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Interview: Chicago rock group Long Gone debuts new single, talks influences and vision for the future

Chicago pop-rock group Long Gone are ready to take on the scene with their debut single, “Heads Down”. Atlas spoke with vocalist Matt DeSchepper, guitarist Patrick Smith and drummer Trevor Hancock via email about the band’s new music, unconventional influences and what’s coming up for Long Gone.

Atlas: What is the story of Long Gone? What are your musical backgrounds and how did you get started as a band?

Trevor: Matt, Pat, and I have been playing in bands together since I was 16. I’m 22 now, so these two have been by my side through a whole lot of growing up. Pat and I were in marching band together, he noticed my skinny jeans and I noticed his Yellowcard t-shirt. We met Matt from a bunch of mutual friends when we started looking for a singer, and the rest is history. Previous projects hadn’t been going as well as we felt they could have been, so we all came to the decision that it was best to start fresh together and that’s why we’re here now.

Patrick: Back in high school we started playing together for fun, and it grew into something a lot more serious over the years. Long Gone is the culmination of all of those years in the Chicago music scene and a product of our own personal growth.

Atlas: Do you feel connected to or influenced by other legendary musicians from Chicago?

Matt: Fall Out Boy is definitely a top 5 favorite band for me. I’m not sure I’d be as into music as I am now without them. I’ve been on a Chicago kick lately because a few people I work with grew up listening to them, and their musicianship is incredible. It’s a huge inspiration to me to see musicians with that level of talent making some of the catchiest licks and melodies in music.

Trevor: I don’t think you can play in a rock band in Chicago and not cite Fall Out Boy as an influence, but they were special to me because they were one of the first bands in the genre that I really got into. I remember seeing their videos all over TV when I was in grade school. More recently though, I’ve been very inspired by watching bands like Real Friends come up. They hustled for years playing in the same small clubs, basements, and bowling alleys as we did and still do, so it’s really cool to see that there is something to be said for that kind of hard work.

Atlas: What are some of your unconventional influences?

Matt: I am a hardcore Kesha fan. I can’t say if I’ve ever written a song with the intent to sound like Kesha, but she’s an extraordinary artist and a splendid musician. I listen to everything from bands like Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! and Crown the Empire to artists like Beyonce, The Silversun Pickups, and Keith Urban, so it’s really difficult for me not to go off on huge tangents about what inspires me. I just really love music.

Patrick: Personally, Chance the Rapper is a huge inspiration for me. Specifically how he has changed the music industry, and what he has done for the city of Chicago and its people. I also get influences from a lot of lesser known artists, specifically Hodera and Better Love lately.

Atlas: How do you view your current local scene, and are there any bands on your radar we should know about?

Trevor: For me, one of the coolest things about Chicago is that so many of my genuine favorite bands are people I know and have a personal relationship with. The area is filled with talented bands and good people, and being surrounded by so much talent is inspiring. My long time favorite band around here and maybe just in general has been and always will be Better Love. I’ve known the group of them for years and they are just the best people and the best band. City Mouth have been friends of mine for a while as well, and their music is absolutely killer.

Patrick: The scene is awesome right now, too many bands to name them all. Detour North have been friends with us since the beginning, Better Love are great musicians and people, Rare Candy is a friend of ours that we have been playing music with since day one. I missed like a hundred, please forgive me.

Atlas: What’s coming up for Long Gone? Is there a vision or a master plan?

Matt: We plan on releasing a record to follow up “Heads Down,” and we’re gonna be playing shows and making merch on top of it all. I feel really good about this band and what we’re doing, so I hope it’s as fun for everyone else as it is for us.

Patrick: We’re gonna keep doing our thing, and see how far it takes us.

Atlas: What else do you want the world to know?

You can find us on Twitter and Instagram @longgoneband, Facebook @longgoneofficial, and “Heads Down” is available anywhere you download or stream music. More music is on the way, so thanks for listening so far and definitely stay in the loop!


Interview by Taylor Gilliam
Photo courtesy of Long Gone