First off, thank you guys for taking the time to answer a few of our questions. Seems like this year has been really big for you guys. Check Mate is causing quite a buzz and has been met with high praise. Did you guys think that the album was going to be so well received?
We were very curious to see if it will be liked.until the first reviews you hope in a good feedback but you become hypercritical,with a lot of doubts….after the first reviews we understood the album not only is good,but a lot of people think it’s good too!!
Checkmate is starting to spread in the Italian underground scene, that’s satisfying!!
We had a couple of bad reviews but we accept them.
What was the writing process like with Check Mate? What were some of your greatest influences when writing Check Mate?
Half of the songs are old material that we kept improving through the years the other half is new stuff we wrote for the upcoming recording sessions. The second half came up much better and that proves that in rock’n’roll you don’t have to loose the freshness and the instinct by adding too much stuff. You can hear all the different influences in the album, I’m always on the punk rock side, Mark Simon Hell (guitar) and Malcolm B. Cobra (drum) are very hard rock oriented while Markey Moon is a 60’s garage freak.
I think an influence that kind of explains us is Hellacopters and you can definitely hear Dead Boys and Motorhead.
If you had to explain The Gonzales to someone who has never heard any of your music, how would you explain it? What sets your band apart from any similar band in your genre?
Gonzales are a mix between hard rock and punk rock, and this is enough considering that in Italy you’re usually one or the other.
I can’t say what’s unique about our music or if we are unique,it might sound corny but we just try to write good songs,we don’t wanna live with only the attitude like many other bands with great production,good look but horrible music. another good thing about Gonzales are live shows, when we get crazy and we give the best to reach that moment when all the bullshit from the outside just disappear…
Now, I have to ask the typical interview questions, but I believe they provide something interesting for new fans. Where did you guys come up with the name The Gonzales and how did the band come to be?
When we were kids me an Mark Simon Hell wanted to name Gonzales Maccheroni our band. It was the name of Mark Gonzales’s skateboard. the band didn’t last long but we decided to keep that name for something bigger.we took off the maccheroni tough..
Gonzales were born when me, Markey and Pam Christensen started playing just to hang out really, nothing serious. We were all living in Venice at the time. we played a few times and then nothing for a year, when we met again we took Mark Simon Hell with us and thing started seriously; then Pam left and Malcolm B. Cobra came along, taking out that hardcore taste we had on the Hell Drive album, and help making us more rock’n’roll.
What is your favorite song off of Check Mate?
Nothing to lose , Kiss The Sky but also Fallen which nobody usually mention…
What can we expect to see from The Gonzales in the 2009 year.
We want to play live, consolidate Gonzales name in the scene, we are planning a German tour, maybe European for December. than we will start writing new songs trying and learn something new. we are very open to any collaborations, we’d like to work full time on our music and live of it, but with rock’n’roll in Italy it’s impossible.
How did signing with Chorus Of One – TornadoRide – Concubine – PsychoT help you guys out? Who found who?
Max of Chorus Of One Records liked us from the beginning and he wanted to produce the first record but nothing happened. he kept looking for us so it was a natural choice.We met Gallo and Code of Tornado Records and Faso of Concubine Rec. while touring, we were in very bad shape that day,we thought we blew it!!!! after a while they called us saying they were printing the album.we didn’t expect that!!! Psycho T is the label that will take Gonzales in Germany.
Who designs all the merch and logo for The Gonzales?
The mexican guy is a work from artist J.G. Posada a very active artist in the Mexican revolution, the logo and artwork are made by Michelle Dead End, also singer of the recently splitted horror punk band Rival Skulls, with some help of Mark Simon Hell.
If you weren’t with The Gonzales where/what would you be doing?
I’d be interviewing Gonzales…or I’de be a minister…
What has been your favorite place to play thus far? Also who have you toured with and who would you love to tour with in the future?
We played in Wolberg Austria a couple fo years ago, in a small castle equipped for the wildest rock’n’roll!!!organizatoin was perfect,they treated us like kings, party all night!!! we’d like to play there again but they don’t answer…maybe they did the math on what we drank that night!!! and we love to play at home in Venice or Trieste, that’s always great! We played with a bunch of foreign bands like Sham 69, Rob Younger’s New Christs, M.O.T.O., Bulemics, Rock’n’Roll Soldiers, Brutal Knights, Chuck Norris Experiment but more often we share the stage with Italian bands like Long Dong Silver , Antares, Brokendolls, Killtime, Re Dinamite, Pistons, La Piovra where Mark Simon Hell used to play…
Does Check Mate carry a message or is it just a bunch of songs with different messages?
This you should ask Markey cause he writes the lyrics, but i don’t think he wants to give a real message; it’s just a reaction to all the bullshit and compromises of life, he always writes what he really feels and he’s almost shy about it, it’s a very private thing for him. i can give you a musical message tough…. get your ass up and party!!!!
Any plans to shoot a music video, or release any singles?
We would like to make a video with our friend Wasted Pido but he’s busy shooting a one man band documentary…we’ll see…we want to make a single with Nothing To Lose and Kiss The Sky and give it to States and Northern European radios.
What are your feelings on the current “file sharing” trends of society as a whole? Is it hurting the scene, helping or not really affecting it?
Like it or not it’s the way it is. for small bands and labels it’s not a big deal cause they work with people that like to have the thing in their hands, being a 7”,a vinyl or a shirt, people who really is into music,a minority that keeps music alive i think! in this way file sharing it’a good way to be heard,it’s publicity. for majors it’s another thing but since i don’t really approve their politic in making music, it doesn’t bother me if they take it up the ass a little bit…
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for this interview i hope we’ll be touring US soon!!! thanks to the other Gonzales Mark Simon Hell for the great organization, Markey Moon for the writing work and Malcolm to beat that fucking drum the way he does!!!!