The Ganjas in concert, at the recent (March 18) Lollapalooza festival in Chile. One of the bands I’ve been following since I first heard them in 2006, they have been gathering a good international rep and a solid base of fans. Very much a part of the Neo-Psych movement that began in the late 1990s, The Ganjas were one of a handful of bands from Chile who were creating a stir in the music world, and offering further proof that Rock is not the sole property of English speaking countries. During the halcyon days of My Space, discovering a wealth of bands like The Ganjas was a very easy task; all it required was some patience and a propensity for listening to a lot of bands, while searching for the band with the best message.
Here is a gist translation from their Wikipedia page, to get some idea who and what The Ganjas are and to get a bit more background on the band:
After dozens of live performances and rigorous trials, The Ganjas enters the studios of the label Algo Records to record their first album, the homonymous The Ganjas , which would be released in October 2003 by Irrepetible Discos. Receiving very good reviews from the press both for his album and for his live performances, The Ganjas is consolidated as a serious project and with concrete projections. In support of the release of the band’s debut album two singles, “Let’s Go to the Beach” and “Darkside”, whose respective videos get a high rotation on television, reinforcing the popularity of the band.
After the release of the album, The Ganjas made some presentations in other regions of Chile, sharing the stage with friendly bands like Guiso , Perrosky, Scrub, Tsunamis, Black Ice , Pendex, Truck, Ramires !, among others. On the other hand, Comegato Montenegro leaves the band to focus on his own group, the trio of sludge metal Electrozombies.
EP and internationalization
At the beginning of 2004 the band disassociates itself from Irrepetible Discos, with the objective of having their own control over their future works. In the middle of the same year new material is published; the electroacoustic EP Fuma y Mira , recorded live in Sala Master for the program “Chile: Música en vivo” of Radio Universidad de Chile . This would be the first album of the band to be edited in a self-managed way.
Subsequently, they are invited to participate in festivals and musical meetings with already established bands, and begins to maintain constant contact with national and foreign publications. In countries such as Argentina , Colombia , Australia , the United States , Brazil , Venezuela , Uruguay and Ecuador , interest in the work of The Ganjas begins to emerge. Multiple visits, interviews and television presentations reaffirm, at that time, the so-called “Project Ganjero”. Then, the idea of a second album arises, an instance to record the numerous new songs that the band presented at their concerts.
Thus, in the winter of 2004 The Ganjas enters the studios of Algo Records again to record what would be his third album, Laydown , the first of the band to be released by the label Algo Records. The album is released in 2005 and receives even better reviews and comments than its predecessors. It also achieves very good sales and attracts an increasingly large audience to the live shows of the band. The presentations in other regions of the country are becoming increasingly common, and even the band is invited to close one of the days of the prestigious Hispanic American festival Rock al Parque , in Colombia.
At the end of 2005, Luife Saavedra leaves The Ganjas for personal reasons, while the now trio receives a nomination in the APES awards , in the category “Best Rock Band”. Parallel, and to compensate for the loss of his keyboardist, the trio of Maquieira, Astaburuaga and Benincasa are joined by two familiar faces and former collaborators of the band: Luciano Mariño (member, along with Maquieira and Benincasa, of the parallel band The Versions) and Rodrigo RodAstaburuaga (guitarist in the band Camión), who participated in the live performances and in the composition of new songs of the band from 2006. That same year, Ganja’s material was published for the first time abroad. The Argentine band The Jacqueline Trash, with which the Chileans had already shared the stage, is in charge of producing a split in which unpublished outtakes of the Laydown recording sessions appear .
The year 2007 The Ganjas continue to gain adepts and importance in the Santiago scene, this is how they successfully participate in the Vive Latino 2007 held in Santiago de Chile. In addition, The Ganjas releases a final album titled Daybreak through Algo Records, in which the engineer Pablo Giadach (voice and guitar of the Casino band) actively participated in the recording, production of the album and even playing in his live concerts (replacing Rodrigo Astaburuaga). Daybreak was recorded at the Orange studios and mastered in Argentina at the Puro Mastering studio, which has previously worked for artists such as Soda Stereo and Charly García, achieving excellent results, and above all the good criticism of both the specialized media and the general public, not only in Chile but also in Argentina.
During 2008, the traditional label of the band confirms a strategic alliance with Oveja Negra , the institutional seal of the Chilean Copyright Society . In this way the distribution of the material of the band reaches all of Chile and extends the internationalization of The Ganjas in a better way. The best way to finalize this agreement was then to edit a compilation CD with the highlights of each album released, remastering these tracks and include some bonus to make the edition even more interesting.
In the anniversary month of the band two great milestones follow each other, the first visit to Brazil becomes a reality and The Ganjas takes part in important festivals sharing stage with Helmet , The Vaselines , Black Mountain, Black Lips and others. São Paulo , Goiânia and Rio de Janeiro are the cities that comprise the tour of the Rio de Janeiro nation. Back in Chile, they are invited to participate in the prestigious SUE festival, a date in which they share the stage with REM and The Jesus and Mary Chain in an unforgettable evening with extensive media coverage and great results. In January 2009 they are invited to participate in the 2nd Chilean Rock Summit, appointment that gathered more than 50,000 people and about 80 bands.
Just entered the month of February the group enters the studio to register their new album of original songs: Loose , which is the first formal record with guitarist Pablo Giadach, after two years of extensive tour. In fact, Giadach himself is in charge of recording the album, and as in the previous work, he mixes in his personal studio, Orange, and masters in Argentina with Eduardo Bergallo, taking advantage of a new tour of Argentina and Uruguay. Also repeats the formula of collaboration between the stamps Black Oveja and Algo Records to bring this album to the streets, this is how in the month of May 2009 Loose is officially launched, thus beginning what will be the new tour of presentation of the LP throughout the course of the year.
In an interview in Chile with Oasis bassist Andy Bell, accompanied by the guitarist Gem Archer, the journalist commented on a regional band called The Ganjas, and the first one reacted surprisingly in a very exalted way, as he had seen years ago, on the previous tour of Oasis by Chile, a video of the group on television He had loved it, but had not been able to remember the name until that moment. “The Ganjas, that’s the group I told you about, The fuckin ‘Ganjas!” He told his partner, because from what he intuited, he had talked about the group and the frustration that he was not able to get with him. . A couple of years later, in 2011, when The Ganjas shared the stage with the new band of Andy Bell, Beady Eye, the meeting materialized in a lively post-concert night in the backstage of the English.
Okay – enough reading – hit the play button and check them out.