Rough House Interview


Five years ago, these guys were a real "Teeze". Today they're known as Rough House. And as their debut album for Columbia Records demonstrates, this group has gotten down to business, the rock 'n roll business that is.

We talked separately, to two of the founding members of Rough House, guitarist Gregg Malack, and Singer Luis Rivera.

Q - Gregg, it must be very hard to work for years to establish your band under one name, and then just when you get a record deal, you have to change the group's name. Why couldn't you use Teeze?
Gregg - There's a band out of L.A., a black band, called Teeze. They're on Epic. They're a black, funk band. CBS said, Listen guys, we can't have two Teezes on CBS. So they said think of something else. So, we looked at race horse forms, newspapers, trying to get all kinds of ideas. We picked like 30 different names and Rough House was like the best name out of all of them. Rough House to me, fits the band better anyhow. Rough House is kind of like chaos, running around, just getting into trouble, and I like that. It fits us better than Teeze. So that's cool.

Q - When you went from Teeze to Rough House, you went thru some personnel changes, didn't you?
A - We got a new guitar player and a new drummer. It's not new now. It's 3 years old now. It's funny but this band gets along the best of all the bands we've had. We went through a dozen or so bass players, 5 or 6 drummers, a dozen guitar players, and for some strange reason, this seems to get along the best.

Q - Is there some kind of secret in keeping a band together?
A - You gotta know how to learn to get along with each other. I think that's got something to do with it. You can't have the egos clashing. You have to know how to get along. I think it has a lot to do with personalities. Some people are just too aggressive to make it a team effort. Some people just don't have it. I'm not saying for sure, but Yngwie Malmsteen, like he's on his own pretty much.

Q - So finding the right guys is very important when you're talking a major label deal?
A - Yeah. You have to want it bad enough too. I wanted it so bad I could taste it. I've wanted it for years. I wanted it since I was 16 years old. Nothings changed. I still want it. Just 'cause we're on a major label doesn't mean we've made it. Now, you have to expose people to the band.

Q – But, some guys never get to the point where they have a major deal. Things never seem to click.
A - Some people have fate where they never get to that point. Other people luck out. If you believe in yourself enough and you just keep pounding at the doors, sooner or later the door is gonna open up a crack and you're just gonna slam it wide open after that.

Q - Did you have some kind of schedule or goals in mind that you wanted to achieve when the group was formed?
A - We were a cover band for a couple of years, playing Loverboy, and Judas Priest, and whatever was popular on the radio at the time. After a while I just got sick of doing cover songs, and I said, “Listen, man, this is a dead end. If we were playing our own stuff, we probably wouldn't be playing out much, but still...And the other guys started realizing, that's right, we might as well start doing original stuff, and maybe make something of ourselves. We have a show that's good, a real killer live show.” We believe in giving the people their moneys worth. We didn't get as many gigs in the beginning because original bands aren't as in demand as cover bands, but then it started changing. After we put out our own record, we started to get a lot more work. The reason we put out our own record is because no record co. would sing us. Motley Crue and Ratt got big off of independent records, so we figured if they could do it, we could do it. Whatever it takes.

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