MISFIRE makes old-school flavored thrash metal devastation with the kind of bombastic firepower that could wake the dead. In the tradition of classic metal trios like Venom, Motörhead, and Raven, these Chicago boys make more noise than bands twice their size, unleashing song after song of unrelenting fury. It’s music that could have arrived in the thrash golden age of 1986, when bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Dark Angel, and Sodom delivered vital records. And yet MISFIRE is forward-thinking, injecting modern metal mastery into their brew for a powerful, timeless sound.
The excellence in execution within the band owes much to the longtime chemistry between its blue-collar members. Jay Johnson (guitarist/vocalist) and James Nicademus (drums) started jamming together as teenagers. They played in the band Diamond Plate together before reuniting in MISFIRE. Sean Coogan is another young veteran, having cut his heavy metal teeth in the band Vitrial. While Coogan sings, most of the trio plays multiple instruments. Everyone contributes to songwriting.
“I was originally going to play second guitar, but I switched over to bass,” Coogan explains. “I think the three-piece setup rocks. The band’s dynamic works well. We’ve all really gelled as a band.”
Created in a small studio and engineered by Coogan himself, the debut album for MISFIRE is free from click-tracks and other unnecessary frills, projecting the purity of what three musicians raised on Pantera and the Big 4 sound like in a room together. Sympathy for the Ignorant is heavy, confident, and filled with the kind of earworm thrash metal riffs that sends aspiring players to the guitar store.
“The album is a sonically badass version of what you’ll hear live. It’s real, no fake shit,” Nicademus says. “It’s very much a throwback to the way things used to be recorded. Like, just turn the shit on, press record, layer some stuff in after that, put some words on top of it, mix it, and it’s done.”
Armed with the attitude and songs to follow in the footsteps of Slayer, Metallica, and Lamb Of God, the three men of MISFIRE are heavy metal lifers. “I started playing drums when I was 11, and ever since, it’s all I talk about,” says Nicademus. “Jay and I started jamming together at ages 12 and 13.”
In just a short couple of years, MISFIRE quickly shared the stage with thrash legends Sacred Reich and modern throwback bands like Iron Regan and Warbringer. As long-running tastemakers Metal Crypt wrote in a review of Sympathy for the Ignorant, “these fellows are ready for the big leagues.”
“Whatever happens, we’re going to be here for a long time because we can’t live without doing this shit,” Nicademus declares. “All we want is to make records, tour, and have a good time doing it.”
MISFIRE is poised to give the world a much-needed dose of Windy City whiplash. Get ready.
Jay Johnson – Vocals and Guitar / Sean Coogan – Vocals and Bass / James Nicademus – Drums