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AFTERLIFE (since 1986)
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play lo-fi play hi-fi  01 - Vaporized
play lo-fi play hi-fi  02 - I'd Bleed You
play lo-fi play hi-fi  03 - Sheltered Girl
play lo-fi play hi-fi  04 - Anywhere But Here
play lo-fi play hi-fi  05 - Nemesis
play lo-fi play hi-fi  06 - Four Highways
play lo-fi play hi-fi  07 - Lemon Drop
play lo-fi play hi-fi  08 - Priceless Heart
play lo-fi play hi-fi  09 - Rose-Colored Glasses
play lo-fi play hi-fi  10 - Blood From A Stone
AFTERLIFE is a progressive, alternative rock trio - originally formed in January 1986. The band members have always remained the same. Mike Hudson (guitars, keyboards, vocals), Jonathan Dorsey (bass, vocals) and Warren Davis (drums and percussion).

AFTERLIFE released their first EP "Three-Way Mirror in 1987. The following year 1988, that same EP along with 5 new tracks were released as the bands first full-length album, "The Frozen Sun".
1990, saw the release of the album "The Awakening", and 1991 yielded the third album "Curtain Call".

In the summer of 1991, the band took a break, which would wind up lasting for 20 years, but then in October 2011, AFTERLIFE returned to the studio to begin working on the fourth album, "Compass Rose" which was released April 1, 2013.

In January 2014, the band re-entered the studio and began recording tracks for a new album.
This album will hopefully be available by 2015.
Why this name?
Right after we formed the search for a name began and many names were tossed around, but none that all three of us agreed on. Warren was adamant that he didn't want to be called THE anybody (i.e. The Beatles, The Police, The Who, etc.)

In fact, he preferred a single word if possible (i.e. Yes, Rush, Genesis, Queen, etc.)

One day I was watching a TV show about the paranormal and the afterlife, and all of a sudden it hit me, and I talked with Jonathan first, and he liked the name a lot too. So I made a bunch of printouts on fan-fold paper with the word "AFTERLIFE" repeated several thousand times, and we draped the pages all over Warren's drum set, and hung them on the wall behind his drums as well.

When he showed up to practice that night, and saw it, he said "Well, this is the best one we've come up with yet", and that's pretty much how the name came into use for us.

We were AFTERLIFE as far back as Jan 1986. In 1993, I discovered another band using the name (apparently beginning that same year 1993). And since that time I've discovered over a dozen other bands also using the name...but none of them prior to our use of it, so as far as we're concerned, WE are the original AFTERLIFE, and anyone else using the name is an imposter.
Do you play live?
We are not currently playing live. In the past, we played pretty much anywhere we could get into. Clubs, concert halls, theaters, restaurants, frat parties, private parties, city parks, gymnasiums, etc. We've had a lot of special moments. We played at Club Rio in Atlanta at the first "New South Music Showcase". We were also regulars for awhile in Atlanta at the Wreck Room, Avondale Towne Cinema, L'il Five Points Pub and others, as well as in our own home town of Carrollton, Ga. at Bradley's Old Towne Bar and Grill and Anne's Pizza.

We have not appeared live since the summer of 1991, but that's not to say it will never happen again. But for the moment, we're concentrating on the studio. Jonathan (our bass player) has been in and out of a lot of bands and often sits in with other artists at various live venues. Warren has also sat in with another band, and I (Mike) have appeared on stage twice since 1991. Once as a solo artist back in the 90's, and once in a duet with Jonathan, back in 2011.

How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
The music "industry" is close to non-existent these days. Recording has become so much easier and less costly than in the past, and you have way more independent artists flooding the internet with their music. It's good that independent recording artists can get their "product" out to a much larger listener base, but at the same time, with so much out there to listen to, the competition is really overwhelming, and often you DON'T get heard for that very reason. People just don't have time to listen to everything that's available to them.

Another thing that's really changed, is that many people nowadays expect all music to be totally free. They're not willing to pay for a physical album CD/LP/etc. They're generally not willing to pay for a download either. Something that really disturbs me is that people will pay for silly apps on their cell phones (that make fart noises or turn their photos into zombie people), but most are unwilling to spend .99 cents for a song download.

People want the songs for free, with no regard to how much it cost that artist to record and produce the song, not to mention the time they've invested in the songwriting stage and the actual performances that went into the recording.

For the few people who do still buy music (and especially for those who have recently bought our new CD or downloaded any or all the songs from it), we really do appreciate your support. It's people like you who make it all worthwhile. Bands like us, who are independent, and have been for over 2 decades, often are in the music business just for the love of music itself. We have no great illusions that we're going to become rich, or even be able to make a living making music, but it is nice when you get some return on the money you've spent on equipment, recording costs, production and distribution costs, etc.
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
We've had our own private label (Clockwork Records) for years now, but should a major label show interest, we would definitely talk with them. Depending on what the offer was, we might take it.
Band History:
Mike and Warren played briefly in a band with another guitarist called THE END. We didn't have a bass player. No live shows were ever done, unless you count some open rehearsals at a nearby college in the food service building after hours. Sometimes people would show up to listen for awhile. Eventually, the other guitarist left, and Mike and Warren kept trudging along trying to find a bassist, and possibly another guitarist or keyboardist to help fill out the sound.

After awhile, they began to get disillusioned with the whole idea...but luckily around this time, Jonathan entered the picture. Mike and Jonathan decided to form a band, and the most logical candidate on drums was Warren, who eagerly accepted the invitation. Jonathan was originally supposed to be the second guitarist, but a search for a suitable bass player proved fruitless, and Jonathan eventually decided to give bass a try, only to find out he was a natural on the instrument.

Shortly after switching to bass, AFTERLIFE entered Brian Jobson's "Threshold Audio Productions" studio to record four songs. These songs and one more recorded a few months later would become the bands first EP called "Three-Way Mirror" in 1987.

AFTERLIFE had begun performing locally during this time. Clubs, parties, state parks, etc. In the early days they mixed some cover music along with their originals, but the idea was always to eventually be an originals only band.

In 1988, AFTERLIFE returned to Jobson's studio (then renamed Jobson Audio Lab) to record four more songs. These 4 songs and the 5 songs on the previous EP were combined to become the bands first full-length album (in cassette form) "The Frozen Sun", released in 1988. A last minute addition of a tenth song was made to the album.

Songs from the album were played on a number of college stations, and also on a couple of commercial stations on their local artists shows.

AFTERLIFE had started playing a lot in the Atlanta area, and were also regulars at several clubs in their hometown, Carrollton.

During this same time AFTERLIFE was also selected to be one of a number of bands playing in various clubs around the Atlanta area in the first "New South Music Showcase". AFTERLIFE played at Club Rio on the bill with 3 other bands, including Insane Jane and Cool Joe.

In 1990, the band's second album "The Awakening" was released. Ten more new original songs, showing an evolution of the band's style.

Songs from both albums were featured regularly on Atlanta's 96 Rock on their "Peach Jam" show, which was a local Georgia artists show. A number of tracks were selected as "Peach Pick of the Week". One song, "Catalyst" was a favorite of the show's host, Alan Ayo, and was placed into a regular rotation on the show. Shortly after the release of "The Awakening", AFTERLIFE was invited on the show for an acoustic jam and live interview.

Riding on this momentum, AFTERLIFE began branching out even more, playing other cities in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina.

In early 1991, the band's third album "Curtain Call" was finished, except for the artwork and printing. The second and third albums were both recorded in their entirety at AFTERLIFE's own studio (Clockwork Studio), owned and operated by the band's guitarist Mike.

But, there were several personal events that were taking place within the band, and AFTERLIFE decided to take the Summer of 1991 off, and then regroup in the fall when the album was ready to release.

This plan took a severe detour, though. Due to a number of factors, the band decided to take a much longer break...although it was never anticipated that it would last for 20 years.

During this time, Mike decided to leave the music scene entirely. The studio was dismantled and sold off, and he went on to other pursuits. Warren sold a family business he'd been operating locally and moved to Florida to try a different career. Jonathan was the only one of the three who remained active musically. He was in several bands, both original and cover, over the years. He also did a lot of solo performances and working with other musicians and bands both live and in the studio. Jonathan also released his own solo album "Desperatetown" during the early 2000's.

Although Mike had left the scene, he still continued to write songs over the years, and around the end of 2008, decided he'd like to have a go at recording again, and over the next couple years he spent a lot of time and money building a new version of Clockwork Studio.

In 2011, the studio was ready to go, and AFTERLIFE regrouped to work on "something". The details of which were unclear at first, but after the first weekend session (in which the rhythm tracks to 7 songs were finished), it was abundantly clear that the band was well on the way to recording their fourth album. Two more weekends later that year yielded a total of 6 more rhythm tracks. These 13 songs would eventually be finished and released in April 2013.

"Compass Rose" is the 4th album by AFTERLIFE.
Your influences?
We are influenced by a lot of different things. 60's rock, 70's rock, 80's rock, 90's rock and some current day rock. There are some blues and jazz influences on the band as well. There's even a touch of country that pops up from time to time. A lot of experimental musical influences as well. As far as specific bands, the list would go on for miles. But a short list would include U2, REM, Pink Floyd, Rush, The Cars, The Police, The Who, The Beatles, The Doors, Electric Light Orchestra, Collective Soul, Foo Fighters, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Church, Tom Petty and so on...
Favorite spot?
Well, for me (Mike), personally, I'd have to say the recording studio.
There I can create whatever I can envision.
Equipment used:
Me personally...I've always been partial to Fender guitars (predominantly Strats, although I do own one Tele). But I also love the sound of a Les Paul. I used to have a Gold Top Deluxe, but I sold it off like an idiot. A few years back I was able to get a Les Paul Studio model, and I'm pretty happy with it as well. For amps I use two, a Roland Jazz Chorus 120, and a Fender Blues Jr. I use a number of Boss pedals, a Crybaby Wah, and several pieces of rack mount processing gear. Every now and then, I use an E-Bow with one of the guitars. For acoustics I use Takamine, Ovation and Yamaha. When I play keyboards in the studio, it's on Roland and Yamaha equipment.

Jonathan primarily plays a MusicMan Stingray Bass. He's had several different amps over the years, but in the studio, we just go direct. He also has a couple of Fender P-Basses, and a Danelectro. He doesn't really use any outboard gear on his bass, although I do sometimes process his bass in the studio with some kind of effect or another. In the past he's owned a Rickenbacker bass, but later decided to sell it.

Warren's acoustic set is an old late 60's/early 70's Ludwig kit with really wicked black pearl-ish shells. He uses mostly Paiste cymbals, but has been known to use a Zildjian once in awhile. And on the new album he played a set of Roland V-Drums that I have in my studio. We also had Warren add a lot of extra percussion all over the album. Things like claves, shakers, maracas, triangle, vibraslap, tambourine and bongos.

On a couple songs on the new album, Jonathan broke out a mandolin, and on one song I played a few notes on a violin...but I'm not a violin player...just goofin' around a little with one.
Anything else...?
Our music is hard to define. We were once told by Jeff Calder, the lead singer of The Swimming Pool Q's that our music was "schizophrenic". He said that the 10 songs on our 2nd album sounded like 10 different bands. I'm sure he meant that as constructive criticism, implying that we might want to work on a defined "sound", but we actually took it as the highest of compliments, because that's what we've always striven for. We have never wanted to get locked into any particular sound or genre. It's too limiting. We are very proud that from song to song on the same album, and from album to album, we continually find ways to stay fresh and "new". It goes against the credo of the band to just become a "song factory" of a particular style. It would be boring to us to do so. With that said, we will always strive to be as different as possibly on each new song. Many of our favorite bands have done this all throughout their careers, and the most notable of all was The Beatles, who especially in their later years literally did sound like a different band on each track. We can only hope to be a fraction as good as they were!
Front Cover for "Compass Rose", released 04/01/13
Back Cover for "Compass Rose"
The actual CD itself for "Compass Rose"
3rd album "Curtain Call" (1991)
back cover for "Curtain Call"
2nd album "The Awakening" (1990)
back cover for "The Awakening"
1st album "The Frozen Sun" (1988)
back cover for "The Frozen Sun"
cassette J-card for "Curtain Call"
cassette J-Card for "The Awakening"
cassette J-Card for "The Frozen Sun"
AFTERLIFE 1st promo shot
AFTERLIFE 2nd promo shot
inset photos from our 3rd album "Curtain Call"
AFTERLIFE circa 2011
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