Interview Une Misère – “Finding beauty in misery is necessary to cope”

Une Misère, Iceland’s up and coming blackened hardcore wunderkind, has come under my attention ever since they released their first single ‘Overlooked/Disregarded’ back in 2016. Their evolution over the past three years has been riveting as track after track came out, yet unfortunately without even a hint at a likely EP. A few months ago however Une Misère at long last announced what we all were eagerly awaiting: their first full-length. It won’t be long until you can get your hands on ‘Sermon’ which releases November 1st on Nuclear Blast. In the meantime I’ve had a little chat with vocalist Jón Már Ásbjörnsson who, it seems, is as eager for ‘Sermon’ to come out as we are.

GRIMM: That’s deep, man. My take on it was that you chose to go with a French name to further distance you from a darkness that is already sufficiently apparent, to distance you from a home that doesn’t really feel like a home. It emphasizes the fact that you’re trying to get away from Iceland as the miserable place that it is.

That is a good interpretation as well. Right on.

GRIMM: You have found a concept that is quite transparent. You don’t have to be a philosopher to figure out what your music is all about. That level of accessibility is a good recipe for succes. Now, how are your hopes of not remaining stuck in that godforsaken place coming together?

In a word: phenomenal. Une Misère has taken us on a couple of tours and to more than a few beautiful places. For example, we played Brutal Assault and Metaldays this Summer, which made me realize that this is what we want to keep doing. It is a privilege to get to do this. For things to work out the way they did, we owe a lot of it to the people around us of course. But to see this dream coming true of not having to remain stuck here for a whole year at a time is really satisfying.

When we were at Metaldays, we checked into our hotel and the receptionist asked us “you’re in a band? Okay, drop your gear in your room and then go straight to the lake”. *laughs* We felt so welcome there, and that, coincidentally, is a welcome feeling.

It’s important to never forget the path that led you somewhere.

GRIMM: Do you guys still work jobs apart from the band?

Oh yes. We all need money. I’m a sales rep at a telecommunications company. I also have a radio show. We have a cameraman for a national television station, a bartender, another sales rep,… Our manager warned us not to quit our day jobs just yet and keep that money train flowing in.

GRIMM: Sounds like a smart guy.

He is the smartest guy I’ve ever known and probably one of the best people in the world.

GRIMM: Okay I’ll make sure to write that down, but if you want to say something about him off the record, you can go right ahead.

*laughs* I’m serious though. I would call him ‘dad’ if he let me. I’m not even kidding.

GRIMM: *laughs* That’s great, man. It sounds like you’ve got built up quite a trust.

‘Damages’, not the band though.

This interview continues on page 4.


Wim is an avid enthusiast of any form of extreme music that ranges from ridiculously profound to profoundly ridiculous.

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