A Good Rogering has been an Austin heavy rock staple for years. Their witty approach to eclectic rock impresses live audiences time and time again. With a fresh lineup, new music on the horizon, and a tour in the works to support the release, I sat with the AGR lads for a fireside chat on a Starbucks patio.
VH: So, guys, I have to ask. Why A Good Rogering? I never ask bands about how a name was selected, but I sense there has to be a story behind AGR.
RL: I’m curious too!
SM: Well, it’s my favorite thing in the world to give someone a good rogering. Why not a big group… all at once?
RG: Didn’t your brother put it out there, too?
SM: Yeah, so here’s the deal. Years ago, I was in England for awhile with a friend recording music. I was staying with his family and recording in his home studio. They had a get together one night and I go down to the bar and all of a sudden I just get jolted up against the bar by some crazy, munchkin Welsh guy yelling, “Looks like someone could use a good rogering!” in my ear. It’s just a story that stuck around. When my brother and I were starting this project, it just kept coming up. I looked it up, and amazingly there is no porno website registered to it, so yeah. It stuck.
SA: It was either A Good Rogering or Caveman Angry.
SM: Yes. We almost changed it to Caveman Angry.
VH: So, you guys have a wide range of influences that you pull inspiration from including Type O Negative, Megadeth, Faith No More, and others. AGR definitely bends and breaks genres. What is the underlying theme, or common thread that keeps everything together musically for the band. Is there a focal point?
SM: Besides the classical influences, most of what we play tends to lean more towards heavy rock, so heavy rock seems to be the underlying idea. But, we are so eclectic with some old country, jazz, funk, reggae, classical touches, so it really just boils down to what we all like musically. It’s fun for that reason. We don’t just play in a box. Look at Mr. Peanut, which is throwback 70’s funk all the way. As we have progressed as a band, and through different rosters I think we’ve been finding ourselves and put it into something that is representative of who we really are. Just an eclectic,experimental, heavy rock band with a focus on good music and an undercurrent of comedy.
RL: and insanity.
VH: I saw that you guys have a few videos on Youtube. I saw Mr. Peanut, and maybe some weightlifting promo video as well?
SA: Be sure to look up Goober Peas as well!
SM: Ah, yes. My civil war reenactment days as a youth! My brother and I did that because we submitted it to Conan O’Brien as part of his “Weirdest Ways to be Woken Up” segment.
SA: I pull up Mr. Peanut anytime I’m out and people want to talk about how cool their cats are. I’m like, “oh, yeah? Check out THIS cat”. He’s legit!
VH: You released Long Overdue in 2010, followed by Lifeblood in 2013. Your next EP will be released later this year. Can you tell me what fans can expect from your new EP release?
SM: It has been done in stages. The Snail originally was tracked with Blake Haskins on drums who we played with briefly before Rom came on board, and my brother, aka Chef, who played bass before, so we just had Rom come put his drums to it. We also revisited Never Miss from Long Overdue and made a fresh version called Never Miss Again that will be on this EP. Blake is on that track as well. We also have two new tunes as the current lineup, Five Ministries, and a death metal tune as well.
RG: The death metal track is hilarious. I love it. Also, Five Ministries, we worked a lot on together and really refined it.
SM: Yes, Rom loves it and that makes me happy. And then, Mr. Peanut may make a new appearance. Five Ministries is a bit more structured, less chaotic, a bit more melodic so that will be a different sound.
VH: Have you guys written new music yet as the current lineup?
SM: This new EP will be a regroup of what’s been happening in the past four years. This lineup definitely have put their stamp on the songs that will come out on this next EP. Drums, harmonies, really refining them and bringing them to life. What we release next will be our material that comes out of this lineup. Some heavy hitting rock tunes, a few more melodic tunes that are catchy and hook-y, and then of course, knowing us, something weird thrown in.
VH: On your first two releases, you had a lot of art work inserts and panels. Will you continue this trend going forward?
SM: Everything art related up until this point has really been done by my brother and I. This time around, my brother is handling our new logo and the album cover for the EP. It will be much more simple and without the inserts and such.
VH: Samuel, you sent me a Facebook page recently for your business, Alvarado Wood Works. I am completely blown away by these bass guitars that you build! How long have you been building bass guitars?
SA: Thank you! I started as an apprentice in January 2015. The guy who ran me through the training process is Brady Muckleroy. He is a mad genius, not only with building, but even more so with music. He has perfect pitch, he can tune anything by ear. His is some of the most beautiful work I’ve ever seen. I started my company in February. I play my own instruments and there are no words to express that connection of playing something you built with your own hands.
I’ve always been into building things. I skateboarded, I played pool, I played bass, everything I did involved planks of wood. I was a machinist for years to learn very precise styles of work. I realized that I was never going to have the $4,000 or whatever money to buy the instruments I wanted, so I decided to build them. I asked a ton of local luthiers and people to show me, I even offered to pay them, and no one was interested. Everyone was too busy. Brady invited me out and the way timing worked out, I got laid off right as we were connecting and he said “come out tomorrow, you have a job”. It’s been an amazing experience. It’s a gift I will never be able to replace. It’s so cool and I would love to show other people.
RL: I still need you to build me a guitar, Sammy.
SA: I need to. I need some money first!
RL: For free, Sammy! Because you love me!
SA: Love costs money.
VH: AGR will be touring later this summer. Where will you be headed?
SM: We will kick that off in September. Starting out in Louisiana and headed to North Carolina. We will touch Ohio, Tennessee, and we are still working out some other stops probably in Georgia and around that region. Visit our Facebook page or site for confirmed dates soon!
RL: We’re camping the whole way, right? In our A Good Rogering tent, with four rooms and a love pit in the middle?
SM: Yup, we need to get a tent. Add it to our merch. A Good Rogering Love Tent.
VH: You recently released The Snail, a single release, along with a video. Why a single release and can we expect more videos for the new EP?
SM: This band started playing again last year after a hiatus. We wanted to put something out to promote that until we could release our EP.
SA: The Snail acts as a transition from old lineup to current lineup as well.
SM: We’ll be doing more videos for the next EP as well.
SA: I have a good friend who has already expressed interest in helping us with videos for this next EP.
RL: I have a question! What is The Snail about?
SM: The Snail is about the inefficiency of bands. Just listen to the lyrics! 75% of the song just came out in a jam session. I think it’s just about what I was feeling at the time of going through different rosters and not getting momentum. Most of those lyrics were purely improved and didn’t change. It is a good transition song because I feel like this band is the best it has ever been and that we finally have the momentum to record and tour and promote what we are doing.
VH: How long has this lineup been in existence?
RL: Right about a year.
SM: Almost exactly. Our first show together with Rom was at Zombies in San Antonio almost a year ago, and we play there again tonight.
RG: Yeah, I had one rehearsal ! We had discussed a show that was a way’s out, and then next thing they said they needed someone for a show in three days. I learned seven songs, I played it perfectly and I made it happen.
SM: He did it perfectly. He’s truly a professional drummer.
RL: He really is. We had one rehearsal together the day of the show. We rehearsed, packed up our gear and headed to the venue. And it was a killer set!
VH: I’m always curious to know what moment, band, video, artist, show, etc. impacted you in a way that made you say “that’s what I want to do” and influenced your playing music.
RL: My father found a guitar in the dumpster when I was in the 6th grade and I tinkered with it a bit. It wasn’t until a couple of the “cool kids” introduced me to Metallica that I was hooked. Ever since Master of Puppets, I have just been inspired. My musical tastes have changed and evolved over the years, but that was the moment when I knew I really wanted to do this. I hadn’t heard anything else that sounded like that. It was an emotional response.
RG: I grew up all over Europe. My older brother and I both grew up in this bubble where we just became best friends. When he was 11, he started playing guitar and listening to rock. I was the younger brother and I looked up to him. So, I started playing drums when I was 7 or 8, because I wanted to do what he was doing. My parents were very supportive. My first show was when I was 10. My first recording experience was a 3 song EP when I was 10. I went to schools focused on arts and schools, which led me to being a true professional musician. It took a long time, I had a lot of other jobs. I finally made the decision that music is the meaning of my life and I haven’t earned a penny that hasn’t come from having sticks in my hands since I was 21 or so. They laugh at me because I’m a drummer that knows music theory, but I enjoy teaching, recording, and playing. It’s just natural.
SM: I was very limited in my younger years, though my parents to their credit had great rock music in the house. My dad had an amazing record collection that he never listened to. Things like Sabbath and Hendrix. Once I started getting into music I was blown away by this collection he had. I think the turning point for me was when I heard Guns & Roses. In the early 90’s, it was such an unbelievable time in music with the Seattle scene, Faith no More, it was just a plethora of music for the rock and metal fan in me. The single moment that stands out is when I walked into my brother’s friends room and he was jamming Appetite for Destruction. I remember saying, “oh is this that heavy metal stuff?”, it just sounded like noise. He left the tape and I listened to it again and again, and I realized how cool it really was. I started playing guitar a year or so after that.
SA: Pantera was definitely the band for me. I was raised very strict southern Baptist. I was not allowed to listen to a lot of music growing up, mostly just Tejano, oldies and country music. I still love all of those, but I remember my cousin sneaking me into the garage in the 6th or 7th grade to listen to The Great Southern Trendkill. I felt like I was in trouble just for hearing this music. I knew it was forbidden. Then, sophomore year in high school, with Far Beyond Driven, I was all in. Dimebag is still my favorite guitar player. I was the kid in class that would just start freaking out and screaming lyrics. I was in trouble all the time. Shedding Skin just was perfect. I want us to cover that with A Good Rogering. I don’t jam Pantera that much anymore, but they will always have a special place in my heart.
A Good Rogering is:
Skunk Manhattan – Vocals/Guitar
Rick Lambert – Guitar/Vocals
Sammiard Alvarado – Bass
Rom Gov – Drums