TUFF triumphantly returned to Cincinnati Ohio tonight 9/18, thanks to local music legend Kenny Ozz. It has been 19 years since Stevie Rachelle and TUFF have played in the Queen City. According to a Facebook post by Todd Chase on Wednesday, the band had they’re final rehearsal and stated “The band is on fire!” The bands current line up consists of Stevie Rachelle on vocals, Todd Chase on bass, Billy Morris on guitar and Michael Scott Nelson on drums, tonight marks Scott’s very first live performance with TUFF.
Personally for me, it has been about 20 years since I’ve seen TUFF, in Philadelphia PA, so I couldn’t wait for this show. I requested an interview for Rocknightmare.com with Stevie Rachelle and he enthusiastically invited us to sit down with him before TUFF hit the stage at Boca Live in Milford Ohio.
Set List Was As Follows:
God Bless This Mess
Spit Like This
Ruck A Pit Bridge
In Dogs We Trust
Good Guys Wear Black
I Hate Kissing You Goodbye
So Many Seasons
All New Generation
American Hair Band
I met with Stevie a few hours before show time. Check out the interview below…..
Bill McGarvey: Hi Stevie, my name is Bill. First off, let me thank you for taking the time to talk with us!
Stevie Rachelle: No, thank you for coming out tonight.
Bill McGarvey: The last time that I saw a TUFF show, 1994 in Philadelphia PA at a place called the Cell Block!
Stevie Rachelle: The Cell Block, you say, in Philadelphia. I remember that place, it had a wire fence that separated the minors from the adults.
Bill McGarvey: Absolutely! I can’t believe you remember that! It has been widely rumored that RLS and Metal Sludge were your tongue in cheek F U’s to the recording and media industries. Any truth to that?
Stevie Rachelle: Well, no, I wouldn’t say… I don’t even know if that was a rumor. As far as RLS was concerned, after we had signed Atlantic and IRS Grand Slam we went through a couple of record labels and got dropped. I just kinda got fed up with it and said I’m going to form my own record label. I’m going to call it RLS records, because I think record labels suck, I’m going to call it record labels suck.
Bill McGarvey: So the “record labels suck” really was your idea?
Stevie Rachelle: Yes, that was my idea! And I had an alternate meaning for it as well which was Rachelle’s lyrics and songs. BUT RLS REALLY STOOD FOR “RECORD LABELS SUCK”! And then, Metal Sludge, ironically in a similar scenario where I couldn’t get press anymore, Hit Parader had kinda gone the way side and Gerri Miller wasn’t really doing anything on bands and I got frustrated because I was trying to promote my solo record. This was in 1997, 98 and I just couldn’t get any press! The internet was something that was pretty new so I came up with this idea for this web site to promote my band, Stevie Rachelle, anything that I did. That included everything that I did even producing a band or if I released an independent like I did with Nitro and Wild Side, John Corabi’s Angora, Jailhouse, Tommy Gunn… I wanted something to promote my bands with; and that’s how I created Metal Sludge.
Bill McGarvey: Cool! Nice to hear it from the source! Are there any plans on returning to the studio? Any new material on the horizon?
Stevie Rachelle: Chase has been writing some ideas which he actually played me today. He played me two ideas today and one I actually really liked! So, if we record something new or WHEN we record something new, I don’t see it happening in the next few months but maybe sometime next year! I don’t know, it really depends!
Bill McGarvey: Looking forward to it when you do! With the proliferation of social media outlets Facebook, Twitter and the such, have you noticed the average age of the concert goers lowered a bit or has it stayed the same?
Stevie Rachelle: Younger! Absolutely younger! I’ve played in over 20 countries recently like Italy, Belgium, Spain, France, Brazil and the Czech Republic. Tons of the fans are young… I mean really young, like 15, 17, 19, these fans weren’t even born until years after we were defunct. Fans born in 94, 95 and the older fans bringing their kids to the shows! And a lot of these fans are finding out about the band through the internet, they’re seeing videos of bands like us and Pretty Boy Floyd and Sleeze Beez and Kik Tracee or Vain and they’re saying to themselves “Oh My God, this is so cool!”
Bill McGarvey: With bands like KISS making their shows and their music, for that matter, family friendly, has being a father affected you or the band as a whole? Whether it be the live show or in the song writing?
Stevie Rachelle: I haven’t taken my kids to any rock shows. My daughter went to see Taylor Swift. She loved it. She’s 10 years old and she loves Taylor Swift. As far as me taking my kids to KISS or any other rock shows is because they haven’t really shown any interest in my type of music. What daddy does… really isn’t of any interest to them at this point. They see pictures of me and they think it’s funny, those old pictures, ya know! I haven’t taken them to any rock concerts as of yet.
Bill McGarvey: Quick fire round… Tell me the first thing that pops in your head.
Bill McGarvey: Favorite movie?
Stevie Rachelle: Jaws.
Bill McGarvey: Midnight, watching TV, what are you snacking on?
Stevie Rachelle: Fuck! Everything (laughs out loud)
Bill McGarvey: Favorite vacation spot?
Stevie Rachelle: I don’t really have one but we went to Costa Rica 3 months ago with our kids and it was awesome!
Bill McGarvey: If you could jam with any musician living or dead, who would it be and why?
Stevie Rachelle: Dead? Ya gotta say Elvis Presley, just for the sake of it being Elvis, The King! Eh, living? I don’t know why but the first thing that popped into my head was Willie Nelson!
Bill McGarvey: First album, cassette or CD you bought with your own money?
Stevie Rachelle: I bought an album, it was vinyl, and it was the soundtrack to “The Wanderers”. First ever! “I’m the type of guy…” it was like kinda 50’s doo wop movie, I think but it was remade?
Bill McGarvey: Single biggest music influence?
Stevie Rachelle: It’s Van Halen or Motley Crue. I saw Motley on the “Shout at the Devil” tour and Van Halen on the “1984” tour within 3 months of each other. David Lee Roth and Vince Neil made me wanna be a front man. I was greatly influenced by Motley but it was Dave more than anything as just the king showman, badass front man!
Bill McGarvey: Most memorable TUFF show?
Stevie Rachelle: What just popped in my head was the Santa Monica Civic Center in ’89 when we were a local band and we opened for The Bullet Boys, maybe 3000 people. That really stood out! Recently, me and Chase going to Brazil, playing Sao Paulo, that was really a stand out! Twenty five years after we wrote “Good Guys Wear Black” and here are people in this foreign country, singing it!
Bill McGarvey: Dream arena or venue that you haven’t played?
Stevie Rachelle: In LA it would be the Forum or The Staple Center and maybe worldwide would be Donnington, The Download Festival in England or Rock in Rio, it would be a fantasy to play a place like that!
Bill McGarvey: And finally, you may have already answered this one, most memorable show you attended as a fan?
Stevie Rachelle: As a fan? It would be one of the two I already mentioned, David Lee Roth and Van Halen on the 1984 tour or Motley on the Shout Tour.
Bill McGarvey: And the final question, you don’t have to answer it if you don’t want to. You’re driving down the highway on a beautiful spring or fall day, by yourself, listening to the radio. What would be your guilty pleasure? Something that you really like but wouldn’t be caught dead listening to in public?
Stevie Rachelle: I’m not really ashamed of anything that I listen to. The first time I heard “What Does The Fox Say?”, I loved it.Ya know… “What does the fox say… Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!”. I think that is an awesome song! I loved “Gangnam Style”. Those are two like really quirky weird songs that came out in the past few years that a lot of people said they didn’t like. The first time I heard Lady Gaga, the first time I heard the opening riff for “Poker Face”, I thought it was amazing! I was convinced that it was some German weird techno, house or something. I went home and tried to figure it out because I remembered what she kept saying, Poker Face, I went and Googled it and it was her!
Bill McGarvey: Thanks! Very cool of you to spend so much time with me. Can’t wait to see you hit the stage after all these years.
Stevie Rachelle: You’re welcome!
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Interview By: Bill McGarvey