While the name Misery Signals is relatively new to the scene, the band was born from a tragic accident a couple years back when a drunk driver crashed into the tour van belonging to straight-edge band Compromise, who was on tour with 7 Angels 7 Plagues, a band that was just starting to create a lot of buzz. Both of Compromise’s guitarists were killed in the accident, causing the rest of the members to disband, while 7 Angels 7 Plagues’ split came shortly after when their vocalist left.
7 Angels’ guitar player Ryan Morgan and bassist Kyle Johnson weren’t about to call it quits and recruited ex-Compromise singer Jesse Zaraska, but when things weren’t clicking they brought in Stu Ross on guitar and Johnson’s brother Brandon on drums to complete the lineup, and Misery Signals was the end result. “We didn’t want to abandon the work,” Morgan says. “We had to pick up the pieces and move on.”
When it came time to record it was pretty convenient that vocalist Zaraska just so happened to be good friends with prog-metal guru Devin Townsend, singer of the cult band Strapping Young Lad. “We didn’t have much of a budget for this record [Of Malice and the Magnum Heart on Ferret Records] so it was great having the luxury of knowing Devin really believed in the band,” Morgan says.
The band just came off a tour with Six Feet Under, a lineup that saw two worlds collide. “We didn’t really get to know them too well. They just hung out in the bus all day,” Morgan says of the death metal band. “And the hardcore kids usually ended up leaving before Six Feet Under came on; I think the metal kids are a little more open minded.”