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Jason Netherton (Misery Index)

Interview with Jason Netherton from Misery Index
by Yiannis Dafopoulos at 27 November 2008, 7:37 AM

When it comes to bands like MISERY INDEX you know that what you'll get will be a lethal dose of explosive Grindcore with some ass kicking beatdown Hardcore stuff and some pure brutality. After the release of the band's latest album Traitors, I contacted Jason Netherton, the band's frontman for an interview. And here is what he had to say…

Hello Jason! It's an honor to have an interview with you! First of all, congratulations on your latest album! It really kicked my sorry ass! Tell us a few things about it. Where it was recorded? Who was the producer?

It went great, and we had a great time recording with Kurt Ballou, and it was at his God City Studios outside Boston, over three weeks in May of 2008. We heard and knew of him of course from CONVERGE, but before the studio we were impressed with some of his recent productions where he gave Death Metal bands like ANIMOSITY stellar, organic, natural tones with clarity, yet they were not over produced and processed. We went in with a certain idea, and with his help we were able to create something we are very happy with for certain.

Why did you decide to name the album Traitors? Who are these traitors?

They are representative of a political and cultural scenario present in the US in recent years. Traitors is a diatribe directed at the permanent culture of fear in American society, whereby any dissent against, or questioning of, the dominant war on terror narrative apparently gets one labeled as un-American (as Homer Simpson would say- woo hoo!) - or more specifically, a traitor! (DOH!) However, the much ballyhooed history of this nation is one supposedly built on the glorious dissent and rebellion of those so-called Founding Fathers of these U-nited States (or so we are told), who would (ironically) be branded the ultimate terrorists using today's definitions

This is your second release through Relapse Records. Are you satisfied with their work until now?

Very much so, we live about 2 hours from them, in Baltimore, they are located in Philadelphia, so we can always drive up and stop in if we need to cover some serious matters, and we are very happy with the connection we have to everyone at the label, and how they go about keeping things as underground as possible both with the spirit and the music.

You have two guest appearances in your new album. How did you manage to have Lindberg and Guy perform some vocals? Did you know these guys in person or is it something that you managed to achieve through your label/management?

We knew Tomas from when we did a tour with DISFEAR in 2006… about 21 shows in the US… it was a lot of fun and we kept in touch for the most part, so when they were back over touring the US again in May of 2008, we asked him to lay down some vocals when he was in Boston (where we were recording), so he came by the studio and laid down some tracks, and needless to say it was an honor… and Guy as well… we go back to about 2001 with THE RED CHORD, and have down shows with them as well….

How would you describe your new album? I think this is the first time MISERY INDEX manage to have it all in one shot! I mean, you've got classic MISERY INDEX catchy tunes, you have some pure Death Metal and you have some modern elements, too!

Well, looking at Traitors in the context of all of our output…we feel it's the best by far…. We think Retaliate (2003) was solid for the time, it was really just Sparky and I writing the music at that time, as we were a three piece before Adam and Mark joined the band. Retaliate is a solid straight-ahead album, with fun songs. Discordia (2006) was the debut with Mark and Adam, as they had just joined the band the previous year, and it reflects a young lineup, in our early stages, I think we sort of started over in 2006, cause with Mark and Adam we just got a whole new array of influences, and it showed in the new elements of melody and groove that were creeping into our songs, so I think Discordia is ok, but it was rushed and we are not as happy with the production, or with the songs which were a bit rushed. With Traitors, we feel like we have finally arrived and this is the album we have wanted to make for years, it all came together with this record- the songwriting and the performances and the production, its our best attempt at what we want to make the MISERY INDEX 'sound,' and we achieved (in our opinion).

Who was responsible for the cover artwork? I think he did a really good job!

Its something I worked out with the artist, Orion from Relapse, and it portrays the obvious 'traitor' in the centre, and he is hooded, representing all the so-called 'traitors' or dissenters that speak out in opposition to the dominant stance of right-wing America, an extreme and militaristic American worldview, that supports the 'war on terror' stance as an unending, permanent war on any one who defies the American/Western logic of unbridled free-market hyper-capitalism and its military enforcers around the world, and in the United States as well. So we have the primary proponents of this worldview on the right and left of the Traitor (the church and its theocratic ambitions, and the corporate world and its political representatives).

Thrown Into The Sun is probably one of the best tunes (in my opinion of course) in the album. Is it my idea or is it a totally MORBID ANGEL influenced song?

Actually we thought Theocracy was more our MORBID ANGEL song ha ha…and Thrown Into The Sun was kind of like our MASTODON/NEUROSIS song….but as long as people like it, that's the primary point.

There are two bonus tracks that are available in the Japanese release. Are they new songs or are they any unreleased or rare tracks?

Actually the Japanese version has only 1 bonus track, and it's the Color Of Blood and its actually the same version that appears on the MUMAKIL split, so it's not really anything new or special there…

You are the only member of MISERY INDEX that doesn't have a side project or something. Is it because MISERY INDEX cover your musical needs 100% or do you just want to stay focused on one band?

Yeah, I am fine just with MISERY INDEX, I did a side band a few years ago with the guitarist from RUINER called QUILLS and it was fun, but time is the main factor, I am just working and into other things besides music, so with the band MISERY INDEX is all that I focus on.

This year you also released a split CD with MUMAKIL. You also named the split after a song that is contained in your new album. Give us some details about this release.

Sure, it was a split we did in early 2008 with a Swiss Grind band that we really admire, and thought it would be fun, so we put together like 4 songs for the release and it was put out as the Ruling Class Cancelled split, by Power It up! Records, Germany. We really got into those guys after we ended up playing a show with them in the United Kingdom, and they ripped our faces off live.

What is your opinion about this new breed of Metalcore/Deathcore bands?

I don't listen to it, but if someone else likes it, and it makes them happy, then that's all good.

Thank you for your time Jason and I hope MISERY INDEX kick our asses for a long time! Is there anything you would like to say to our readers?

Thanks a lot, and we hope to visit there next summer on our 9 week Euro tour…. Remember, have a good time, all the time!


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