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Thursday, April 4, 2019

Pale Misery Interview

Pale Misery Interview w/ guitarist Jacob Neu

{Questions are paraphrased here}
1). Tell us a little bit about the band?
Conception of Pale Misery began in early 2018, with Thorn and Garret joining forces as a two-piece actually. They were in a previous project together as well. In the early days the rough demos of what was to become Black Candles and Gutter Scum were written. The two of them juggled through a couple of added members and line up variations, but the roles were finally cemented when I was formally asked to join. After some time the three of us truly believed we’d found our angle sound wise, and hit the ground running with rehearsals and finishing compositions for the last remaining tracks on the album. For the most part we enjoy the practice of DIY when it comes to our music and how we want to represent it. We self-record / produce, even the gear and tones are far from standard. Most would consider some of our gear choices quite sinful. Also, I’d like to add that as of February 2019, we’ve had the pleasure of adding in a second guitarist by the name of Bailey Peltier. Who provides the richness and layers to the sound that we just weren’t getting as a three-piece.

2). Tell us more about the musical style you went for on your upcoming album?
We knew our goal was to create atmosphere not only through the individual tracks, but also sonically, through the recording methods. Evoking some of the characteristics of second wave black metal and other signature sounds, we knew without question we desired and non-polished mix at the end of the day. We wanted to accentuate filth, and intensity via guitar tones and by using a lo-fi, somewhat vintage approach. Stylistically, this album contains elements of early black metal, stoner/doom, and of course it beckons moods of hardcore/ crust punk. For us the album really paints a picture and provides the atmosphere we desired.

3). What do you do differently as far as other blackened crust bands?
We believe our music is a fresh approach to the blending of these genres. It’s important to note the Doom inspirations as well. You wont simply find trem-picked, sped up hardcore. For that mix is pretty easy to create, and can be quite formulaic. Our inspirations range far and wide, and we all come from pretty different musical backgrounds, so the material is pretty respective of that. We’ve sort of leaned slightly less on the actual crust elements, and more on using small respective elements of both black metal and crust (and more) to create the atmosphere we desired. Both if used in a specific way, have great emotional essence to their being, and we’ve used elements of both to transcend a simple textbook definition of the sound.

4). Explain the lyrical content?
To me, the lyrical content explores giving into ones human nature, and the dark desires that come with it. Not only giving into your own temptations, but reveling in the worlds’ darkness as whole. It’s an exploration of the modern human condition, the environment this condition has molded. We learn to adapt, like the animals we are, to this modern world. While the lines of good and evil can seem to blur…

5). What Is the meaning behind the name pale misery?
Although it does induce a certain feel, its pretty much a non-sense name. I suppose the black metal aspect could come out in the idea of “Pale” referring to the light of the moon, or the pale moon, for the Bloodborne fans out there. And Misery essentially captures an image of the overall mood and sound. We basically had a really solid name in the early days that we really dug, but had to drop it due to another band already existing. So we bounced through a slew of names, but found Pale Misery to be a good representation. Oh, and we were also tired of using the word “Black” in every metal band name.

6). Tell us a little more about the artwork?
The album artwork is a modernized illustration from the Divine Comedy, an Italian poem from the 14th century. This writing is full of visual inspiration, and its illustrations really resonated with us when trying to combine a visual aspect to the music.

7). Best shows?
Pale Misery hasn’t actually played its first gig yet, however the bookings have begun. Our first show in late May will prove to be a hell of a debut. Since it has been formally announced anyway, Ill include here that our first gig we’ll be sharing the stage with EYEHATEGOD. Which means quite a bit to us…

8). Any touring plans or shows lined up after the album release?
We certainly plan on playing what we consider to be the appropriate shows after the album release. Especially when it comes to leaving our hometown scene.

9). Looking out for any labels or received any interest?
As it is very early in Pale Misery’s existence, we’re certainly keeping our eyes peeled. But we’ve got some hurdles to jump before thinking about any labels.

10). On a worldwide level, how has the reaction to your music been?
Well, we’re still in our infancy unfortunately, so that’s hard to say. However feedback on a small scale has been extremely positive. But we look forward to more exposure.

11). Where do you see the musical direction heading in the future?
We definitely think it’s important to grow and evolve, and once again with such a vast stretch of influences among us, we certainly will explore new areas for the next release. This album is what we were feeling creatively at the time, and were quite proud of it. It captures aggression and atmosphere we wanted, but our eyes are far out to the horizon for the second release. Black Candles and Gutter Scum is merely the birth of Pale Misery.

12). What are some of the bands or musical styles that influence your music?
Once again our backgrounds vary widely, but I’d say there are some tangible inspirations directly responsible for Pale Misery. Obviously there’s first and second wave second wave black metal acts, such as Celtic Frost, Mayhem and Darkthrone. More modern influences such as Dragged Into Sunlight and Nails, to name a couple. Lots of experimental/ psych/ electronic as well for some of us. Shoe-Gaze, ambient, drone, traditional sludge and stoner doom to be brief. I personally pretty much remain in the realms of black metal and doom, with a lot of variety mixed in. However lately I’ve been trying to dig deeper and explore more underground acts such as THROTH, Heron and Deathfortress to name a few.

13). Non-musical interest?
Well not a ton, we enjoy getting out to local shows with our buds, and the occasional craft beer for myself. We try to squeeze in some D&D here and there, the occasional video games, so on and so forth. Mostly just trying to find and ingest more music. Thorn is generally a gear head, so he spends a lot of time tinkering with amps and moding pedals, which isn’t actually non-musical I suppose haha. Garret is actually a personal trainer, so he’s pretty involved with that both as a passion and a day job. Overall, we just enjoy hanging out as a group, listening to albums, and so on. Especially with the addition of Bailey, we have a good time just shooting the shit and writing...

14). Final Thoughts?
Well first off Pale Misery would like to thank you for the opportunity to answer some questions and get some info out there. Also we’d like to remind everyone that Black Candles and Gutter Scum is available now for pre-order via bandcamp, and the full release follows on May 31st of 2019. Check out our social media pages as well for updates and new content!
Instagram: @palemiseryofficial
FB: @palemiseryofficial

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