Our Editor-in-Chief Micaela Merryman had the opportunity to talk to the boys of RuFF StuFF about how they came together, their music influences, and their favorite shows they've played here in Flagstaff and beyond.
(November 2021, RuFF StuFF @ Prochnow Auditorium, Birds Aren't Real Concert )
1. How did you guys get started? When did you meet and decide you have to start playing together?
We met in 2019 through a close mutual friend and Hayden’s current girlfriend.
Nick, Andrew, and Hayden came to Flagstaff to attend NAU. All 3 had been in
several bands in high school and were eager to find likeminded artists in Northern
Arizona. Hayden Barcello (who plays bass & guitar) had a collection of music
equipment including drums, amps, and guitars, along with a space to practice and jam
with whoever was interested. Upon first meeting Hayden, they loved his creative
mind and the passion he had for the arts of music. Throughout time spent together
they met more of Hayden’s friends, thus meeting Josh Oxley. Josh was rad to begin
with because of his snowboarding abilities, love for percussion, and dedication to
mixing. The guy had huge dreadlocks too which were awesome to begin with. Also
having a love for music, Josh hopped on Hayden’s drum kit that he had. We
combined our talents and gear, and quickly formed “RuFF STuFF”, which jokingly
described how we felt about our original sound.
2. What music and art influences do each of you have individually? Which ones do you share collectively? How would you say those influences bleed into your guys' music?
Nick and Andrew introduced Hayden into the genre of surf rock (1950-60’s music
originated in southern California where twins grew up) which he was very interested
in. Twins continue to be influenced by Jerry Garcia, and Dick Dale.
All four members of the band share admiration for many bands; contemporary and vintage-
and constantly share new music with one another, illuminating styles, concepts, and riffs
that they would like to incorporate into their future.
3. Do you have any specific venues in town or around that are your favorite to play at? Like, any specific memorable shows?
One of our favorite memories collectively was one of the first opportunities we
had to play at Snowbowl. After our set, an audience member came up to us with a tip
in his hand and let us know that his buddy who he had come with had Alzheimer’s
and has a difficult time remembering things about his past. He told us that our style of
music was nostalgic for his friend, and that he was able to remember things about his
past while we played, and even danced around. Another show that was memorable
was playing for Levitation Room. They are a like-minded band that we have been
listening to for a while now. We were honored when a booking agent hit us up to
open for them at Snood City Neon in Phoenix. Monte Vista is another favorite venue
because the crowd is always dense and high energy, & Gopher Hole is a special
venue because of the visual equipment available to us. We also throw our own event
called “Funky Forest”. At this event we bring bands and artists to have a good time
and showcase their new music. Funky Forest Actually happened to be our first show.
Ultimately, we have lots of things we like about every venue and show we are lucky
enough to play.
4. What does the songwriting process look like for you guys? How long does it take, what kind of environment is it when you guys put your stuff together? Do you have any songs that were your favorite to write, or even to play? Any ones specifically hard to finish?
All being singer songwriters in our own ways, the songwriting process is
constantly changing for us. At first it was Andrew making a lot of songs thus being
our first album. Hayden tends to compose indie pop among other sounds, and brings
refreshing, catchy bass riffs to the table. Andrew has an emphasis on garage rock and is certainly the guitar soloist of the band. Nick’s songs tend to range from melodic dreamy chord progressions to harder southwestern sentiments. Nick today sings most of our songs and has created a lot of our material that we play at our shows, and acts as the fearless & very goofy front man. Although Josh is the drummer, he continues to write songs and even sing while drumming, along with composing several of the songs we play today. Being a four-piece band all of us have songs that we sing on and have structured. We usually write our songs in present day at Hayden’s house in his
dining area (in which our whole jam setup is). Sometimes we will write entire songs
in our personal time with structure and then bring them to the band. Other times we
jam a random progression that we all dig and build entire songs which originate from
random jams. One song that is specific to us that was fun to write was Earth is A
Rock, which is on the Planet STuFF album. This song Hayden came up with the bass
riff and then we all followed in behind. Andrew had the hardest time coming up with
a riff, because he knew it would be a special song if executed correctly.
5. What is up and coming for Ruff n' Stuff? Any shows or new songs we should be looking out for? ( P.S. drop as many links here as you want, we'll attach them all).
We are currently ready to release our new EP, “TuFF STuFF”, a collection of
metal/rock inspired tracks with heavy bass, thick gain, and mind-bending drum fills.
Our new EP will be available on all platforms. Follow our Instagram @ruffndstuff to
be updated with shows. We are constantly playing around Flagstaff, come see us and
grab a free sticker.
Ways to keep up with the boys:
RuFF STuFF Instagram
Funky Forest Instagram
Soundcloud (Our Secret Album!)