Gemini Five is a Swedish glam/sleaze act that released their second album BLACK ANTHEM just a few weeks ago. I hooked up with lead singer Tin Star and asked him to tell us a bit about the band. The band was interviewed a couple of months ago but here comes a more in-depth update about the guys.
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Wild Kingdom for supplying the promo pics.
To start off I was wondering if you could tell the readers a bit about where Gemini Five comes from, who you are, what you have done before you started the band and what kind of music you guys play?
Tin: We’re a Stockholm based band starring Rod Teilmann/bass, Snoopy/lead guitar, Slim Pete/drums and Tin Star/vocals, guitar. Me and Pete had a band called Jekyll & Hyde during the late 90´s. We decided to start a new ultra-cool-hardrock band inspired by the late 80+s Hollywood scene. Rod got back to Sweden in 2001 after a few years in LA He played in American band called The Beautiful Creatures but got problems with immigration and had to go back to Sweden. He was the man we were looking for and we hooked up for an audition. We found Snoopy at my rock club and felt he had the potential to be a great LA-rocker. Gemini Five is the band we always wanted to see when we were growing up. Loads of attitude and image and great heavy-melodic songs that sticks to your mind as superglue.
Why did you call the band Gemini Five? Was it any particular thought behind the name choice?
Tin: We had some suggestions for a band name. Rod came up with Gemini Five cuz it sounded cool, but yet too much rock & roll.
Gemini 5 is the name of a NASA project. It has a great universal feeling to it.
How was your debut album from 2003 BABYLON ROCKETS greeted by the press and fans?
Tin: We had a great buzz from day one. Our first single hit
TOP 20 in the Swedish charts. Also internet made a great deal to break the band. These days we have fansites and fan clubs in several countries. The reviews for the 2 albums released has been really great. Feels like people’s been waiting for a band like us to come around.
Did you do a lot touring on that album? If so did you went out in Europe and the rest of Scandinavia on tour as well?
Tin: We did loads of shows for the first album and went on an
European tour with Hardcore Superstar for 3 weeks.The response in Europe was overwhelming and we’ve been Doing 2 European tours since then. We’ll be back in Germany
And Italy for 14 shows in Nov/Dec 2005 and follow up with a tour in Finland in Feb´06.Can’t wait. Touring is great.
It’s a cover featured on the debut album by the old 80’s song “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)”, that’s a pretty unusual choice of song to make a cover of, why did you do a cover of that song?
Tin: We made a demo of that song just for fun. It came out great so We decided to do it on the album as well. Great song…even though we’re getting kinda tired of playing it live by now. When 2005 is over we’ve done almost 50 shows.
Was the debut released world-wide or is there anywhere where it isn’t released?
Tin: The first album was released in Europe, USA, Japan and Brazil. The “Black Anthem” album is out in Europe and Japan. Due for release in USA and Brazil early 2006.I think we’ve covered the most important.
Why have you chosen to use artist-names instead of your own?
Tin: Gemini Five’s about 4 different individuals.All great bands use artist-names so why shouldn’t we use it.The whole image thing gets more real if you go all the 100% all the way. We do!!!!!
What do you think of your label Wild Kingdom? Are you happy with their work regarding promotion etc?
Tin: Wild Kingdom is a great label for G5. They take it step by step and let the bands develop their own thing not just thinking
Fast cash and then drop the bands. They love rock&roll and that’s why they’ve been so successful.
Were in the world are Wild Kingdom based?
Tin: They are based in Stockholm. Wild Kingdom is an sublabel to Sound Pollution.
Why did you chose to sign on for Wild Kingdom and for how many albums are you signed for?
Tin: After our first 5 track demo(2001) we got several offers from both Swedish and American labels. WK were the most serious label and showed interest in breaking the band. We haven’t Had any regrets signing to those guys.
You have currently released your new album BLACK ANTHEM, how long did it take to write that album and who writes the lyrics and music?
Tin: We started working on new songs after the Babylon Rockets was released. I thing we wrote song for maybe 1 year or so.Usually I write the main part of the song. Then we take them to rehearsal and put the Gemini Five edge to it. All the guys in the band contribute with some words and some music.
What are the lyrics about?
Tin: We’re a struggling band in need to prove ourselves To “ I know best” people and that’s one thing we hate.We do what we want cuz we know we’re the best band in the world. “If you don’t like it- We don’t like you” is the attitude to most of the songs…..and some love songs….
You haven’t featured any cover on this album, how come?
Tin: We’re not a cover band. “You spin..” was an one and only
Effort and we have no plans for any more cover songs in the future. We have so many own good song that we don’t need to use other bands material. Enough said!!!!!
Leo produced your debut album and this time you have worked with the producer Peer Stappe, why did you change producer?
Tin: We wanted to take the band and the sound to a higher level. LEO is a great producer and we’ll work with him in the future. Peer Stappe really captured the modern sound we were looking for. We’re really satisfied with both albums.
What’s the difference between working with Per and Leo?
Tin: LEO is more of a classic producer recording things the way the oldschool guys do it. Peer is more experimental and in some ways a loony, crazy character.
Which album do you think is the best one, BABYLON ROCKETS or BLACK ANTHEM?
Tin: Right now I’m really proud of the Black Anthem album cuz
It came out so great. Babylon was more pure rock & roll compared to Black Anthem that sounds more like 21st century Nëw-Slëaze.
Who’s done the mixing and the mastering on the new album?
Tin: Peer Stappe took care of everything. Lennart Östlund (tech on Led Zeppelin “In Through The Outdoor”) gave a helping hand during the mastering process.
Do you have any favourite tracks on the new album, if so which one and why?
Tin: The first single “When The Body Speak” is one of my favourites. Great metal riff and a great chorus. That song was actually written before the Babylon Rockets album but just didn’t fit at that time. Live is my favourite Babylon Rockets.
I think that your debut leaned more towards the glam/sleaze rock compared to the new one where, I think, you have enhanced some industrial influences. Was that a conscious move or am I totally out of line when I say that?
Tin: You’re absolutely right. As I said. We need this band to keep moving in different directions and the industrial influences Was something we felt was right for the band. We have one foot in the 80´s and one foot in the present. That’s just the way we want it. At the same time we’ll never lack of melodies.
What have your fans to say about this small change of musical direction you taken with BLACK ANTHEM?
Tin: Mostly good things. We’ve got loads of new fans with the new album but at the same time same people think we’re a sell-out. We don’t care about that. We do our own thing and people are welcome to joins us. I don’t thing the new album is that different compared to the 1st one.
Have you read any reviews of the new album yet, what have the media to say about it?
Tin: I’d say that 90% are great and the rest thinks it’s ok.
You can’t win them all. That would on the other hand be really strange. Loads of reviews to read on www.gemini5.net
Is the album going to be released world-wide? If not, where is it going to be released?
Tin: The whole world can get hands on the Black Anthem album in 2006. Otherwise it’s easy to order it through our site.
Is there any plans on head out on the road now that the album is out?
Tin: We play shows all the time. Mostly Sweden but Europe will have it’s share this fall.
You have done some gigs and festival shows during this summer, how was it to play at Sweden Rock Festival and did you play any new songs when you were out?
Tin: The Sweden Rock Festival was awesome. The place was packed even though we played at the same time as Sebastian Bach. We play the live set with 50% old and new songs.
With thought of the older glam/sleaze acts that have reunited this year, do you think that the glam/sleaze wave are back? And what’s the reason, do you think, that the glam/sleaze wave had an uprising right now?
Tin: Everything comes in circles and I’m sure glam/sleaze will reach a new prime time. Every show we play there’s loads of young glamsters with big hair and tight trousers. Awesome!!
Gemini Five along with other new acts like Crashdiet and Crucified Barbara there are from Sweden as well are proclaimed to be a part of the new glam/sleaze wave, what’s that like and what do you think of the bands I just mentioned?
Tin: We’re really good friends with these bands and try to do shows and stuff together. We’ve played some shows with Crash and We had a ball. The best thing is to support each other instead of starting a sleazewar. ( can imagine what that would be like…hehe)
Can you give us three good reasons why we should buy the new album BLACK ANTHEM by Gemini Five?
1) Great heavy songs
2) Great party album
3) Great band
Take a sneak-peak at: www.gemini5.net
And hear the songs before you buy it.
Finally I’d like to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and is there anything you would like to say to the readers outthere?
The whole hardrock/glam/sleaze movement kicks as right now.
Join the Gemini Five Army and have a good time….Love Tin
Read the CD-reviews on the 2 CD’s here in metal-rules
More info about the band