A Night Out With The Rachels
by Evelyn Vasquez
One of my friends describes the lead singer as “cute in a weird kind of way,” and I have to say, she’s right on target. He would be just an ordinary guy if he weren’t the lead singer of The Rachels, a hot new band appearing around Houston. There is definitely something sexy about a guy in blue jeans with a microphone and a guitar.
The Rachels can be found generating their own brand of excitement from basement bars to large clubs across Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties – anywhere people gather to enjoy a good show. They play an interesting combination of cover tunes, rock classics and original numbers that blend nicely into a whole presentation. Each band member brings something different to the table; each offers his own individual talents, the sum of which outweighs its parts.
Expect something different every time you see this band perform. Depending on the atmosphere, The Rachels can put on a really mellow show or a big, wild party. If you’re in the mood for mellow, see them at Rookies in The Woodlands. But if you’re in the mood for wild, head out to Pete’s Place off F.M. 1960 on a Thursday night.
The band consists of Steve Garcia, 27, lead vocalist and guitar; Brian Davis, 27, drummer and winner of The Houston Press’ “Best Drummer” for two years running; Jason Davis, 22, bass guitar; and David Cummings, 26, rhythm and lead guitar. They are all very down-to-earth guys.
H Texas met up with them at FountainHead, a bar on F.M. 1960 where they play a regular gig every Sunday night. We caught them during setup a few hours before show time.
How would you describe yourselves as a group? Do you see yourselves as a “cover band?”
Steve: No way!
Brian: We’re doing the covers (other people’s music) because that’s what we have to do to get the originals out there.
Jason: You can technically consider this our job because it’s what we all do for income.
Brian: Yeah. The only way to make money in Houston is doing covers, and we are fortunate enough to be able to split originals and covers, putting originals into it (the show) to make it work.
So, basically, you’re doing what you love and trying to make a living?
What advice would you give to a band trying to break in?
Jason: You have to compromise your artistic creativity in order to make it anywhere, unless you are lucky.
What is your least favorite part of being in a band?
Brian: Playing as much as we do and never having time to do anything outside of this (and) missing all the good shows that come to town because we’re playing. Not being able to spend time with your significant other because you have a show.
Steve: Even trying to keep a significant other because we have shows to do.
What is the biggest challenge you face?
Brian: Keeping fresh and new, having to play so much and having to maintain the same attitude night after night, because there are some shows that it’s kind of hard to get up for because maybe the crowd’s just not into it, but you kind of still have to do it anyway.
OK, let’s have some fun. What is the most outrageous thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
Jason: On multiple occasions there has been a woman, whose name I don’t know. She’s an older woman, and she always wears a dress and always comes up and goes “Hey!” and when I look she lifts up her dress and takes a picture of me.
Steve: Oh yeah, that’s a Rachel’s trademark.
What are your views on drugs?
Jason: I think we have been labeled as a party band when we really aren’t. At the end of the night we all go home, more so than anyone else.
Do you write your songs so other people will like them or do you write them because it’s how you feel? Like your song “I Get High?”
Steve: I’ve written them on both terms. I’ve smoked pot twice in my life. When I wrote that song, I had never even tried it. Being in a band, I guess it was always available. Everyone was always smoking it around me. That’s when I said ‘Man, if I wrote a song about it’
Brian: Commenting on drugs, it’s like there is really no set answer because some people can handle it and some people can’t. I know people who do it for a recreational purpose and have done it for years and years and have never had a problem with it. I think that if people want to do it and they can handle it and still function, and they don?t hurt anybody doing it, then ‘whatever,’ it’s your life. But we are not supporting drug use.
How were you influenced musically?
Steve: I think my greatest influence was my uncle. I didn’t even care about music until seventh grade. I would go to my grandmother’s house and see my uncle playing and singing, and I thought “that’s incredible,” to see someone do something that you hear on the radio. So I would ask him, and he would show me little things on the guitar. It was then that I knew that’s what I wanted to do.
Jason: Brian and I were both inspired to play by Elvis impersonators. True story.
Brian: My biggest thing was, when I was younger I wanted a drum set and a motorcycle, and, well, put it this way, I never quite got the motorcycle, but eventually my dad got me that drum set – cause I had always been beating on boxes and doing dumb (things) like that. I really wanted the motorcycle, but I got the drum set, and years later, here I am.
David: I heard “Sweet Child of Mine” on the radio – honestly. I got a guitar magazine, and I opened it up and saw a picture of Slash. That’s when I knew I wanted to do what he did.
Whether it’s watching a show or talking to them in person, getting to know The Rachels was definitely a good experience. We recommend you check out this band, and be sure to have them autograph their CD. You might be sorry later if you don’t.
To find out where The Rachels are playing near you, log on to their Web site at www.rachelslive.com.