I recently got a chance to interview Tufty bass player for two legendary punk bands Toxic Reasons and The Zero Boys... He filled me in with what is happening with both bands.. He also gave me the 411 on his Nightclub Radio Radio and Future Shock his cool store which are both located in Indianapolis...
Punk Globe: Thanks so much for the interview Tufty.. Can you give the readers some background on yourself?
Tufty: Moved here as a teenager from Liverpool after my mother left the family to join up with some gypsy's and my father moved to USA
Punk Globe: How old were you when you came over from England?
Tufty: 14yrs old
Punk Globe: Had you been in any bands there?
Tufty: No we couldn't afford very much in England and when I got to USA after my first job at a pizza place I bought a bass (same one I use now)
Punk Globe: What year did you form The Zero Boys?
Tufty: The Zero Boys formed in 1980, I was asked to play at the start but was busy with another project so they had a guy named John Mitchell play the first 9 months or so.
Punk Globe: How did you come up with the name The Zero Boys?
Tufty: It was made up by Mark the drummer after a gang in Chicago called the same name
Punk Globe: Where were you located?
Tufty: Indianapolis is where the band started.
Punk Globe: Who were the original members?
Tufty: Paul Mahern, Terry Hollywood Howe, Mark Cutsinger, John Mitchell
Punk Globe: How much product have you released with The Zero Boys?
Tufty: There was one ep and 4 albums
Punk Globe: What are you most proud of?
Tufty: Vicious Circle was a great record and recorded in a little over 4 hours
Punk Globe: Any cool tour tales that you would like to share about The Zero Boys?
Tufty: We did one tour around the East and West coasts and it was amazing. The band had lots of personal and financial problems that put it on hold after the tour and I was itching to go touring so I joined Toxic Reasons and would come back from time to time to play with Zero Boys and record.
Punk Globe: The Zero Boys were close with Sloppy Seconds I remember?
Tufty: Yeah we took them out to play with us at the start and Paul recorded their records for them.
Punk Globe: I remember while I was filming a Josie Cotton Video and guy named Jonathan who worked with Jose at the time was playing a DVD of The Zero Boys.
Tufty: Did he release that video? There are a couple of videos out that have shows from the 1980-82 era on them that are funny to watch.
Punk Globe: How did you meet the guys in Toxic Reasons and in what year did you leave The Zero Boys to join Toxic Reasons?
Tufty: Toxics came and played with the Zero Boys in 1981, they were out touring more than the Zero Boys and it seemed they were a bit further along as far as people knowing about them. Paul recorded their first record and while they were making it they stayed at the Zero Boys crash pad. The guys kept talking about me joining them and going on some adventures which sounded like fun and when it looked like the zero boys wouldn't be doing anymore touring for a while I joined with them. I think it was about 1982
Punk Globe: What label was involved with the early Toxic Reason releases?
Tufty: It was on Risky Records and came out after I joined but I didn't play on the first album. I played on everything after the first record.
Punk Globe: Can you tell us about some of the other bands you toured with ?
Tufty: I guess we played with about every band that was in the punk scene back then, in fact, I would find it hard to think of one we didn't play with.
Punk Globe: What year did you hook up with Mike Barbeau and Risky Records?
Tufty: It was 1982 and we lived in his house for a while til the record came out.
Punk Globe: When did the band decide to move to San Francisco?
Tufty: That was 1982 and we were so excited to go to a big cool and exciting city.
Punk Globe: How long did you stay in SF and then where did you go?
Tufty: We stayed until 1985 and then got in the van and toured non stop for 5 or 6 years.
Punk Globe: When you were in SF you had another English guy Rob in the band what ever happened with him?
Tufty: He got married to a girl from Milwaukee and settled down and did some breeding.
Punk Globe: Are you still in touch with him?
Tufty: Nope but some of the other Toxic guys are I think.
Punk Globe: Can you tell us about Toxic Reasons link with The Ramones?
Tufty: We did a bunch of shows with The Ramones.....I think their manager had a thingy for JJ :)
Punk Globe: I thought you had a roadie who sold t-shirts with Arturo for The Ramones... Can you tell the readers a bit about your wonderful store called Future Shock?
Tufty: After we got back from one of the European tours I took the $2000 I had and with a friend started a punk rock shop selling shoes and clothes and it has been going now for 20 yrs and has kept me from having a boss to answer to.
Punk Globe: I remember that when The White Trash Debutantes were on tour you really treated us well.. I will always hold a place in my heart for you all. You told us some great touring ethics to live by.. Share them with the readers.
Tufty: Thanks Ginger you were a great help in the punk scene in SF and was easy to return the help to your band. We had great friends who helped Toxics on our tours and we tried to be respectful of their houses and clubs. Bruce and JJ and Rob are all chefs now so they were able to make great meals to share with the people who helped us along the way and that is probably the part I remember most about our touring, having a great meal with great friends does it get any better than that?
Punk Globe: JJ is a great cook! How is your daughter Cheyenne? She was so cool!
Tufty: She is doing fine and is finding her way in this complicated world.
Punk Globe: Tell us about Radio Radio?
Tufty: I started this music venue in Indianapolis about 9 years ago and we have been building a good foundation of bands and fans. We are part of a group who are revitalizing a historical area of town and trying to get more music venues into the area so that we can have a real music scene here. We have just started work on another venue in the area called La Revolucion that will have great food to go along with a music venue in the back of the place.
Punk Globe: Doug Donut interviewed JJ and he mentioned a new Toxic Reasons CD. Can you tell us more?
Tufty: Well after a long time of not hanging out JJ, Bruce and I having been sharing tapes and talking about doing some recording which would be fun
Punk Globe: The Zero Boys are also playing so do you still go out on the road with them?
Tufty: Yeah we have been playing 5 or 6 times a year but it is hard to get everyone together what with Paul busy recording and Mark and Vess playing with The Lemonheads and myself with my projects it is tough.
Punk Globe: Can you tell the readers about playing at the last days of CBGB shows?
Tufty: We played with The Cromags and Mike D from the Beastie Boys it was fun and a shame to see the end of an era.
Punk Globe: What does the future hold in store for The Zero Boys and Toxic Reasons?
Tufty: Zero Boys have a new record in the can and will be out playing every couple of months here and there. Toxics will be getting together as friends, playing some golf and making some meals and seeing where it leads to.
Punk Globe: And how about yourself , Radio Radio and Future Shock?
Tufty: I am probably going to be busy til spring with the new place La Revolucion and look forward to help do some of the cooking over there and to share it with some great bands passing through Indy.
Punk Globe: Can you give the readers website address so they can keep up to date with what is happening?
Punk Globe: So Tufty, Do you have any last parting words for Punk Globe readers?
Tufty: I get nostalgic for the community of punk rock and sometimes feel like part of it is lost. It is hard to identify real punk rockers as the uniform is worn by lots of imposters but that might just be me being an old wanker.