Contrary to popular belief, Arkansas has quite the awesome music scene. Metalcore band, MisManage, is just one of the rising artists the Natural State has produced! We caught up with the members of the band to get a better insight on just who MisManage is, and what these guys are all about.
1) For readers who may not have heard of you, can you give a bit of background on MisManage?
Taylor Davis (Vocals): MisManage has been around for actually almost ten years. We started out as a three piece grunge band. We were three step brothers (Taylor, Billy Bisbee and his younger brother Dylan Bisbee) that all lived in the same house and loved to make noise. Eventually we decided to take a different direction with our music about 5 years into it. Dylan ended up starting a family so he left the band. We added our friend Justin who originally started out on guitar but moved to drums. We wanted to have two guitarist, one of which that could sing so I (Taylor) didn’t have to mix screaming and singing, so we found Barfield first through playing shows with his old band, then Barfield found Aaron. Both have exceedingly taken this band to an entirely new level.
2) How do you think the Arkansas music scene has impacted your growth as a band?
Billy Barfield (Guitar): The Arkansas scene has been great to us, in the year 2016 I feel like we broke out and really showed people who MisManage really was, with the help of our fans, great venues, and especially Tier None Productions.
Davis: The Arkansas music scene has given us a sense of community. This seems to be the only place on Earth that people of different backgrounds can go without worrying about who they are or where they come from. This has been a driving force in our band seeing everyone love each other as they are. We’ve seen it all over the state over the years. We wouldn’t trade this sense of belonging for the world.
Billy Bisbee (Bass): I’m not as in-touch with the AR music scene as any of the rest of the guys, I’m rather dangerously close to being a hermit in that sense. I’m not even sure whether the music scene here has impacted us, or perhaps if we have had an effect on it. I like to think it’s a little of both, as we’d be nothing but a garage band if people didn’t like us, and puppets dancing to a tune if we simply followed along with what venue-goers wanted. We just hope people love our music as much as we love making it.
Aaron Potter (Guitar): I feel that the local scene has really made a connection with MisManage. From our jumpy riffs to our heavy breakdowns, there is always going to be something about us that everyone can love.
Justin McCrory (Drums): My opinion on the local scene is that, there isn’t anyone quite like us on the scene. So, I didn’t want to write the same stuff that everyone else is already playing. We wanted to be different and I feel like there’s not a whole lot of bands playing this particular genre of music. So we just always strived to be different and write music that we believed in.
3) You have a show coming up with ERRA. Do you have anything special planned for that show?
Barfield: We always have a little something up our sleeve for occasions like this, but one thing I can promise everyone is that after a couple months off from shows we will have a couple new things we haven’t done before, maybe a new song, maybe a new sound.
Davis: The ERRA show! Definitely expect surprises. We always seem to pull something unexpected out of the hat. Our set is structured a little different this time around. We played a song last time we were at Vino’s the crowd responded to very well and we’re going to do it again.
Bisbee: I’m gonna dress up in a gorilla suit, Edgefest Chad Gray-style. Not really. Or am I?
Potter: I’m going to ride a motorcycle through a ring of fire. ‘Murica
McCrory: We’ve been hard at work on writing a new song that will be debuted at that show along with a really fun cover song.
4) What has been the most memorable show you have played so far?
Barfield: My favorite show ever with this band was definitely the ’68 show. I feel like that night we were perfectly in sync and the crowd was amazing, the energy and atmosphere was great. Also playing with our brothers in levels was fantastic like always plus a dream come true playing with a band with the stature of ’68.
Davis: This far ’68 has been one of our favorites. They are one of my favorite bands. So it was a true honor. The fans were so responsive to our set that night too. It was a dream come true.
Bisbee: Probably the third(?) time we played at MF Metal in Bryant. Partly for how well we were received, but mostly because was introduced to another local band, Becoming Elephants, and I LOVE THEM!
Potter: Definitely when we played with Bodysnatcher at Vino’s. We had a fan throw a chair! Best mosh pit I have ever seen in my life!
McCrory: My most memorable show would have to be the one and only time we played Juanita’s. The crowd was just going insane and on our last song we had gotten word that if they didn’t stop moshing that they were gonna kick us off the stage. So Taylor, being the little rebel he is, essentially told everyone to “go f****** crazy, to which they obliged.” Hands down my favorite show for that moment alone.
5) What/who inspires you as a band and as an individual artist?
Barfield: As a band we draw influences from Issues, blessthefall, and A Day To Remember. I personally am influenced by Rufio, Silverstein, A Day To Remember, and Every Time I Die.
Davis: I actually am probably a little weird on this one because our music doesn’t reflect it much. Every Time I Die, ’68, The Chariot, Norma Jean, Nirvana anything spastic and chaotic.
Bisbee: Zack Parham from Becoming Elephants, Commander Meouch from Tupper Ware Remix Party, and Clay Gober from Polyphia. They are all phenomenal bassists and deserve all the praise that can be heaped upon them.
Potter: I personally have inspiration from bands like Bullet For My Valentine, A Day to Remember, and Bring Me The Horizon.
McCrory: As an individual I take inspiration from drummers such as Josh Manuel (Issues) Luke Holland (ex-The Word Alive) Steve Carrey (The Color Morale) and Glen McCrory (my dad)
6) Do you have any band goals for 2017?
Barfield: Most important thing for me this year would be to get this album out, second most important would be to exceed the great year we had in 2016. Other than that, a music video would be pretty sweet.
Davis: There is an album in the works with our friends Dalton and Rob from Levels are helping us produce. We’ve talked about touring sometime this year doing like mini weekend tours. We are very much about just seeing what the world provides for us and executing on the opportunities when they appear.
Bisbee: To be at least a little better at all the things we did in 2016, polishing old songs and defining new content.
Potter: I would like for us to finish recording our EP, drop a sweet single and have some kind of short tour.
McCrory: My goals for 2017 is to finish and release our EP, and to get a music video out.
7) How does creating music with MisManage work? What is your process?
Barfield: Pretty much Justin, Aaron, and myself write in the comfort of our own homes, then when we feel we are onto something, we bring it all together and Bisbee adds his finishing touches. As for Taylor, he’s an amazing lyricist, and can write about anything he wants. Normally the instruments are done and a rough track email is sent to everyone, then Taylor works his magic. It’s normally a lengthy process, but we all feel it works best.
8) Is there anything you would like to say to the people reading this?
Barfield: Thank you to everyone for all the support we get from all of you guys. Big shout out to all the guys at Tier None Productions, and Kollossal Recordings for everything you have done and continue to do for us! MARCH 25th with ERRA… BE THERE! Also, if I may because I’m such a car guy, I wanna give a shout out to my people in Defiance for all the support you have given the band!
Davis: Buy tickets to ERRA because they are selling fast. Buy our album when it comes out. Look for a release date like us and our other projects on Facebook: A Fate Foretold and My Hands To War. Also, our friends in Levels and Of Human Action who will be sharing the stage with us on March 25th.
Bisbee: I’m the root’n’est, shoot’n’est, toot’n’est, poop’n’est gorilla ya even did see, and only the first two are exaggerated.
Potter: Thank you for keeping the local music scene alive. Thank you Tier None Productions. And come out and see us play! Even stop by and talk to us! We don’t bite… Much!
Be on the lookout, we will be releasing a single here pretty soon.
Like MisManage on Facebook to keep up with shows, music releases, and more! A new song is being dropped within the next few days.
Words and interview by Dominique Benedict.