MISERY LANE – interview

MISERY LANE – interview

Introduce your band, and describe your latest release:
My band is Misery Lane based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, US. We have been together since October of 2020 and currently have two full albums available wherever you stream music. What sets us apart from other newer bands is that we don’t use a cookie approach to music. No two songs sound the same. We want everyone to walk with something. Our newest album “Red Balloon” has really taken off and we couldn’t be happier.

What’s the hardest part about being a band in this day and age?
There is a myriad of challenges when it comes to being in a band. First you must find dedicated people that want to stick around longer than a few months, which isn’t easy. Without immediate success most players lose interest and move on to something else thinking that’s going to be the next big thing only to quit again. Second you must drop your personal ego and make it about the band. Egos kill bands more than lack of success. Next you all must decide on what type of music the band will write and play, which can be difficult because not everyone has the same background or interest in music. After that it’s dedication to play live shows which can be time consuming and costly depending on how often a band does play a show which brings me to the other big one money. Being in a band, especially a band that only does original music, costs money and again its hard-to-find people willing to put money into something that doesn’t show an immediate return. Things like recording equipment, websites, distribution, gas to and from shows, etc. all can be very expensive. That’s just the big ones for me there are a ton of smaller issues that can kill a band.

When did you realise that your project had the potential to be much more than just a fun idea?
As the lead song writer (Ken Keller vocalist and lead guitarist) I guess the first time I felt like maybe we had something is when I first started shopping songs around to friends to get their honest opinions on the music. I purposely sent it to people I wasn’t exactly “friends” with so I know if it was bad, they would rip it apart and talk a bunch of smack about it but they all returned favorable opinions with a few suggestions. I’ll take constructive criticism all day. That’s the only way to get better.

Tell us about your latest release, why should we check it out?
Our newest album “Red Balloon” started from a poem I wrote for my wife entitled “One Red Balloon”. She is a huge horror nerd and loves Stephen King, so I thought what if Pennywise the clown from the “IT” franchise fell in love and instead of giving roses he gave “One Red Balloon”. The poem is from the perspective of Pennywise trying to tell someone how he feels. There is a song on the album of the same name that closely follows the original poem. The structure of the song and the album is unique and is not what you would expect but you must listen start to finish, or you will miss the nuances. The rest of the album just grew from that root, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the result.

How does a song typically come together for you?
Every song is about the experience. Life is inspiration and I tap into that well to correlate emotion into music. Most songs I write start as music and lyrics come later but if the emotion I was originally trying to capture in the music comes through successfully then the lyrics practically write themselves. Its that genuine transition that helps people identify with the song and make them able to identify it with something that is going on in their lives currently or in their past.

How would you describe your sound to an unfamiliar reader?
Our sound isn’t like any other band. I strive to purposely not sound like anyone else because I don’t want to be anyone else. Too often bands fall into the trap of writing what is popular now. I prefer to write music that I identify with and feel like the listener will as well. We don’t use a cookie cutter approach to songs. No two songs on the album sound like each other because I want something for everyone. If someone asks, I say we skirt the razor’s edge of where hard rock meets metal. You might here one fast heavy song and the next will be dark and melodic while the next might be ballad-esque. We want people to listen to the entire album not just pick and choose a song or two.

What do you want listeners to take away from listening to your band?
That’s simple. We want them to feel the emotion of every song and relate it to their lives. There are no obscure references or hidden messages. Its all right there and relatable.

Where would you really like to tour that you haven’t done so yet, and why?
Personally, I would love to do shows in Europe. The EU has such a good hard rock/metal scene, and the people there really appreciate good music. According to Spotify we have more listeners in Finland than in the US so they should get us over there. It is a surreal experience looking at all of the countries that listen to our music.

How would you say that the sound of your band has progressed over the years?
We had a different singer when we first started. The other founding member of the band was the vocalist, but he had to back away for personal reasons and I think the first album was more screaming than singing which gave the music a different feel. On the newest album, with me as the vocalist, I was able to bring more singing into the screaming to give the band a wider range for people to appreciate. Where the first album might sound more like Lamb of God the newest release leans more toward a Killswitch Engage sound.

How excited are you for 2023, and what can fans expect from you?
The fans can expect us to keep playing shows to support the newest album and continuing to write music for the third album. I never want to lose the momentum we have by taking an elongated break. That can kill an up-and-coming band. We will continue to appreciate all of the support we have gotten so far and look to bring even better music for people to enjoy in the future.

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