The Rocks Off 200: Kevin Flores, One Busy Guitarist

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 kicker?

"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.

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