Gone Is Gone is a new band, but it’s not. It began a few years back, a joint project by film composer Mike Zarin and drummer Tony Hajjar of At The Drive- In. Introduced by a mutual friend, the pair first joined forces to create film music for Zarin’s music production company, Sencit. It was instrumental music intended for film trailers—music that was very well received within the industry. So much so that they recorded more, which was equally well-received.
“We started just writing,” recalls Zarin. “And we expanded the style—within some sort of sub-genre—and we had this one particular song that people kept using. Then they started asking us for more like this song. And we were like, ‘We think we stumbled onto a sound here.’
Next move? “Let’s start a band.”
They brought in guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen, a friend of Hajjar’s who’s known for his work with Queens Of The Stone Age, A Perfect Circle, Failure, Eagles Of Death Metal, Sweethead, and much more. “We played him the music we’d been doing,” says Zarin. “‘We want to start a band like this,’ we told him. ‘Let’s do this.’” “And he’s like, ‘Cool, man, that sounds awesome.’”
Then the finishing touch: the addition of Troy Sanders, bassist and vocalist for multi-Grammy nominees Mastodon, who was sent rough mixes of the initial EP instrumentals.
To Zarin, the beauty of Gone Is Gone lies in the band’s roots, “the old trailer- cinema functionality of music, paired with emotional captivation. We want to package that in a way that’s not traditional. And that’s really it. That’s the bottom line.”