As you might remember (well, at least those of you who’ve read my review), I’ve really liked material from those Texans. And in what has become a nice tradition for the Rubber Axe webzine, what was the chance I wouldn’t want to find out more about the brutalizers behind that great stuff? Thanks to Brian and John, we have an unique opportunity to learn about some of the definers of the death/grind genre…So, ladies and gentlemen, here comes Necrotomy!
Well, let‘s talk about Necrotomy. Although the band‘s long gone, it‘s legacy is certainly not. Can you tell us something about forming the band? Was it your first ever band? How did you three actually met?
Brian: I had been playing drums in a Metallica cover band since I was like 13 years old and we also did our own originals. From what I recall, I saw an ad in the local music section of one of the music papers in town, and contacted John and Steve. I didn’t drive yet (legally), so my Dad drove me to meet them at the Drum Shop in Houston, TX and sent me on my way to either get killed in a shed out in the country, or to try out on drums for these two strangers. I played on their original drummers drums, which were indeed out in a shed in the country – like an hour and a half away. I didn’t die.
John: Not my first band but my first long term endeavor.
Nowadays it would be nothing special, I guess, but back in the beginning of the 1990s the death/grind of Necrotomy would offer quite a brutal earache for unsuspecting listener. What bands were your main influences in creating your musick? From some song parts I am sure you were no stranger to old American hardcore bands, am I right?
Brian: I was definitely into the punk/hardcore of the day, but also metal. We had a local radio show (Bill and Wes) that I would record onto cassette and listen to. They introduced me to heavier bands like Morbid Angel, Carcass, Death, Cannibal Corpse, Terrorizer, Mortician etc…John was also talking to the guys in Impetigo up north and they would send us killer mix tapes with bands like Pungent Stench, Anal Cunt, Disharmonic Orchestra, Extreme Noise Terror, etc. Man, there were just so many killer bands in the underground……
John: For me Impetigo, Agathocles, Jerry’s Kids, Doom, E.N.T. – bands in those veins. You would be correct.
If you can recall, what was the local scene back in the day in your area? I guess many bands are gone, but which ones would you think of as worth of mentioning?
Brian: Houston had a pretty killer metal scene and was a regular stop for national and international bands. There were a few clubs that would allow metal, like The Axiom and Fitzgerald’s, and there would always be killer shows – Carcass, Death, Pestilence, D.R.I., etc. A few local bands were Deadhorse, Kruller, Helstar, Academy Black, Dark Reign, Basilisk – there was a good mix album that came out around 1990 with local bands called Voices of a Red God that many of those bands were on. It’s out on the internet somewhere in MP3 format.
John: I’m still in the Houston area so I am still in the scene which has changed but it’s still a lot of the same faces out there, us old guys. We are getting some younger people coming out to shows but 20-30 years ago it was almost all young people. Splattereah and Krullur both of which are still around in a sense
In 1991 you released your only demo „Meals in the Morgue“. Let‘s talk a little about it… Where did you record it and what were the reactions from the listeners, fans and labels/zines? I can imagine getting positive reviews, but have you got any negative for that said demo? Any label interest?
Brian: Either you liked us or you didn’t.
John: We recorded it in a small studio in Katy, TX that was actually in a storage unit. I did a lot of tape trading all over the world and one of my contacts was Stevo from Impetigo. Stevo actually got Wild Rags interested in our demo which led to our ‘deal’ with the label.
Although I don‘t have a lyrics sheet for your songs, judging from the song titles (and the cover pic), I see some yummy stuff here! 🙂 Who was the band main lyricist?
Brian: I think we all just wrote disgusting lyrics. There wasn’t really a main lyricist, we were all disgusting. One song was even a joke about the stupid politics running around in the “scene” in Houston at that time.
John: Brian and I pretty much split the writing of lyrics for the songs, the music was a collaboration from all of us. I still have the original artwork, etc….I might be able to dig up a lyric sheet some time.
I always consider it quite unusual to find a drummer in an extreme metal band doing also vokills, and that set Necrotomy apart from many other bands straight away…I can think only about Autopsy from that era having Chris Reifert on vokills…why that decision, to have two vokills? (I know how stupidly this question sounds, but anyway…)
Brian: From what I recall, we couldn’t find a singer and we just said fuck it, we’ll all sing. So, John and I screamed and then I bought a pitch track machine so that my juvenile vocals would be much heavier. I used two mics, one clean and one going through the pitch track. Our idea for a drummer vocalist was most definitely influenced by Autopsy. They are one of my all-time favorites. “Ok, I’ll do it!”
John: Two vocalists were used because we wanted to have two different sounds and we probably got the idea from Extreme Noise Terror.
Then, in 1992, you self-released your EP „Indecent Exposure“, containing songs from the demo plus a few new ones. How much did that original release differ from the re-release by Wild Rags? Or not at all?
Brian: I don’t know.
John: It didn’t differ, we recorded it in early ’92 for Wild Rags to promote but they took an eternity to actually get it released. It was to the point we began to doubt if it would ever see the light of day.
And mentioning Wild Rags Records, how did you get in touch with Richard C.? WRR has gone down in the music history as a quite infamous rip-off label, what experience have you got with it? Any info about how well your MCD has sold?
Brian: John got in touch with Richard through the guys in Impetigo, I believe. I don’t think we got anything but a few free CDs – we never did Necrotomy for money. Hell, if you do music for money, you’ll likely be disappointed with the results. We had some great times though, which is always a great memory.
John: Stevo put us in touch with Richard, we received around 10% of the original pressing to sell ourselves, no idea how well the rest of them sold through WRR.
From what I could find, Necrotomy has played at least one live gig (namely at the Pik‘n‘Pak in Houston, TX), do you recall this one? Have you played any more gigs? What did the gigs look like back then?
Brian: I think we played Pik’n’Pak a few times, one at the Axiom, and one at a trailer party. We jammed a bunch, but rarely got out and played.
John: We played the Pik N Pak several times and what I would consider our ‘biggest’ gig was at the Axiom (Houston) which was a great place for shows back in the day. We got banned from the Pik N Pak for being too wild – we always brought a box of meat scraps (Brian: Or fermented road kill) to throw at the crowd, they had never seen anything like that before.
When has Necrotomy split up and what has been the reason for the split up? As I can‘t find any other activity of the band members, except for your part in Paths Of Possession‘s 2003 „The Crypt of Madness“ split with Dark Faith, does it mean you‘ve all stopped being musically active? And by the way, what can you tell us about Steve? I am curios cos‘ he‘s listed in the band line up only by his first name, was he any sort of mystery man?
Brian: Necrotomy split up sometime while I was in high school. Steve and I did not continue to get along, we fought a lot, and John moved a good distance away, but he and I remained friends. I played in several bands after that– the only other one with a loyal and devoted following being Cancerslug, which has been going for like 20 years now. I played on several of the early albums and lived a lot out of my little pickup truck. I did this while in Paths of Possession. I’d drive from Tampa, FL to Alabama to record with Cancerslug. Alex, who IS Cancerslug and also the singer for Doyle, would send me cassette tapes with his new songs, and I’d learn them, drive to Bama, practice as a band, and go record a CD. It worked out pretty well. I had one band after all that ended, but we just couldn’t all agree on the direction and it disbanded.
John: Brian and myself wanted to take the band in a different direction, we played our last show in Huffman, TX Halloween of ‘92. Steve committed suicide back in ’09. He didn’t want his name on the CD because he was a perfectionist and didn’t feel his playing was good enough.
Coming to the end of this interview, are you still playing in any band or just at home, or not at all? Any favorite new bands, zines or podcasts? And as it‘s quite popular nowadays, would Necrotomy be able to re-unite again one day?
Brian: No, I don’t play anymore. I’ve been invited to jump into tours and/or jam among friends, but I just don’t have the time or desire anymore. I may pick up the sticks again one day, but for now, I don’t play. I’m a grumpy old man now. I don’t have much desire to go out and find new bands. I used to rely a lot on George (Corpsegrinder) to introduce me to new bands, but now that I don’t live in Florida, I can’t listen to all the new bands that he introduces people to. My favorite, back in the day, was The Crown – Deathrace King. Love that CD.
Since Steve is gone, there won’t be any resurrection of Necrotomy. I bet John and I could send tracks back and forth through email, but trying that with Richard Brunelle showed me that it can be really difficult to do without the proper gear.
John: I have continued to play mostly for fun, even did a project with Brian back in the mid 90s, my last band was about 2-3 years ago. Current favorite bands are Womrot, Magrudergrind and Horna. A new iteration of Necrotomy has been discussed previously but never pursued.
And that‘s all for today. Many thanks again for your time! Any last words for our readers?
Brian: No problem, I appreciate your support and good words about a band from early in our lives – like 30 years ago. A lot of folks just didn’t understand or like what we did in Necrotomy…..low budget, self-financed, young kids, jamming metal – but, who cares?