Newcomers Airfare burst onto Czech music scene


A new indy rock band called Airfare has been making headlines in the Czech Republic in the weeks following the release of the group’s first album, Hotel Moscow. The catchy first single off the CD “Sorry Baby” has made its way up the charts and has attracted the attention of many new listeners. Led by Czech-American frontman Thomas Lichtag, the band is clearly making an impact.

As one Czech website noted a new band has arrived – a blast of fresh air on the Czech music scene. In a relatively short space of time Airfare have dusted off a rebellious rock n’ roll attitude long mothballed in the music business and English lyrics by frontman Thomas Lichtag (who, amazingly, is just 21) have also helped set the band apart. The group’s efforts have paid off: last month Airfare were voted Best Newcomer in the Óčko Music awards, during which Airfare performed and most unexpectedly smashed their guitars – something which thrilled many in the audience but also caught others off-guard.

Singer/guitarist Thomas Lichtag:

“The last song of the show was Last Man Standing and during that we proceeded to break our guitars and set fire to them because we thought that it’d be something nobody had ever done on this awards show. All these classic bands everyone knows did it and we don’t consider it anything out of the ordinary. But it’s something every rock band should do at least once, I think.”

But it is not that performance but the band’s first single Sorry Baby - with catchy riffs and guitar – which has brought Airfare the most attention, their video on youtube seeing 35,000 views as well as dozens of positive comments. After 11 weeks, Sorry Baby has climbed to No. 12 on the country’s singles chart.

The song and a second track off of Hotel Moscow also form part of the soundtrack in a new film by Czech director Milan Šteindler – promising to bring the band to still broader public attention. Where do Airfare go from here? That’s an easy question for singer Thomas Lichtag:

“We just plan to play to play as many shows as possible because I think that’s where we really shine as a band. You haven’t experienced this band until you’ve heard us live.”