Chris Guenzel (Drums/Percussion)

From the first time Chris saw a drum solo live, he knew he wanted to be a drummer. He was lucky to have very understanding parents. After years in concert band, orchestra, and marching band, he finally started doing what he loved…playing with rock ‘n’ roll bands in high school. The most popular of these bands was Tempered Steel, where Chris first started playing with future brother-in-law and Knuckle Monster bandmate, Dan Laurtizen.

Some bummer issues with his hearing made any chance of a career in music impossible for Chris, but after taking his 20’s off, he got back into music in a more casual fashion, playing with local bands Package X, Regulation Planet, and Chasing Grace. He was thrilled when in the summer of 2005, his band Regulation Planet was lucky enough to open for Motley Crue at the StarLake Amphitheatre in Pittsburgh! Chris loves every minute of being in Knuckle Monster and he has found an incredible sense of fulfillment in using the band’s music to raise money and awareness for wonderful local causes. His favorite gig every year is the band’s “Conrad’s Concert,” a charity show he hosts with multiple entertainers which is dedicated to the memory of his brother, Conrad.

Chris’s day job is in pharmaceuticals sales management. He lives in North Huntingdon, PA, with his beautiful wife, Shannon, and their two great kids, Blase and Greta. On the other side of the garage are his parents, Terry and Greg, who, during Knuckle Monster rehearsals, may still wonder why Chris couldn’t have just chosen the clarinet.

Tom Swift (Guitar/Vocals)

Since Tom was a child, he always found himself drawn to music. In the fourth grade, he learned to play the trumpet and eventually became section leader for concert and marching bands in high school. Knowing his heart belonged to rock/metal, he begged his parents to help him chase his dream of playing guitar (they reluctantly agreed). Various bands developed, and Tom grew as a musician.

Tom then realized that he wanted more than his current guitar could deliver. A proficient wood worker, Tom built his first guitar and has since built & modified many custom guitars, including several for regional and national acts such as Triple X and The Corbin Hanner Band. After college, Tom tried to establish original music with the bands High Hand, Axiom, and Unseen. Writing many original songs, Tom has three full length music productions to his name (some of which can be heard here ). After realizing he was having difficulty finding venues in Pittsburgh that embraced original music, Tom found himself drifting away from the music scene. After several years of no band involvement, Tom joined the band Regulation Planet, where he met Chris. Tom played with RP for a couple of years before leaving the band to concentrate on family life, but soon came to realize that he needed to play music. With a full time job and a family, he no longer had the time to fully dedicate to a band... until a fateful phone conversation with Chris. Tom excitedly knew he had a found a new home with Knuckle Monster.

Tom’s day job is a customer service representative for a urethane manufacturer in Cranberry Township, PA. He lives in Cranberry Township, PA, with his lovely wife, Lisa, and their phenomenal son, Nico.

Rick (Rico) Rutkowski (Guitar/Vocals)

Rico grew up on the tough streets of Penn Hills. He got his first real six string…bought at the P & S. Played it ‘til his fingers bled. That was the summer of ’79. He had to put his six string in hock after the union went on strike, but he used to make it talk so tough…so tough. Then things started looking up for him when he was recruited to join a band of several very talented individuals. Unfortunately, that fell through, so he joined Knuckle Monster instead.

Rico is a wise ass.

Like the rest of the guys in the band, he was a part of the Pittsburgh hard rock/ metal scene in the late 80’s and early 90’s. His most memorable time came with local metal favorite, Sanctum.

Rico resides in Wexford, PA, with his lovely fiancée, MJ, and his pride and joy, teenage daughters, Addison and Rhiannon.

Dan Lauritzen (Bass/Vocals)

Dan and some neighborhood kids formed their first band at the age of 12. Dan wanted to play guitar, but was told, "we already have 2 guitars, so you'll have to play bass." Dan bought his first bass for $65 and was hooked. The band, "Tempered Steel," was created. Dan played bass and sang back-up vocals, but eventually became a co-lead singer. Through the years, many other bands followed, including "Forever Endeavor," "Majesty," "Uncle Whiskers," "Wire Trip," and "Chasing Grace." When asked about his band history, Dan recalls, "I don't remember a time when I wasn't in at least one band in the last 30+ years." This answers the question of how Dan got to be so epically talented.

When he's not on tour with Knuckle Monster, Dan enjoys teaching music at Hempfield Area School District, playing in a jazz trio called EBT Jazz, and leading worship at his church, Greater Works Outreach in Monroeville. Dan lives in Irwin, PA, with his lovely wife, Autumn, and their two beautiful daughters, Aria and Fiona