When I lived in New York with Paul Collins, I’d sit at our oak kitchen table and play guitar, write songs, then go over it and over it until it was like stone in my brain. Paul taught me that method; just do it again and again until it solidified. “Gemini” started out so simple compared to my other pop songs, just four chords and a riff, but friends said, “I like that one.” The song had a few ideas that went into the lyrics: Blowfly had his ZODIAC album, and I took some ideas from that, and then made Gemini a character in my mind like some serial killer or mysterious man in the subway.
On August 28, 1991, there had been a derailing in the New York subway—a bad accident—so I used that accident for lyrical inspiration. The line “burn my picture to seal my fate” was inspired by that van scene in TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE movie where the hitch-hiker burns up the Polaroid then cuts the kid in the wheelchair.
I tinkered with this song in 3 different recording sessions before I got it right with a simpler, tighter sound. I recorded the drums with mics only on the snare, kick, and an AKG C12a over Bennett Bowman’s head. I tried a few takes on the drums myself, keeping only my drum roll at the top. The sixteenth-note rolls in the choruses were an intentional accident in making the outro loop.