Autopsy interview with Eric Cutler: From the Vault

Since a new Autopsy live record has been announced, it’s time to dust off a classic interview with the band. Below is a cleaned-up version of an interview D.U.‘s editor conducted that appeared in Deathcheese ‘zine #1 back in 1991.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with one of the guitarists of the death metal gods Autopsy up in Buffalo, NY for a little chat. Buffalo because that was where the “A Day of Death” fest was held on October 20, 1990. Autopsy headlined this 12-hour event, and Eric [Cutler, guitar] and I talked while the first band of the show was coming on stage. We had to yell into my tape recorder to ensure it would record over the din.

Autopsy, the same as many other bands, has had its share of personnel difficulties. Ken Sorvari was the bassist for a long period, during which he was in and out of the band.

Deathcheese: So what was the deal with Ken exactly?

Cutler: Okay, well, for one thing, Ken’s a good bass player, right, and he can be a real cool guy. I’ve known him for a long time. He kinda got two-faced. He was talkin’ shit about the band and then he would say other things to us. It got to where he wasn’t into it like he should have been. It wasn’t his main goal to play music anymore. We didn’t get along so we had to split. There’s no hard feelings now.

Who did you replace him with, then?

My brother Steve is now playing bass for Autopsy.

Permanently?

Well, we hope so. He should be. He just learned all the songs right before the tour, so we’re still breaking him in.

Are you still looking for a frontman as you were in the past instead of having Chris [Reifert, drums] sing?

No, not really. At first in the early days we wanted to find a frontman, but now we really don’t. Autopsy’s what it is right now, with Chris Reifert singing and playing drums. We think that Autopsy’s vocals should sound the way they have sounded, and the way they do now on our new EP [Retribution for the Dead], with Chris singing the way he does. He fits it more than anybody we’ve heard.

How did you get that record deal with Peaceville?

Well, Hammy from Peaceville Records, he heard our demo and then he wrote us. We sent him both demos and he liked it, so he sent us a contract. It was as simple as that.

Do you get tired of people bringing up Death all the time?

Well, I mean, it gets old after a while, I must admit. It doesn’t concern us, y’know? People ask if we’re still friends with them. It doesn’t really matter that much.

Do you have any info on the new record?

Yeah, sure! We’re gonna record it in November, about the same time the EP comes out. It’ll come out in February. … The album’ll be called Mental Funeral.

How did the European tour with Pestilence go? Was it cool?

Yeah, it was great! Really good turnouts in all the shows. We just did a tour with Paradise Lost as well, and it was also good.

What brands of guitars do you like to play?

I just got a brand new Les Paul. It’s a really nice guitar. It’s a Custom Studio. It’s all black.

Do you still have that one that’s shaped like a Gibson Explorer?

Yeah, Ibanez Destroyer. I still have it. I have to do some work on it, though. I have to refret it. The frets are really bad. I’ve had it for five years, so …

How come you have a new logo? The one on the demo is different from the one on the album [Severed Survival].

Well, it changes with everything we do. On the new EP it’s even different. Autopsy will always have a new logo. This is the way we like it. We don’t like to stick with one logo.

Are you trying to get an American label, so you won’t be in the import section at the record store?

Yeah, not really. It doesn’t really matter, ‘cause we just play for the fun of it. That’s why we’re on Peaceville, ‘cause we wanna make our decisions ourselves. So if someone’s interested, we’ll hear what they say. But otherwise, we’re happy right now.

You know those parental advisory stickers they put on the albums? What do you think of that?

I dunno. I think it’s kinda weak that they have to do that, labeling the music. But, y’know, if they must, they must. And if it’s gonna get the albums in the stores to sell it, then I guess they have to do it. I don’t really care for it, though.

Well, that’s it. That was quick, eh?

That’s it? Yeah, that was real quick. Okay, I’ll start asking myself questions now. If I can think of any.

Well, what do people usually ask you?

Um, who are our influences and shit like that. The standard stuff. And, matter of fact, one of our early influences was Repulsion, who’s playin’ tonight. So that’s kinda strange. We always liked ‘em in the early days. We still do.

Okay, thanks heaps and all that! ■

Check out more Autopsy coverage: interviews in archive ‘zine issue #3, page 25, back in 1991, and archive ‘zine issue #7, page 22, back in 1993.

Band photo: from Severed Survival

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