Metal-Rules.com Interview with
Interviewed by Rick
Los Angeles metal is alive and well and still kicking
ass in the form of Cut Throat. Cut Throat have just released their
second CD entitled SLAVE
and in the process have created an album of 11 , kick you in the face,
melodic metal tunes with not a ballad to be found anywhere. Guitarist
Darwin DeVitis took the time to let us into the world of Cut Throat.
Cut Throat are a relatively new band to the readers of Metal-Rules.com
Can you first tell us a little bit about the band and its members?
Cut Throat is Sean Okin Lead Vocals, Ken Snyder and Darwin DeVitis
Guitars, John Anderson on Bass
and Ramsay Bisharah on Drums. Cut Throat is a band of 5 friends that are
tired of being told what we should play. We just get together and make
the music that we enjoy playing. (*Note-Sean Okin is leaving Cut Throat
due to musical differences. We are currently auditioning new vocalists
at this time. We are close to a final decision. This was a mutual
separation decided by both parties.)
How would you describe the music that Cut Throat
Each member has their own style of music that they like. I think that
by blending all these influences together we are able to have our own
You are based in California. How is the California metal scene
and where does Cut Throat fit in?
The metal scene is hanging in there. There are a lot of good bands
out there sticking to what they
believe in. Los Angeles is a strong supporter of Hard Rock/ Metal music.
Cut Throat has been playing around L.A. for almost 5 years now. We have
some of the best fans any band could ask for.
Why the name Cut Throat? Where did you get the idea for the
Actually Ken came up with the name. I believe he said that the music
industry is a cutthroat type of business. Also at the time it sounded
better than any of the other names we were throwing about.
Who are your influences both personally as a guitar
player and as a band?
As a band we like everything. We are not just metal and rock
influenced. Myself as a guitarist it would be Van Halen, Zakk Wylde,
Dimebag, Neal Schon, Nuno, Paul Gilbert and so many others. As being
influenced by bands. Old VH, Motley Crue, Pantera, Judas Priest, Fight,
Dokken and I find myself enjoying a lot of the newer bands like Godsmack,
Disturbed, Sevendust and Drowning Pool.
You have released your new CD entitled SLAVE. What exactly does
the title mean?
Slave is a concept that we are all slaves in some way to what we
think others want us to be. Everyone should be proud of who they are and
stand up for what it is that you believe in. Don't be afraid to
"Speak Your Mind".
Tell us a little bit about the CD.. Where you recorded etc. I
see Jonas Hansson produced. Can you tell me a little bit about
We went into this recording knowing that we wanted to go heavier in
style but still try to keep our sound. We recorded the new CD Slave at
Mastergroove studios here in Los Angeles, California. Jonas Hansson
co-produced it along with us. Jonas is a musician of all trades. He is
the guitarist of Silver Mountain fame. I believe he is well known
throughout Europe and Japan for his guitar playing. He sang some back up
on Slave as well as playing the outro guitar solo on the track "The
Hate We Have". During the recording of Slave I think Jonas become
the unofficial 6th member of Cut Throat.
My favorite song on the CD is "Speak Your
Mind". What are your favorite songs and why?
"Speak Your Mind" as well as "For This I
Slave" come to mind first. I enjoy all the tracks off the cd for
The songwriting on the CD is credited to the band as a whole.
How do you come up with the songs? Are they worked on individually and
the brought to the group? What is the process?
Ken and I usually bring a tune or a riff to the band and if the band
likes what they hear we then work it out. I believe that each member
should come up with there own parts to each song or at least be given
the chance to add there own spices. I am one of those on the spot
riffers. I love to jam to the drums and let the groove of the drums and
guitar write itself. We are always coming up with new music. Ken, Sean
and myself share in all the lyric writing as well. The lyrics usually
take a little while longer to write than the music. Basically everything
comes down to a full band decision.
I also noticed that there are no ballads on this disc?
Why is that?
For this CD we just wanted to rock. We wanted songs that when we play
them live it keeps you banging your head, raising your fist and
screaming along with the band. We like to know that our fans left
knowing they got everything they expected from Cut Throat and more.
SLAVE seems to be heavier than your first release CUT THROAT.
Did you intentionally try to go in a heavier direction or was it just a
A little of both I guess. We wanted to put out a heavier version of
Cut Throat while staying true to what we believe in. While at the same
time the songs we wrote just came out naturally. You never know what we
will write next.
Ramsay Bisharah makes his recorded debut with the band on
SLAVE. Has Ramsay's drumming affected the sound of the CD compared to
With Ramsay Cut Throat is more solid. More groove. Ramsay plays what
is best for the song. He knows when to hold the groove and when to let
The cover art for the CD is very interesting. Can you tell me a
little about who came up with the concept and who did the design?
Ken came across the cover photo. I then took it in to Photoshop and
hit some buttons. We tossed around the concept with the guys and they
liked it, so it stayed. I did the layout and design for SLAVE as well as
the debut CD. The SLAVE artwork has been getting great reviews. I am
glad to see it go over so well.
Your first CD has a couple of videos included as bonus
material. "Bullet" being one of them..
Will there be a video for any of the new material from SLAVE?
We will have to see what happens. We have talked about doing
something for a later pressing of SLAVE but as of yet we have not done a
video shoot for anything from SLAVE.
There are not too many independent bands that make
videos. What was the purpose of these videos and did the investment pay
We made those videos so that our fans that do not get to see Cut
Throat live get to see Cut Throat. Those videos are our way of thanking
all of our fans for there support. We wish they could see our live show.
We really feed off the energy that our fans bring out to our shows. Cut
Throat fans are the greatest fans!
Are there any plans to tour in support of this CD?
Yes. We are always talking about it. As soon as someone offers us a
spot we are there. Any takers? We really love playing live and meeting
old and new fans. As for now you can see us in venues around Los Angeles
CA, San Diego CA, Phoenix AZ, Tempe AZ and Las Vegas NV.
You have opened in the past for bands such as Wasp, Flotsam and
Jetsam, Tesla and Yngwie Malmsteen. Do you have any interesting stories
about opening for these or any other bands?
WASP is one of Ramsay's favorite bands. Their drummer was late so
Ramsay got to sound check his kit. That was something he'll never
forget. Yngwie is a lot nicer than people make him out to be. We were
slated to open for Yngwie again but he canceled his tour before we
could. All the bands that we have opened for or played with have treated
us very well. Every now and then you get some road crew guy that had a
few too many but other than that all is good.
What are your thoughts on the metal scene in North
America? Is it growing stronger or will it always remain
Fans of hard rock and metal music are still out there. They
support the scene very well. It is the labels that stopped supporting
and signing the bands. Until some A&R person gets off their trendy
ass and takes a chance with some real music, metal will remain
underground here in the States.
I am assuming that you and the rest of the guys in the
band don't make a living from your
music. What kind of jobs do you do to make ends meet and what are some
of the more interesting jobs that some of you have had in the past?
You are correct in this assumption. We sell a good amount of
CDs and merchandise but nowhere near enough to live off of. We all have
9-5ers, but they all let us off when we need to gig and that is all that
The Internet has become a staple in the promotion of bands
these days. Cut Throat has a website www.cutthroatonline.com
What are your feelings on the internet as a whole for promoting
unsigned bands and has it helped Cut Throat get its music out?
The Internet is a godsend to bands like Cut Throat. We have been able
to get our music to a lot of fans that would have never even known we
existed if it weren't for the Internet. There are so many cool metal and
rock websites and web radio stations that support us and other bands
like us. It is sites like Metal-Rules.com that keep all of us fans up to
date on tomorrows kick ass bands. Thanks for helping out all of us
trying to "Keep it Real!"
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions Darwin. Is
there anything else you would like to say to the readers of Metal-Rules.com?
I would like to thank everyone for supporting the music they enjoy
listening to no matter what style it is. Keep your ears open to new and
upcoming bands for they are bringing you the sounds for tomorrow. Don't
let corporate radio and record labels force feed you what they think it
is you should be listening to. If you feel like it, swing by our website
Order our cds, merchandise, sign our guest book or drop us an email. Let
us know that you are out there and supporting the future of rock music.
Thanks Rick and thanks to all at Metal-Rules.com for helping Cut Throat
get our music out to the fans. Finally, Always remember to "Keep it
©2001 Metal Rules!!