A Day with MISSIO
Hailing from Austin, Texas, MISSIO is an alternative/electronic duo who is currently opening for Yungblud on the Twisted Tales of The Ritalin Club tour. With similar messages with their music, like not hiding who you truly are and putting a middle finger up to “the man,” they fit in rather perfectly on this run and have been welcomed with open arms by the Black Hearts Club.
At the Nashville stop, we decided we wanted to get to know these guys a bit better. We arrived for soundcheck around 5pm and let the guys do their thing while I checked out the venue. I had never been to Marathon Music Works before, but it was basically an old warehouse turned into a venue. It was pretty spacious, so seeing it before doors was very interesting knowing it was going to be jam packed with fans within the hour.
Once soundcheck had been completed, we moved backstage to their dressing room. Most artists we work are curious to know more about Punk Junk Magazine and how it came to be, but MISSIO wanted to know more. We talked about how our team met, some touring experiences we had (not good ones), and future shows coming up on the tour (and how Boston always goes hard).
As we all know, Yungblud fans are a force to be reckoned with. There isn’t a single fanbase like them, so we were curious to see how the fans were reacting to MISSIO and how it compared to other tours for them. David stated that he really enjoyed Yungblud's fans because they are “so energetic and they’re just pretty hungry for music.” He also said it’s one of the better interactions on a tour that they have been able to have with a new fanbase. Matt also pointed out that despite there typically being an age gap between Yungblud's fans and theirs, both artists had messages that could resonate with the widespread demographic. “Like after shows, reading about how they were impacted and stuff is cool hearing that from like, a 14 year old in high school,” Matt said.
We also talked about how earlier this year, the duo had the opportunity to open for MUSE and 30 Seconds to Mars at their North Carolina show. Apparently, to this day, they still have fans who come up to them saying they found out about them at that show. Despite it being amazing, Matt said it wasn’t the best MISSIO show as it was kind of an awkward show, it was outside and still light out so some things, like their lighting, got lost within it. But the impact was what stayed with the band because “that was one of the biggest impact shows we had just because people found out about us like that.”
We also know that every artist’s goal is to be able to play large arenas and stadiums one day, which MISSIO got a taste of while opening for MUSE & 30STM. So after that, I was wondering if they had wished all their shows were that large and higher impact, or if they loved these small intimate shows where they can get right up in the fans faces? David said it best by stating, “I think it’s hard to answer that in an absolute vacuum because there are things so sweet about both ones.” He then compared how incredible it is to hear 6,000 people, like at a festival they did in Russia, singing their songs to a small, sweaty club show where it’s all right there and everything’s being thrown in your face. So he finally gave an answer of, “I think the sweet spot is mixing it up.”
MISSIO’s genre can definitely be called “unique” as it’s a mixture of electronic music you want to dance with some pretty heavy content/lyrics. And with any type of music, it’s always going to be criticized and interpreted in many ways. And sometimes those kind of messages can backfire or receive heavy backlash. Matt said “I’m sure it happens, but the thing is, I don’t really care.” He went on to explain that him not caring isn’t coming from a negative, malicious place, but one of honesty. “We’re sharing things from our experiences and struggles. And nobody can argue with that, because it’s personal.” He admits he’s not perfect, but everything said in his music and onstage is meant to impact people. David agrees that there aren’t a lot of bands within their genre doing what they are, so it’s okay for people to not get it, especially if you’re only listening to it on Spotify or Apple Music. We all began to discuss their song “Middle Fingers,” which just talks about putting your middle finger up to stuff that doesn’t really matter to you. “To me, it’s such an amazing song when you actually get to feel it live … it’s amazing to see like, people uniting” David continued.
For MISSIO, their music and lyrics come from the heart and lots of personal experience. Meanwhile some artists in the spotlight tend to write similar music without having experienced anything like it. When I asked how they felt about artists who basically use songs about mental health as a hook to get fans or radio play, David was the first to jump in and state “It’s offensive to me because it feels like manipulation … nobody wants to be manipulated into or turned into a product.” Matt then discussed how he was always one to go against the grain, especially with his music and writing about his life so personally, but now that’s a trend. “I’m like ‘fuck this.’ This is so stupid that people are turning this into marketing stuff when you’ve got tons of kids, teenagers, and adults who are actively struggling.” We all do know that as well, it may not be the artist, but their label who is behind using mental health as a marketing ploy. But we all agreed not to throw out any names, and continue on.
We were also very curious about the drummer, Jayden. MISSIO was a duo with a live drummer, who we had met the night before. They then started telling us about the unofficial third member of the band, Dwight. “He’s the backbone and the reason why we got signed. Matt described him as “Kind of a guru for our career.” We were curious if Jayden was permanently going to be added to the lineup any time soon or if he was just going to be their live drummer for now. Which the simple answer was “We don’t know.” Both stated that everything with MISSIO has always happened very organically so they’ll “cross that bridge when they come to it.” David and Matt both sung nothing but praise of their drummer though. If you see their live show, you may notice him wearing a mask. Despite the band having a speech about taking off your mask, you’ll still see him behind the drum kit wearing it. It would be cool if it was symbolic and he’d take it off during that speech, but apparently it doesn’t come off that easily.
MISSIO is a band that is pushing the boundaries and redefining genres that fans thought they knew. They write about music that comes from somewhere deep down and their own experiences. They play a show that makes you feel something, whether it’s happy, sad, or even just safe. Their main goal is to impact a large about of people and make anyone at their shows feel welcome. After the interview, we got to witness this all first hand.
The crowd was extremely energetic from the moment they walked onstage. Even we were dancing along in the pit! There were some girls as well who we caught crying and hugging each other during one of MISSIO’s more touching songs “I See You,” which is the song that plays after the speech where Matt talks about taking your mask off and how their shows are a safe space. Matt saw this love-fest going on and jumped down and hugged the girls (as well as several other fans). Luckily, we were able to find the girl who was crying and bring her to meet the band after the show. Overall, it was a very heartwarming experience. Kind of one of those things where afterwards you think to yourself “wow, this is why I love working in this industry.” After the guys’ set, we ran backstage to grab some portraits as they had some friends and family visiting so we didn’t want to be in their way.
If you can, be sure to catch MISSIO on the rest of this tour. Their set is something else completely and I’m sure you’ll also have one of those “wow” moments as well.
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All photographs by Olivia Amaral