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Misery Index - Smartass grindcore
As I found out that Misery Index would be the opening band for Fear Factory’s headlining tour I was very happy. I had promised them to do an interview a long time ago, and now the time had finally come to talk to one of them. A friendly Sparky Voyles (guitar) with a can of beer could talk to me right before the first band started of the show.
How does it feel to finally be back on the road again in Europe?
"It’s really cool, a bit unexpected also because we were added to the Fear Factory tour like ten days before the tour started. We thought we were gonna take that time off and be at home, work our jobs and practise new songs and start touring in the US. But the opportunity came along and we were like FUCK YEAH!! So it’s been good for us to play a lot of new countries we’ve never been to before, Fear Factory has a lot of fans of which some could get into a death/grind band, so it’s a good chance to play in front of a lot of new people. So yeah it’s really cool to be back especially with these kind of circumstances."
Are you guys satisfied with the new line-up?
"Yeah I think bringing Adam in on drums back in August 2004 and Mark on second guitar in February 2005 was a great addition to the band. They’re young and energetic and have a good drive to go out there, sometimes when people get older they don’t want to go out on tour anymore. Jason and me are in our thirties, so we have a good mix of people age wise. We bring the knowledge that we have to the table and they’ll be like COME ON LET’S GO!!! Their playing is awesome you know, playing different styles of metal. The combination of all this together, being able to write music on a professional level makes us very happy with the way things are now."
So where did you get them?
"Adam came from a band from Missouri, he sent in an audition videotape to us. Our old drummer Kevin Talley had recently rejoined the band and recorded the Dissent EP with us but then he got the offer to join Chimaira, so he did that. Adam contacted us previously, we knew he could play the songs, we met him actually at a show in St. Louis and he also came out to a show in Chicago. So we brought him in and the first show we actually had to play with him was the Wacken festival in Germany, a very big show, and he did a very good job. And then a few months later we didn’t have a second guitar player and then Mark came in also from a band around the St. Louis area. He was recommended to us by a friend, so he came to audition, he knew the material and he could sing also. He wrote like five songs of the new record and he also wrote the lyrics to the last song Pandemican. So having those guys in the band has been really cool. The problem was the distance between the cities we live in, they had to move to where we live at. So when we come home they’ll move out of their places to Baltimore. We have a few more US tours coming up so it’s just something we have to take care of."
I also read that you guys would be coming back here somewhere in the winter I believe?
"Yeah, looks like we’re coming with Napalm Death in maybe November, a seven or eight week tour. That would be a dream for us, we love Napalm Death. Maybe that will happen, if not maybe Relapse will put together some kind of package tour like they do in the US. We don’t know yet but we will definitely be back in the fall."

Ok great! Next question then, how did you guys get to this melting pot of metal styles?
"I thinks it just because we all listen to different types of stuff, being fans of different styles of metal and even styles that don’t have anything to do with metal. We just take our influences without trying to grab so much from each thing and say okay now we’re gonna take this piece and make it into something. It’s more kind of a natural process which is the best way, because if you’ll be like we put the fast part here, the heavy part here and we’ll put the break down here it sounds more like a formula. It’s forced and unnatural. I just smoke some weed and get a room and jam. We’ll record stuff and listen back to it later. Sometimes it’s like that, a lot of the stuff comes from personal time, just sitting at home playing for yourself. So how we got to this I don’t know, we just try to write music that we would like to listen to if we were fans of our band."
That’s a good ideology. How come you guys are so much into political lyrics?
"Jason writes the majority of the lyrics, a lot of it has to do with his studies on the university."
Yeah he seems to be a pretty smart guy, I heard a lot about that.
"Yeah he reads a lot of books and stuff, if you look at his website there’s a lot of links up there with references to different types of books of different people with different ideologies and things. It just mainly comes down to trying to write stuff that’s down to earth with maybe a message to the people, give them the idea that there might be other things happening in the world than you see in the newspaper or on the TV, but not necessarily preaching you have to believe this or that. Here’s the information, if it helps you, cool, if not, at least you know there’s other things happening out there. When Dying Fetus started we had these goregrind lyrics like a lot of death metal bands. And then Jason started going to school more and more then he became interested in tying his lyrics to his studies."

Okay, what's your vision on life then?
"Uh, play metal, try to have as much fun as possible, try not to get in trouble with the cops. Basic stuff man, drink beer, work hard at whatever you do, at least you’ll have some results. Be happy with the way things are, with your family and your friends. So have fun but be able to put up some effort to be able to have more fun! Hahaha!"
Indeed! Now it’s time for the most important question of this interview. In movies, who do you prefer, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone?
"Wow that’s a tough one. I’d say Arnold mostly because of the fact that he has so many amazing quotes that everyone knows. Sylvester has some great movies also but every time you use an Arnold-line everyone knows exactly what you’re talking about. Hehehe."
Cool. Do you have anything to add to this interview then?
"It would be cool if everybody would check out our new record and support us. Check out our website and myspace, say hello to us or drop a line. Look out for tours with us in the fall, hopefully it wil be with Napalm Death. And thank everybody for supporting us through the years."
Thank you man!
"Cool, thank you!"