Aug 2013 27

Exploring the duality inherent in life and the universe while promoting a sense of community between artists and fans, Gemini Syndrome just might be the next big thing.

An InterView with Aaron Nordstrom of Gemini Syndrome

By Grant V. Ziegler (GVZ)

In a world where alternative, hard rock, and metal bands are becoming a dime a dozen, a group has to do something different and eye-catching in order to separate itself from the herd. Gemini Syndrome may just be that next band to step out of the shadow and into the spotlight with its sound, image, and lyrics.
The band has already completed tours with Mushroomhead, Device (Disturbed vocalist David Draiman’s new project), and Drowning Pool, and in September embarks on a new journey with Five Finger Death Punch, Escape the Fate, and Miss May I. Gemini Syndrome’s new album Lux will be released Sept. 10 via Warner Bros. Records. But what is it about this band that keeps garnering such new and great opportunities?
When one watches the video for the song “Basement,” it’s easy to get lost in the ripping guitars, pounding drums, and crystal clear vocals. On top of that, the imagery in the video pulls your mind in so many different directions. But what can really captivate listeners are the lyrics – the words are deep and induce thought; something that has been lacking in the metal industry for quite some time. It’s obvious that Gemini Syndrome goes beyond the music and image to bring listeners an all out experience that expands the mind.
To help expand minds further, vocalist Aaron Nordstrom was nice enough to pull the bus over in the middle of Wyoming to stop and do this InterView with ReGen Magazine. Nordstrom gives us some insight on why the band chose to sign with Warner Bros. and even talks about his love for the illuminati.


In past interviews, it’s been said Gemini Syndrome was brought together by law of attraction and osmosis; however, in your bio it said that your love for the illuminati caught guitarist Richard’s attention. How did your love for the illuminati come about and how did that bring you both together?

Nordstrom: That’s certainly an interesting first question. I was going to school for psychology and I started school when I was a kid; I started university when I was 14. Along the way, I got into Robert Anton Wilson and Timothy Leary, those kinds of guys. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, they were exploring consciousness expansion basically, and ultimately, that leads into different religions and spiritualities. If you dive in deep enough, it will lead you into conspiracies. From the perspective of what the illuminati is supposed to be, which is a group of enlightened people or ‘ones,’ it just kind of fascinated me in the idea of trying to find the tie that binds all religions together, whether it be Jesus, Buddha, or Krishna; whatever it might be. There are certain underlying principles in all these fields of thought. These all have words every man and woman can live by.
I love that scene in The Boondock Saints in the courthouse and it says, ‘We’ll send you to whatever god you please.’ But I think it’s more than just a global conspiracy to rule the world; it’s more about a set of principles to live by and trying to be a good person.

What elements of the world made you want to create music? Were there certain things in the universe that made you gravitate to music?

Nordstrom: I’ve been playing music since I was two or three years old. I was raised in a musical home. There’s a picture my mom sent me recently where my head is not even to the keys of the piano and I’m reaching up over myself to try and figure it out. Call it divine or fate or something, but I’ve just been doing this my entire life. It’s always resonated with me, so I’ve played a bunch of different instruments and a bunch of different styles. It’s always been my love and passion.

With the debate of going independent or signing to a label going on, what made you all want to sign with Warner Bros. Records?

Nordstrom: That’s a good question because there are so many options out there. You can try to do it yourself like Tech N9ne or Ani DiFranco who never signed to a label and have absolutely wondrous careers. I think for us, when we got approached to sign with Warner Bros. and started meeting the people involved with it, the concept of having a team that was behind us and understood our vision and knowing that they have the abilities that they do as a major corporation to put it all out there, it just seemed to make sense to us. We felt comfortable with everybody and it felt like it was a family. We still do. In the changing world of today, especially in the music industry, you have to make your choices very calculated.

What was it like touring with Mushroomhead, Nonpoint, Drowning Pool, and Device with David Draiman? What have you been able to take away from these bands that will help you in the future?

Nordstrom: Every band we’ve been on tour with has invited me onstage. It’s an honor. I sang with Mushroomhead every night. We just played a festival in Illinois and I’m standing by the side of the stage during Nonpoint’s set and I’m singing along to ‘Bullet with a Name’ and their guitar player yelled ‘C’mon.’ So, I come out and I’m singing without a microphone and he slaps on the shoulder and says, ‘No, go get Rasheed’s mic and sing.’ So, I run over and sing with them. Then with Drowning Pool, their guitarist C.J. looks at me during ‘Bodies’ and he points at the mic and points at the stage and points at the floor like he’s saying, ‘You! Here! Now!’ So, I run out onstage and sing ‘Bodies’ with them. After the show, he said, ‘You’re going to sing that with us every night and if you don’t, I’m kicking you off the tour.’
To answer your question though, it’s a community of people. There’s a mutual respect for all these great musicians and as a singer, to have all these guys that I’ve looked up to and to have the opportunity to share the stage with them is huge. A big part of it is recognizing your peers and creating a family, a community, and a brotherhood for everybody to share what we’re doing. These songs hopefully influence people and change their lives in a positive way. When you bring somebody from another band up onstage, you’re kind of showing everyone this is what it is – it’s a community. Everybody has been really accepting of us and supportive. We’ve made friends along the way and we’re creating a bigger unit.

There’s a lot of focus on the concept of duality throughout your lyrics and your image. Can you tell the readers a bit about that and why it’s such an impact on you?

Nordstrom: It’s in the name first of all; Gemini is the ‘twins of the zodiac.’ That itself kind of captures the whole concept of duality, but on a philosophical level, you start looking at for instance the illuminati like we talked about earlier; you have yin-yang, positive and negative, day and night, and left and right. These are principles that we created. We made words for those things to help us understand the world that we live in. Bringing those two sides together, everybody has good and bad days, good things and bad things, and even we have good shows and bad shows. It’s just trying to balance those two things to make your life more fulfilling and trying to make it the most positive experience you can.

Is there anything you hope your music can combat or fight against? Would you ever want your music to be an anti-anthem for something in the world?

Nordstrom: I don’t know about anti. With songs like ‘Basement,’ which is a very personal song to express my experiences as an individual, such as being legally blind or being different from the norm, I always go back to the concept of community and acceptance. When we go out to a show, whether we’re playing to 50, 500, or 5,000 people, we’re all there for the same purpose and reason, which is to hear music and to see a show. We want to be a community with the people around us, whatever context that ends up being for that individual. It’s just realizing that life is absolutely tough on all levels, life is suffering. But for a few hours, you’re sharing an experience with people you may not even know and you’re one with everyone. You feel like you belong and you’re accepted somewhere. I think our music is trying to express that you’re not alone in this place, in this totally fucked up, strange concoction of experiences.

Speaking of struggles, what is the greatest struggle for you and your band being an up-and-coming act?

Nordstrom: Just holding weight where there are so many people trying to do exactly what we’re doing. In this generation and time we live in with technology being the way it is and people’s attention spans being shorter, it’s trying to hold water with those people and have them actually listen to the message and register in their brains what we’re trying to say.

With that in mind what do you think it is about Gemini Syndrome that will separate you all apart from the other bands in the industry?

Nordstrom: I can certainly say we mean what we do. In this world and life, your words have weight to them. If you’re telling a lie to somebody, they can pick that up in subconscious ways. If you’re speaking something you really believe, whether it’s truth or not, but if you actually believe it, people will naturally grasp on to that because they want to believe too.

Talking about your image a little bit, you wear white and you’re blond while the rest of the band wears black with dark hair. Does that enter into the concept of duality for you or are these just uniforms for you?

Nordstrom: It was part of the plan, sure. But it did work out that I have albinism and no pigment. (Laughs) I just happen to be all white. It’s not to say that I’m separate from the band, but it kind of created a visual that expresses on a certain level what we’re talking about in the first place with our music. It created a visual that would interact with that almost seamlessly. People post on our Facebook page, ‘Oh, I love your look,’ but I didn’t really do anything. I was just born with this. (Laughs)

Is there an overall message or theme you hope your listeners will take away from your music?

Nordstrom: I hope it is positivity. I’ve struggled in my life with a lot of different mood swings and experiences and it’s taken a lot of energy on my part to overcome and accept who I am and try to find my place in the world. Again, that goes back to community, friendships, and connections with other people.

What is the ultimate goal for you and your band?

Nordstrom: World Domination!

Do you feel things are coming together the way you want them to? You’re making big strides and you might be the next big thing.

Nordstrom: It certainly feels that way sometimes. Nothing happens the way you plan it to in life anywhere. You get this idea in your head that this is how it’s going to work, it’s going to be A, B, C, D, E, and it hardly ever happens that way. We’re making waves though and people are resonating with it, which is the biggest compliment we can get. Every show, people are responsive and receptive to us and positive about us. We have support from not only our fans and the new fans that we’re making, but also our peers – the same ones we looked up to when we were growing up. To have that kind of support from all different angles is huge. So yea, I think it is happening.

Did you have anything else you wanted to mention?

Nordstrom: The only thing I can say is thank you to anyone who is behind us. We couldn’t do what we’re doing without the support of the people around us, whether it be our business team, fans, or families. Everybody is with us and behind us. It’s just a huge thank you.


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