Long Gone "Heads Down" Premiere & Interview
Chicago pop-rock band Long Gone premiere their debut single “Heads Down” a day before it’s available on streaming platforms, and discuss starting fresh, the recording process, and what to expect in the future.
Why did the three of you decide to leave past projects behind and start fresh with Long Gone?
Patrick: Personally, I felt that we had taken the last project as far as it would go. We started in high school, had made a lot of progress individually and as a group, and we all decided it was time to take that progress and start fresh on a new project. Our sound has matured significantly in that time, and I think it shows on the new record.
Matt: Previous projects didn’t feel like they had much commitment behind them. Every kid who plays in a band has that one band that makes or breaks their decision to stick with it. The fresh start is to let everyone know we’re not done making music, we’re not done playing shows, and that it’s going to take a lot more than a failed project or two to keep us from doing what we love.
Trevor: With the last band, I felt like I had stagnated in growth, both personally and within the group, and was kind of burnt out. Then we faced a series of internal obstacles that really tested our dedication as a group, and that brought us to the conclusion that it was time for a fresh start. It’s been really refreshing to have that fresh start and I couldn’t be happier with the decision.
How is this different than previous projects you’ve worked on?
P: The last project felt like a hobby, this feels like a business. We are taking every aspect of it more seriously. Honestly, everything about it is just better. I haven’t been this excited to release content in a long time.
M: Each of us are going in a lot more focused this time around, taking into account past experiences and mistakes. We’ve all learned and matured as members of a unit, which was something that was lacking until much later in the projects we had worked on previously.
T: I think that with this project, we’re taking the time to truly think things through. Everything we do has a purpose, and we’re always looking towards and thinking about the next step. I think that level of preparedness has been the product of the missteps we’ve taken before, and I’m very happy with how much we have learned and grown.
Why was “Heads Down” chosen to be the first single?
P: I find “Heads Down” to be very relatable and extremely catchy. I wanted the single to show how far we have come and it’s a really good showcase of how we have grown as musicians since our last project.
M: It has a lot to do with the tone of the song, I think. The song has this happily desperate feel to it that grabs onto to you and doesn’t let go until it decides it’s done with you. “Heads Down” has a different kind of energy about it that really lends itself to a modern, pop rock anthem piece, so we decided it would be what we use to come out of the gates swinging.
T: “Heads Down” was the first song we worked on together when we started working on what would become the Long Gone record, and I think still one of our collective favorites. Since it was held in such high regard within the three of us, we wanted to share that with everyone.
Talk about the recording process for “Heads Down.” How was it different than past experiences, and how did that affect the way the song took shape?
M: I feel like “Heads Down” was a special case. Usually, songs don’t quite feel like songs until they’re tracked, cleaned up, and mastered; they’re more like ideas that turn into songs once studio time comes around. “Heads Down” didn’t feel like it became a song in studio. Sure, the bells and whistles were added in while recording, but the song felt almost tangible before we tracked it, unlike most other experiences I’ve had going into studio. It felt like an extension of ourselves had been actualized while recording, and I think it’s something we all really enjoyed doing.
P: I remember sitting in Matt’s living room while he was showing us some of what he was working on. He started playing what would later become “Heads Down” and we all instantly knew it was going to be a great song. Typically we go into the studio and we have the foundation of a song, but it doesn’t become fully fledged until after recording it. With “Heads Down,” we already had a good idea of what we wanted, and we just tracked it.
T: For me, the recording process itself was very exciting. When we decided to start fresh with a new project, we also decided to take a chance and go to a new producer. Seth (Henderson) and ABG had produced a lot of our favorite records from a lot of our friends in the area, so it was a no-brainer to me. Stepping into the studio for the first time was nerve-racking, but Seth fits in with the group very well. He pushed us to be better musicians and step out of our comfort zone, but did so in a way that was still relaxed and encouraging. I think the end product really speaks to that. You can really tell that everyone was working together to make a great song.
What are your plans moving forward with the band? What can we expect in the future?
P: I hope we can turn this into something that can help people through difficult times in their life. The biggest compliment to me is when someone says our music got them through something.
M: I have high hopes for the band. The material we’ve worked on is killer, and I’m really hoping everyone enjoys it. We want to take Long Gone to new horizons, and reach out to more people than we ever have. This isn’t a medium exclusively to make music and play shows, but to assure everyone that they aren’t alone in dealing with the difficulties they face.
T: There’s more music to come, “Heads Down” is just the start. We plan on really hitting the ground running with this project. Lots of shows, merch, lots of cool content in general. I think we all share a drive to bring this music to the largest audience possible and we’re going to make that happen.