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 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 creates? 

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 unique sound.



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 name? 

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 him? 

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 different reasons.



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 natural progression? 

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 your debut?

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 it rip.



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 off? 

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 underground?

 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 really matters.



The Internet has become a staple in the promotion of bands these days. Cut Throat has a website 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 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

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 at 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 for helping Cut Throat get our music out to the fans. Finally, Always remember to "Keep it Real".




2001 Metal Rules!!

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This page last updated on:
Monday, October 08, 2001