Misconducters – Interview with guitarist/vocalist Denfire
Interviewed by EvilG
In a nutshell, how would you introduce the band, Misconducters?
It’s a blend of metal, punk and hard rock, formed in London/UK in 2008.
Where did you get the title for the band from, and what does it represent to you?
I took it from MOD’s “Gross Misconduct”. First I wrote a song called “Misconducter”, many years ago, when Misconducters weren’t active yet. So this new band, which was to be a power trio in the mold of early Motörhead and would do things its own way, was actually named after that song.
Your band’s website doesn’t go into much detail on the band members or the band’s history – do you prefer to deliberately keep things slightly vague and let the music be the focus? Or have you just not gotten around to fleshing out the band’s “story”? 🙂
Your first assumption is pretty much spot on. Of course people are welcome to get in touch and ask for further details if they’re interested, though.
What do you feel your band offers the metal world that sets you apart from others?
Since Misconducters is not tied to any specific sub-genre I reckon it would be fair to say it doesn’t have many limitations and restrictions. I really praise the creative edge that seems to have been so prevalent among the 60s and 70s bands – they were always pushing the boundaries. Of course there are still very creative and cool bands around – and there have always been manufactured copies since the blues went to Chicago – but it’s really hard to ignore how spoiled and superficial people became with so much disposable and generic material at hand. So call me old fashioned, but I think it’s crucial to cultivate some precious values.
If you had to recommend a couple of your songs to a potential new fan, what do you think from your catalog might best represent the band and appeal to a metalhead?
Maybe “Circadian”, “Hunter And Prey” and “Unleash” would give a little taste.
Misconducters bridge styles with elements of classic thrash / punk / core crossover – as a result do you feel you pull fans in from different areas or do you mostly have, shall we say, a “metal” following?
Definitely from different backgrounds. I saw people going mental at our gigs wearing t-shirts of bands like Nirvana, Running Wild, Bad Brains, Living Colour, D.R.I, Anti-Cimex, Arch Enemy, Thin Lizzy, Napalm Death… It really varies a lot, which I find positive. We seem to attract people who like high energy music and don’t mind a fair dose of musicianship.
What are your thoughts on other contemporary thrash/crossover bands – do you feel they represent the genre well?
The only negative aspect is that the copycat factor trims some of the creativity which, as I mentioned before, I find very important. On the other hand, many of these retro bands end up developing their own style, only to add more seasoning to the stew. And they can really play their instruments! If we can live in a world where there’s a Stray Cats for every Buddy Holly, I guess it wouldn’t be a problem to have a Gama Bomb for every Nuclear Assault.
Who are some of your key inspirations from the various styles that helped define your style?
The list is far too long, but perhaps I should mention Iron Maiden, Motörhead, Venom, Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Misfits, Alice Cooper, Rush, Master, Morbid Angel, King Crimson, Asia, Monster Magnet, Chuck Berry, Beatles, Savoy Brown, English Dogs, Sepultura, Cro-Mags, Jimi Hendrix… Man, this could go on and on… There’re far too many great mainstream and obscure bands from all over the world that really inspire me a lot.
Where exactly is the band based out of these days? I know you formed in the UK (in London I believe?), but as I understand it, you’re back in Brazil now? Tell us a bit about that journey and how the band evolved as you moved around.
One may say Misconducters are officially based in Brazil at the moment. That’s been the case for the last four or five years now, but yes, it originated in London, where I lived for ten years. Most of the music I like come from British and American bands, so I went to the UK to see what it had to offer. I was part of other bands too and did lots of busking, so that period living abroad gave me an enormous amount of experience. Misconducters once opened for Discharge in London, and after their promoter saw us he continuously booked us dates in Birmingham, where we played in fests with Broken Bones, English Dogs, Disorder, among many others. We also played with all kinds of metal bands, but somehow we often ended up on the more punk side of things. Whenever a metal guy joined Misconducters there was a bit of conflict with the punk guy who was there first – and vice versa. This kept things a bit limited for me, as some songs that I really wanted to play would get rejected for being too metal, or too punk, or too complex, or too long… Well, it’s all experience and I’m glad to say things flow better nowadays.
Is your local hometown scene supportive of Misconducters?
It’s been improving slightly because now we have some label support for the very first time.
You’ve been the consistent member of the band – do you feel that the current line-up is now solidified?
Not really, the drummer just left. That’s always happened, from day one. We never managed to get a great following because musicians don’t seem to understand where they’re stepping into. Misconducters is the band I formed to play my old songs and to continuously evolve musically, regardless of any financial return or fame. I’ve been writing and performing for 26 years now and take it very seriously, even if it is in a very underground way. I’ve never been part of any scene either, and of course that doesn’t help, but I wouldn’t want to jeopardise my freedom. So as soon as those intense initial 6 months of new line-up end, and Misconducters are not yet headlining Bloodstock Open Air, at least one member begins to show lack of excitement and things are set to go downhill, culminating in another line-up change, another restart, and so on, on a vicious circle where the engine never starts. Unfortunately that’s procedure with far too many good bands out there.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the line up has been solid for the past 2 albums. Has this helped the band in terms of your goals, sound, and for playing consistent live shows?
Yeah, I guess that was the first time we recorded two consecutive full lengths with the same line-up. There were obvious improvements on the current album, although I really like the rough and urgent aspects of the previous one, “Boundless”.
Speaking of live shows, do you have any tour plans or tour-goals you’d like to share?
There were touring plans prior to the drummer’s departure, but they had to be put on hold indefinitely. So nothing for the time being, but one never knows…
The fourth Misconducters album, Circadian, is now available. Tell us a bit about the writing and recording of this album.
I always write all songs and this time was no different. It was done a bit in a hurry, with much less rehearsals than I’d consider to be ideal, but at least it came out ok in the end. The recordings were quick and dynamic as usual, but on this occasion we spent a bit more time mixing it. And that clearly shows, for it’s more well finished despite the trade mark roughness that’s still present.
Are you happy with the sound and mix of the album or do you feel it could of been more?
It can always be better, but I’ll leave the improvements for the next one.
Do you have a favorite song from Circadian, and if so, why?
Very hard to pick just one, but maybe “Power Driven”. I like mid-paced songs and this one has good changes and is pretty demanding to play live.
Are you planning on doing a music video from the album?
There is a lyric video for the opening track of the album already, here: www.misconducters.com. It’s quite simple, but I guess it does the trick.
What kind of arrangement do you have with MS Metal Agency? Are they your label, or distributor, and will they be handling your next release as well?
MS Metal is our non-exclusive label and distributor in Brazil. They will be releasing our next album too, and here’s some news: the recordings of Misconducters’ fifth album already started and is due for release in the second half of 2017. It will comprise eight tracks, one of them being a cover version for a killer song by a band from London. The exceptional artwork was made by Steve Otis and Rebecca Magar (Canadian and American, respectively). Keep your eyes open for further news soon.
Do you have any other news or musical things going on that you’d like to let our readers know about?
Yes, actually. Last year I recorded guitars on tracks 2, 6, 8 and 9 of an instrumental record called “Hard Rock Summit – Devotion And Surrender”. This is the latest solo album by keyboard player Mauricio Pedrosa, a proper hot shot virtuoso who played with very big bands in Brazil in the 70s and 80s, and I can’t say how honoured I was to be invited to do it. It can be streamed and downloaded here: mauriciopedrosa.bandcamp.com/album/devotion-and-surrender
Also last year I self-released a book containing 26 interviews I did with metal and punk musicians, back when I used to be an international correspondent of a Brazilian magazine. Further info and online shop, here: www.activedistributionshop.org/shop/books/3834-offline-delving-into-the-underground.html
Last question – as I’m in Canada, I’d like to get your take on what comes to mind when you think of great Canadian metal bands? I know the Canadian metal scene is much lower key than a lot of the world, but can you name 5 Canadian metal bands that you like?
Easy to name five bigger bands: Rush, Voivod, Exciter, Razor, Triumph, Mahogany Rush, Annihilator… I like those and also dig the more underground ones such as D.O.A, Nomeansno, SNFU and Toxic Holocaust. And I know this is a bit off topic, but I must say that Trailer Park Boys is one of the funniest series around!
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Misconducters