Women is the latest album from Ides Of Gemini, who have recently had some lineup shifts and are now a quartet. Vocalist Sera Timms updates us on the changes, the new record, the Trump effect on music and more.
Chad Bowar: What led to the expansion of Ides Of Gemini to a quartet?
Sera Timms: It all started when we lost Kelly due to an injury she sustained, and we started playing with Scott Batiste of Saviours. Kelly and I had a great minimalist rhythm section, and as much as Scott honors the original foundation of Ides’ somewhat minimal tom oriented drum sound, he naturally fills out the space more than Kelly did. As soon as we started writing with Scott I could hear much more filled out rhythm section in my head, which I did not want to take on, as I’d prefer to focus more on singing than on bass. So we roped our friend Adam (Murray) in and there you have it.
How did the addition of Scott and Adam affect the songwriting and recording dynamic for Women?
I had a lot more freedom to explore vocally, and our rhythm section feels powerful in sort of a horsepower way if that makes sense.
How did you decide to work with producer Sanford Parker, and how was the experience?
He approached us at maybe our third ever show expressing interest in the band, and we were already fans of his work. He recently moved out to L.A. so it finally made sense logistically.
How has the band’s sound evolved/progressed on this album?
I think it’s like we have been building a castle for all of these years. We started out making plans in almost a disembodied dream state on Constantinople, and began to be more grounded and solid on Old World New Wave. I think we committed to embracing the struggle to live and thrive on Earth and to build something worth fighting for. Now we have built a solid castle, I have a well made fortress from which to sing from, and it is peopled by Women. What more could I ask for?
How did Tara Connelly and Emma Rundle’s guest appearances come about, and how did their presence impact the album?
We are friends and have discussed collaborating for some time now. This was the perfect opportunity as it did not seem right to have only one woman’s voice on an album called Women.
The lyrics focus on women. Is it easier to write lyrics about yourself, historical figures, or fictional/mythological ones?
Its easiest for me to write lyrics about myself through symbolism and metaphor. That is what this entire album is lyrically.
How did you come to sign with Rise Above Records?
Scott Carlson (Repulsion, Cathedral) who now works for Rise Above and lives in L.A. is largely responsible for that pairing.
Does that affect your expectations for the album?
No. Expectations create illusion.
You have an album release show coming up in May. What else is on your upcoming tour agenda?
Time will tell!
What effect, if any, do you think the Trump presidency will have on art in general, and music specifically?
What I already see happening is a great resurgence of artists gathering to re-create a foundation based on relating to one another through the mirror of art and music as an expression of the human experience. We did not come into form to succeed at business, be a capital pawn, or control world resources. What a fleeting task! This is the goal of our government now and it demoralizes and squashes the human imagination. Art and music are the blades which tear holes in the ever darkening veil of propaganda which falls upon our eyes and ears if we are plugged into the status quo machine.
Music can remind the world that your human experience is far more than your material existence if you allow it to be, and that just like glorious thriving ant colonies everywhere we can build our little thriving communities right under the nose of an oppressive and destructive machine…the trick is to see the machine creatively. If you believe the shadow of a machine will destroy you, then it might. If you see the shadow as perhaps a demon to dance with, or a an epic cloud of locusts which you must circumvent, well then you have a task on par with the gods and goddesses of ancient days, and are living a life worthy of mythology!
Read any good books lately?
I’ve just started The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin which is excellent so far, and my latest esoteric book treasure is The Mysteries of the Great Cross of Hendaye: Alchemy and the End of Time.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
We’re playing our record release show on May 6th at The Complex in LA. My and J’s other band Black Mare will be playing May 27th at Complex for the Satanic Temple’s Women’s Mass.
(interview published April 28, 2017)