Church of Misery has toured Europe seven times, but this summer marks their first ever visit to America. Considering that much of their oeuvre consists of love letters to American serial killers it’s a long overdue trip. COM appeared at the Maryland Deathfest (if you had a chance to see them, tell us about it below) and will perform17 dates stateside before returning to the Land of the Rising Sun. In honor of their first visit to the states, Decibel asked founding bassist Tatsu Mikami a few questions about sushi (the American variety) and serial killers (a global phenomenon perfected in the U.S.) Despite the language barrier topics like raw fish and raw flesh are universal. What are the differences when you tour in Japan versus elsewhere?
Well, Japan is very small. There are only three big cities. In other countries, there are so many places to play. Last year, we did a six- week European tour. Of course, long drives are very hard but it’s really good fun to meet and talk with our fans.
Americans have really picked up the sushi habit. Have you eaten Japanese food in America? What do you think?
Not yet. Japanese restaurants in other countries are expensive. So we eat junk food. Touring rock bands are always poor. Most Japanese really like sushi and always go to sushi restaurants. But in the U.S. and European countries (sushi) is very expensive. It’s an unbelievable price.
What is your favorite sushi dish? Why?
I like tuna. It’s very, very popular in Japan.
Are American sushi rolls too packed with ingredients?
American sushi rolls seem very strange to the Japanese. I saw some strange sushi roll on TV. It’s a "California roll," which includes avocado.
Have you stopped at typical American tour feeding stations like Denny's, Waffle House and IHOP?
We went to Burger King and McDonalds a lot during our European tours. When a shop closed at midnight, we went to Turkish kebab restaurants.
Where does your fixation on serial killers come from?
I've read books and watched videos about serial killers since I was young. But it’s not 'fixation,' it’s just for fun.
Have you ever visited any famous American serial killer sites or crime scenes in the U.S.?
Not yet. Someday I want to go to visit Plainfield (Wisconsin, the home of Ed Gein, best known as the influence for Buffalo Bill in Silence Of The Lambs). Seven years ago in the UK, we visited serial killer Denis Nielsen’s house. We took many photos in front.
Do fans ever give you any serial killer memorabilia or strange gifts?
In Europe, some fans gave me books about serial killers and their photos. I have tons of serial killer videos from underground tape trading but we need more for our upcoming release. Contact us!
Why do you think there are so many serial killers in the United States?
The most important thing is you can buy a gun easily in the U.S. Almost no gun crimes occur in Japan.
What book on a serial killer has been the most influential on COM's music?
A book written about Jeffery Dahmer. He was insane from beginning. Also, documentary videos about Andrei Chikatilo, who was called the Red Ripper. I was shocked by his trial video - he was completely psycho.
How are the reissued albums doing?
Both Master Of Brutality and The Second Coming are selling really well. Both albums were masterpieces for all doom fans. They are also very popular albums in Japan. We are very satisfied with them.
Do you think you'll ever steer away from writing about human monsters?
Never! There are so many serial killers all over the world. We can make more than ten albums.
See Church Of Misery (remaining dates):
6.01.2012 Chaos in Tejas, Austin TX*** 6.02.2012 Scion Rock Fest, Tampa FL 6.03.2012 Launchpad, Albuquerque NM*** 6.04.2012 Chasers, Scottsdale AZ*** 6.05.2012 Satellite, Los Angeles CA*** 6.6.2012 Elbo Room, San Francisco CA*** 6.8.2012 Branx, Portland OR*** 6.9.2012 Studio Seven, Seattle WA*** 6.10.2012 Mayne Stage, Chicago IL
*** w/Hail!Hornet, The Gates of Slumber