- August 2014 -
HAVE A BEER WITH GEMINI CLUB
Meet Gemini Club: a four-piece electronic influenced indie-rock band from Chicago. Far from the conventional live performance, Gemini Club have enhanced their live appearances with a specially designed rig that allows for on-the-fly remixing of their own songs, meaning each Gemini Club show is different from the last. This unique musical adventure at each of their shows has resulted in tour support for the likes of Chromeo, A-Trak, Two Door Cinema Club, The Sounds, The Naked and Famous, Metric, Miami Horror and Chateau Marmont.
Their first single, "Ghost" came out hot in the blogosphere, which has resulted in remixes from Hey Champ, Barretso, Golden Bug and Only Children. The track was also picked up for air play from BBC Radio 1's tastemaker show "In New DJs We Trust." In 2013 Gemini Club was one of the most played and blogged about artists on Hype Machine, and their single "Sparklers" quickly rose to #2 on Sirius XM's Alt Nation to kick off 2014, and has been a mainstay on the channel ever since. Gemini Club and their hit "Sparklers" also became a Red Bull Sound Select featured artist and track, resulting in a video collaboration and a headline national tour.
Gemini Club has spent most of 2014 on the road and in the studio recording at Red Bull Studios in Los Angeles. They've held prominent slots at Hangout Fest in Alabama, Firefly Fest in Delaware, Electric Forest in Michigan and most importantly, Chicago’s own Lollapalooza, where we chatted with Dan and Ryan from the band over a beer in the press tent. We talked cats, aphorisms and why it's sometimes difficult to enjoy a show as an audience member.
The Show: Gemini Club at Lollapalooza // The Grove Stage // August 3, 2014
Drinks of Choice: New Glarus Brewing's Spotted Cow (Dan Brunelle; production); Jack and Coke (Ryan Luciani; drums)
Kristen from A Beer with the Band: It's your first time at Lollapalooza. What has it been like so far?
Ryan from Gemini Club: Well, we’re just getting started, but we had a pretty crazy night last night.
Kristen: What'd you do?
Dan from Gemini Club: We played a private party for Google. It was on boat.
Ryan: It was pretty awesome, but we were double booked. We opened for Interpol and Wildcat! Wildcat! last night at Thalia Hall, and there was only an hour between when the boat was supposed to dock and we had to be at the gig.
Dan: When the boat docked, we were like hovering by the door with our gear.
Ryan: Yeah, but we got there in time and played. It was awesome. Thalia Hall is like Lincoln Hall, but with a history.
Kristen: You guys currently live in Chicago. Where’s home base for you?
Ryan: We're all in the west neighborhood.
Kristen: And what's your favorite thing about living here?
Dan: The architecture.
Kristen: I love the nerdy answer.
Dan: Totally. New York is great because it's got all this energy, but it’s dirty. Chicago's clean and the architecture and lake combined are pretty epic.
Ryan: I love that Chicago has a little big city feel. I love going to New York, but it’s pretty intense. To me, Chicago feels like the perfect size. There are some really cool neighborhoods and cool culture. There's great food. I feel like the Mexican food is sometimes better here than in California.
Kristen: Yeah, for sure. Who are you looking forward to seeing this weekend?
Ryan: Definitely Phantogram.
Kristen: Phantogram is on my list for sure.
Dan: I love their new record and the last time I saw them I was blown away. The music on that record translates so well to their live performance. And I can be kind of obnoxious about shows. I have really high expectations and can be kind of a snob.
Kristen: In what way?
Dan: Being in a band, I think it's sometimes hard to go and enjoy a show when you're in the thick of it all the time.
Ryan: Right, it's hard to be in on it. You're always thinking or analyzing the show, Should I do that? Should I not do that? What’s working? What's cool about the set?
Dan: How are they doing this? Should we be doing that? It's great when you come across a band that can make you feel like an audience member again.
Kristen: Yeah, I never thought about that because I've never been on-stage. But I see where you’re coming from.
Dan: It's like taking something you love and analyzing it too much. You know the old saying, "Love what you do, and you’ll never work again."
Dan: It's like the opposite of that sometimes when you’re seeing a show. Do what you love, and you’ll never love again.
Dan: I'm not trying to be a downer, but sometimes it's like that. It has to do with participating in the same medium
Kristen: What's the least rock-'n'-roll thing you've done in the past year?
Ryan: My taxes.
Kristen: Taxes suck.
Dan: That's an awesome question. Well, the day after we play Lollapalooza I have to take my cat to get some tests.
Kristen: I hope for nothing bad.
Dan: Nothing detrimental. He’s actually the background photo on my phone. Whenever we're around an important person that I'm supposed to be super cool talking to I'm like, "Oh, let me get your number." And then my background is my cat.
Ryan: I watched him once for Dan.
Kristen: Did it almost break up the band?
Ryan: No, but the cat would not leave me alone. I was trying to sleep, and he kept walking on my head. I'm like, "Dude, stop." I finally tricked him and got him to go out in the hallway, and I closed the door on him really quick. Then he spent the next two hours crying.
Dan: See, I would never close the door on him.
Ryan: I'm just colder.
Kristen: What's the best advice you've ever received?
Ryan: Best advice I've ever received is two words: "So what?"
Kristen: "So what?" Would you say you live your life with that mentality?
Ryan: Not necessarily, but I do feel like there are a lot of pressures and people's opinions and I over think things. I have analysis paralysis all the time.
Kristen: I like that: "analysis paralysis."
Ryan: Sometimes I just have to tell myself, "So what? It's going to be fine." That's one of the better things that has been said to me.
Kristen: I like that a lot. What about you, Dan?
Dan: Pretty much anything my mom ever told me.
Ryan: Yeah, your mom's got great lines.
Dan: She's got a lot of sort of cheesy aphorisms like, “Enjoy the journey,” “Work doing what you love and you’ll never work a day…”
Kristen: Which you turned inside out today.
Dan: Exactly. And then my dad is super sarcastic and cynical. My mom is the complete opposite, so I guess I’m somewhere in the middle.
Dan: I'm normally more of a cynic.
Ryan: You have some great moments with your one-liners though.
Dan: I love a good aphorism. Truth nuggets.
Ryan: You drop a truth nugget and then you're like, "Now think about that." Then he goes and hangs out with his cat.
Dan: One of the things that I've been saying to myself, and I say to other people a lot, is that people don't think about you as much as you think they do.
Kristen: True. Once I realized that, I started going places alone a lot more. I love doing things by myself, like going to shows. No one's going to care that you're by yourself.
Ryan: I actually went to a movie for the first time by myself. I had a blast. I'm so fun to hang out with.
Dan: You guys should go alone together sometime.
Kristen: Yeah, we can go but then not talk to each other. I'm totally down for that. We’ll just look at each other after the movie and make a face like, “Yes, good, or no, bad?”
Ryan: Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Kristen: What's next for you guys musically?
Dan: We're writing and going to have a new song out pretty soon.
Ryan: Yeah. With the tour and Lollapalooza we’ve been re-working a lot of stuff live, which has been super effective. We were out in L.A. recording a little bit before this, but we're definitely ready to get the new stuff out there.