Chris Cutler has led a varied and surprising career as a drummer, record label executive, hard line socialist, and ethnomusicologist, among other labels, spanning over four decades of work and over 100 records.
Born in Washington, D.C., on January 4, 1947, but raised in England, Cutler began drumming in beat and psychedelic groups around 1966. His first group, Louise, played the clubs in London's psychedelic scene until disbanding three years later. With Dave Stewart, then-keyboardist of the band Egg (2), Cutler formed the 26-piece Ottawa Music Company, which played seven gigs in all, highlighting the music of composers that they knew or had met.
Chris Cutler then joined Henry Cow in 1971 after he placed an ad in the paper, and for seven long years they recorded and toured, by themselves or in collaboration with members of Slapp Happy. Cutler also played with psychedelic band Gong; the London Philharmonic and the Berlin Radio Orchestra. Henry Cow broke up in 1978, just after the setting up of Rock in Opposition, a collective of similar thinking musicians. Since then Cutler has formed several groups for one or two albums apiece, including Cassiber, The (EC) Nudes, p53 or The Science Group to name only a few, and collaborated with a long list of progressive, avant garde, improvisors and experimental musicians, such as the Residents, Pere Ubu, Hail, Biota, Telectu, and many, many more.
Politics were always important to Cutler and to Henry Cow who were looking for radical social change. Such drive is seen in his lyrics for Henry Cow and for subsequent Cow and Slapp Happy related bands, such as Art Bears and News From Babel, and in other later collaborations. Cutler's lyrics often tell metaphorical political tales using imagery from medieval English texts.
Cutler also founded and runs ReR Megacorp, which releases a majority of the work he either initiates or performs on. In 1984, he published "File Under Popular" a series of essays about experimental musicians and the theories of creating music against the mainstream.