Interview : The Beauty of Gemina

By on 6 March 2012

With the release of their 4th album, ‘Iscariot Blues’, Switzerland’s The Beauty of Gemina have set the bar for bands to aspire to for the year.
Given 5/5 from Dominion, they manage to outdo even themselves; their back catalogue is also one of high quality.
They performed an intimate and stunning show at the Electrowerkz in London, a show as tight as it was mesmeric, Kevin Morris chatted to vocalist Michael Sele on behalf of Dominion after the show.

 

Have you enjoyed today?

Michael:  Yes, yes, yes. I think it’s been a great concert. It’s always not so easy to play in London, it’s such a big city, but I thought people supported us well. It’s a small stage and so it’s not easy to perform, but yet it’s been a great night.

You’re touring in support of the new album, Iscariot Blues, what can you tell us about that?

M: As I started to work on the record, I played a lot of acoustic guitar. My inspiration came from the acoustic guitar and in my studio I played and I jammed for a lot of time. But, I thought I don’t want to make an acoustic album, I want to make a rock album. I wanted to make it less electronic with a bit more space for the instruments, a bit more space for the vocals and so the atmosphere is reduced. While it’s not a new style, it may be a new chapter.

Your first three albums were quite similar in style and composition.  Your new album, whilst definitely sounding like a The Beauty of Gemina record, is very different. How conscious was it to be different to what you’d been doing?

M: The first three albums I always considered were kind of a trilogy.  Last year we had a lot of concerts and I gained a lot of experience from that. What’s important for a good song for me is the vocal line, I work hard on an arranging the songs to show it.  I made a lot of songs in the studio, sometimes if you write a song you need weeks and it’s hard, but this time I had a good flow.

I heard you say onstage it had commercial success alongside Lady Gaga and Beyonce…

M: In Switzerland for the first time we are in the official (mainstream) charts, it was really surprising because we are really underground band in Switzerland, it was surprising, maybe the new album is easier to understand I don’t know.

You were also on the cover of Zillo magazine, how important was that?

M: Germany’s a huge market; it’s a huge dark scene but it’s not so easy for a band from Switzerland. Germany is like a big neighbour and they always think “Ah Switzerland is very small” and they don’t wait for a band from Switzerland. It’s always hard work. For me it’s very good, Zillo’s a very important magazine, we also played at M’era Luna last year and had very good feedback. It’s very hard work but we work on it and I will be back in Germany this summer for festivals this year and we’ll see.

Of course you’ve made some quite artistic videos as well, how important are videos to what you do?

M: It’s all so like a puzzle you have the music, you have the record you have some visual or video material also for the internet and for youtube. It’s marketing, it’s important and for me also Beauty of Gemina it’s also visual music. A good combination of pictures and sound. I think for a band it’s important today, you need both.

We spend a lot of money on videos. We have feedback from around the world, from South America, Australia or Canada or Russia, they might not buy the CD but they watch the videos on youtube and so are still aware of us and what we’re doing.

Your most recent video is for ‘Stairs’, what was the story you were telling in that video?

M: I think that the director of the video made his own interpretation from the song. ‘Stairs’ is a very political song. The song is like a dialogue with people, with crowds of people, maybe politicians.  They always say they will have absolution at the end and they can do what they want and at the end that have forgiveness from their God. It’s the inspiration for the song, “and they call me a dreamer” because maybe I keep the dream of a peaceful world and maybe we could be better than maybe the world we live in would be better. They call me a dreamer, but for me I like to be a dreamer. The director took this topic of dreaming and he though “OK, let’s make this a young boy and we can make his dream come true”. It’s a good interpretation

Religion is quite a big topic on your album, what do you feel about Religion?

M: The title of the album Iscariot Blues is from Judas Iscariot. I thought maybe if it [the Bible] could be true then Judas is a very important person in this story.  Maybe after he kissed Jesus on this night then I would think he had the blues.

A lot of your audience is the Gothic market.  On the mainland it’s very much dominated by the more electronic side of things, how do you manage to fit in with a scene that’s very different to what you do?

M: I think that music like Beauty of Gemina with guitars and real drums, we are a small part of the whole scene. We are the underground from the underground. In Germany there are a lot of electronic bands and onstage they are a computer and they play music back and I think, ‘No, it’s not my vision’, at times/  I think it needs more bands who play guitar and make real sounds and I hope it would be a revival someday.

Although, there are bands getting more recognition, for example Mono Inc and Roterfeld are doing OK.

M: That’s true, I think a music scene if they have not new bands play with instruments I think some day this scene will die. There are a lot of new bands who play and have the energy and sometimes I miss real instruments within the Gothic Scene.

 

About Miranda Yardley

I'm Miranda. Bite me.

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