Few bands can turn adversity on its head the way Misery Signals has. Following the departure of founding vocalist, Jesse Zaraska, the band rebounded in style by finding the perfect replacement in Karl Schubach. Schubach was part of an open audition that had hopefuls recording their vocals on an instrumental track available on their myspace page. The fact that Schubach is a guitarist by trade and has never sang in a band before makes the story even more remarkable. Commenting on the new guy, guitarist Ryan Morgan comments "Karl has a monstrous voice perfect for what people have enjoyed from the band in the past." Re-loaded, the band hit the Cleveland recording studio of Producer Ben Schigel (Chimaira, ZAO) for a month this spring recording their second full-length Mirrors to be released this August on Ferret Music. The band is crafting an album which they claim is even heavier than their celebrated debut Of Malice And The Magnum Heart, but also more atmospheric and ambient as well. Speaking on the significance of the title of the forthcoming second album Mirrors Ryan explains "A lot of the songs ask questions about self and how people perceive themselves and the images that they present to others." Like new age metallic surgeons Misery Signals carves through the cluttered heavy music scene and images to plant their flag in the sands of time.
Released in 2004, the band's debut album "Of Malice..." was one of the most celebrated hardcore releases of the year. With Alt Press proclaiming the album "cuts through the careerist BS that's sweeping hardcore and aims straight for the human spirit," Outburn who said "Like the water this metallic monstrosity comes washing over you out of nowhere and cements itself to your bones" and Kerrang giving it four K's saying the band are "Fusing Mastodon style technical excellence with Converge's Brute Force." Produced by abstract metal mastermind, Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad) "Of Malice..." married proficiency of metal rhythms and guitar lines with brutality of hardcore punk but also quiet and melodic sections to break up the aggression. In addition to the album's watermark of quality, the band could deliver the songs live in spades! Captivating audiences with their musicianship but also capable of starting a maelstrom of pit activity, the band became a big live draw almost instantly after the album's release. They became popular touring partners for such acts as The Dillinger Escape Plan, Every Time I Die, Bleeding Through, Strapping Young Lad, Darkest Hour & Eighteen Visions as well as appearances on fests such as Hellfest, New England Metal & Hardcore and more.
Misery Signals, which includes The Morgan brothers, Ryan (guitar) and Branden (drums) as well as Kyle Johnson (bass) and Stu Ross (guitar) was formed from the ashes of two bands, 7 Angels 7 Plagues and Compromise in 2002. 7 Angels 7 Plagues from Milwaukee, WI already had a highly regarded release and were starting to build quite a momentum nationally when their vocalist quit. The remaining members who included Ryan and Kyle recruited Jesse Zaraska from Compromise to take over the vocal slot. Zaraska who was from Edmonton, Canada had played a few shows with 7 Angels when he was vocalist of Compromise. Compromise had met a tragic fate when their van was struck by a drunk driver killing two members. 7 Angels with Zaraska in place had entered the recording studio to work on their second album when the drummer abruptly quit leaving the band in limbo again. Deciding to make a clean break, Ryan, Kyle and Jesse changed their name to Misery Signals. While auditioning drummers, the guys used Branden as a temporary fill-in but quickly found out with his unique double kick patterns and effortless skill that he was the man they were looking for. Eventually Jesse?s buddy from back home, Stu was brought in on second guitar. With half of the band in Milwaukee and half in Canada, the members would travel back and forth over a distance of 24 hours away by car to write and rehearse multiple times.
The group recorded an EP which was released on State Of The Art Recordings (the label owned by the original vocalist of 7 Angels ironically enough). With little distribution and hype the band stirred up quite a name for themselves on their own, completing four national tours under that EP with such groups as Undying, Bury Your Dead, Shattered Realm and Every Time I Die. It was the last band who would help Misery Signals by talking up the band relentlessly to their label, Ferret Music. The label weren't hard to convince once they heard the music and by the time they saw the band play live, they were already Ferret artists. With a staple of anthemic odes and road-tested material under their belt, the band went to record "Of Malice And The Magnum Heart" with another one of Jesse's hometown friends, Devin Townsend. The title of the album was taken from a poem written by one of the members of Compromise who perished in that car crash. Several of the song's on the album delved headlong into the wreckage of that incident and was a full-on look at positive people dealing with tragic circumstances and coming through the other side. While those topics were Jesse's, Ryan also contributed a good deal of the lyrics on the album as well. Relentless touring in support of Malice brought the band success but also proved to draw Jesse and the other members apart. Late in 2005, Jesse and the band parted ways.
Revitalized and reinvigorated, the band will be embarking on their first national headlining tour with hometown friends Since By Man and label-mates Scarlet and Ligeia. Following that is the band appearing on the Smart Punk stage on Warped Tour. The rest of the summer August through beginning of summer will see the band as main support for Darkest Hour on their Canadian and U.S. dates leading to the release of Mirrors via Ferret Music. Look for Misery Signals on Warped Tour this summer, and look for their brand new full length album, featuring their new vocalist Karl Schubach, later this year.