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Ganglion

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When you behold both a butterfly as a caterpillar at the same time, it's hard to believe that the first evolved from the last if you haven't seen the transformation process happening. The same may be true for the Norwegian band Ganglion. Evolved from progressive black metal band Lengsel, this band is making way for its current harsh rock 'n roll music with a line-up that includes members of metal band Extol, who are these Ganglions and what can you expect from them?

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Discography: 7" (2002). Available through: Ganglion (4 euro plus postage). Official website: Ganglion. Interview by: mpo.  Date: July 13th 2002.

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Ganglion is a new band formed by members who are part of metal bands that are together for many years. Musically, Ganglion is a different band. So, who came up with this idea and why?

It really wasn't anyone's idea, it just sort of developed, gradually, from our former metal band Lengsel into something quite different, and so we felt it was natural to change name. We didn't want to upset listeners of Lengsel by presenting a package containing the wrong contents, so we decided to start from scratch and opted for the name Ganglion. It was also a way of stating "this is something entirely new and different", and with new members coming into the band during the process, it gave us all a fresh start.

You describe your own music as thrash rock. I think it's a harsh kinda rock 'n roll. How would you describe the musical framework you are working with for this band?

Well, it's always hard to determine your own music, and thrash rock was the best term we came up with at the time, but, really, we don't care that much what people call it, harsh rock 'n roll works for me. Still, I'd say we mix a lot of different elements and pull in various musical strings. Overall we play straight forward rock with technically advanced and catchy edges, in my opinion. Ganglion will as far as I can see always combine different styles of music.

Do you have specific creative goals you hope to achieve through this band?

Like every other band I guess, we want to do something new, and although how
impossible that sounds, I think we have the abilities to present music that doesn't necessarily sound like everything else you've heard. But that doesn't mean that we want be treated as "different" or "special", 'cause we still have a rock audience we wish to face and respond to. Particularly live is a spot we'd like to stand out as remarkable. Also, we want to catch a live-atmosphere when we record, which is a perspective many bands lack today.

Music wise the band only has a demo EP that's currently not for sale though Christiania Rock Records will release it shortly. This four song disc was recorded in October last year. I'm sure you've been sending it around to influential people in the scene. People from record labels and such. How's the feedback on it?

The record that's going through Christiania is now available through sales and contains three songs from the EP on a 7" vinyl. Actually, we won't be sending it around that much, mostly they will go to either magazines or radio stations. We had a demo package that we sent around to about 50 labels right after new year. The response was good, but very few labels gave feedback or showed interest. Partly that was our fault, not making a better promo kit and being reluctant to bang on other people's doors. Still, we may have something going on in Finland, we'll see...

Most members of the band are or have been part of Extol. This band is known for its Christian stance which showed clearly through the lyrics. Is Ganglion a different band on this side of things?

In some aspects, no, in other, yes. So far we haven't been recognised in either the Christian or the secular scene like Extol has, mostly this is for the good of things. On the other hand, we're pretty much the same people that play in those bands, so on that part of us there is very little difference, apart maybe from the fact that Ganglion is not aiming at any particular scene. Lyrically speaking, Extol may be more straight to the point, but idealistically no more nor less.

The biography of the band states that Ganglion is a live band. If people go to a concert what will you offer them from stage? Can you describe the experience?

We display a lot of positive energy, both through our music and our behaviour on stage. Whether people connect to what they see and hear is really up to them, but we want the audience to respond and join in so that the concert becomes more than just a show-off or a rehearsal. We enjoy playing together as a band and especially before a crowd, and so it's an extra boost if the response is good. We have a lot of fun when we're on, but our show can also be aggressive and nerve-racking. In the end it's all about good and exciting music, so we do our best to make those kind of shows, combined of course with a harsh rock performance style.

Extol and Lengsel have been successful to some extent over the last couple of years. Extol got signed with Century Media recently. What are the priorities for Ganglion?

Ganglion is a fairly new band, at least according to its recent name, so first of all we would very much like to achieve a record deal of some sort with proper distribution and then get the ball running. But even more so, we wish to play gigs, get our way around on tour and meet people and then spread the Ganglion-nerve-energy. Like everything else in music, this is a slow and weary process, so we could sure use some speed, but we're taking one step at a time. Maybe a hit-song would do the works???

Like I said before, the EP will be released through Christiania Rock Records. There are only three songs on this 7". What more can we expect from the band record wise?

We have a couple of songs ready and a few with hit-potential just around the corner, so soon we'll be ready to think about it, if nothing else. This also demands that a record deal comes up and even more work from our side. But I think Ganglion will focus more on live appearances in the time to come, and this will no doubt strengthen the band and hopefully make matters easier as to getting in touch with labels, getting connections etc.

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