If you haven’t noticed, there’s a lot to be miserable about lately. Ok, well maybe not just lately, but the current crop of obstacles to a happy and healthy future for our big blue ball can seem downright impassable sometimes. Between the never ending pandemic, a world always at war, and the rising cost of, uh, everything, it can feel pretty hopeless out there at times. The misery index, an economic gauge that measures the economic stress put on the average person, has been unsurprisingly ticking upward and upward over the past stretch of years. Simply keeping your head above water is a Herculean task for many of us in today’s world.
Sharing its name with the economic barometer, Misery Index is a band that knows what it’s like to be angry at the state of the world and understands those feelings of apprehension the average person has toward the uncertain future. Since its inception in 2001, the group has been consistently playing grindcore infused death metal with lyrics dealing with social issues and the abuses of power perpetrated by the ruling class. Six albums deep and on the verge of releasing their seventh LP, Complete Control, on May 13, the band shows no signs of slowing down. I recently caught up with founding member Jason Netherton (bass/vocals) over Skype to discuss the new record, the band’s history, and all of the many projects that have kept him busy over the years.
First off, what got you into death metal initially?
Jason: In the late 1980s, when it first started emerging, like a lot of people at the time, I was a teenager into heavy metal and thrash and speed metal and stuff. Once you’ve kind of exhausted your energy or whatever on bands like Slayer and Dark Angel, you just start looking for the next heaviest thing and once you heard a few bands like Death and Obituary, you knew there was something next level about it and you could tell that it was something one step beyond thrash and speed metal. There was a newness to it, a freshness and a lot of energy. It was immediately attractive for a lot of people who were on that trajectory toward finding more extreme music. A lot of the thrash and speed metal bands fell by the wayside by the early ’90s, and there was fragmentation and a lot of subgenres spun off from extreme metal like black metal and doom metal and atmospheric black death and all these kinds of things started happening. That was the first step and I was immediately drawn to it. Throughout the ’90s I was really into brutal death metal like Suffocation, Pyrexia, Internal Bleeding and that kind of New York Stuff.
How about grindcore?
Jason: It got to be like ’98, ’99 and I started branching out a little bit and started hearing some grindcore stuff that got my attention like Nasum, Assück, and even hardcore punk stuff like Disrupt that had this visceral, voracious anger that was more grounded in real world angst. That was something that kind of took me away from just listening to and playing only brutal death metal. I started to want to get into that a little bit and that’s kind of how Misery Index came about, taking a little bit of that and mixing it with death metal and also a little bit of hardcore punk. That was the initial foundation of the band. (It) was born from that desire to kind of bring those worlds together while still firmly being a death metal band.
What got you into playing bass?
Jason: That also goes back to the 1980s. As a young metalhead, everyone started looking toward instruments after a while, and Iron Maiden was a huge thing for me in the ’80s and they were my favorite band. Steve Harris, the bass player for Maiden, has a pretty prominent part in the band, both as a songwriter and as a performer. Teenagers who were into metal at the time would always kind of gravitate toward guitar and play lead guitar or drums so bass players usually ended up being the ones that picked it up for whatever reason, like a band needed a bass player. I actually started out wanting to play bass because I liked the role that Steve Harris had in Maiden. I didn’t want to do what everyone else wanted to do.
How did you get started as a vocalist? Death metal vocals are such a unique beast so I was curious how you figured out that you had a good vocal style for it.
Jason: I was in a heavy metal band at the time. I was in a band called Damnation in like ’88 to ’91 with John Gallagher from Dying Fetus. We had this metal band and it wasn’t really thrash but it wasn’t really (death) metal. It was in this middle ground like Savatage or Metal Church. Him and I basically started getting into extreme stuff while we were still playing that stuff. Eventually, by ’91, I kind of convinced him to leave with me and start a death metal band. I needed a drummer at the time and he played drums a little bit so he started playing drums, and we were messing around and experimenting with vocals. I don’t even remember how I first tried it but it was the basic primitive kind of grunts or whatever. I was always more into the mid-range kind of vocals, like Chuck Schuldiner, or Karl Willets from Bolt Thrower or especially Martin Van Drunen of Pestilence, that kind of raspy sound. What really drove me was that raspy sound that sounds like you’re dying and the words are a little more decipherable. My vocals used to be a little lower but as the ’90s went along into the 2000s, they got a little more raspier and more open and more John Tardy-like.
How did Dying Fetus first come around then?
Jason: It was around the same time, around ’91. We just started for fun and weren’t really too serious about it. We just liked to get together and jam out and mess around. We didn’t really have any expectations.
How did you guys decide on the name?
Jason: We were just teenagers and we wanted to have an offensive name that just kind of resonated. You saw at the time Cannibal Corpse and Carcass and we thought we had to have a gripping, somewhat provocative name. We initially went with Dead Fetus but then we found out there was another Dead Fetus somewhere. Back then you’d get these flyers in the mail and get a flyer for a zine that had an interview with a Dead Fetus somewhere so we changed it to Dying and that was that (laughs).
It’s such a memorable name. Going in, you know you’re probably never going to get humongous with a name like that but you probably aren’t anyway with the style of music. I know for me when I hear a name like Dying Fetus, I just have to check it out, but maybe that’s just me. Do you feel that the name more helped or hindered you guys coming up?
Jason: I guess it sticks in people’s heads! We never cared or expected to do anything more than just putting out tapes for a small community in the underground. As the ’90s went along and we started playing shows and playing out of state, we saw that there was kind of a resonance there. I think too at the time it was probably shocking but now I don’t think the name is as shocking as it was. I think the culture’s kind of caught up with that extremity. People know what death metal is now and it’s no longer shocking for people to hear. I think it was more provocative in the ’90s. It was always fun when you’d go across the Canadian border or something and you pull up and you’ve gotta go into immigration, sit there and talk to them and they’re like “what’s the name of your band?” You say “Dying Fetus” and they look at the papers and roll their eyes and go, “yeah.” Or if you’re a young person in the dating scene and you’re talking with a girl and she’s like “What’s the name of your band” and you go “Uh, well, it’s um, urm…” but whatever.
You guys started to get bigger during the period of the ’90s when that first death metal boom was over and the genre was in a little more of a fallow period. What was it like coming up in the underground during that period?
Jason: By ’94 I’d say that first explosion with death metal popularity kind of culminated with some of the bands going to major labels and it kind of imploded. I guess for lack of a better word people moved on to other things. It kind of fragmented like I said, so by like ’95 there was kind of a sense that things were underground again. For bands like those in the brutal death metal scene there was still a pretty durable following. We would tour. We did our first U.S. tour in ’96 with Monstrosity and Cataclysm. We had some busted shows but there were some shows that were pretty good and there was a following. It just kind of lost the hype and the people that were only passively into it kind of moved on by the mid-’90s. It was interesting to see the kind of (metal) resurgence led from the top with Sepultura’s Roots and Korn and eventually Slipknot, and once the culture caught up in the late 90’s and early 2000s, you saw an explosion of metal again and extreme metal bands like Dying Fetus and others were kind of there and got snipped out. In our case it was Relapse in ’99/2000 and then the door was open. It seemed like oh, you could actually make records and tour and actually get recording advances for playing this extreme music, which we never thought would do anything.
You were working on getting your master’s degree while doing Dying Fetus. How tough was that to balance?
Jason: The band was kind of a part-time entity then. Fetus was always part-time and never really went full-time until after I was out of the band. We had done tours. For Destroy the Opposition we did like three tours back to back and that’s when it kind of came to a head, and I couldn’t really tour as much and that contributed to why I had to leave the band.
So you left Dying Fetus after Destroy the Opposition and ended up forming Misery Index. What were your original goals for the band and how did it come about?
Jason: I still had a desire to write songs and play music. It kind of left a vacuum there after I left Fetus and was still finishing up my studies. After I left Fetus, there was a bit of a breakdown of sorts and other guys left too so a couple of the other guys, John “Sparky” Voyles and Kevin Talley, were available and I asked them if they would play on the demo along with Mike Harrison, the other guitarist. It just started off organically and it was really fun. It was something different and it was cool to be playing something different after ten years but not too different. We just started without any expectations, just playing some shows. We put the Overthrow demo out and it was at a time when there was an upswell and resurgence for extreme music (so) we were able to get a deal.
Your lyrics have always been a little more political and socially conscious than other bands in the death metal genre, which tend to focus more on the gore and buckets of blood type of writing. What drew you to that style of lyric writing?
Jason: Even by the late ’90s with the last couple Fetus records, I prefer to call it more reality-based lyrics rather than fantasy or gore. I just always had the feeling that if we’re actually up there every night on tour screaming these lyrics that we should be screaming about something with substance and something that’s a little more heartfelt. That’s what I really liked about grindcore and hardcore punk. There was this visceral anger towards a lot of the ills of modern society, for lack of a better term. I just wanted a good foothold to talk about those themes. I always keep them more critical and observational and never feel like it’s anything preachy or anything. It just comes out. There’s plenty of fodder for that kind of criticism in our everyday world. I like to think they’re pretty objective about things and don’t really represent one side or view or stance.
Have you always been pretty aware of what’s going on in the world or was that something that developed as you got older?
Jason: Once I got into my 20s, and got out and traveling and seeing the world a little bit and seeing how things work, it was interesting seeing what may or may not work and it sparked some consciousness there. You start asking more questions and getting more interested in things and finding out how things work and peeling back the layers and it’s been a lifelong journey. That’s one thing, I don’t think we ever stop learning. There’s not a point where we arrive, it’s something we go through every day until the end.
There’s definitely no shortage of fodder for shit that needs to be called out in our current situation. Do you see any signs of hope for the future or are you pretty pessimistic about it all?
Jason: I’ve always had the view that it’s important to be critical and pessimistic in the sense that you have to have a healthy amount of doubt and suspicion, especially when it comes to questioning power and those in power. I think it’s guided by an underlying optimism or hope that some day things can be better. I think that because everything is so fast and information comes so quick and fragmented in today’s world that we kind of forget that a lot of change does happen and change comes about in a very inverse relation. It’s much more slow and it happens in a way where we don’t perceive it. A lot of the things that we enjoy today and take for granted like universal suffrage, the 40-hour work week, and the weekend, things like that weren’t even a thing in the 19th century. They took decades and decades of challenging power and earning the right to have those kinds of freedoms. I think that today when we think that everything is fucked, and it does look fucked, that there is, if we hold on and push towards a better future in some sense and try to do the right thing and try to keep an ethical mind about things, that there is something to be hopeful for. I hope so for our children’s sake.
What’s the lyric writing process like for the band?
Jason: With the band, almost all the songs are written beforehand by one of the members. We are lucky in that we all write music and each album is a mix of all of our input. When I write a song or Mark (Kloeppel) or Darrin (Morris), it usually goes to Adam (Jarvis) and then Adam does the arrangements and the feedback with everything else. Once we have a song kind of structured, then the lyrics come in afterwards. If I just know I have to do it then I just sit down and start thinking and trying to put things together and it just comes out. Thankfully I haven’t dried up yet.
Do you ever see something on the news or whatever and think, “Shit, I’ve got to write about that?”
Jason: Sometimes. Like the new album that’s coming out, Complete Control, there’s a few themes on there that are pretty relevant to what’s happening. As a media studies scholar, I looked a lot at how public discourse in the United States has kind of disintegrated and the roles of social media and the role of conspiracy theories and things like that. There’s a song about that on there. I never understood too much about the conspiracy theories in the sense that there is so much that’s right out in the open that’s not a conspiracy at all that people should be challenging, like the degree to which money runs so much of our political system. It’s an unhealthy model and I just wish that a lot more energy was put to the very clear abuses of power there happening right before us with the extreme disparity of wealth.
I’ve also always been fascinated by conspiracy theories. I feel like people want to believe in and invent conspiracy theories like the Satanic Panic or QAnon because if people looked at how they were actually getting screwed it would be too banal so they add that extra layer to make it more interesting.
Jason: Exactly. That’s the reason why, it’s the exact word: banal. It’s quite boring to sift through all the legalese and find out how so many of the upper so-called 1% shuffle their money off to off-shore accounts and don’t pay their fair share like the rest of us. I think that conspiracy theories, what they do is provide a simple solution to complex problems. Because of the complexity and the banality of it, they offer something that’s more digestible in a sense because (it would be easier) if we could just point to this one cabal or this one person or these people who are doing this behind the scenes who are making it like this for us. It’s a distraction from the broader problems in the economy, which are ultimately fucking us all.
I also feel like social media allows people involved in conspiracy theories, like QAnon to keep going back to that one since it’s the one that’s coming to mind, to form a community of people who feel ostracized or like they are getting screwed over. Like you said, it’s also just more easily digestible than diving into the Panama Papers or whatever else shows how they’re actually getting screwed.
Jason: Exactly. I understand and it’s very isolating and very complex and once you find that kind of community to tap in and can kind of connect with them as well and share those sort of feelings of isolation that it offers a set of ideology in a sense to tap into and reinforce and give you the answers to why things are the way they are. It can be attractive.
So when did you guys record the new record, Complete Control, and how much was that process affected by COVID?
Jason: We recorded it last September/October and most of the songs were written last year and in 2020. I think there were a few riffs held over from the last album. COVID didn’t affect us too much because the last ten years we’ve been separated anyway. I moved away from Maryland in 2012 and Mark also moved out of Maryland in 2012. I live in Finland, he lives off in Missouri now, and the other two guys live in different parts of Maryland. We kind of got used to writing individually and sharing files online and sending them back and forth. That’s been the process since The Killing Gods in 2014, so this is the third album we’ve written like that, so the pandemic didn’t really transform that to any great degree. We did still manage to meet up a few times and come together for a weekend and go over the songs and work through riffs. Otherwise we wrote it and recorded it separately.
So what can fans expect from the album, musically and lyrically?
Jason: I think musically that the songs are kind of a mixture of our last two records. It has the kind of darkness that kind of carried through The Killing Gods record and maybe the more straightforward tinged songs of Rituals of Power. It all kind of comes together with this one. I think it’s probably the most well-rounded, succinct, it’s about 35 minutes, straightforward nine songs. It kind of runs across all of our interests. You know, we have pretty diverse interests like hardcore punk to death metal to original heavy metal so it all kind of comes in there. Because we all write, it reflects all of our writing styles so I think every song kind of stands on its own and none really sound a lot like the other. Lyrically, it’s very much up to date and on point. It talks a lot about where we are today as a society.
You talk about the different elements that you include on the record that keeps it from being just a straight death metal album. How important is it for the band to include those different influences to keep from getting pigeonholed in one box?
Jason: I think it helps us write better songs and injects it with diversity and intensity. It just helps give us our own sound and I don’t think we are identical to too many other bands. We also have two lead vocalists, myself and Mark, we share those duties on different songs and we are both in the middle range but we both have our own sound. I think we are pretty fortunate to have a lot going on.
You guys have had a pretty consistent lineup for the past decade plus now, which can be pretty rare in music. What makes this group work so well together?
Jason: We’ve matured together. We are all on the same page. We all agree on what we want to do and how much we want to put our efforts and energies into the band in the sense that we’ve been kind of part-time, I guess. We were more full-time in the 2000s, I think from 2006 until 2010 we were doing 200 shows a year or more. Now we kind of do one U.S. tour and one European tour with some weekends here with some festivals. Since we are on the same page, and creatively on the same page, we’ve carried on. It doesn’t consume our lives, we have other things going on so it works for us now.
Do you find it hard to split band duties across two continents or do you pretty much have that hammered out by this point?
Jason: It’s hammered out. I mean, especially now with promotion for the new record. I’m doing all the European stuff and Mark’s doing the stuff in North America. It’s worked out. We get on Skype now and then and have full meetings and we keep up to date with what we are doing and stay in communication. Since we’re not full-time, it’s not this crucial thing where we need management all the time and are constantly overlooking things; we can control everything (this way).
Speaking of working across two continents, are there things that you miss about living in the States?
Jason: I miss my family, the culture. As a Marylander, it’s kind of cool because you have the beach within a couple hours and then within another couple hours to the west you have the mountains. You have two cities, Baltimore and Washington D.C., which are very different in a lot of ways. There’s a lot going on there. I really enjoyed growing up there. I miss my friends and the scene there and other small things like food or convenience factors but otherwise I’m really happy here.
When it comes time to tour and get ready to go back out on the road, how do you guys find time to get together and get ready for the shows?
Jason: Whenever we have a tour or a show, we always meet up a day or two before and have a full rehearsal. We all kind of do our homework so when we show up we’re ready to go. It’s tough sometimes, especially when we want to get new songs into the set or songs we haven’t played in a while. It can be tough to get it together in one day, especially when you’re singing and playing because the singing and playing thing, for me at least, takes a lot of repetition playing with the band to really hammer it down to a natural kind of thing. In that case, usually the rehearsal for those tracks carries over to when the tour starts.
With the pandemic and everything, it’s been a minute since you’ve toured.
Jason: I think the last time we even toured the U.S. was 2019 when we did some shows with Nails. It’ll be three years since we’ve played extensively in the U.S. and Canada.
The lineup is really stacked too with Origin and Wolf King joining you on the road. How did you hook up with them for this tour?
Jason: (The band) talked about Origin, we’ve been friends with them for forever and they’ve been wanting to get out too. When it came time to try and figure out who would be available to do some shows around the time our album comes out, they came up. We talked to them and they worked out. Wolf King was suggested by Adam, our drummer. He’s a big fan of them. We also recently added Wake from Canada so it’s a pretty killer bill.
Obviously the album hasn’t come out yet and you’ll be touring on it for some time but, the business being what it is, when do you start thinking about the next one?
Jason: I think that we are gonna be touring, because it’s been so long, that we are gonna be doing shows for the next few years for this record, but we are always writing and it’s always in the back of our mind to start thinking about the next record. If we do another record with Century Media, which we hope to, then we need to start thinking about that now even, because it takes time to write songs that make us happy. The more time we have, the better. We don’t want to wait another four or five years to put a record out so we’re gonna try and get ahead of it this time.
I wanted to ask about that actually, what was it like to sign with Century Media? Obviously they have a legendary stable of extreme metal bands.
Jason: It’s cool. We didn’t have any issues with Season of Mist, who were great to us. The deal was up and Century Media came knocking and made a great offer. Their presence in the U.S. and Europe is undeniable. If we can get our music out to more people, it works for us.
So other than the band, you also wrote the book Extremity Retained. What was that process like and how did that come about?
Jason: That came about in 2010 kind of at the height of when we were touring a lot. The idea just came to me. When you’re on tour, or backstage at a festival, or whatever, and meeting other artists and telling stories and catching up, I had the idea one day to just do an oral history of the death metal underground and capture that feeling of what it was like and put it down for posterity. In 2010, there were a few books, with Albert Mudrian’s Choosing Death being kind of the definitive take, but there were others like the Swedish death metal book, but I didn’t think there was one that was in the words of those who were there and present at the creation and that captured what it was really like in a more everyday, subculture way. There were things like that for punk and hardcore, I had a book called Burning Fight about the hardcore scene in the ’90s and there’s a book called Please Kill Me about the punk scene in the ’70s, and I thought that it would be cool to have something like that which was all just kind of these snippets or little windows into different things that when you take it all as a whole it gives you an idea of what it was like. With that in mind, I started sitting down and having conversations and interviewing different people who were key players and, over about a two or three year period, I got about a hundred interviews or so and I just started compiling them and dividing them up and trying to piece together a narrative and create chapters out of it. It culminated with the book in 2014 and it went through three pressings and it’s out of print now, but I might do it again at some point and do another pressing, we’ll see.
Do you ever think about doing another book some time?
Jason: I wouldn’t mind it. I like having projects like that but I haven’t really thought of anything that would be substantial or interesting enough for me to dive fully into it. Since I did that book there’s been a flood of books, it seems, about the histories of different countries and insights and there’s a lot of literature out there on it now. I feel like I made my contribution to it and it’s there. We’ll see.
You also run the record store and label The Other Records. How did you get started with that?
Jason: I started it with my friend Petri (Eskelinen) in 2017, officially, but we did it as an underground thing and then we moved into this shop in 2020 during the pandemic. We love records, we love physical media, we love metal. It all just kind of came together and we just took a leap and decided to try it and see. It’s been going OK. We started with pretty much nothing but it’s been this slow but steady organic growth. I think we are kind of a small, cultural institution here for metal here in Helsinki. As you know, Finland is a pretty metal country and we’re happy to be a part of it.
You guys put out the debut album, Nocturnal Sickness, from Cryptic Hatred. Those guys are really exciting and I think they’re going to have a hell of a career. How did you end up hearing about them?
Jason: Just being part of the scene here. (Petri and I) saw them play out, I think it was their first show, maybe about a year-and-a-half ago. We were just blown away by their efficiency and their dedication to what they were doing. At the time they were 17 and they just wrote really good riffs and really good hooks and captured the spirit of (older) Cannibal Corpse type of thing. We just decided to support them and throw what we have behind them. We came to them and asked if we could help them out and we put the CD out, released it, and are trying to spread the word about them.
It’s hard to belive that they are so young. Their debut blew me away.
Jason: It’s straightforward but it’s really good songwriting and it has the hooks and that certain something. I love it and it reminded me of what I first loved about death metal when I first heard it.
You also run the fanzine archive “Send Back My Stamps!” where you catalogue various old fanzines, which is a really cool idea. What was the origin of that project?
Jason: That started in 2011 too, around the same time I was doing the book stuff. That was again just me having some downtime and I had a box of fanzines in my house from the old tape trading days and I thought it would be cool to start an archive of sorts of them because they are paper and are not going to be around forever. There was just so much love and so much heart put into the creation of those zines and there was that tactile representation of the death metal scene at the time, and not just death metal, but just metal and things like the hardcore scene. I thought it would be cool to scan them and put them into some sort of archive that has some semblance of organization where you can search for bands. I started it and it went slow and during certain periods I got more done because it’s very, very time consuming to scan them and catalogue them and put them all up in there. I think I have a few hundred in there or more but I’ve just been so busy over the last year with other stuff that I don’t think I’ve uploaded anything in a few months. It’s not dead, just maybe dormant right now, I guess, but I do have a bunch of other zines to add to it when I have time. It’s a work in progress.
Right on. What’s your take on the current state of death metal? It feels like there’s never a shortage of cool bands to check out at the moment.
Jason: It seems like it’s better than ever. It’s very much alive and there’s so much death metal of so many different kinds that it’s kind of hard to take it all in, especially since we started the shop here (since) we have access to a lot of smaller labels which we are trading with or getting their stuff for the shop along with our midsize labels and the whole Bandcamp universe. There’s a lot of metal out there and a lot of bands and it’s a lot to navigate. I think it’s vibrant and I think it’s fantastic. It seems like it’s more popular than ever with people and there’s really good stuff coming out. There’s almost too much good stuff coming out and my wallet can’t handle it (laughs)! Even in Finland there’s another band called Morbific that’s doing killer, kind of like Autopsy, (there’s) Galvanizer, Gorephelia, Cadaveric Incubator. There’s just a whole world here of killer bands and that’s just Finland.
Who are some other bands that you’d recommend our listeners check out?
Jason: Definitely as mentioned Morbific and then Sadistic Drive. There’s another young band that came up around Cryptic Hatred called Azatoth. Of course in the U.S. it’s explosive right now. I really like Malignant Altar, Tribal Gaze. Convocation is another band from here that’s killer, more doom/death. I really like Ulthar, Vastum and bands like that from the Bay Area. It’s vibrant and it’s fantastic.
How about the state of the music industry? With streaming taking over it’s obviously a whole different ball game for bands. What do you think it takes now for bands to be successful in this environment?
Jason: For metal musicians and the broader rock pantheon, there’s been a lot of talk about how rock music is fading in favor of electronic music and other genres that are becoming more popular with the youth. It is quite difficult in the digital era to put together enough income to do it full-time but it’s possible. As we talked about it, there are so many bands so the ones that can do it manage to stay afloat somehow and it’s usually by touring and merchandise and many forms of income streams. It’s about developing multiple income streams, no matter how small they are. I would just encourage any artist to stay on top of controlling and being aware of what income is due to them through their songwriting rights organizations and through streaming collection agencies like Sound Exchange and EMI or ASCAP and to keep on top of it and to seek out income wherever you might be due. Even if you’re playing what might seem to be a small kind of extreme genre, if people are listening to your music, then usually there’s some way to capture that and make revenue and earn some money from it. It involves artists becoming increasingly more creative about how to sniff out those kinds of opportunities. Unfortunately, it means a lot of the burden is carried by the artists where the burden used to be with the label (for things like) promotion, which is now on the artists to get out there and heavily promote themselves and promote themselves on social media and be a part of the broader marketing scheme. For more part-time artists who aren’t worried about doing it full-time, it’s just about making music and putting it out there on Bandcamp, which is also awesome too because you can get your music to so many people and get a following just from making music from your basement.
And as fans, what can we do to make sure we are supporting bands that we love?
Jason: Buy merch (laughs)! Especially during COVID downtimes, it’s the one stream that kind of still helped. Buy merch, go to the shows, buy merch at the shows (laughs). You know, the streaming income is relatively small compared to it all overall until you get up to the higher tier artists and I really hope that becomes a bit more fair and structured better, especially because it is the dominant way that people listen to and engage with music. Metal has been pretty cool in the fact that metal fans seem to be a little bit more dedicated and want to actually get the merch and actually want to own physical copies so I’m hoping that CDs come back. Myself, I thought the CD was a pretty good medium for listening to music although I do love my vinyl. It’d just be cool if physical media can continue to thrive and grow in light of the digital domination.