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Rewind with Stevie Rachelle, 4/6/00



Stevie Rachelle
Tuff singer Stevie Rachelle

We first talked to Stevie back on December 7, 1998, and now he’s back for our Metal Sludge Rewind.  At the time of Stevie’s last interview, we weren’t even doing Word Association yet and some of our other trademark questions, so this time around we made sure to hit him up with all that shit.  Check it out!

1. What are you up to since we last talked to you? 
Well for starters my new solo CD is called Stevie Rachelle ?Since Sixty Six? and it will be released in May. It?s way more rocking than my debut and has some killer tunes along with a few guest musicians. Please visit my site for all the news & updates. I also re-packaged, re-mastered & re-released the Tuff ?Regurgitation? CD. It was originally released in 1997 as a bootleg from Portugal. However the packaging, song order, etc?  were not the greatest. So I decided to put it together like Tuff would have done and it comes out this week. Both of these discs are on RLS Records which is my own indy label. I started it in 1994 when Tuff released ?Fist First?. Then I expanded to a dual label with Cheezee Records in 1996 with the first C.W.A. (Cheeseheads With Attitude) CD. RLS/Cheezee Records has released over a dozen pieces and our catalog is growing. More information on all of these bands can be found by visiting my web site at http://www.stevierachelle.com.  I?ve also been busy singing on a bunch of tribute CDs. I did a Motley Crue, GNR, Def Leppard & a Scorpions song all for Cleopatra/Deadline Records.

2.  Tuff appeared on VH1 "Where Are They Now?" You guys didn?t even have a gold record so why the fuck did they put you on? Are you related to someone who works there or what?
Actually I was quite shocked myself when VH1 first approached us. I know we did?nt sell anywhere near what a lot of the other bands did but our overall impression on that whole era was much bigger than our sales. Remember Tuff was a mainstay in several national rock magazines for years before we even had a record deal. Tuff also did non-stop touring virtually ruling the West Coast in the late 80s and early 90s. I guess that helped put Tuff on the hair bands map. Most of that stuff happened before we even hit MTV and once we did, we hit the top 10 within a week and then Nirvana debuted a week later. The rest as they say, is history. Oh yeah, and a very special thanks to everyone at VH1 for including us in that episode and a special thanks to Paul Gargano and Metal Edge for including Tuff in their VHI feature article.

3.  You auditioned for RATT a few months back. What happened with that?  What songs did you perform with them and are you bummed that you couldn?t even replace Stephan Pearcy, the worst singer in the world?
I heard some gossip through the grapevine and I guess my name had been mentioned a few times as a candidate. So I made a few calls and talked with Robbie & Keri who I?ve known forever. I also started communicating with Blotzer who I had met with Robbie at a few shows. Anyway, I went and jammed with them back in early February. We played a few Ratt tunes (old & new) and ?Walking the Dog? by Aerosmith. It was cool & they?re great guys but I guess I was?nt exactly what they were looking for.

4.    What hard rock/heavy metal band should give it up and call it a day?
I don?t know how to answer this one without contradicting myself. I though when Quiet Riot was trying to make a go of it with Carlos, Paul Shortino & the new rhythm guys it just was?nt Quiet Riot anymore. But now that they?ve re-united with Rudy & Frankie that?s great. Same goes for Ratt. Bobby & Warren already have 2 new guys in the group. Now if you throw in some new singer guy the fans are gonna go "what the fuck?" Don?t get me wrong, I would?ve loved to have done some tour dates with Ratt and see where it might lead but that did?nt happen. I think anyone who steps into those kind of shoes is in for a rough ride. Hats off to guys like John Corabi, Gary Cherone & that Solinger guy who?s in Skid Row right now! I guess my answer is any band that wants to keep moving on, then more power to them. However after Tuff went through 3 bassists, 3 drummers, 3 record labels & 3 booking agencies in less than 3 years I said lets hang it up and we did. I did?nt want to leave our fans guessing as to who was going to be playing with us from gig to gig.

5.  Rate the following singers on a scale of 1 to 10.  1 being somebody who can’t sing worth shit, and 10 being somebody who is the bomb diggity.
Vince Neil = I thought he was killer when I was 18 but now I give him a 5
Jani Lane = I?ve always liked his voice, Jani easily gets a solid 8
Sebastian Bach = Ultimate rock singer 9+
Stephan Pearcy = I use to think he was killer too but now he gets a 4 or 5 tops
David Lee Roth = Dave got a huge rating back in the day but a 7.5 today
Jizzy Pearl = I liked a few of the Love/Hate songs but he only gets a 5
Bret Michaels = Bret does?nt have Bach pipes but he does well with his own 6.5
Mark Slaughter = Mark has a serious range and is a nice guy too, I give him a 7.5
John Corabi = John has a awesome rock voice and is very under rated, he gets a 9

Cheeseheads With Attitude

6.  How does it feel to have more success doing a goofy ass Packer CD than being in Tuff for 10 years?
It felt great! After so many years of feeling like a rock star but living like a first year college student it was nice to have a little doe in the pocket for once.

7.  Is there any truth to the rumor that the reason you didn?t get the Ratt gig is because you showed up wearing a cheesehead?
The answer to that would be no.

8.   For $500,000:  You must strangle your dog to death with your bare hands.  Would you do it?  You could buy a new dog with all the money! 
I would?nt do that for a 100 million dollars.  Midawg is my life and so was Orphan (R.I.P.) I?m no Rikki Rockett but I do love animals.

9.  Of all the bands Tuff played with, which bands gave you guys the Tuffest time?
I got 3 stories for ya?
#1 Blue Oyster Cult decided it was more important to do a 3 hour long lighting check than to let us play our set. We got paid but were told we would not get to perform. What made it even worse was that it was near my hometown in Wisconsin at a big outdoor festival in 1989. House of Lords was also on that bill but they still got to play.

#2 Sweet FA pulled some shit with us at a gig somewhere near their hometown in Indiana. We were scheduled to play there with Lita Ford as the headliner, Tuff and then Sweet FA would go on first. Lita cancelled and went home early, so we took the rest of the tour dates alone. When we showed up for sound check they had all this gear, risers & backdrops all set up. They played the club in the past, kissed ass with the owners and we were told that we?d now be the openers. So we smoked them off the stage and smashed a few microphones. Then after we finished 90% of the crowd left. I always thought they sucked anyway.

#3 Shotgun Messiah had us removed from a show. We were going to open for them at The Limelight in New York City and our booking agency told us about a week before the show that Shotgun Messiah told the Limelight promoters it was either them or Tuff. We asked why and the promoters told us that they did?nt want to play with a hairband! Hairband? I asked the promoters if they had looked at their own poster lately? Some comment coming from a guy (Tim Tim) who had all fake ass hair. Needless to say, we got booted. I like their stuff though & still listen to the 2nd CD.

10.  Rate the following chicks on a scale of 1 to 10.  1 being a hottie and 10 being a bucket.


Bobbie Brown = I?ve always liked Bobbie and wish nothing but the best for her 9
Mandy Moore = today a 7, tomorrow an 8 and soon a 9, at least!
Pamela Anderson = I?d give her a higher score but she keeps fucking that wigger 8
Courtney Love = Some days she?s a 7 some days she?s a 2 it all depends?
Carmen Electra = I saw her at Victoria Secret at a Mall and I just about fell over 9
Gerri Miller = I give her an 867-5309. Gerri I got your number, I wanna make you mine.
Shania Twain = a solid 10 I love every inch of her, anus included!
Heather Locklear = I?d give Heather a higher score but she?s too drilled out 7 
Lita Ford = I?ve never been a huge Lita fan but I?ll give her a 6.5 for the rock of it
Kendra Jade = She?s a total sweetheart, too bad her job is a bit gnarly 7

Brande Roderick, Hugh Hefner, and Stevie
Stevie with Playboy Playmate Brande Roderick & Hugh Hefner

11.  In the VH-1 ?Where Are They Now? special, it says you do some acting.  Do you really think standing in the background and never speaking could be considering acting?
No but it was fun for a while.

12.   How much was your biggest music related check? 
$34,950.00 and that was from the Cheeseheads With Attitude.

13.  What do you remember about the following years?


1978 = My brother was killed and 4 years earlier my dad died of cancer
1984 = I graduated with a D- average & got an apartment
1987 = I moved to Hollywood, joined Tuff & got hair extensions
1991 = Tuff released our debut CD, Hit MTV’s top 10 & toured everywhere
1994 = Earthquake, released our own CD, filmed our own videos & toured again


1998 = Cut my hair, released my debut solo CD & the 3rd C.W.A. CD

14.  What rock star deserves a smack in the mouth and why?
No doubt all of us at one time or another, myself included!

15.    You have always been compared to Bret Michaels of Poison. Is that because:
A.  You guys both wear bandanas.
B.  You guys are both blond haired lead singers.
C.  You guys are both balding but trying to hide it. 
D.  You guys both can?t sing in key.
E.  All of the above


E. I guess. Oh well what else is new, another Bret comparison. Hey wait, I sing in key more often than Bret!

Snake & Stevie
Snake Sabo & Stevie

16.   Pick your Poison, no pun intended:
Rikki Rockett or Riki Rachtmen = Riki Rachtmen we?re gonna go skating at Vans.
Hats or Headbands = Hats but headbands are cool once in a while.
Gerri Miller or Paul Gargano = Paul for sure, he?s a friend & a Packer fan too.
Bret Michaels or Bret Farve = Bret Farve, go Pack!
Skateboarding or Snowboarding = Skateboarding, I?m not a fan of cold weather.
Cock rings or pocket pussies = I have both and some other shit too!
Hair Extensions or Hair Transplants = Anything but a fucking wig!
Bungee Jumping or Skydiving = Skydiving was better but once is enough.

17.  How many Playboy Playmates, Penthouse Pets, or Porno Stars have you banged?
As for my sexual adventures lets just say that sex has been my vice. I?ve had my fair share of all of the above but I care not to go into detail at this present time. Your sludge groupies will tell plenty I?m sure. However I can say that the person I am today definitely looks at things differently than I did in 1988, 1992 or even 1995. I?ve often thought about writing a book and I can say this topic would be a great portion of it.

Are you flipping us off?
Tuff 1988

18.  Recently you had an ad in Metal Edge, and we noticed you were selling a Tuff box set.  How the fuck can you have a box set when you only released 2 major albums??  
RLS Records has released several additional Tuff CDs & Tuff Home Videos. This makes for a great 8 piece box set.  A $132.00 value for only $100.00 postage included. That?s a $32.00 savings!  I?ve sold several and have had no complaints, if anyone wants to order one please visit http://www.tuffcds.com. Thank You for shopping at RLS.

19.   The biggest misconception about ___________is?  For example, the biggest misconception about Lars Ulrich is that he’s a good drummer.  You get the idea.

Tuff is that we were just Poison clones.
MTV is that it promotes music. It sucks, except for The Tom Green Show.
Hollywood is that everyone is on crack, in a gang and knows someone famous.
Being a singer is that you?re just the dumb lead singer.
Touring is that it?s groupies, driving & money. Wrong, it?s groupies & driving.
Motley Crue is that Nikki Sixx has any original ideas left.
Anal Sex is that I?ve only done it once, and man that hurt! Oops?
Bret Michaels is that he?s a faithful partner.
Warrant is that they are always drunk.  They are good guys & road dogs.
The Rainbow is that the chicks that hang out there are good looking.

Hey, it's the kid on the side of the Dutch Boy Paint Cans!20.  Are you actually trying to get a record deal, or does Spitfire/CMC/Portrait want nothing to do with you?
I?m not sure if they want me or not but my own dual label has sold well over 60,000 pieces of product in the last few years. However I?m always looking to negotiate with anyone in regards to a better situation.

21. We at Metal Sludge have heard you?re a real straight edge guy. No drinking, smoking or drugs! What?s up with being a goody two shoes?
That?s 100% true. I did smoke pot with my younger sister & her boyfriend when I was like 16, I think I took like 2 hits off a pipe. That?s the entire history of my drug use. I?ve never even been drunk! Not once! No coke, no speed, no pills, nothing! No need for it, it ruins lives. But not mine as I steer clear of the shit and the peo
ple who do it!

22.    Time for Metal Sludge’s Word Association.  We mention a name and you give us your thoughts.
Bret Michaels = Never heard of him.
Kid Rock = I like his style, he deserves everything coming to him.
Gerri Miller = Stopped returning my calls years ago, bummer!
Nikki Sixx = A true rock star that even borrowed from Tuff a few times.
Mike Holmgren = Great coach.
Tommy Lee = Wigger, addict & trendy. A great drummer but a lame rapper.
Gene Simmons = Phoned me a few weeks back, it was a short but sweet call.
Sebastian Bach = Took 8 months to answer my e-mail, get it together already.
Dana Strum = Tuff played with the Vinnie Vincent Invasion at The Palace in 1988
Lars Ulrich = Never met him but Jason Newsted was always very cool to Tuff.
Robbie Crane = I love Robbie like a brother, one of the first people I met in LA.
Tracii Guns = I?ve always liked LA Guns, Tracii is a killer guitarist & a nice guy.


Hey, Stevie’s the first person to use the word Wigger in Word Association, so for that we have to show him props, even if he does occasionally wear a Cheesehead.  He put effort into all our questions and talked a little smack along the way, and that’s all we ever ask.

If you wanna drop $100 on the Tuff Box set or the various other merchandise Stevie is peddling, drop by www.stevierachelle.com.  He’s got like 800 pictures and a whole archive of Tuff history for the 8 or 9 of you who might care.

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