Interview by Robert Cavuoto
Former members of Quiet Riot and Rough Cutt have joined forces in a new band called Rough Riot. The band consists of lead vocalist Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt, Quiet Riot), guitarists Chris Hager (Mickey Ratt, Rough Cutt, Stephan Pearcy) andCarlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot, Ratt), bassist Sean McNabb (Quiet Riot, Lynch Mob,Dokken, Rough Cutt) and drummer Dave Alford (Rough Cutt).
Though they haven’t toured or recorded a CD as of yet, they are hard at work formulating a plan to do so in 2019.
I caught up with Paul Shortino to talk about assembling the members of this new band, what lies on the horizon for a CD and tour, and his new solo CD.
Robert Cavuoto: I spoke with Carlos last week, and he mentioned everybody knows each other in Rough Riot and they are easy guys to work with. Tell me about the importance of assembling the right guys for this band.
Paul Shortino: It’s very important because you are dealing with five different personalities. It’s nice to have a group of guys that are easy to get along with. A lot of the bands I have been in I have tried to get along with the members of the bands, but sometimes the path of least resistance is just to bend in the wind, like a palm tree [laughing].
Robert Cavuoto: Many of the members in Rough Riot like yourself are involved in other bands. Is that a challenge to coordinate the recording of a CD and to schedule a tour?
Paul Shortino: I’ve been in the show Raiding the Rock Vault for almost six years which is a five night a week gig.However, we have subs that can come in for that. The other guys have schedules with other projects, but this band is actually an equal share project. We have gone as far as to start a business with a legitimate bank account with an LLC. A friend of mine did the logo and all the artwork. All the groundwork has been laid to get the record ready. We are looking at this as a business and not in any hurry to rush out. We are in the process of writing songs and recording soon. I’m very excited about it.
Robert Cavuoto: Can you talk a little bit about the vision you have writing songs for the CD?
Paul Shortino: We are taking everybody’s ideas and seeing where the direction of the band is going to go. I want to do something with a bit of the old flavor from where we come from yet sound current. We are going to see where we go with the different flavors and make sure we are all on the same frequency. Music is a frequency and life is surrounded by the vibrations of life. If we are all on the same frequency and focus on where we are going, it will all work out.Playing them to the people to see the reaction will be helpful.
Robert Cavuoto: You recently played a show in Las Vegas performing Quiet Riot and Rough Cutt songs. How did that go?
Paul Shortino: We did a few Quiet Riot songs as a tribute to Kevin DuBrow. He has his own style, and when I was in Quiet Riot, I never tried to emulate or fill his shows because he has big shoes to fill. He was a monster frontman and singer.I want to pay tribute to him by performing some of the classic big hits.
Robert Cavuoto: Will you and Carlos re-explore any old unused Quiet Riot riffs?
Paul Shortino: Actually we are bringing some of those to the forefront along with developing some new stuff. We want to hold on to our roots as you want to be loyal to where we come from. We are learning how to write together as it’s anew experience. Technology is rapidly changing. It allows us to send music files to each other, put them into your studio, and move them around. Of course when we are all in a rehearsal room or recording studio, and someone comes up with an idea that adds another level of spontaneity to the process. If you can record and analysis it, then you can come up with some really good product.
Robert Cavuoto: Do you have a timetable for the release of the CD and tour?
Paul Shortino: We have two shows, one on January 5th at the Ramona Main Stage in San Diego and then the Whisky in Hollywood on February 22nd. We are working with an agency to get bookings across the US, and we are planning to bring a record out after the summer. I’m looking forward to this record as it’s nice to get back into the saddle with Carlos, Sean, and the Rough Cutt guys again. This is a different concept, and we will weed out some of the old songs and add the new materials with some of the classics from both bands.
Robert Cavuoto: Has the band been in the development for quite some time even though you jammed for the first time in November?
Paul Shortino: We talked about it for some time it. Carlos, Sean and I have spoken several times over the last few years to get something together and playing songs off QR IV. I even spoke to Frankie Banali about it, and he said those songs would probably never be played again by him and Quiet Riot.
It’s really weird. I had a dream one night I saw the Rough Riot name on a billboard after talking about with the guys and my wife for so many years. I shared it with the guys, and they all liked doing it. It’s the best of both worlds for fans of both bands.
Both of these bands are the legacy of where I come from and the legacy of the guys I’m playing with. It’s partially for the fans as well as to aspire to do something new together. It’s like starting all over. It’s a new brand with some old players. I think people will flock to us once they hear us.
Robert Cavuoto: You are also working on a solo CD too.
Paul Shortino: It will be a Shortino solo CD with that will be out next year as well. I’m working with a Japanese guitarist Nozomu Wakai, Phil Soussan on bass and Jay Schellen on drums. Some other friends will be joining in on the songs.I’m looking forward to finishing it as it will have to be completed by the January 1st.