Don’t let this band’s name fool you—they’re very much alive. While hearses and formaldehyde come to mind when the word “autopsy” pops up, the guys in Fit For An Autopsy bring a whole new idea to the table: music. Nothing is livelier than music, so why have such a morbid name for a metal band? Well, when it comes to metal, it’s necessary to conjure up a creepy band name. And, as a horror enthusiast, I’m all for it.
Although the touring season is coming to a close for the holidays, Fit For An Autopsy remains on the road, spreading their music from coast to coast. During their expedition, I was able to talk to Pat Sheridan, the band’s guitarist, and get some cool details about the group’s history, plans, and what the writing process is actually like.
How’re things going?
Alright! I’m actually in Detroit right now and we’re about to play a show.
Awesome! How’s the tour going so far?
Tour’s been good. Shows have been pretty big… One of the shows has been sold out. We actually played a festival in New Jersey and it was awesome. So far, so good. Everything has been great.
That’s great to hear! It must be motivating to see this turn out at the beginning of your tour.
Yeah, of course. It’s always cool when the shows are great right away. You know what I mean? A good showing of things should hopefully be like that trough the whole tour.
Totally. But here’s a random question: how did you guys actually choose this name for the band?
Well, the truth of the matter is that, that was a preexisting name that the guy that I had originally started working in Fit For An Autopsy with, he was a nice guy, he sang for a local band in New Jersey, and he was doing a project, which was Fit For An Autopsy, but it was a little side project for him. And then he said he wanted to get more serious with it, and him and I started coming up with ideas of who we would bring into the band. I called Will [Putney; guitars], he was the first guy I called. And then him and I built the band together. We’ve been working together on Fit For An Autopsy since then, but unfortunately that guy had some obligations he needed to fill, so we talked and decided to make the band more serious, so he let us keep the name. That’s legitimately how it came up.
That was nice of him. I saw you guys just released an album in October. How do you think the fans like it so far?
So far, everybody’s been pretty awesome about it. To be honest, it’s a very different animal than our last record and we were a little concerned about the perception of where we wanted to go with the band. So we tried a lot of new things. We have a new singer [Joe Badolato], so we were worried about how our fans would react to our new singer. You know, having Nate Johnson as our first singer was awesome. A lot of people liked him and he came with his own fans so to speak. So, the change in singers, the change in another record, it made us nervous, but it’s been absolutely incredible.
Our new record is doing great, sales are great. Our music video, “Absolute Hope, Absolute Hell,” just broke 110,000 views on YouTube and I think 122,000 views on Vimeo. So, people are paying attention and it feels amazing. People are great. Fans are responding live and are buying merch, so it’s been going pretty well.
Clearly! And this tour is specifically to promote the record, right?
I mean, every tour is to promote the record, but this tour in particular is our first full U.S. tour on the new record. We’re stoked. It’s cool to have a record get a response that is better than you’d hoped it to be.
You said this particular album is totally different from the previous records. What was the writing process like?
I feel like each one of our records was significantly different than the last one. Like Process Of Human Extermination was super heavy and real straight forward death metally kind of record. And Hellbound was kind of a little more atmospheric, little bit more experimental as far as us trying new sounds. And Absolute Hope, Absolute Hell is just a completely different animal from the first record, but a progression from our second. It has a lot more post-rock, a melodic metal influence… It’s made us grow as a band.
As far as the writing process goes, Will is probably the most important part of writing. He’s a great asset to the band. He comes up with a ton of ideas, a ton of riffs and he’s got it together. Will is the major contributor to our sound and he basically writes the record. We come to him and tell him some of our ideas, what sound we want, what direction we want to go in… And Will just turns it into a record.
That’s amazing! I wish I could do something like that.
Well… Other bands will say, “Oh, we all write the songs together.” It’s not true. There’s always gonna be a guy with the best ideas. There’s always gonna be a guy who handles all the stuff for the road. Like I handle everything for the tour, the merch orders, I deal with the business on the road, I do a lot of the interviews. But other guys are super good at other things. Will just happens to be the guy with the best ability to write a record, why should we fight that? So, when people say, “Oh, we do it all together,” a lot of times, there’s one guy with the best idea. And if too many people get too involved, it can actually ruin a record and ruin the process.
If your pride is in the right place and you understand that it’s for the good of the project to let the guy with the best ideas to run with it, you’re always gonna get a better record. But how many times did you hear about a guy leaving the band because there was a lack of creative input and then he puts out his own record and then it sucks? Just be a guitar player, or a singer. Write cool lyrics or help do stuff. Contribute in the best way that you can and you’re a part of the team. Otherwise, you’re just hurting the project.
Exactly! And I know that you’re touring with other bands, have you played with any of them before?
All of them except for Counterparts. They’re a band from Canada, they’re a hardcore band, super good band. Actually, Brandon, their singer, is on one of the tracks in our new record. So, the tour is like a lot of friends, everybody’s having a really great time… We’re very familiar with the guys we’re on the road with. It can be a handful sometimes, but it’s a great time.
What’s a typical day like for you guys while on tour?
Wake up, shower, drive sometimes for five hours, get to the venue, unload, play a show, pack up, get back in the van, drive… If we need to do an overnight, we go to a friend’s house or a hotel, and do that for the rest of the tour.
Are there any venues you’re looking forward to?
Well, I really like the Palladium, which is the last date of the tour, and I’m excited about Mojo’s. I think we play El Corzone in Seattle, and that’s a cool place.
Do you guys have any songs you’re working on? I know you’ve just released a new album, but sometimes you can’t help the creative flow.
I can’t drop a full disclosure on that one. But I can tell you that something will be released a lot sooner than everyone thinks it will. And then after the tour, we’ll be back in the studio writing a new record. We really want to flood the market and get our stuff out there. But after this tour, we’ll have Christmas first and then get back into the studio to record.
Catch Fit For An Autopsy in concert as they roll into the Theatre Of The Living Arts on Dec. 11 and The Studio At Webster Hall on Dec. 12. Their newest album, Absolute Hope, Absolute Hell, is available through eOne Music. For more information on the band, visit them at fitforanautopsy.com.