Bunch of cut-ups

All joking aside, the members of Uncut are rising in the local music scene

From left, Uncut’s members (though not all members are uncut) are Bob Meerschaert, Tony Kasper, Troy Stevenson, Andy Kimberly and Brian Louderback.

From left, Uncut’s members (though not all members are uncut) are Bob Meerschaert, Tony Kasper, Troy Stevenson, Andy Kimberly and Brian Louderback.

Photo By Adrienne Rice

I meant it as a joke.

While sitting down with the members of local rock/punk band Uncut, I had to ask: “So, how many of you are uncut?”

Laughter springs up around the table.

“Three,” a few of them chime in.

Apparently, my crude circumcision reference was the actual basis for the name of the five-member (no pun intended) band. The three original members are, well, uncut. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out which three.

But penis jokes aside, the band truly wants to do something more than play Reno bars. And in some ways they have. According to Uncut, they were the only local band to play on this summer’s Warped Tour, which swung through Boreal Ski Resort on July 3.

The year-and-a-half old band certainly has the work ethic to get beyond the Sierra, the lack of which seems to keep many Reno bands from making it. The band members say they practice at least four times a week.

There are also plans to record an album in the near future.

“But all bands that are interviewed in the News & Review say there is a new record in the works,” says drummer Bob Meerschaert, laughing.

Meerschaert is the leader of this five-man ensemble, a number that is odd for pop-punk bands. Having three or four members is common, but five is very rare.

But the band has an explanation.

“We’re like Voltron when we play,” singer Troy Stevenson says, referring to the ‘80s cartoons series in which five space ships connected to form one powerful robot.

“We all kick a little bit of ass alone,” Meerschaert says. “But we can’t kick significant ass unless we’re together. If [bassist Tony Kasper is] gone, it’s like Voltron with one leg, spinning in the air.

“Without all of us, we’re like a heroic paraplegic.”

And as the members of Voltron had different personalities and tastes, so do the members of Uncut. The band pulls from a wide variety of influences ranging from Skid Row to hip-hop to Tool to the Ataris. Lead guitarist Andy Kimberly brings his love of ‘80s rock to the band’s sound, while rhythm guitarist Brian Louderback simply states:

“I’m from the school of thought that everything [Andy] listens to sucks.”

But there is no animosity between the two guitar players—merely the playful insults that often come from hanging out with friends. And despite Louderback’s feelings on the subject, Kimberly’s influence found its way into the band’s set at the Hacienda Aug. 10. After playing original material, the band busted into Bon Jovi’s classic, “You Give Love a Bad Name.” Covers, the band members say, are their way of giving something recognizable to the audience in return for coming to their shows.

“We could do an all-original show,” Stevenson says.

“We are passionate about our original music,” Meerschaert says. “We play covers because it’s a fair trade with the audience. The only deal is, we won’t do straight-up covers.”

The band will pull from even more styles of music for their covers than they do for their original music.

“We do a kick-ass cover of [Van Morrison’s] ‘Brown Eyed Girl,’ “ Stevenson says.

“Sometimes it’s a harder, poppy dance tune,” Meerschaert says.

“Sometimes something to make love to,” Louderback says.

“You know, if we happen to be in the mood," adds Meerschaert.