Summon: How did the band get started?
Phlegathon: The band was founded in 2010 by Mortuz Denatus and Simon Sjölander after the disbanding of Mortuz’s former band Frostskada. I personally was not involved in the very beginnings of Miser of Misery, but I believe the idea was to create atmospheric and more down-tempo music than what was Frostskada was doing. Mortuz and Simon recorded and released about 5 independent releases together, both demos and EP’s. Some of them were early version of songs which appear on our latest EP “Temple of Stilled Voices”. Much has happened since then and I joined the band in 2011, but this is but a fraction of all the information there is to know about the inception of Mist of Misery.
Summon: What kind of music do you play?
Phlegathon: I guess the “correct” definition of our music would be Depressive Black Metal. However, in our latest material we are mixing all types of influences with our music like orchestral music, symphonic type of Black Metal, “regular” Black Metal, movie soundtracks…. It’s a mishmash of a lot of different genres basically, but the main focus is atmosphere, ambiance and the will to create music that will move a person deeply. It is a lot like meditative music, yet dark and heavily orchestrated.
Summon: How has the fan response been?
Phlegathon: With regard to the material we have released so far, the response has been mainly positive to those that have heard it. This type of music is not for everyone and we are aware of that, so we are thankful for every person that takes any interest in our music. Of course there are people that I’ve heard who don’t understand our work and I see that as a positive thing. If everybody likes, or even worse thinks neutrally of what you are doing, then you are clearly doing something wrong. Really good art or music is supposed to move people strongly, whether it is in a positive or negative way.
Summon: Where did the band name come from?
Phlegathon: I get that question a lot… I was not the one who came up with it, Mortuz did. The idea was basically to create a Depressive Black Metal Band and he thought Mist of Misery reflected that idea well. I think it describes our musical and lyrical concept perfectly. Just take a listen and you will clearly understand the connection.
Summon: Introduce the band members and what they do in the band.
Phlegathon: Mist of Misery is a duo consisting of Mortuz Denatus who handles the drums, some of the vocals, mixing, mastering & programming and me Phlegathon who handles all guitars and bass.
Summon: Who writes the music? Lyrics?
Phlegathon: We both do. Some of the older lyrics were written by Simon Sjölander.
Summon: And where do the lyric ideas come from?
Phlegathon: Nature, despair, negative emotions in general and some are based on fiction, quite typical lyrical themes of our genre. I personally try to vent all my frustrations and negative emotions when I write lyrics for Mist of Misery, however I am not the only one writing lyrics. On the surface they may appear hopeless, but I would be a liar if I told you there isn’t a shred of hope in my lyrics…
Summon: What is your view in Satanism and Occultism?
Phlegathon: We both have our view and take on Satanism and the occult. It is not a large part of our personal lives, nor a part of Mist of Misery’s lyrical concept. We are fascinated by it, like most people involved in this type of music, but we don’t practice it. I personally think some of it is complete horseshit and some of it holds at least some value in terms of being a strong person and conquering your fears and limitations. However none of us has it as a high priority in our lives. We don’t belong to a certain group of religious people in that sense and we don’t involve satanic lyrical concepts in Mist of Misery. In order to do that, I think you would have live up to it 100 %, which I feel very few bands really do…
Summon: How many albums/CD’s have you released?
Phlegathon: 5 in total if you count the really early demos. The 6th one will be a full length album and is on the way.
Summon: Tell me about some the songs on the latest CD?
Phlegathon: The songs featured on Temple of Stilled Voices are ambient, dark, moody and has a quite special feeling to them. If I take the part as a listener when I listen to it, and not as a performer I could honestly say that I cannot really place my fingers on exactly what the EP sounds like. Of course you can hear some influences here and there if you listen carefully, but the general feeling I get from the EP is quite different from a lot of other music. In that sense, I guess you could say it has some unique qualities to it. However, both I and Mortuz agree that the full length album we are working on right now will exceed the EP 10 fold in every aspect imaginable.
Summon: Do you have any side projects?
Phlegathon: I have 2 bands that I play in: Mist of Misery and Hyperion. However, I would deem neither of them as being side projects. Both bands are very important to me when it comes to express my creativity. Other than that, I spend some time writing some melodic electronic music with a friend when time permits. Music plays a huge role in my life.
As for Mortuz, he plays in another band called Soliloquium and also on and off has a project called Försvunnen Tid. Although his main focus, besides Mist of Misery is his studio Forlorn Halls Studios. He is a qualified sound engineer and spends a lot of his time mixing and mastering his own and other people’s music. This of course has its advantages since we can record whenever we want for free in his studio.
Summon: Who are some of your musical influences?
Phlegathon: To name a few: Thy Light, Coldworld, Gorgoroth, Dissection, Glenn Stafford, Hans Zimmer, Vangelis, Naglfar, Mayhem, Dimmu Borgir, Posthum, various movie soundtracks and game soundtracks….. I could go on forever, but these are some of the main influences. Although we do try our best to sound like us and no other band in particular.
Summon: Which current bands?
Phlegathon: If you mean which current bands inspire me personally I would say WASP, Summoning, Magnum and Caladan Brood.
Summon: What is the band like when you play live?
Phlegathon: Very emotionally charged and not very familiar to a lot of other bands when they perform live. There is not an awful lot of moshing, or headbanging going on and we’re OK with that. The audience is supposed to absorb the atmosphere and enter a kind of meditative state. From the not so many shows I have performed with Mist of Misery, I get the feeling that it is also quite tense. Not in a bad way at all, but you get the feeling that it is not an entirely pleasant thing going on.
Summon: Have you guys ever played in another country?
Phlegathon: No, but with a new full length album behind us in the near future, it might be a good idea, for sure.
Summon: How big of crowd shows up at shows usually?
Phlegathon: Hmmm….depends. It averages to about 30 – 50 people. Then again, we have not performed live very extensively.
Summon: How is the crowd response when you play?
Phlegathon: Mixed. Some understand it and get the idea, some like to move around a lot, some people don’t get it… It is usually a very mixed response I would say. Any reaction at all except for a neutral one is a good reaction in my eyes. The important thing is to leave a lasting impression.
Summon: What do you think of the US Black Metal/Death Metal scene?
Phlegathon: I have not delved deep enough into the Black Metal part of that scene to have a valid opinion about it. Some seem to want to copy the Scandinavian bands, but that goes for all other countries, not just the US. However there is one band that I really like from the US called Caladan Brood. They sound a lot like Summoning, sure, but they have tons of epic melodies, fantastic clean vocals and a general wonderful atmosphere that I really enjoy. Absu is not an awful band either.
When it comes to Death Metal, the US is unquestionably more dominating on the market, if you want to put it that way. Deicide, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Possessed, Death…. You can’t take that away. Fantastic bands.
Summon: What do you think of the Overseas scenes?
Phlegathon: The scene in North America seems to be quite healthy in my eyes. There are a lot of worthless bands, but also some gems if you look hard enough. That goes for South America as well. In general, I think it appears to be well, healthy and thriving, resulting in both positive and negative outcomes.
Summon: What are some of your new favorite black metal/death metal bands?
Phlegathon: That depends on your definition of “new”. As I mentioned before, I really like Caladan Brood, my cousins band Descend is a great band in my opinion. Midvinterblot is a band that we have played live with before and like their latest EP “Gryning”. Although, I do have a tendency to listen to and discover a lot of older bands that I missed out on earlier for whatever reason. I tend to be very picky with the more modern bands I listen to.
Summon: When do you guys plan on writing any new material?
Phlegathon: Well, the full length album that is being recorded right now is of course already written. We also have a substantial amount of material for the album that is to be recorded after that, but it is nowhere near complete. When this full length album is released, we will turn our focus towards composition of new material.
Summon: What does the future hold for the band?
Phlegathon: The highest priority is to get the full length album recorded and finished. It has taken us far too long, but it WILL see the light of day (or night), mark our words! That is the only real goad we have for now, honestly, but of course there are other things being considered. More extensive amounts of live shows will be performed, that’s for sure and eventually, yet another studio album.
Thank you for the interview!
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