Member Profile: Gooding: Ethics, Passion, and Rock ‘n’ Roll
As a child, Gooding was often struck by the ability of animals to be comfortable in their own skins. “I was moved by how they could be at peace with who they were, sometimes even when they were suffering,” he says. Even as a child, Gooding saw this as a stark contrast to the way humans tried to control everything around them—often to the detriment of their environment and the animals who shared it.
As Gooding became more aware of animal experimentation issues in high school, his concern for the suffering of animals at the hands of humans grew. “A pivotal moment for me was the first time I saw footage of animals being tortured simply to provide us with products that I doubt we even need, or that we already have 15 versions of,” he says. “I realized how much I needed to take a look at my consumption and my choices.” This, along with reading Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation while majoring in film in college, fueled an angry energy in Gooding. During this time, he wrote and produced Factory Blue, an album he describes as “an aural witness to a story of love, hate, and the end of the human world.” He eventually developed the album into a multimedia live performance that included footage of experimenters laughing while abusing animals in labs and that, he says, “generally didn’t make the customers at the bar want to stay and have another beer!”
Gooding has felt his youthful anger transition into a more optimistic outlook on animal suffering issues. “I have a lot more hope now, even though the same terrible things are happening all around us,” he says. “I strive to remain positive and lead by example.” When interviewed by the media, Gooding always talks about his passion for animal rights, and he’s “the guy on tour with the cooler full of vegan food from the last Whole Foods stop.”
Gooding passes up even lucrative opportunities if they do not meet his ethical standards. “You don’t have to give up your beliefs to be successful—if you follow the path, you will find others on it as well, and your work will be better for it.”
And what does Gooding love about PCRM? “I’m amazed at how you always keep the issues right at the forefront, and your approach is scientifically based,” he says. “You present alternatives, you present the moral argument, and you show that science and business can advance just fine without harming animals. That’s unique.”
Gooding was 4 years old when he saw the band Kiss and heard Queen’s Flash Gordon. It was this convergence of rock ‘n’ roll and movie soundtracks that set him on his career path that continues today.
After studying film at the University of Kansas and the University of California, Los Angeles, Gooding went on to produce music acts, run music studios, and launch an independent record label (S3 Records) and a boutique music licensing catalog (Kingdom 2). He currently records and tours extensively with his band, The Angel/Devil.
Gooding’s music has been heard in The Matrix: Revisited and Animatrix, We Are Marshall, Ice Age 2, Children of Men, and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, and on TV shows like Nip/Tuck, Stargate SG-1, The Closer, and MTV’s The Real World and Road Rules.
Beyond his passion for music, Gooding is and always has been a staunch champion of animals. Gooding is a member of the Remembering Rodney Society, PCRM’s monthly giving program.
You can hear Gooding’s music at GoodingMusic.com.