I know, it is dangerous to call someone a "Newcomer of the year" so early already, but - hey, these guys kicked ass with their debut yesterday's grave and no matter what will happen until the end of the year, I definitely would always recommend listening to them. |
Guitar player Janne Tolonen took some time to answer my questions.
First of all, my compliments on "Yesterday's Grave". It is a damned cool debut album.
Janne: Thank you for your kind words, we really appriciate that! We are quite happy with it ourselves as well :)
Let's start by talking about the band. Who are you, where do you know each other from and what do you usually do when not playing good music?
Janne: Misery inc. is formed 2001 in october, Finland. I had just left a band called Profane Omen and i thought that this is it. I had been playing in
different band s over 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!
Besides playing good music ;) for example i have lifted weights several years (bench press 175 kg :)), Jukka lifts weights too. Jukkis is a taek won do - man :). Teemu and Jonttu are the most rock and roll - men in our band.
We all have dayjobs besides Jukkis who is studying.
I saw that you wrote most of the songs. Did you write both, lyrics and music?
Janne: The most of them are mine. "Suicide serenade" is a Teemu's song, i wrote the lyrics. "Share my madness" and "Life ain't fair" are composed together with him. Also there is some lyrics from Jukkis too but mainly both, lyrics and music are made by me.
The atmosphere of the album seems to be pretty depressive, besides there are quite some very powerful and even positive parts.
Would you consider yourself to be a rather positive or negative person?
Janne: Positive, absolutely. The lyrics might be a bit depressive but 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 hard guitar-riff :)
Life is a great thing! Everyone should remember that this is only a music, a good one, but still just a music :)
One of the songs on "Yesterday's Grave" is called 'Share my madness'. Are you a madman? Or would you consider "madness" in this context as a synonym for maybe frustration, anger, sadness, desperation or something?
Janne: I hope i'm not a madman :). In this case i tried to imagine myself in a "desperate man's shoes".
He ask for "bury your pain to me, i'll take it all". But still in the chorus-line he is ready to share his burden with you, even give it all to you. In verses he is first capable to do anything but
finally he realize that his life is just a scam, worthless. There is always a small seed of hope here and there in our songs. I don't know even myself what i'm trying to say here but..:)
Would you please give a short summary of your feelings about "Yesterday's Grave"? Are you happy with it for example?
Janne: Keeping in mind that we had only two weeks to record and mix the whole album, the result is great! Big thank you goes to Aksu Hanttu (Entwine) who produced and recorded our album! Also thank you goes to Nino Laurenne and to Sonic pump studios. I think there is always something that you would like to do a bit diffently but taking into account the short recording period, the album sounds at least satisfactory.
Is there already a successor planned, do you maybe already have new songs hidden somewhere?
Janne: Twelve new songs are composed and five of them have already been demo-taped. Damn good stuff i must say :). Our singer Jukkis said that these new ones have so sad and gloomy choruses. I have to mention that new songs have more and more really heavy riffs which i like a lot! :) Mixture of melodies and hard riffs, that's what we are after.
While listening to the first 2 songs, I felt like you're pretty much inspired by CHILDREN OF BODOM. After a few more songs I immediately thought about Sentenced, especially because of the vocal parts. Which bands would you consider to be your idols? Which bands inspired you?
Janne: Those two you mentioned are of course great bands and we highly respect them. Bands like Soilwork, In Flames, Before The Dawn, Diablo and Killswitch Engaged are our favorite bands. Also i have to mention Katatonia's "Viva Emptiness" which really impressed me. I think the best bands comes from Sweden and finland at the moment.
Are we going to see you live in 2004?
Janne: I really hope so. I don't have any information considering clubtours or something else, i quess everything depends on how the album starts selling.
It is really hard to get good gigs here in Finland if your album hasn't been released here, so we really hope that ZYX Music desides to release "Yesterday's Grave" in Finland. It would be really nice if for example Soilwork would take us to support them on tour :)
Since the change of years is close at hand once again (or maybe over already when you read this), how do you usually feel about the New Year's Eve?
Is there something like... melancholy about another year gone or are you looking forward towards 365 days of great chances?
Janne: I'd like to think that this new year(3.1.2004) is a old year's grave :)
Misery Inc. is definetely looking forward towards year 2004. We will do our best that Misery Inc. is on everybodies lips and ears! We are ready to deliver our misery everywhere.
I don't have any special feelings about New Year's Eve, everyone's should listen Paradise Lost's anthem for new year's eve from their latest release "Symbol Of Life".
I read you are married and have little daughter. Ain't that pretty difficult and hard, having a young family and a career as a musician just about to really start off?
Janne: It is not, at least not yet because there hasn't been any tours so far. My wife has been always very understanding for my music hobby. My greatest
experience has been when i was helping to give birth to my daughter last summer. I think now i'm more ready a musician than i used to be. I quess everything will works just fine.
Well, that's about everything. I wish you a lot of success for your career, a lot of luck for your family life, a very good year 2004 and surely hope to talk to you again someday in a not to far future. Thanks for your time and answering my questions. The last words belong to you. Feel free to tell our readers what you always wanted to say.
Janne: Thank you for your interview, this has been a pleasure for me. HAIL TO METAL, Don't forget to come to see us if we are around your neighborhood!