Metal Hammer

Overnight success is a rare occurrence in the modern prog world. And having formed a decade ago, Oslo sextet Gazpacho certainly aren’t the exception that proves the rule. Indeed their sixth album, Missa Atropos, is their first to be released on a major label, with the band having recently signed to KScope, home to Anathema, Blackfield, Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson, The Pineapple Thief et al.

“We hope that this is a natural next step for Gazpacho,” founder member and guitarist/programmer Jon-Arne Vilbo enthuses. “To start off with we were pretty much on our own. Then several years ago we teamed up with our management in Germany and got distribution in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Holland. But what we’ve really been lacking is a company that believes in our music, can promote it well. There’s only so much we can do as individuals. We’re now at the stage when we need to take it a notch up.”

That said, Gazpacho’s unsigned status has previously abetted their creative independence. What’s more, as Vilbo readily confesses, the members of Gazpacho – Vilbo’s childhood friend Thomas Andersen (keys) along with Jan-Henrik Ohme (vox), Mikael Krømer (violin/mandolin), Lars Eric Asp (drums) and Kristian Torp (bass) – are not dependent on income from the band as they all have full-time jobs. The consequence is Gazpacho’s freedom to write music for their own satisfaction rather than pandering to commercial pressures. However it wasn’t always so and in the band’s earlier days they sent out numerous demos to record labels. But, by Vilbo’s admission, their first three albums derived very limited commercial success. 


(Image credit: Kscope)

“We were still trying to figure out our style and were going in all directions. There are some gems on those records, but at the same time there are some songs that we don’t play live today. We were trying to think about the commercial market.” When their third album, 2005’s Firebird, underperformed in terms of sales, Gazpacho found themselves losing money and querying both their direction and the rationale for their existence. “The answer was solely because we enjoy music,” Vilbo affirms.


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