In November 2005, four friends came together to produce a metaphoric everlasting gobstopper form of music–each color transition reflects the psychedelic sounds of Ghengis Green, fit to complement the relaxed environment of drinking a cup of Joe.
The Lewis Center, Ohio quartet produces an experimental attempt to share the qualities of The Flaming Lips, The Beatles, King Crimson, and Beck. For live shows lead singer/guitarist Ben Ahlteen sports a mirage of colorful outfits including a blue shirt, yellow tie, and yellow pants. Ben’s soothing vocal style of medium pitched, even tones combines a mix of Elliott Smith on the layering of “Not Going Back” and a rap style in “Out Of Orbit.” Ahlteen told us he’s influenced primarily by his father and The Beatles. Ahlteen writes most of the lyrics for the Gheng Bang which is “something that comes from within, and [he] write[s] mostly in school.”
The band’s name is derived from Ghengis Kahn and gangrene. Ben said, “they’re both about taking over, and that’s what our aim is!” Chris “Cooter” Cheeseman is the band’s drummer who replaced Ben’s eight-year-old computer manipulated drums. Chris currently maintains the successive background beats. Cheeseman is influenced by Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa and “prog-rock.” Chris, sporting an Austin Powers look, said the writing usually “starts with an acoustic guitar.” Ian McClain on bass gives credit to Led Zepplin, Radiohead and King Crimson as major influences. Dustin White brings the distinct sounds of his keyboards. The hollow spaceship sound mixes well with Ahlteen’s vocals, Cheeseman’s drums, and McClain’s bass grooves. Dustin gives kudos to Queen and The Beatles.
Outside of music, some take up drawing, watching movies, and the necessities of sleeping and eating when time permits. Ghengis Green just recorded a well rounded four song demo. To obtain a copy, contact them on myspace.
Ghengis Green refrains from representing the everyday, ordinary band—refraining from the MTV generational sound. The local group continues to grow with quality live performances, booking numerous monthly shows since their first show in February, 2006. Ghengis Green presents the opportunity to support a local outfit that is sure to impress and welcome a fun relaxed outing. You may get lucky and hear the exceptional live covers of “Mellow Yellow” and “Clint Eastwood.”
Written, Photography By Neil Shumate, Out Of The Blue Publications, Copyright OOTB