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John Ganser

John Ganser


John Ganser
Known for his powerful, melodic drumming style, John began playing music at the early age of 8, starting as many musicians do, on piano. With that start he shortly moved on to trumpet at 10 and by the age of 13 had picked his instrument of passion, the drums. After spending his high school years honing his chops, he began playing original music with different bands in Bloomington, Illinois. In the late 1980’s he truly began his musical career as the drummer for The Something Brothers, an original 6-piece band with two singers, two guitarists, bassist and drummer that toured throughout the United States, at the height of grunge rock popularity. After playing hundreds of shows and traveling thousands of miles to try to make it, the band split in 1991.

Having made a musical impression throughout the Midwest, he went on tour with House of Large Sizes (Cedar Falls, IA), who had just signed with Columbia Records, and did session work with artists like Secret Dave (Chicago); The Slugs (Chicago) and Tripping Daisy (Dallas). During this time, he and two members of the Brothers formed The Spelunkers, a power rock trio that played and toured into the late 1990’s. Always a multi-tasking drummer, John also played in other Bloomington-based bands including Skybeard; Grainbenders; No Impedance Brass Band; Mary; Pound of Feathers; and has recently reunited with Something Brothers & Spelunkers guitarist Tommy O’Donnell in a jazz-fusion trio, Inktrail. He also continues to offer his chops doing studio work whenever possible. (See discography below)

In 1999, after The Spelunkers split, John decided it was time to form his ultimate dream band and vonFrickle was born. With longtime friend and guitarist Lee Fehr and prolific bassist Tim Pierson, the three created the signature sound that is vonFrickle – an all original, all instrumental band with progressive rock and jazz fusion influences. In vonFrickle, Ganser is able to explore his passion for instrumental music by combining his powerful, eclectic drumming with experimental electronic instruments like the Moog synthesizers, keyboards, and most recently, the addition of Roland electronic drums.

A constant seeker of new music, stronger drumming chops and exploring new avenues, when asked about his musical career, John says, like other legendary performers, "I want to make great music as long as I can."

1987 - The Patchouli Scented Crazies Self-Titled
1987 - The Something Brothers
The Early Year
1988 - The Something Brothers
You, Me and the Circus
1988 - Secret Dave
Slow Cattle
1989 - The Slugs
The Slugs
1990 - The Something Brothers
1992 - Skybeard
Paint Your Finger Stink
1996 - The Spelunkers
Breakfast is America
1996 - Grainbenders
I Heart Dog My
1997 - House of Large Sizes
Little HOLS on the Prairie
1998 - The Spelunkers
Demand Your Annual Rent
1998 - Tripping Daisy
Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb
1999 - Moonlight Stranglers
Sour Mash
2000 - The Spelunkers
Alphabetical Digit
2000 - Dead Sexy
Dead Sexy
2000 - vonFrickle
Sounds From Inside the Mind of…
2000 - John Brown
Underneath the Christmas Tree
2001 - vonFrickle
Feeding the Organic Computer
2001 - 100 Year Picnic
As Tall As the Sky
2001 - John Brown
Endless Bummer
2002 - The Dits
The Dits Clark Five: Catch Us in the Can
2002 - The Artist Formally Known as Vince
At Last
2002 - Ken Thornton
Venus de Milo, Please Raise Your Hand
2002 - vonFrickle
Beyond Weird Series – Episode 1, Frank Works in a Factory
2002 - vonFrickle
Vibrate, Transmit, Receive
2003 - vonFrickle
Mission 4.9
2004 - The Crossing
2004 - Mary
Happy Life
2004 - Tommy O’Donnell
Pioneer Maintenance
2005 - vonFrickle
Beyond Weird Series – Episode 2, Frank's Great Escape
2006 - vonFrickle
2008 - vonFrickle
The 40 Fingers of Doctor V
2009 - Grainbenders
File Under: Un-Popular
2010 - vonFrickle

As with any musician, influences are many, but when it comes to drumming, John’s biggest influence remains where it began – with Neil Peart of Rush, his first concert experience and "the reason he wanted to play drums". In his early years he was already into Progressive rock and still follows the genre closely. Bands like King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Yes, Genesis, Tortoise and Gentle Giant are among his favorites. Many jazz artists fill his music library, with an impressive collection of Miles Davis, John Scofield and Medeski, Martin & Wood. Electronic influences include Amon Tobin, Squarepusher, Portishead and Stereolab.

Tama 5-piece Rosewood Acoustic Kit
Zildjian Cymbals
Roland Drum Pad
Electronic Trigger System
Moog Synthesizer