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INTERVIEW: Jet Force Gemini

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Michael: Thanks! I’ve been great!

Can you talk to us more about your new single “Monsters”?

Michael: “Monsters” is a song about our society’s obsession with following false idols into our own oblivion. We try to so hard to identify with people and groups that we forget about the importance of being authentic and genuine and real. We’ve somehow forgotten how to have self awareness and it’s making for some pretty terrible times.

Did any event inspire you to write this song?

Michael: The last two years, really. It’s been a pretty dark time for us all and it’s hard not to hold that inwardly. Monsters really has two sides to it; the verses talk about mistrust and how people in the media instigate these tensions, while the pre-chorus reminds us that there are still those in our world that are worth protecting. It’s a really emotionally conflicted song.

How was the film experience?

Michael: We had a blast! We tried not to overthink much and just roll with whatever stupid idea that came to us. It was 99% improvised and I think that made it more fun. The lyrical content was heavy enough and we didn’t want to be too heavy handed with it all. So we opted for a B-movie comedy/horror spoof.

The single comes off your new album Dive Eternity – what’s the story behind the title?

Michael: Dive Eternity comes from two things: My fascination with what lies at the bottom of the sea and my fear of the unknown. It’s kind of how I look at most of life, it’s both beautiful and terrible.

How was the recording and writing process?

Michael: It took two and a half years to record Dive Eternity. Admittedly, we got a little ahead of ourselves when we decided to make a 14 track album, but I felt like we all had so much to say. During that time I feel like we all grew as people and as musicians significantly. While I am grateful for the process, I would never want to spend that length of time on a single project anytime soon.

What was it like to work with Matt Jefferson and how did that relationship develop?

Michael: Matt Jefferson is one of the most amazing human beings I have ever had the honor to work with. I can’t praise him enough. We first met Matt back when we started recording our debut album Pistola Melodica, since then Matt’s been with us every step of the way.  I personally feel that, as a singer, he brings the best out of me and I can’t imagine working with anyone else.

How much did he influence the album?

Michael: Every song has a little bit of Matt in it,  whether it’s singing in the group vocal parts or adding some strings to an intro. He’s really the fifth member of the band.

What role does Portland play in your writing?

Michael: I don’t write much about Portland. I’ve personally never been a fan of band’s that write about their hometown. I get it, when a band is big time it’s kind of a cool thing to call back to where you came from. But it’s not really for me. I’d rather write about experiences that are less defined by region and more about shared personal experience.

How has Thrice and Saosin influenced your music?

Michael: Thrice is one of my all-time favorite bands. They did things their own way and never conformed to what others tried to form them into, that takes a lot of courage as an artist. They have always challenged themselves to grow as artists and break new ground in the rock/metal genre and it has made for so many amazing albums. Dustin’s writing is honest and vulnerable and I appreciate that more than anything in a song writer. Saosin is another act that does that. They constantly redefine who they are as a musical group and even with personnel changes, they have maintain who they are their core, while still challenging themselves to evolve.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Michael: Everything really. Books, conversations, experiences. I like to write songs as though they are a story, complete with a narrative structure. I also really like exploring the whole emotional spectrum. We are all complex people and I try to convey that throughout an album. Sometimes you get really happy, bright songs and sometimes you get songs that are crushingly depressing.

Any plans to hit the road?

Michael: When we finish up on our next album we’ll tour to support it. We are so in love with the direction of these new songs and the message behind them and we want to share it with as many people as possible.

What else is happening next in Jet Force Gemini’ world?

Michael: We’ll wrap up the writing process within the next month and then we’re off to the studio where we’ll live for the next 5 months.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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