Melissa Sedlmeier (MS): Who inspires you?
Aaron Nordstrom (AN): Most of it, lyrically at least, comes from my experiences, my life, whatever weird trials and tribulations I experience. I am influenced for sure by philosophy and religion. I studied Chinese kung fu for 18 years, so those kind of philosophers and the Eastern way of thinking is a big part of it. My older brother Blake, he inspires me. You can take it from anywhere.
MS: I get that from your music, and I feel that. It’s awesome. Musically, who inspires you?
AN: I grew up playing classical jazz piano, so I was influenced by that stuff heavily when I was young. I was in choirs. Getting into my teens, I found rock n’ roll and grunge and metal. I listened to everything from trance music to black metal to folk music. It’s hard to pinpoint, I like literally everything.
MS: It’s all the bits and pieces that make it.
AN: The whole band is like that, I think that is what creates the sound that we have. Brian (Steele Medina) came up in drum corps, which is super strict and structured, rigid music. But then he also loves all kinds of other stuff and that blends together.
MS: We have had some greats pass away this year – Bowie, Prince, Lemmy, Glenn Frey. Are you inspired by any of those legends?
AN: On some level, all of them. My biggest ones were Peter Steele and Dimebag Darrell. That was the stuff that I really got into as a kid. What’s crazy is the guys I listened to growing up, now they’re all getting into their fifties and sixties. Life is short, that is the whole point of this record, realizing that at some point everyone is going to pass on. It’s kind of scary. The dude from 3 Doors Down just passed away the other day. He was 38, I’m 34. You never know what’s going to come. Some of my friends and my peers now, like David Draiman of Disturbed who has been great to me, he’s still very healthy, or LJ from Sevendust. But you just never know.
MS: With the albums, you have “Lux” and “Memento Mori”. Is another album coming as a trilogy?
AN: “Lux” was light and birth. “Memento Mori” means “Remember, we have to die” and is the coming to grips with the reality of mortality, and embracing the moment you have. The next album will be dealing with death and whatever comes after that, to whatever degree we can comprehend it without actually going there.
MS: What are you grateful for?
AN: I am grateful that I get to do this, that I get to travel. I’m grateful for my family, my wife, my dog, my house, that I can eat food every day. I have been playing music since I was 3, so the fact that I get to do it for a living. We are certainly not wealthy, but we are rich in spirit. This is my experience – I get to sit on the bus and talk to you guys. I get to be at this festival. It’s the little details.