With influences from the punk scene, Lancaster, PA's The Gone joins us to talk about where they've been, where they're headed, and their new development deal.
The Fan Connection (TFC): Hi guys! We're really happy to have you on TFC!
The Gone: We're really happy to be had on TFC, hahaha, just kidding. Thanks a lot for having us, well not having us, that would've been a lot of labor. We mean including us, hahaha.
TFC: Ok, yeah...good call. We'll say we're happy you've been "included" or "joined us" on TFC, LOL. That labor part isn't so inviting! We just watched your video on your TFC Artist page. We were getting a Foo Fighters vibe...would you say that's accurate at all? We like to test ourselves on this. We've actually gotten the "What?! No Way!" response before, LOL.
The Gone: We get that a lot. It's funny, although we like them, they aren't really an influence. It must be that we share a lot of the same influences.
TFC: Interesting observation! Let's start by learning a little about you guys. Who's who and who plays what?
The Gone: Marc is the lead vocalist, and main guitarist; John is the bassist, marketing guy; Matt is the drummer, backup vocalist; Scot just joined up with us, he is a great guitarist and backup vocalist. We brought him on to make Marc's job a little easier, and to make our live show sound more like our record.
TFC: It's always cool to see a drummer getting on a mic! We just might have to catch a show sometime. Your band is listed as being in Lancaster, PA. Are you all originally from that area?
The Gone: No...Marc & John are originally from Southern CA. Matt and Scot are from PA though.
TFC: How and when did you meet and begin this journey together?
The Gone: Marc and John met in the late 90's. John used to play with a Prog Punk band called Jizzy Speedwack, and Marc had a different incarnation of The Gone then. I ended up joining The Gone as the bassist after the guy they had for a short time left. There were different versions of the The Gone until about 2000 when the band broke up, and pursued different projects. In 2010, John moved back to Pennsylvania from San Diego and looked up Marc and our old drummer, and started to put things back together again. But the drummer was juggling other projects and didn't have time. Marc and John kept writing and recording new versions of songs we had, and then we found Matt in January of 2015 and he saved us. We put the songs together that you hear on the record, and we've been nonstop ever since.
TFC: It always feels good when you find the missing link! How, if at all, would you say your music has evolved since you began playing together?
The Gone: Well, especially since we've found Matt, it's really come to life. He brings all new influences from touring in successful punk bands. With a lot of great new bands that we're into serving as new influences, the songs take on new life.
TFC: Is there a primary songwriter in the group, or is it a collective effort?
The Gone: Marc really writes the main song, and brings what he has to the band. From that point, they go through structuring and arranging.
TFC: Are any of you subject to brand loyalty when it comes to your instruments? If so, tell us what you like about them.
The Gone: Marc and John are actually playing Squier guitars right now. John has a Squier Jazz bass that's been gutted and re-done with Bartolini electronics. Marc has a Frankenstein strat that is incredible, and then he has a Squier strat that he uses as well. Marc plays through an Orange head and Marshall cab. Scot plays mainly a Les Paul through Marshall Head and cab. Matt plays through both Ludwig drums, and Tama drums. We'd really like it if someone would endorse us to make it a lot easier though. Haha!
TFC: Oh yes, endorsements can literally save a struggling budget for a band! Don't give up though, it'll happen. Tell us about any regular venues & areas you play. Which ones are your favorites?
The Gone: We always love playing at home, in Lancaster either at A.B.G. (American Bar & Grill to the lay person), The Dirty ol'tavern, or The Chameleon Club. The reason being in, we can go home right after the show to our own beds. We love playing anywhere though.
TFC: It seems you've had some touring under your belts! Do you have a "Best Tour Ever"? Which one and why?
The Gone: We really enjoyed playing in Pittsburgh, because believe it or not, they are kind of building a whole new music scene there, and people are really into new music and bands playing there.
TFC: Yes, we can vouch for that...Pittsburgh is definitely a great crowd! What have been some of your biggest challenges as a band, and how have you overcome them?
The Gone: Well, for Marc and I (John), it has been trying to find a drummer over the last few years. We overcame that with leaps and bounds by finding Matt, the guy is a godsend. Then it was trying to capture more of the record sound live, and we just overcame that with finding Scot. He really is a great addition as well.
TFC: What can we look for from The Gone in 2016?
The Gone: A lot of tomfoolery, drunkenness, and maybe a misdemeanor or two. Hahaha, just kidding! More touring...we've started to get some radio presence around the nation, and we're in the middle of a development deal with Al Gomes & A. Michelle at Big Noise.
TFC: Nice guys! Congrats! Touring bands have a special bond, and we like to add in these "Fan Fun" questions for bands with that experience. You guys get to be the lucky TFC band this week to have to answer them!
Who drives the van?
The Gone: Whoever has their glasses, and is the most awake.
Who sleeps the most?
The Gone: Whomever has just finished driving the van.
Fair enough! Who's the "Resident Mom"? (every band has one, regardless of cup size!)
The Gone: Maybe my (John's) lady, Jen...she's really helped this band out hugely by leaps and bounds.
Resident hippy? (or the one who yells at everyone for eating the dollar menu)
The Gone: We all are to some extent at certain times.
Who snores the loudest?
The Gone: Whomever just finished driving duty. I just said "duty", hahaha.
The Gone: No such thing when you're in a van or on a floor.
Most social? (best with the fans...will literally make friends at every show)
The Gone: Maybe John? Not really sure.
Do you guys have the one "whiner" of the group, who complains a lot but you love them anyway?
The Gone: Whichever girl we just picked up. No just kidding! We're kinda veterans of this stuff...there's not much of that happening.
TFC: Here at The Fan Connection, we're busy creating and putting the finishing touches on some really amazing features! Just a few of the things we'll be rolling out in 2016 include a killer music player with radio-like broadcasting on the site, which will include artist discovery, interviews, promotions for TFC artists and more; professionally run Fan Clubs; contests for artists AND their fans; private chat rooms (GREAT for Fan Club chats!) and live streaming. Of those listed, which one do you think would be the most beneficial for you and why?
The Gone: Not sure any ONE of them will be MORE beneficial. Anything a band can do to interact with fans, and get their music in front of people is pretty f@*kin' great.
TFC: Truer words were never spoken! Thank you so much for your time! We look forward to seeing more of you on TFC!
The Gone: Thank you for having us. It's been so fun. You guys take care.
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