INTERVIEW: Brian Omer talks about what inspires Stonecutters, metal in Louisville & The Exorcist!

Fresh off of a cross country tour in support of their new record Carved in Time, heralded metal-heads Stonecutters are back in Louisville preparing for their next big gig, where they are set to open for the legendary GWAR at Bogarts in Cincinnati on Friday, December 28th. Considering that they are in town for the time being, I figured now would be as good a time as ever to reach out to singer/guitarist Brian Omer for an interivew. Their latest album is one of my personal favorite releases from 2018, so I was pretty excited to pick this guy’s brain for a few minutes.

Read on as we talk about the driving forces behind Stonecutters, Louisville’s metal scene, and more…

Never Nervous: Who or what inspires Stonecutters to make the music you guys make? Whether it be related to music or not, what turns you on?

Brian Omer: Not sure if it turns us on, but we write about-catastrophes, death (the Florida band and the noun), struggle, anger, melancholy. Lots of topics discussed on the new album, fact and fiction. I like the listener to make his or her own interpretation of each song instead of saying ‘this song is about this’. With that being said-‘Stitched’ is inspired by the movie Bride of Frankenstein, ‘Carved in Time’ the apocalypse, ‘To Wither and Burn’ is a tribute to how long and hard we’ve been doing this, ‘The Pendulum Swings Low’ is about the opiate crisis and how its taken several of our friends’ lives, to give you a brief explanation. Nick and I also teach guitar so we practice and write a lot of riffs and songs.

“I like the listener to make his or her own interpretation of each song instead of saying ‘this song is about this’.”

NN: Talk about the production of Carved In Time. Where was it recorded, and what separates it from your last record Blood Moon?

BO: New album was recorded by Zak Denham at LaLa Land Studios here in Louisville, Kentucky. Zak plays guitar in Anagnorisis, a local black metal band, and he knows how to make everything sound super thick and heavy. Blood Moon we’re very proud of and still play songs off that album live every show. But with Carved in Time you can definitely tell we stepped it up. I like to think each album gets better and better and this newest one has that Slayer/Exodus crunchy metal guitar we’ve been looking for. We spent a lot of time recording it to get everything just right and Zak did a killer job recording it and making us sound awesome. It has a real ‘live’ feel to it. Also switching to Engl heads really brought it over the top with the guitar crunch. Guitars and drums sound super thick and brutal on this one.

NN: Considering that there so many subgenres that are associated with metal, how would you categorize the music your band makes?

BO: We take elements of hardcore, death metal, thrash, doom, black, grind — all things heavy, intense and aggressive and throw it all in one pot and somehow it works for us. I think that’s what makes Stonecutters different and standout. We listen to a lot of different kinds of metal and music in general and find our own style that way. It’s crazy — one year we played with Deicide and Nashville Pussy within the same month.

“We take elements of hardcore, death metal, thrash, doom, black, grind… and throw it all in one pot and somehow it works for us.”

NN: If you had to pick one, what would you consider to be your favorite song on the new record? And why THAT song?

BO: I love how people came up to me last night at our album release show here in Louisville telling me their favorite song and almost everyone told me a different song. If I had to choose I might go with ‘To Wither and Burn’. It starts out with beautiful acoustic guitars (one being a 12-string) before building into a headbanger. The lyrics are somewhat of a testament to how long we’ve been going at this and not backing down. Like a Viking at his funeral pyre so to speak — To Wither and Burn. I’m really proud of my solo on that one too. Each band member has a different favorite but we’re all stoked on all the songs.

NN: This might be a dumb question: is your band’s name a Simpsons reference? Or is it a tribute to something else entirely?

BO: Yes, the band’s name originated from the episode of the Simpson’s titled Homer the Great. Our Homer Simpson/Jeff Gaither shirts give it away. Great episode. But we took it in a darker/heavier direction, obviously.

NN: As someone that is a bit out of touch with Louisville’s metal scene, but a fan of the genre itself, tell us about two or three bands that we should keep an eye on locally.

BO: Savage Master are a unique throwback to 70’s style metal and good friends of ours. They tour a lot and work hard. Founder Adam Neal and I are childhood friends and his band is doing great. Blind Scryer is an awesome stoner metal band in the vein of Kyuss, Black Sabbath, Sheavy, Nebula. They are very popular right now in Louisville with good reason. Crown ov Serpents is a newer black metal band that I love. They’re very fast and ferocious live. Somewhat like early Darkthrone, Bathory, Venom. Cryptic Hymn are heavy, catchy, and technical but with feel. Great players and people. Luther for the slower Danzig/Clutch fans.

NN: Maybe you can help with a question I’ve been asking myself about The Exorcist — who was desecrating the churches throughout the film? Was it Regan? I can’t find an answer anywhere!

BO: Just watched it again and I remember what you’re talking about — Regan desecrated the statue in the church with art supplies from her basement. Just watched The Exorcist recently. Great movie.

“Regan desecrated the statue in the church with art supplies from her basement.”

NN: Speaking of horror films, what would you consider to be your favorite from 2018?

BO: Only horror movie I’ve seen in 2018 was Halloween remake. Saw it at the Georgetown drive in right before Halloween. It wasn’t bad. I’m more of a fan of the silent era, Lon Chaney, as well as the early black and whites. But I do like some good gore too. Return of the Living Dead is one of my all-time favorites.

NN: Before you go, what would you consider to be your favorite metal record to come out in 2018?

BO: My favorite is probably Deicide – Overtures of Blasphemy, but here’s some others I liked:

  • Judas Priest – Firepower
  • Voivod – The Wake
  • Behemoth – I loved you at your darkest
  • Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods
  • Hate Eternal – Upon Desolate Sands
  • Unleashed – The Hunt for White Christ
  • Against the Grain – Cheated Death
  • The Watchers – Black Abyss
  • Gruesome  -Twisted Prayers