Latest release: Thy Kingdom Scum (Rise Above)

The sole representatives of the Japan doom scene, Tokyo’s Church of Misery have been plugging away since 1995, churning out gruesome tales of the world’s most notorious killers. With their first Australian tour about to unfold, Loud caught up to founding member and lyricist Tatsu Mikami about his personal obsession and the band’s place in Japanese metal…

Hello and thanks for taking the time to answer our questions today. First of all, the general metal scene in Japan appears to be very strong, but what is it like for doom bands?
Yes, heavy metal is very popular in Japan. So many foreign band have come and played since early 80s. The Japanese underground heavy metal scene is also very active. But as for doom, it’s really totally ignored. I would like to say that there is NO doom scene in Japan. Cause there’s no doom band without Church of Misery. We are really disappointed with this situation and that is reason why we always tour overseas.

Have you had the chance to tour outside of Japan very much, and what has been your favourite place to tour so far?
Yeah, we’ve been touring out of Japan every year. I really have good memories of all places where we toured and play. But I remember some great times at Maryland Deathfest 2012 in Baltimore, UK/Ireland tour with Cathedral in 2010, four times at Roadburn Festival (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012), Euro tour 2011 with Eyehategod for four weeks was really chaos! Uh…no space to write here.

Almost all of your material has been about mass murderers and serial killers. Do you think you’ll ever reach a point where Church of Misery will write songs about some other subject?
Uh… I have no ideas now. I still interested in Serial killer/mass murderer themes. To me it’s really impressive, their process from innocent childhood to gruesome killing machine. Of course I don’t worship them. Its like a warning to people who listen to our music. Oh! I remember, my second interest is Spaghetti Western movies! Yeah, next subject is this. Singing in Italian and songs about Spaghetti Western movies. Next album is going to including following songs… “For a few dollars more,” “Alizona Colt”, “Django”, “Death Rides a Horse”, “The Hills Run Red”… hahaha.

What makes this subject so interesting for you as a band?
Me! But other guys are interested in it recently, too.

Christopher Wilder has always been an interesting mass/serial killer for me. His murder spree was pretty incredible and his death was quite spectacular. Who has been the most interesting killer for you to haven written about?
The ‘Beauty Queen Killer’ in 80’s? Very similar to Bind Torture Kill. He was born in Australia? He’s already on the list of upcoming materials. Please expect!

Now that you’re coming to Australia, is there a chance you might write about some of our more notorious mass killers?
I’m really interested in the Port Arthur Massacre by Martin Bryant. He killed 35 people and 23 wounded. Is this killing a record in Australia? This case is unbelievable. It’s very similar to James Huberty – we already have a song about him: “Shotgun Boogie”.

You have a long list of split releases in your catalogue. Are there any bands you would like to do a release with that you have not done one with yet, or someone you would work with again?
We want to do something with Eyehategod.  Touring with them are tons of FUN. It’s unbelievable Joey passed away last month. We had a great time with him. RIP Joey.

Do you know much about the doom scene here in Australia and what are you looking forward to most about coming here?
Here in Japan, there is no information about the Australian doom scene. So we are really looking forward to play with Australian doom bands. We are going to enjoy to their shows!

Do you have any final words for our readers?
Finaly, we will play in your country Australia. All members are really looking forward to play and we are so excited! Come and enjoy our shows. Let There Be Doom!

Church of Misery is touring as part of the Doomsday Festival this week:
3/10: Crowbar, Brisbane QLD
4/10: Hermann’s Bar, Sydney Uni NSW
5/10: HiFi Bar, Melbourne VIC