Inside The Shredder’s Studio #11: Eric Cutler of Autopsy

Sometimes we finally get a guest we’ve wanted to host forever. We are extremely lucky today to welcome one of the forefathers of death metal to the studio: Eric Cutler of the mighty Autopsy! Eric is still shredding away — you can check out his new work on Torniquets Hacksaws & Graves. Please welcome Eric Cutler to the shredder’s studio.

Greetings from Eric Cutler! Here are some of the riffs that guided my path to playing guitar and metal. I could pick a different group every day, but here are some that stick.

As a kid I was always drawn to the guitar. I just loved the sound of the instrument. I would listen to my older brother’s music: The Beatles and Kiss. The first records I bought were Black Sabbath’s Master Of Reality and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. I took them home on the same day and was crushed by the heaviness!

Black Sabbath “Under the Sun/Every Day Comes and Goes” from Vol. 4:

So damn heavy, this opening riff. It taught the world how to play metal. The song has so many sick Tony Iommi riffs. The changes, bridges and solos take you for a ride of doom and sorrow. It’s funny how Ozzy can go from sad to happy to sad so quickly. Iommi is king of the metal riff!

Michael Schenker Group “Attack of the Mad Axeman” from MSG:

Like Black Sabbath, I could put any number of Schenker songs here, from UFO to his solo work. He’s a great guitarist and one of my favorites from early on: rock n’ roll riffing at its best with insane solos. The notes he plays on the neck are signature to his sound.

Mercyful Fate “A Dangerous Meeting” from Don’t Break the Oath:

Sherman and Denner. What a duo! Great tones with sinister riffing. The solos are melodic but grief ridden. Another combo I would have loved to see more from.


Motorhead “Ironhorse/Born to Lose” from On Parole:

A big influence and still one of my favorite bands. This version of the band has Larry Wallis on guitar, before Fast Eddie Clarke joined. It has a different feel; even Lemmy sings a little softer. His vocals are reminiscent of his time in Hawkwind. One of the few bands that are rock n’ roll and metal. Everything louder than everything else!


Iron Maiden “Prowler” from Iron Maiden:

When I first heard Iron Maiden I was wrecked. I thought that this was as good as it will ever get. I chose “Prowler” because it opens their debut and just slays! Their best record was Killers but this one is right there, too. I would have loved to hear a few more records with this lineup.


Trouble “The Tempter” from Psalm 9:

Listening to this sculpted my death metal writing. It made want to incorporate doom. It is so heavy and the guitars sound like a symphony of death. The first two records will always be in my favorites.


Judas Priest “The Ripper” from Unleashed In The East:

Like my good friend Alex Bouks, this is my favorite record by this great band. The whole record kills. I love the speed of the songs, which are slower on the studio recordings.


Genesis “The Return of the Giant Hogweed” from Nursery Cryme:

Steve Hacket was very underrated. He has such an original style, and some of his riffing is so heavy. This song opens up with complete madness and goes into a crushing riff.


The Rolling Stones “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”:

This is rock n’ roll. This is whiskey, smoke, good times! I always wanted to be like Keith: hammered, writing killer stuff, and bulletproof! This is the gateway band for me, made me push further. It’s all good but the smack, stay off smack!


Ozzy Osbourne (with Randy Rhoads): “Diary of a Madman”:

I couldn’t believe how good Randy was. Just a step ahead of everyone else. Diary has such a dark sound it, you can hear the color and mood. There will never be another like him.


Read previous installments of Inside The Shredder’s Studio:

#1: Elizabeth Schall of Dreaming Dead
#2: Mike Hill of Tombs
#3: Jon Levasseur of Cryptopsy
#4: Alex Bouks of Incantation
#5: Kurt Ballou of Converge
#6: Mark Thomas Baker of Orchid
#7: Andre Foisy of Locrian
#8: Eric Daniels of GSBC and Asphyx
#9: Kevin Hufnagel of Gorguts
#10: Marissa Martinez-Hoadley of Cretin