Sitting with the boys of Une Misère feels like a sitcom. They seamlessly rip on each other with catchphrases, jokes, and a wit only gained from knowing someone deeply. The public knows them less well: they’ve only released one song and played a handful of live performances. But that didn’t stop them from stealing the show at this years Wacken Metal Battle, where they took first prize.
Each member found a different path into music. “I got bullied a lot so, being an isolated kid, heavy music was my niche” says guitarist Finnbogi. “When I realised drinking wasn’t for me, the hardcore community immediately accepted that. In my view, metal was more about being drunk and blasting Slayer. Not that that’s bad.”
Drummer Benni responds by throwing up horns. Singer Jón leans into the microphone. “Note that Benni is throwing up horns right now. Put that in.” Finnbogi adopts an aggressively metal expression. “No, but without irony, for a sixteen-year old who didn’t drink, I didn’t relate. Then I found hardcore and it changed everything.”
Guitarist Gunnar is next in the circle. “It’s hard for me to be angry or to express anger,” he explains, “so the aggression of the music just clicked. It was a positive outlet. Instead of going out, getting hammered and beating up some guy—just go to a hardcore show.” He smirks. “Punch your friend instead, and then make out with them.” Finnbogi points at him. “Hell yeah, I fuck with that.” They’re joking—I think.
For Fannar, the outlet of aggression that came with playing shows was like therapy. “That’s probably why everyone says we’re such calm guys,” smirks Finnbogi. “Alongside actual therapy. I fuck with therapy hard. Put that in.”
The Une Misère members flitted between bands for the last few years. The members met through previous projects such as Grit Teeth, Trust the Lies, and In The Company of Men. Whenever one of the bands is mentioned, the name elicits cries of “RIP!” and “never forget!”
But the beginning of Une Misère changed everything. “At first practise, we immediately had riffs and material for three or four songs,” says Fannar. “It was so natural. And through experience, we’ve learned what not to do ten times over—so this time we’re doing it right.”
Finnbogi lays out the ethos of the band. “We have an artistic take on the genre,” he says. “We’re not pretentious. We’re influenced by black metal, death metal, everything. I mean, I fuck with Limp Bizkit. I fuck with—ok, new Drake wasn’t bomb.” This starts a lengthy debate about new Drake versus old Drake. It’s kind of bizarre.
But the band is about more than just music. “We have a media department with graphics, video and audio works,” Finnbogi explains. “Everyone has their own part, like a company.” He smirks. “And as soon as we can associate cocktail work with the band…” Jón, a bartender, frowns. “Uh, the Une Misère Rocktail,” he says. “Patent pending.”
They joke about their post-Wacken plans. “Eurovision! Une Misère. Portugal. We’re coming,” says Jón. “Airwaves, Eistnaflug, Wacken, and some other shows. Also, my friend is getting married this year—but you guys aren’t invited.” Everyone mock-argues about this until Finnbogi motions for silence. “Ok, here’s the catchphase. 2017: The year of damages.”
“But seriously,” says Finnbogi. “Une Misère is just a bunch of dudes, crackin’ open a cold one with the boys.” They all nod. “Like we all do,” he finishes. “Every day. Always. Put that in.”