Gone To Earth
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Gone To Earth

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"LI Band Gets Their Big Break"

Being in a rock band and making it big is often a pipe dream. For the Long Island-based band Gone to Earth it is becoming reality. The group, which was formed in 2001 by Syosset resident Josh Rieger, may finally be getting their big break when they open for the group Incubus on Oct. 28.

Comprised of five members, including Rieger and fellow Syosset native Jon Maisel, along with Voley Martin of Hicksville, Matt Litwin of Jericho and Marcus Klavan of Maryland, the group has a new demo out and hopes to release their first full-length album by the summer of 2005.

After forming during the summer of 2001, the members of Gone to Earth began the difficult task of creating a unique sound that would blur the lines between various genres. The group experimented with many styles of music before finally finding their niche. On their website, the group describes the composition of their music as a "tempestuous collection of divergent styles. While the melodic guitar riffs resemble that of alternative rock, the programming and electronics add a completely new dynamic."

Martin, who plays the drums and writes songs for the group, describes the band's music as electronic rock with influences all over the spectrum. Although their songs originally did not possess vocals, Gone to Earth has since been working on that area specifically. In early 2004, after a grueling search for a singer, vocalist Marcus Klavan joined the band. "Music is all I ever dreamed of doing, and these guys offer the best opportunity to do what I love for the rest of my life," stated Klavan on the GonetoEarthMusic.com website.

As a result, the band incorporates elements of hard rock, metal and electronica to create their unique sound. Based on melodic vocal hooks, catchy instrumental lines and the desire to succeed, they have received spots performing at prestigious New York and Long Island venues including CBGB's, Lamours, The Dublin Pub, Continental and The Downtown, and opened for such national acts as former Dream Theater keyboard player Derek Sherinian.

Recently, after three years of struggling, Gone to Earth caught their big break when Incubus chose the band to perform as their opening act after consideration of countless applicants. "We are so excited and can't wait," said drummer and song writer Martin. "This is the biggest thing to happen to us yet, but hopefully not the biggest thing to happen."

A lifelong resident of Hicksville, 22-year-old Martin attended the Old Country Road School and Hicksville Middle and High School. Upon graduating in 2000, he attended Stetson University in Florida for about two years before moving back to New York and enrolling at SUNY Cortland where he is majoring in social philosophy and will graduate in May 2005.

"It was hard to find people to play with while I was down in Florida so I came up to change schools and start over," he said. "I got fed up one day with not having people to play with so I went out [on Long Island] one day and posted flyers at local music stores and venues, picked up numbers and just started calling people. Gone to Earth was the third number I called and it just sort of worked out."

According to Martin, juggling school and the band has been difficult. "Generally, our writing and recording time is done over the school year when we are apart because that's really the only thing we can do," he said. "When we get together for the summer we are still writing and recording but its more about practice because it's the only time we have. When we get together for long weekends or breaks we will get together and rehearse or try and do a show."

He added, "I love being in front of people, playing. The shows are a big release. You get to put everything that you have worked so hard for out in front of people. It's been really rewarding for us because people are enjoying it."

Litwin, who band mates call "DJ Skuba," added, "You put 100 percent into each one. You sacrifice other things sometimes, like going out, to take care of either your [school] work or to finish up a song. The two priorities are school and music and you give them both your full attention." A lifelong resident of Jericho, Litwin attended Jackson Elementary School and is a 2002 graduate of Jericho High School. He is currently majoring in accounting at Binghamton University.

When asked about the upcoming show, Litwin said he is confident the band will do just fine. "We've played these songs so many times, so we are just going to go out there and do what we do," he said, adding, however, that the band hopes opening for Incubus will make more people aware of Gone to Earth. "There will be 6,500 people so hopefully we will get some fans out of it and show everybody what we are all about," Litwin said.

Maisel, the group's guitarist who along with Rieger started the band back in 2001, said, "We are very excited that Incubus chose us to open up for them and we see it as a big opportunity to become more - Anton Newspaper


"Incubus Gig Puts Gone to Earth on Cloud 9"

Most bands don't get to open for Incubus.

Members of Gone to Earth have been living out their dream since learning they'd be opening tonight at Binghamton University for one of their favorite bands.

"Everyone's freaking ecstatic," says Matt Litwin, 20, of Jericho. "They're all like, 'How the hell did we pull this off?'"

"In between a break in one of my classes, I was outside of Lecture Hall, and I was going up to people," says Josh Reiger, 21, of Syosset. "I was actually saying, 'Yeah, that's right,' [while] pointing in their faces, screaming at them. People were just looking at me. I was jumping up and down."

Gone to Earth, an electronic rock band from Long Island, was formed in the summer of 2001, when Rieger, who was just learning to play the bass, teamed with guitarist Jon Maisel, 22, also of Syosset. Through Rieger's cousin, the two recruited Litwin to be DJ/electronic programmer to attain a sound similar to the rap-rock band Linkin Park. All they needed was a drummer and lead singer.

"We worked with a lot of Josh and John's friends for a while," Litwin says. "It was cool, but it wasn't serious enough."

The guys posted ads, hoping to find someone who could keep up with their electronic beats. To their chagrin, few drummers fulfilled their expectations.

"We tried out a bunch of drummers who were always off," Litwin says. "They couldn't keep time. They weren't good."

Finally, they enlisted Voley Martin, 22, of Hicksville.

"We needed a drummer who could play to electronics, someone who was dead on and could play like a machine," Litwin says. "That's what Voley is -- he's a machine when it comes to it."

Finding the perfect vocalist proved even more daunting. After scouring tons of ads and listening to numerous demo tapes and countless auditions, they finally made their choice. But, as Litwin recalls, things didn't quite work out as the band expected.

"The first song he did blew us away," Litwin says. "It kind of went downhill from there because he wasn't really committed. He showed up late all the time."

But, despite lacking a lead singer, the band played on, performed at well-known New York City venues such as CBGB's and the Continental and even opening for former Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian.

"I thought it was cool when we played at CBGB's. I'm not going to lie," Rieger says. "It's cool going into the bathrooms of CBGB's and looking around at all the stickers and stuff."

Finally, in early 2004, the band's grueling search for a singer ended when Marcus Klavan, 22, of Germantown, Md., became the final piece of Gone to Earth's musical puzzle. Klavan relocated to Long Island for the summer, where the band wrote some songs and played a couple of gigs.

"We played two shows just to get out there and relieve frustration," Litwin says. "It's kind of ironic that [Klavan's] third show with us has to be with Incubus. Lucky kid."

Because all of the guys attend different colleges, it's difficult to practice as a band and squeeze music in between classes and extracurriculars. Rieger and Litwin attend Binghamton University while Martin is at SUC-Cortland, Maisel is in Florida and Klavan is in Maryland.

"It's not like the summer where we get to practice all the time," Rieger says. "Now we don't really get to play together."

"Our year is divided up between writing and playing," Litwin says. "Summer is playing and school is writing."

The guys of Gone to Earth may be lacking practice time, but they're still getting psyched up to take the stage next week at BU's new Events Center -- and they're also looking ahead.

"This is 6,500 people, or whatever -- more than we've ever played for," Litwin says. "At the same time, we're thinking, 'Is this the biggest show we're ever going to get?' Everybody likes to enjoy the moment. We got to do this show perfectly, but once the show's over, we can't sit on it. We can use it for our leverage, but where's the next one?"Gold is a freelance writer from Binghamton University.
- Press & Sun Bulletin


"Gone To Earth Interview"

Gone To Earth never thought that they would recognize their dream of playing on the same bill as a world famous rock band. That dream will become reality as soon as they get on stage to open for Incubus in front of the largest audience they have ever entertained. Gone To Earth is comprised of Josh Rieger (bass), Marcus Klavan (vocals), Jon Maisel (guitar), Matt Litwin aka DJ SkuBa (turntables), and Voley Martin (drums). Their music has been categorized in areas such as rock and electronic. Josh Rieger and Matt Litwin both attend Binghamton University, and they shared their thoughts on their upcoming opportunity with Pipe Dream.

Pipe Dream: Are you nervous at all?

Both: No.

Josh: Failure�s not an option.

Matt: No, it�s not gonna happen.

Josh: I mean we�ve also played the songs so many damn times that there�s no way it�s not gonna sound normal. I mean there�s just no reason for us to blow this�We just can�t. I�m not really nervous, I�m more excited.

Matt: It�s more like well there�s 6,500 people and that�s 6,300 more than we�ve ever played before. We usually don�t play to crowds over 1000. We don�t usually play to crowds over 100.

Josh: �Over 30. It�s pretty exciting.

PD: When did you guys start playing together?

Matt: Haha, same set of questions every time.

Josh: I guess 2001. I was a senior in high school and the guitar player, John didn�t really talk much, but I knew he played guitar. And he sat next to me in English so I was just like �hey dude, what�s goin on?� and we just started talking.

PD: And you are all from the same town?

Josh: No, he�s [Matt] from Jericho, me and John are from Syosset, Voley�s from Hicksville and Marcus is from Germantown, Maryland.

PD: You guys all ended up going to school together�?

Josh: A few months later we got him [Matt] and then like a year later we got Voley.

Matt: We kind of pieced everybody together. It wasn�t like we all were friends before and like �oh let�s make a band.� They started playing and it�s like �let�s piece everyone together to make it ridiculous.�

PD: So how did the whole Incubus thing start? How�d you start that process?

Matt: The Incubus thing, I�ll tell you how it happened. Basically I found out about the show like the day after he booked it. We tried to open for Brand New last year. I was like let�s try to open for Brand New, what the hell�s the difference, so I e-mailed the president and he�s like, �you gotta speak to Jay.� So I e-mailed Jay and he�s like we might need another band we�ll try to do it. We tried to do it, but it was really last minute and so it didn�t happen. And then this year I found out about the whole Incubus thing I was like, that could be cool cause we fit them a lot better than Brand New�So I e-mailed him [Jay] and he liked the stuff, he says �ok I�ll send them some stuff in.� We sent Jay a press kit and he did whatever he had to do.

PD: What do you feel distinguishes you from other bands? Did that help in picking you for Incubus?

Matt: Yes, I think.

Josh: We don�t really sound like so many local bands, like we have a DJ and electronics�

Matt: Basically the whole thing is that if you listen to a lot of what�s out there as far as local bands are concerned, is usually punk, emo, stuff where it�s pretty easy to put together: you got your guitarist, bassist, drums, your singer. You�re pretty much set to go. But a lot of the bigger bands, like Slipknot, have programming, 311�s got DJ, I know Incubus has one. They all have electronics and DJ�s. Honestly I think it might be a money issue, �cause it�s expensive to try and pull that stuff off.

Josh: So we kind of figured�let�s try it. We�re similar to them �cause we have the whole DJ electronics thing, like most bigger bands kind of have. So that�s what distinguishes us from the small people. Haha.

PD: I know that you guys have played in New York before, is there any particular area that you play usually?

Josh: Long Island �We played at the Downtown. We played CBGB, The Continental... Uh, I don�t even know.

Matt: Dublin Pub�just random places.

Josh: Dublin Pub was pretty cool.

PD: Do you play in Binghamton too?

Josh: We did once, in �Woods Jam.�

Matt: Yeah that was before we even had any singer. Marcus is our second singer we chose.

Josh: He recorded over one of our songs. And that was it.

PD: Where do you do most of your recording?

Matt: We got all the equipment in my basement. We kind of do it in two spots. We do it at my house and Voley�s house. Voley records the guitars, programs and drums at his house and sends me the files and I kind of mix it all at mine. Then we record vocals and all that stuff.

PD: Have you always had an interest in that?

Matt: Yeah I�ve been doing it for�a while.

PD: Who are some of your influences?

Matt: We should hav - BU Pipedream News


Discography

Gone To Earth EP

3 Tracks are streaming on www.myspace.com/gonetoearth
Airplay on the following stations:
XM Satellite Radio
92.5 KGB Fm
104.1 FM WWYL
102.3 FM WBAB
90.5 FM WFTU
etc.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

It’s rare when you can find a band that not only stands out in its own right, but also has the talent that assures longevity.

Formed in mid 2001 by Josh Rieger, Jon Maisel and DJ SKuBa (Matt Litwin), Gone To Earth experimented with many styles of music before finally finding their niche with the addition of drummer Voley Martin. While the melodic guitar riffs resemble that of alternative rock, the programming and electronics add a completely new dynamic. All the different influences are clearly reflected in the music and live performances”.

During that time, the band recorded and gigged in such prestigious NY venues as CBGB’s, The Continental, Crazy Donkey, Knitting Factory, Lamour’s , The Dublin Pub, and The Downtown; opening for such national acts as Dream Theater keyboard player Derek Sherinian.

In early 2004, after a grueling search for a singer, vocalist Marcus Klavan joined the band. His dedication was immediately evident when he relocated from his home in Maryland to Long Island, NY.

Following the bands three year struggle, Gone To Earth caught their big break. Incubus chose the band to perform as their opening act after consideration of countless applicants. This show ignited the bands touring schedule for the past year.

In early 2005, Gone To Earth was selected to perform in the 92.5 KGB FM Clear Channel Battle of the Bands. After being selected from over 50 applicants, Gone To Earth went on to win the competition, turning heads along the way with their newest addition Alex Straiter who brought an exciting new dynamic to the sound of Gone To Earth.

In August of 2005, Gone To Earth was selected by Collective Soul to be the direct opener for the release of their new 2005 album. In addition, after this show, Gone To Earth was selected by XM Satellite Radio as one of the top unsigned acts in the country.

Most recently, the band entered into a nationwide contest to be an opener for the bands Trapt and Blindside. The rules were simple, send in a link to the music and Trapt would decide the winners. Out of over 1000 bands, Gone To Earth was selected as one of the acts to perform.