Golf, fishing, and rock and roll: Jon Goodhue emails that he is just leaving the course at Carmel Mountain Ranch at one point during the month that I spend interviewing him. A San Diego transplant by way of Gloucester, Massachusetts, Goodhue, 27, now lives in Pacific Beach and works side gigs in landscape and graphic design. “But I put more hours in a day toward music. I try to book a lot of solo acoustic acts, too, which helps with my income.” But the Jon Goodhue Band is all-original hard rock. Consider his original inspiration: “I listened to a variety of music when I was younger, but it was when I got my hands on AC/DC Live when I was 13 that I knew I had to get a guitar.” He did, for Christmas that year. Jon Goodhue members include Marc Aliana on lead guitar, drummer Steve Such, bassist Seth Humphrey, and Chris Buckel on rhythm guitar.
A rocker with an acoustic guitar? That’s what you were playing when I saw you open for P.O.D. recently.
“Oh, trust me, I love my electric [guitar] just as much. I use my acoustic for gigs where I perform solo. Bars and restaurants who like to have a single person entertaining their customers. I tend to play more mellow tunes on those nights, but don’t think for one second that I won’t bust out some Metallica or some Alice in Chains.”
Acoustic Metallica for the dinner crowd?
“There are always fans in the room. Somebody will be eating their meal and turn their head and say, ‘Nice!’ As long as it’s not butchered and you give it justice, it’s all good.”
A digital copy of your demo somehow landed on my (virtual) desk. What impressed me was the juxtaposition of styles.
“I’ve always tried to write songs that could appeal to the masses, not just a specific crowd. On my latest release, we tried to write a handful of songs where the metal head could enjoy the riffs as well as somebody who enjoys a good melody with a smooth vocal.”
Do you keep a guitar and a recorder handy for those moments when inspiration strikes?
“I’m not sure if other songwriters do this, but I’ll voice-memo myself and hum a tune I’m thinking into my cell phone. Then, when I get home, play it on the guitar. Once I know how my song goes, I arrange it and add lyrics.”
Traa Daniels from P.O.D. produced your latest. How did you two hook up?
“Through friends. I was originally seeking advice about my career. To make a long story short, my music met his ears and he saw potential and wanted to record and produce my next album.”
What did Traa bring to your music?
“What some people don’t know about Traa is that he has a keen sense of vocal melody. It happened more than once when we were in the studio.”
Are there common threads that run through your songwriting?
“I always considered a song to be an emotional purge. I always write about something that has deeply impacted me; whether it be about success, loss, advice, change, clarity, anything.”
“‘In the Moment’ reflects a time I shared with people I love in Mission Beach during sunset. We had spent all day together having a great time, and it all culminated into this intimate moment of watching the day end. I felt I had to share this. I hope that whoever hears the song has this same kind of experience, or seeks it out in the near future.”
On fishing: fresh or salt water?
“I’m pretty torn between freshwater and salt water. I had an epic trip to the Sierras this year. I must have got 40 trout in three days. Out of the group I was with, I caught the most and biggest fish of the trip.”
So, did you and Traa become fishing buddies?
“We’ve talked about going fishing together, but it’s hard to do when P.O.D. is on the road so much.”
What’s next for you?
“Right now, plans are to promote this new album, All In, and reach as many ears as possible. We’ll start local and expand our radius by playing live shows. I’m fortunate to have found some extremely talented local musicians to play these songs with me, and we have a blast on stage. My goal in life has always been to be a touring musician.... I’m just following my dream.” ■