2022 was a good year for A Good Rogering, as it saw the band’s return after a somewhat lengthy hiatus. They released their latest studio record, Systematic Paralysis, last April, a much-needed follow-up to their 2017 release This Is Death Metal. Systematic Paralysis is everything you could want from a A Good Rogering record, and more, with its heavy distortion, grooving riffs, towering guitar solos, and anthemic choruses. It’s a massive onslaught of rock n’ roll energy which thematically touches on a general feeling of disconnection and abandon.
A Good Rogering have been delivering their brand of heavy eclectic rock now since the release of their debut record Long Overdue in 2010. The nucleus of the band rests is centred around the talented and charismatic singer and guitarist Skunk Manhattan. They have undergone some lineup changes over the years, even going from a quartet to a trio at one point (now back to a quartet), but the one constant has always been Manhattan.
Bassist Samuel Alvarado has been part of the core of A Good Rogering now since the fall of 2015. We recently spoke with Alvarado about Systemic Paralysis, his opinion on the current rock and metal scene, touring plans, gear preferences, and a lot more.
For those not familiar with the band, can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Samuel Alvarado: “We are A Good Rogering from Austin, Texas and have been exploring the musical landscape since 2008. We are currently working as a five-piece band, besides the times we get to bring a horn section on stage with us for our funkier stuff. We love playing all kinds of music, genres, and sounds. We do our best to not limit ourselves to one genre or sound, we like to explore and keep it eclectic.”
What is the story behind the name of the new record?
“Our newest album, released 4/22/22, is titled Systematic Paralysis, and I believe the title is a mere glimpse into the world we are seeing these days. It seems that we are constantly being coaxed into a position of fear that only the government, corporate elites, big insurance, big pharma, media, and our tech overlords can save us from.”
What do you think of the current state of the rock/metal world?
“I think the rock and metal world are doing pretty great. I think this music holds a special place for a lot of people. Probably for many different reasons as well. Though it may not be household news (because it can look scary), the rock n’ roll scene really does share a lot of love, and has a real sense of community. It would always be wonderful to see more support for artists, especially the smaller ones, and whether that comes from the internet, record labels, or even radio, it would be appreciated.”
What are some of the newer bands that you are listening to or enjoying?
“Some bands that I have really been enjoying that may not necessarily be newer, but maybe newer to me, are Finite Fidelity, Runescarred, Wellborn Road, Ethos of Izba, Tesseract, The True Loves, Contact Hi, Colter Wall, Audic Empire, Metalriser, AAerial, and Outlook Grim.”
Do you receive a lot of support from your local scene and fans in general?
“The music scene in Austin is amazing! That’s probably one of the reasons it’s called the Live Music Capital of the World. Obviously, the pandemic put a big damper on all of the world, but it especially seemed to decimate live music. Small or large gatherings of people were just not a good idea for a long time. So that made it tough coming back on stage and not quite getting the same responses or crowds.
“It feels like a lot of that is coming back, and slowly but surely, we are back on course to rocking! So now, more than ever, is the time to get out there and support your local artists! As far as our fans go, we cannot say enough good things about them; they are the lifeblood of our band.”
Do you have any touring plans in support of the new recording?
“We are currently planning a tour in May of 2023 in support of the new album. We are planning on hitting the West Coast this go around, with some scenic stops along the way. So keep your eyes and ears open for that.”
If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take three CDs with you for eternity, assuming there was a solar-powered CD player, what would they be?
“The albums I would take to an island for the rest of my existence would be Lateralus by Tool and Panopticon by Isis. The third, I would have an extremely hard time deciding between Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd and Blackwater Park by Opeth, but one of those.”
Do you use the same gear when recording as you do when playing live? If yes, what and why? If no, then why not?
“As far as gear I use, I do use the same stuff live on stage or in studio settings. I’m a Gallien-Krueger fanboy all the way and always have been. I heard a bunch of my favourite bass players using their rigs when I first started playing, and I was hooked then. I really like some of the higher-end boutique stuff I’ve played through as well, but a lot of that stuff is out of my price range.
“As far as instruments go, I have the pleasure of playing the bass guitars I have designed and built with my own hands. In January of 2015, I started apprenticing under a luthier in San Marcos, Texas, named Brady Muckelroy. He gave me a gift I will never be able to repay. Over a year and a half, under his guidance, I was taught the entire process of building an instrument. From sourcing the wood and knowing what to look for in the boards you’re looking at, to the final setup and dial-in of an instrument, and everything in between. All the carving and woodworking. All the electronics and soldering. All the fretwork and finishing. So it’s safe to say I am a tone snob to the fullest, and I’m ok with that!”
Share one thing about the band that has never before been revealed.
“One thing that has never actually been ‘revealed’ about A Good Rogering, but can be looked up quite easily, is the meaning of the name. Most people either don’t know what it is, don’t care, or ask who Roger is. A Good Rogering is a European euphemism for rough sexual intercourse. So there you go. It’s been said now. Also, we are actually cavemen as well.”
What are some of the lesser-known fun facts about the group that people need to hear?
“Some of the lesser known fun facts about the band is that someway or another (even before I was a member), this band has always seemed to be a little bit ahead of its time. Long before the internet was filled with funny cat videos, these two crazy brothers made a video about a cat named Mr. Peanut (deceased) and shared it with the world on YouTube. Watch here.
“Secondly, we had a gig get canceled due to Hurricane Harvey rolling into Texas in August of 2017. So we were live streaming way before that ever became popular due to the pandemic. You can watch that here.”