Misery Signals was formed after the disbandment of several bands, including 7 Angels 7 Plagues, Hamartia and Compromise. Having played briefly with 7 Angels 7 Plagues, former Compromise vocalist Jesse Zaraska was approached by Ryan Morgan and Kyle Johnson for a new project, which would become Misery Signals. Jeff Aust from Hamartia joined on as second guitar, and Ryan Morgan's brother Branden joined as the band's drummer. Aust soon left the band and has since gone on to join With Honor, he was replaced by Stu Ross - a friend of Jesse Zaraska's from St. Albert, Alberta.
In 2003, the band released its eponymous debut EP. The EP was dedicated to the memory of Jordan Wodehouse and Daniel Langlois who were killed by a drunk driver in Georgia while on tour with their band Compromise.
The band eventually signed to New Jersey's Ferret Music, releasing their first full-length album, Of Malice and the Magnum Heart. After extensive touring, Zaraska decided to leave the band to focus on a smaller, less aggressive project named Sleeping Girl, at which point the rest of the band decided to put up an instrumental song on their MySpace page, encouraging anyone who wanted to take over the spot of vocalist to record their own voice over the instrumental and e-mail it to the band. This was the way they found new vocalist Karl Schubach, with whom they recorded the album, Mirrors. In July 2008, Misery Signals released their third full-length entitled Controller. After extensive touring in support of Controller in early 2009, members of Misery Signals wanted to pursue other musical directions outside of their band.
Schubach is involved in a heavy metal side project called Solace. He is the sole member of the band, recording guitar, bass and vocals in a D.I.Y.-fashioned home studio. The drums are added in digitally, through the use of a program on his Macbook. During the funding stages of this side project he provided incentives to individuals and bands in return for financial support using crowd funding platform Kickstarter. As part of this incentive scheme Karl Schubach provided guest vocals on a song by UK metal/hardcore band The Divided.
Hardcore/punk band Burning Empires consists of members from Misery Signals, Fall Out Boy and 7 Angels 7 Plagues, with vocalist Ryan Morgan, bassist Kyle Johnson, guitarists Stu Ross and Matthew Mixon, and drummer Andy Hurley. The quintet also owns a clothing line / record label called Fuck City.
Milwaukee-based punk/post-hardcore band Lowtalker consists of Branden Morgan and Stuart Ross of Misery Signals. They team up with Casey Hjelmberg and Matt Keil of Comeback Kid to complete the four-piece project. Lowtalker released their EP People Worry About Everything in the spring of 2010 through FC records.
In 2010, Stuart Ross became the frontman of a Vancouver, B.C. pop-punk band Living with Lions. Ross officially left Misery Signals on September 25, 2010 to put his focus on Living with Lions, and was reportedly tired of performing heavy metal. In October 2010, Kyle Johnson also announced his departure from the band.
After an extended period of inactivity with a heavy focus on side projects, Misery Signals made an official statement about the state of the band in November 2010. The press release addressed the loss of Ross and Johnson, and also announced that the band had not, in fact, broken up. Ryan Morgan commented that, "In the next few months, we'll group back up and return." On maintaining the continuity of the band's style and keeping the same name, Morgan said, "Stu and Kyle made awesome contributions, but the trajectory of the band remains the same in their absence. If the time came that our sound took a drastically different course, then it wouldn't be Misery Signals anymore, and we wouldn't pretend that it was."
The first new release from Misery Signals after going through this major line up change was a cover of Pink Floyd's song "Us and Them" from the 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon. The song was contributed to a soundtrack for the video game Homefront, which was released free of charge for digital download on March 22, 2011.
In April 2011, Karl Schubach posted a couple tweets mentioning band practice, writing new material in June, and said "We're focusing on bringing the new guys up to speed at the moment." The new lineup has now been finalized and will appear on the Crush Em All tour fall 2011. As of early 2012 the band has stated that they are working on new material for the new album. Lead singer Karl Schubach stated in an interview "I think every band aims to progress with each album they write. But sometimes progression is learning what worked really well the previous records and incorporating those elements. So far these new songs feel like a purposeful blend of our most recent, more structured Controller record mixed with the chaos and spontaneity of the earlier Of Malice and the Magnum Heart." All of the members are reunited in the studio the recording the new album, and have started an indiegogo fundraiser to help pay for the recording, marketing, and pressing of the new album, as the band is currently signed to Basick Records.
On July 23, 2013, Misery Signals released Absent Light, with the first single "Luminary" being released twenty days earlier.
On May 30, 2014, news surfaced that Misery Signals announced plans to commemorate the tenth anniversary of their 'Of Malice and the Magnum Heart' album with the "Malice X Tour" later this year. The tour will feature the band's original lineup, which consists of Jesse Zaraska (vocals), Ryan Morgan (guitars), Stu Ross (guitars), Kyle Johnson (bass), and Branden Morgan (drums), and Misery Signals will be performing the album in its entirety.
On October 19th, 2016, rumours of an original lineup reunion tour and album were confirmed by vocalist Jesse Zaraska. When reached for comment by Nic Huber of www.metalinjection.net, Zaraska had the following to say:
"It is the truth, sir. We are in the midst of writing new material together and will be playing some show over the coming year. It has been very cool thus far. We will definitely be doing a proper US tour in 2017."Current
Ryan Morgan – lead guitar, backing vocals (2002–present)
Branden Morgan – drums (2002–present)
Jesse Zaraska – vocals (2002–2006, 2016-present)
Stu Ross – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2002–2010, 2016-present)
Kyle Johnson – bass guitar (2002–2010, 2013–present)
Karl Schubach – vocals (2006–2016)
Jeff Aust – guitar (2002)
Gregory Thomas – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2011–2016)
Kent Wren – bass guitar (2011–2013)
Of Malice and the Magnum Heart (2004)
Absent Light (2013)
Misery Signals (2003)