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A Dirty Dozen with MISFIRE – May 2021


According to a recent press release: “In 2004 at the age of 13 and 14 drummer James Nicademus and Guitarist/Vocalist Jay Johnson formed what ended up becoming the thrash metal band Diamond Plate. In 2007 Jay left that band and has since released multiple solo projects. Diamond Plate went on to be signed to Earache Records for 2 albums and played multiple tours and shows with Overkill, Death Angel, Testament, Megadeth, D.R.I. and many more. Fast forward to 2018.  James Nicademus, Tommy Denniger of End of Sanity, and Sean Coogan of Vitrial formed Misfire. Shortly after Tommy decided to follow a different path so James called the only man for the job. His old friend Jay Johnson.  A decision that would ultimately solidify Misfires line up.” We get the band to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Jim: The lyrics really send some of these songs home the more you listen to them. This is a really exciting and high energy and it’s easy to get lost in the music.

Sean: I play bass through a Marshall JCM 800, it makes it extra heavy.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Jim: The first time I heard Metallica.

Jay: Same.

Sean: When I went to my first concert, I was about 16 and the band was Kiss. After seeing them live I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life, which was play music and perform on a stage. I was totally blown away by the music and live show, it was unreal. I then got a guitar and haven’t put it down since, funny how I ended up on bass.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Sean: I started off with classic rock and then got into heavier music. Classic metal to thrash, death to extreme. Each genre has its own style and vibes, so it has changed over the years. I’ve been to a lot of shows, so its hard for me to pick my favorite one. They were all  influential in their own way.

Jim: Everything Metallica did I studied as a kid and that paved a strong path for me to follow. I wouldn’t be the same without Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, Testament, Overkill, Death Angel, DRI… the list goes on.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Metallica, Pantera, Megadeth, Exodus, and Testament.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Jim: Depends on the song but any other band in this genre would be awesome to work with. We haven’t done anything like that yet.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Sean: It’s a freight train of pounding drums, heavy bass, and ripping guitar driven by  screaming maniacs, but its also deeper than that.

Jim: Well we’ve been doing pretty good. Haven’t heard much criticism.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Jim: Nobody really cooks and we all get our drinks in haha Also an acoustic isn’t something that really fits our sound.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Jim: Meeting Mike Portnoy. What an amazing drummer.

Sean: We opened up for Iron Reagan, and I got to meet all of them after the show. They killed it of course, and were really cool too.

Jay: Jeff Loomis.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Jay: I’d be a mechanical engineer or a tattoo artist.

Jim: I’m also a concert lighting designer. I suppose I would definitely still do that. Living without music would sick though.

Sean: I love creating music and performing it, but the best thing about it is all the cool people I’ve met that have become friends throughout the years. If I couldn’t play music, I would get deep into recording and producing bands.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

“TeLl Me AbOuT yOuR bAnD”

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Jim: It is what it is man. I would have changed the way we handled kicking Jon Macak of Diamond Plate… but like I said. It is what it is.

Sean: No regrets.

Jay: I would have probably liked to have had my sit a little more together sooner. Haha.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Jim: Master of Puppets because fuck! It’s the best.

Sean: Rust in Peace for sure, it would have been so cool just to be there to watch them record it live. They were at the peak of their power.

Jay: Reinventing the Steel.

BONUS QUESTION – Due to the current world situation with COVID-19 / quarantine / shelter in place, what have you discovered you miss the most from your life before the pandemic struck?

Sean: Well, Misfire continued to jam throughout all of last year… Covid can’t stop us! Honestly I missed seeing people, it was so weird not being able to hang out with anybody.

Jim: I miss concerts. I miss sanity. Lol what a fucked up year.



Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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