AUTOPSY… DEATH/DOOM FROM CALIFORNIA
Interview by Santtu Kaskela
One of the pioneers of Death and Death-doom, AUTOPSY, formed in 1987 in California by Eric Cutler & Chris Reifert (ex-Death). Started out with some thrash/death influences, but later took a step to slower direction which we all can hear when entering the dark world of doom… Split up in 1994 but after 14 years, some new songs and a bit later in 2010… Permanently reunited, stronger and meaner than ever. The time has come to find out a bit more… Let´s go, this will be fucking interesting !!!
So honored to have this chance to have a moment with You. How are You doing ?
I’m well and thank you!
Since I just love some history, I have to ask… How was the metal scene in California/US back in 80s when You started Your journey as AUTOPSY and how was the start ?
In those days it was about trash metal. Death metal wasn’t a thing yet. What we were doing was looked down upon. We didn’t care!
How was the reception, after releasing 2 demos and later Your 1989 debut “Severed Survival” ?
When we did the demo’s it was different then. Everyone traded tapes. There was no internet to steal music from yet. The reception was great everywhere but here in the States. Eventually it caught on here too.
In some point You took a step towards slower, darker, gloomier etc world, which can be heard in Your 2nd album “Mental Funeral”… Was this something You had planned earlier and then just decided, the world is ready for Autopsy and your unique way of making music?
Actually we always had elements of doom beginning with out first demo. Mauled to Death is a good example of our early doom. We never planned anything other than to write sick heavy music.
Before the release of Your 4th album, “Shitfun” in 1995, You just decided to split up… What happened ?
We did a disastrous US tour and I got burned out. I decided to quit when we’re about halfway through with the tour. I made a mistake of managing the tour while performing each night and that killed me. We got back, recorded Shitfun and went our separate ways. Of course we stayed friends.
After several years, in 2008-2009 Autopsy was formed again, then a bit thinking before announcing a permanent reunion in 2010… Obviously Your fans kept asking this for years… Was this reunion an easy decision, something You had planned over the years ?
We didn’t plan to get back together. We recorded a couple new songs for a re-release of Severed Survival. After that we were contacted to play Maryland Deathfest. We turned it down. They kept coming and wore us down. We played the fest, had a great time and decided to give it another go. We haven’t looked back ever since.
”Macabre Eternal” in 2011 gave us all a fucking brutal, angry and aggressive comeback… How was the reception for that album ?
It was really good. We started getting calls to play everywhere. We knew that we were just getting started again and had a lot we wanted to do.
Tell us a little about Your songwriting process.. Where do You get all the ideas and do You work as a team or is someone in charge ?
Chris and myself write most of the material. We record the ideas and send them to each for critique. Once we dial in the music Chris writes the lyrics. In the past I have written lyrics as well but lately not doing that. The ideas come from different places. Sometimes a book or a story. Other times from our twisted minds!
*During these years… What have been the most memorable, positive, rewarding moments ?
Playing live and seeing all the heads out there enjoying the show. Getting to see friends and play with bands we know and love. We have had shows with Bolt Thrower since getting back and that’s what we love to do. Slinging cheese rolls at Karl is always a good time!
Do You know how to relax and take it easy and not eat/live/drink/shit metal 24/7 ?
What? I didn’t know that was possible! Fuck, I need to re-think all this shit! Haha! We actually don’t see each often and don’t play shows much. It’s probably more non-metal relaxing than you would think. We do enjoy a good game of checkers!
How does the future look like for Autopsy, any news, or even secrets, You want to share?
Hmmm… secrets? Let’s see, Chris is a closet Bread fan! Joe likes to vomit whenever we go to Germany, Danny loves a parade, and I like to collect dried boogers. Weed glorious weed! Our plans are to keep doing what we do. Play metal and do a show or two every few years #goals
Coming to Your show… What can we expect ?
You can expect to see some old bastards running around making noise and trying to stay in two feet! Not always easy with Danny rolling into me! What can you expect? You can expect to see some real death metal, relentless and savage. We play a lot off of the first two albums because people want to see those songs. We plan on doing more newer stuff live though, if we can get motivated to change the set of songs we do! Old dogs!
Any last words (not literally) to people who are reading this, the Family of MHF, Your fans and Your soon to be fans ?
Thank you for taking the time to read this and MHF for making sure metal never bends! We hope see you out there soon! Cheers!
MHF Magazine/Santtu Kaskela