Galish is particularly excited for the Dec. 21 show, and not just because Tree No Leaves is performing with one of his favorite bands, Mr. Gnome. On what some believe is the day of the apocalypse, Galish will be celebrating his 31st birthday.
“Honestly, part of me is like, ‘Maybe something cool will happen,’” Galish said of the Dec. 21 show. “Maybe while the show’s going on some crazy creature is summoned when we’re just rocking out to the apocalypse. That would be wonderful. But ideally, it’s probably just going to be a great night and there’ll be people celebrating the solstice.”
At 10 p.m. Dec. 21, Tree No Leaves will perform at a show that also features Silent Lions and Mr. Gnome at the Ottawa Tavern, 1817 Adams St. For more info, visit otavern.com or call (419) 725-5483.