Brian “Cutter” James aka Cut la Whut is a master turntablist, blending house music, breakbeats and hip-hop into DJ sets that have been rocking parties in the Tetons region and beyond for years.
Based in Victor, Idaho, James performs all over the Teton Valley at venues like the Knotty Pine Supper Club, Wildlife Brewing and the West Side Yard. He can also be found on the Jackson side of the pass mixing it up at events for Jackson Hole Moose Hockey games, Melvin Brewing and summer concerts like JH Live.
In advance of his set at the Winter Warmer party benefiting KHOL presented by High Point Cider on Saturday, Feb. 5, DJ Cut la Whut joined us recently in the KHOL studios.
The following interview transcript has been edited for clarity and brevity. This conversation was recorded on Friday, Jan. 28.
JACK CATLIN/KHOL: So, what’s your perspective on how the local party scene has grown and shifted to where it’s at now?
BRIAN “CUTTER” JAMES/CUT LA WHUT: I think now it’s in, it’s in a tough situation in kind of having a home. I look back to the times I’m talking about, and you know, there is myself and the “Four4” Rocky Vertone, Mikey Thunder was here for a good amount of time. [And] another guy, Tyler T. And we were doing two or three gigs a week in multiple venues and you had the support of these venues. I think that was another thing — the big difference of that right now is you need the venue and the management to be behind that scene. And I look at like The Cowboy [Bar] or The Wort [Hotel], the way they support bluegrass and country. And you really need a place that supports electronic music and hip-hop in the same fashion. Because to me, that’s a sound of today. That is pop culture. You know, you look at other places and that’s just, I think, a piece of the puzzle that Jackson struggles with. And shout out to like the Something Else crew and what they’re doing. They’re kind of carrying the torch. I feel as far as being that collective is Jackson Hole at the moment. That’s kind of where I think I see things.
KHOL: Your relationship with the radio station here at KHOL goes way back, as you spent a lot of time on-air doing shows, events, etc. back in the day. Can you touch on those early days for those that may not know and [also on] why independent local radio is so important?
CUT LA WHUT: Yeah, for sure. It was a guy named Walker White and Jim Tallichet who started the radio station, and I was introduced to those guys just through some music friends. And they’re like, ‘Hey, you should work with this guy.’ And so I started doing some shows with them, and it was one of those things that was really cool because previous to KHOL, we had a little run with some pirate radio here: 92.3 “The Shack.” We were broadcasting out of an RV in a little tiny tin shed behind The Virginian, in the camper zone back there. But then we were doing events too at that time, like Front Street Productions, and we owned the Jackson Hole Playhouse. And so that was 2008, 2007, and one year we did a series. I was like, ‘Hey, let me help you out!’ And we did a series of fundraisers and we put on three or four events, brought DJs from L.A., Canada, you know, around the U.S., and then took all the money that we made and donated to the radio station. And at that time, I was doing probably two shows a week and maybe multiple days during the week to help them just do programming. And at that time, we were recording CDs and getting the whole database up and running. And so it was fun, man. And it was really cool to be a part of and it’s really cool to see where it’s all come and to hear things from here on NPR and the diversity of the different radio shows is amazing and back then too. It’s because it brings together music lovers and I think that that’s a really unique thing with having it being a volunteer-run radio station.
Listen above for KHOL’s full conversation with DJ Cut la Whut.