Rock Guerrero "Lugwrench"

"Lugwrench Interview"

Interview by Roger-Z (05/29/15)

Roger-Z: Who plays in Lugwrench and how did the band come together?
Rock Guerrero: Lugwrench consists of Jim Brancato on vocals, harmonica, and percussion; Steve O'Rourke on guitars and vocals; Jeff Comulada on drums and vocals; Dave Howe on bass and vocals; and myself on keyboards, guitar, harmonica, and vocals. Steve met Jim and Jeff through audio engineer Gary Horowitz when they all played together in a group called Suburban Decay. Steve had been performing original material up to that point, but Jim and Jeff pulled him into the Westchester cover scene. Steve asked me to join project. He and I have played together in numerous bands since the mid Seventies. Jeff brought in bass player Dave Howe through another Westchester music connection.

Roger-Z: Does the group's name have any special significance?
Rock Guerrero: We wanted a name that was both heavy and a little humorous. It reflects the band's working class roots. And we "lug" quite a lot of gear to our shows! Lastly, Steve had a dog named Lugwrench when he was a kid.

Roger-Z: Describe the band's repertoire.
Rock Guerrero: We play eclectic material with an accent on epic tunes. We cover music from the Sixties to today. There's James Brown, Led Zeppelin, U2, Black Keys, Maroon 5, and of course Beatles and Stones. The epic quality shines through songs like McCartney's "Live and Let Die," Pink Floyd's "Run Like Hell," and Prince's "Purple Rain." We also perform grand-scale versions of "Magical Mystery Tour" and "I Am The Walrus."

Roger-Z: Do you rehearse or just learn songs off the record?
Rock Guerrero: We definitely rehearse. The act has to be tight. We strive to be one of the best groups in our scene. We stage a large, professional show with lights and banner -- even in a small bar! If we can't totally blow the crowd away, then it's not worth doing.

Roger-Z: Where do you usually perform?
Rock Guerrero: We've found a home in some of the Irish bars in lower Westchester. They really appreciate live music in places like The Heritage and Corrib's in Yonkers. We're recently added Victor's, Pumpernickel, and Rudy's. We play private parties locally and in Woodstock and the Hamptons.

Roger-Z: Any plans for original material?
Rock Guerrero: Not as a band, though some of us are involved in original projects outside of Lugwrench. Steve released several major-label albums with The Nails and Jim has an album out with Primitive Mask. I've nearly completed my first CD.

Roger-Z: Describe Lugwrench's most notable or unusual gig.
Rock Guerrero: We once performed for a Portuguese Motorcyclists' convention at Galito's in Mount Vernon, NY. We played outside near the train station on a very hot and humid summer day. Hundreds of bikers gathered from up and down the East coast. They were a great crowd, but sometimes they would applaud by revving their engines to deafening effect. Some guys would "peel out" right in front of the band and fill the air with smoke from their tires! We got the gig through Jimmy Silva, our original bass player, a great guy who just got too busy to play with us. Our new bassist, Dave Howe, was just recovering from major surgery. It took a real trouper to make it through that gig. What a nutty day -- but a real good time!

2015 Roger-Z