MusicMight





In Association with Amazon.com
Musicians | Biography | Discography | Links

Biography

ROUGH CUTT separated themselves from the 80s hair band flock by way of a distinctly heavier, riff driven attitude and the remarkable, classic Rock tones of lead vocalist PAUL SHORTINO. Formed in San Diego as SARGE, the initial line-up of ROUGH CUTT featured Shortino, former MICKEY RATT guitarist Bob DeLellis, ex-MAGIC keyboard player Claude Steel, bassist Joey Cristo (real name Cristofanelli) with drummer David Alford, also ex-MICKEY RATT. Bob DeLellis was swiftly replaced by another ex-MICKEY RATT man, Jake E. Lee. The band thus contributed two tracks 'A Little Kindness' and 'Used & Abused', both produced by Ronnie James Dio, to the compilation album 'L.A's Hottest Unsigned Bands' issued in 1983.

ROUGH CUTT underwent severe membership changes soon afterwards however with both Jake Williams and Claude Steel (nee Schnell) joining management stable mates DIO. Williams liaison with DIO was fleeting though and before long he had turned up in arch rival OZZY OSBOURNE's band renaming himself Jakey Lou then the more familiar JAKE E. LEE. In this period of turmoil for ROUGH CUTT former QUIET RIOT and DOKKEN guitarist Greg Leon made a fleeting appearance in the ranks before returning to his own INVASION project.

Joey Cristo also departed, later to turn up in the SIN spin-off group JAG WIRE for their 'Made In Heaven' album. The bass position was taken by Alford's former RATT comrade in arms Matt Thorr (real name Matt Thorne), who had been a founding member of that band. Another ex-RATTster, guitarist Chris Hager, took the place of Lee.

At this point erstwhile VENGEANCE guitarist Craig Goldie was recruited to the group. He stayed within the ranks long enough to play on a version of 'Try A Little Harder' (produced by Ronnie James Dio) that was entered to the Miller High Life sponsored 'Rock To Riches' contest in 1983. The track subsequently appeared on the local radio station KLOS 95.5 compilation album released in connection with the competition. Goldie would ultimately hook up with GIUFFRIA, DRIVER and DIO, necessitating the recruitment of Amir Derakh.

With a stable line-up, ROUGH CUTT was eventually signed to Warner Brothers. They were showcased at the Marquee Club in London on Friday April 13, 1984 well in advance of entering the studio back in Los Angeles to cut an eponymously titled album in 1985 that was produced by Tom Allom and cleverly employed Shortino's talents on the perfectly matched JANIS JOPLIN cover 'Piece of My Heart'. Promoting the debut album, ROUGH CUTT put in European dates followed by a Japanese festival appearance on the same billing as MAMAS BOYS, FOREIGNER, DIO and EARTHSHAKER before a return to America opening for KROKUS and ACCEPT. A two month lay off was curtailed by yet more shows this time with HELIX and DIO.

ROUGH CUTT quite bizarrely gained extra nationwide exposure by appearing as a token Metal band in an episode of the hit TV series 'Fame'' and Shortino having a cameo role in the spoof hit movie 'This Is SPINAL TAP'.

A high quality second album, 'Wants You!', was recorded with producer Jack Douglas and was issued during 1986. The band split up after Shortino had left for QUIET RIOT and Thorr had joined L.A. ROCKS. A period working with ex-WARRIOR vocalist Parramore McCarty in late 1987 failed to work out and Amir Derakh, Chris Hager and David Alford joined JAILHOUSE. The erstwhile ROUGH CUTT trio joined forces with band founders vocalist Danny Simon and guitarist Mike Raphael and hit the Los Angeles club scene with less Blues based Hard Rock fare. The resulting live album, culled from earlier performances, that emerged in 1998 also had the benefit of three new studio tracks.

During 1989 a proposed band unit was formed involving Chris Hagar, WITCH and AMPAGE drummer Punky Peru, BLACK 'N BLUE guitarist Jef Warner plus QUIET RIOT bassist Sean McNabb. This group never got beyond the  rehearsal stage.

In a quite spectacular turnaround in musical Derakh returned to the fore in 1998 as a member of the highly successful Nu-Metal band ORGY, signed to KORN's Elementree label. The guitarist, playing down his former association with ROUGH CUTT, had also made a name for himself in the production of COAL CHAMBER's debut.

With the new millennium Shortino had forged a union with former FLAME / AEROSMITH guitarist Jimmy Crespo and keyboard player J.T. Garrett titled RHYTHM JUNKIES. Pulling in his erstwhile QUIET RIOT colleague and former HOUSE OF LORDS bassist Sean McNabb with drummer John Homan the band was retitled ROUGH CUTT and cut the 'Sneak Preview' mini album. Production was handled by another ROUGH CUTT veteran Matt Thorr.

2000 also witnessed Shortino contributing vocals to a version of 'On Through The Night' included on the DEF LEPPARD tribute album 'Leppardmania'. The following year both Shortino and Crespo would be included on the AEROSMITH tribute 'Aerosmithsonian' giving their rendition of 'Rock In A Hard Place'.

By September the newly announced version of ROUGH CUTT would witness a transformation to THE CUTT. Shortino believing that with only himself as an original member a change of identity was prudent. Both NIGHTRANGER's BRAD GILLIS and HEART's Howard Leese would also be added to the list of session players on the album.

The classic ROUGH CUTT line-up of Paul Shortino, Amir Derakh, Matt Thorr, Chris Hager and David Alford announced a one off reunion show at the West Hollywood Viper Room venue for October 21st 2002. Thorr (Thorn) would guest on STEPHEN PEARCY's 2004 'Fueler' album. Shortino continued his working relationship with guitarist J.K. NORTHRUP with the SHORTINO/NORTHRUP 'Afterlife' record of 2004, released through MTM Music, featured the XYZ credited keyboard player Nir Averbuch. Also guesting in the studio would be the FOREIGNER and NORTHRUP credited Johnny Edwards delivering backing vocals on 'Crazy Mind' and Swedish guitarist TOMMY DENANDER of RADIOACTIVE and PRISONER repute on the song 'Feel Again'. That same year the singer made time to front a HEAVEN AND EARTH album 'Screaming For Redemption'.

German Heavy Metal band POWERGOD cut a cover version of ROUGH CUTT's 'Cutt Your Heart Out' for inclusion on their 'Long Live The Loud – That's Metal Lesson II' released through Massacre Records in July 2005. That same Summer, ROUGH CUTT veterans Paul Shortino and Matt Thorn announced a brand new band project in union with VICIOUS RUMORS guitarist Ira Black and the YNGWIE MALMSTEEN credited Patrick Johansson on drums. Meantime, Amir Derakh would act as co-producer on LINKIN PARK frontman Chester Bennington's debut solo album.

Copyright Musicdetector Websites 2009