On August 28, 2015 at a small, hole in the wall pub in South Bend, Indiana, I had a chance to meet up with Aaron Nordstrom of Gemini Syndrome. This show was their first date on a tour that featured headliner Avatar.
Gemini Syndrome is coming out strong. With no new album but a new single that is tearing up the charts on Sirius Octane, Nordstrom was clearly pleased. All of this despite having separated from the first album’s label, Warner Bros. “We left Warner Bros. It is what it is. We’ve been doing everything independent for now. It looks like we’re gonna re-sign, but I don’t wanna talk about that til it’s done,” he told me when I asked him about the label situation, which was among the information in the press release I received.
This wasn’t the only challenge the band faced. “Rich decided to leave, Mike had to leave. We were kind of faced with a moment of truth. We weren’t willing to quit. I’ve been doing this a long time. A long time before this band. It’s what I’ve made my life to be. I think all of us have. There wasn’t any question in our minds what we were going to do.”
While it is unknown why they left the label, he wouldn’t further clarify and I didn’t press for information, one thing is sure. The first album was amazing and while they didn’t shoot into the stratosphere with it, they did develop a strong fan base and some amount of name recognition, along with strong radio play for their hit single Stardust. “It got a lot of love, dude,” he said when I mentioned it. Watch the video for Stardust here:
Rock n Roll and heavy metal are a very fickle, but loyal, crowd. Those of us who are fans like our bands and our genres of metal. It’s not often there is a cross over. Those of us who like thrash, LOVE thrash. While we may dig some other bands of other genres, if we like the harder stuff, we won’t usually cross into bands that are radio friendly. Metal fans don’t usually dig Papa Roach or Nickelback or whatever other flavor of the week is out there. We tend to stay away from rock radio, as it is nothing more than a different kind of pop music. Gemini Syndrome is different. Straddling that line between radio friendly and metal, but without the usual trappings of drugs and women, the band has managed that crossover to metal fans that very few others have accomplished. “We come from a really dark place, man. A really honest place. Life is that. Despite the fact our music isn’t always that heavy compared to some other bands, we’re a fan of that style of music. The darker, more real, if you will. I think that comes across.”
After taking “the longest break we’ve ever had”, they jumped into writing the new album. “We just finished writing the next record, recorded some of it.” When pressed about the new album, Aaron revealed that we should look towards early next year. “We’ve got our ducks in a row. We’ve got a timeline, give or take, but I want to shoot for March. As soon as this tour is done, we go straight into the studio to finish recording everything else.”
While Lux released in September, 2013, it has seemed like an eternity since we’ve had new music from Gemini Syndrome. It looks like that drought is ending soon. With the release of their new single Eternity and a touring run with Avatar, it seems that Gemini Syndrome is back and firing on all cylinders. “We get those fans who like our music, like minded individuals, wherever we go.” And they go everywhere. Here’s to the return of Gemini Syndrome. Let’s hope the new album hits sooner, rather than later.
PERSONAL NOTE: Before I began the interview with Aaron, I mentioned to him how Gemini Syndrome interviews have been the bane of my existence. Here is a quick rundown of the problems I have had with the band:
- The first show I went to, I couldn’t attend the show because I had my son, who was 3 at the time. I don’t think I could have faked him as 21 for a 21 and over venue. I did manage to convince Aaron to take a picture with him. And what did my son do? Threw a rock at him. Don’t believe me? Here’s the evidence:
- After the embarrassment of that incident, I returned home to find out that the digital recorder failed during the interview. So, no interview and no photos (other than the rock one).
- The second show was on a weekend and I couldn’t find a sitter. So I sent a colleague to the show. Having had no experience, he held the recorder too far away from Aaron, who is a soft spoken individual. No interview.
- This was the third time I have attempted to cover the band. Interview was fine. Photo’s were fine. Until I discovered that there was no memory card in the camera. . .Someone had pulled the memory card out and never replaced it. I didn’t check, because I assumed the camera had been left alone. No such luck. Luckily, I took a couple photos with my iPhone. So, please excuse the graininess of the above photo.