Five Minutes With

MUSIC FEATURE: Five Minutes With…Cuffed Up

Photo Credit: Ana Karotkaya 

Formed through a chance meeting at a party, where vocalists/guitarists Ralph Torrefranca and Sapphire Jewell bonded over their love of UK post-punk bands, LA four-piece Cuffed Up have been going from strength to strength and are ready to release a physical version of their debut self-titled EP through Hassle Records. We caught up with Torrefranca ahead of the release to discuss the band’s influences, what they aim to achieve and more. 

Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself and your band.

My name is Ralph Torrefranca and I sing/play guitar in Cuffed Up. The rest of our band includes Sapphire Jewell who also sings/plays guitar, Joe Liptock our drummer and Vic Ordonez our bass player.

How did the band form and how long have you been together?

Over two years ago, Sapphire and I met at a friend’s party where we realised that we’ve been hovering in the same scene for years but never actually crossed paths. We hit it off and geeked out about music gear and our favourite UK post-punk bands. At that point, I was already kicking around some song ideas with Joe and Vic (including early versions of French Exit and Small Town Kid) but we were still trying to figure out the sound. Long story short, we asked Saph to come jam with us and the rest is history! Sapphire was the perfect fit and Cuffed Up was born!

Can you remember the first time you realised you wanted to make music?

I was badly injured in high school during my second year on the wrestling team and was forced to quit. My girlfriend at the time broke up with me in a very dramatic fashion and I spiralled into a dark place. I really needed some sort of catharsis and luckily my parents noticed this so they decided to buy me my first guitar. By the end of the summer I wrote a whole EP and started my first band. It was that moment where I knew that songwriting was going to be a really significant part of my life.

Who and what are the band’s main influences?

We all listen to a lot of different genres. Some of our influences include Foals, The Pixies, Fontaines D.C. and Shame.

What do you aim to achieve as a band?

We honestly love making music together so we’d like to find a way to build a long career that allows us to keep doing what we love.

For those who are yet to see you live, what can they expect from a Cuffed Up show?

A big wall of sound and a crazy live show (we try to turn some heads in the room). 

What’s next for Cuffed Up?

Our self-titled EP comes out 12th Feb on a beautiful yellow vinyl via the legends at Hassle Records! We’re incredibly stoked for the UK and EU to get their hands on the EP. 

Cuffed Up will physically release their debut self-titled EP on 12th February 2021 via Hassle Records, available to pre-order HERE

A 20-something year old journalist and freelance PR often found at a gig, a festival or holding a dictophone to a band and asking them all kinds of questions. I'm a sucker for whiskey and vinyl.