Psí vojáci

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Psí vojáci at a concert in Loděnice

Psí vojáci (Dog Soldiers) was a Czech underground band from Prague, active between the years 1979 - 2011 and again from 2012 until 2013. Its frontman was a singer, piano player, composer and songwriter Filip Topol, son of the playwright Josef Topol and brother of the writer Jáchym Topol. He formed the band in 1979 along with his elementary school classmates – drummer David Skála and bass guitar player Jan Hazuka.

They were named after a military society of the Cheyenne IndiansDog soldiers – which appeared in Thomas Berger’s novel Little Big Man. The roots of their music are in the world underground art, but there is also a strong influence of composers from the second half of the 18th century. On occasion, Filip Topol also performed solo on the piano and played songs from his solo albums, which were his inner confessions.

The group disbanded in August 2011. They started playing again in the original formation in October 2012 but finally stopped in June 2013, when Filip Topol died.

History[edit]

Psí vojáci first performed publicly in 1979 at the IX. Prague Jazz Days and they soon drew attention of the secret police. At the time, the band members were 13 years old. When Filip Topol was questioned by police for the first time, he had not yet received his identity card. The band was not allowed to perform publicly and it only played at private underground events (e.g. at Václav Havel’s cottage in Hrádeček). In the course of several years the band repeatedly changed style as well as members. At first, Filip’s brother Jáchym cooperated in song writing for the band. Later on, Filip started writing lyrics himself. In late 1980s the band started to perform under a pseudonym P.V.O. (Dog Soldiers in Person) and the Prague Junior Club Na Chmelnici became their home stage.

After 1989 Psí vojáci became popular concert performers and they started playing at many clubs as well as music festivals. They toured clubs in Hungary, Austria, Germany and Netherlands and they performed at music festivals in Belgium and France. Their songs were used in films (e.g. Žiletky by the director Zdeněk Tyc, where Filip Topol played the main role) and they also participated in creating scenic music for several theatre plays.

“There have always been some elements of punk in Psí vojáci. Our music speaks to punks in a different way than the music of truly punk bands, but I believe we share a lot of what they feel.” (Filip Topol in an interview for Rock & Pop 11/99)

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • P.V.O. (album) (Rock debut 6), Panton, 1989
  • Nalej čistého vína, pokrytče, Globus International, 1991
  • Leitmotiv (album), Globus International, 1991
  • Baroko v Čechách (album), Black Point, 1993, 2000
  • Sestra (album), Indies Records, 1994
  • Brutální lyrika, Indies Records, 1995
  • Sakramiláčku, Indies Records, 1995
  • Hořící holubi, Indies Records, 1997
  • Myši v poli a jiné příběhy, Indies Records, 1999
  • Studio 1983-85, Black Point, 2000
  • U sousedů vyje pes, Indies Records, 2001
  • Slečna Kristýna, Indies Records, 2002
  • Těžko říct, Indies Records, 2003

Live albums[edit]

  • Vol. 1 a Vol. 2, Black Point, 1990
  • 1979/80 Live, Black Point, 1991
  • Live I. a Live II., Gang Records, 1993
  • Nechoď sama do tmy, Black Point, 1995 (Nahrávka byla pořízena v lednu 1987 v Junior klubu)
  • Mučivé vzpomínky, Black Point, 1997
  • Psi a vojáci, Black Point, 2000

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Národ Psích vojáků, Indies Records, 1996

Single[edit]

  • Žiletky (píseň), 1994

Literature[edit]

  • Národ Psích vojáků, biografie, Maťa, 1999

External links[edit]