Gemini Syndrome: If You Don’t Know Them…You Will!
Poised to be the next big thing coming out of Los Angeles’ music scene, Gemini Syndrome is coming out swinging. Only a band for six months, they have burst on the scene not as a “local” band stepping up rungs of a ladder trying to make it; rather, Gemini Syndrome is a finished, polished product in all facets.
Every now and then, along comes a band out of nowhere it seems; just a perfect combination of musicians that mesh so well they sound like they have been around forever, as opposed to bands that start off playing local bars, developing and honing their musicianship, songwriting and stage performance. Gemini Syndrome is the former rather than the latter. Fueled by Aaron Nordstrom’s melodic voice that retains a masculine edge backed by the syncopated rhythms of Italian bass master (although no fisherman), Alessandro “A.P.” Paveri, and skillful and visual beats of drummer, Brian Steele Medina, that provide timekeeping for the brilliant guitar work from Rich Juzwick and Mike Salerno, this band is a nuclear bomb going off on the 4th of July at the turn of the millennium. Yes, they are that spectacular; an explosion of talent, production and performance, that once you see or hear, will have you scratching your head, questioning, “How is it I have never heard of them?”
You may have not heard of them yet because they point to February 12, 2010 as the birth date of the band. What started out as Juzwick seeking an outlet to track guitars for a surplus of songs he had written, blossomed quickly after Rich was introduced to Mikey Doling (Snot, Soulfly, InVitro, Channel Zero) by Hollywood Music Magazine contributor Nadia Guardado. From there, finding the other pieces may have been a stroke of luck or happenstance, but the union that was consummated when Nordstrom returned from Chicago after a 7 week stay, with lyrics in hand and tracked vocals over 4 days, was the beginning of a magical moment in music.
Make no mistake, these aren’t prima donnas that just have everything handed to them; oh no. They live together, practice every day and eat, drink and breathe the music they create. Many a musician has told me that being in a band is like having a girlfriend or a long-term relationship and this band lives it. They are band mates, roommates and much as a sports team, believe whole-heartedly in the team concept, that every member, all working toward a common goal creates a formidable machine and this concept goes beyond just the band members. Doling’s production and belief in Gemini Syndrome wasn’t just “Hollywood talk.” While touring Europe, playing guitar for Channel Zero, on the Jumbotron for 80,000 people, you can see Mikey rocking a sleeveless Gemini Syndrome shirt. You can pour over volumes of footage for any major show and assuredly there are member(s) of popular bands, sporting the t-shirts of other bands; however, many more times than not, they are bands that you already know. To proudly don advertisement for a band that most don’t know yet, for tens of thousands of fans, is a testament to how deep seeded Doling’s belief in Gemini Syndrome penetrates.
Several months ago, I was on the phone with Doling discussing another article I was writing, when at the end of the conversation, he made it a point to tell me about Gemini Syndrome, a project he was in the middle of producing. Around the Los Angeles area music scene there was a buzz about GS; a hype of sorts, but the question remained, if they could live up to such billing. Along comes June 7, 2010, their first live show, at The Roxy along with Yeti, Old Fashioned Beatdown and The Kill Corps. As anyone around the LA metal scene knows, that is quite a heavy-hitting line-up to put together for your first show. Outside the venue, and in, you could feel the excitement building. Although most of the fans in attendance hadn’t even heard their songs yet, they knew or had been informed that there was something special that was about to happen…but still didn’t expect what they saw, heard and experienced.
I had heard some of their tracks more or less at a glance, more noting the production value because after all, with the right producer, any band can sound great in the studio. As I watched Gemini Syndrome, listened to the musical arrangement, witnessed the stage presence of each and every band member, watched the crowd go nuts and the complete show they delivered on their first show ever as a band, I literally stood in amazement, as anything I heard in those tracks, and more, was delivered on stage with every bit of the quality and performance value that would be expected at multi-platinum artists’ concerts. I was sold and chomped at the bit to be a part of this stir at the tarmac before it jettisoned to meteoric rise, which was sure to follow. There was not a fan in the packed house that night at The Roxy, that didn’t walk away a fan of the band regardless of who they came to see including those in the music industry. Within two weeks of their first live performance, they had management, entertainment lawyer and a booking agent at their disposal.
With an ear for musical arrangements and development of the music, Juzwick original riffs and song writing is the very foundation from which Gemini Syndrome was built. Soon thereafter Brian Steele Medina, laid down the drum tracks that set the tone, yet are not overbearing for the rest of the music. Add in Salerno’s great rhythms on guitar and the backing vocals that make the songs full and dynamic, as well as Paveri’s unique bass style and the music is rounded and already would be able to cross over genres, depending on the vocals that were overlaid. Enter Nordstrom.
Former guitarist for OTEP and prior to that with Synapse and The Changing (See: http://hollywoodmusicmagazine.com/whoshot/cover-the-changing/ ), Nordstrom has such a strong melodic voice that is hypnotic, yet retains a metal dominance as his harmonies preface clear legible growls right on time. The change of pitch on cue with the music, his tone and his lyrics make him a truly talented vocalist. Although, I am not a musician, I would think that one of the greatest rewards a vocalist can achieve is singing in front of thousands of people and have the lyrics that you wrote sung back to you. That is an accolade that Nordstrom will receive, as will the entire band, sooner rather than later, as their songs will be on everyone’s iPods and minds.
This is not a metal band or a pop band or any one label. Gemini Syndrome has drawn from influences ranging from metal to alternative to industrial to yes, even country, to develop their own sound that does indeed cross over musical genres much in the vein of Tool or Sevendust. If you have ever been to Tool or 7d, although you will find metal heads in attendance, you will also see all sorts of fans across all of the socially drawn lines, more than just kids dressed in black wanting to punch their friend in the face as they pit. Any one of their songs, you can envision being heard on the radio and the music/lyrics are hook after hook, which connect universally with music lovers. In their words, “If Lollapalooza and Ozzfest had a kid; Gemini Syndrome is what would be spit out.”
Mark my words, Gemini Syndrome, will be taking off soon in a big way. Back in the day, after Guns n Roses splashed, seemed like everyone would say, “Yeah, I saw them when they would play on the Sunset Strip before they became rock stars.” There was some sort of enviable status about such bragging and the same can be said for many bands over the years that toiled only briefly on the Strip before being a musical event. GS is one of those bands. Their second show is again at The Roxy, July 31st, 2010 and I won’t miss it, since I don’t know how much longer the Sunset Strip can contain them.