Jeff Luif - Guitar & Vocals

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:

Jeff Luif

Band Instrument:
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:
serious musicians

Favorite Movie:
Caddy Shack

Favorite Bird:
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

Favorite Foods:
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:
Roseland IL.

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

Favorite Beverage:
Iced tea sweetened /no lemon

Favorite Beer:
Amstel light

Favorite Cocktail:

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:
25 years

Favorite M&R Rush Song:
Reach for the Stars

Last Concert You Saw:
Styx and Reo

Favorite Concert:
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

Your Heritage:
Hungarian and German

What Do You Miss From Your Youth:
free time

Favorite Day Of The Week:

Artist You Admire, But Do Not Listen TO:
Steve Vie

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:
Golf Digest

Ever Traveled Out Of The Country, Where:

Mustard or Ketchup:

Brothers and Sisters:
two bros

If You Went To A Casino, What Would You Play:

Your Dream House:
just glad to have one

Leno or Lettermen:

Your Sign:

Skill That Most Aren't Aware Of:
don't know

Musical Guilty Pleasure (Like It But Embarrassed To Admit It):

Favorite Vacation Destination:
Michigan (Sister Lakes)

Eye Color:

Left or Right Handed: right

PC Or Mac: mac

How Do You Like Your Eggs:

Favorite Dessert:
cheese cake

Steak Or Fish:

How Do You Like Your Steak:

Morning Or Night:

High School Sports:

Dreams - In Color Or Black and White:
can't remember


Life On Other Planets:
of course

I'm a guy come on


Favorite Things:
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

Bio Addition: Interview - Jeff Luif

This is the third in a series if interviews with members of M&R Rush talking in depth about their music.

Hello Jeff,

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?
Some R&B.

Before I let you go, please tell me what CD's you have recently listened to at home or in the car (be