You know a band is ambitious when their debut album is part one of a plannedthree record trilogy. This could be a dangerous move but in the case ofalternative metal band Gemini Syndrome the formula measured up perfectly. Withthoughtful lyrics and a heavy yet melodic vibe, it was clear that the band hada lot to say. Through relentless touring, they quickly garnered a dedicatedfan base who came to be known as the Synners and their debut album “Lux” was solidly received spawning a top 20 single on the mainstream rock charts withtheir song “Stardust.”
The band has recently released their follow up to “Lux” and part two of theirtrilogy with their newest album “Memento Mori.” The focus of the record movesfrom the birth and awakening of “Lux” to the journey of life itself. Thephrase itself is defined as a reminder of mortality and “Memento Mori” has aheavy feel but a very positive, life affirming feel. The single “Remember WeDie” is quickly climbing the charts and the band is in the middle of aheadlining tour here in the States. BackstageAxxess had the chance to talkwith frontman Aaron Nordstrom, get his insights on the new record and find outsome interesting things that happened during the recording of the album.
Please join us for all the latest on Gemini Syndrome as we present an interviewwith Aaron Nordstrom.
KE: Hello Aaron, welcome to BackstageAxxess and thank you for taking the time tochat with us today. How are you?
AN: I’m doing well, thank you.
KE: The new Gemini Syndrome album “Memento Mori” drops on the 19th. Would youexplain the meaning of the title to us?
AN: Absolutely. It’s a Latin phrase basically meaning “Remember That You Have ToDie” and it could sound kind of morbid but it’s more of a wake up call. Be conciousof yourself.
KE: The record is part two of a trilogy with your debut album “Lux” being thefirst. What’s the concept behind the whole trilogy?
AN: It’s birth, life, and death. “Lux” was a record about coming of age, try tounderstand the world around you. This record is you live and you die. Thatawareness that comes with your concious acceptance of the fact that life is notforever and the third record will deal with the end of it and what might possiblycome after it, or a look back at what life is and on your experiences.
KE: The record is really heavy but also very life affirming. I think it was Brianthat was calling it “life metal.” Can you tell us about the writing process thatwent into this record?
AN: We had been kind of chomping at the bit to do it after doing so many years oftouring and playing the first record over and over again. Not that we don’t lovethat because we do love that and the album but it’s always good to be able to createsomething new and be able to create more stuff. As far as the production, we knewkind of the version we wanted to do, to push ourselves musically as far as personalperformance and to push ourselves as far as songwriting and make a better record.That will be the case on every record that we do, try and push ourselves and maybeto push ourselves to do something we hadn’t thought of before or try something wedidn’t want to push for. Try and play something a particular way and really pushour limits.
KE: The band has gone through some lineup changes. Who are the guitarists with younow and did they play a part in the songwriting process as well as being on for thetour?
AN: We have Daniel Sahagun and Charles Lee Salvaggio. They’re great dudes. We allget along extremely well and they’re all really talented players and songwriters.As far as the writing process for this album, Brian, A.P., and myself pretty muchwrote this. So it was pretty much done by the time that Dan and Charles got thecall. However, they were involved in the recording. When we finally came to therealization that these were the people that we wanted to stay in the band, webrought them in after the majority of the guitars were done but kind of showed themthe stuff they would be playing live and the ideas they brought to the table werereally great. It was really cool to kind of have them be involved. We wanted tomake sure that they felt they were a part of it and not just some hired help and itworked out for the benefit of everybody.
KE: There was an interesting story about your studio experience for this album.Some things were happening in the world that kind of inspired some of the songs onthe album. Can you tell us a little about what happened?
AN: Yeah, I’ll clairfy a little bit too. It didn’t really influence the mainrecord but it happened when we were recording the final vocals for the song“Zealot.” “Zealot” is about exactly what that word means, the ideology thatblindly follows a religion without knowing the truth. And while we were recording“Zealot,” the Paris attacks happened and it was a really intense moment becausethat’s exactly what that song is about so we had the news on the tv to see what wasgoing on. It happened later on a different song “Anonymous” and the theme of acall to action and, again, the social commentary. As we were recording, itsimultaneously beeped in that the shooting in San Bernardino was going on and itwas just a really surreal experience I guess.
KE: There’s a new video out for “Anonymous” with a really cool concept that offersa 360 degree view and virtual reality aspect to not only change the viewing anglebut kind of the whole perception of the video as well. How did that idea comeabout?
AN: We were talking with our director Brian Cox. He had brought up the idea and wethought it was awesome. It certainly is kind of a new technology. A few peoplehave used it and we wanted to see, kind of, what we could accomplish with it. Itwas interesting to record it because it’s very different. The camera is set up inthe middle of the room and there’s nowhere for the director to, kind of, hide. Andthere are some scenes where it’s just me in a room by myself. It’s just a uniqueexperience and the fact that there’s action happening in every direction all thetime.
KE: Are there more videos in the works?
AN: There’s a video for “Remember We Die” out also. It’s directed by Brian Cox andthen we just released a lyric video.
KE: Tell us about the headlining tour with Stitched Up Heart. How is that going?
AN: So far so good. We’re about a month in with Stitched Up Heart and 9 electric.We’ve all known each other for a long time and we’re from LA. We’ve toured togetherbefore. It’s been a lot of fun.
KE: What has the fan reaction been to the new album?
AN: It’s been really awesome, an overwhelming response. Everybody’s excited nowthat the album has actually dropped and as far as live goes, the response has beenamazing. People are already singing along and moving around and having a good time.
KE: Gemini Syndrome has a really special fanbase, the Synners. Tell us about howimportant that fan relationship is for the band.
AN: Well, I think it’s absolutely mutually exclusive. We wouldn’t be a band withoutthem. They create a whole community that stretches beyond the town they live in.It’s a way for people to connect.
KE: Do you have plans after this U.S. run is over?
AN: We do. It’s all, kind of, being worked out right now. We can’t publicly talkabout it yet but yeah, I think around the holidays.
KE: So fans that haven’t caught you on the road yet will get another opportunity inthe near future.
AN: Absolutely, probably all year next year.
KE: What’s the one thing you’d like fans to walk away with when they leave a GeminiSyndrome show?
AN: A feeling of belonging. To know that they’re not alone. All these differentpeople from all these different walks of life hang out with each other and hopefullyforge new relationships. That’s a big part of the message.
KE: Thank you for taking the time to talk with us today Aaron. Best of luck withthe new album and the tour.
AN: Thank you for having me.
We would like to thank George Vallee from Concrete Marketing for setting up the interview with Aaron. For more information on Gemini Syndrome, please go to:Gemini Syndrome.