Exclusive Interview: Ivan Moody of Five Finger Death Punch and Aaron Nordstrom of Gemini Syndrome
Fri, 16 Aug 2013 09:11:10
Five Finger Death Punch have unequivocally risen to the top of heavy metal. They're indisputable champs of the genre, and they're leading the next generation. That next generation is looking just as promising too with the likes of Gemini Syndrome also climbing up through the ranks. This fall you can catch them both on the Wrong Side of Heaven tour, and it's going to be one for the books. That's for sure...
So, ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino brought together Five Finger Death Punch singer Ivan Moody and Gemini Syndrome frontman Aaron Nordstrom for this exclusive chat.
Read on for part two below...
What's the moment like when a fan tells you that your lyrics have resonated with him or her? Is that the ultimate gratification?
Ivan Moody: Most definitely! When we were over in Iraq playing our USO tour in Iraq, I had one soldier come up to me, and he laid a burnt iPod down on the table. He didn't ask me to sign it. He wanted me to keep it. I looked at him a bit funny at first. He told me one of his closest friends went out on a mission and didn't make it back. Let's leave it at that. When they found him and his things, his iPod was stuck on "The Bleeding". The last thing he was listening to before he went was one of our songs. I literally teared up. I had no words at the time. It's not only the ultimate gratification. It gives new life to your soul that you mean so much to another person. Growing up, music was all I had so it speaks volumes.
Aaron Nordstrom: Wow, that's a story.
Ivan Moody: Heavy, right?
Aaron Nordstrom: I'm almost choking up. That's intense. I don't know if "gratification" is the right word, but it's also not the wrong word. It's a success in a way like a victory. Like you said, growing up, music was all you had. It was like therapy. To turn around and bring it full circle where my art and music is doing that to someone else, there are a couple of kids from around the world who have albinism, and they found me on Facebook. I remember getting a message from this one girl a few years back. She said, "It's so cool to me that I can see someone who has albinism out there kicking ass and destroying the world. It gives me motivation and inspiration that I can do it too". It's like, "Wow, I motivated you to be comfortable in your own skin because I was brave enough or stupid enough to wear my heart on my sleeve?" That's a huge thing, man.
Ivan Moody: It is. Well put, I like that you said "brave enough or stupid enough". I'm going to use that [Laughs].
Aaron Nordstrom: It's one of the two, man!
Which of your songs means the most to you right now?
Aaron Nordstrom: "Pleasure & Pain" has definitely been up there on my list because it's the most aggressive song we have on the record. I tend to get in mood swings so that's my release during the day, which is nice. There's another song, which is not out there yet called "Take This". It's one of the most vibe-y almost prog-y songs on the record. That's always been my favorite on the album. We're starting to bust that out live.
Ivan Moody: I don't have a copy yet. I'm really fucking excited about hearing the entire thing and getting it. You should send it to me [Laughs].
Aaron Nordstrom: I can arrange that.
Ivan Moody: For myself because it's 24 tracks, I will say there's not one I can really pick out. I put so much of my heart and soul into these CDs. I think it encompasses everything we've ever stood for as a unit and also as individuals. There's not one I can put my finger on. There are definitely more fun songs to play live, but otherwise, they've all got a really special place in my heart.
Aaron Nordstrom: It's hard to pick one.
Ivan Moody: Especially because they're yours!