2011.01.18 – Hot Rod (Gemini Five)exclusive
They were one of the first bands who started the thing that later we will call «the Second Wave of Swedish Sleaze Metal». 2 years before «Rest in Sleaze» was released, these guyz recorded «Babylon Rockets» - the very strong album with the sound that now become specific for the most of sleaze bands. This album was filled with killer songs with good memorable melodies and great tunes.
They are Gemini Five and this is an article/interview about them (and not only about them!) so be ready to read some interesting things.
Unfortunately, they didn’t get a recognition they had to get with a release of their debut album, so they decided to release the second one – «Black:Anthem» with sounding which was a little different from what they did on the «Babylon Rockets».
However, the reaction on Gemini Five’s second album wasn’t great, and three years later in 2008 «Sex Drugs Anarchy» was released. «SDA» showed all the strongest sides of the band and was accepted by fans of this music style as one of the best sleaze metal albums. In January 2009 the band received an award for "SEX DRUGS ANARCHY" at the Swedish Metal Awards 2009 for 'best album' which made their third album the most estimated and recognized to date.
In 2010 the band was going to release a compilation of their best songs that also would include 4 absolutely new songs of the band. But then there were serious problems with Tin’s vocals and the recording of new tracks had to be stopped. Since then it was only silence on the band’s myspace and official website. To know out how the guys from Gemini Five are doing now and what is the atmosphere in the band these days, we contacted the bassist of G5, Mr. Hot Rod !
About their band and their music, news and their past, relationship with Crashdiet and a pirace, and even more – all you can read right here, in this interview! Welcome!)
I hate most glambands and their so called "music"! I'm a metal guy!
Q: Hello, Rod!) We’re very happy you agreed to give an interview for our site! Tell us please, what’s happening in the band now? What are you all doing? I know you were going to release a new compilation last autumn but then there were some problems with Tin’s vocals, is it alright now? I also know you wanted to include there 4 new tracks. Will "Not for the innocent" and "If The Good Die Young" be there too?
A: Hello, Alexx! We started the 'new' recording last january 2010 with Martin Sweet (CrashDiet) on the 4 new songs planned to end up on a forthcoming "best of" and everything went well until Tin's voice started to get fucked up really bad! Then CrashDiet was about to release their latest album so Martin wasn't around to continue the recordings from april and on. Then Tin got to be a dad for the first time last June so he's busy just living the family life for now and also running his rock club ROCKS in Stockholm. Unfortunally Tin's vocal cords aren't still ok...
Our drummer Slim Pete keeps hammering the drums in a local band called 'Slingblade' for the moment and guitarist Tom Wouda is buzy forming another band "Toxic Rose" with ex-'Lipstixx n Bulletz'-singer Andy. Gemini Five has not broken up, though!
I needed a break from it all to reflect on other things. Sometime you gotta get totally drained of all your inspiration and your innerself is getting to pay the price. I'm happy we took this break, even if it wasn's planned I need this time to find back, to whatever that is? It's simply no fun giving your everything and not getting the recognition you're worth. I ended up being a person Im not happy with; bitter and jealous on other bands making it big. That's not what it's all about.
To me it's about you giving and receiving and not to give a shit about others. I always envisioned Gemini Five as a huge band playing stadiums and arenas worldwide and I know we would if people (radiostations, booking agencies ) etc would pay attention. I always KNOWN that we are a great band, we're so much better both on records and live than most bands and it pisses me off when we're never getting the chance to prove ourselfes.
We have had a great collaborations with american sweetheart and promotion Jo Sheldon, (Mama Trash) whom been having us to her rooster in Helsinki in a couple of occasions to Trash fest. Also the finnish goth rockers "The 69 Eyes" do believe in us and have been promoting us through the years. We are so unbelievable greatful for having sucha great friends and partners and we can only wish there where more of those in the industry : )
And yes, these 2 new tracks will be on the compilation. Those are truely great Gemini Five tracks in the same vain as "Scream 4 me" and "Sex Drugs Anarchy". We still have 2 more songs to complete with lead vocals and hopefully we'll have them done during this year. The compilation album is still planned to be released but it will happen when it happens!?
Q: Don't you think it's a little early to release a compilation album when you have only 3 LPs?
A: Yes, usually bands put out a "best of" a bit later in their career. Anyhow, we strongly feel that Gemini Five have been overlook for too long and a compilation album may seem like a great idea for people to dig into 16 great songs spanning through our history and take it from there. Also, for the first time, with "Sex Drugs Anarchy" we feel that how we were presented as a band fit our vision of how Gemini Five really is all about.
People decided not to pay for music so why should we spend a fortune on recording new songs? Last time I checked, Gemini Five wasn't a charity! And by releasing a compilation album of what WE feel is the right essence of the band will may have new fans listening to our music. Old and new. And hey, let's be honest, don't you think its gonna be a fucking great album?!:P
Q: Does it mean that we can’t expect the whole new album from Gemini Five in the near future?
A: Whole new album? Well, if people start coming to our shows and buying our albums maybe. It's really up to the fans of music, if there's a demand on the band we'll be there. It's takes a hell of alot of energy just throwing punches in the dark...
Q: You were one the first bands who started the famous "Second Wave of Sleaze Metal" in Sweden and in the whole world. When I first heard your debut album it was something like "FUCK!! How come I never knew about them before?!". Songs like "Babylon Rockets", "Neon Kicks", "Suicide Tuesday", "Hardcore" and more are spinning in my mp3-player almost every day, even though I like many other bands and styles of music! How does it feel to be the man who started it all and to play one of the coolest glam metal bands?)
A: Thank you for the compliments : ) It's kinda awkward since we released "Babylon Rockets" in 2003 and the only bands around at that time was 'The Hellacopters' and 'Backyard Babies' and no one really paid much attention to us back then. It wasn't really until 2005 when CrashDiet released their debut 'Rest in Sleaze' when the genre got recognition from tv, radio and newspapers. Strange since at the very same week we released "Black:Anthem" which wasn't considered as a "glam"-album to those fans... We'd never made it easy for ourselves in that perspective. On the other hand we've always done what we feel like. Black:Anthem was a reaction to Babylon Rockets' lack of exposure; well, you didn't fancy this what about THIS!? This may somehow be looked at like we're turning 180 degrees from what we done on "Babylon Rockets" but it's still the same essence of Gemini Five; great guitar riffs, pounding bass and melodic vocals on top.This something we always liked about Motley Crue, changing and expanding their looks and sound to each release. It's gotta be fresh to us. Well, as the lyrics go on "Babylon Rockets"; if you don't like it - we don't like you!
We called our music 'sleaze' back then and it's still a label that fits today. When we started the band in 2001 we wanted to be the band we never got to see live here. I mean Backyard Babies was established already but they had a more punk foundation than what we aimed for. We are about the cool looks of black tight leather and loud metal riffs mixed with a trong feeling of memorable melodies.
Q: I'm a big fan of all your albums, but if your first two albums sounded great, the third one "SDA" had a bad production (sorry to say but I think so..), so you had even remastered some tracks from it. Why did it happen that SDA sounded this way? I know you wanted to release the remastered version of SDA, so are you still planning to do it?
A: Thank you : )You're absolutely right! The main issue is the sub bass being waaaaay too obvious and should be removed during the mastering. This is the problem all alone; the mastering! It sounded GREAT when we mixed the album. Then we brought it to the mastering and to be honest the first 3 mastering sounded too lame. We wanted the kickdrum to be banging alot more than it did also it was way too compressed wich mader it all sound like broken glass on occasions...
When we finally approved with the 4th master we tested the cd in several different cd-players and it all sounded great. Later when it had aldready been sent out for pressing friends kept talling us about the "strange" bass and wobbling sounds just laying there disturbing the whole sound basically.This is what really should have been fixed during the mastering process! Fuck!!!
During a master you'll cut off any disturbing levels on both the lower bass and upper treble to give a much more round feeling as a listener. Somehow the mastering guy didnt do his job very well and we got to know about the akward sub bass too late...
The sub bass has nothing to do with the instrument bass guitarr, just the overall sound. The remastered versions of the S.D.A.-track are really one of those masterings done before we sattled for the one ending up on the cd. There's less of that anoying bass "wobbling" going on. OR perhaps you may not like the sound in general...
It was all set for a vinyl double album release of 'Sex Drugs Anarchy' with the "re-mastered" version, the artwork was done and all tracks' been getting a digital facelift. Months past by and we kept asking our label why it never got confirmed and finally after 7-8 months we got the bad news that the partner (asking to release the album in the first place) had no interest to release it by then... Just so strange and sad actually. Since you're bringing this up, I will ask our label if there's a chance still of releasing the album further on? It would be great having a double vinyl out on a great award-winning album as well;)
Q: Let's talk about your past. What bands you played before joining Gemini Five? Or maybe G5 was the first band you played in?
A: No, of course not. All members in Gemini Five have been around a while. Tin Star and Slim Pete released 3 albums with 'Jekyll and Hyde' in the 90's. Me, I've played in some local bands i my hometown Gothenburg and the most memorable was 'Cocaine Cowboys' (C.C. Cowboys) abd we later changed name to 'GIFT'. However it wasn't until I joined the american band 'Beautiful Creatures' in Hollywood in the year 2000 that some recognition started to surface...There's especially one member from 'Beautiful Creatures' that you might heard of still; DJ Ashba. Of course he's now in both "Guns 'N Roses" and "SIXX:A.M."
Also, just prior to me joining 'Beautiful Creatures' I played bass in a band another american band "The Jetset" with member Johnny Jetson, (ex-Space Age Playboys) and later in "Tattooed Millionairs"..
Q: ОК, let’s go back to music of your main band. Your second album sounded a little different from what you've done at your debut. Why you guys decided to change the way of sounding there and started to play more modern style?
A: Our vision of GEMINI FIVE has always been modern. We are not a pathetic retro band trying to re-create that days long gone of the 80's. We do have obvious influences from great 80's bands such as Motley Crue but we have never tried to do be a part a glam scene or so. We have been labeled as a "glam band" by others which is ok by me but I think we have so much more to offer to metal and rock fans in general. I would say we're more of a classic hardrock band drenched in gasolin with bombastics of black leather metal and fashionable melodies on top. Maybe this IS glam but I cannot subscribe to be just another stupid airhead "glam rocker" looking for the next fix of booze and pussy. It's lame and totally lack of talent in most cases. Me personally I hate most glambands and their so called "music". Im a metal guy brough up on Judas Priest and Iron Maiden and of course Motley : )
Anyhow, the album 'Babylon Rockets' came out to be a bit different that what the 4 of us had expected from the start. The sound is a bit too whimpy and there's not enough metal guitars as we wanted. Also the production isn't as "modern" as we envisioned from the formation of the band. You have alot of samples and loop going on on our debut album but not as much as we wanted. That's why we came along with Black:Anthem as a reaction to our dissatisfaction with the lack of metal sound to our first album. For us it wasn't a big change or leap to make but I do understand that as a fans it may come across as a big change. We're always been a modern metal band using backtracks on live shows bringing cool loops and keyboards to our sound. We do have absolutely nothing in common with bands like "The Hellacopters" for instance. I feel we have more in common with a band such as for example "Deathstars" : )
We are not yet just another rock'n'roll band. We are a hardrocking band which are bringing great albums and a great, high emotional live performance. It may give some "wrong" projections to metal fans if they believe that we're just another lame pussy ass glam act. We're tougher and better that most.
Q: Is there any chance to see you live in Russia?) Babylon Bombs & Crashdiet has already visited us!)) (though they concerts have collected a little number of fans just because there is no many fans of glam metal in here)
A: As you say, it's not a big thing i Russia so maybe if we get a chance to act as support to some big bands or do a festival we want to tour Russia. As for now I dont se a show like CrashDiet's in Russia coming up for us unfortunally. We have been asked on a couple of occasions to play in St Peterburg and Moscow but it's too much of an "struggle" for 1 or 2 shows. In my opinion that is. If we knew we had a great deal of fans in Russia we would be there on the spot:)
Q: I know that you're good friends with the guys from Crashdiet. How did you meet at the first time? Was it a live show or some kind of bar or something else?) Did you know Dave personally?
A: Since both band's from Stockholm we pretty much hang out at the same clubs. I did't pay much attention tho either the band or the guys 'til Dave Lepard started posting CrashDiet ads to our website's guestbook about them playing and stuff. This was in 2003/04? Then I heard their track "Riot in everyone" on the the compilation cd "Hollywood hairspray" (where we also had our track "Babylon Rockets"). My thoughts were like, -Holy shit, these guys really knows how to make great songs with great vocals, lyrics and an edge to their playing as well : ) Then we played at the same venues at some shows during 2005 and became friends. Dave and I started talking about doing a tour together with CrashDiet and Gemini Five but that never came together since Dave tragically past away early 2006.
Since then we kinda hung out alot and started making music with Martin Sweet ending up with three songs on "Sex Drugs Anarchy"; "Scream 4 me", "Stay with me" and of course "Sex Drugs Anarchy" :D Plus the guys came down to the studio and lay down their backingvocals to most of the tracks on our album.
I also shared an appartment with Martin Sweet a while when I hadn't a place to stay.
All those guys are SUPERCOOL : )
What about Dave, as I said, we kept in touch during 2005 to make thing rocking so I knew him for a very short time. Anyhow, you could tell that he was a genuine soul and the real deal a 100%. And a very talented musician as well.
Q: There are many blogs and boards where it's easy to download music instead of buying the CDs. Here in Russia it's hard to find your CDs (especially if you're not living in Moscow or Saint Peterburg). So what's your opinion about the whole downloading thing, I mean, do you think it's OK and the record business is slowly dying because of free mp3s in Internet? I think the most of musicians make money from tours & concerts, but not from saling albums now. I got your first album on CD but it's the only album I could find here in my town.
A: I think I nailed it pretty much on my answer to your first question...I beg to differ, most of the musicians dont make money off of tours & concerts. Just the already established act will make money since that may sell concert tickets in advance and has probably been selling cd's and downloads as much as people download their music for free. If you are not a part of the music industry its hard to get an insight of how things really works.
I mean, How can we play in a country far away when we dont sell any records and no club or promotion company are willing to brang you over spending alot of their money on a band which may not bring back their money spent on travel and so on? In the end, its the fans themselves that will be suffering from not being able to se their favorite bands (apart from the band not being able to tour ). We cannot play for free, this is our work and life. Do you want to spend all your time working on something and not getting paid? Dont think so! You must understand, most bands are forced to have a regular job beside the band since we're not getting paid ever. That means that most bands are working twice as much than "ordinary" people. This is ok and a choice you have but after 10 years or so it's simply not ok people wanting you to be hera and there all the time but themselves aren't willing to spent a shitty penny on your work.
However things are a bit different in Russia since you may not be able to find our cd's in stores but we do not earn anything from concerts and touring. As I just said we lose money from being away (and may lose the apartment as well) and from doing this it's simply not worth it no more being off work and not being able to pay your reant or having food by playing small clubs with no promotion done playing in front of an half empty club somewhere it not good enough for me.I have done this on this level too long and its not exciting. I want Gemini Five to be recognised as the great band we are or not at all.
Q: What music you grew up on? What bands and music styles you’re listening now, what bands you could recommend?
A: All kinds of music really. From swedish pop to american/english hardrock-heavy metal. First idols muicially was 'ABBA' and then of course 'KISS'. Soon I spotted 'Motley Crue' and I was totally blown away!!! This made me give up sports forever!;)
Also Sex Pistols, Venom, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, Dio made a huge impact on me as a youngster as well as Rod Stewart and the Rolling Stones : )
I listening to all kinds of music these days; everything from Neil Young to Britney Spears, Lady Gaga to Slayer and Pantera. I just cant stand listening to garage rock, rockabilly or hiphop.
Fresh bands from Sweden nowdays? Hmm, hard. I really like CrashDiet cause of their honesty and talent of writing great tunes. Also 'Sonic Syndicate' is pretty rockin' to me. I don't give a shit about most swedish bands, really since they all suck.
Fresh bands worldwide? I listening to 'new' american bands such as "Avenged Sevenfold" and "The Used" almost every day. Also I can recommand the latest release from RATT! It fuckin rocks!:D
Q: I know, it's a stupid question, but I always wanted to know, what does the name of your band means?)
A: It's a rocket ship! Before the american space institute NASAS launched their moon rockets "Apollo" the project was called "Gemini" back in the 60's. So it's simply the the 5th rocket; Gemini 5 or Gemini V. Just like you guys had the Sputnik : ) I mean we could re-name the band to 'Sputnik Six' or whatever:) But we chosed to spell it 'GEMINI FIVE' to be a little "original". Personally i hate when people spell our bands name like Gemini 5! Our name has absolutely nothing to do with either the zodiac (star sign) Gemini or how many members there is.
Q: Fuck, I didn’t even think you would be such a great and intersting companion! Thank u very much, Mr. Rod for your honesty and volubility! And the last question here, what could you say to all our readers and your fans in Russia?
A: Of course, make sure to get addicted by visiting our websites for loads of music, pics and updates + FREE mp3's from Sex Drugs Anarchy : )
Wish to see you crazy russian rokkerzzz very soon :)
Hot Rod - GEMINI FIVE
Interview was made and taken by: Alexis Coma