Interview an Live Photos by: Robert Cavuoto
Rough Riot is the brainchild of vocalist Paul Shortino. It’s the newest supergroup to emerge pulling members of 80s bands Rough Cutt and Quiet Riot. Though they haven’t toured or had a CD as of yet, they are hard at work formulating a plan to do so in 2019. The band consists of Paul Shortino on vocals, Carlos Cavazo and Chris Hager on guitar, Dave Alford on drums, and Sean McNabb on bass. This has the making of a solid rock band that fans will surely love!
I caught up with guitar legend, Carlos Cavazo to talk about Rough Riot, what fans can expect from them in 2019, and his decision to part wayswith Ratt earlier this year.
Robert Cavuoto: I’m excited to hear about your new band, Rough Riot, tell me about it and how it was formed?
Carlos Cavazo: It’s the brainchild of Paul Shortino. He called one day to pitch me the idea. To be honest, I wasn’t looking to join a band, but I have known these guys for such a long time, and they are easy to work with; so I figured why the Hell not. If nothing comes of it at least I’ll have some fun [laughing]. The band consists from three members of Rough Cutt, Paul Shortino on vocals, Dave Alford on drums, and Chris Hager on guitar. Also when Paul was in Quiet Riot, we have 3/4 of that version with Paul, Sean McNabb on bass and me. Our first show was on November 2nd in Vegas where we played half Quiet Riot music and half Rough Cutt music with our own twist. There are more shows coming up in January and February with the bulk of the shows will be over the summer. We just hooked up with new management and an agency to start booking our shows and we are currently working on writing new music which we hope to have something out in 2019.
Robert Cavuoto: How long have you been working together?
Carlos Cavazo: Just the last couple of months!
Robert Cavuoto: You mentioned that you are recording a CD, how far along is it?
Carlos Cavazo: We’ve written about four or five songs, and Paul just sent me one this morning; an idea from Chris. We all have ideas, and we will begin to pull them together. If the idea is not complete, we will finish it off if it works.
Robert Cavuoto: I like the name of the band as it has equity from both bands, was that a no-brainer?
Carlos Cavazo: It was either Paul’s or Chris’s idea. It sounded good to me, so we trademarked it.
Robert Cavuoto: Have you talked about the vision of the CD yet and how you want the band to sound?
Carlos Cavazo: That will happen during pre-production; right now everyone is submitting songs. When we get together with whoever will produce the CD, then we will discuss what songs work and which don’t. From there we will figure out our sound and write more towards that.
Robert Cavuoto: How does the writing process for this CD compare with Ratt’s Infestation and past Quiet Riots albums?
Carlos Cavazo: You really have to write music that fits the people you are playing with. With Ratt, I was writing a little different style to match what they do. This band is so new I’m not sure what it can do just yet. I’ll write what I normally write and hopefully it fits to create the band’s sound.
Robert Cavuoto: When writing, is the singer’s voice in your head like with Kevin, Stephen, and now Paul?
Carlos Cavazo: You are right. For me, I try to think of what the singer would like to sing. For Ratt, I had Stephen voice in my head and same with Quiet Riot with Kevin’s voice.
Robert Cavuoto: I think a lot of people were surprised to see that you departed from Ratt after Warren DeMartini left, tell me about that decision?
Carlos Cavazo: Warren didn’t leave; he was actually fired from the band. They wanted me to stay, and I really didn’t want to do it without him. He was the reason I was initially in the band. Without the original members up there it seemed like it was falling apart as they have problems. I figured maybe it’s best that I go my own way. I really couldn’t see myself up there with another guitarplayer. It didn’t seem right.
Robert Cavuoto: I thought you were a perfect fit for the band as you came from that genre; you are a great guitar player and the best replacement for Robbin Crosby. You and Warren made a strong guitar team; it was sad for us fans to see it end.
Carlos Cavazo: Thanks, that’s what everyone thought, and I felt that I fit in really well. I have known the guys a long time, and no matter what happens they will always still be my friends. I know we are going through some rough times now, but they will always be my bros. Hopefully, we will get together someday and play again.
Robert Cavuoto: Is the door open for you and Warren to play with Ratt again?
Carlos Cavazo: I would hope so, never-say-never. I would play with them again if Warren were back.
Robert Cavuoto: I thought of you as the original guitarist of Quiet Riot as that was my initial introduction to the band as a teenager. Was there any concern at the time thatyou were replacing Randy Rhoades as the guitarist?
Carlos Cavazo: To be honest with you, I didn’t even think or worry about it at the time. Kevin had gone through a couple of guitarists before I started working with him. When we got together, we agreed that we were going to stick to a heavier of a sound. The first two albums that they put out with Randy were more pop than what we were trying to do. That is probably why it was a different starting point. I never thought about being a replacement for Randy; I don’t think anybody can fill that guy’s shoes.
Robert Cavuoto: Thirty-Five years ago on November 26th, 1983 Metal Health reached #1 on the Billboard charts. What was it like for you that day and how did it impact the band?
Carlos Cavazo: We were so busy touring I don’t think we gave it a lot of thought. We had a couple of weeks off, and when we came home, everywhere I went people were recognizing me. I thought “we must be big” as this never happened to me before. [Laughing] Then the money started to come, and we started to be a little well off. Before that, I never had a job that paid good money.
Robert Cavuoto: How many times platinum did Metal Health go?
Carlos Cavazo: I think six to eight times platinum, I’m not sure of the exact numbers but it still continues to sell. All of our records worldwide sold over 10 million albums. It affected us because we got pressure from the record company to keep putting out new records and they were trying to tell us what to do. They should have left us to do what we wanted to do like on the first record. That was why it was such a big hit because it came naturally. There were pressure and control issues within the band too. Some people wanted to control the band more than others.
Robert Cavuoto: If Kevin Dubrow was still alive, do you think the four original members of Quiet Riot would still be together?
Carlos Cavazo: I would hope so as that would be the only way I would be in the band is if Kevin was still in the band.