Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Who? Not many could keep up with the pace of Kevin Flores. The young guitarist plays in three currently active punk and metal bands: Blasè, Gain, and United Races. According to him, he also has other projects currently in the works that haven't come to fruition yet. How he manages to do that and work full time isn't clear, except that he's just a little bit of a punk-rock wunderkind.
He started playing when he was 12 years old, inspired by bands like the Locust, Fugazi, and Anti-Flag. "I would look up music videos of live shows and think, 'Hey, that looks fun; I want to be a part of that,'" he says. "So I picked up a guitar and went on my way from there."
Home Base: Flores' bands practice at Rock Center in Bellaire. He typically prefers to write music by himself, and when it comes to playing live he doesn't have much of a preference.
"I'll take a house, backyard, abandoned warehouse, anywhere," he says. "I just want to play."
Why Do You Stay In Houston? "My biggest reason for staying in Houston is because I already have bands going here," offers Flores. "Bands I enjoy at that. No reason to really move somewhere else to start over on projects I may not like as much."
Later, though, Flores elaborated on a key part of the scene in Houston.
"We're all just a bunch of weird kids trying to have a good time," he says. "We're all kind of nobody and that's what makes it all so great. That's what it's all kind of about."
Good War Story: In 2010, Flores' band Blasè (known then as the Tempest) was on their way to the Cornerstone Festival in Illinois. A van breakdown in Nashville almost sidetracked them, but help from friends in the now-defunct Houston band Jerusalem got them to their destination.
"So we get picked up and leave the van behind. Just left it there in the middle of nowhere, never to be seen again," Flores relates.
After making it to the fest and playing, the band made their way back to Houston.
"Needless to say, that tour was cut a bit early," he says. "But every now and then it will cross my mind that we left a van out there in Nowhere, Illinois, and I can't help but laugh at how ridiculous it all was."
"The following year we played Cornerstone again, only to have our new van break down again, and Jerusalem came to save our tails for a second year in a row," Flores laughs. "Good guys."
Story continues on the next page.
Music Scene Pet Peeve: "This question is probably the hardest, because I could go on for quite a while," Flores begins. "To narrow it down, I'll go with people with a false sense of entitlement -- not to be confused with people who have worked hard and get what they deserve. It so often happens that people will get upset that no one watched their band and start calling people 'stuck up' over it, which, I can understand why that sucks, but no one has to watch your band."
Concluding, he says, "I would definitely rather play in front of one kid that's into what I'm playing than a packed house full of people that could care less."
Best Show Ever: Declining to cite a best, Flores says there have been good and bad shows, regardless of factors like turnout.
"Any show where someone digs it and you feel the energy is a best show," he says. "As long as it's not a bar show playing with cover bands in front of a bunch of 40-year-old men that are booing you. Those just suck."
Five Desert Island Discs:
- Converge, You Fail Me
- Sigur Rós, Takk...
- Breather Resist, Charmer
- Kidcrash, Snacks
- Cro-Mags, Age of Quarrel
First Song You Fell In Love With: "Different songs affected me in different ways at different times in my life," Flores explains. "But some game-changers were 30 Foot Fall's 'Better Off Dead,' the Chariot's 'The Company, the Comfort, the Grave' [and] Minor Threat's 'Straight Edge.'"
See the rest of the Rocks Off 200, and the Rocks Off 100's 2013 alumni, on the next page.
THE ROCKS OFF 200
DJ AudiTory, the Maestro of LuvItMane The Nephilim Terror's Death-Metal Growler Danny Carroll Tommy Grindle, Guitarist of Square and Compass The Bailout Bureau's Mysterious "Bob Bovary" DJ Twinkle-Toes, Won a "Dick-Measuring Vinyl Orgy" With Two iPods Beanz N Kornbread, Gmail-Loving Production Duo You(genious), Party Crasher Turned Musical Auteur Daniel Alexander, Klein's Backyard MC
THE ROCKS OFF 100 2013 ALUMNI
Crystal Toliver, Source of That Yello Echo You Hear Mr. Castillo, Song-Sniping DJ DJ Big Reeks, The Chief Waxaholic Melane Gutierrez, The Coffin Queen Folk Descendent Kevin Taylor Kendrick Eloy Contreras, Deathrazor's Sharp Thrash Vocals Robert McCarthy, Guitarist From Beyond Justice Tirapelli-Jamail, The Manichean's "Quiet One" Charlie Horshack, LP4's Guitar Warrior Kathryn Hallberg, Little Girl Gone Tessa Kole, PuraPharm's Voice and Vice Richard Griesser, Vintage Camera Hound With Enviable Archive Downfall 2012, Sci-Fi Metal Storytellers Kevin Choate, Drum Like You're Screaming DJ Rockwell, Booth Pimp and Party-Rocker Ash Kay, the Freakouts' Punk Vocal Head-Butt Pat Kelly, The Godfather of the Suffers Michelle Miears of BLSHS, Siren In the Machine DJ Remix, Genre-Hopping Mix Maniac Kahna, Brutal Nation's Metal Booking Queen DJ Ill Set, Enemy of Wack Tracks Shane Tuttle, Updog Owner and Album-Cover Designer Electric Attitude, Renegades of Funk Sama'an Ashrawi, Trill Gladiator Recon Naissance, A Rap While Matt's Guitar Gently Weeps DJ Klinch Asks, "Can You Dig It?" Jose "Chapy" Luna, Percussionist Con Corazón Love Dominique, Wicked Heart R&B Chanteuse Chris Gerhardt, Mastermind of Giant Battle Monster The Jobe Wilson Band, the Boys From Chambers County Kimberly M'Carver, Missouri City's Nightingale DJ Panchitron, Stirring the Cumbia/Moombahton Melting Pot D.R.I's Kurt Brecht, Thrash Zone Supervisor Sloan Robley, The Last Houstonian Banshee Jack Saunders, Dealer of Grit & Jangle Richard Ramirez, Noise God and Black Leather Jesus Mike Meegz, Scoremore's Houston Lieutenant Jacqui Sutton, Houston's "Jazzgrass Lady" Robin Kirby, Silk and Sandpaper Songwriter Billy Dorsey, Grammy-Winning MARATHON Runner David DeLaGarza, Don of Tejano Stars La Mafia Jason Puffer, Your Psychedelic Sex Panther Tobin Harvell, Fitzgerald's Unflappable Floor Manager Walter Suhr, the Straw That Stirs Mango Punch! Tony Garza, La Orquesta Salmerum Founder OG Ron C, Chopstar King of the Purple Dome Football, etc., Giving Emo Back Its Good Name Angela Jae, Renaissance Artist Shellee Coley, Voice of the Northern Woods Blaggards, Houston's St. Paddy's Day House Band DJ Meshak, Hongree Records' Sound Selecter K-Rino, South Park Coalition's Southside Maven DJ Candlestick, One Niceguy and a Very Busy DJ Danielle Renee, Only Beast's Destroyer of Walls Felipe Galvan of Los Skarnales Kristine Mills, Houston's Brassiest Voice Brian Davis, Punk Drummer, Horror Composer Elroy Boogie, Top-Notch Turntablist Sean Ozz, Wizard of The Abyss Alyssa Rubich, Angel of Instability Alphonso "Fonz" Lovelace, Righteous Drummer Frank Zweback, Funkmaster General OG Bobby Trill, Bombon Beatmaker Beau Beasley, Organist for the End of Time Rapid Ric, Mixtape Mechanic Dwight Taylor Lee, the Wandering Bufalero Coline Creuzot, Soulful Pop/R&B Singer Cristina Acuna, Cactus Music's Twitter Fingers Clint Broussard, Blues In Hi-Fi Man Now Back On FM Nortnii Rose, Houston Ska's Greatest Hope Ramblin' Chase Hamblin, the Man Who Will Be Paid Chris Alonzo, Bringing Night Flight to Facebook
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
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