There are now two versions of Rough Cutt, the heavy metal band that originally emerged in the ’80s, and it looks like the separate bands are falling out.
In March, a version of Rough Cutt – starring classical guitarist Chris Hager and drummer / co-founder Dave Alford, alongside new hires Steven St. James (vocals), Darren Householder (guitar) and Jeff Buehner (bass ) – released a new bachelor called “Black Rose”.
Less than three months later, a different version of Rough Cutt, starring original singer Paul Shortino alongside classic line-up members Matt Thorne (bass) and Amir Derakh (guitar) released an album titled Rough cut 3. Confusing matters even more, the LP included a song called “Bed of black roses,” which bore a striking similarity to the aforementioned “Black Rose”.
A Press release issued alongside Rough cut 3 stated that “releasing anything under the nickname Rough Cutt without Paul, Amir and Matt is nothing short of professional and disrespectful to the members and especially to the fans. Simply put, no Paul, no by Rough Cutt! “
Understandably, the Hager / Alford version of Rough Cutt disagreed.
“We did everything we could to make Rough Cutt work, the original members, and they just didn’t have it,” Hager explained on the Hard, heavy and hair Podcast. The rocker further described the exit of the competing formation of Rough cut 3 as a “cheap hit,” Alford adding that “over half the music” on the LP is “old stuff” that he and Hager played on.
The pair agreed that the battle for the group’s name “could turn into a legal matter,” although they refrained from saying lawsuits were pending.
The same day as the Hard, heavy and hair interview was posted online, Shortino took to social media to claim the Rough Cutt moniker. The singer – who sang on both Rough Cutt studio albums before leaving for Quiet Riot in 1987 – posted a letter, dated October 17, 2019, in which he stated that Hager and Alford performing as Rough Cutt would be “misleading” to fans. He further requested that the competing squad be called “Dave Alford & Chris Hager’s Rough Cutt” to avoid confusion.
Obviously, Hager and Alford have ignored these requests, which has led to the current double-roster situation. As for how things are going to play out, Hager seemed happy to let the audience decide.
“The fans, they can take their pick [between the groups], said the guitarist. “A lot of people will say, ‘Well, without Paul Shortino it can’t be Rough Cutt.’ And we say bullshit. “
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