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Interview: Mike Allen – Cutthroat Split Tail

April 1, 2011

No. IL Band Cutthroat Split Tail has been blazin’ the near Chicago suburbs for the last 2 years. I caught up with guitarist/vocalist Mike Allen to talk about Steve Albini, opening for Local H, and Japan. TorsoMedia is in Bold.

Hey, sorry I’m late, my girlfriend was looking up flights.

No biggie man.

Anyway what’s up?

Havin a day to relax. No band practice.

Awesome. You want to start?


So give me a little background about the band how did it form, for starters?

hmm…We started when i met Amanda and we wrote some songs in like 2008. She played the bass and I kinda wanted to come out of playing the drums

So do you two split the song writing duties?

At first she did most of the vocals and i did most of the writing but now its kinda even 50/50

Yeah I def. like when you guys split it up.

Its kind of like send a .doc, change, send back, repeat, repeat. We’ve got some new songs with the dual vox goin on. Usually i’ll come up with something and well rock it and then we’ll both find other stuff, stops, wierd shit, etc.

I really like your guitar playing a lot. Who are you guys listening to lately and who inspires your music (if not the same people/bands)?

The music scene around Lombard is pretty tight. Villa Park, in particular. Otherwise. We’re always listening to the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Muddy Waters and lots of punk rock. The Ramones and Sex Pistols, in particular. The Who. Gotta love Keith Moon

Fuck Yes, Keith Moon. You guys recently opened up for Local H, right?

Yes. It was amazing. There were like 350+ people there maybe more, I have no idea. It was totally surreal. We sold all of our tshirts and demos.

Was that your biggest show so far?

Yes, definitely our biggest one so far. Brian St. Clair (Local H. drummer) is a bad mother fucker.

How did that come about?

It was from this talent agency gig at this peacefest campout in Elgin. The dude from the agency, Joey Dimarco hooked us up.

Sounds Awesome. Did you meet the guys of Local H at all. I’ve met Scott, he was kind of a dick.

Yeah, We met them. Brian is awesome. Scott is a dick to EVERYONE. He was bitching at some dude in the crowd. Then again all 5 times i’ve seen them he was bitching at someone. But I LOVE their music.

So you are 30 and your drummer is 21. Does that ever present any challenges within the band?

Nah, age doesn’t really make a difference as long as the chemistry is there. It’s only an issue when they are unde ager and can’t play bars

Very true. So what’s next for you guys. You have a couple shows coming up?

We’ve got this big ass show with 10 bands that benefits Japan, Red Cross will be there to help. April 16th. The American Legion Hall, 203 N. Edgewood Ave., Wood dale, IL. 3pm – 2am.

How did that come about?

I thought of it one day at work. Made some calls. All the slots were full in less than a day.

That’s really great of you.

Its for a good cause. Plus lots of exposure for all the bands. All around good time for everyone.

What about recording? Are you guys putting out any new material any time soon?

In april hopefully. We’re going to record a new record.

Where do you record?

My pick right now is to have Steve Albini record us at Electrical Studios. $3000. Or we can still go into Electrical for a significantly cheaper price with a different technician but it would be fucking amazing to have Steve record us.

Any last words?

Massive praise to the fender telecaster

Telecasters for life.

Check out Cutthroat Split Tail at I recommend the song Chicago

See below for the Japan Benefit flyer.

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