"All our songs revolve around the glory and defeat of relationships—mostly defeated relationships," deadpans Dan Ruscito, singer/guitarist for Up Pops the Devil.
Dan Ruscito and guitarist Kevin Shoaff have played in bands together since high school—mostly with Ruscito holding down bass duties for Shoaff's snaking leads. Up Pops the Devil is their first venture with both of them playing guitar.
Self-admitted cynics who hang out so much they could finish each other sentences, Ruscito and Shoaff wanted a band with a certain rock and roll esthetic while still screaming bar band. "We have a lot of pop, rock and country influences, but we both wanted a rock band," says Shoaff.
In 2005, when Ruscito and Shoaff started delving through old material and writing new pieces, a common theme kept occurring in their songs—temptation. It didn't take Ruscito long to come up with the band name, "whenever I think of temptation, up pops the devil on my shoulder," he says.
Up Pops the Devil recruited bassist Bill Trego and drummer Dave Rife. In addition to playing bass with numerous acts around his hometown, Trego is also an accomplished audio tech. Rife has 30+ years of drumming experience and has played with Ruscito in a roadhouse band for nearly seven years. Now armed with a name, concept and rhythm section, Up Pops the Devil is trying to save the world two guitar players at a time. "We love the sound of the twin guitars, and Bill and Dave are so solid that we can have a lot of fun with it, says Ruscito. "The lyrics might sometimes be a little depressing, but we wrap it up in a rock-and-roll sheen."