Drummer Joey Gonzalez has developed into one of the hottest drummers in the metal scene today, lending his talents to heavy hitting bands like WARBEAST, HANK III, PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS, and SUPERJOINT. The latter group has now unleashed a new studio album entitled “Caught Up In The Gears Of Application” via Housecore Records. The album is a masterpiece clinic in hardcore, punk and metal mixed into one violent concoction that will certainly leave the heavy music fiend foaming at the mouth begging for more.
The Metal Den’s Randy “Rocket” Cody has conducted a phone interview recently with drummer Joey Gonzalez.
ROCKET: Where were you born and raised?
JOEY: I was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas.
ROCKET: Are you the only professional musician in your family?
JOEY: Man, there were really no musicians in my family. My dad was a military man and my mom was a wedding coordinator slash seamstress… so music was never really a big deal. But my cousin who was kind of the black sheep in the family, Richie, rest in peace, I would go out to my cousins, Richie and Jessie’s house and hang out in the country. He was getting into the heavy stuff… the nu metal and stuff like that and so when Ozzfest was just coming out and being prevalent, you know he was into death metal… he was into it all. I remember going out there and he would ask me, “Do you like this?” And I would be like “I don’t even know what I like!” He was the first person that introduced me to that kind of music.
ROCKET: That’s cool.
JOEY: But I haven’t bought a CD in years. People ask me now what new bands I listen to, dude the last CD I bought was SUPERJOINT RITUAL like 2 years ago when I was learning the material. I think at the same time I bought SLAYER’s “Reign In Blood”.
ROCKET: Killer. Let’s talk about the new SUPERJOINT album “Caught Up In The Gears Of Application”. I’ve been a fan of this band since the first album came out back in 2002. I love the new record, top to bottom. One of my favorites is ‘Clickbait’ which is obviously about sites like Blabbermouth.net that use scandalous and hurtful headlines to get page views for their advertisers. I mean, the asshole even re-posted the crime scene pictures of Dimebag’s murder, which was totally over the damn line. ‘Troll Entertainment’ is what Phil calls it in the song. They are a total disgrace! Is there any other meaning to the song I am missing? Other than that sites like that are everything that is wrong with this industry.
JOEY: With our music I tell everybody the same thing. We leave it pretty open ended… but as fans will look into it… “Clickbait” is what it’s called… and I mean obviously it makes you wonder if that’s what it is about and absolutely, I mean that is the whole reason. Something got so bad that they had to develop a term for it. That enough should tell you that there is a problem here.
ROCKET: Before the gig, some guys will work out with weights or drink a couple beers. How did you get warmed up before a gig?
JOEY: With Warbeast, I smoke all day. That is my thing. THC. For Superjoint, I definitely try to keep a level head so I smoke half of the day. And then I usually take a break. And at least an hour before every Superjoint show we clear out the dressing room, not because we are rock stars but because we take that hour, and it’s literally just the band, and we find that moment of zen and take an hour to hang out. Sometimes we will catch an edge and smoke. Usually it’s the guys smoking cigarettes and us just talking about stuff, laughing, and then 30 minutes before the show we start to get into that zone. We always do a huddle like football. Phil is a giant football fan obviously as most of us are… and you know it’s almost like a prayer, you know we talk about stuff that we want to do well on. You know if there’s a song.. it’s check out this part… it’s exactly like football. Running the plays. All hands in. 1-2-3… and we are up on that stage.
ROCKET: You are also working on a new WARBEAST album with Bruce Corbitt, right? Is that in the can already?
JOEY: Yes, sir. It just needs to get mixed and mastered. We gotta decide on some artwork and what we want to call it… we still haven’t come up with an album name. I kind of want to call it “The Chronic” but nobody wants to do that! Warbeast… The Chronic!!
ROCKET: Yeah, but spell it with…
JOEY: A ‘K’. (Laughs)
ROCKET: Yeah, spell it with a ‘K’. (Laughs) So what can fans expect from the new WARBEAST?
JOEY: There’s a lot of different styles and elements on this one. It’s not such a bombastic album. I think it’s one of our more creative ones.
ROCKET: Before I let you go, I am a big fan of Phil & The Illegals. I understand there will be another ‘Illegals’ album, but without Marzi on guitar, is that true?
JOEY: We have Mike Deleon on guitar. And Steve the bass player moved to guitar because he was originally a guitar player… and so Philip, Steven and I were writing the new Illegals it was just us at one point and then we came up with all this crazy material… it’s gonna rip your face off! When we parted ways with Marzi we got with Mike and Walter Howard from Vaginal Beartrap, so we went from a four piece to a five piece. I think the first Illegals record had a lot of weird herky-jerky moments…
ROCKET: That’s what I love about Phil, man. He comes out of left field with shit! (Laughs)
JOEY: To me, it took about a year before that record really sunk in. You know, where I can say I get it… it feels good… I can riff to it. But with this new Illegals, and there is pretty much an album already done… it is incredible! Dude, are you a fan of Scour?
ROCKET: Yeah, I listen to everything Phil puts out… and I really dug that one.
JOEY: Scour is gonna have to step it up, because the Illegals have definitely stepped it up. We sound like a fine tuned wall of absolute destruction. This new Illegals record… there is nothing that is going to stop it.
ROCKET: Thanks very much for rocking this out with me. Best of luck with your music! Any last words for the fans?
JOEY: Right on, Rocket. Thanks to all our fans. If you haven’t, check out Superjoint and I will see you out at a show!