Interview with Skunk Manhattan (Vocals and Guitar) from A Good Rogering and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
SM: An “eclectic” musician. I primarily play guitar, piano and sing; although the singing was more by necessity than from a burning desire. I’ve found my voice and gained confidence over the years but it was a struggle. I have a bit of a classical background with piano and began learning some of the simpler pieces by composers like Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin as I was learning classic Metallica and Randy Rhodes guitar riffs. I’ve also got a huge blues influence and love tons of classic rock bands and even authentic early country groups. I’ve played many styles of music in various projects over the years, but A Good Rogering is my passion. As I evolve, AGR evolves.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
SM: The typical outcast rock band guy story. I never really fit in and I’m glad I didn’t. I sucked at sports and with girls and guitar and piano became my outlets. Why I ever bothered with anything else is beyond me. Creating honest art and performing music I love feeds my soul. Everything else pretty much kills it. I have a few close friends and like animals too though.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
SM: I could go on for days. My buddy Victor Ramos and I started a podcast just to talk with other musicians and artists about music. It’s called Eclectic Soundtrax. As mentioned I love lots of classical music, film composers, rock and metal bands, blues and old country, and sprinkles of just about any genre. Prokofiev, Coltrane, Monk, The Beatles, The Doors, Mr. Bungle, Alice In Chains, Guns N Roses, Digital Underground, Hank Williams, Waylon Jennings, Howlin’ Wolf, Joe Satriani, Trey Parker, Spinal Tap… Oh and stand up comics! Especially the ones who tell it like it is and don’t apologize for calling out the ridiculous flaws and hypocrisies in our societies and don’t pretend we live in a world of unicorns and gumdrop smiles. Also, Bob Ross because balance is important. What a treasure.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
SM: To tour and make a living playing the music I love. To continue building an audience who resonates with AGR’s music. To create and perform honest music with genuine people.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
SM: My brother and I mostly. I think we get a lot of influence in the lyrical department from bands like Pink Floyd, Megadeth, Clutch and Type O Negative to name a few. There are the tongue and cheek satirical elements but also a lot of dark dystopian stuff. But I’ve also written love songs, pop songs, classical pieces etcetera, so it varies. I like that. I’d be bored singing and playing the same shit all the time.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
SM: Good question. Know any good promoters? I do a lot myself and try to work with bands that do the same. Our bassist Sammy Alvarado is waving the AGR flag on social media these days and we have some really great fans who help spread the word as well.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
SM: I’m fine with it. It’s the way of the world now. We have to adapt and evolve until we are exterminated by the robot overlords we are creating. That’s my thoughts on the next step in evolution. Also it’s cool to see vinyl making waves again. My dad has a great old vinyl collection buried behind a wall of junk, it’s probably actually worth something again.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
SM: I think some of my own are pretty decent. I don’t think it matters what you write, it matters how many people hear it and resonate with it. Everyone knows Epic by Faith No More, but they have an entire catalog of amazing music. I’d have been thrilled to write any of it. Bohemian Rhapsody though. Wow.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
SM: Arrogance. Smug and pretentious douche buckets who sit on golden thrones telling others how to live their lives.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
SM: The upcoming A Good Rogering album. And I can actually say that and mean it.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
SM: Finishing that album. It’s very very close. We did a “soft” release, but are tweaking a few things and adding a track for a January digital release and then a vinyl pressing.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
SM: agoodrogering.com There you can find links to our social media sites, spotify, apple and other streaming platforms. We also have a bandcamp with some non released material available.
skunkmanhattan.com has a list of other bands and recordings I am or have been a part of as well.
A Good Rogering links:
Band/Artist location – Austin Texas
Website – Facebook – You Tube – Soundcloud – Bandcamp – Merch – Reverbnation –
Twitter – Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – Last Fm
Check our page for A Good Rogering