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Queens: An Exclusive Interview With GUERNICA MANCINI and MONA LINDGREN Of THE GEMS

By George Dionne, Podcaster
Thursday, January 25, 2024 @ 9:30 AM

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Photo Credit: Gustaf Sandholm Andersson

You can't talk about THE GEMS without talking about THUNDERMOTHER. I first discovered THUNDERMOTHER with the release of their 2020 album Heat Wave. The Swedish quartet was speaking my language with their brand of blazing riffs, catchy choruses, and over-the-top enthusiasm. Every track on Heat Wave is a winner in my book. I thought to myself, well if this album is killer, then surely the three that came before it would be. I was wrong. THUNDERMOTHER's prior albums were lacking that spark and energy that Heat Wave had, as well as that voice.

You know as well as I do that you can have the best band in the world, but if you don't care for the vocalist, you're not buying in. Guernica Mancini's throaty and powerful vocals made me a THUNDERMOTHER fan. The group released an equally impressive follow-up album in 2022 entitled Black And Gold. Then, in a case of deja-vu or history repeating itself, that version of THUNDERMOTHER was over, leaving founder and guitarist Filippa Nassil looking for new band mates (again).

Drummer Emlee Johansson, guitarist Mona Lindgren, and vocalist Guernica Mancini stuck together through the implosion. They began crafting new music to continue the work that they started with their former group. THE GEMS have risen from the ashes of their past and are set to release their debut album, appropriately titled Phoenix, on January 26, 2024 through Napalm Records.

I had the chance to catch up with Guernica Mancini and Mona Lindgren to talk about Phoenix and the journey that brought them there. The duo also discusses how forming THE GEMS allowed them to be more creative without restrictions, the concept behind their tongue-in-cheek music video for "P.S.Y.C.H.O.", why they believe "Undiscovered Paths" is the album's stand out track, whether or not their songs titles and lyrics reference the negative times in their former band, signing with Napalm Records, their recent album release party, future live performances, and why they settled on THE GEMS as a band name.


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