Jason Netherton - Misery Index

It must be awesome being from Baltimore and getting to play Maryland Deathfest?! Especially twice this year!

Yeah, we do not play out that much, at least compared to what we used to do. I think we were always doing area shows through the years and regularly doing like 150 shows a year, but now we are all living in different cities so we have slowed down a lot, which made getting together in our original home town all that more special this year.


Are there any particular bands that you are wanting to see this weekend?

Well, I like the old stuff, the bands I grew up on like Sacrifice and Candlemass - they were huge for me, also cool to see God Macabre after all these years as well as newer bands I really dig like Hooded Menace from Finland and Entrails from Sweden. It was a fun time all around, and even seeing a few bands I never heard of was fun as well.

The new album is called 'The Killing Gods'. Is this title aimed at anyone in particular and if so why did you chose them?

Well, it refers to those idols and/or gods that are manufactured as a way to organize social power and control populations. This is especially relevant in those places and in public where not a day goes by where someone's god is turned into a mascot for violence, or is used as an excuse to enslave and kill. The title track is meant criticizes this absurdity.

'The Killing Gods' sounds heavier than previous records and perhaps a more mature sound for the band. Was this the intention when writing this album or did it just happen?

Well, we certainly took our time writing it and getting the mix we wanted. We stopped touring for the last album in 2011, so we were writing for a good 24 months straight, and then when it came time to record it was about 5 months before everything was wrapped up, from the first drum takes to the final master. So that extra time was nice to have, we were a bit rushed before, so we just kept at every detail until we were happy. That might give it a better overall feel, heavier or otherwise, but I think its still Misery Index and not too great of a leap from previous recordings. 


How is your relationship with your new record label Season Of Mist and how does it compare to when you were with Relapse?

We were with Relapse for three years and it was great, they are still family to us. We went to Season of Mist for a different approach, and so far it has been good. They are very supportive of us and we have so far been very happy with nearly everything. 

Is it right that the band name came from the Assuck album 'Misery Index'? What made you choose this name and have you ever considered doing a collaboration with one of the members of Assuck?

Yes, more or less. I also just liked the term, it had a ring to it, and a real-world definition, so it fit with the lyrical and aesthetic approach that Misery Index wanted at the start. I like the band and they were an indirect influence for sure, more so in the early days than now. I have no contact with those guys, but it would be great to get Paul in for a vocal guest spot for sure.

Who influenced you to start playing bass and do they still influence you today?

Steve Harris from Iron Maiden inspired me to pick up the bass, a long long time ago…and while I think the last really good Iron maiden album was probably "Brave New World", I still listen to the classics, so yes, he is an icon for me and will remain the best of the best.

If you had to choose between vocals and bass, which would you choose and why?

Probably vocals, I have always felt in some way more like a vocalist who plays bass than the other way around, I like lyrics and lyric writing, getting them just right in the studio, and then letting them spill forth from my lungs in the live setting…its the visceral, primal act of it I guess and such screams are in many ways what makes death metal "death metal".

You have just released your own book. What is it about and what made you decide to do it?

It was something that started in 2010, without any direction or planning. I was touring a lot in that year and the next, and found myself running into many friends in other bands, just killing time backstage telling stories and sharing memories. At that point I thought these memories we were sharing might somehow be saved, preserved and shared, because after all, the death metal underground is now about 25 years old, and in short time all those memories will be dust (or spread out across various corners of the internet). So, I bought a recorder and started cataloging conversations, distilling them into categories and before I knew it, I had more than a 100 contributions. I just felt like the death metal scene could use an organic, comprehensive volume that reflected on its history through the voices of those who helped create and forward the scene itself. Other genres and subcultures have similar texts (oral history), so why not death metal?


Thanks for taking time out to speak to me and I hope to see you in Europe sometime soon

Thanks, we are coming over in July and August for some tests on the mainland….cheers!

'The Killing Gods' is available to buy now

Jason's book 'Extremity Retained: Notes from the Death Metal Underground'  is available to buy from here