Thursday, October 9, 2008

After Words - S/T LP and Live at WREK (February 2, 1989)

Here is the download - After Words album and Live at WREK

UPDATE: Steve Wishart knows way more about After Words than you or me, so check out his comments below. Also, he's the guy that originally transferred the Live at WREK session, so credit goes out to him for being such a voracious fan.

I decided it was time to transfer and upload the After Words album, and thanks to Skyward Eyes, I also have their Live at WREK set from 1989. I never knew the guys personally, but I would run into and talk to Brian the guitarist from time to time (one time I was next to him in line at the DMV) and he would give me little bits and pieces of information about them as they were a just a bit before my time. From what he told me, this record was actually their demo, and Amanda Mackaye from Sammich records (sister of Ian) convinced them to use it for their Sammich LP debut. He was disappointed at how that turned out, because they had better songs available but never ended up releasing them and this LP became their only document. The album is not bad, but I can see what he means. It was urban legend that the After Words LP bankrupted Sammich, but that is unsubstantiated. One interesting note about the cover artwork was that it was done by Jason Farrell, who has made more Dischord Records layout than you could ever understand.

I'm sure After Words got a lot of Rights of Spring comparisons, but I think they have much more in common with later 80's DC stuff like 3 or Senator Flux, post revolution summer but before the early 90's peak (Circus Lupus, NOU, Lungfish, etc.). I think the late 80's was a difficult time for this kind of music. Lots of chorus pedals, awkward lyrics and singing, meandering song structures. They seem to have a bit of that going on, but I think they did Atlanta proud and probably played some great shows. On the Live at WREK recording, they mention an upcoming show with 7 Seconds at the Wreck Room later that week, and I know they opened for Ignition, just to name a select few.


  1. any word on when they actually split up? i moved to atlanta in like 91 i think. i had this LP and thought "atlanta is going to be amazing! there is a band from atlanta on sammich!" i never got into the LP, but i thought that atlanta must have some incredible DCish scene. boy was i wrong...haha. obviously there was stuff happening, but i assume afterwords had already broken up by the time i got there, and nobody i met seemed to have even heard of them back then. always seemed kind of a wierd tidbit of trivia that i reckon was ahead of it's time. but man sammich had some quality records back then. and i remember being quite stoked to move to atlanta for that simple fact...haha... i was only 17, i didn't know any better.

  2. I remember watching a videotape of After Words in 92 or 93 at someone's place in Athens. Maybe Billy's? Anyway, my point is that there is live video floating around somewhere.

  3. Not sure who Skyward Eyes is, but that's my rip of the Live at WREK tape I uploaded to some message board a while ago before my hard drive crashed.

    After Words were great the couple times I saw them and had a lot to do with bringing D.C. bands to town and played with a ton of them. My second concert I ever went to was Shudder To Think, Swiz, and After Words at the Pit.

    Brian Nejedly did the layout for the record, I think Jason just did the technical part. If you saw all of the flyers Brian did you would see it's his design. I think Sammich was just giving Jason some credit for his help.

    Other than the couple songs on the live set, I don't think they had many more songs. Steve had a bunch of live shows and other demos and they were all pretty much the same songs with different lyrics. I know Brian once talked about getting the band back together to make a 7" of the last two songs, but that never happened.

    Of course this band was a huge influence on myself and my brother to the point where we were once asked by the guys in Act of Faith about some rumor that Brian wrote all of the Such As songs for us!

  4. I digitized the Live at WREK show years ago and gave a copy to my brother, who as he stated put up on some message board and has gotten distributed. But this is the exact one I did like 4 years ago. Gotta take my credit! By the way James, just mailed you a bunch recordings you have been wanting.

  5. After Words.....what can I say. I loved this band. They were such an influence and inspiration to me. This is the band the made me realize that I could play music. Brian and Noel lived in my neighborhood and for me to see just some guys from the neighborhood doing this made me realize that I could do it too. I had never seen a band before, never knew anybody who played in a band. It had been so foreign to me before, something kind of distant. But these guys made it real and inspired me to go out and pick up an instrument and start a band.

    I used to hang with Brian's younger brothers, so I always had the scoop on what was going on with the band. I also ended up working at the same Baskin Robbins that Brian did shortly after he quit there.

    I saw these guys play only about 10 or so times. But every time was amazing. I was always upfront and many times staring at Craig watching him play bass so I could learn the bass lines to their songs. And I always loved Noel as a singer. Some don't like his style, but whatever. I always had a connection with his lyrics and the personal/political ring to them. And honestly, he was a great stage presence. Lots of emotion and energy.

    The show mentioned on the Live at WREK tape was amazing. Just After Words and 7 Seconds. And it started like at 6 pm and was over like 9 pm because it was an All Ages show and the WRECK Room had an over 21 show starting at 9 pm. After Words also played their last show at the Excellsior Mill (it may have been officially Masquerade at this point) with 7 Seconds, which I believe was in the fall of 1989. For their last show they had a second guitarist, which kind of disappointed me because I wanted to see them for the last time as they had always been - a four piece. Plus the extra guitarist didn't add much and looked like he still didn't know all the songs confidently. Anyway...they did debut 2 new songs at their last show that Brian had hoped to record and put out as a 7 inch, like sunna (scott) mentioned.

    I have a couple of other live recordings of them and a basement tape from their early days. There are alot of great songs here they wrote that I wished they had recorded in the studio. Interesting also to listen to hear their development over time.

    To me, these guys were pioneers in Atlanta - picking up the torch after Neon Christ broke up. They helped bring alot of great shows to Atlanta like Soulside, Verbal Assault, Ignition, Swis, Shudder To Think, 7 Seconds, Fugazi, etc. There was this cyclical nature about Atlanta punk rising and crashing. After Neon Christ broke up things were dead in Atlanta for awhile. Then a new crop of bands come including After Words. Then After Words break up and things kind of crash again. Clubs are hard to come by to do shows. And a new crop of bands come to life and find new places to play. So After Words broke up things were kind of dead for a while. O.C.B. was still going strong up at Visions in Cumming, but that was about it. Then a new crop of bands started making things happen including Act of Faith, Such As, Third Season / Fiddlehead, and Spiney Norman to bring us into the glorious 90's era that we all know and love.

    After Words also had an offer to put out a record on 7 Seconds label "Positive Force", but decided to go with Sammich. Other tidbit of knowledge, their original name (for like their first one or two shows) was Black Light.

    I could go on and on about these guys. Point being...major influence on me and I might not have ever picked up a bass or wrote the music I did if hadn't been for these guys showing me that I could do it. That has always meant alot to me and the reason I still listen to After Words to this day.

  6. One other funny story. The Fiddlehead gang use to make fun of me because I wore my After Words shirts so much. The first shirt they did was of the back cover artwork and the second was from the backside of the lyric sheet. Anyway...I went to D.C. for a long weekend in the summer of 1991 to see a bunch of great shows (Gray Matter - first reunion show, Jawbox, Shudder To Think, and some others). I had previously been talking with Tony from Moss Icon over the phone booking their upcoming show in Atlanta (which never happened because they broke up instead), but I had never met him in person.

    So I am at this show in D.C. with about 300 people and Tony walks up to me and says "Hey your Steve from Atlanta right?" I was like "Yeah, but how do you know that?" His reply "The guys from Fiddlehead told me to look for a kid in an After Words shirt."

    I was so pissed at those guys for that! They were right though. I always wore those shirts. Hey...I was proud of After Words and Atlanta.

  7. Best show of my life was at the Excellsior Mill with the line-up of After Words, Butter Glove (Pen Rollins post Honor Role band), and Fugazi. Incredible show. Spring 1989. Yes...I am getting old.

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  9. FYI - On the Live at WREK show the real song title for "No Matter What You've Done" is "Without Answers". When I first digitized the Live at WREK show I forgot the name of the song so I titled it "No Matter What You've Done." I then sent the recording to Scott who started distributing it. Later I remembered the real name when I listened to another After Words show I have and Noel introduced the song as "Without Answers".

    Just another way I know the Live at WREK file here originated from me.

    Also...listen to the song Third Party! Written in the context of the 1988 Bush and Dukakis election, but still relevant in today's election atmosphere.

  10. Steve - I forgot you had so many connections to them! I think I remember your After Words shirt as well. Thanks for the Live at WREK transfer and all the great information. This is exactly what I was looking for with this post.

  11. i think you just made steve's day...haha

  12. back when After Words was around kids used to actually dance at the shows. and i mean most of the room including me if you can believe that. there were witnesses.

    then i went on to help usher in that whole stand around thing. i'm as guilty as any.

    that Sammich Tour show at the Pit was/is one of my all time favorite experiences.

  13. Kip -
    You might not remember, but that Sammich show with After Words, Swiz, and Shudder to Think was the first time I met you and Mike Haggarty. Between one of the sets we all went up to the local convenience store and struck up a conversation on the way back to the pit. Its all history from there! - Steve

  14. wow, this is a trip down memory lane. I have very fond memories of seeing Afterwords every time they played - Milos, Speds, Wreck room, Metroplex, phase 3. I remember one of their first shows as Blacklight at Phase 3 in Little 5 with Gardens of... great show. I think Bedlam Hour might have played as well. They played with Fugazi the first time they came through at the First Existentialist Church. If I rack my brain I could certainly add to the Atlanta genome for bands from 86-90. This was a great era in Atlanta - alot of bands, a lot of venues. This inspired me to put out the View tape which, if I recall, launched Lunchbox Records. Those were the days. Many great bands - Jumpstart, Third Season, Gardens Of.., The Stickmen, Now or Never, Wronganswerzoobreath, Dirt, Afterwords, Face, Such As

  15. Hey Chris - I am really looking for the View tape, as my copy seems to have disappeared. Please send me an email if you have that around, and if you have any old demos, etc. from some of these bands. I came in right on the tail end of that era, so I never got to see most of these bands. Such is life.

  16. Wow! Chris Foley just sent me the link to this. Thanks for all of the kind words about After Words. Since I left Atlanta shortly after we broke up, I never got to see or hear much from the scene we helped to inspire. Everybody has got their facts straight - except - we never had an offer from Positive Force. I might certainly have taken that. And... we could not possibly have made Sammich go bankrupt. The album was released 6 months late because Amanda had to switch pressing plants or something. Only 2000 were pressed. Had our album come out before the big tour I planned (like it was supposed to), then that tour surely would have been more successful and I like to think we would have stuck around longer. Craig quit because I guess he though I was a bit of a dick at the time and he didn't think he had enough input in the songwriting process.Also, Steve Petruska played at our last show because we were actually already broken up and Kevin & Craig had started a band with him. We practiced for that show at Steve's house since all their gear was there already. Steve was a long time friend of ours, so I said what the hell. Why not? Sorry if that disappointed anyone. I hardly have any video of us. I used to have the last show and would LOVE to have a copy of that again. I miss watching the extended end to Ghost Dance. I just wanted to keep playing since I knew it was the last. If anyone has that, please let me know. I want it!!! I would love to have recorded our two newer songs. P.S. I'd do a reunion show just for fun in a second - but that will never happen with Noel. He thinks he would feel awkward on stage now. The NX reunion shows were cool. Randy had really encouraged us to do it as well, but it's not gonna happen. Maybe an instrumental set?

  17. After Words profile at

    "After Words were a melodic hardcore from Atlanta, GA. They formed in July of 1987 and broke up in December of 1989, right before their first and last official release, a Self-Titled 12” on Sammich Records (SR006), came out. [...]"
    Is this right or not exactly?
    Moreover, maybe someone has any band photos?

  18. Hey Schthaxe - Brian Nejedly above was in After Words, so he would be the one to have some photos. The bio sounds about right. I will be posting the Slumberjack stuff soon, which was the bass player and drummer from After Words, so keep checking in.

  19. Thanks a lot! i've just started emo wiki encyclopedia and Skyward Eyes suggested me to write about After Words. i recompiled your discussion into "history", but it lacks photos - in fact there's only one - scanned from sleeve.

  20. I like the wiki - let me know if you want to do a Car vs. Driver entry. It is a good selection of bands represented thus far.

  21. Some band photos can be found on my Facebook page (Brian Nejedly). Feel free to grab some from there.

  22. Live at the Metroplex 1988 11 06.MP3
    non-splitted. 17:24.
    1. Looking Back
    2. As I See It
    3. Things They Never Taught You
    4. Blame
    5. Welcome Again.
    Quality is pretty good.
    Also check more comments about history and photos at

  23. Wow! I would love to have a copy of this LP or the live recording. After words was great and enjoyed the shows. We opened for them at Speds old Exit a couple times and was there when they opened for 7 Seconds. Just great energy and enjoyed haning out with the guys. Never picked up the album wish I had but I had the the live recording but that has since been lost. The late 80s was a great time here in Atl for some good bands. If someone has an album or the live recording I want it.

    Todd McGinnis