Interviews

The Warmest Heart Attack: An Interview with Gameface

Vocalist and songwriter Jeff Caudill has spent a great deal of his life writing and recording songs with his band Gameface. They started making a name for themselves with their melody-charged, pop-tinged punk debut Good (1993), before going on to record albums for Revelation Records through the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Unafraid of fusing punk urgency with catchy choruses and heartfelt content, the band proved to be the perfect crossroads between punk, hardcore and the original formation of emo. In 2003, after the release of their Doghouse album Four To Go, the band members went their separate ways but never kept too far away from music.

In 2012, the band reformed to play selected shows and not long after, signed to Equal Vision Records. Now on the doorstep of their first recorded material in years, a new 7”, and a decade removed from their last album, Southern California’s Gameface are back doing what they love most.

You recently said that getting back together as a very natural process, did you all want the same things when you first go back together? Does this feel like the next chapter or starting over?

Jeff Caudill: Yeah, it was natural in that it took a long time to actually happen. It took the last few years to really understand the reasons we gave it up in 2003. We had to put all that to rest before we could pick up our instruments and really move forward. Now we’re all back on the same page and we all have the same expectations. That’s important because that was one thing that destroyed us before. We’re very fortunate to even have this opportunity at all so our only real goal is to make great music again. This band means a lot to us. It’s really a gift to have it back in our lives.

During Gameface’s hiatus, what kept you all busy? Jeff, I know you’ve been writing and performing as a solo artist and in Your Favorite Trainwreck, does this mean those projects are on hold?

Yeah, I never stop. For better or for worse I just can’t stop making music. I’m proud of all that I have done with my solo projects and the YFT album…but Gameface is different for me. Gameface is my guts. I know the other guys feel the same. They’ve done other bands and whatnot but there’s just something about Gameface that couldn’t be replicated with anyone else.

Gameface is my guts. I know the other guys feel the same.  – Jeff Caudill

Equal Vision is a great fit, what was the reasons for signing with EVR? And were Revelation interested in doing new Gameface material?

EVR was at the top of our list from the beginning. They come from the same place in the scene that we do. Their label has found a way to grow and stay relevant and maintain itself for over 20 years and that’s impressive. The label roster is really diverse and the staff is great. We’re really fortunate that they believe in our band like we do.

It’s been a decade since we’ve had Gameface music, are the reasons why you write songs now still the same as back then?

Yeah. That never changes. I write about my life, as a way to deal with things and share and express myself. I write about myself but for others – hoping to connect with people that feel the same things and need an outlet.

Your new song, “Come On Down”, has some personal and important meaning behind it. Did this become the catalyst for the rest of the new material, the creative spark so to speak?

Yeah. I wasn’t sure Gameface was going to write any new material. I figured we’d do some reunion shows, play the “hits” and that would be it. But that song changed everything. An avalanche of new songs followed after that one. It was that Gameface feeling all over again.

Listen to Gameface’s new song “Come On Down”:

 

What are the plans for the next few months, is it all new album or will you be out on the road?

Just recording the album and making sure it’s as great as we think it is. We’ll start playing in 2014.

Have you guys ever been to Australia?

We haven’t but would absolutely love to go someday. If you’re offering, we’re already packing ; )

Looking back at your discography, are there particular songs or albums you’re still most fond of?

There’s a decent list of songs that I feel are the standouts in our catalog. The ones I like most may not be the ones you do but I think there are some obvious ones… “My Star”, “Only Souvenir”, “Laughable”, “Gibberish”, “Mean”, “Friday Matinee”, “Only Chance We Get”, “The Pirate Song”, “Chasing The Sun”, “How Far is Goodbye?”…

This question is a little self indulgent on my part, but the song “How Far Is Goodbye?” has always been a favourite. Do you remember why you wrote this song or whether this was about a particular person or place?

Yeah, as I was saying a lot of the songs are pretty autobiographical and that one is no exception. The song is generally knowing when it’s time to move on from a group of friends that you are obviously not happy being around. I drew references from a few times in my life where I was living somewhere and with people that were ultimately holding me down. I don’t like to be very specific when I talk about my lyrics mostly because I don’t want to ruin anyone else’s interpretation of them. Sometimes their vision of what the song says is way more interesting than mine. But when we get to Australia I’ll tell you all the details about this one.

 

Gameface’s new 7″, Come On Down, is available from Equal Vision Records starting November 5th. A new album is due in 2014. Photo by Kip Terry

 

Bonus video: “How Far Is Goodbye?”

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