Tuff is an American glam metal band formed in 1985 in Phoenix, Arizona, by guitarist Jorge DeSaint (born George Manos) and bassist Todd Chase (born Todd Chaisson). The band was completed with the arrival of drummer Michael Lean (born Michael Raimondo) and short lived vocalist Terry Fox, who left the band shortly afterwards to pursue an ice skating career. With replacement vocalist Jim Gillette, the band recorded a 4 track EP entitled Knock Yourself Out. However, Gillette soon departed to form Nitro and was replaced by Stevie Rachelle (born Steve Hanseter).
The band went onto have some success with their debut album What Comes Around Goes Around released in May 1991 on Atlantic/Titanium Records. The single "I Hate Kissing You Goodbye" was a Top 10 requested video peaking at #3 on the popular dial MTV show. What Comes Around Goes Around was produced by Howard Benson who had produced a list of similar bands Southgang featuring Butch Walker, Bang Tango, Sweet FA & Pretty Boy Floyd. He has now gone on to produce huge and successful bands like Hoobastank, Papa Roach, Daughtrey, & P.O.D..
After struggling with record labels for years Stevie finally decided to form his own. Tuff was signed in 1990 and dropped by Atlantic Records in 1992. The band was then picked up by IRS Grand Slamm Records in early 1993. The label went belly up in less than a year, and Stevie and the guys were without a label. So in early 1994 Rachelle started RLS Records. The initials stood for Rachelle's Lyrics & Songs but the alternative meaning was Record Labels Suck. The imprint will be 15 years old in 2009 and has issued on Cassette, CD, VHS & DVD roughly 40 titles selling upwards of 100,000 pieces globally. The offshoot Cheezee Records was formed in 1996 to be the home for the Cheeseheads With Attitude or CWA project.
Tuff again signed to a record label in early 1995 when BMG / Mausoleum / MMS records picked up the RLS Fist First release after it sold upwards of 10,000 copies. BMG re-issued it as Religious Fix in June of 1995 with 3 bonus tracks. The additional tracks were produced by Randy Cantor.
In 2001, Tuff released the compilation CD The History of Tuff. It included the hit song "American Hair Band," a parody of Kid Rock's "American Bad Ass" (both of which incorporate the instrumentals of Metallica's "Sad But True"). "American Hair Band" makes references to numerous U.S. bands such as Motley Crüe, Skid Row, Guns N' Roses, Warrant, Twisted Sister, Poison and KISS and even the non-American bands Def Leppard, Sleeze Beeze, and AC/DC, while at the same time, deriding 1990s grunge and alternative rock. The song has been a perennial favorite on Sirius Satellite Radio's Hair Nation channel and New Zealand's House Of Noizz radio.