Interview with “Gazpacho”

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This article could be a christmas recipe, but it ain’t one. This is an “interview” with the amazing neo-progressive band “Gazpacho” form Norway. Yet, if it was a recipe, the steps would be as they follow: a’ read interview, b’ listen to the band, c’ repeat step b’ forever. So, step a’, interview with Thomas Andersen of Gazpacho follows. The rest is up tou you!

Let’s take things in chronological order. How was the idea and the concept of the band created? What were the first steps of the band, till it’s first release and why “Gazpacho”?

Jan Henrik, Jon Arne and I used to play around in the studio and make music for fun. After a while we developed the style that became the Gazpacho sound and we realised that we had something special going on.

Through the years we acumulated a collection of songs which eventually ended up as the album Bravo which was self released. The band did not have a concept in itself but the music naturally tended towards a dramatic and romantic soundscape and we went with it and nurtured it to perfection. Being huge Marillion fans the lyrics to the song “Gazpacho” by them was on a screensaver in the background in the studio and it struck us as a perfect name for the band because it was funny and would help us not be seen as pompous which is the danger if you are creating anything with ambition.

Which bands would you describe as your greatest influences? How did you “connect” with “Marillion” and how did this “connection” help you get through some album-releasing difficulties?

Over the years it seems clearer and clearer that Kate Bush, Fantomas and Marillion are the three main influences for the band. We were in touch with Lucy Jordache as we wanted to help promote Marillion music in Norway after they left EMI and it was she who helped us get a slot at the Butlins convention where we played some songs. Marillion had at that time started their own label “intact” and were thinking about using it to release other bands as well and they signed us up for a licensing deal.

That and the tour we did with them in 2004 helped raise our profile a lot.

After “Firebird(2005)” -which contained samples that you have asked for, from fans, as i recall- in “Night(2007)” you seem to have made a turning point. Lengthy songs, narrating stories, started coming out, from this album on. What led to that “turn”?

After Firebird we had grown tired of the short song format and decided to just let it all go in the direction that the music wanted and Night wanted to be long. It was also much easier to write albums that way because we could fill it up with stuff that we liked and not worry about intros and length and choruses. At that time the large amount of music being released had also started to bother us as we felt the market was being saturated with stuff that was not necessarily good enough for release and we did not want to add to that. We also realised that the band was never going to have  a hit single and the freedom we felt after letting go of the subconscious need to make something “catchy” led to a very creative time for us.

Your latest album, “Molok(2015)”, is not only considered wonderful, but it also contains a novelty at the end. Would you like to say a word about it?

Molok is about the way that religion is  being displaced by science and how the science if you follow it to its logical conclusion is just as other worldly and weird as religion. Molok is about  a guy who makes a machine to freeze time through a quirk the behaviour of electrons when they are observed and if the science is correct this means that if you could create a code that ran a random number generator every time it was played then it could potentially destroy the universe if it by chance managed to create a mathematical description of the motion, matter and location of every electron in existence. I had a group of physics people look into what actually would happen and even though they didn’t all completely agree many of them were sure that the universe would collapse if this was the case. So we made a code and because of the cd correction software in all cd players this code would be different every time someone played the album on cd and if by a miraculous coincidence they created the correct number the universe would be destroyed. So to sum it up, we created the first cd that could destroy the universe if all things worked, every time it was played.

I’m finding it difficult to choose one album of yours to be my favorite. Is there anyone that you prefer over the others?

We all have our favourites but my two are Demon and Missa Atropos. Missa was, for a long time seen as a bit of a failure I think but over time it seems to have grown on a lot of people. I think the song “will to live” from that album is the most beautiful song we have made and it is one of my favourite songs of all time. When my dad died it gave me great comfort.

In Poland and in the Netherlands you are considered one of the most famous bands. People tend to love you. But, which is your favorite destination in live tours? Is there any live show you performed, that you would describe as “unforgettable”?

We love all our destinations when we tour and there are many shows that are unforgettable, there was the time we played snowman in zwolle in the netherlands on the remembrance day of the heroes of world war two but many other occasions that were particularly good. Touring itself is a lot of fun and we meet nice people every time we play. In Poland we get the rock star treatment and we love that. 

What are your plans for the near future (Live shows-Albums)?

We are currently working on a new album and it is going to be very special indeed. At the moment we have 28 minutes of a long hypnotic song that is being worked and re worked and it is very promising. We will go on tour to support the release of that album when it is ready. So things are continuing as they have always done.

Thank you very much, it was a great pleasure having the opportunity to “interview” you. Any last quotes for fans that might be reading this?”

I only want to say that I hope you have a lovely Christmas and that you accept our very best seasonal wishes from the Gazpacho family. Play hard but christmas harder!

For more, you can head to: gazpachoworld.com/

by Stefanos K.

This article is a part of this month’s tribute to “progressive” Δεκέμβρης-Τσάι-Progressive

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