PAUL B CUTLER - Les Fleurs -The Consumers, 45 Grave, Vox Pop and The Dream Syndicate- CDin the Red
Fans of the innovations and originality that sprang from the L.A. underground of the late 1970s and ’80s often ask, “What’s Paul B. Cutler been up to?” A vital participant in the Los Angeles music scene of that period as bandleader, songwriter, musician and producer, Cutler’s work—in particular his guitar playing—with The Consumers, 45 Grave, Vox Pop and The Dream Syndicate is still admired by fans and an influence on anyone interested in that period and the styles that developed from it. In 2014, “Ryan Adams contacted me and wanted to form a band. He loved 45 Grave, he wanted to do some goth / punk, whatever you want to call it. That’s right up my alley. He’s amazingly talented and inspiring to work with. We did that for a while, and I wrote a bunch of songs.” Enthused about his new material, Cutler continued recording songs with just his signature electric guitar style and vocals. As this was developing, another vet of the early L.A. scene—Brad Laner of Medicine and Savage Republic—got in touch with Cutler. Soon Laner was mixing, co-producing, playing keyboards as well as adding the rhythm section. The overall process took some time, with songwriting beginning in 2014. When reflecting on the music that comprises Les Fleurs, “To me, and it does not sound like it, but because of the philosophy I had while producing it, it’s punk. I come from the original punk, before it was a genre. Before it was a ‘sound.’ When I got to LA in 1977 there were about twenty, maybe thirty bands and they all sounded very different. The Screamers, The Deadbeats, so many different takes on what music could be. There was no chance for commercial success so we all just did what we wanted. I never stopped. So philosophically I consider this punk rock, made in its original spirit although nobody would recognize it as such. I am a punk to this day.” So that, dear reader, is the basic story. Now it’s up to you to see what you recognize in Paul B. Cutler’s Les Fleurs.