Indie Music Monday Exclusive Interview | Jet Force Gemini
By Candice Anne Marshall
March 13th, 2017
* Interview with Michael (Vocals) and Paul Richey (Drums)
IMM – Hello Gentlemen! Welcome to Indie Music Monday! What was your reaction when you found out you were being hosted on the front page of our site?
M: We were stoked! What IMM is doing for the musical community is outstanding and we are thrilled to be one of the featured bands.
IMM- Can you tell our new readers (and new fans discovering your music) a little bit of a historical timeline for the band?
P: Ahh. Some history. We started in 2011 in a tiny storage shed someone was kind enough to rent out to us. Six years later, we have since upgraded to what was once an old meat locker. Yes. We have come far.
M: We think it’s haunted by spooky ghosts.
P: Ghost cows.
M: 6 years we’ve been doing this. And the cool thing is our belief has never changed. We have always defined ourselves as four idiots who love to have fun, play what we love, and try to make people laugh. With us or at us. Whatever they prefer.
IMM – I had a chance to listen to your music and you have been described in your bio as Pop-Punk, what do you think qualifies your music for these genres?
P: I think genre is always the hardest question for a band to speak to. At our core we are pop punk. And you can definitely see it in our album Pistola Melodica. But we try to blur the lines a bit more than that.
M: I think the worst thing a band can do is define themselves into a corner. A lot of acts suffer over time from being labeled simply as Hardcore, or Metal, or Pop. By being malleable musically, by drawing from different sources, we are able to create our own sound.
IMM – Your album ‘Pistola Melodica’ (released December 2014) is pretty fantastic! What is each band member’s personal favorite on this album and why?
M: New Disco will always be my favorite. It was one of those ‘spur of the moment’ songs that just writes itself. I swear that song came out in like 10 minutes.
P: Sunset Soldiers! I’m always a big fan of the high energy stuff, and this one is a banger.
IMM – I saw on your Facebook band page that you have new music releasing very soon. Can you tell us when?
M: Our second album, Dive Eternity, should be ready for release in June.
P: This is a massive album too. It will feature 14 tracks.
M: We started working on Dive Eternity a week after releasing Pistola Melodica. It has taken over 2 years to finish this thing and we’re so excited to finally be able to show it to the world.
IMM – How does the new music differentiate from your previous (album)?
P: If Pistola Melodica could level up, it would be Dive Eternity. The album as a whole is more focused, more defined. I think anyone who enjoyed Pistola is going to really love what they hear from this one. Plus I do twice as much double kick on the drums.
IMM – I saw a preview of your song ‘Triumphant’ off the upcoming album of the same name. Can you tell me what inspired the lyrics in this song?
M: Triumphant is the third single off our album and it’s definitely one of my favorites. I wanted to capture the sensation of being in the moment when it comes to love. There’s an immediacy to it. Like trying to catch running water. It’s that brief moment when you’re not dwelling in the past or looking to the future. You’re just there. And it’s beautiful. That’s Triumphant.
IMM – Is there going to be a ‘theme’ to the new album?
M: I didn’t consciously focus on anything specific when writing. But I think, organically over time, all albums begin to take on their own shape. I think one of the biggest central pieces to this album is love in the face of chaos. And sometimes, love, acting as the catalyst for chaos.
IMM – Can you tell us if there will be any tours lined up for 2017?
M: We’re currently planning a Northwest tour this summer. But nothing is official just yet.
IMM – What has been your favorite place to perform live and why?
M: House shows will always be my favorite. There is something intimate and reckless about it. being jam packed in a room with your audience, sharing that moment together. I love it.
IMM – Have you received radio play? Which stations would you like to give a shout out to?
P: Pistola had a some songs on rotation for 94.7FM. Catalyst, New Disco, and Skyline. They do a great job featuring new and local music and have been the go-to for great alternative music here in Portland.
M: New Disco is also the bumper music for Rip City Mornings, an awesome sports radio show you can find in Portland on AM 620 Or on iHeartMusic.
IMM- I always like to ask bands/Artists what their idea of ‘success’ means to them….what does it mean to you?
M: Success is knowing you made a difference in someone’s life. That’s really all that matters to me. As an artist, I can’t express this enough. There is nothing I love more than hearing from our audience. So talk to us. Say hi at shows. Send us messages. We always love to hear from you.
IMM – Can you tell us which peers you look up to in the industry and why?
P: Lars Ulrich from Metallica is probably the reason I first wanted to pick up drum sticks as a kid. Also, Travis Barker is my hero.
M: We were raised on Blink 182. So we definitely draw from their work. For me personally, Dustin Kensrue and Tim Mcllrath are my main modern influences. As for indie bands. I would say Venetia Fair are my favorites. They deserve all the success in the world.
IMM – I am dying to know the meaning behind the band name……
P: We’re all Geminis?
M: pretty much that.
IMM – Who would you say is the most outgoing of the band members?
M: We’re actually all pretty quiet dudes. But Paul and I tend to be the most outgoing.
IMM – Who would you say is the ‘spokesperson’ of the band members?
IMM – Can you tell me about your connection to ‘Bridge City Sessions’?
M: Bridge City Sessions is a really great series designed to showcase local and national bands in an intimate live setting. Nick Wilson filmed and directed our shoot. And he’s one of the best, most professional guys in the business. Scotty Fisher over at Sleeper Studios did the editing on Triumphant. Scotty also filmed the music video for one of our singles ‘Edge of the End’, which we will be releasing in June. I highly suggest you check out both of them. They’re awesome.
IMM – Where is your biggest fanbase?
P: Right Here!
M: We’re a bit scattered all over the place. But PDX is our home and it’s where our best fans are.
IMM – Can you tell us what the media response has been like in terms of your previous album?
P: We were so eager to just release the thing we didn’t spend much time sorting through the media responses.
M: I remember the reception was good. We got some pretty good reviews on it. The challenge is getting the album to enough ears. Which is always easier said than done.
IMM – What has media response been like with the anticipation of your new album?
P: We’ve been keeping everything super quiet until we get closer to album release.
IMM – Can you tell us what your thoughts are on the music industry in general?
M: It’s a love/hate relationship. I love music so passionately that I act like a jealous lover sometimes. I see other acts that are doing more and I want what they have. I want those fans, I want that stage. It’s always something I need to temper. Everyone who makes a career out of music deserves recognition. Whether you like what they do or not.
IMM – What is the best fan moment you can recall?
M: Not a specific one exactly. But one that I always love. When you finish a set and you’re sweaty and beat up and you see a line begin to form next to the merch table of awesome people who just want a second to say hi or get a photo. I love that so much.
IMM – What is your top five pet peeves about the music industry?
M: Pay to play.
IMM – What are your top five positive thoughts about the music industry?
M: Much of the community has become DIY focused. A lot of bands are able to pave their own way without a label. It makes the music community less competitive and, well, more of a community.
IMM- Are there any instruments any one of the band members plays other than their own?
M: I started on piano. Nathan can pretty much play any instrument you put in front of him, and Roman is so good at guitar that we don’t let him touch anything else.
P: Just drums. Though I did try my hand at guitar when I was younger. It didn’t stick for me though.
IMM- Can you tell us how the songwriting process is for you?
M: I’ll usually develop a composition with the melody. Roman takes the bare structure and develops his guitar around it. Then we collaborate as a group until it comes out the way we want it.
P: The process is always positive. I don’t think there’s ever been an argument over a song in our entire time together.
M: It is really strange how well we all get along. We can all speak our minds and tell each other if something just isn’t working. There’s no ego involved.
IMM – What instrument do you like to create your music to?
M: It’s usually all written on acoustic first.
6+IMM – Final question: Is there anyone you would like to give a shout out to in terms of industry supporters or even within your own team?
M: Each and every person who took the time to listen to our music. Everyone who has come out to our shows. They are why we do this.
P: And Matt Jefferson of Black Diamond Studios. Our beautiful Mr. Matt Jefferson. Who has so graciously put up with our nonsense these last five years while recording our albums. Thank you sir.
IMM – Thank you guys!
M: Thank you!
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