- Tracy Heck
Gemini Syndrome out supporting '3rd Degree-The Raising'
Los Angeles alternative metal band, Gemini Syndrome, are out touring in support of their new album, 3rd Degree – The Raising, which dropped on October 15th and features the tracks, "Abandoned," "Broken Reflection" and "Absolution."
The album is the long-awaited final chapter of the trilogy that began with 2013's Lux and 2016's Memento Mori.
Although the first two albums dealt with the painful struggles of life and death, the new album looks at the other side of things with the rituals of rebirth and finding your true self so that you can help leave a positive effect on the world around you.
Gemini Syndrome has been out on their Initiation Tour since October 28th and will be wrapping things up November 27th in Reno, Nevada.
The tour featured Ovtlier opening the first half of dates and Oh! The Horror the second half in addition to openers Pushing Veronica and Them Damn Kings.
The tour recently made a stop in Flint where the band hit the stage at the Machine Shop.
Gemini Syndrome vocalist, Aaron Nordstrom, recently spoke about the show and the tour and shared some of the creative process that went into the new album.
Q: You were out at the Machine Shop last night. How did that show go?
Aaron Nordstrom: Dude, it was the best show of the tour so far! I love playing there; we always have great shows at the Machine Shop. If you don't have a good show there then there's something wrong with you!
Q: Have you been happy with the tour and the fan response so far?
AN: Oh yeah, we've had a good run. It's been a good time. The kids are having fun and we're having fun and that's all that matters.
Q: How is it just being able to get back out there and play?
AN: Oh, it's nice! We went out in July and August and that was cool. Everyone is still being kind of careful, but everyone is happy to be out and see live music and just be around other cool fans and fellow creatures.
The same goes for us. I use this statement loosely, but I enjoyed the pandemic lock down to a degree because I like to be at home by myself with my brother and my dog. I got to spend some time on me and I used that time very beneficially, but I know a lot of people didn't have that experience.
I know it was really hard for a lot of people. Regardless, it's still really, really nice to be out playing again. I didn't realize just how much I missed it until we were back out doing it.
Q: What can people expect from the shows on this tour?
AN: A lot of energy. I think we're more polished than we've ever been going out as a four-piece. I think we're going to be doing that indefinitely, probably for the rest of this band's career. We just sound awesome and it's fun to play. All the attitudes on the stage are on the same page and in the same place. It's a good place to be.
I'd say the hardest part of being in a band is getting the right people. It's just another type of relationship and it's an intimate relationship because you're creating with people and sharing lives and sharing your time and it can be complicated. It's complicated just like marriage is and it's hard to get the right type of chemistry. It's a challenge.
Q: And you are performing the new music?
AN: Oh yeah! It's refreshing for us. It's not that I don't enjoy the old music that we've made and with the time off the road it's given me a new perspective on the older stuff as well, but it's just nice to play something that's new and relevant to our lives right now. They sound good and the crowd is getting into it and everybody's happy.
Q: And 3rd Degree – The Raising is the final installment of your trilogy. Obviously that was planned from the start, but did you find yourself making any changes to the plan while you were recording?
AN: You know, it was kind of both ways. We went in with a plan and a whole record of material that we were ready to do and the others went into the studio about two weeks before me and ended up writing seven more songs before I even showed up. Yeah, so we had another half a record to do.
Some of it was kind of on-the-fly and inspired by the moment and some of it was written over the course of the pandemic. It was definitely a shock to me that we ended up with seven more songs. I think five of those made it to the record. It was a wild ride for me and I ended up recording the whole record in nine days. I took two days off to rest so it was really seven days of work and wrote seven new songs and recorded all of the old songs we'd done. It was all done back to back and then I went home.
It was definitely a crazy experience. Someone asked me last night what it was like writing this record and I said it was like being a conduit in a sense.
I know that sounds hokey, but it was like I channeled that sh*t. I was sitting down at my friend's house and I'd record during the day and then go home at night and write a song that I'd record the next day. They were coming out like I already knew them. It was f*cked up for sure. Everything just worked the first time through.
Q: And the whole idea of rebirth couldn't have come at a better time with what the world has been facing.
AN: Yeah, it's absolutely what the world's been going through and also me personally.
I had a lot of personal sh*t that I had to deal with like I haven't had a drink in two and a half years now. I had a serious issue with that and serious health issues because of it. I had a couple of near death experiences and I literally died and was reborn to make this record. Life is never without a sense of irony.
Q: And because so much of your music has that personal aspect to it, what's the best feedback that you've gotten back from the fans?
AN: You know, the constant, and it really is a constant, thank you's about how they wouldn't be here right now without the music. I get that just about every night with someone coming up and saying it and my general response is that I'm glad you're still here because so am I.
Q: A lot of bands have hung it up over the last couple of years. What keeps you going?
AN: There's nothing else I want to do. I can't imagine doing anything else in this life. I would be miserable. It would certainly be less drama, but that's alright. After 11 years of doing this silly thing called rock n' roll, I finally find myself in a camp surrounded by people I love and adore and who have my back. I count my blessings.
Q: And what's the plan for the new year?
AN: We're out for another couple of weeks here and then I'm going to Belgium for eight days to do some shows for my new other project called Woyote, which is a band with Mikey Doling from Soulfly.
We started doing this during the pandemic after Mikey reached out to me. I've know him fifteen years and he asked if I wanted to sing and do this side project for fun and we started writing songs and recorded some tunes. We played a couple of shows over there and it went really well so we're going back to play some more.
Other than that, we're looking to go overseas with Gemini Syndrome at some point and we're going to try to start working on a acoustic record after the new year and release it in the next year or so. Then, we'll probably try to get back on the road in February. I know we're already looking at some festivals next year as well. Next spring and summer should be pretty busy for us.