Last month Ulf from the excellent We Live In Trenches recommended us a whole host of new bands – one of them being Cut City. Fair to say we are big fans – they have an Interpol sound (to us at least) which is always going to be win for us! We caught up with Max who was in a jovial mood as he told us about the bands creation, sound, and what they have been up to (a fascinating read – though try to guess which one is false)!
Tell us who you are and what is your sound?
We’re the adults who wouldn’t take the hint and quit playing music. Four grown primates scattered around the west coast of Sweden, who use music as an excuse to do some intense male bonding (which include, but is not limited to, listening to Heavy Metal and dry-brushing our hair). We go by the name Cut City because why not. I (Max) snatched that name from an old William S. Burroughs book and felt it would be a nom de plume that would gather credibility. Not so much. The sounds our instruments generate is that of the jolly 80’s, the era of nuclear threat, hyper-capitalism and VHS-cassettes. Some call it post punk and most frequently we do so too. We’re fans of steady rhythms, a bass that carries melodies and a guitar or two for additional structure and/or ambience. We’ve been likened to that band whose singer hung himself while listening to The Idiot by Iggy Pop and we’ve somehow surrendered to the fact that that’s the perception of us. Understandably, because they are the go-to-band when referencing post punk.
What exciting projects have you got coming up?
Just this August, or September (my memory fails me, and I can’t be bothered to google it), we dropped the first recording we’ve done in a decade. Absolutes, which is the title, comprises five songs that we committed to a hard drive this spring. Kristian Anttila supervised the session and that was fortunate because had we chosen to do it ourselves there would have been no accolades, only grunts of disapproval. We couldn’t have been happier with the end result and thanks to Kristian it seems like our fans don’t have to feign interest either. Quite the opposite, they willingly hand over their hard-earned cash (we’ll it’s not cash really is it these days. More like digital ones and zeros I reckon but you get the point). This commotion in our tiny bathtub has made waves big and tepid enough for us to want to surf so we’re aiming at doing some more recordings to assault the ears of all our generous listeners.
This project is called LP3 but if it turns out to be EP3 or just a single MP3, we don’t know. We’re just romanticizing the idea of blowing up in a glorious way that will generate a footnote on the post punk entry on Wikipedia. Other projects include reposting shitty photos for the third time on Instagram hoping no one calls us out, bullying promoters into thinking we’re worth having on in 2021, breaking down on the autobahn while trying to get said show, being too excited to be on stage which will manifest itself by thinking that the intro to Rocky IV is also a great intro for Cut City. Oh, and schedule a dinner at NOMA.
Where did you grow up and what music influenced you?
David and I grew up in the same small town in the south of Sweden, Oskar grew up in another small town a bit further north (but still not in the north), probably around an hour from our small town. Magnus grew up in yet another small town, but that small town is located way up in the middle of Sweden and very far away from the other small towns. I can’t recall its name because of my indifference to its geographical location but I’m sure Magnus doesn’t mind. Somehow, by some freak accident we ended up in a not so small town on the west coast. Gothenburg. Since we were kids growing up in the 80’s and the global war between Heavy Metal and Synth was raging you had to pick sides. So, spandex, spikes and Kramer guitars it was.
I grew up being fed tapes from my older cousin where he put a wild mix of Journey, Dio and national legend Eddie Meduza. I can only assume that everyone else in the band was introduced to music in the same way. If these sounds influenced us in anyway? Yes. Very much so. But as with anything and everything it has been filtered through many years of making peace with synth music, exploring harsh noise and rocking out to black metal. And I’m not saying this to prove anything. It’s just the way it is. But as far as Cut City is concerned, we started out right at the same time the 2nd generation of post punk sounds migrated from Bushwick Ave in New York to our part of the world. Bands like The Rapture, Interpol, Les Savy Fav, LCD Soundsystem etc. were huge and the momentum they brought was what made us do our thing.
What cool places do you recommend visiting in your city (bars, restaurants, etc.)?
I’ve been socially distancing myself from city life for the better part of ten years now so I’m quite oblivious to what Malmö and Gothenburg has to offer. I know of Plan B in Malmö, which started out as a basement show kind of venue and then has grown bigger but still have the same attitude. There’s a place in Hammenhög, which also is in the south of Sweden, just a couple of miles from Malmö, which is called Garageprojektet. David played there with his other band VED. It has a really nice ”rural southern exoticism”-vibe but all in a good way. If you’re hungry and you find yourself in Gothenburg there’s Bar Il Chiosco, a tiny pizza shack found inside a green shoe box. They serve, lo and behold, pizza and in addition to that, a variety of fermented beverages that will make your tongue breakdance.
We love recommendations – what have you been listening to, watching, or reading recently?
As an act of self-preservation, I’ve logged out from almost all apps that are based around liking stuff. Thus, trying to fill the 24-hour void of scrolling through other people’s polished nightmares I’ve tried to catch up with some reading. I fair kind of well. The entire collection of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy I ordered sits nicely in the bookshelf and the Superiority Burger Cookbook still sounds crisp when I open it as does the NOMA Fermentation Guide (yes, I’m that kind of an asshole). Magnus wants the world to know he spends all his time watching Journey documentaries when he’s not busy growing his hair. Oskar uses his spare time driving around the Gothenburg archipelago whaling in his tiny boat, a scene which is not unlike the documentary The Cove. After joyously killing thousands of innocent dolphins, he relaxes on the couch watching Chernobyl on HBO or Filthy Rich on Netflix. David on the other hand is making a racket in psychedelia act VED and progressive brass kraut band RÅÅ (featuring a famous bass player. Yes, that’s an oxymoron I know). As for the music we digest on a daily and not-so daily basis here’s an incomplete list: SPIDERGAWD.
Finally, what was the last thing that made you swear out loud?
I just recently taught my son many, many words that would be ill-suited in most conversations anyone would have in their lifetime. It all took place on a pretty dreadful day; the sun was shining; birds were chirping on the windowsill and no deaths in the family had occurred. I was in no rush at all when I upon getting ready to exit my house decided that the fastest way out was not through the door but rather through the wall. Carefully and with profound force and accuracy, I let my left foot, or more specifically my left pinky toe, sink through the plaster wall. It instantly turned blackish purple while I serenaded my son with some colorful choice of words. Words which he now knows by heart.
On a final note we would like to give you guys a big virtual kiss on the lips for having us here. It means a lot. We would also like to give a shoutout to WE LIVE IN TRENCHES for being as old as we are. But our most sincere thanks goes out to all of the people who listens to our music, who decides to comment on our posts, who orders our shitty records, who sends us mail, who’s in the background not saying anything at all; that is, we’d like to thank everyone who makes us who we are right now. We wouldn’t be here if it were not for you. Thank you so much. //Max, David, Oskar and Magnus – CUT CITY
We are feeling the love and right now how much do we need it!
Interview by Alex Minnis