By John Parks
Gemini Syndrome is a heavy new alternative band hailing from the West Coast. Their new debut album is called Lux, and since the album’s release this past fall on Warner Brothers, the band has been moving forward at a rapid clip.
The band’s songs blend the element of mystery with lyrical concepts that are universally humanistic and melody with two ton riffage.
Gemini Syndrome will appear at The District, 205 W. State St., downtown Rockford, tonight, Tuesday, Dec. 3, with Mindset Evolution and Starset. I recently talked with singer Aaron Nordstrom about the band.
Q: Thanks for talking with me I wanna start by asking you about your California roots. Back in the day, being a band from either of the coasts was typical, but these days, bands can get attention coming from anywhere. How do you think your environment coming up affected your music and message?
A: Los Angeles has been home for some time. It’s always been a sort of hub for musicians and bands, and art flourishes here in many ways. To be surrounded by so many other musicians helped a lot in creating a community for us to grow. That’s a major part of our message is community.
Q: Gemini Syndrome is a pretty interesting name, and your band’s supporters are called Synners, which is, again, memorable. How did you arrive at the name, and does any of it hold any special meaning to you?
A: In Greek, syn means to combine or unite. The name itself means duality, Gemini, and syndrome, a group of traits coming together. So, the name means bringing together the polar opposites of existence. We call ourselves and fans synners because we are all coming together to unite with one another.
Q. Not every band gets to sign with or have the support of a Warner Brothers. They are truly a legendary record label. How did the band wind up getting the attention of the label, and how has your experience been thus far?
A: We tried to be as self-sufficient as possible. We toured a lot before signing. I think they saw our drive and motive, and were interested. The experience is great. We have a good team that believes in us and has become sort of a family.
Q: When listening to your debut Lux, it becomes clear quickly that your music is often very loud and very heavy, but vocally runs the gamut of aggressive and melodic approaches. Is that a result of your individual songwriting styles or influences growing up?
A: A combo of both. We all listen to a lot of different styles of music, from heavy to eclectic. I think that all comes out when we write.
Q: It can be easy to overdo it in the studio. What kind of vision did you have going in to the studio as far as how organic and real you wanted to keep things, and how much did your vision change in the studio?
A: We definitely wanted to be as organic as possible when we could, but also merge that with elements of electronics and the tools we had available. Working with Kevin Churko was excellent. He was able to work with our ideas and push us in directions we may not have thought of at first. It was a really great environment and experience.
Q: Your band is part of a growing breed of new bands that write music younger audiences can relate to — songs about angst and emotion without a hint of self-consciousness about coming off too “deep” or “message-driven.” Do you feel an obligation to write about emotional content rather than taking a more flippant, self-absorbed or carefree approach?
A: That’s just the way I write. That’s what inspires me, so I let it come out. I think it’s necessary to write about emotion. Music has always been therapeutic for me, and I hope that comes across for others to relate to.
Q: You have had the chance to go out with a very well-established band like FFDP and have had a look into what kind of work is involved staying at that level. Have there been times offstage where you guys have felt overwhelmed by the 24/7 nature of being in a constantly moving, promoting, touring rock band?
A: Not really. Sure, you get tired at times, but we all know what needs to go into touring as far as energy. It isn’t for everyone, but we enjoy the work and travel.
Q. Every band lives for the time they are actually on stage in a given day and the ability to sing the words you feel or crush the riffs you write. What is more satisfying, playing to a crowd of people who are absolutely amped from the get-go, or converting the guys or girls standing around with their arms folded or playing on their smartphones?
A: There’s joy in both. Of course, the people who are already into it are inspiring to see. It refuels us knowing that people are into it, but to see someone who has never heard of us before become a Synner is also really rewarding. The conversion continues.
From the Dec. 4-10, 2013, issue