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Post Mortem

Post Mortem were a killer death/thrash band back in the day that put out a couple albums and I sent guitar player John Alexander some questions to answer and here is what he said:

MC: Give me a little history of the band and is the band still around?

JA: The band started in 1982 in Boston as a hardcore punk band. I was not in the band at the time, but, they were kids from my high school. They were pretty well known in the Boston scene. Not popular, but, well known for sure. They opened for many of the big hardcore punk bands at the time: DYS, Jerry's Kids, Gang Green, Siege, The Freeze, The Not, Police State, Terminally Ill, Abortion Squad, Kilslug, PTL Klub, Psycho, Cancerous Growth, etc. In 1984, I was asked to join the band because they wanted a “metal sound” and I was one of the few people into metal that played guitar at my high school. It was an honor to join such a well-known band.

Through the mid 80s and early 90s I was involved in the band off and on. I wrote most of the music and played on all the records. In the early 90s I moved to Seattle, and for reasons unknown to me and some reasons known, the rest of the guys were unable to keep the band going for long. Then came the internet. I reconnected with the Post Mortem guys though My Space and our singer John McCarthy wanted to do more records. So, I agreed to help him. We put together a new record and just before the vocals were to be recorded, John McCarthy died of a heart attack. A bunch of cool people like Mirai, Mike Keller, and Mike Perun helped us finished it. We released the record in 2009.

We are still around in some sense. We don’t practice or play shows or anything crazy like that. But, we still work on merchandise and releases.

MC: If the band has broken up, was it a bad break-up and any chance of a re-union show?

JA: I personally have no interest in playing a re-union show. I would not be opposed to making more records. I love the recording and writing part. Playing out is not for me.

MC: How many releases did the band put out and are they still available?

JA: After an Internet search, I figured out we have 20 releases spanning from 1981-2010. Some CDs, LPs, EPs, comps, 7 Inches. Etc. The CD “Message from the Dead” is available through Relapse.


The rest of the stuff is best found in used record stores and places like Ebay.

MC: How did you come up with the name and did any other bands try to steal your name?

JA: The original singer came up with the name in the early 80s or late 70s. Many bands used this name and I can understand why.

MC: For somebody who has never heard the band, what would you say you sound like?

JA: Complete dog shit.

MC: I know you were on New Renaissance and had 2 releases out. Do you have the rights to them and is there any unreleased material lying around?

JA: Do we have the rights to the NRR stuff? Well, Ann would say no.

As for unreleased material, in 2007 we released a CD called Deterioration of the Flesh with some unreleased stuff. However, this CD is sold out and no longer available. I would like to put it on LP, but just don’t have the cash.

MC: Do you feel you are a good live band and are there any old videos of the band floating around?

JA: No. Our performances wildly varied. From the tight and boring, the sloppy, the bloody, the fights, the loose, and the crazy, you never knew what you would get. In the late 80s, we really hated the people who came to see us and we did whatever we could think of to make their time at our show as miserable as possible. From playing unreleased songs, playing whiffle ball, cards, dance routines, and super extended versions of un-popular songs, etc. We had built up a very nice of bag of live tricks we could use to torture any audience before us.

There are some videos on You Tube, stuff from 85, 87, and think something from 88. Not too much craziness in those, but, interesting. I wish they showed the type of front man John McCarthy was. He was just incredible.

MC: I know you have a My Space page. How has the response to that been and have you hooked up with people/bands that you had not seen in a long time?

JA: My Space and the internet have been a great place for us to talk to some bands from the past and newer “fans.”

MC: Were there any other labels interested in the band besides NRR at the time?

JA: Yeah, we had interest from several well-known metal labels. However, NRR was the faster to get us contracts to sign, so, we signed him. Then NRR delayed the release of our first record, oh well.

MC: Tell me something about yourself that might surprise me?

JA: I am now a married software engineer with 3 kids. I rarely listen to music (I do still write songs like crazy).

MC: Was there a healthy metal scene back in the day up in Mass?

JA: Ha Ha. No!! Boston was a hardcore town in my youth. Metal bands were laughed at (and there weren’t many playing out in my day. ) Later on came Wargasm and Meliah Rage and I think things changed a bit. But, I had already lost total interest in the Boston scene at that point.

MC: What do you think killed thrash metal in the early 90's?

JA: I had no idea it was killed. In the 90’s, my head was still in the 80s (as it is today.) All the good riffs seem to be used up, so, it is tough to do something interesting here.

MC: Do you think a few yrs down the line, CD's will be gone and everything will be on an MP3 player?

JA: I sure hope not. I hate the mp3 format. I also hate all that heavy compression/limiting that is done today. I would be OK with a lossless format and a real small file size and no more compression/limiting. However, I would like everything to go back to analog and LP only. I would also like to see an improved cassette format with a thicker tape. Also, why do people release digital recordings on LP??? I don’t get it yet, other than the packaging and the mild analog benefits of the D/A for LP.

MC: What are some of the bands you shared the stage with and what was the best show you think you ever played?

JA: This wording always cracked me up and makes me think of “we are the world” or something. We played with many bands; some of my favs were Voivod, Doomwatch, Extreme, Kilslug, Bastards, C.O.C., and Dr. Know (for many different reasons.)

MC: Do you think thrash metal can make a comeback?

JA: I couldn’t care less. Sorry. I would like to see analog recordings and heavy riffs comeback. Cianide and Cardiac Arrest give me some hope, but, most stuff bores me. I would also like to see the end of “blast beats” – it just makes stuff sound un-heavy IMO and better vocals. Is a blast beat thrash? What is thrash metal??

MC: Did you ever get any reviews you thought were unfair?

JA: Reviews are someone’s opinion. So, all are fair as long as the reviewer is being honest.

MC: What are the 5 best metal releases in your eyes?

JA: For some reason I love these questions. However they are really tough to answer. I am going to group the Sabbath releases together, so, that I can mention other bands.

1. Black Sabbath (all the older Sabbath records, til Never Say Die, with Ozzy are number 1)
2. Celtic Frost – Morbid Tales
3. Cianide – Death, Doom, and Destruction
4. Slaughter – Strappado
5. Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden

MC: Plug any websites you have.

JA: Yeah….www.imdb.com – I like that one.

MC: Do you miss the days of dubbing tapes and sending them out lol?

JA: Yeah, I do. It was a fun time for hanging out with the band and not playing music. I personally was not a tape collector, so, I do not miss the collection of them.

MC: What was the craziest thing that ever happened at one of your shows?

JA: I guess getting beat up with my Les Paul studio. I think we decided to play our songs backwards that night and people were not happy. I remember people rushing the stage, which happened often, and someone took my guitar and pummeling me with it. This happened a bunch of times and then later on at one show someone ran off with it (after the beating.) If you are out there, please return it. I miss my LP studio L Good times.

MC: Ever see any pictures of somebody wearing a Post Mortem shirt or any tribute websites?

JA: Once in awhile I’ll see someone with a shirt or someone selling a shirt on Ebay.

MC: Back in the day did you ever get to do any sort of touring?

JA: We toured often in the 80s, it was not very fun.

MC: Can you still listen to your stuff and are you still proud of it?

JA: Some of the songs I think held up well. I still love it was just a thought, Quietus, and some of the riffs in Terminus.

I was never proud of it, I just did it. I had grand plans for some our recordings, but, never had the cash or patience to get things to sound the way I hoped. So, it is was it is.

MC: I am out of questions, horns up for the interview. Any last words?

JA: Ddffdsffdsfds…is that a word(s)?