Metal Life Interview With TUFF LUCK Discussing Their New Documentary Movie And More.
“We just had to name the band Tuff Luck…”
The music business is a seriously fickle trick. The bands you think would never make it seem to find their five minutes of fame, while groups that have everything they need to make things happen never quite get off the ground. One such band that seemed to linger in music industry purgatory was Florida based 80s hair metalers Tuff Luck, a band that became the backbone of the local south Florida music scene with flashes of success here and there, but nothing that launched them into the stratosphere. After 10 years of trying to break through the glass ceilings of record label dogma, and spurred by the tragic death of their drummer, Tuff Luck agreed enough was enough, and went their separate ways. In 2013 director Andrew Klein decided it was time to bring Tuff Luck’s story to the big screen, and in 2015 the rockumentary Tuff Luck made its debut.
I was not only able to catch the movie, but also had the opportunity to interview founding member and lead guitarist Dave Scott. The interview went off without a hitch, a great time had by all, except that when I went to send the interview to my editor, I discovered that not only did my phone not save the recording, the recording never saved to my backup folder or the cloud drive, which has never happened in all the years I have been doing this. The irony is just deafening. So here is a bit of what was discussed during the phone call…
Dave and I talked about the band’s history and some of the experiences they went through, including the events leading up to the death of drummer Todd Kelly, but I think what stood out for me from the interview was how Dave answered one of my questions that I have asked countless other bands, but never quite got this response. I asked him, after looking back over Tuff Luck’s career, was anything he wished that he or the band would have done differently, or regretted doing. He paused, but then answered that he wished that they had been themselves more and relied less on what was popular at the time.(In the 80s, so many bands were competing for label’s money, and so many of said bands had the exact same style, look, and sound, that it was easy for bands to get lost or overlooked in the herd of hopeful musicians trying to make their mark.) I also asked Dave what he thought was the number one mistake bands even today make when trying to get noticed, and he offered up some sound advice that amounted to if you’re a band trying to make it, be original, play from the heart, and be patient. Your time will come. It may take longer, but if you pay your dues, you will get noticed. It wasn’t attention Tuff Luck was lacking; it was timing, and real honest luck.
The rockumentary showcases this larger than life band and their highs and lows, along with a touching tribute to drummer Todd Kelly in a down to earth style that flows quite smoothly with little drama or tacky exposing-skeletons-in-the-closet type some rockumentaries have done in the past. The movie is very real, very human, and something anyone who has had to watch a dream slip away into the gentle night can relate to.
As a side note, thanks to the overwhelmingly positive response to the movie, Tuff Luck will be performing their first show together since 1993 in south Florida sometime in January, as a way of saying thank you to everyone who has supported them over the years.
Trailer for Tuff Luck:
For every rock and roll band striving to grab that ever elusive brass ring and “make it” in the music business, there’s a million others, equally as talented, equally as inspired, equally as hard working, that unfortunately never get their shot for a confluence of reasons…timing, fate and just plain dumb luck. This is the story of Tuff Luck…