Leigh Sedley and Paul Fisher — Sedz and Fish to their friends — moved from Australia to America 10 years ago as professional surfers. These days, though, the duo is becoming better known in another field: as the DJs and producers called Cut Snake.
“It comes from an Australian saying: ‘mad as a cut snake,’” Sedley says, explaining their name. “When you chop a snake’s head off, it’ll keep living — like its nerves will keep going for another half an hour or so. I’m pretty sure it can still bite you.” So the term is Australian lingo for “crazy”.
The pair met in their early teens, when they appeared on a TV show together because of their success as competitive surfers in Australia.
“Sedz was this dirty, redhead, freckly kid,” Fisher remembers. “I thought he was an arrogant cockhead.”
Fisher admits that Sedley was the better competitor, but regardless, both guys ended up surfing for the same company, Reef, at 17.
Through surfing, the two Aussies became close friends. “We shared a big bed six weeks out of the year in Hawaii,” Fisher says.
They also shared a love of house music, something that not many other surfers were into.
One rainy day in Hawaii, the bored friends bought some MIDI controllers to mess around with. “We were both kind of into the same music, so it was pretty fitting that we were sharing a bed,” Fisher jokes. “We could stay up all night playing with our MIDI controllers in our room.”
Soon, the duo started DJing for parties on the road and at home, even though they were also still surfing professionally. Shortly after entering their twenties, the guys moved to Carlsbad, California with Reef and got an apartment together. They spent their downtime hanging out and experimenting with production software and their MIDI controllers to make music.
“We used to fucking sit in our living room, just me and him, with a fucking can of alcohol, jumping around thinking we were fucking Tiësto,” Fisher laughs.
Things started to pick up once Sedley and Fisher got to America. Sedley started more seriously making music on his laptop, and Fisher spent most of his time searching for interesting tracks to remix or drop into sets at the parties they played. The guys primarily go for a mix of groovy deep house and tech house, favoring tunes that sound just as good on a sunny afternoon at the beach as they do in a club at 2 a.m.
The name Cut Snake is fitting, as Sedley, 30, and Fisher, 29, might seem a little crazy for dropping their pro surfing lives to pursue a dream of producing electronic music in L.A. Plenty of aspiring musicians have moved here and never made it big. But Sedley and Fisher have a laid-back, YOLO attitude and great onstage chemistry that allows them to just have fun with wherever their music takes them.
And it’s working — dance music fans are having fun with them, too. The Cut Snake guys already have some major festivals under their belts, including Hard Day of the Dead, where they showed up onstage in costume as a horse and cowboy.
But Sedley and Fisher are especially excited about hitting nightclub venues, where they like to play relatively unplanned sets and experiment with new tracks.
What is certain, though, is that no matter how their gigs go, Cut Snake will be jumping around and having fun just like they used to in their San Diego living room — except now, they’re a little bit closer to being like Tiësto.