Following a seven-year hiatus, internationally-renowned South African Christian rock band Tree63 is doing a Kickstarter campaign for its fans to participate in the recording and promotion of its seventh full-length album slated for release this summer. Following the enthusiastic reception the band received at a series of reunion events last year in South Africa, John Ellis (vocals and guitar), Darryl Swart (drums) and Daniel Ornellas (bass) reformed the trio and are working on new music.
While Tree63 has been on hiatus, John moved back to South Africa from the U.S. and released a solo album. Daniel has been living in Nashville touring and producing and Darryl started a recording studio in Canada.
“We’ve stayed in touch over the years and stayed friends,” says John. “Even though we’ve all ventured into other musical projects since, there hasn’t been anything like the special experience of playing as Tree63.”
“So when we got back together to play a few dates in South Africa in April 2014, we talked about making new music,” adds Daniel. “John has songs he’s written since, so we decided to come to Nashville and record this new album.”
Formed in 1996, the three-piece band first came to international attention with the release of their second album, 63 (Survivor Records), in 1999, followed by the 2001 self-titled release on U.S.-based InPop Records that sparked the radio hits “Treasure” and “Look What You’ve Done.” Picking up a Dove Award that year for “Rock Album of the Year,” the band went on to record four more critically acclaimed albums, release numerous radio singles, including the No. 1 hit and Billboard’s most played Christian Song Of The Year in 2004, “Blessed Be Your Name,” from 2004’s The Answer To The Question.
Tree63 toured with Jeremy Camp, Delirious?, Rebecca St. James, Festival Con Dios and others. They also made numerous appearances with the Billy Graham Evangelical Association, headlined Canada’s multi-denominational Christian youth conference (YC) events and more.
“The music industry has changed in a lot of ways since our last album, and we now have the opportunity to independently release our own record,” says Darryl in anticipation of the new album. “However, without a record label behind us, we also don’t have the money they would usually give us to make a record… But, we don’t want to cut corners; we want to make something we and our fans can be proud of and enjoy!”