By Doug Moore

Misery Index at Fontana's, CMJ 2009 (more by Samantha Marble)

Jason Netherton likes to keep himself busy. His current band, Misery Index, is one of the tightest and most active death meta bands on the touring circuit -- they have their fifth album, The Killing Gods, coming out on May 23 via Season of Mist. Even when Misery Index isn't busy (and they haven't been especially so over the past few years), Netherton keeps working -- he's currently two years into a PhD program, and recently compiled an oral history of the death metal scene. This ethic goes back to the DIY roots of Dying Fetus, his influential previous band.

Invisible Oranges spoke to Netherton as part of our ongoing series on metal vocalists today. We also touched on his academic studies, his book, and the way the metal scene has changed over his two decades of involvement. Here's an excerpt:

This stuff obviously relates to the book you have coming out shortly -- Extremity Retained: Notes from the Death Metal Underground. Is writing a book something that you've always wanted to do?

That sort of came together over the last touring cycle. I was trying to figure out something that I could do with my time -- a long term project of some kind.

Once you do this touring thing long enough, you get to know a lot of people. You see a lot of the same people in different cities, and you become part of this network of touring musicians. I decided to start documenting the conversations we'd have backstage or in the bus or wherever. We'd often end up talking about the state of the underground, or how it came from where it was in the late '80s and early '90s to where it is today. Other things would come up too -- tour stories, memories from recording sessions. I started to record these conversations, and before I knew it, I had dozens of them. Eventually I worked my way up to over a hundred, over about three years. In my downtime I'd transcribe them and put them into categories, which eventually became five different sections in the book.

It kind of unfolded like that. It wasn't necessarily planned -- I didn't know how it'd end up. I thought it'd be cool to have an oral history of death metal; there have been some other really cool books written about the death metal scene, but there hasn't been any collection of firsthand stories and anecdotes, like there's been for some other scenes.

You can read the interview in full over at IO. Misery Index also recently debuted the title track for their upcoming album, The Killing Gods; you can stream it below. They're currently on tour with Gorguts in Europe; no North American dates have been announced in support of the album yet, but given the band's past habits, you can bet some will be.

All dates are listed, along with the new track stream, below...


Gorguts / Misery Index European dates:
24.04.2014 POR - Barroselas, SWR Festival
25.04.2014 ESP - Madrid, Shoko
26.04.2014 ESP - Murcia, Garaje
27.04.2014 ESP - Barcelona, Razz3
28.04.2014 FRA - Toulouse, Dynamo
29.04.2014 ITA - Brescia, Circo Colony
30.04.2014 AUT - Vienna, Escape
01.05.2014 GER - Darmstadt, Steinbruch Theater
02.05.2014 SUI - Lyss, Kulturfabrik
03.05.2014 BEL - Brussels, Magasin 4
04.05.2014 NED - Tilburg, Neurotic Deathfest