(Be well rested because this is really text-heavy hehe)
I was supposedly going to give you the name you all are so impatiently waiting for, but unfortunately I have to delay it somewhat. I want to release it in an exclusive video clip, but hence of a series of events, I’ve not yet been able to obtain the required footage. (I’m probably just an hour away in filming from having a complete set of scenes, though. So I’m not a landslide away.) As you do understand, this is as of now, just something I do in my spare time (apparently all I do in my spare time, according to my girlfriend, hehe.) It is also a pretty big hit to my private economy with a lot of necessary investment. I put a lot of time into it, but I can’t put ALL woken time into it. However, the web team is very helpful and a big asset to me. They unload me in both the stress and money department. (Seeing they are doing expensive and tedious work for little to nothing back in financial benefits.) You are my heroes! Thank you again for being so kind and professional.
Just recently the very young, and talented web designer, Emil Larsson, has been occupied designing temporary sites for all the currently registered communities until we get the final art and official website up. You can check his work out at www.the-unguided.com, and follow the links to the other communities.
I’ve received all your mails and input concerning favorite songs, and more is coming in. Now I’m just trying to collect all this information in one place. The idea is to use it as a cross-reference, something to lean on and extract valuable information from during the writing process. It’s A LOT of data. Some of you did write looong texts, which is all right, of course! It’s just going to take a slightly longer time to compile it. Others executed the task with remarkable and impeccable results! With album separation, short, interesting comments to every song, and an overall well-arranged interface—good job! I know that this is not easy, and it’s really hard to sum up something you are very emotionally attached to in a few words. Anyways, I’m grateful for each and everyone’s participation, and your time spent on this. It’s your chance to influence, and you certainly took good care of that opportunity! Every little piece of the opinions from fans matters to me, and are vital for my further progress in the project.
I have yet to figure out how I’m going to accumulate all these variables in a simple and lucid way. But I’m positive that I can find a way to break it down and examine the results. Also I’m going to share your joint opinion here once I’ve decrypted what that actually is! ;) Things like this make me want to send a mosquito with a few drops of my blood enclosed in amber to Johan Hammond over at inGen, and order a handful of clone slaves of myself. As long as he doesn’t complete lacking genes with frog DNA, and they start to swap sexes, the project would most likely come out pretty decent! Not that I wouldn’t mind more sisters, but the one I already have is plenty of work as it is. OOH the amount of male hostilities an older brother has to eliminate during his lifetime. It’s a full time job I’ll tell you that. She says love, I hear DANGER!
CTRL+C, CTRL+V, CTRL+V, CTRL+V...
Anyways, as much as I like getting down and dirty with you guys. I recently found myself spending more and more time answering mails rather than being productive and creative in the writing process. I never intended for this to steal so much focus from the actual writing. I’ve encouraged you to write me with your questions, concerns, opinions and whatnot, and please continue to do so, BUT structure your messages wisely and intelligently. (Not that you didn’t in the first place, but if you got your answer and don’t have any further significant questions, please don’t treat my private mail as an msn chat. Please remember, there are hundreds of other people waiting for their reply down the line. For example, what kind of underwear I have on me at the moment is highly irrelevant, no matter how interesting it may be). I probably can’t answer all the questions instantly in a mail format, but if it’s a legitimate question I will address it in the FAQs. The reason why you sometimes get short replies is not because I want to be rude, or I didn’t find your e-mail interesting, but rather because I want to spend equal amount of time on all of you. The fact stands that I do read EVERYTHING you write to me. I provided you with my private e-mail address; please treat it for what it is.
Also, something that I find myself doing a lot is repeating myself because you send me questions that you already can find an answer to in the current FAQs. This is a waste of time for both of us, so please examine the current FAQs before you send in your questions.
You who are following my Twitter saw the other day that I obtained a Raven Lord, which I have been grinding the last couple of weeks now as they opened Anzu for all players, and not just druids to access. Looks sweet! Unfortunately half of the servers have it now, and is kind of suffering from the TRH syndrome. Next stop Invincible!? Also someone caught me with the hand in the cookie jar while raiding ICC10 HC with friends. Yes, your assumption that I have more important things to do is correct. But my addiction to the game told me otherwise, hehe. Especially now when the rogue rotation is changed from evisc-only bullshit, to something a bit more interesting (Oh and I got new gloves!). Also, since I’m a sucker for retro gear and got my Thunderfury not too long ago next stop legendaries will be Warglaives. If someone is interested in running Black Temple on a weekly basis with me feel free to add me on real id: (email@example.com) and write in the comment that you are willing to help with just that. You’ll bring the DPS and I’ll bring punch and pie! (I wonder if it’s possible to five men it at 85?).
What I’ve also noticed is that a lot of Swedes write English mails to me, this is a very interesting phenomena! I don’t know how many times I found myself spending time on a reply in English, and then I see the name “Erik Andersson” or “Lars Johansson,” which calls for a loud SIGH, haha. You guys never stop to amaze me! :D
The highlight of this week will be this evening’s Gothenburg gig at Brewhouse with Heaven Shall Burn, As I Lay Dying and Adept. Going to be killer!!! I was just recently there, visiting Raubtier´s headline tour featuring Renegade Five and My Dear Addiction as support. All of them pulled off awesome shows! \m/
"We are the final resistance"
FAQ MARK III:
Couldn’t hand you the secret person this time around, but what I can give you is another boring FAQ! ;)
Q: Who wrote the song,“The Gilded Dagger,” from “Nuclear Blast Allstars”?
A: Peter Wichers from Soilwork wrote the music, and I wrote the lyrics.
Q: What age did you began to practice singing, and what was the inspiration behind it?
A: Almost 11 years ago, so that would make me 15 years old. We started a band in the class I was studying. We had three guitarists! (Much like Iron Maiden) ;) I guess I ended up behind the mic because all the others knew how to play instruments (well they kind of did, hehe), and I was good with words.
Q: What were your favorite bands when you were younger? ;)
A: I think the bands that started my journey into metal were: Iron Maiden, Metallica, Helloween, Gamma Ray and Manowar. Then it got progressively heavier from there, I assume.
The Kings of Metal
Q: I guess you are not coloring your hair, so it's natural black?
A: Wrong! I do dye my hair black, or as of now I actually have my natural hair color back which is very dark brown. However, if I have any products in it at all, it looks as black as a raven’s wing! I’m thinking about coloring it black again through—at least until I find something darker, hehe.
Q: Have you had any singing lessons?
A: Does it sound like I did? Christ…
Q: How do you keep in shape on tours?
A: I bought a fitness mat, a skipping rope, and dumbbells. And then went mayhem on them! If we were headlining, I tried to do it during the day–preferably after the sound check and before doors because the time before sound check is always pretty hectic. It’s also pretty inspiring to work out to live music when support acts sound check. If we were supporting, though, I always had the gig as a “warm-up” and then tried to work out after the show seeing the body was already warm. I guess the energetic gig worked as a sort of training as well on tour.
Q: What's up Richard? My name is Paul. I’m from Lithuania. Do you remember Rock Nights 2010 in Lithuania? If you do, I have a question. Will you come in 2011? We are waiting for your group. Best rock is Sonic Syndicate rock, dude ;)
A: Paul, you are a very special person! Please let me study you under a microscope in my lab. I’m confident that if you give me free hands we can make the human centipede look like something from Disney channel, dude ;)
"I hate human beings."
Q: Honestly, what has been weighing on my mind most is: why is it that in WRTN with Nathan you were fighting so hard for your harsh vocals, but in songs with Roland, like “Contradiction” and “My Escape,” you had no vocals, and seemed completely content? Did you ever clash over vocal parts with Roland?
A: I’ve been going over this in my head a couple of times myself, and I think what happened was that Toby Wright boosted my confidence in myself to the degree where I wasn’t OK anymore with being excluded in songs. How he put it to me was that everyone in this band has his or her different instruments and unique abilities, mine being harsh vocals. That’s how I express myself musically. It’s when we combine all these elements; we made a band effort, which generated songs. Excluding a band member’s instrument from a song is not a band effort to me in any sense. It’s more of a statement that the band itself is ashamed of an aspect in the band. This utterly made me question why I would even want to expose myself to such treatment. So I started to question it. Toby was very encouraging, and pushed me to do vocals on every single song on the album. (There’s even recorded screams on My Own Life). Ultimately, individuals cried so badly about it, so the decision to take them away was unavoidable. Guess all fights can’t be won. Then again, I never have to put myself in such fights ever again.
Fun facts about this is that I fought hard to have my vocals included on all album versions of the tracks, and then they could remove any screams they wanted on radio edits and single versions. I couldn’t care less as long as the album versions were proper. The answer I got to this was that there was not any time and/or too expensive to do different versions of songs. But somehow, they managed to find time and money to do plenty of different versions for Turn it Up and Revolution, Baby! Because they included the words, “fuck,” “hoe” etc. I find that very interesting.
Roland and I never clashed over vocal parts. It was never something that actually could happen in the way we wrote songs. We had very similar tastes, and immense respect for each other’s work. As far as Enclave, My Escape and Contradiction go; the reason why I felt I had a much more significant role in these songs than ballads on WRTN, is because I did write the lyrics to them. And that obviously made me feel more attached to the creation, even if none of those songs contained my vocals. We did them together as a band, so to speak.
Q: Sounds like the communication in the band couldn’t have been very good if they wrote songs to exclude you behind your back. I thought in this kind of constellation you were bound to work very close to each other and speak freely about almost everything?
A: I won’t deny that we were suffering from severe communication problems in the band. Communication was already a big problem a few years ago, and it did expand even more as time passed. I guess the mentality we had was instead of dealing with conflict head on when it occurred; we did nothing, and let it grow out of proportion. This was a vicious circle, which backfired many times.
Q: I find it very interesting to be able to follow pre-production, signing, creation of a record e.g. I would love if we could follow this in your blog!
A: And so you will ;)
Q: I have no doubts that this is really you man but just to make sure... How do I know it’s really you?A: My first water gecko’s name was Felix, call my parents and confirm!
Q: Do you think Sonic Syndicate will reflect on the genre style, or follow the same course?
A: Guess we just have to wait and see. Most likely, I don’t think they will play anything considered metal in the future because that would make individuals unhappy. But I really hope they will because it’s such a waste of talent (and a good band name) for a pop/rock band.
Q: And if you wouldn’t mind spending another couple of minutes of your time to tell me more about your new project?
A: Just wait, and you can figure it out yourself.
Q: Any tips on where to start learning Swedish, I really want to learn but don’t have anyone to teach me, nor do I have any idea on where to start? :S
A: From what I’ve heard Swedish is pretty hard to learn, so I would suggest to start with the curse words because you would probably find them the most useful anyway. Here’s a good selection: Helvete, Jävlar, Skit, Fan, Mona Sahlin.
Q: And if you had to tell the band a few words, or any advice, what would it be?
A: The higher you fly; the further you fall.
Q: I have been teaching myself to scream for a while but I'm finding that my tone is incredibly bassy and low. I am not having much luck extending my range to higher screams. Can you, by any chance, give me any tips on getting a better tonal range?
A: From my experience, darker pitched screams are lower in volume than higher pitched ones. I use my tongue, palate, mouth and facial muscles to force around air in the mouth for different resonances. High-pitched screams are back in your mouth with a more open mouth. This is probably is my “natural” screaming state, and dark pitched ones are by the tip of your tongue with a bit more closed mouth to enhance the resonance. I don’t know how to explain this really. It’s something I think every vocalist has to figure out on their own to feel it because the mechanics are really hard to put into words. But pressure from stomach, filter it through your throat/vocal cords for oscillation and grit, then pitch it in your mouth. My technique is pretty throat heavy, so there’s a lot of abusing your vocal cords before your throat gets used to it, I assume. I don’t think screaming vocals is something that the body can accept willingly because it’s not a natural way of using your vocal cords. You progressively have to force the technique upon your body, so give your body and throat time to adapt as well. WARM UP!!!
Q: Will “The Unguided” have samples?
A: Yes, Roger is getting free hands with electronics in “The Unguided” which makes me worried and excited at the same time! ;) I’d love to see him bring back the “EF” / “OI” sound, where electronics had a major role in a lot of songs. To me it gives the songs another level of uniqueness.
Q: Do you do clean vocals these days even on a casual/fun level?
A: Yes, when we do pre-production I record clean vocals to showcase melody ideas.
Q: How mentally scarred were you after seeing Roland playing the banjo with his ass hanging out during the making of LAOD?
A: Petrified :S
Q: Do you play any instruments?
A: Does Guitar Hero count? Then guitar, bass, and drums!
Q: Death Cult Armageddon or Abrahadabra? Sad to see a lot of people hating Dimmu post-split with Vortex/Mustis. Their new album was great, in my opinion.
A: Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia! ;) Hehe, well I like both DCA and Abrahadabra. Born Treacherous, Gateways, and Dimmu Borgir were really solid tracks on the latest effort. But I’m somewhat leaning towards DCA as a favorite album out of the two you mentioned. I need to listen a bit more to the new one. I somewhat had a hard time getting under the skin on a few of the tracks on the album.
Q: You said that you wrote all the lyrics on OI and LAOD. Does that mean that Roland didn't write any lyrics while he was in SS?
A: That’s correct, but he was a huge part of writing the melodies in the songs. A lot of times I even wrote lyrics to his melodies. Other times I had the lyrics done, and he figured out melodies from my rough ideas. We worked very well thought out, and smoothly together.
Q: Couldn’t find anything from Tunes of Silence on the Internet, where can I find it?
A: First off, I don’t think you want to find if because it’s really not that interesting. But to answer your question; I think some of it can be salvaged from an old computer lying around collecting dust here in my apartment.
Q: Correct me if I'm not right, but I have discovered a WoW reference in your lyrics: The “soulstone” is an item for warlocks.
A: That’s interesting and all, but Soulstone Splinter was the first written track for Eden Fire (or Black Lotus demo) back in 2003. And WoW was released a year after. (No, I didn’t play the beta). Sorry, Sherlock ;). Great minds think alike!
"Attach to target ally"
Q: What was the magazine number “The Heart of Eve” was sold with? Can the magazine be purchased from their site?
A: Sweden Rock Magazine #74. From how I understand it you just have to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and write that you want to order issue #74.
Q: Who decided that the very best track of WRTN goes on some kind of magazine?
A: Apparently a very clueless being.
Q: I noticed there is already a band named, “The Unguided”... on MySpace, I saw two... Are they registered or what?
A: First I tried The Beatles but it was taken as well, can’t get everything.
Beat me to it...
Q: Who's the girl with you in the video clip of, My Own Life? Is she your girlfriend? :) She's very pretty. :)
A: That’s my better half, yes :) <3 Here's her blog.
Q: Do you already have merchandise for your new band???
A: Working on it.
Q: Is there any possibility of getting an autograph of you sent to me? Not as an ex member of Sonic Syndicate but as the person who you really are, someone standing up for his beliefs!
A: Write an email to email@example.com and I’m sure we can figure something out.
Q: Why was the song Freeman never officially released, and are there other hidden jewels like this!?
A: Freeman was recorded during LAOD, and was saved intentionally for future exclusive usage. Then Roland decided to leave, which made the song somewhat useless for us since there was no point to promote songs with the former singer. However, there was talk to re-record the vocals with Nathan on the track. But we decided to skip it, and put time into recording the new songs on the BTC EP instead.
If you already heard Freelancer, My Soul in #000000, Mission: Undertaker, Heart of Eve and pre-production of Only Inhuman (Psychic Suicide, Blue Eyed Fiend and Callous), there’s nothing more to it in terms of classic Sonic.
Q: Is the "The Unguided" page on facebook official? I prefer joining official band pages if they exist, but I can always join that one if you have no interest in facebook.
A: Yes it is. However, nothing much is being made to them as of now, except a few graphical changes. But feel free to LIKE away ;)
Q: Do lyrics of this song mean anything at all? I mean, it seems like different parts of JoD are not connected, like it's just a collection of sentences.
A: From the recent mail storm of people describing their favorites songs/lyrics a lot of people have been able to decipher the Jack of Diamonds lyrics with really accurate results. So I guess you just have to dig deeper. In rough terms, it’s about being careful of what you already have because tomorrow it might not even be there. Sorry for the metaphor abuse, hehe.
Q: Will the new project be heavy, like Eden Fire, or classic Sonic Syndicate, like OI and LOAD?
A: The best from the above.
Q: Do you play Xbox? Because I saw that one video on YouTube with you and Roland where you guys were drunk, and tried playing ghost recon, and I thought it would be awesome to play with you?
A: Don’t drink and game! I think it’s highly inappropriate to be drunk while trying to master games. It’s very unlikely that Roland and I put ourselves in that kind of situation. Obviously we are dealing with heavy video manipulation of some sort, if footage like you described is flourishing on the interwebs. I own an Xbox but haven’t played it for a long time. Kinect kind of got me interested through.
Q: I read in your blog, there's also a pre-production of 'Callous'? I couldn’t find it on YouTube :(
Q: Why did Karin quit singing after Eden Fire? In my opinion she was quite good.
A: “Working as intended”
Q. Do you also play PvP? I mean, you’re a High Warlord and stuff, but did you play arena the last seasons and will play it/rated BGs with Cata?
A: Didn’t play arena the final season of WOTLK. Only played arena back in TBC at ~2000 rating, and played some the first season of WOTLK. But since DK´s was so horribly untuned in the initial of WOTLK they kind of broke my little rogue’s morale, and he started to PvE instead. He´s been stuck with that ever since. I think it’s PvE I will mainly be interested in during Cata, but I guess you never know what will happen. No one says you can’t do both J I play a lot of PvP for fun through.
Q: I believe you and SS have played in every single part of Sweden except for Gotland, the community where I so happen to live in, so why not????
A: On the wild, wild, west coast of Sweden, we believe Gotland is Sweden’s answer to the LOST island. Therefore, we try to keep away from it in pure fear of not being able to return to the mainland, or being digested by Dharma Polar Bears. We did play Kalmar, though. Surely it’s not that far of a swim?!
Q: I suppose you support Falkenberg’s FF as you are a local, but are you at all interested in sports such as football / ice hockey otherwise????
A: The music saved me from sports :S
Q: Since you are a talented artist, why don’t you open a tattoo shop instead of being an electrician??? (An entertaining thought, huh?)
A: Because tradesmen professions rock! We make the society go around ;) Maybe now when I get more time at hand, I’ll take more interest in developing as a graphic artist.
Q: Are you a CoD person or a Bad Company person?
A: Neither, I’m afraid :E Or well I can be bad company in theroy but I don´t play the game.
Q: Any release date for the album? Summer next year-ish???
A: That´s nothing I can answer at this point.
Q: Do you sing in the "Betrayer of the Code"? If yes - I LOVE IT! And I wonder if there is a chance we will hear such low-pitched growls from you again soon?
A: Yes, that’s a young Richard limping his way through that song, hehe. Guess you just have to wait and see.
Q: Have you done any clean vocals for Sonic Syndicate songs, and if yes, on which?
A: In Double Agent 616, at 01:23, is probably the closest to clean/talky vocals I’ve done in Sonic that’s audible ;) In Jack of Diamonds, the first verse, “A fugitive,” and “Lost in these barren lands.” Those are also my clean vocals, but they are very low in the mix. There’s also a lot of talky bits, like in Jailbreak at 2:47, Lament of Innocence at 2:55, Prelude to Extinction at 0:47 and 2:27, Where the Black Lotus Grows at 1.27 and Psychic Suicide at 2:16. E.g. featuring me actually “singing” (in Swedish actually, hehe), could be found in the pre-chorus of Light from The Abandoned Croft at 0:55, back from the Fallen Angels demo, Fall from heaven 2003.
Q: Are we going to hear your clean vocals in future work?
A: Maybe, hehe.
Q: OK, “J” may stand for so many other things too. It might be John Bengtsson, it might be Jesper Strömblad, and it might be Jack Sparrow...
A: OK, I’ve been outsmarted. It is indeed Jack Sparrow, yarr!! Good job figuring it out! On a serious note, the J stands for Johnny Cage, and nothing else.
NOT a member of The Unguided
Q: With all the technology at our disposal, do you tend to write your lyrics and songs on a computer (whenever one is available), or are you more of a notepad and pencil kind of guy? With that in mind, do you have any previous works that you've written that have never made it onto a Sonic album that you plan to use for The Unguided?
A: I use my laptop, stationary computer, and iPhone to write/record lyric ideas. If none of that is available, I write on whatever format that is within my arm’s reach. Sometimes that would be my hands.
Q: Are you planning to sing some Sonic Syndicate songs with your band, or just new ones? :)
A: Most likely when we get to a live setup there will be Sonic Syndicate covers, yes.
Q: It feels kind of funny when I already know my next favorite band, even if it hasn't released even one song.
A: You are too kind, Sir J.
Q: What inspired the song, “Enclave”?
A: A relationship, or rather the transition between one to another.
Q: I really wish to share some lyrics I've written with you. May I send you lyrics?
A: Yes, but I will steal them! Hehe.
Q: The Name “Sonic Syndicate,” I thought the same thing that you said on your blog, but I had this conspiracy theory, that it actually refers to your last name’s (all ending with "...son" -> SONic Syndicate, hm? xD)
A: I’ve never realized such an obvious thing in my six years of being in Sonic Syndicate. Your mind is very capable! Haha, it does make a lot of sense, but it was never intended.
Q: And the last thing (I'm sure I’m not the only one asking, haha) but could you design a tattoo for me? XD
A: Once again please mail firstname.lastname@example.org for that matter. I’m sure we can sort something out. Please give me some guidelines, though. I hate drawing with no ideas for others. And if you aren’t going to get the tattoo, don’t bother.
Q: Love to know if there will be any clean vocals on The Unguided first album?
Q: I noticed that the official Sonic Twitter uploaded a link to your blog, and to the unguided logo. Was that you? ;P I figured you probably still have the password. I wondered because it was taken down only a few hours later...
A: Sounds like an undercover job from Double Agent 616. That sneaky bastard!
Q: Is there any chance to hear some pre-production tracks from your new record (or pre-pre-production :P)? Because I'm really quite excited. :)
A: Be patient someday… Mitt bajs känns ok!
"He loves me and he loves you.."
Q: Will some of the songs from your new record be songs you originally wrote for Sonic, which weren't accepted? I'm just curious... :P
A: Nope, only new stuff.
Q: Kind of silly question, but do you have Facebook? I added someone with your name recently, but I'm not sure if the profile is real. XD
A: I removed my Facebook account a couple of weeks ago, so whoever it is you are adding; it’s not me.
It did happen...
That’s all folks! See you on the flipside.
PS. My underwear at the moment is a black pair of Salming boxers. If you now MUST know!!! ;) .DS