Music for the love of it

By JIM MACNIE  |  May 5, 2010
ONE OF THE BOYS Cutler with the Schemers (Emerson Torrey, Jimi Berger, Dick Reed, and Matt Koomey) in 1987 and the Raindogs (Johnny Cunningham, Darren Hill, Torrey, and Jimmy Reilly) in 1990.
YOU JUMPED OUT OF A PLANE A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO. HOW WAS IT TO BE A FIRST-TIME SKYDIVER? Someone gave me a jump session for a birthday present. We get in the airplane, and it’s just me and my instructor and another person and their instructor. We start to move, and it strikes me: the door is open. I started freaking out. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to get up to jumping height, and they closed it on the way up. About halfway up I realized I was breathing hard. Finally we’re there and the door opens. What hits you is the violence of the wind up there, the sound of it. You put your feet on a platform and you fall forward. I wasn’t afraid; it was exciting. I trusted the equipment and the instructor. The free falling for a minute was fantastic. One of the best things I’ve ever done — that and white water rafting when I was younger. I want to do it with my son.

DOES THAT EXPERIENCE GO TO THE HEART OF WHO YOU ARE? IF EVERYTHING TAKES CARE OF ITSELF, YOU DON’T FEEL A NEED TO WORRY? Well, for a few weeks right after that, I definitely felt that way. There’s a euphoria. After doing that, I knew I could jump off a cliff into water.  If anyone is suffering from low self-esteem, they should go skydiving. It would improve their outlook immensely.

HOW IS IT BEING A COMMUTER? Good points and bad points. The good is that I’m just riding, not driving; I don’t deal with the traffic. The bad point is that it takes four hours out of my day, out of my life.

IS THERE ROOM FOR CREATIVITY ON THE TRAIN? I read a lot of books, I’ve written lyrics on the train, I listen to a lot of music, I bring my laptop and have made some loops, some electronica stuff. I took my camera on the train, snapping pictures outside the door. But I stopped because people might have found it creepy.

ELECTRONICA? I’ve got Pro Tools, and a program called Reason. Sampling and loops. I think I might create an alter ego and make an electronica album. I listen to WRIU at night, and some of that stuff is pretty cool. I do some ambient stuff, and I’d like to use some weird sampling stuff, Sinatra or something. I might use the name Rev Mok.

THERE’S A MANIA IN YOUR WORK PROCESS LATELY. YOU HAVE FOUR BANDS AND YOU OFTEN PLAY OUT TWO OR THREE NIGHTS A WEEK. WHAT DRIVES IT? I want to stay in shape. I want to be good. We don’t rehearse, so this is the way I keep my voice happening and keep my chops up. And I’ve gotta tell you: I love to play.

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