Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal - Logo
. with the Dutch Progressive Rock Band SALMON
.                                   by Sergio Motta, Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

Sergio Motta - As far as I have been noticed 1997 was the year that the band began to take
shape, did some of you have already any musical experience by playing in any other
band previously?

Salmon: In the month May of 1997 we started our first rehearsals. Three of the members knew each other from previous collaborations. Since then we have had just one drummer change. Our backgrounds musically are very wide apart, as wide as classical is to hard rock or even old style jazz. We put all these influences into our unique Salmon sound. Also because we all have the capability to write music or at least contribute extensively to the end result. As we are a very democratic band, we can all have our say, which means we discuss certain aspects  at length, thus resulting in a mixture of styles, which again makes up our unique sound.
It’s quite interesting to know the reasons why you have chosen such a name for your
band. Do you think making this sort of music in Netherlands or in every other spot of the
world will ever be the same as to swim against the stream?
Salmon: It’s not just swimming against the stream what we do, we also believe that we are still wearing our clothes whilst we are swimming, which makes it even harder. There is not a lot of call for our style of music, we do however feel there is a great appreciation amongst the followers of Progressive Rock music. If a band is willing to stick out it’s neck and go for it, we are still very much surprised how enthousiastic this small group of listeners can get.
In Holland there are only a few venues, which will put Progressive Rock music on their program and there are only a few festivals where a band can play. But on the other hand when we speak to other bands in other countries, we have to consider ourselves lucky that there are venues at all in Holland. We do feel there is a gradual change however. There is a growing popularity for music that originates from the seventies. Kayak, for instance, released a new CD only last year and is touring extensively again. If this is the start of a new trend things are looking up for us and other bands.
The musical influences of the band’s members are really corking in my view, according
to you, bands like Camel, kayak, IQ, Rush among others is the very reflex of what is
shown upon your band’s debut. Would you say the influence of those bands on your
work is equivalent, or would have any of them exercised a stronger influence upon it?
Salmon: You cannot actually say we are a clone of one of the bands that we mention we are being influenced by. When you listen to our music very well, you will hear certain passages or flashes that will remind you of a certain band. Jan Jaap for instance is a big fan of Kansas and Genesis, Sven and Gerrit share the love for the earlier work of Rush and Robbert is mad about Marillion. We are obviously influenced by them, but because of the mixture of styles and the way we work we make up our own Salmon sound. Jan Jaap is classically trained on a University level, besides which he is also the conductor of  an ‘only female’ choir and he teaches the recorder; this being his profession. So taking this into consideration, you will also hear the influence of certain classical composers.
‘’Decade Reference’’ is the title of the band’s debut. That title doesn’t seem to me to have
been created in vain, I do think you created it with a stronger purpose, Am I right for
thinking that way?
Salmon: The title of our debut CD “Decade Reference” was chosen carefully. Three of the band members were born in the early sixties and started listening to music in the seventies. We share the love for that period of time, when music was being played the way it should be played: technically of a very high standard and a relative use of gadgets. We try to go back to that period of time and hope it will reflect in our music. We try to refer to that period of time, so to speak.
According to you, no concession towards other musical styles is allowed, mainly towards
commercial trends. Has that philosophy been stood by all the band’s members from the
Salmon: We all believe in our music. Each member is also very strongly opinionated, meaning we stand for what we feel and say. It doesn’t mean however that we close our eyes for what is happening today. Even now there are musical trends that we like and feel good about. It does however not have the impact anymore on our thinking about music the way the music in the seventies did. We play what we like and we do not play what the larger audiences would like us to play. The only ambition we have is to be appreciated in the small community of Progressive Rock lovers, because only they understand our music and only they can appreciate is to the fullest. Referring to not allowing other musical styles, almost the opposite is true, we certainly deliberately do integrate all kinds of musical influences, like for instance jazzrock and latin music, because we think it enriches our music. Symphonic rock is based upon influences of many styles.
The only discussion that takes place every now and then is whether or not we should play the odd cover when we play live. Just as a sort of tribute. In the earlier days we did that until somebody came up to us and said: “Boys, you don’t need that, your own music is good enough”. We skipped it all together then.
With reference to the music school at Heiloo, in which the keyboard player Jan Jaap is a
teacher. Can he see already any interest of his pupils in giving sequence to progressive
rock music in times to come? 
Salmon: For the readers information, Jan Jaap teaches the Recorder, an instrument which is, sadly, underestimated. On our opening track we make use of this beautiful instrument and we  promise that we will use it more often on the next CD. Jan Jaap's pupils obviously have the same interest in the instrument as Jan Jaap does. His pupils are now very interested how he uses and will use this instrument in our band Salmon. It will open up a new world to them when they listen to today’s Progrock. For most of them it will be their first encounter and who knows what influence that will have on their musical taste. We can but hope that they will be the next generation of Progrock lovers and who knows Progrock players.
The Dutch progressive rock scene is generally taken for an ever blooming one, where 
new bands are often turning up and also bringing a piece of renovation to the world’s
musical scene, as Salmon is now  part of it consequently, what kind of message could
you then impart to all those who are now having access to your music inside and outside
of your country? 
Salmon: We are happy to hear that the Dutch Progrock Scene is considered to be an innovative one. Internally we do not have that perspective. More attention is being payed to the music from abroad like Spock’s Beard and Dream Theatre from America or Saga from Canada. To us this is sometimes very frustrating. The thing is, we do not really have a message or deep thoughts behind our music other than the promotional value it may have to Progrock Music in general. With our music we propagandize a sort of ‘minimalism’, meaning we go back to the baer basics of playing an instrument technically well. We hardly make use of gadgets that will take away the attention from the music and is being used to blow smoke in our eyes where the bands capabilities are concerned. If Salmon can contribute towards a growing interest in Progrock music in general, we are extremely happy and have fulfilled a lifelong dream.
Sergio Motta
is a friend and partiner from the Progressive Rock And Progressive Metal Site

Jan Jaap Langereis - 
Lead vocals, keyboards and recorders.
Gerrit Hoogebeen - Electr.+ acoust.guitars, background vocals.
Sven de Haan - Bass guitars +pedals, background vocals.
Robbert Schuster - 
Drums and percussion, background vocals

"Decade Reference"

Contacts / Info / Bookings
Salmon Home Page

Original Symphonic Rock Music, influenced by Kayak, Camel, IQ, Genesis, Kansas, Rush, Marillion, Yes and various classical composers like J.S. Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi and Stravinski.

Salmon is an enthousiastic "pur sang" symphonic rock band from the Netherlands with members who are highly influenced by several musical trends. This fact means, Salmon’s repertoire consists of an hour and a half authentic and varied sympho rock: in other words dynamic, rhythmic and versatile. You will recognize the influence of Kayak, Camel, IQ, Genesis, Kansas, Rush, Marillion and Yes instantly, next to various classical composers like J.S. Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi and Stravinsky. All this comprises the unique Salmon sound!

Salmon starts off through the renewed contact in October 1997 of keyboard player and lead singer Jan Jaap Langereis and bass player Sven de Haan. They used to be fellow members of an Amsterdam based symphonic rock cover band. A few years and many other bands later, Sven puts an advertisement in a Dutch magazine that specializes in symphonic rock music, called iO-pages. Jan Jaap responded with in the back of his mind the successful collaboration in the past.

After months of so called "attic rehearsals", Henk Sonnenberg joined them. Henk used to be the drummer of the before mentioned Amsterdam based cover band and had remained Jan Jaap’s friend over the years. At more or less the same time (May 1998), Jan Jaap spotted an advertisement in a local newspaper in which a "symphonic music-minded" guitarist, Gerrit Hoogebeen, was looking for employment. Contact was made and a few days later the Salmon line-up was complete.

The School of music in Heiloo, where Jan Jaap teaches, was found to be and still serves as a very appropriate venue for the rehearsals. The school was also the place where the name Salmon was decided upon.

The name Salmon stems from the idea that we consider our music to go against the mainstream of nowadays music. As the salmon struggles to swim upstream to find her hatching place, the music of the band Salmon does the same by being averse to the popular tunes we hear today. The musicians approach their music with a non-commercial attitude and refuse to make any concessions as to the end result. Hence the term: swimming against the tide.

On the 31st of July 2000, Henk Sonnenberg informed the other members, he would quit the band and on the 27th of August 2000, he was subsequently replaced by Robbert Schuster: a drummer with a melodic-percussive style.

Salmon started the recording the debut CD "Decade Reference" on the fifth of January 2001 in Studio Giekerk (near Leeuwarden, The Netherlands).

© Copyright Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal  (2001)
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