Described as “blend[ing]heavy-hitting rock and textured melodies with memorable hooks and a moving message,” Miser is the newest promising rock act from Dallas, TX. Formed in December 2005, Miser has quickly taken the Texas music scene by storm, especially in the Dallas metroplex area. Their fans are dedicated, and why wouldn’t they be? The guys are approachable, courteous, and always willing to take the time to greet someone who loves music as much as they do. I believe it is this accessibility that has caused such a fast growth in popularity all over the state.
Three times now I have had the pleasure of experiencing the electricity that is a Miser performance. Each show has a different feel, even if it is at the same venue. Is that a bad thing? Absolutely not; it keeps everything fresh and leaves you wanting more. The band feeds off the crowd’s perpetually insane energy, kicking up their playing style to a level that both captivates and moves the audience every time. Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve had the distinct honor of corresponding and hanging out with this great group of guys who are motivated and determined to get their message out to the masses.
Hey guys. First off, I would like to thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to do this with us.
Shannon Nedved: Happy to do it, thanks Jordan.
So let’s start with the basics: how did Miser come about?
SN: Miser is pretty much a product of its own evolution. Our manager helped to assemble this band by means of former projects he has worked with such as Dollybraid, 40%, and Supercell. The instrumental portion of the band already had a good few years of writing and performing together under its belt. In December of 2005, the missing piece of the puzzle was added, our vocalist Coach.
Mark Sims: Miser is a merger of guys from different, mildly successful bands around the Dallas area. Moon and I played in a band called Dollybraid together, and used to gig a lot with Coach’s old band 40%. Nick, Shannon, Moon, and I all played together in Supercell. When that band was coming to a close and we began searching for a front man, Coach was the perfect fit for us.
How would you describe your music?
MS: If I could pick a single word, I would say passion. We’ve always played passionate music, but Coach’s vocal style really adds to it. We really like the hot and cold effect. If we’re playing something subtle and soft, we try to make it really subtle and soft. If we’re playing something that’s in your face, we try to make it as much in your face as possible.
SN: We really strive to come up with sound that hits hard, but is still catchy and memorable. Each 1/5 of the puzzle has a specific attribute that helps to collectively make Miser.
Who are your musical influences?
SN: It’s kinda funny, we are seriously across the board on this. Everyone comes from a slightly different background musically. Funny story, Mark and I got into an argument coming home from a bar the other night about Rage Against the Machine. He’s a huge fan, I’m not so much. So to seal his point, he makes a shirt with a homemade iron-on transfer of Tom Morello and wears it to our next gig. Coach dedicated a song to Tom that night. Good times!
MS: I personally started playing guitar because I wanted to be Motley Crue. Soon thereafter I discovered this cat named Eddie Van Halen. The Cult is one of my old favorites as well. As I started learned to write and be in a band I was listening to Pearl Jam, the Nixons, Sound Garden, and Rage. Lately I’ve been a real fan of Eve 6 and Our Lady Peace.
What are your goals as a band?
MS: We enjoy it when people are touched by our music. We’ve received emails telling us about how our music makes people feel better, or got them through hard times. It really validates why we do this. I think it would be really rewarding to see that happen on a daily basis, and on a larger scale. In short, we want to get on the road and meet lots of new people.
SN: Winning over one person at a time, and a bus. It’s all about baby-steps. We are trying to finish up our first record now. Once it is complete, we hit the road and spread the word.
What message do you hope fans take away from your music?
MS: If you’re going to do something, do it right. If you’re not going to do it right, what’s the point?
SN: We only hope that they are inspired enough to tell their friends about it. There is no better compliment than someone buying your music and showing their friends.
For a group that formed only several months ago (December 2005), Dallas fans and local radio have been quick to embrace you as the next big rock act. How does that feel and how does that affect your future plans?
SN: It’s been a great feeling to be accepted so quickly. That positive feedback really drives us to not waste time or momentum in writing and recording. If people want the music, we’ll do
everything we can to give it to them.
MS: It’s an enormous compliment. I don’t think it affects our future plans that much though. Our plan is to continue playing, record the best album that we can, and when the album drops, we’ll try our best to get it out to as many people as possible.
The first time I saw you guys was at Lakewood Theater in March and I was blown away by the energy of your set. How do you keep the energy level high and each performance fresh?
MS: That venue had a great vibe. With that, and the fact that we believe in the music that we are playing, it’s not too hard. It’s really exciting to play to new faces as well. I can’t help but jump around.
SN: For us, delivering an energetic set is just the byproduct of doing what we love. It’s a total release of energy that comes from passion. Add to that the energy of all the people that come out to support your music, and you have Miser. It’s a true labor of love.
What was it like opening for 30 Seconds to Mars?
MS: It was a great night and a great opportunity for us. Everyone loves 30 Seconds around here, so we got to play in front of a huge captive audience. Our music meshes well with 30STM as well, so we walked out with many new people who like and support the band. 30 Seconds’ listeners are extremely dedicated people as well, so we’re fortunate to have them helping us promote Miser around the state.
SN: That is a very cool group of guys. We got the opportunity to go bowling with them the night before the show as part of a radio promo. They are very approachable and courteous. As with any national band that we have had the privilege of sharing a bill with, we always try to evaluate their strengths for purposes of our own growth.
Of all the acts you’ve played with, who has the greatest stage presence and why?
SN: Hands down, Skindred. Their frontman, Benji, has an uncanny ability of scooping the crowd up and making them part of him. It’s amazing to see.
MS: I would have to say that The Feds here in Dallas have a great stage presence. Slyder is a great front man and full of energy. There’s never a dull moment watching those guys.
What is your favorite venue to perform at?
SN: On a club level, Firewater has some of the best sound, lights, and staff around. We make regular visits there working and playing.
MS: Deep Ellum Live is still my favorite venue to date. I haven’t played there in a few years, but that place had a great layout and the sound on stage and out front was always amazing.
I know you are about to return to the studio to finish work on “Everything But Your Name” which is already available on ITunes. How many more songs do you plan on adding to the EP and when do you expect it to drop?
SN: We’re currently working on scheduling studio time to enable us to record about 5-6 more tunes so we can release a full-length as opposed to an EP. If everything rolls as planned, we’ll be looking at an August release date. Fingers are crossed!
What is it like working with producer Zac Maloy (former singer of The Nixons)? What kind of influence has he had on the album?
SN: Zac is definitely a talented guy. He seems to really know how to pull the best out of us. We were all fans of his former band The Nixons, so it was pretty exciting to have his experience in our corner. He is currently a songwriter and producer for Sony Records, so he is taking a new path in music as well.
MS: Zac is great. I was a huge fan of The Nixons, so it’s been great getting to write and record with someone I used to watch from the crowd. We have a lot of fun, but get our work done, so overall it’s a
Who writes the music or do you work as a whole to compose your songs?
MS: We write very collectively. Someone will chunk an idea or riff out there, and we’ll just run with it. Everyone’s really
open to each other’s ideas, so we walk away with a song that is truly all of ours. Coach writes the lyrics. That dude’s a poet, so we leave that up to him.
SN: It’s almost like comedy watching us put together a tune. Commonly, someone comes in with a riff or a chord change, and we all sit around beating the idea up until it either goes away or becomes something of value. Many times the idea gets trashed. On the other end, the best songs always seem to write themselves.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen a fan do either while performing or to get backstage?
SN: I think most of the crazy antics come from onstage when it comes to this band.
MS: No comment.
Finally, do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?
MS: Sure. Have fun. If you’re not having fun, don’t bother. Music is a release and a way to make yourself and others happy. When people get wrapped up in the business of music, something gets lost. I think most people can see through that. Anyway, always have fun and be the best you can be. Practice a lot and never let things go to your head. The only difference between the band and the audience is the band plays music and stands on a stage.
SN: You have to love what you are doing because it shows in everything you do.
Any closing remarks?
MS: Man, we’re having a ton of fun and we can’t wait for everyone to hear the new stuff we’re recording.
DigitalET Entertainment Editor