The Chicago band death pose are in this week’s Meet The Band spotlight. Their full-length debut Midnight Society was just released. Bassist Alex Palermo introduces us to his band.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of death pose.
Alex Palermo: This band is still really new but we’ve all known each other for a long time. We all have played in various bands together or at least played shows with each other over the years. Jason was moving back from Germany to the US and we started chatting about getting a project going. I was seeing my other bands slow down so I recruited a few other friends to fill the gaps and we had death pose. We recorded this full length back in January and we’re just excited to get out there.
Describe the songwriting process for Midnight Society.
Half the songs were Jason’s ideas that he’d take to practice and we’d sort of massage them and move little things around until it felt right. The other half were ideas I brought in where we’d do the same thing. Basically we build a skeleton of a song and the band beefs it up.
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
Being awake too early in the morning (laughs). Kidding – sort of. As a bartender when I’m not playing music, the early schedule of recording can be brutal. But in all seriousness my strongest memory was working with Jeff Dean to begin with. I’ve done records with him in the past and there’s a reason I’ve gone back to him time and time again. I think this band in particular was a really good fit for him. He had such an awesome approach to it sounding really raw / feel like you’re almost in the room.
What was the biggest challenge in recording it?
I’d say it’s two things. A lot of the songs were really, really new still so we had to work through a couple little things on the spot. Typically I would do a full demo of every song before we hit the studio and we didn’t quite have the time to do that which can be risky. The other thing that’s’ difficult is I (for some ungodly reason) love to do multiple BPM’s in the same song. When you’re tracking that can prove to be pretty difficult. For example the song “The Riverside” changes BPM’s three times so we had to take it in sections. The song “Steady As Ever” also changes BPM on the back end. Bless Jeff Dean and my band for bearing with me! (laughs)
How would you characterize its style/sound?
We were struggling to give ourselves an exact genre label so we’ve been going with “heavy as shit.” I suppose because it’s hardcore at times, punk, alternative rock, metal, etc. I like that we sort of toe the lines.
What lyrical topics do you cover?
Lyrically we cover relatively grounded, realism-focused storytelling themes/arcs ranging from personal dissociation, political action, religious intolerance, and heartbreak.
How did you come to sign with Brutal Panda?
Our friend Scott Lucas (Local H) had just done a reissue with Brutal Panda and he had mentioned how cool the label was. I asked for their contact just to sort of do a shot in the dark pitch. Bob ended up liking the record and the rest just worked out! We’re super grateful for them.
What are your goals and expectations for the album?
We just want to have people grab on to the music and have fun with it. That’s the idea of this whole band to begin with, create heavy music to bang your head to. We want to do as much touring as we can to get it out there as well.
It’s also being released on vinyl. Are you a collector?
We are all massive vinyl nerds so every time we get to release our own it’s a dream come true.
How was the video shoot for “Brief Candles”? How long did it take?
The video was shot pretty quickly in an afternoon. We are lucky enough to work for Metro/Gman here in Chicago and they gave us access to this old abandoned theater that’s located on the fourth floor of Metro. Our buddy Milo shot it and did a fantastic job. It was pretty painless to shoot with the exception of some blown out speakers and not a lot of AC in that room!
What has been your most memorable big bird/death pose live show?
Our first few shows were all incredible. We managed to sell out our first show and then went on to play The Fest in Gainesville, Florida and a couple shows with Local H (Chicago & Milwaukee) So I’d say the whole launching of the band was pretty memorable.
What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
We’ve got a local show for our album release show at Gman Tavern (10/20). We’re playing The Fest down in Florida the last weekend of October. Then we’re doing some shows around the east coast and midwest this December with some label mate bands, including many shows with our friends in Local H. Those exact dates will get announced soon.
How did you get started in music?
I always wanted to play guitar but was having trouble getting started with it. Eventually in middle school a band wanted to do a Green Day cover at the talent show and they were short a bassist so I switched to bass and never really stopped.
Who were your early influences and inspirations?
The first bands I listened to were Propagandhi, AFI, Alkaline Trio, and Rancid.
What was the first heavy music concert you attended?
I went to a lot of local shows to start off but my first major show was some silly local radio hosted event and it was Deftones + Janes Addiction. KInd of wild to look back on that now. I wasn’t really there for those bands though, I was more there to experience the whole thing.
What was your first band, and what type of music did they play?
I was in a few bands in high school but they were all punk rock. I was raised into that world by my oldest brother.
What are some of your non-music interests and hobbies?
We all love our food and drinks. I run my own vegan meat business, Jeff has an incredible garden, and two of us are bartenders. Even Jason who has never been a bartender can make some killer cocktails.
What’s the best thing you’ve binge watched lately?
Righteous Gemstones blew the roof off of television in my opinion, too funny. Collectively as a band we’ve been watching I Think You Should Leave a lot as well.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Every Time I Die, Turnstile, Clowns, and Mannequin Pussy. The new Clowns and MP material has been really awesome to hear.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Keep your eyes peeled for our December tour dates and go pre-order that vinyl over at BrutalPandaRecords.com!
(interview published October 21, 2023)
Watch death pose – “Brief Candles” Video