Interview with Phlegathon, guitar player of Mist of Misery:
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Mist of Misery was formed in 2010 in Jakobsberg, a northern suburb in Stockholm. The music focuses primarily on creating a dark, depressive and melancholic atmosphere. The listener is supposed to enter a kind of meditative state while listening to Mist of Misery. This is of course equally reflected in the lyrics as well. They are written to fit the musical landscape we are trying to portray. The lyrics deal with a variety of different subjects ranging from descriptions of nature, negative emotions in general and some different perspectives of outlooks upon life. The music tends to be repetitive, quite often slow but not always and we involve a lot of orchestration combined with melody mixed with traditional DSBM influences.
2.A year ago you had released an ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
The sound was represented well for that time. It was a closing chapter for the “old” Mist of Misery you could say. We are proud of that EP, but it is nowhere near of what we are capable of. The new full length album we are working on right now (and have been for quite some time) will be….different to say the least. I will speak more of that later in this interview. But all in all, I think the EP represented us quite well. It is moody, melancholic and repetitive, everything a Mist of Misery recording should be.
3.The band has been around since 2010 but waited until 2014 to release any music, can you tell us a little bit more about the first 4 years?
Wrong. I joined the band in 2011, but Mist of Misery had released several independent releases before that. Some of them were old recordings of the songs featured on our latest release “Temple of Stilled Voices” which you referred to. On another note, Temple of Stilled Voices was released in 2013 actually, but only in digital format. It was released in physical format this year of 2015.
Now, regarding the first 4 years… I cannot tell you much about the very first year, since I was not part of the band back then, but I know that several shows were performed, one in Umeå I believe and several in Stockholm and as I mentioned earlier, several releases were made during the first 1-2 years. Among others they featured early versions of Bleak Autumn, Temple of Stilled Voices and Windows Mirror Image. When I joined the band in 2011 everyone basically left except for Mortuz Denatus. We wrote pretty much all the material for the full length album that we are recording now during a considerably short period of time and more songs that will be on the album after that. We have been re-recording our full length album at least 5 times since 2011 (yes, while we were also working on our EP “Templed of Stilled Voices” simultaneously) and have finally come to the conclusion to keep most of the tracks we have recorded now and finish the entire process by the end of this year. Hopefully we will see a release quite shortly after that. We also performed several shows during those years that you mentioned. All of them where in our hometown of Stockholm.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Well that question was more or less answered in an earlier stage of this interview, but I guess I could elaborate a bit. Natural descriptions such as describing autumn landscapes or mists are a common theme at least among our older songs. The newer lyrics focuses perhaps more on philosophical topics but described in a typical Mist of Misery fashion. We also have one song that is inspired by the Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien originally enough, hehe…
The general themes however in most of Mist of Misery’s lyrics are depression, darkness, melancholy and hopelessness. Although speaking for myself, I cannot help but to throw in a glimpse of optimism in the lyrics I write. If I didn’t, I would go mad with negativity.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Mist Of Misery'?
You would have to ask Mortuz about that. He came up with the name. Although I do know for a fact that he conceived it during a rather… inebriated state. That does not make it without meaning however. I have my own interpretation of what the name stands for, but to find out the original idea behind the name, you should ask him.
6.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you willing to work with a full band again or do you prefer to remain a duo?
We would like to have a full band I would say. We have tried, but this is not really the band that people stick with for some reason… I like working with Mortuz, but I would not mind at all working with a full say 6 piece band. That would exciting. The only problem is that you have to work with dedicated people that are willing to stay through the tough and demanding times, which very few people are willing to do unfortunately. We hire session members for every live performance and they are usually replaced when each new gig comes up.
Long story short: We would like to work with a full band, but we just have not found people that are dedicated enough yet. You never know for the future… but no matter what happens, I think me and Mortuz Denatus will remain the main driving forces behind Mist of Misery.
7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
The latest gig we had in June was quite special to me at least. It was by far the tightest we ever played and it was fun to play a lot of newer songs. We had some technical problems and our session bass player was….disappointed to say the least. We were also supposed to film and record that gig, but things did not get handled that well, let’s put it that way. But as for the atmosphere, and the people who appreciated it, it was a fine gig for me.
Our onstage performances are not like your typical extreme metal show. Our music is often quite slow and repetitive and it is not really meant for excessive head banging, moshing etc. We focus rather on delivering the songs the way they are supposed to be delivered: With feeling, tension and lots of epic vibes in general.
8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Touring? No, not at the moment. Shows and everything is in the planning process, but we really feel the need to complete our full length album before any extensive amount of live-performance can be made. We something more to promote than just our latest EP. We are not completely closed at the moment with regarding to do a show or 2 before the album is released. That more or less depends on finding the right people that are willing to follow through with it. Time will tell.
9.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
I’m glad you asked. We have received 2 very interesting offers from 2 promising record labels. One of them we have pretty much decided that they we will be working with them for promotional purposes when our full length album comes out. Of course I can’t tell you what label, but you will see….
10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
From the people that I’ve been in contact with, either through promotional means or personally the reception has been 99 % good. Around 10 reviews have been done for the Temple of Stilled Voices EP and none of them have been negative. That to me is not necessarily only a good sign. A true sign that you are doing something good is that you have haters, people who dislike what you are doing. I’m not complaining though, I’m glad that people seem to like it which it is healthy for the band.
11.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
Mortuz Denatus is the founder and owner of Studio Forlorn Halls, the studio that we record in. That takes up a lot of his time and he is doing everything from fixing drums to other bands, mixing in general, mastering other bands and doing his own stuff of course in that studio obviously. He is also in a band called Soliloquim. I believe they are about to release their second EP, or full length album at the moment.
I am also in another band called Hyperion. Our debut album has been recorded and is currently being mixed by a guy called Sverker Widgren who is the owner of Wing Studios. The artwork is completed and everything. We’re basically just waiting for him to finish the album and we are writing some new music as well. I also do some melodic electronic music with a friend of mine, but that is more of a fun project.
12.When can we expect a full length album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Yes, you can expect a full length album for sure. The time it has taken is beyond all criticism, but rest assured: We WILL complete this album. You just wait and see. This album is….different than the previous Mist of Misery releases. It is more mature, complex and way more symphonic. I think some listeners might be surprised by it, but we still maintain the foundation of Mist of Misery. You can definitely hear that we are the same band as before. It sounds like Mist of Misery, but greatly improved and on a whole new level
I see the band basically including more symphonic elements in the future and expanding the bounds of atmosphere and beauty. It is going to be very interesting.
13.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Musical inspiration for Mist of Misery ranges across a variety of different artists. I guess some important names are Thy Light, Coldworld, Gorgoroth, Mayhem, Dissection, Vangelis and Hans Zimmer. But it is not really consciously that these artists influence us. We combine Depressive Black Metal with I guess traditional sounding Black Metal, but we also mix a lot of classical newer symphonic music with it as well.
Me, personally I listen to a lot of 80:s hard rock and metal. At the moment I can’t stop listening to WASP and Magnum, but I am in love with lots of different genres of music.
14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I would like to thank everyone who has supported us in any way. Your actions mean the world to us. I would also like everyone to keep an ear out when the full length album is released and listen to it with an open mind. Thank you for the interview!