Back in black 

For rockers Gooding, life as touring musicians isn’t just about the sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll. It’s also about financial literacy.

Wait, what?

“Isn’t it the least rock ’n’ roll thing in the world? Shouldn’t I be carrying around a guitar and a bottle of Jack?” said Gooding, guitarist/singer and unimonikered namesake of the band, which teaches responsible money-handling to high schoolers between gigs. “The people who don’t pay attention to the business end, all they have — after everything is said and done — is a guitar and a bottle of Jack. When I was little,
I didn’t think I had to worry about anything. I knew I’d just get a
record deal, get a big house and that would be it. Obviously, it’s a lot
more complicated than that.”

connection with Quincy Jones and similar work he does with urban youth
sparked the Gooding band to share the pitfalls of payday loans and
living in excess at school assemblies, with a mini-concert to hook
students first.

like a Trojan horse: We dress like them, and we play the loudest, most
ferocious we can,” Gooding said. “Then that horse opens up, and we tell
them to listen to their parents and teachers. It might not seem sexy,
but you end up with a whole lot more in the end if you can be smart. The
money always stops sometime. Then what?”

Gooding certainly has
practiced what it’s preached; being frugal is vital to thriving as an
independent band as the act — Los Angeles by way of Wichita — has done for nearly a decade.

motto is, ‘Beg, borrow and steal,’” Gooding said. “I’ve always
appreciated the hip-hop and punk DIY scene, and I try to apply that to
what I do.”

The trio’s music has been used in movies like Iron Man 2 and Children of Men. The
money received for the song rights has all been funneled back into the
band. The last few years have seen the members in the black and able to
afford their eco-friendly tour bus.

wish I had gotten that thing 10 years ago,” Gooding said. “It’s a
rolling billboard … like an ice cream truck serving rock ’n’ roll, and
we’re living out of there.”

by arena bands like Queen and U2, Gooding will be spending a lot of
time in the bus, touring regionally through the rest of the year and
then embarking on a nationwide tour in early 2013 after releasing its
newest album, Buffalo, in January.

is by far the record that I feel like puts us the closest to what we
want to be,” Gooding said. “It’s finally capturing the essence of our
live performance, which has eluded us for a while.”

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