Bio

                       

Rated R Band - The Begining

We all have dreams.  Some will never follow them, some will...we did.

Tom and Denise both started their musical careers in high school.  Like most musicians, they played at high school parties, competed in Battle of the Bands but spent most of their time in a garage or basement.  And like most musicians, they put their dreams of being rock stars on hold when they started their families.

Tom and Denise met in early 2010.  Tom had already ventured back out onto the music scene as a solo act.  Denise had not performed in public since 1988.  Just friends at the time became "Just Us" an acoustic duo.  Inspired by each other, it was the beginning of their musical adventure.  Tom and Denise found they loved the same music, same artists, same styles and many other things.  As an acoustic duo with unsurpassed vocal harmonies, "Just Us" quickly became popular in Sussex and Bergen County.

A tragedy hit this duo when Denise's 21 year old son, Jeremy died in a motorcycle accident.  For some, dreams die along with such a loss.  The mellow acoustic music was no longer motivational.  Tom was not going to allow their dream to die.  Knowing Denise's true passion in music was rock, he changed their direction and decided to form a full Rock band. 

Together this group of diverse musicians formed Rated R, which performs everything from Rock, Funk, Blues and Soul!

Denise Takach - Lead Vocals & Percussion

Denise has been surrounded by music all her life. As a child she would listen to The Young Rascals, 1960's top Billboard artists while they rehearsed in her living room. The spark was ignited at a very young age.

In the early 1970's Denise was in many working garage bands singing at high school dances and back yard family BBQ's.  Many of her early band mates are seasoned journeyman and are still active in the thriving Bergen county music scene.  

In the late 70's to mid 80's you could find Denise singing jazz in Supper Clubs in Atlantic City or rocking out in Northern New Jersey's Dance Clubs.  If Denise was spotted in the audience, it was inevitable she would be asked up to sing. Just ask the original members of the band "Friends".  

Influenced by many greats such as Aretha to Streisand, Joplin to Benatar and Heart to Zeppelin. Denise brings many styles of influence to this versatile band.

Doing what she loves, Denise considers music her therapy. Her passion comes through in every song she sings. Although petite at 5' tall, Denise is a soulful powerhouse.  She fronts the band with high energy and class. The flame is now the fire within! 

Tom Pepe - Guitar & Vocals

One of Cliffside Park, NJ's favorite sons, Tom has been involved with music since the young age of 15, singing and playing keyboards in the band Bloodstone.  In the early 90's Tom spent many a night in the studio honing his passion receiving guitar instruction from contemporary Jazz great John Tropea.  

Tom has graced the stage with many influential recording greats. Most notably, Scott Rolaf who collaborated with Joe Lynn Turner and Muzz Skillings of 1980's rock's legendary "Living Color" band.  Tom continues to work with Scott Rolaf on song ideas and future gig opportunities.

Tom brings a raw blues style to his unique playing.  Influenced by so many greats such as Eric Clapton, David Gilmore and Paul Simon and John Lennon to name a few. Tom has the ability to play any genre of music from acoustic finger picking to hard driving rock jams. 

Recently, Tom & Denise were in Warren Sound Studios working on a new and exciting single to be unveiled at a live event soon. 

Steve - Bass

Phenomenal bass player.. He brings an infectious, funky groove to hold down the rhythm section of this band... His playing keeps us all moving to the music!  

 

 

John Devita - Keyboards/Vox

His outstanding vocals and solid keyboard playing add a unique, distinct sound to Rated R.

Scott Cartagenia - Drums / Percussion

 

 Studied with local legend "Mussy" Mizone and later with master percussionist Paul Oster. Scotty is a force to be reckoned with. He brings soulful dynamics as well as hard hitting rock to Rated R's overall mix.