The Unband

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The Unband
Origin Newton, Massachusetts
Genres Rock, Punk, Metal
Years active 18±
Members Eugene Ferrari, Matt Pierce, Michael Ruffino
Past members Mink Rockmoore

The Unband is a hard rock band composed of drummer Eugene Ferrari, lead singer and guitarist Matthew Pierce, and bass guitarist Michael Ruffino.

Formation and Personnel[edit]

Pierce and Ruffino began playing together under various names in suburban Boston in late 1987, originally with drummer (and future ABC News correspondent) Dan Harris. Harris was replaced by Eugene Ferrari, previously Pierce's bandmate in Afghanistan Spoon Festival. In 1990, Mink Rockmoore joined as lead guitarist.


The band relocated to Western Massachusetts, where Pierce and Ferrari attended the University of Massachusetts, and played extensively around the Five College area. Rockmore remained in Boston but continued to play with the band intermittently, though he does not appear on recordings after 1991. In 1993 the band recorded Chung Wayne Lo Mein, engineered and co-produced by Peter Keppler (Philip Glass, David Bowie) and released on Chunk Records in January 1994.

At Northampton’s Bay State Hotel in 1994, headlining the launch party for Boston zine "Mommy And I Are One", Northampton Police shut down the show and due to on-stage nudity The Unband were cited and received a court summons for "open and gross lewdness" ([1]). The band was permanently banned from performing at the venue, though they continued to do so under different monikers, often employing disguises.

After relocating briefly to Los Angeles and New York City before returning to Western Mass, in early 1998 the band signed with New York City-based Indie label Royalty Records (defunct) and recorded tracks at Slaughterhouse Studios in Hadley, Massachusetts with Mark Alan Miller (Dinosaur Jr., Pernice Brothers) and Jon Marshall Smith (Joey Ramone, Murphy's Law), for an album to be called Retarder (after a type of sound baffling used in the studio). When the band delivered the album complete with artwork several weeks later Royalty refused to released the album based on its band-designed cover art, and agreed to sell the master tapes back to the band. The band soon signed to TVT Records and the album was remixed at Avatar Studios by Kevin Shirley (Iron Maiden, Rush), who also produced two additional tracks, "Too Much Is Never Enough", and "We Like To Drink And We Like To Play Rock And Roll". The band began touring extensively in North America and Europe with acts such as Motörhead, Nashville Pussy, and California stoner rock band Fu Manchu, as well as with heavy metal acts such as Dokken, Great White, Sebastian Bach, Dio, and Def Leppard. Retarder was released on TVT in 2000.

The Unband's cover version of Billy Squier's "Everybody Wants You" is featured in Scary Movie (2000), and "Geez Louise" and "Pink Slip" in Super Troopers (2001).


In July of 2004, Michael Ruffino was attacked by an alligator in Fort Myers, Florida. He was rescued when a group of Seminole Indian schoolteachers pulled over and subdued the animal. No report was ever filed, so how Ruffino came to be attacked by the alligator is a mystery. He made a full recovery, but carries scars from the incident on his left arm. In November 2004, Kensington Books published Michael Ruffino's memoir/tour diary Gentlemanly Repose: Confessions Of A Debauched Rock & Roller.[2] A new version of the book will be published by Ecco Books in 2014. A full length documentary feature about the band, Gringa Productions' We Like To Drink We Like To Play Rock 'N Roll premiered in June at the 2006 Modern Drunkard Convention in Las Vegas. The band played several shows during 2006-2008, and have announced plans to release new and previously unreleased material in 2014.[citation needed]


  • 2001 Supertroopers (Soundtrack) TVT
  • 2000 Scary Movie (Soundtrack) TVT
  • 2000 Rock Hard: TVT Rock 2000 (Compilation) TVT
  • 2000 Retarder (Full length) TVT
  • 1994 Chung Wayne Lo Mein (Full length) Moonpig/Chunk
  • 1993 Hotel Massachusetts (compilation) Chunk
  • 1990 "Sink" (self-released)
  • 1989 "Good Music" (self-released)


  1. ^ "Band members to perform service", Boston Globe, May 14, 1994, p.21
  2. ^ "Gentlemanly Repose"