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Misery Inc. interview (12/2004)

With: Janne Tolonen [Guitars]
Conducted by: Malcolm
Published: 01.12.2004

Band profile:

Misery Inc.

- Let's start with the usual starting questions, so unblessed readers will get a clue about who you are. Can you tell us what you think is important to know about Misery Inc. history, what does what, etc?

First of all, thank you, Mikael, for this interview! Misery inc. was formed in October 2001 in Finland. I had just left a band called Profane Omen and I thought that this is it. I had been playing in different bands over a decade and I was thinking that I should start doing some other things. I had some songs ready (i.e. "Prayer" and "Darkest Night") and I thought that it would be nice to play these songs live with someone. I knew this very young drummer Jonttu, (he was only fifteen years old then!), bass-player Jukka, (with whom I had played several years), and everything went great. We needed a singer and Jukka knew Jukkis. He recommended that he is the man behind the microphone! Jukkis has even sung to the Finland's President in the past. First we decided to play without lead-guitar but that turned out to be a bit boring. Jukkis knew Teemu and first time when he came to play with us we knew that he is the right lead-guitarist for us!

Janne Tolonen

- You have now been around as a band since 2001 and just got signed, how much do you think that have change you and your fellow band mate's life, to finally get a record deal? Isn't it like a dream come true?

To be honest with you, it hasn't changed our lives at all. We had so many difficulties to get the album to record stores in Scandinavia because ZYX Music couldn't/didn't want to handle distribution things. I had to start small firm on my own to get the album released in Scandinavia. I have a little "news bomb" for you, we are no longer a ZYX Music artist, we are out of deal right at the moment but we are looking for new label and I'm pretty confident that we have new deal before at the end of this year. Our manager is doing her job and things are rolling well right now.
We were really disappointed the way our label handled our business. There weren't any adverts in magazines etc. I hope that our next deal would be our "dream come true".

- I read that you often been compared to your fellow compatriots Sentenced but that you don't like it. But then why then name the band to so something so depressive, write depressive lyrics, and above all have a singer that's sounds much like Ville Laihiala? (Don't get me wrong, I don't mean anything mean with it, I'm just curious) I mean you must have known that people would compare you with Sentenced? Since people like to compare everything these days.

Yes, sure we know that Jukkis sounds much like Ville Laihiala and our lyrics are "a bit" depressive but I think that we are not the only band in the world that write gloomy lyrics and use sad melodies. What it comes to "Yesterday's Grave" I think we are faster and harder than i.e. Sentenced is nowadays. We don't try to sound like they but of course there is in some songs similarities with them. You have to remember that the oldest songs are more than 4 years old; if you could hear our new material you wouldn't believe your ears. I just played our new stuff to some journalist and he compared it to Slayer! Yes, our new material is MUCH harder than "Yesterday's Grave".
I have to say one thing about the lyrics; the lyrics might be a bit depressive so you shouldn't take them too seriously. The lyrics are pure imagination. I imagine how would it feel if you are deep in thoughts of suicide or something like that. But I try to create music with sad melodies and strong emotions. Music which first seduce you and suddenly brakes your every bones with a hard guitar-riff Life is a great thing! Everyone should remember that this is only music, a good one, but still just music

- Let's focus a while on your debut album "Yesterday's Grave" that was released a couple of months ago. How did you think the feedback was and how is it today?

Now we have to remember that "Yesterday's Grave" was released in Europe 02.02.2004 and here in Scandinavia just couple of months ago. Feedback, especially in Germany, has been amazingly good. For example Rock Hard and Metal Heart gave us 9/10 which is really good for debut album. About 95% of reviews has been like 8/10 or better. Only Norway and Sweden seems to be not so "eager" about Misery Inc.

The Cover Artwork of the debut album

- Anything you were disappointed with? Some reviews with false accusations or alike?

Of course this constant comparing to Sentenced has really pissed off us. I mean, this is our own thing and you will definitely hear it in our next album (if there's going to be one everů).

- How do you think the fans took the album? I mean, have it sold more or less than expected?

I think that it's an amazing thing that there is people somewhere whose likes our music, which we are playing in our rehearsal room. It's nice to read our guestbook when there are some positive comments from Holland, Germany, France or Sweden.
The album has sold so far between 1000 - 2000 copies, which is good I think, compared to that fact that ZYX Music didn't advertise it at all.

- How was the song writing before recording the album? Did you have the four new songs finish when you got signed or did you have to write them quickly?

We had songs already written before we got signed. We did only "Share My Madness" and "Fade Away" just before we went to the studio so we had pretty good situation before recordings.

- How was the recording is general? Did it happen something worth mention? Something hilarious?

I have to say that it was just hard work 20 hours per day. We really were there two weeks day and night. At this point I have to say big thanks to Nino Laurenne (Thunderstone) who owns the studio. There weren't any hilarious moments, more like pain and agony. We tried to do everything perfect and I think we managed to do it quite well. Maybe one thing is worth mention, Jukkis sung "Share My Madness" naked to get into right mood

Another Promotion band picture from 2004

- If we shall get back to the band and the music style once again, I have to confess that the reason why I checked you up was just because I read about similarities with Sentenced, and I can hear what they are based upon. But I personally think that your music is much faster, it never stays in that depressive tune, not at least any longer moments. Personally I think it's very unusual (I dear not use original there days) to mix the faster with the depressive, it's like day and night, put you manager to do it.
Was that considered within the band, to try to mix faster and depressive music, or did it just happen?

Well, songs just are the way they came up naturally. I never think how this song should sound like. Yes, I agree with you perfectly that our stuff is much faster and it various widely between different emotions than with our country fellows. Like I've said earlier our new stuff has developed this dark, harder and faster side of our music. I just can't wait to let the whole fucking world hear it! What it comes to "Yesterday's Grave" material, it is pretty good mixture of hard riffs and sad melodies with wonderful vocal lines.

- Kike, the guy who reviewed your last demo and your debut gave his opinion about you style:
"I guess that you could say that Misery Inc. is the bastard child of a one-night stand between Sentenced and Metallica."
Do you agree with him?

Yes! I think that this Kike's opinion is the best opinion I have read ever considering Misery Inc.'s music. There is the point, really! I couldn't have said it better myself.

- You have also said that you were influenced by modern acts like Linkin Park, how do you die-hard metal fans will think about that? I mean that has to be your main target with your music?

We started Misery Inc. first without lead guitar. We thought to do melodies by singing much like Linking Park do it. I was quite impressed when I first heard their debut, it's damn good album and their singer is really, really good. So are their vocal-lines, which I think, as a songwriter, is the most important thing in song writing.
I knew when I said this first time in some interview that "die-hard metal fans" would get upset this matter but I think you should be honest with your music and honest with your comments. Finally we are quite far from Linkin Park's stuff don't you think?

- We're finally reaching the end now, but before we call it off could you be so kind and tell us about the future of Misery Inc.? Do you working on a new album? If yes, how does it sound, will we recognize Misery Inc. on that one?
And will you do any larger touring?

Like I said earlier we are out of deal right at the moment but everything will turn out be good I hope. I have mentioned so many times about our new stuff in this interview that I think it's quite clear at this point how it sounds like
We are playing gigs in Finland right now and I hope that when our label problems are gone by we try to organize tour in Europe, we'll see.

- The last question for the evening will I handle over to you, or at least give you a moment to say whatever you like to say to whomever you want.

Dear Metal Storm readers, Misery Inc. welcome you to visit our website, , and feel free to listen the samples. Remember that our debut is out now and it's really worth buying!
Stay hard, stay metal!

- Thank you very much for answering my questions, and good luck in the future, I hope for much greatness from you, my eastern neighbours.

Thank you our western neighbour!


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