Review Fix chats with Jet Force Gemini’s Michael Christopher, who discusses the band’s origin, goals and new album, “Monster.”
Review Fix: How did the band get together?
Michael Christopher: Roman (guitarist) and I started back in 2011 with the intent of bringing back pop-punk to Portland. At the time everything was either indie/folk or heavy metal. It’s cool to see the pop-punk scene thrive again both here in Portland and nationally as well and we have been stoked to be part of it.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Christopher: We don’t have a set method of how we structure our writing process. Generally Roman and I will come to the table with an idea, melody or guitar riff, and we’ll begin shaping it together as a group. Our creative process has always been very democratic in that a song doesn’t move ahead unless everyone is happy with where it’s going.
Review Fix: What’s your standout song on the current album? How was it written?
Christopher: I’d say “Monsters” has become the standout for a few reasons. When Roman first presented it, I wasn’t sure that it fit who we are. After recording it and hearing the feedback I soon realized that this song is more who we are then any we have previously written. The pop-punk scene has been good to us, but it was at this moment I realized that, going forward, that side of us was more or less done. This was that proverbial fork in the road that bands often go through, and I’m really excited to show everyone where it’s taken us.
Review Fix: What did you learn from the last album? How did it affect this one?
Christopher: Our first album, Pistola Melodica, was really just 4 idiots throwing ideas at a wall and recording everything. Dive Eternity takes what Pistola did well and makes it even better, in my opinion. Everything is tighter, more intricately layered. I think the sheer quality of the recording is better as well. We’re constantly growing and I’ll probably say the same when we release the new album.
Review Fix: What are your goals for 2018?
Christopher: We begin recording our new untitled album in February! This is the most excited I’ve been for an album yet. I feel like we finally have the lineup to record and perform the songs we were meant to play. We are anticipating the release of this album by the end of 2018, followed by a full tour to support the album. In the meantime, it’ll be a lot of studio sessions, music video shoots, and planning. It’ll be lots of fun.
Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard you?
Christopher: I’d call Dive Eternity progressive pop punk. Vocals and melodies are very much rooted in the genre, but structurally and instrumentally we do things you don’t often see in the genre.
Review Fix: How do you want your music to affect people?
Christopher: My lyrics are meant to be interpreted in a way that is personal and vulnerable. The narrative draws from my experiences on everything from love, death, fear, and frustration but it is not meant to be solely my perspective. I want people to find their own story that connects them to the music.
Review Fix: Why is this new album special?
Christopher: It is our first and last pop punk odyssey. We will never have another album this giant again. It is also a big turning point for us creatively.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Christopher: New album! I don’t want to say anymore. It’s all top secret stuff.