Three Cheers for Sweet Sincerity: An Interview with Misery Loves Company

Mainstream culture emo broke out around 2002, starting with bands like Jimmy Eat World, Dashboard Confessional and New Found Glory. In the wake of this success, bands like Taking Back Sunday and My Chemical Romance were signed to major labels and songs from Fall Out Boy and AFI peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Although an emo revival occurred in 2010, true forms of emo either disbanded or moved on to more of a pop-punk sound.  

Despite the genre’s popularity decrease, Misery Loves Company is here to prove that emo isn’t dead. Their newly-released EP, Love Notes and Highways, fuses their post-emo sound with everything you loved about artists like Senses Fail and The Used.

Jimmy Ruggiero and Mike Williams played in a band together before realizing that they weren’t playing music that they loved anymore. With a new sound, new members and new name, Misery Loves Company was born. They combined their love for early 2000s emo jams and Tim Burton films with influences from today to modernize the emo era.  “We’re trying to bring back something that was once here and that is actually true to the fans,” Williams said. 

Misery Loves Company is meant to be taken in a visual sense. Someone feeling miserable usually seeks companionship and they want to be the companions to the misery inside each of their fans. “I think it’s a super honest and genuine message for our fans and that’s basically that there’s no cool kids club,” Ruggiero said. “This is a band for the outcasts.”

Love Notes and Highways is lyrically a vulnerable record. It touches on strong subject matters such as mental illness and relationship issues while making each track both personal and relatable. The record’s inspiration came from a relationship of Ruggiero's that was also eerily similar to a relationship of Williams'. During the writing process, they were easily able to bounce ideas off of each other and create something that resonated well. “A lot of blood, sweat and tears was put into this album,” Williams said.

Each song is a love note and thanks to these love notes, they get to share them on the road – or the highway, if you will – with anyone that’s willing to listen. Ruggiero, Williams, and bandmates Joe Mascio Jr. and Anthony Caggiano are determined to create music that is as authentic as their emo idols before them. Most important, the message they want listeners to take away is that this record is as genuine as it comes. “What we’re doing right now lyrically is very sincere,” Ruggiero said. “It comes from serious, actual situations so I am singing it, I am talking about it. We couldn’t fake this if we tried.”