Thursday, July 24, 2014


     Miscalculation’s bio reads like the opening of a sci-fi film “dark, asbestos-lined basement[s] . . . and a towering loft overlooking the concrete, steel and flesh of North London” or a graphic novel that poses an overarching question such as “When the earth dies how will life as we know it sustain itself?” Besides the pondering, what Miscalculations does bring to their songs, is not just a group of talented NFT members (Gaggers and Ladykillers), is a mixed cocktail of ’77 UK punk and ’79 post-punk drank by deft individuals who might wear turtlenecks, but hide razorblades in the garment’s neck folds.

Interview by Ed Stuart

Who’s answering the questions?
Marco, lead vocalist

Where is the band from?
The band is from London, but we all have roots all over the place. I was born here, but am Italian, Mauro is from Chile, Bobby is Swedish and Shaun is English.

Who is in the band and what instrument do they play?
I sing and play synth, Shaun plays drums, Mauro plays guitar and Bobby plays bass.

In between Ladykillers, Gaggers, No Front Teeth Records and the other bands you guys are individually a part of, Miscalculations gets started. How did the band start?
Shaun and I are both in the Gaggers so we see a lot of each other and Shaun told me he was working on something a bit different and played it to me so I wrote some lyrics and Miscalculations was born. We both listen to a lot of post-punk and electro like Wire, The Units, Screamers and stuff like that and both love Scandinavian punk like Masshysteri, Invasionen, Tristess, Hurula, Vanna Inget and the Vicious so we knew exactly what direction we wanted to go in. We didn’t want to have too much of a definitive structure with this, we just wanted to see how these songs would organically develop. It was new territory for both of us.

Do you think music can still be a vital force in such a disposable age?
Definitely. I still think music is one of the most powerful things that will never go away. Every generation will be defined through music. I think the way people listen to music has changed for sure – it’s much more disposable now – but it’s also way more accessible and I think more people are listening to music now than ever before.

Miscalculations seem to dance the fine line between ’77 UK punk and ’79 post-punk like Wipers and Wire did. What were some of the ideas and bands that influenced both Miscalculations and the songwriting for the band?
Well, the most important thing was that we wanted to do something completely different to all the (many) other projects we are involved with. As well as the bands I mentioned earlier, we also love contemporary stuff like the Mind Spiders, Radioactivity, Bellicose Minds, The Spits, Generacion Suicida, Nicole Saboune, Shocked Minds and stuff like that so we naturally merged all the stuff we love without stressing too much on a particular sound or objective. We let it weave it’s way instinctively both musically and lyrically. The lyrical scope is so wide with Miscalculations which is something so refreshing for me.

The Miscalculations LP was released on Dead Beat Records. Was Dead Beat Records chosen because of the previous relationship The Gaggers have with the label? Did other labels coming asking to help with the release because of who is in the band?
I have known Tom for years so we had a relationship a good decade before the Gaggers LP even came out! I think Tom really has his ear to the ground and can spot stimulating punk very early on. He has great radar for invigorating music and truly does release what he loves and what he believes in. He puts his whole heart into the label and into each release so we knew we were in good hands. Tom approached us after the first 7” and as a band we thought it was a no-brainer to go with him and Dead Beat - we were very happy with the Gaggers LP and are very happy with the Miscalculations LP too. Yes, there were and are other labels interested in releasing Miscalculations records and we are currently talking to a few for some upcoming stuff. We are also starting a Miscalculations / NFT sub-label called Glass Eye Records for Miscalculations records.

50 years ago people used to buy music and get their water for free, now people pay for water and get their music for free. How do you think this affects music in any way?
It means that music is everywhere. It’s so easy now to instantly get whatever music you want either for free or at very little cost. That’s a great thing but the downside is that it does cheapen it too. Music wasn’t just about music when I was growing up, it was a commitment and, sadly,  that’s no longer a necessity – kids can now just delve into bands and scenes without pledging anything. Today its punk, tomorrow hip-hop and something else on the weekend. That wasn’t the case before because there wasn’t all this easy access – you belonged to a scene and a sound and that was it and that was so important. You searched for magazines and instantly connected with people who were wearing a shirt or a patch of a band or whatever because you knew that they had to search for those items – it wasn’t easy. There was no e-Bay, Discogs, Amazon and all the web stores that make it all so easy now.

On North London Bomb Factory’s website it states, “Miscalculations capture the cynicism, obscurity and perplexity of their surroundings and filter it down to the purest punk form” and with song titles like “Asbetos City” and “Preaching Individuality to the Masses,” how much of the lyrics have both social and political commentary? Do you feel cynicism can be used to help bring some change at all?
With Miscalculations, my approach to writing lyrics is totally different to how I write for the Gaggers or Botox Rats or Teenage Tricks or whatever. I have very specific ideas that I want to interpret in a very vague and angular manner. I put all the clues there but then it’s up to the listener to decipher and build the narrative. I always liken it to a painting. A painting is one static image that generates a thousand different reactions and sentiments from a thousand different people. They all read it differently and that’s what I aim for with Miscalculations lyrics. They are the most personal lyrics I have ever written. There is definitely some social commentary, maybe a little political too but I’m certainly not aiming to change anything or anyone.

To piggyback off the last question, there is a quote that acts like a bio/history of the band, which is “Miscalculations were formed in a dark, asbestos-lined basement in Harlow and a towering loft overlooking the concrete, steel and flesh of North London. Absorbing their environment, watching, analyzing and calculating. Miscalculating.” For those of us who don’t live in North London can you give us what that part of London is like? How did much did North London directly or indirectly affect the band’s lyrics?
I have lived in North London my whole life and Shaun has lived in both East and North London as well as Harlow in Essex. Bobby lives in East London and Mauro in South London. My environment has definitely shaped my lyrics. I am hugely influenced by the aesthetics and architecture of my surroundings. I wouldn’t say that you can instantly tell that I am from North London, or even London in general from my lyrics but the roots are there for sure and subconsciously manipulate the words.

What are some bands and/or records you are listening to right now?
Current stuff - Dino’s Boys – that LP has hardly left my turntable in months. Nightmare Boyzz, Average Times, Nicole Saboune, Buck Biloxi and the Fucks, Gino and the Goons, Criminal Code and then always listening to Crime, The Fast, Jo Squillo, Screamers, Teenage Head and stuff like that.

What’s next for Miscalculations?
A new 7” that is going to press in the next week or so and then the second full-length in the not too distant future!

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