Tom Sutton, 36
Church of Misery’s guitarist isn’t miserable.
Randolph Street and Beaubien Court
What’s up? I’m a guitarist in a Japanese band called Church of Misery, and we just finished our U.S. tour with a show last night at Mayne Stage. Some of my bandmates are flying back to Japan tomorrow. I’m flying home to Australia.
I’m guessing you don’t play Christian rock. It’s heavy rock & roll. We sound kind of like Black Sabbath—but more…angry. All of the band’s songs are about serial killers. Each track lists a song title, then the name of the killer in brackets.
Did you write a tune for Chicago’s most famous butcher, John Wayne Gacy? Yeah. It’s called “Master of Brutality.” It’s on our first album—and Gacy’s on the cover.
What’s your fascination with mass murderers? At the time the band started, stoner rock was synonymous with boring lyrics. We just wanted to do something more conceptual.
There are a limited number of serial killers. What happens when you run out? There are heaps still. We’ve got about three albums’ worth before we run out. And new ones pop up. There was another in Russia a couple years ago.
Your native Australia was once a penal colony, but I can’t name any Aussie serial killers offhand. We’ve got a few. One group from central Australia would kill people, put the bodies in barrels and store them in an old bank vault.
Sunny. Yeah, it’s funny because our lyrics might be dark, but our gigs are celebratory. The band’s called Church of Misery, but we’re not miserable.