In 2000 Misery Loves Co. called it a day. But like many bands, the urge to play live was too great and now they’re back! They are a band who should have been a lot bigger, but their fans never left and are ready to do it all over again. To talk about the hiatus and all things Misery, I caught up with vocalist Patrik Wirén.
Jack: Hi Patrik, thanks for taking time to answer my questions. How are you doing?
Patrik Wirén (Vocals): I am fine, thank you. Very excited about doing some shows this summer… Can’t wait!
Jack: Misery Loves Co have just reformed, why did you decide to re-emerge?
Patrik: The short answer: Because there is nothing else in the whole world that we would rather do.
Long version: Me and Örjan Örnkloo actually started writing songs again back in 2005. Whenever we would see each other at a party or a concert it would be like, ”you wanna go down to the studio?”. And so we did… Over and over. Again and again. So… The return of Misery Loves Co. has been a very, very slow process. I think we both really missed playing live but we wanted to release new material before we went back on the road again. The only problem was that without a deadline nothing really happened… It was just us locked inside this studio and we really didn’t know what to do with the songs we wrote. That’s when we decided to do the Brutal Assault Festival outside Prague. It was a way for us to get things going again and let people know we actually exist. Then we got asked to do some other festivals…
Jack: What projects were you involved with during the hiatus?
Patrik: I had a band called Alpha Safari with Uffe Cederlund (Entombed, Disfear), Olle Dahlstedt (ex-Misery Loves Co, Entombed AD), and Patrik Thorngren who played with Misery on our last tours in 2000. Me and Uffe discovered that we had a common love for noisy guitar rock when Entombed and Misery toured together for a couple of months back in 1997. So when Misery split-up he was really the first person I thought of writing music with. So we recorded an album (“Commercial Suicide”, Threeman Recordings) and did about 20 gigs around 2004. Apart from that I have only guested a few bands live and in the studio.
Jack: You said in an interview you really missed playing live, what did you miss about it?
Patrik: Oh… The energy, the raw and primitive energy. It can’t be compared to anything else. I’ve been trying to find other things in life where I can get the same kinda kick, but… No. Nothing beats screaming your lungs out to loud music.
Jack: New generations of fans including myself discovered your music during your absence, how does it feel knowing that your music was still being shared and discussed when you weren’t active?
Patrik: I seriously didn’t know that a new generation discovered our music. And I’m still not sure… We’ll see during the festivals this summer. But it feels great knowing that someone like yourself dug up the old Misery albums. Very flattering.
Jack: How has the writing process been for the new material?
Patrik: Very laid back. With no deadline and no audience or record company in mind we could just do whatever we felt like whenever we felt like doing it.
Jack: You said in an interview that Misery Loves Co. in 2016 is not a nostalgia act, does this mean the new material will sound different to the existing material?
Patrik: More than anything else I meant that we have these new songs and they are really the main reason we wanted to do this again. It just wouldn’t feel right to do it only for nostalgic reasons. These summer festivals are not a one off thing, we will continue releasing music and doing shows.
Jack: Lots of bands from the era you started off in have reformed or have made a comeback, why do you think this is?
Patrik: I don’t know and I can, of course, only talk for myself. For me it was about a strong desire to do the thing I love more than anything else in life. Sometimes you just need to lose something before you know how important it is to you. If you know what I mean?
Jack: Is it too early to announce upcoming events like future tours, new music and what label it will be released on?
Patrik: Yes, it is. I wish I could say we have this master plan, but we really don’t. We take this day by day and step by step. So far we have no one working for us and no deals are being signed. But soon, very soon, we need to look into this. It would be great if we could release a new song before the end of the year, perhaps do a few club shows and then release an album in 2017. We’ll see how it goes…
Jack: Your live line-up includes Jorgen Sandstrom on bass and Jesper Skarin on drums. What do they bring to the line up?
Patrik: They are both great people, friends of the band, and great musicians. They bring in so much… Can’t wait to share stage with Jesper and Jörgen, it’s gonna be awesome.
Jack: You’re playing Gefle Metal Festival in July, are you nervous about playing after so long?
Patrik: Not really, but I am sure I will get a bit nervous a few days before the show. There is so much energy that’s been waiting to come out for so long now. And I know how excited I get every time we play these songs… All those smashed microphones… Doing the vocals for Misery have always been a really bad affair, economically. I have a large graveyard of broken microphones in my backyard.
Jack: You’re also hitting the main stage of Bloodstock, are you excited to return to the UK?
Patrik: Very excited! The UK was the first place where we got recognition outside of Scandinavia.
Jack: One of your most famous shows was when you played the sadly closed Astoria venue in London, how would you describe your relationship with the UK?
Patrik: Like I said, the UK’s always been good to us. So… It’s been a shiny happy love story from day one.
Jack: Also playing Bloodstock is Slayer who you toured with, do you have fond memories of touring with them?
Patrik: We actually only did one show with Slayer (at the Brixton Academy). But we love Slayer. How can you not love Slayer? Tom Araya is a brilliant singer, I actually rank him higher than most singers in the metal scene. He doesn’t always get the praise he deserves.
Jack: Deftones opened for you once and now they’re headlining arenas across the globe, do you feel a sense of pride when see what they achieved?
Patrik: I remember someone giving us a tape with 3-4 songs from an upcoming debut from this band called Deftones. We were in the US and listened to their songs over and over in the van. So even though they were a pretty unknown band at the time we were very excited to have them as support at the Limelight in New York. I remember it as a great evening in every way. It didn’t come as a big surprise to any of us that they would go on to become this huge arena band.
Jack: Finally, what is your favourite David Bowie album?
Patrik: Oh, Bowie… So many great albums, but I have to say Scary Monsters. It’s not his most classic album but it was the first of his albums I got and I think it sounds just as great today as it did the first time I heard it as a kid. It made me buy every other record he ever released and I still think of it as one of my favourite albums of all time.
Jack: Thanks for your time, I’ll see you in the UK!
Patrik: Thank you so much for your support. Can’t wait to see you and the other friends of Misery at Bloodstock this summer!