In two short years, GEMS has gone from “The Best New Band You’ve Never Heard” to “…an understanding of the true height at which these two stand as influencers.” I’m sure that’s not intimidating for them at all.
Luckily, the band seems to be keeping their heads on straight as ATYPICAL SOUNDS found out in our interview with vocalist Lindsay Pitts.
Kill the One You Love, the title of your debut LP, is a reference to Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. You also use a Sylvia Plath quote in your band bio on the Carpark website. Have either of these authors influenced your work?
LP: Sylvia Plath definitely has. Actually, we kept coming across her collection, Ariel, when we were writing our EP, Medusa. It sort of just kept being there in our path wherever we traveled and I feel like we were meant to read it. Her poetry is very close to death and that’s something that we try to explore through our music.
How was your recent tour with Oh Wonder? Did anything surprise you about the experience?
LP: It was lovely. This was actually one of the shortest tours we’ve gone on. (We’d previously spent a month on the road with Autre Ne Veut and a month with Classixx—they were both great tours). But I was glad to have a shorter run this time and be in the sun in LA and not trudging through the snow on the east coast.
You also recorded a live session for KEXP a few weeks ago. Are you a fan of the station? Do you have a favorite KEXP session from another band or artist?
LP: KEXP is a great station and one session actually comes into my mind right away. I was unsure how I felt about Grimes when she first came out, but after watching her KEXP performance, I was a convert. Her personality really shone through in that setting and it felt very honest and real.
It seems like GEMS has suddenly blown up with your last tour. Does it seem that way to you? Has your personal life changed at all?
LP: Wow that’s really sweet, we’re just taking things one day at a time and being grateful for having the opportunity to keep making music.
It’s been suggested that your songs “reach for authentic and raw human truths.” Do you agree? And if so, is this something you aim for when writing, or do you find your songs take on this quality as they progress in their production?
LP: I think that is a large part of the core of what we are about – especially the “reaching” part. My main goal with writing songs is to create something that helps people transcend space and time, connect with something on a higher plane, and access that deep sense of existential longing.
GEMS originated in Washington, DC but you have since relocated to Los Angeles. Did that come before or after your record deal with Carpark? Was it hard to adjust to the change?
LP: The move came after I guess, but I don’t think that really played a part in when we decided to move…basically we wanted to finish our album before packing up and making our way out here since we wanted it to be a cohesive statement. I feel more at home in Los Angeles than I ever did in DC. It’s so inspiring to be here.
What are your favorite places to listen to music in LA?
What are your plans for the rest of 2016?
LP: Writing music is what I really love to do. I’m excited to finish what we’ve been working on and release more songs.