As kids, future Fink Tree band members Mikołaj Adamczewski, Maciej Nowotarski, and Krzysztof Waligórski could hear each other’s guitar practice through open windows of their housing estate. Fast forward to 2018 and the Poznań band is rolling out new music and taking it on the road. Launched in 2014, Fink Tree has since welcomed percussionist Filip Kucharski and has gained a wide following in Poland and abroad. The band has played several shows and festivals this year and has released their new single Kosmos today.
Lyricist and lead vocalist Mikołaj and I met in the quiet courtyard of U Przyjacioł cafe just steps from the band’s rehearsal space. He said it’s a calming spot — a leafy oasis to think in the otherwise loud city. It also reminds him of his village, a suburb of Poznań.
Mikołaj is a prolific songwriter; he says he writes two or three songs a day. “Not all of them are genius,” he admitted with a laugh. However, he and the rest of Fink Tree are proud of the new single, Kosmos. “It’s a story about remembering something that [has]passed… a guy is taking a trip… more of a journey, really… from one point in his life to another,” he explained. Hoping to drive home the metaphor, the release date coincides with a new lunar phase today. Perhaps like the song’s theme, Fink Tree may also be entering a new period. Lots of plans seemed to be floating around in Mikołaj’s head during our chat.
Above is one of the band’s popular songs from last year called Sinner. Shot in Kraków, this was the band’s first music video. Over the past year, they’ve focused on publicity and touring around Poland. They recently played a gig at Hard Rock Cafe in Warsaw. Now, they’d like to take the summer to focus on their music.
As with their new song, the band may also be entering a new phase, one in which they will focus on creating new music before taking to the road again. Mikoaj said that touring can be a drag, but it’s also deeply fulfilling for him. On tour, he said he feels “like a family on the bus. The day after a gig I feel like I enjoy my life because it’s exactly what I want to do.” Touring comes with great adventures as well as near disasters. Once the band nearly lost all their equipment on their way to Warsaw as the back doors of their cheap rental van failed and swung open threatening to sling their instruments on the highway. Their manager had to spring to action and rescue their stuff.
One of the main challenges for bands now is to get their name out there. Mikołaj cites a bit of a catch 22. “In order to be heard,” he said,” you have to be famous, and in order to be famous, you have to be heard.” Part of their strategy is to team up with other local artists and help each other out. Instead of being adversarial, they’re actively building a community of musicians. Several band members have other projects. Mikołaj also collaborates with fellow local musician, Naliah, where he sings backup vocals.
Fink Tree’s graphic designer and social media publicist, Grzegorz Nowotarski is tackling this as well. He’s in charge of documenting and creating content for the band. He also painstakingly animated the Kosmos music video. “It was his project for a year,” beamed Mikołaj, “after he finished, he said he’s never going to do animations again… But he made it really magical!”
Grzegorz meticulously records everything for the band to put it out on their social media, especially their Instagram. But he’s also resorted to less orthodox methods such as announcing concerts on Tinder and good old-fashioned paper flyers. Their social media is full of snippets of jam sessions and unguarded moments on the tour van. “I think it’s important to show the reality,” said Grzegorz, “what’s actually happening is more important.” He says many people put up a facade, but he wants to show reality. “I see many bands who don’t put out enough [of this candid] content,” he added.
Fink Tree plans to focus on making new music over the summer and hit the road again soon. The local indie rock band is part of a thriving music scene here in Poznań. Check out the new single Kosmos. If you’re up for a short day trip, Fink Tree will be playing at the upcoming Batyskaf festival outside Kórnik.
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