Interview with Gemini Syndrome frontman Aaron Nordstorm
August 10, 2014
By: Lisa Clarke
MPR: How did the band get together? Where and when and how? Who did you know?
Aaron: We formed in 2010 in Los Angeles. We had all transplanted from different places. I like to say that it was kind of the perfect storm. We were all just kind of there, pursuing the same thing and just through mutual friends.
MPR: Kind of like any other band starting out?
Aaron: More or less.
MPR: And the name, Gemini Syndrome. I love that name, I'm a Gemini, and I'm automatically drawn to it. Why did you choose it?
Aaron: Gemini is the twins of the Zodiac, represents duality. Syndrome is a collection of traits or qualities. So you're balancing, more or less, the human condition.
MPR: I love that. The album Lux and all the things that go along with your band, the imagery and all the terminology that you use, "Conversions" that's a unique thing and it makes it seem like more of a brotherhood with your fans.
MPR: Who's behind all the imagery and terminology?
Aaron: It's a group effort for sure. Visually, Brian (Medina, drummer) does a lot of the graphic design stuff and works with a guy named Cameron Gray out of Australia, who did all the artwork for the shirt you're wearing (the ladies Stardust tee).
"Syn" in Greek, means to combine, unite, create. So when we call the fans "Synners" we're literally talking about creating a community. We're not talking about doing evil. We get that question a lot, "Why do you call them Synners?". In that sense, that's why we're trying to convert people, to create togetherness.
MPR: Sure, exactly.
Aaron: And a lot of the music, I mean all of the music, all the lyrics; it's very personal. Based off my experiences mostly. Either directly or things that I've seen other people go through. It's a pretty universal experience. Like everybody's details are different but at the core of it I think it's all very similar. We try to remind people of that.
MPR: How do you feel about the video hosting websites as a promotion device for your band?
Aaron: It's invaluable in that sense. I was just talking about this earlier today too. The thing about social media and the internet that is such a blessing to us is you can keep in touch with anybody, any time. So, you know, we hit the same spots over and over again. You meet people once, twice, meet them more and more, you become friends with them. So it gives you that ability to stay in touch and stay connected to people. And again, create that community and keep it going constantly.
The only negative to it, obviously, is you can get everything for free. And I'm guilty of it too, you know. There's records that I'll just go and listen to on YouTube. Because it's there, it's convenient. Instead of going out and buying it sometimes. Now, my validation for that in my sense is that I am a musician and we are broke so I can't afford to go and buy other people's music. (Laughing) So I'm allowed to listen to it for free! But, maybe that's just me validating it.
MPR: (Laughing) Right!
Aaron: But yeah, it's been an invalubable tool for sure. But there is that element of like, you can just put your hand in the pot and get whatever you want. We kind of get hosed on that end of it.
MPR: On the flip side, how old are you?
Aaron: How old do you think I am?
MPR: I'd say 28.
Aaron: You're a sweetheart. I'm 32.
MPR: Thirty-two, see I wasn't far off! But I'm a lot older than you are so I remember the days when music was more of a physical thing instead of a digital thing.
Aaron: Sure, no, I do too!
MPR: Which leads me to the next question; the challenges of promotion and success in the digital age which I guess leads back to people going to YouTube to listen rather than buy. Obviously that is a challenge.
Aaron: Yeah! A big part of it I think is that because everything is so accessible now, which is a beautiful thing, also creates turmoil for artists because now you have oversaturation. So anybody can get your stuff. They can listen to you, they can find you, IF they can weed through everything else. So you get quantity over quality a lot of the time. That in and of itself is a challenge. I think that's why we focus so much on visual imagery and having symbolism in the band. Going back to the fundamentals of human communication because symbolism is the oldest form of....before written language existed you had hieroglyphics and things like that. So you use those things as a tool to kind of tap into the subconscious of people. So you have a song and you have a symbol that goes with that song and that goes with the lyrical content and all of those things are attacking your senses. Your trying to, ultimately I think, register on a deeper level with people. And I think those things are necessary. You have to have good imagery.
MPR: I think so!
Aaron: In order to stick out. Video killed the radio star. You have to have all that.
MPR: You have to think, back in the day, back when I was coming up in the 80s bands had logos. You would spend all of math class trying to recreate the Iron Maiden logo on your notebook.
Aaron: Sure. How many people have the "Cowboys From Hell" tattoo. Or the Type O Negative symbol. You have to have this. You have to.
MPR: Exactly! What about your remaining touring plans? Are you coming to the end of your cycle for Lux?
Aaron: We're getting there. We're coming up on a year that it's been released. We'll finish out this tour with Sevendust and we're doing some headlining stuff in between. I think we go home August 30. That's the last show. We're going to spend some weeks at home. I think we're going to try to finish the next record.
MPR: So you are working on the follow-up?
Aaron: We're always writing. Always writing constantly. But we've been just road-dogging it for the last.....forever! (Laughs)
MPR: I've been keeping up with you on Facebook! You've been busy!
Aaron: We've been on tour, it seems like, since I was born! To really sit down and focus on the writing process, we haven't done since the first record. So there's always ideas coming out and stuff. But to really hone in on it and dial it in, I think we'll do that. And then, it's almost confirmed, I can't say who it is, but we're looking at a tour for October to December. It's like ninety-nine percent confirmed.
MPR: Ok! Well I hope you come back around this way, because I'll definitely be there.
Aaron: From what I understand we're going to do full U.S. again. Make a big circle, hit Canada again. We haven't been up there since Five Finger Death Punch, so we'll go back and hit those areas.
MPR: Three real quick fun ones! Got to have fun ones at the end, right?
MPR: Alright, what's your favorite food?
MPR: Your favorite superhero?
MPR: What is YOUR favorite body of water? Doesn't have to be this one (points out to the Gulf Of Mexico).