If there’s one thing we’ve learned since the inception of TDOA, it’s that great music exists throughout the world. We elitist Americans are told that the only good alternative music comes from the U.S. and….maybe… England. Nothing could be further from the truth, as we’ve brought you great bands from France, Spain, Germany, China, Japan, Canada (did we mention the interview we’re working on with a band who claims to be from Antarctica?). Now, here’s The Ganjas from Santiago, Chile who rock and gaze and wear shoes, but not in any particular order. Think Swervedriver meets Oasis (have you seen the video of Andy Bell professing his love of The Ganjas?) meets barbed wire fences. We reached out to the band shortly before the horrific earthquake and were only able to follow up recently. Here’s the status of the next great rock band.
TDOA: We have to admit that we weren’t aware that there was great music coming from Chile. Is there a good sized audience for your music there and how enthusiastic are they?
SM: Today we are a recognized band in the media in Chile. Good reviews in the press, but we are an underground band anyway, you know you can’t be so popular here, singing in English.
TDOA: While preparing for SXSW, we’ve noticed a few great bands from Chile. Can you talk about other bands from your country that we should be listening to?
SM: I recommend Intimate Stranger, Casino, Electrozombies, Hielo Negro, Tabernarios, Perrosky, Acido,
Hell Gang and Los Chinches. All very good bands, that you can check out on MySpace. From the past, Los Jaivas, absolutely.
TDOA: We’ve seen the video with Andy Bell professing his love for The Ganjas. Do you know how he heard about you?
SM: They were in the hotel in Santiago watching t.v. and saw the video of “Dance Hall” or ”
Sonic Redemption” .
TDOA: In the video, he mentions that he’s going to pass your music on to Noel Gallagher from Oasis. Did you ever hear back from them?
SM: No news yet…
TDOA: Can you talk about what bands have influenced your music?
SM: Wow, there’s a lot. From the blues like J.L. Hooker, Canned Heat…. Lots of classic rock like Hendrix, Sabbath, Manchester grooves like The Stones Roses, Happy Mondays. Shoegaze stuff like Swervedriver, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, The Cure. Lotta dub like King Tubby, LKJ. Metal like Voivod, old Metallica, C.O.C.. Glam like T- Rex, Jacobites. 90′s: The Replacements, Screaming Trees, Dinosaur Jr.,
Alice in Chains, Kyuss, …etc. We are music junkies as you can see…
TDOA: We’ve heard your new album and an album that seems to covers 2002-2007. Can you talk about how your sound has changed over the years?
SM: At the first we just jammin’ for hours and recorded that, with time we started to make more “songs”, but we’re still jammin’ a lot. Each album has a different sound because of the different people who play with us. For example, on the “Laydown” album we played with Luife, who plays keyboards. On “Daybreak” Rod plays guitar, and our last album “Loose”, Pablo adds his sound. That’s the Ganjas way, we are always searchin’ a new sound.
TDOA: You’re playing SXSW in March, but have you played in the U.S. before? Tell us about your feelings about playing here, please.
SM: It’s our first tour in the U.S. and we are very exited ’cause this is the place where Rock’N’ Roll was born.
TDOA: Politically, can you talk about the perception of the United States in Chile? Has it changed since Obama became president?
SM: Yeah, a lot…Mr. Bush was kind of scary guy…
TDOA: What are your plans for the rest of 2010? Will you release another album?
SM: To record a new album for sure, we have a lot of new songs, and keep touring around the world
TDOA: It would be rude for me not to ask about the effects of the earthquake. Were you impacted by the damage?
SM: Oh yeah, this one was heavy shit, our bass player, Pape, lost everything; house, family business. It was terrible. I think our country (will) change a lot after this. It will be very hard start all over again. The only good thing of this I think, is that people became closer to each other besides their political thoughts, that divided the country for so long.
To learn more about The Ganjas, visit them on MySpace.