The members of The Goods have known each other for a long time. All four of them grew up together in Humble, just north of Houston. The entire band currently resides in singer/songwriter/guitarist Jesse Flores's childhood home. They have converted the garage into a practice space and recording studio and spend most of their time there. Living together has obviously taken its toll on them -- they argue like a bunch of brothers -- but the band members say they would rather argue about cleaning house than about music any day.
Houston Press: You guys grew up together, right? There's a picture of Jesse and Alton on the fridge, isn't there?
Jesse Flores: These are some of my best friends. We've all grown up...
Tray Winterbauer: (interrupting)...in his house, dude. (Laughs)
HP: Does it ever cause any drama for the band?
Alton Hawthorne: If we're arguing, it's usually something about the house, like the dishes or something. We're a band, and this is a tight family; any differences in music are squashed right away, because [they have] to be.
Trevor Wehrle: Everybody is free to just be expressive and go any direction they want to.
HP: Is living together a good motivator?
Flores: Yeah. But it's also a good motivator for a lot of other things, like sitting around and playing video games and watching the game and drinking beer.
Winterbauer: There's nothing wrong with that.
HP: But what about if one of you just wants a day of peace?
Hawthorne: You gotta suck it up.
Winterbauer: After a month of living here, "alone time" is nonexistent.
HP: So, tell us about your music.
Wehrle: We do our best to not step on anybody's toes, but you've only got 12 notes, so you can't write the original song, every time, that no one has ever heard. You just try to follow your musical ethics and write good music. It all comes out -- we're all really influenced by '90s bands -- I think that's obvious. You know grunge and that awesome fuckin' '90s sound, but you can't limit yourself to a decade...
Flores: (Interrupting) Of course the '90s, man, we grew up listening to the '90s; but all time periods, especially the '80s. It was the culmination of so much shit. I mean, you had everything: the '50s, the '60s, the '70s. Then it got all digital with [the] '80s, where everybody was fucking around with everything. That was like, almost even more experimental then the Beatles time period, because only the Beatles were being that fucking experimental at the time. Okay, wait, hold on. I take that back, but whatever. I think it all heightened in the '80s.
HP: What are your influences? What do you hear when you listen to you?
Flores: Tray? C'mon man, say something!
HP: He's the drummer, he doesn't have to talk.
Wehrle: (interrupting) I don't know, we're obviously influenced by...
Flores: (laughing) He cuts him off...
Winterbauer: Drummingwise, I get a lot of influence from the '90s bands. I always hit them too hard. Dave Grohl is ridiculous. Mitch Mitchell -- retarded.
Flores: Yeah, I'd like to get the emphasis off the '90s, though. I think there is a lot more to our music and I don't want people to get the wrong idea. We are all fucking mentioning the '90s.
HP: When you guys eventually move out, are you afraid that you'll lose that tightness, because it won't be accessible as it once was?
Wehrle: I can't wait to get out of here.
Wehrle: I love the hell out of all of them, but we all need our own space and...
Flores: (interrupting) It had its time. We don't necessarily want to live together again, but I wouldn't say it wasn't worth it. It had to happen because...
Hawthorne: (interrupting) The other thing is that we've known each other for a long time.
HP: Okay, now it's time to test how well you know each other. I want all of you to name the person you think your band members are most influenced by and then they'll tell you if you're right. It's kind of like The Newlywed Game show. Start with Jesse.
Winterbauer: If I had to pick one band it would be Radiohead.
Hawthorne: I'd say Smashing Pumpkins.
Flores: I'd definitely say the Pumpkins.
Hawthorne, Wehrle, Flores: Prince.
(All begin to argue)
Winterbauer: I do dig on Paul [McCartney]. Prince is up there. I mean, I don't want to just pinpoint one Beatle, but...
Flores: You gotta go with Prince, dude.
Wehrle: You can't tell somebody else what their pick is.
Winterbauer: Yeah, lay off, bro. I'd say Paul.
HP: Alton, but this time write it down on a sheet of paper so I know you're not cheating.
(Alton Hawthorne looks around)
Winterbauer: Don't look at us, it's your opinion. I would say the Jackson 5.
Hawthorne: Holy shit, you know what?
HP: Are you changing your answer? You wrote down the Roots. He knows you better than you know yourself.
Winterbauer: What about that chick you're always talking about?
Hawthorne: Oh my god! It's Shaday -- put that down. He does know me better.
HP: Finally, Trevor.
Winterbauer: Are you going to put the Chili Peppers?
HP: You can't ask him what he's going to write.
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Winterbauer: Why not? Oh, yeah.
(Trevor Wehrle writes John Frusciante.)
Flores: (without looking) I know he's writing John Frusciante.
The Goods perform Sunday, February 25, at Fitzgerald's, 2706 White Oak, 713-862-3838. For more information about The Goods, visit www.myspace.com/corduroyfunkpirates.