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Bam-Bam’s Exclusive Interview With GEMINI SYNDROME 

Frontman & Spiritual Guru; AARON NORDSTROM

Trees - Deep Ellum, Texas: Thursday, August 11th

 

gemini syndrome aaron

 

To say that the mid-west regional branch of SomeKindOfMedia was scrambling beyond a robotic pace Thursday, August 11th 2016 is the understatement of the year!  SomeKindOfMedia Senior Features Writer, Craig “Bam-Bam” Stegall and brilliant newcomer; Staff Writer/Reviewer Cherri Bird, made mad dashes from home base in McKinney, TX where they nailed down interviews from Art Of Dying frontman Jonny Hetherington and Godsmack/Apocalyptic Blues Review drummer Shannon Larkin; on to downtown Dallas/Deep Ellum to the famed Trees Concert Venue through backstage greenrooms and individual tour busses to bring you some of the most insane and telling first-hand sit downs with 9ELECTRIC, Stitched Up Heart and this little gem; an exclusive tell all and deeply spiritual sermon from one of New Rock’s most critically applauded and fanbase adored musicians in the biz: GEMINI SYNDROME frontman, Aaron Nordstrom.  

 

Now, the reason for the opening windup was not for sake of building intensity.  On the contrary; it was to cement the fact that, under these conditions, normally; the interviewer, aka - ME, would be dead-tired and you would clearly hear the drop in intensity easily as just being a dull and uninterested story for nothing more than written fodder to take up space.  I think it’s clear to say that this is not even close to the case here.  Take your weary, beaten body, mind and souls through this fevered pace and then choose to end it on a tour bus with such a brilliant mind as Aaron Nordstrom and I’m sure you’ll agree that you simply CANNOT end the night on a low note even if you tried!  Never, in my 18-years of doing this, have I been so glued to my seat with literally NOTHING to say, but rather opening my ears even more to take in completely what was coming out of this guy’s mouth and breathing in the energy that was surrounding him as he spoke.  Music fans, I kid you not when I say myself and my lovely partner-in-crime, Ms. Cherri Bird, were like two deer in the headlights on this night as we just listened and tried, with all our might...to explain the gift that Aaron shared with us; and you, right here, right now...

 

As you’ll notice, with every interview I’ve ever done, the leadoff I attempt here is to simply draw a line of comparison between an artist’s prior album, and the one that they are obviously here touring and doing interviews to promote.  However, notice how quickly Aaron creates a clever diversion to lead ME, the normally commanding voice, right down the garden path he wants this thing to go, and then completely turns the water hose on us as we round the corner.  

Gemini Syndrome

 

SKoM: “Let’s start by talking about what I’m sure everyone can’t wait to hear some information on, that being the brand new album; Remember We Die.  How are fans going to be greeted after two years of living with your debut masterpiece Lux?”

 

Aaron:  “I think it’s definitely a more mature and evolved record than Lux was.  We tried to make it more intricate than what we were doing before, both technically and, even though I don’t want to say it’s ‘darker’ than what we were doing before; it is more deeper and REAL spiritually than Lux was.”

 

SKoM: “Well, Lux had one of my favorite tracks of that entire year on it; “Basement”, and I don’t know how you can get darker than that, man.  That was a super dark track!”

 

Aaron: “Yeah, that was a song about some really tough times.  You see ‘Lux’ means ‘Light’.  It’s part of a three-part storyline that we are creating with the music.  So, with ‘Lux’ or “Light’, we’re talking about a coming of age.  It’s me being comfortable in my own skin at that point.  Remember, everyone comes from the same place when they’re a 13, 14 or 15-year old kid.  They’re wondering, or at least I know I was; ‘exactly why I am this way?’.”

 

(Writer’s Note: For the newbies reading, Aaron was born with Albinism and since individuals with this Albino-like quality are very sensitive to light, Aaron lived in the basement of his home to avoid the affects of being photosensitive to the light that shone in from windows as his basement was darker.)  

 

I was coming to terms with things that, at one time, I was very angry at God, or my higher power, for.  I felt completely separated from everyone.  But this record starts out and dives into being someone who has finally come to terms with what has made them feel isolated and finally becoming comfortable with what you are...and then, you come to the realization that, once you’ve accepted who you are...now you must understand that you are going to die.”

 

Literally, as Aaron says the word “die”. Cherri and I both look at each other as if to cue some kind of response from one another, but we simply cannot.  I wanted to laugh out loud because it sounded so dark and brooding, as if it was a horrible joke about dead people, but it was being told at a funeral home where the sheer irony alone would make everyone so uncomfortable that neurotic laughter would ensue...but we could NOT muster up even a giggle ...when Aaron said that word, “die”, I felt chills go up my spine and start making my neck sweat.  As if that wasn’t enough; Aaron repeated the sentiment: 

 

Aaron:  “I’m not kidding...you’re gonna DIE!  Maybe not now, not tomorrow, but the fact is...even though you don’t know when...YOU (he says pointing at me), HER (now he points to Cherri Bird), and ME (pointing gently towards himself)...we’re ALL gonna DIE!”

 

SKoM:  “(nervous laughter) I mean, dude...c’mon; when you say it like that, you know the fans reading this can’t see your face like I can, and they don’t know that you’re just sitting across from me with this normal, gentle, everyday look on your face.  I mean, if they were to just HEAR this interview without any setup, like they’re going to be doing when it goes to print; I’m sure they’d think you were just being dark as hell right now.”

 

Aaron:  “It’s not dark, though.  It’s just a fact.  I have to clearly base this on what I know to be true, throughout history, which is that we’re ALL going to die...but you know; what if I’m NOT supposed to die?  What if?  Again, I can only know what I know, which is that fact and history support that everyone who has ever lived 

...DIES!  That’s a fact.  No one has ever cheated death.  So, I’m not saying that someone won’t do it, but I have to go on what I know NOW.  We’re all going to die! The point you need to make out of all that is that it is a reality.  So, why not be the best you can be and do the most good you can do...while you’re here.  Isn’t it funny how a murderer and a person who’s never done anything wrong in their life; BOTH are going to, eventually, experience the same fate...they’re both going to DIE!  One chose to be a murderer and bring hate and harm to this world, while the other, they chose to be someone that helped others, made this world a better place.  All the title of this new album is saying is, Since we’re all going to die eventually, and that is the one thing that we can pretty much count on in this lifetime...I want to challenge people to do good with their lives.  Whatever good means to YOU!  That’s what people should concentrate on.  Remember We Die...All of us...so what are you going to do in order to make something good happen while you’re still alive?  It’s not a negative or dark thought at all!”

 

SKoM:  “Again, even though it feels as if I’m stating the obvious here, but I know the readers cannot see you sitting here in front of me and I feel I need to call attention to the fact that, if they could, everything you are saying to us right now is being said with the utmost calm and non-crazy demeanor while you sit literally two feet away from me wearing some of the most amazingly spiritual looking, symbolic jewelry and tattoos that I’d like to discuss if you’re cool with that.  I mean, obviously if it was something that you were being secretive about, you wouldn’t wear it so openly on the outside of your clothing and you’d certainly cover up any of the tattoos that you didn’t want people to judge you by or look at and misconstrue.  Are you cool discussing?

 

 

Aaron:  “Of course! Well, this piece...(Aaron points to his gorgeous necklace that is hanging outside his button down shirt...) is a triangle with the sun, basically the eye in the pyramid, always facing both ways...both directions, which if you look closely, it creates the Star Of David...it goes back to old esoteric symbolism...”

 

Gemini Syndrome 2

 

SKoM:  “Very Kabbala-based?”

 

Aaron:  “Absolutely...as is above, so below! (Aaron and I both smile at each other, something that I will not explain here, all I’ll say is; if you know, then you’ll know what we are talking about.  If you don’t, do some homework in the old Hebrew teachings that pre-date Christ and see if this man’s words don’t just resonate on a whole different level!)  Macrocosm, Microcosm...the fact is that I don’t understand this reality, but there are patterns there that seem to be guiding people to understanding this reality.  The energies and such.”

 

SKoM:  “How do you incorporate that feeling of it being so readily spoken about in our circles in your music?  People who study some of the things that you and I are describing, if you will...they usually risk seeming as if they are...I don’t know...outcast in believing some of the more spiritual concepts that you speak of when you write.”

 

Aaron:  “I just say, Question everything.  I absolutely believe in a God...a Higher Power, I don’t want to say like...when you say ‘God’, people always think of the bearded guy on the cloud...which is ME, by the way! (we both laugh as Aaron smiles jokingly) I’m not saying that is what God is...people always want to question what God is, and it’s really just believing in something that is bigger...bigger than yourself! That’s all.  Know that there’s something out there that is bigger than yourself, and we’re just a small part of it”.  

 

SKoM:  “So how do you concentrate on the spiritual message that you are going to let run through the music on each album?  You mentioned that Lux and now Memento Mori are all part of kind of a trilogy that you have planned...my point being that when the readers just “read” or “hear” audio of this interview, with no play-by-play; they’d think that you and I were just being macabre as hell, bro!  What is the music going to say on this album that holds to the spiritual truth that you mean however that truth is being told within tracks with titles like “Anonymous”, “Remember We Die”, “Gravedigger” and “Say Goodnight”?  I mean, Aaron, that’s some evil sounding shit right there, and I know you much better than that. You don’t mean that at face value...”

 

Aaron:  “Noooo, of course not!  We all have an existence here.  This experience, from birth until death, whenever that may come, or even if death does come...like I said earlier, I have no idea for sure.  I can only go on what I know NOW...and what I know now is that everyone I’ve ever known and everyone I’ve ever know about...they’ve died eventually when their time came.  I don’t even know if one day I  might get to take some kind of scientific immortality pill or something and then I’ll never die...I have no idea, but what this album and the songs within it mean; is that from what we know NOW; we are all going to die.  And since that is what I know, it’s my job to try and be cool...you know; not be a douchebag!  Now that we’ve established that; what are you going to do while you’re here and alive and able to make changes to the outcome of things that are both bad and good.  I am hoping the music inspires people to want to do good things while they are alive on this planet.  That’s what I plan to do.  And why do I choose to do that? Because I have my Memento Mori, which is the title of the album...”

 

(A little English lesson for those that don’t know::: 

məˈmenˌtō ˈmôrē/ - (noun) - an object serving as a warning or reminder of death, such as a skull)

 

 

Gemini.Syndrome band 2012

  

SKoM:  “Does it kind of go against what the music is actually saying in some ways when your audiences are, well...you know, listening very ‘aggressively’, if you will?  I mean, you’re even up there bouncing around and laying into the mic hard while the other guys in the band are lunging and headbanging like almost everyone wants to when they listen to this type of music.  Is that who YOU really are, positive in your mind, but angry or aggressive in body?”

 

Aaron:  “Sometimes!  You know, you bring up a good question, but I’ll answer that by simply saying that the experience that brings you up to the realization of the positive message, that experience IS hard.  We all go through bullshit.  We all struggle.  We all can’t pay our bills sometimes...there’s all these experiences that come along and they’re all part of us becoming this conscious being ourselves, it’s fucking hard, man.  That’s where the aggression comes from.  But, at the same time...there’s hope there.  Hope that comes out of the aggression. Somehow we’re all tied in together and somehow it matters.  That’s the question you ask; Does it fucking matter?  Does it matter to you?  If it does, then you’ve been through the gauntlet, then it matters even more so.  You, then, become someone who can help someone else who is going through that fucked up stage that you were once at. I’ve been there.  I think we’ve all been there, and the positive that can be taken from the aggression is that we’re also all people who can help one another BECAUSE we’ve experienced that aggression, and because we found hope, the aggression became secondary to us and it now is used to help others to get to that same place.”

 

SKoM:  “So, is the guy who I’m going to see onstage tonight...”

 

Aaron: (quickly jumping in) “That’s probably NOT the guy you’re talking to right now. (he smiles)”

 

SKoM:  “And why not?”

 

Aaron:  “Because, at the end of the day, the stage, or the music, or both together...it’s my therapy.  It allows me to express myself.  My poetry, my songs, my music...it all allows me to express myself and it means something to me...and I hope it means something to someone else.  If it helps one fucking person, then I’m happy.”

 

SKoM:  “Well, I think it’s more than one person that will find an attachment or solace in what you’re saying and doing here tonight, bro...the whole place is buzzing about you guys headlining this show tonight...”

 

Aaron:  “I hope so!  I mean, really, I hope so...I hope as many people as possible can be affected by what we do on that stage tonight.  I mean, right now, in this moment, this is all we have...this is all we know.  And on that stage, you really have no idea what is around that corner, what you have is what is in front of you; RIGHT NOW, or if I’m onstage, that’s what I have; RIGHT THEN.  That is all I can prove, all I can rely on to be fact, what I have at that moment.  I want everyone else to share that moment too.  I mean, I’ve been in some really dark places, suicidal...suicidal almost most of my life.  I’ve come really close to being successful at committing suicide, but now that I can look at it...who’s to say that if I had been 100% successful at that, I had any guarantee of where I would have went then?  Is there some big Holiday Inn in the sky?  Is there a nice pool there, or a hot tub?  Who’s to say?  What I have, is what’s in front of me, that I know, that I can prove...RIGHT NOW.  When I go on that stage tonight, THAT is what I have.  I have that for sure, right at that moment.  I’m going to use that moment, when I have it, to do something that means something to ME.  I can hope it means something to everyone else, but at that moment; it means something definitely to me.  Sometimes the experience might totally suck!  I may just get up there and have a really bad experience for whatever reason, but it’s what I have, right then, or what I have right now, that I’m trying to make a difference with that moment.”

 

SKoM:  “Dude, my head is just spinning; I can’t tell if it’s just because you laid down some of the heaviest, most spiritual shit I’ve ever experienced in an interview or what, but I’m not kidding; I feel like I have just been to a very metaphysical and deeply spiritual place with you as my guide to show me how simple life really is and how each little moment matters....”

 

Aaron:  “Because it DOES!  That’s my point, what I said at the very beginning; we’re all going to die...we don’t even know for sure if that’s such a bad thing like we always portray it to be.  It may be awesome and just be the best party we’ve ever been invited to, but right now, we do not know.  So, what I try to say, through talking to journalists like you, or onstage to the fans...is to just use what you have, right now, and make a difference.  Make a positive difference in everyone you come in contact with, however you decide you need to do that, just do it.  And when I have finished sharing what I do and trying to make that positive thing happen...I say “Thank You” to those who allowed me to share it or to do it for them.  I always say “Thank You”!

 

SKoM:  “And we thank you, bro, for all the cool music, the awesome insight, and for keeping what you say and do in real life, very much a part of what you do for the music and performances that you do for us.  Best of luck with the album, which comes out on...Friday, August 20th, I believe...and is there anything going on with you guys when this tour finishes up with your labelmates, 9ELECTRIC and Stitched Up Heart?”

 

Aaron:  “We are going back out around the beginning of October with an, as of yet, unnamed band...well, the band has been named, but I can’t tell you just yet...”

 

SKoM:  “Oh bullshit, dude.  You can’t leave us hanging like that...”

 

Aaron:  (laughs) “I can’t say just yet, but I can say it will be very cool and we’ve been out with them before, that’s the only hint you get. (laughs again)”

 

SKoM:  “Okay, man; I hear you.  But we’ll all be watching our tour information to see what pops up, bro.  It was a pleasure hearing you speak, man.  Very interesting and it was super cool to meet you finally, Aaron.”

 

Aaron:  “You as well.  Enjoy the show, guys!”

 

And on that note, we exited the bus, just in time for a smoke and a quick jog back to the club from the band’s bus to see them totally annihilate the stage at Trees that evening.  In a time where Rockstars are a dime a dozen, and basically offer us about the same in mental return, the refreshing demeanor and mind of Aaron and his incredible band, is something to be proud of in any fan’s mind.  

 

I’d like to thank David McDonald at Concrete/StreetSmart PR for the exclusive that evening as well as the guru of mind and metal himself; Mr. Aaron Nordstrom from Gemini Syndrome for his time and hospitality.  Mad props to Clint, Whitney, Chris and Howard at Trees Concert Venue for another great, Rockin’ night in Dallas and to the other bands on the tour that evening, Mixi and Decker and the rest of Stitched Up Heart and to Ron, Micah, CJ and Mikey from 9ELECTRIC.  What a night to go to the church of reason, my friends.  What a night indeed!!!

 

Gemini Syndrome - “REMEMBER WE DIE” Official Video:

(From The New Album, Memento Mori - In Stores August 20, 2016)

 

 

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