Tampa trio Rototiller releases debut LP on same day as Rock the Park livestream performance

'Arrive Alive' on May 7.

click to enlarge Tampa trio Rototiller releases debut LP on same day as Rock the Park livestream performance

What the hell is a rototiller?

The proper definition of the word is as follows: “a motor-driven machine with rotating blades for breaking up or tilling the soil.?

It is also, however, the name of a local rock and roll trio that’s just about to release its long-awaited debut album. 

Made up of longtime local musicians who’ve done their time in other Tampa Bay acts, Rototiller steadily built a loyal following of listeners who frequent the band’s live shows at venues like The Hub and Shuffle. An arsenal of original tunes make up Rototiller’s recorded debut on Arrive Alive.

Coming together almost accidentally, the trio knew it was onto something during its first, fortuitous 2015 jam session.

Lead singer, guitarist and songwriter, Scott Lavan Miller, throws an annual Halloween bash at his home that is nothing short of a neighborhood block party and celebration. A regular part of the proceedings is an impromptu jam session in a garage turned practice space.

Having already played with bassist Peter Nuffer and drummer Greg Fiorisi in various other settings and lineups, the three decided to pick up their instruments and have some fun for the hell of it. What they weren’t prepared for was the undeniable chemistry and vibe that pervaded that initial session. 

Continuing to capitalize on the musical lightning they’d captured on that October evening, the trio agreed to get together several more times to play and further explore the rock and roll vein they’d accidentally tapped into. Sure enough, the makings and the symmetry of the then-unnamed band continued to flourish.

“It was kind of like dating at that point,” Miller recollected in comments to Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.

“We had the talk,” he joked, referring to the “where is this going?” chat a couple might have after three or four successful dates. 

Each of the three musicians were (and still are) quite busy serving in other bands, holding down full time jobs and raising families. The decision on what route to take next came easily to the three humble guys, mainly due to fact that their lifestyles are so similar. The pacing and the development of the band might not have gelled as effectively had any of the three been interested in pursuing a more escalated timetable. The budding group decided to get together and play when their tight schedules and outside commitments would allow, even if that meant once every couple of months. 

“We were all willing to be patient” Miller added, explaining the commonality that served as the glue that has kept Rototiller intact. What he, Nuffer and Fiorisi are probably not as apt to be patient about is the release of Arrive Alive, Rototiller’s long-awaited debut release. 

But, like so many other plans and events that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, the fanfare that normally surrounds the release of a new album has too fallen victim to the pandemic. 

Plans for a record release party and a slew of live appearances commemorating the launch of the record took a backseat for now. But the Rototiller machine won’t go down quietly. The band was already scheduled to appear at the Downtown Tampa Partnership’s monthly outdoor Rock the Park event which showcases local talent at Curtis Hixon Park. While precautionary measures have prevented the event from taking place under normal circumstances, the show will go on in a live, streaming format

On May 7, 2020, Rototiller will appear as part of the livestream version of the multi-act concert from an as of yet undetermined location; it’s the same day Arrive Alive hits streaming services, and a physical release will happen when packaging and logistics are worked out (“It’s gonna happen!” Miller confidently reassures). 

As for the album itself, the 10 original tracks on it are razor-sharp and saturated in no-nonsense rock and roll firepower. The majority of the album was recorded live in the studio which lends a natural, electric feel to it. Miller’s guitar consistently dips into a sea of fuzzed-out power chords and brings to mind an almost stoner rock-like feel to the record.

While recording sessions began back in the fall of 2019, it’s been a slow process indeed, which has been very beneficial to these self-proclaimed purveyors of “dad rock.” 

But, nonetheless, the time has arrived for Arrive Alive and Rototiller is ready to roar.

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About The Author

Gabe Echazabal

I was born on a Sunday Morning.I soon received The Gift of loving music.Through music, I Found A Reason for living.It was when I discovered rock and roll that I Was Beginning To See The Light.Because through music, I'm Set Free.It's always helped me keep my Head Held High.When I started dancing to that fine, fine...
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