Questions Answered By Cliff Powell (Guitars).
Interviewed by Pedro
PRP: First question: How was GoneMad formed?
Cliff: We got together in August of 1996. Craig, Gerald & Scott were the original members (Scott no longer is in the band). They wanted to record a new demo (Impact) but they weren't happy with their singer and drummer. Both of them ended up getting kicked out of the band. Craig took over the vocals but the only problem was they needed a drummer. They all asked JC who was in Paingod (Century Media recording artists) to record with them. He gladly accepted. The recording came out so well he wanted to join the band. Now their only problem was finding another guitarist since Craig played guitar before and he just wanted to do vocals now. They found me through a mutual friend and asked me to try out. I tried out in August 11, 1996, my 18th birthday. A couple of days later they said I had the job.
PRP: That's some story. I know that someone recently left the band? It was Gerald, wasn't it?
Cliff: No, it was Scott (bass player). He left to pursue his career as a tattoo artist. We hired Marshall Stephens, who's a long time friend of mine.
PRP: Do you think the the fact that Scott left the band will influence directly in Gonemad's sound?
Cliff: It already has changed our sound for the better. Marshall has a much different style than Scott did. We have already began writing some new material and he has added a lot! He has even added a little more flavor to our old songs.
PRP: We all know that your band, besides a demo tape (Impact), has three CD's released (Curse The Day, Step Up and Planet 9). When do you plan to release a new one? How will it be called?
Cliff: We plan on going back into the studio around February of next year. We dont have a name yet for the new album, but look for it spring time of next year.
PRP: How many new songs do you have already? And how are they? I mean, are they heavier like Step Up's kinda sound, or are they more similar to Planet 9's style?
Cliff: We have about 6 songs that we're all still working on. They aren't like Step Up or Planet 9. They are heavier and have more groove.
PRP: One thing I love in GoneMad's cds, besides the music itself, is it's covers. Where you found that pic of Step Up's CD? and what's that mask in Curse The Day's cover? Who drawed (drew?) that cover of Planet 9?
Cliff: I actually found the front cover's picture of Step Up on a disk full of graphics and thought it was cool, so I figured: "What the hell!". The cover of Curse The Day is a mask that Craig had gotten from a friend that visited South America. He took a picture of it and we messed around with it a little and made it the cover of the CD. Craig painted the cover of Planet 9. It actually looks better than it does on the CD. Our manufacturer screwed up and made everything too dark.
PRP: Yeah, it's a bit dark. I can see a lighter version at GoneMad's official site. What exactly is the Planet 9?
Cliff: It's the first lyric in Knuckledragger, which is the fifth track of the CD. It sounded cool, so we decided to use it. There really isn't any meaning behind it.
PRP: In Planet 9's booklet, there's a pic of each member. What's up with Craig's face in his pic, since I can't see it?
Cliff: Those individual pictures of us are personality shots: Craig loves clowns, so he painted his face like a clown. JC is kind of a redneck cowboy type person, so he has the hat.
Gerald is laid back kind of guy, so that's a picture of him chillin' in his car. Scott loves old cars. That's him with one of his cars. I am just a laid back chillin kind of guy, so that's me hangin' out in a 50's dinner.
PRP: That's cool. This question now is kinda stupid, but it's just to kill my curiosity. I like Nonpoint's participation in Direct Approach, Planet 9's second track. When this song is played live, does it sound a little strange since it's Craig, and not Elias, who's singing?
Cliff: Craig and Elias did trade off's in the studio. It sounds just fine when Craig sings it. The song really doesn't sound any different. When we play with Nonpoint, Elias comes on stage and does the song with us.
PRP: What happened between GoneMad and Jim Hayward, who was GoneMad's first manager, according to Step Up's cd booklet?
Cliff: Jim Hayward just couldn't takes us to the next level. He was good when we were just playing in Florida and starting out. Lisa has the talent to take us to the next level. We still work with Jim. He actually takes care of our website at the moment and helps us get some bigger shows. Jim is a good guy.
PRP: And how you met Lisa, today's manager?
Cliff: She was an old friend of JC & Scott's. Let me rephrase that: She IS an old friend of JC & Scott's.
PRP: Was her company, Second Nature entertainment, named after one of GoneMad's songs released at the Curse The Day EP, also called Second Nature?
Cliff: I think so, but you would have to ask her just to make sure.
PRP: What about Jeremy Staska, producer of all the three albums?
Cliff: Paingod, JC's old band used Jeremy Staska for a long time, but he was also in a South Florida band in the early 90's, so I guess that is where they met him.
PRP: I see.... Hmm, is 896 Records owned by GoneMad?
Cliff: Yeah, it is our own record label.
PRP: Do you guys accept CD's from bands, and if you think they're good, release it? Or is it just for GoneMad?
Cliff: Right now, it is just us. We don't really have the money to sign other bands since everything, from touring to releasing CD's and promotion, is self funded. I would eventually like to make 896 a big record label. But right now I can't afford it and I dont have the time.
PRP: I understand. Hmmm, was GoneMad ever approached by any major?
Cliff: We have many different labels always coming to our shows in New York City. Some have had some interest but I guess they are looking for their hit song still.
PRP: In your opinion, why haven't GoneMad signed with a major yet? I mean, what do you think is missing for people to recognize you as the great band you are?
Cliff: I don't know the answer to that. I guess you would really have to ask the labels about that one.
PRP: Hehehe, ok. Hmmm, according to Blindsyde's drummer, J.C., GoneMad's one of the biggest bands of Florida, side by side with the Groovenics. Would you agree?
Cliff: I don't know about that. There are tons of bands in Florida. We would like and are trying to be one of the biggest, but as of right now, I am not so sure.
PRP: How's the metal scene in Florida?
Cliff: The metal scene took a bit of a beating for a while, but it is back on the upswing.
PRP: Can you name some of your influences?
Cliff: Mine or everyone in the band?
PRP: Hmmm, could it be both?
Cliff: Yeah. I like everything, from Led Zeppelin, Ozo Matli, Lauren Hill, Ice Cube, Disco to Korn, Sick of it All, Machine Head, Incubus. I have way too many to mention. Actually everyone has similar influences. JC is more into old Rock & Roll, like: Led Zeppelin, David Lee Roth era Van Halen, Lynard Skynard, The Police and stuff like that.
PRP: Is there any meaning behind the name GoneMad?
Cliff: Craig, Gerald and Scott thought it up. They thought it sounded cool.
PRP: Do you think GoneMad falls into the "new metal" category?
Cliff: I really don't know what category we fall into. Some people say new metal, some say crossover. I say we fall into the GoneMad category.
PRP: Which's your favorite GoneMad song?
Cliff: I like so many of them. I would say my favorite is either Sorry Seems To Lose It's Meaning or Direct Approach. Or maybe Sympathy Crutch. I don't know.
PRP: And is there anyone which annoys you?
Cliff: Well, actually the song I dislike the most is Half Dead, on the Step Up CD. It just doesn't do it for me anymore.
PRP: I like that song, hehehe. Have you ever considered using turntables in the band?
Cliff: No. We like them in other people's music, but none of us want them in ours.
PRP: Have you ever played with any established bands in the heavy metal scene?
Cliff: Quite a few. Powerman 5000, Godsmack, Stuck Mojo, Suicidal Tendencies, Shootyz Groove, Double Drive, C.O.C., Drain STH, Puya, etc. There are others, I just can't remember them right now.
PRP: Cool! Hmmmm, If you could choose 4 metal bands to tour with your band worldwide, which ones would you choose?
Cliff: Well, it'd have to be more than four. We would like to be on OzzFest.
PRP: You ever had any chance to join a festival like OzzFest, Family Values, etc?
Cliff: Not yet.
PRP: Hmmm, what are GoneMad's plans for the future?
Cliff: Just to keep on doing what we're doing, but to get better at it everytime.
PRP: What's in the CD Player right now?
Cliff: Lauryn Hill, Machine Head, Step Kings, Lenny Kravitz & Slipknot. I have a 5 disc changer.
PRP: Once I tried to think in some band which I could compare to GoneMad, and couldn't think of any. Do you think you sound like any well-known band? Describe your band's sound.
Cliff: I don't know any band we sound like. Our sound is heavy-groove, hip hop, rock & roll core. ...or something like that.
PRP: Is there any band which you can't believe it isn't signed yet?
Cliff: Yeah...GoneMad. Haha.
PRP: Hahaha. Ok, besides GoneMad?
Cliff: Well, there are two that really come to mind: Gargantua Soul and the Step Kings.
PRP: What about Nonpoint? Hehehe.
PRP: That's it, Cliff. I don't really have anymore questions. I think I used them all. Do you have any last comments?
Cliff: Nope. Just thank you.
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