by R.S. Frost
Inner Missive is proud to premiere ‘Dormant’, the newest offering from Australian Death Metal outfit MISERIST. ‘Dormant’ is a stand-alone track, acting as a stylistic example of the upcoming EP, which to set be released towards the end of 2019.
I caught up with the anonymous conductor of Miserist to gain some insight into this punishing and oppressive audible experience, and to query what he has in store for the upcoming release.
- This new track, Dormant, was mostly written a couple of years ago, and I liked how it was at the time, but I think my mind wandered from music a bit and I just left it on the shelf. I hit up Robin Stone (NORSE, SOMNIUM NOX) a few weeks or so ago with the track and he was eager to lay down the drums and that just got the creative part of my brain sparking again.
Brendan Sloan (CONVULSING) provided some insane vocals too, which was different for me to be working with since the debut EP was instrumental. So now my brain is motivated again and I'm hoping to get another EP out this year.
I would like to find out what drives this kind of creative expression and how it was that you became involved in playing this kind of music in the first place?
- I first picked up a guitar at the age of eight. I was also drawn to anything to do with guitar or music from a very young age, before playing an instrument. I was in a few bands during high school, but none that were any good. Straight after getting out of high school, I was playing shows around the state (Victoria) and beyond with metal bands with small followings. I enjoyed it but lacked the motivation to go further with it and that wasn't fair on the other members of those bands. Now I enjoy creating music from home and see being creative as a way to keep myself occupied.
I grew up switching cities, states, and schools so I never really got to settle anywhere or make a lot of friends
in one particular place. I was in a different location almost every six to 12 months. And if you ask if that shaped the music, I'm sure it has in some way. I'm currently situated just south of Melbourne.
Given this constant motion in your early years, I wonder how you were ever able to dedicate yourself to any consistent involvement in bands, especially given the vast distances between Australian cities and the constantly shrinking assemblage of live music venues across the country?
- I played in a couple of Melbourne-based deathcore/metal bands many years ago, ones that I would rather not mention *laughs*. I started recording and uploading music to YouTube and SoundCloud in high school, but it was all rubbish looking back.
Miserist really started in 2015 when I released a demo tape under the name HEADWAR. It didn't really get much traction, it was more of a project to satisfy myself, but when I was sitting on a new six track EP, with the new name Miserist, I had a few labels contact me expressing interest about getting the project out there more in the online underground death/black metal scene.
I’m curious as to how a young man, leading a meandering life of vagrancy across Australia, ended up entrenched in such an extreme and somewhat underground-leaning musical taste, and then go on to create the type of immersive sounds that you do?
- I think the band that impacted me the most early on was SLIPKNOT. Everything changed when I discovered those first two albums. It taught me it's okay to be different and also that metal and music, in general, doesn't have to be pretty. It can be ugly and disgusting but still appealing, which it certainly was to me. Other bands that I really appreciated and that impacted me growing up were GORGUTS, SUFFOCATION and MALEVOLENT CREATION, and later on GNAW THEIR TONGUES, which were a huge influence on Miserist.
Music is a huge part of my life. Everywhere I went as a kid, with no one around me that I knew or liked, I always had my CDs and iPod with me. I'm still like that today. Headphones on, that’s my comfort zone.
The most enjoyable part of creating music is literally just that. Creating. Being able to in some way express emotion through sound is intriguing to me. Seeing the whole EP or song come together and form its own identity is also fascinating. Seeing people enjoy it or at least take notice of it, is icing on the cake.
In early 2017, Miserist released its debut self-titled EP; an instrumental death metal amalgamation of blast beats and stringed enormity, scattered with swirling atmosphere and twisting, somewhat nausea-inducing, progressive passages. The entirety of this release was recorded and produced by this faceless orchestrator.
- The debut EP was originally going to be released under the band name Headwar, with the EP being called Miserist instead. The decision to change the name was pretty straightforward though. I noticed that Headwar was already the name of a couple of bands, and I also just wasn't feeling that name anymore. I didn't think it fit the music.
The recording of that EP was all over the place. I actually recorded the guitars over two years sporadically. It was just a bunch of short songs that I had recorded and thrown together. There was probably another five songs worth of material too, but I wanted to keep it short and just keep the best parts. The EP had quite positive reviews that I saw, it really was surprising.
Given that this new song was written some time ago and essentially shelved, was there anything in particular that encouraged you to persevere with your creative activities?
- When I see my old friends, or just people I used to associate with, making great music and people enjoying it, that really makes me want to sit down and create something. Not even necessarily for other people to hear. But just for me to say to myself, "I can do that too”, and I get enjoyment and fulfilment out of doing it. But I do need to be in the right mindset to do anything substantial.
With the second EP on the horizon, and the additional involvement of other musicians, is there a long-term plan for Miserist?
- Well, as I said above, I'm hoping to push out more material with this project. Doing this track has made me hopeful that I’ll be in the state of mind to get it done. And long-term for this project, I wouldn't mind seeing it as a live band. I think it could really turn some heads with the ideas I have.
Thank you for your time and insight into your work. I now invite you to offer any closing sentiments you may have.
- Thanks to everyone that's checked out and supported Miserist. Hope you enjoy the new song.
This interview is featured in the print edition of Inner Missive #1, alongside discussions with PRECARIA, ULVESANG, VLADIMIR CHEBAKOV, CONVULSING, RÁN, TRUTH CORRODED, FEDRESPOR and THE ORDER OF APOLLYON.