From the ashes of Vomitory, came Cut Up. Hailing from Karlstad, Sweden, the four piece are determined to bring their gory extreme metal to the masses with grinding guitar and evil vocals. It’s easy to see why they are gaining momentum. In April, I was lucky to speak to drummer Tobias Gustafsson about the band’s history, extreme metal, their new album Wherever They May Rot and their upcoming tour.
Jack: Hey Tobias, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. How are you doing?
Tobias Gustafsson (Drums): Hey Jack. I’m doing fine, thank you.
Jack: Cut Up was formed from the ashes of Vomitory, did you feel pressure to live up to this band’s history?
Tobias: No not at all, since Vomitory and Cut Up are two different bands. Starting with a blank page with Cut Up was in many ways a big relief for both me and Erik Rundqvist (Bass/Vocals). We are of course very proud of everything we achieved with Vomitory, and the mark we made in the death metal scene. But Cut Up is a new band that stands on its own feet, and is not Vomitory with a new band name.
Jack: Given that the members of the band have been in many previous bands with strong histories, you’ve been labelled a supergroup by some. How does this make you feel?
Tobias: Well, being labelled as a supergroup is to exaggerate quite a bit. I understand though that some people think it’s easy to use that word because of the bands we played with in our past. But it’s not correct in my opinion, but I am not really bothered by it either. If it helps to promote Cut Up I’m totally cool with that.
Jack: What makes playing extreme metal so appealing?
Tobias: It’s the power and energy of the music that does it for me. Playing live in front of a crazy crowd is one of the best things in my life.
Jack: What bands are your influences?
Tobias: Everything we listen to is influential in some way, I believe. But of course there are some bands that are more directly influential when it comes to writing death metal for Cut Up. Vader, Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, Exhumed, Bolt Thrower, Napalm Death and Terrorizer are some of the bands that always are present in my head when I’m writing.
Jack: To me there is a clear Cannibal Corpse influence, are they important to you as a band?
Tobias: Cannibal Corpse is a great band and they are great guys, and I don’t think you ever can overestimate their importance and influence on the whole death metal scene. Musically, they are there in our minds when we write songs, although I would not say that they are the biggest influence of ours.
Jack: Has being from Sweden influenced you as a band?
Tobias: I’m sure it has, having a very rich death metal history to relate to. But other than that, I don’t know.
Jack: Wherever They May Rot came out last month, are you happy with the response?
Tobias: Absolutely! The response has been absolutely amazing. Our fans seem to love it, which we think is most important. We’ve got almost solely killer reviews too in magazines, on websites etc. It feels that a lot more people are getting to know Cut Up by now, which we hope will result in getting more shows booked.
Jack: How would you say it is different to Forensic Nightmares?
Tobias: It’s a step forward, and we have raised the bar when it comes to about everything – the songs, the production, the individual performances, the artwork etc. One of the things that are different – except for the production, which is quite obvious – is the better utilisation of having two lead vocalists. The vocal arrangements are worked through a lot better this time around, which gives the new songs more and better intensity. Also, the guitar solos are definitely worth mentioning too. Both Anders and Andreas did an amazing job on the solos, which all of them stand out on their own in every song. Very tasteful and musical, yet fierce and intense.
Jack: What was the recording process like?
Tobias: It was actually a bit tough. While our debut album went very smooth to record, it was a bit harder this time. Mostly because it was more difficult to get a good flow in the recording session, with consideration to our “normal” lives with day jobs, families etc. Stress was also a present factor, that occasionally brought some negative energy. Most of the times it was only one or two from the band in the studio at the time, except for our engineer Mats Lindström. But on the other hand, everyone in the band works professionally and we were also well prepared, so there were really never any doubts that the result was going to be solid.
Jack: What has it been like working with Metal Blade Records for this release?
Tobias: It’s been great. Metal Blade always does a great job. They did when me and Erik worked with them in Vomitory, and they do now with Cut Up.
Jack: The artwork is great, who drew the artwork and is there a meaning to it?
Tobias: The artwork is made by Lukasz Jaszak once again. He also did the artwork for our debut album. He has a great sense for the sick and morbid, which we look for in an album artwork. Once the album title was set, we talked to Lukasz about having this kind of swamp environment and a dead body dumping site as the cover artwork, to fit with the album title. Then he put his own ideas into it and eventually came up with this killer piece of art. The meaning of it is death metal.
Jack: You’re playing some shows in the Summer, what can we expect from these shows?
Tobias: Yeah, we’re doing some festival shows in Europe this Summer. Really looking forward to that. You can expect a total death metal assault, a solid performance from the band and lots of banging heads.
Jack: Do you prefer festivals or club shows?
Tobias: It depends on the circumstances, but generally speaking I prefer festivals. Mostly because you meet lots of friends there, you can check out lots of other bands, and most of the times you play for a bigger audience than at club shows. The party is often better too at festivals. But on the other hand, I really like playing clubs night after night when on tour too.
Jack: What are your upcoming plans, any UK shows on the horizon?
Tobias: Unfortunately, no UK shows in sight at the moment, but we would of course love to play there. So if any promoter/organizer reads this, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The nearest plan is to play the shows we have ahead of us this summer. We are working on adding more dates later on.
Jack: Finally, what is the best extreme metal album of all time?
Tobias: Nooo, please don’t make me answer that. [Laughs] It’s impossible to pick only one! Well, the first one that comes to mind is “Reign in Blood” with Slayer. That album still amazes me, now more than 30 years after its release! Its influence is fundamental. “World Downfall” with Terrorizer is another one. An absolutely fantastic album.
Jack: Thanks for your time and I hope to see you guys in the UK soon!
Tobias: Thanks for the interview, and I really hope we will play in the UK soon! Hail death metal! Cheers!
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