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Interview with Jason of Misery Index

Misery Index have quickly established themselves as leaders of a resurging
American Grind scene that has been strengthen by the decay of a world at war,
constantly in turmoil, neglecting issues that strangle our progress.
Fronted by Bassist/Singer Jason Netherton, Misery Index stands at the helm
of an attack against the fallacies that continue to with strain those who
fall oppressed to an ideological war fueled by private interest rather than
the popular interest of the people. Jason has devoted much of his
songwriting to topics that tackle these issues. Their release "Retaliate"
of 2003 is a powerful exclamation of solidarity which encompasses several
great concepts and elements within their song structures, I highly recommend
it. http://www.unkindesign.com/miseryindex/index.html

Our zine is called Defy Unlearn, what does that mean to you?

I think it is a pretty bold name, leaving nothing misunderstood. It
sounds like a two step process: defy, then unlearn. I mean you can unlearn
and then defy, but then it lacks the stab of the initial defiance, the
spark, the moment of clarity that calls the individual's consciousness to
arms. Also, to defy is more of an empowering and spontaneous response and
reaction, while unlearning is more a process, so itís naturally secondary.
Ok, Ill shut up now.

What would you being doing right now if you weren't in a band?

Probably working for the labor movement and doing everything I can to
promote worker's rights in this nation and elsewhere.

Do you have a favorite city to play or any particular region of the world
that's truly amazing?

I like playing in Montreal, great town with great vibe, but our best
show, where we had a blast was in Athens (Greece)...it was a VERY fun time.
In the states we love Baltimore, our de-facto home city, and San Francisco.

How old were you when you started playing music?

I started playing bass guitar at sixteen, and have been at it ever
since. However, in the last two years I play guitar (six string) only at
home, because itís more practical for writing. However, at band rehearsal and
shows, of course, itís bass.

What was it like recording Retaliate in Quebec?

It was a great time, we had 3 weeks of complete isolation and I had
never before experienced such a complete immersion in the recording process,
where every day, all day is dedicated to the production of the album. We
ate, slept and played music while outside the studio was the cold, snow
covered mountains, and iced over lake that formed this small valley of
central Quebec, Canada. We are very happy we went there, and are looking
forward to going back again, except next time, in summer (or at least when
itís a bit warmer).

Who are your favorite bands as of late?

I am really into this band called Arsis, great metal, pure and very
well played. I am also into Strike Anywhere, Manu Chao, Commit Suicide, From
Ashes Rise, Suffocation, Sizzla, Capelton, Jackson Browne, Neil Young, The
Red Chord, among many many more.

What's your favorite Napalm Death CD? Why so?

Probably Harmony Corruption, there is just something about it that
resounded in me, at the time, 1991, and in the overwhelming sound of it,
many do not like it as it was the first departure from the pure grind of the
early days, but for me it was perfect.

How has growing up in Maryland affected you? How is the scene there?

I think anyone growing up in Maryland/Washington DC is automatically
affected by the deep political dimensions of the area, we live and breathe
the politics of the nation and the world firsthand, and sometimes it can get
a little monotonous. Itís good we spend much time in Baltimore (although I
live in DC), cause the Baltimore -Washington DC dichotomy is brutally
obvious in terms of wealth and prosperity, and the ability of each city to
sustain itself. The working class, post industrial attitudes of Baltimore
can be a healthy alternative to the DC pomp any day, although DC has many
great down to earth 'hoods if you seek them out. The music scene here is
very alive, all tours, large and small come through, and local bands often
make it to national and semi national levels.

How was it playing a few shows with Kevin Talley? How goes the battle for a
new drummer?

Kevin did amazing, and we are happy to report he will be playing with
us indefinitely for the near future.

What makes metal, metal?

The force of the music combined with the songwriting, hard and played
with precision, with anger and with undeniable purpose and drive.

Does Misery Index have an anthem? A sort of banner or particular theme in
that sense?

No banners, but the prevailing theme is a positive one, a hopeful and
positive scream for something better, something different. All of this
around us that is corrupting and alienating is not inevitable, there is a
better way of life for us and ourselves, if we seek to find it.

Are you proud to be an American? Would you serve it in a time of need?

I am proud to be an American not in the political sense, but in the
sense of community and culture, for the immense triumph of diverse
interests, and for the multitude of potential and possibility the people of
the land bring to each other. I would only 'serve' to fight a war against
fascists, not FOR imperialists.

What do you think is the worst tragedy in America?

The widespread apathy and disinterestedness of the middle class. As
long as the Wal-Mart keeps prices low, as long as the Reality TV shows keep
coming, and as long as there is enough credit to go around for increased
consumer consumption, well, 'FUCK IT ALL'.

Any side projects you guys are working on outside of Misery Index?

Nothing as of yet, although Bruce's hardcore bands 'Together We Fall'
and 'Next Step Up' are presently on hiatus, and I am sure will be doing
something soon.

What does the future hold for Misery Index?

hopefully many good things, including but not limited to- touring,
recording, meeting new people, meeting old friends, having a laugh over some
beers, and watching the sun rise in parts of the world I never knew existed.

What's your favorite release from bullshit, aside from music?

I like to read books by Jack London, and see films by the Cohen
Brothers, and eat food that is so hot that it makes me sweat my clothes

Interview by: Josh

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