Misser recently released its debut full-length record, Every Day I Tell Myself I'm Going To Be A Better Person, in mid-May via Rise Records. We got the opportunity to catch up with main songwriter Tim Landers and vocalist/guitarist Brad Wiseman after the record came out. We talk about how Brad got involved with the band, which was originally a side outlet for Tim, and how the two balance their respective main bands (Transit and This Time Next Year) with their work with Misser.
How did you guys meet? How did you decide you wanted to start writing together?
Brad: Thinking back on it, I’m really not sure. We crossed paths on tour somewhere, somehow. Thankfully, Tim has had a lot of these songs written and is a machine when it comes to song writing. We collaborated on ‘Sanity’ and ‘Reconnect This’ - The rest of the songs Tim pumped out, we discussed vocals and that’s that. Tim, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t one of these jams from when you were 16-17? Tim: Yeah, I really don’t remember when we did meet. If I had to guess, it would probably have been three or four years ago at Jeff from Run For Cover’s old place. Transit and This Time Next Year had some shows together, too. Misser is comprised of songs (minus “Sanity” and “Reconnect This”) that I’ve written over the past five years. A majority of the tracks on Every Day I Tell Myself I’m Going To Be A Better Person are from recent times, though. Yes, I wrote “Bridges” when I was 17.
Tim had Misser going with a four-song cassette by himself before Brad became a part of the band. How did this come about - did Brad bring it up originally, or was it an invitation from Tim? Tell that story if you can remember it.
Brad: Tim and I met years ago, we kept in touch and have always tossed around the idea of being in a band together. I don’t remember the actually who brought up the idea. It all came together on a drunken day off tour in Walnut Creek, CA. Tim: Misser started as my means of venting- girls, friends with drug problems, my own problems, everyday hate- you name it. I never wrote songs for me to sing, I always wrote music for Transit. This was the first time I stepped outside of that. I recorded that tape with Dan Rose, whom was interning for Jay Mass (Dan actually plays in Daybreaker, whom will be playing our first two shows). We finished tracking and Jay was going to mix and master the songs, but something happened and all the project files got deleted from his computer. So I was left, extremely discouraged, with terribly unfinished songs. It took a lot of blind confidence for me to finally start this project, so I was really reluctant to move forward. A few months later I just put the songs online, on a whim. A few supporters sent me messages over time, asking for the songs - and I emailed them to a couple people. Justin later approached me with the idea of having Lost Tape put the songs out on cassette. So, I gave him three of the six tracks, alongside an acoustic cover of Archers of Loaf’s “Web in Front” I recorded on garage band.
I do actually remember the moment Brad and I decided to collaborate on the project. We were sitting outside of Mr. William Levy’s house, smoking and shooting the shit. I had a guitar in hand, and we were talking about our bands. Somebody did the cliche, “how fun would it be if we started a band?” thing. I told him about Misser, and the songs I had. We were both into the idea of playing music together. I emailed him the songs a few weeks later. The next time I was in California, we tracked the Problems. Problems. Problems. EP, which features re-vamped, re-recorded versions of three of the six songs I tracked in the original sessions.
When did you guys realize that your collaboration was more than just casual, and was going to become a real effort aside from your own respective bands? When did "Misser" become "Misser" as it is now?
Brad: In my eyes Misser has been Misser since Tim started it. Tim: It has always been a very serious thing to me. I don’t like when people call it a “side-project,” because it is very much a living, breathing thing. Furthermore, it’s completely separate from our bands. It’s its own thing. Brad being a part of Misser became a full-hearted effort when the EP was conceived.
You guys put out the Problems. Problems. Problems. EP for free on Bandcamp in December. Was there a plan to write a full-length already? Did you guys expect to turn the project into anything bigger?
Brad: Everything we have done has been natural. The EP we planned on recording a week or two prior, the full length was a month prior, the shows were pretty last minute as well. We both like to be productive with the band and we do it on our own terms. We also have a great team behind us which I’m thankful for. With everything being so spur of the moment, we’d both lose our minds without the help and support. Tim: As I mentioned before, It has always been a serious endeavor. I had no idea what to expect, though. After the EP, Rise offered to put out a record for Misser. We both had some downtime from our bands, and we made plans to do the record. I started obsessing over the songwriting process, and it just ended up working out.
Just before that EP, TTNY and Transit both released, in my opinion, the best records of their respective careers. I think that brings about the question - how hard is it to balance Misser in between the bands that take up most of your time and energy? How has the success of TTNY and Transit helped make Misser even more of a reality?
Brad: For me personally, It’s not a hard balance at all. Tim and I both understand each others other commitments we have going on. Tim: It’s not a difficult balance, in my opinion. We both know what’s just and where our priorities are at. For me, it’s just different outlets. I love having both of them in my life. We’re lucky to have met so many good people and have good friends that help us with our music. Dan for tracking my tape, Ben for tracking our EP, Rise for helping us put out a record, Gary and John for tracking our record, anyone for supporting our band- it’s all about friendship.
I think it's fair to say that the musical aspect of Misser leans more to being like Transit, but the rough trade-off vocals perhaps lean to TTNY's brand of pop-punk a bit more. Are the influences that you draw from when you write for Misser different than the influences you draw from when you write for TTNY/Transit? How do you guys write together in the studio?
Brad: When Tim writes a song, he will record it and send it to me. We will then send files back and forth recording vocals, showing each other ideas, etc. Garage Band is the saint in the scenario, that program makes life easier for the both of us. Tim: With our living situations, it’s a lot of sending demo songs back and forth. I don’t think that we sound like Transit or TTNY at all, but I obviously have a warped perspective. I’m not a very influenced-based song writer, at all. I just kind of let what comes out come out.
Misser feels very much like its own manifestation to me - barely like a side project. Where do you guys see the band going in the future?
Brad: I hope we can play a few more shows before the years over, hopefully demo more songs and send them back and forth. Tim: I want to do as much as humanly possible.