Jeff Luif may not be an original member of M&R Rush, but he brings an original mix of musical talent, studio skills, and his own style to the band. Born in April, 1961, in Chicago, Luif's first gig at age 16 with his first band, "Icewater Mansion" (1978-1980), won top honors at a local "Battle of the Bands," and launched a musical career that to date spans over 20 years and includes five bands.
Luif's musical influences are rooted in the 70s, including Kansas, Journey, Styx, and Boston -- much like M&R Rush, bands whose signature style has stood the test of time, and are as popular now as they were 30 years ago. A devoted fan of M&R Rush in the early 80s, Luif was a lead guitar/vocalist in the local band Phantom (1980-1983) when he got word that M&R Rush was auditioning for a lead guitarist/vocalist. Luif got the coveted spot, and spent the next few months writing, rehearsing and blending his new sound and style with the classic sound of M&R Rush, debuting in late 1983 as "Eminar." Following his run in Eminar from 1983 to 1987, Luif teamed back up with members of Phantom and Icewater Mansion in the bands "The Nuts" from 1989 to 1993 and "Rock Candy" from 1993 to 1996.
Luif combined his love of music with his recording skills when he opened Star Trax Recording in 1983, building it up to become one of the most successful recording studios in the Chicagoland area. With 20 years of experience in the music business, Jeff's clientele runs the gamut from rock and roll to heavy metal to country western to commercial recording, and includes major label artists like Janet Jackson, In Excess, Taylor Dane, movie soundtracks, and HGTV. His credits include serving as the mix specialist for 32 major-label projects.
Jeff plays Gibson guitars and uses Marshall amps.
M&R Questions and Answers:
Gibson Les Paul Custom
What Do You Enjoy About Playing in M&R Rush:
the guys keep me motivated
What Do You Want The Audience To Remember About M&R Rush:
same as Carl said(middle finger)
What People Say About You:
wish I only knew
Favorite Artists Past and Present: Beatles/Styx/Journey/Reo/present..Smash Mouth
Disc or Player in the Player Right Now:
If You Knew This Question Was Going To Be Asked What Would You Have In The Player: Old Rod Stewart
What You Want People To Say About You:
oh please next question
Chicken Burritos and Chicken Burritos
What You Most Often End Up Eating:
dive up window food don't know its orgin
What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up:
Place Of Birth:
Interests, Hobbies, Outside Of M&R Rush:
What Car Do You Wish You Owned:
I want my orange 1970 mustang mach 1 back anyone got it
Iced tea sweetened /no lemon
First Rock Album:
one more from the road
Your Former Bands:
Icewater Mansion/the Nuts
Most Disturbing Thing You've Seen During Your Years Of Playing:
How Long Have You Been Playing Your Instrument:
Favorite M&R Rush Song:
Reach for the Stars
Last Concert You Saw:
Styx and Reo
Ted Nugent in 1976
Movies You Recommend: don't watch many
Regular or Decaff Coffee: reg
How Do You Take Your Coffee: cream and sugar extra cream
What Your Band Mates Say About You: they won't tell me
Favorite Sports Team: Cubs
What You Watch On TV: news
Why You Play The Instrument You Play: because my parents wouldn't let me play drums
What You Would Play If You Had To Choose a Different Instrument: drums
Favorite Color: red
Biggest Disappointment: I grew up in the 70's most peaceful of times I wish it could be like that again
Quote: you're only as old as you act, and it's what's inside that counts the most
Most Embarrassing On-Stage Moment: watching early videos of live performances with really bad threads
Hungarian and German
What Do You Miss From Your Youth:
Favorite Day Of The Week:
Artist You Admire, But Do Not Listen TO:
Coke or Pepsi:
Paper or Plastic:
Most Obscure Artist You Enjoy Listening To:
sorry thats not my style
Artists People Would Be Surprised You Like:
the Partridge Family
Magazines You Enjoy:
Ever Traveled Out Of The Country, Where:
Mustard or Ketchup:
Brothers and Sisters:
If You Went To A Casino, What Would You Play:
Your Dream House:
just glad to have one
Leno or Lettermen:
Skill That Most Aren't Aware Of:
Musical Guilty Pleasure (Like It But Embarrassed To Admit It):
Favorite Vacation Destination:
Michigan (Sister Lakes)
Left or Right Handed: right
PC Or Mac: mac
How Do You Like Your Eggs:
Steak Or Fish:
How Do You Like Your Steak:
Morning Or Night:
High School Sports:
Dreams - In Color Or Black and White:
Life On Other Planets:
I'm a guy come on
just hangin out with my family
Ideal Amount Of Sleep:
6 hrs will do
Do You Still Own Any Albums:
tons all at my Parents house
This is the third in a series if interviews with members of M&R Rush talking in depth about their music.
Let's start with your guitar. You currently play a Black Gibson Les Paul Custom guitar with three Humbucking pick-ups on tour. In the past, what other guitars did you use?
Well I used to play a Gibson Explorer in the 80's for a while, but Kevin our longtime soundman saw the Les Paul on a guitar stand side stage and said "use the Les Paul it sounds cleaner and besides the 80's are almost over dude".
Do you use any other special effects?
Just A Few ...I use an old 1977 Electro Harmonics Phaser Box/Boss SD1 super overdrive/Boss Noise suppressor/NADY wireless guitar system.
I noticed you use an old Marshall Amp. I also noticed the Mesa Boogie bottoms you and John were using. (Please elaborate on this.)
Well I bought my 50 Watt half stack Marshall at DJ's Music from Dan and John back at the Cicero store or house whatever you want to remember it as in 1981.As far as the boogie bottoms well they just sound fuller on stage.
Do you roll-your-own tubes with the Marshall or use the OEM tubes?
I still have my original tubes cookin'.
Do you ever play an acoustic guitar for other musical projects or just for fun? What kind of acoustic guitar(s) do you play?
I don't play acoustic guitar very much, because I have electric guitar fingers. (Wimpy, ouch this hurts).
Who influenced you as a guitarist or vocalist?
The guitar player from Rush...because I played 2112 from song 1 to the end (on my 8 track tape).
As a vocalist, you have pretty good range. Even when you sing higher in register you have some strength behind your voice.
Well to pace myself is key...singing high notes is about confidence, I have to relax and just let it flow out. (It helps if I know the words too!)
Is there a certain song that the band plays that you use as your own barometer to judge you voice or guitar playing?
My voice is warm after I sing backup with Roger on Your the Only Women, as far as guitar - I'm always ready to go".
Jeff, you opened Star Trax Recording studio in 1983, what brought this about? Was this something you always wanted to do?
Well the Star Trax thing, what can I say other than it's not just a job its an experience.
Did you build your studio or buy an existing business?
We built from just a empty warehouse.
Has the cliental that come through Star Trax influenced you musical playing or singing?
Yes, recent sessions with some incredible session backup singers...they gave me some great insight on vocal techniques.
Based only on sound quality, what sounds better analog or digital?
What was the last bands or musicians you recently seen play live?
Do you enjoy any other genres of music other than rock?
Before I let you go, please tell me what CD's you have recently listened to at home or in the car (be
ELO GREATEST HITS and HILLARY DUFF???