Richard Sjunnesson

Official blog of Richard Sjunnesson (The Unguided)

A behemoth from another dimension

Kategori: Allmänt

A lot of you have been curious on our Russian / Belarus trip recently, so I'll go into detail on that, in this blog entry. First off; I'm just going to say that the new album and it's release, is all going as planned and we hope we can nail a release date soon (which I probably have said for a couple of months now!?) The master of the album have just recently been delivered to Napalm Records and two weekends ago we recorded a video for the upcoming single with the guys at 11Frames Productions. This weekend we'll have a photo shoot for the album, with the very talented Linus Pettersson, and after that session, most of the puzzle pieces will be in place, for this MONSTER of an release! hehe.

Promotional video before the shows in Russia / Belarus

Now let's head straight into our east European trip!


Saint Petersburg - Russia, Part I:

Since we have a very thought through logistic placement on all the members in our band we had to fly into Russia from two different locations. Ella and I was going from the Stockholm airport, "Arlanda", while the rest of the guys, which resides on the west coast in our oblong country, was flying from Copenhagen in Denmark. Both of us were to fly into an airport in Moscow. The reason we had to fly into Moscow and not Saint Petersburg directly, was because our touring schedule clashed with another touring schedule; namely the president of united states of team America himself; Barrack Obama. There's a slight possibility he's stalking our band, but most likely he was just interested in the G20 meeting in Saint Petersburg. Whatever intensions he had; it messed with our plans and made it extremely difficult for our band and our little tour enterprise. Nor did he only made us reschedule the flying in, to Russia, he did also make a inconvenient touchdown in Stockholm, Sweden, on his way to this important G20 meeting. And just to be sure he closed the biggest highway in Sweden, and our road to the airport outside of Stockholm. SAFTEY FIRST!... Our flight was leaving 11:50 lunchtime, but since they wouldn't release what hours the roads would be closed (another safety precaution,) Ella and I had to head out Insanely early in the morning. Thank you POTUS! I'm all for you coming and high fiving the prime minister and let the Swedish King and Queen bring you up to speed on the latest Scandinavian gossip, but please check our bands touring schedule first, will you!?


We printed a new shirt for these specific shows; "Blodbad"!

At Arlanda, Aeroflot's office kind of looked closed. 

A mob making sure the president is leaving Sweden,
so order in Stockholm city can be restored...

Didn't see AF1, but I tried to hitchhike with this one.
I was greeted with sniper marks all over my body!

Onwards to Motherland!

Anyways, well in Moscow, we rendezvoused with our Russian promoter and tour-guide, Sergey and his boss. Two very well behaved and likable persons! I got a feeling almost instantly that we were in good hands. The rest of the guys landed slightly later than Ella and I. And once we could fulfill the quota with simple head count on all the members, off we went to St.Petersburg. Sergey made sure to hire Jon Schaffer as our personal driver, since he know I'm a big Iced Earth fan. Very appreciated! Tourist as we was in this country, he also gave Jon a new name, and trained him in acting like he didn't speak English at all, and we had to communicate with the Jon.. sorry; "Yury", via Sergey. Nice scheme there, didn't have to do all that for us man!


Sergey, the boss and Ella drinking black vodka and vodka latte

220 WHAT? B? Bolt?! 220 BOLT!? Mindfuck.

In Russia; unguided guides you!

70 Swedish miles ahead of us to St. Petersburg, obviously we had to make a short dinner stop (and a couple of thousand pee breaks since there was a lot of beer onboard.) Sergey so much wanted to show us the Russina homely fare in full force. So he brought us to a restaurant, which was a bit westernized in is architecture and food taste as well, but we of course went all out on this place! Very nice Russian food indeed.

Two thirsty rockstars drinking vodka on cans

Russian food

We arrived in St. Petersburg early in the morning and went straight into a hotel to get some sleep before get-in and sound check at the venue. It was not until we came to the hotel, I noticed one difference from Sweden in Russia.. oh well? However, when it comes to the showers in Russia, you have to wait 20 minutes for the water to become warm. And in some cases the "hot" and "cold" knob is inverted, so you don't really know. In some rare cases you can put the knob at "hot", and then wait 20 minutes just to release that "cold" is actually "hot", which means you have to wait another 20 minutes for the hot water to reach the shower hose and you can successfully take a shower. A bit frustrating, but I'm sure there's some meaning to all of this, it's just that I had a really hard time to see it, just during this moment.

Our fortress, hotel, building. 

Breakfast, very retro! 

We were happy we didn't stay at this hotel. 

The Narva Gate

This was not the venue. 

Well at the venue, the Club Arctica place was pretty cool actually! Save from the fact that no one spoke English, except Sergey then of course. This worked out well during sound check when Sergey was around, but once he had to attend to other duties. We did sign language to the sound guy from stage for 30 minutes before we gave up and he started to smoke water pipe instead of doing his job. All we wanted was to lower Roland's guitar in the monitors, surely not too much to ask hehe. Anyways, Sergey came back eventually and everything was back in order, just a lengthy sound check.

Club Apktnka!


Still just 220 / 380 V/B(?) in Russia. Interesting!

The Unguided Nations superhero man

Wasn't me!?


After a brief walk in the area outside the venue and dinner. The show was on! And the show was really good actually! We had a awesome time. Very intimate and personal, just the way we like it. We were really happy to see our Russian fans and mingle with them after the show, hope you had a great time as well!

Outside the venue

This reeks of "Spider-Man was here".

Lada power! In Russia they have an exclamation mark on your car
if you are a n00b. I'll vote for that in Sweden as well! 

Concrete buildings. A lot of them. 

Too slow for love and traffic lights!

Dinner! A rare pic of the driver; Jon "Yuri" Schaffer to the right. 

Poo in a bowl. WTF Russia!? 

Apparently this is were they got the ingrediens. 

Support band! Arch Enemy, Russian edition. 

Right before the show!


St.Petersburg rocked \m/

When everything was packed up, we had 70 miles back to Moscow, a impressive 9 hour drive. We suggested it would be good to get it over and done with! So we hit the road with our trusty driver "Yuri" once again.

Moscow - Russia, Part II:

We arrived in Moscow a bit earlier than expected and check in on a hotel straight away to get some quality sleep before get-in and sound check on the venue. Once we were done with that, we headed straight down in the Moscow metro and to a food place, to have a kind of sausage party. To eat one's bodyweight in Russian sausage was a weird but still euphoric feeling. Right after this we walked to the venue since it wasn't far from the foddering.


iPhone 5S behind you Roland, BEHIND YOU!

Moscow metro

Ella ruins a otherwise perfect sausage party :(

ANNETBI EAECB! That means; HELLOVA SHOW in Russia. 

Club Volta was a new venue, and a pretty big and clean place. We liked it a lot! When we arrived here, we bumped into our buddies in Deathaction. The captain of the band; Sergey and the drummer Aleksandr! I haven't seen these guys since they was support for us with Sonic Syndicate during some shows in Russia back in 2010. So it was good to see them again and to hear that they are doing well.


Sergey, drummerboi, I and Deathaction's local guard to the left

I'm an APTNCT!!! This is my APTNICT pass.

Sound check went more smooth here and we also had a video interview with some members in the band.

Blue Man Group again?

Video interview

Support band, Eve In Fall

The show in Moscow was great as well! The audience was crazy as always in Russia and after the show we had a signing with the fans which was really pleasant. Good to see you all! It's really nice to see how dedicated fans we have there in Russia and we hope we can come back soon! Probably with the coming album.

Hitting the stage


The party continued after the show and we had a nice get together with the venue crew, some fans, as well as the promoter/organizer backstage after the show, were we drank Russian vodka and got as much pizza as we could muster!


Pizza and vodka.

Some hours later our ride back to the hotel arrived and we still had some patient fans waiting outside the venue that got their signatures and some photographs. We were heading out early in the morning for the flight to Minsk, so we made the most of the hours left that night.

There was some traffic jam on the ride to the airport the day after and we were a bit afraid that we would miss the flight. Also we had some problems with the check-in. Since on the flight to Russia we had pairs of guitars strapped to each other just to make one package of them instead of several. This was not approved on the flight to Belarus obviously, so we had some logistic issues before we got to check in. But eventually we ended up on the plain to Belarus.


Pimped Lada! WAY TO GO!!!

Some important dude's house

The Derelict, Acheron LV-426 just outside Moscow

And they call me a nerd!? Fucking hill climb bullshit racing game <3

A self-assured airplane.

Minsk - Belarus, Part III:

Well in Belarus, they didn't even check our passports upon our arrival. This was weird since we were to do visas here at the airport as well and to see how super strict it was to get into Russia with the visas it appeared odd. When the promoter heard about this he was very concerned and after that a long wait on the airport was initiated hehe. He said we'd get a lot of problems getting out of the country if we didn't have the paperwork in order when we were to fly out. Which sounded reasonable. Why they didn't check our passports was probably since flying from Russia to Belarus is almost "domestic", or as it is for us Swedes to fly from Sweden to Denmark or something. I don't know, but obviously it wasn't needed.

"R <3 BENAPYCB!" It means; "I love my lawn" in Belarusian. 


After a couple of hours we sorted our group visas and we could finally leave the airport on our car trip to Minsk! Well in central Minsk, we got fed once again and then we went to the venue. Club Re:public, this venue was huge. 1500 capacity! We were like:
- "Guys, you're are aware of the fact this is the first time we're in Minsk?"
But apparently all other venues for metal had closed and this was the only place to utilize. Fine for us! The gear and PA was brutal, and the crew was also very professional.


This guy was on tour as well, and deaf :(



Beer & boys!

After sound check we killed a lot of time in the dressing room since this was a bit off from the city central so wasn't much to see in the area. Roland, Ella and I went to the hotel to get some sleep before the show.

Support band; Nemdis. They were very STRONG! You can tell they 
gymmed it up and shit! 

Me smiling for the first time in the history. 

Roland pimped his guitar with some tar. 

We had a great time during this show! The Minsk fans, maybe wasn't as many as the fans in Moscow, but they were still really loud and absolutely mad. I even think we had two wall of deaths hehe. That's one too many for an old fart like myself! haha, great job everyone, we had a great time.

Right before stage!


Once again after the show we made sure to meet the fans, take photos and get them some autographs. When everything was wrapped up and the venue was closing, we went to the hotel to get some sleep for some sightseeing in Minsk the day after since we had a late flight.


Nice ink! 

Ronnie Schmit, Belarus version and Yuri, the promoter. 

We took the metro into city centre to get some breakfast and then we had a long walk in this beautiful city. Victory square was one of my favorite locations. Really majestic!

In Belarus Minsk, they take the owen on the bike!

Roger infront of some important building


Soviet monument

The National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Belarus.
And that flying in front of the building is Rich's jacket. 

Victory Square

Victory Square

Victory Square


After a while the time was nigh to leave for Sweden via Latvia and to get home after this successful first ever shows in Russia and Belarus.


The ride home.


Hi Swedenland!

Just keep in mind that some of this is written with a slice of irony. We love Russia and Belarus, and really appreciate all the work that was done for us during our brief visit. We hope from all of our hearts that we can come back soon and make this a nice tradition!

Song of the day: F.K.Ü - Black hole hell



Where the last command was given

Kategori: Allmänt

Send your questions to:

Q: You have been a really inspiration to me and you are my idol. My question is what is your favorite song of all time and why? Mine is Bullet for my valentine “waking the demon” because I have been that situation but not snapped and killed someone lol. Plz may I have your autograph?

A: First off; good thing you didn’t kill someone. Those kinds of things will put you in jail, if you are not careful. Regarding your question; I had to think a bit one this one. But I’m pretty confident that I’m not lying all too much if I go with; “Welcome to Dying” or “Traveler in Time” with Blind Guardian. “Tales from the Twilight World” was the first Blind Guardian album I bought and it changed my entire life and perspective. I still get goose bumps listening to that album. Not a lot of music does that to me nowadays.

Tales from the Twilight World

Q: Hello Mr. Richard. I'm a big fan of The Unguided, but I am from Czech Republic. In Sweden there is a fan group that calls itself ,,Army of The Unguided´´ or 616 fans (since the days of SoSy). May I ask what it means to be a member or how its members are involved in such promotion The Unguided? Could give me an answer to at least some of these questions? Thanks so much and thanks for your time. The Unguided for life ! \m/
Hi Mr. Czech Republic, Army of The Unguided is our own little “unofficial”-official-fan-group. There are a couple of those on Facebook as well to support the band. We’d like organize it a bit better with a dedicated webpage and proper membership with different perks for the members, but up to now we’ve not had the time to do that. It might be possible for the coming album! If you have ideas or want to get involved in this, please let us know.


Q: Hey Richard, I was wondering if you could give any tips for writing lyrics? I personally have an issue keeping the quality consistent, as well as the progression of the story. Thanks!
I’ve addressed this before, but I think the essence is to get a good idea of the beginning and the end of the lyrics before you actually start writing. Whatever happens in between could be a bit more floating, but you should have an idea what you want to portray with your lyrics, what feeling you want to deliver and how to round it up and close the loop. Keep the choruses a bit more simplistic and catchy, while making the verses a bit more complex and intellectual is a formula I tend to roll with. I often start with the chorus and work it until I’m happy with the result, then I move on to “verse 1” and keep going chronologically. Another good tip is if you already have the music for the lyrics is to; close your eyes and listen to the song. What feeling does it stir in you? The first hint you get. That’s what you should go with! A neutral perception is worth its weight in gold. Once you’ve listen to the song a couple of times, it’s most likely gone, so make the first listen count! Listen with your heart, write with your heart and process the details with your mind.


Q: After reading your previous blogs, I came to the conclusion that u might not be the biggest fan of any kind of electronic music. But some days ago I came across a very interesting band called "The Browning". Even though I'm not a big fan of electronic music either, I like this band really much, because, in my opinion, they did a great job mixing electronic and metal parts. What do you think about them? If you don't know them yet, here’s a link of one of their songs.
What did I do to mislead anyone thinking I don’t like electronic music? I like all kinds of music, just that I prefer being in a metal band making metal music. I listen to whatever music comes my way as long as there are good songs really. Anyway, I checked the video out, and I liked both the video and the song. It’s a funny coincidence. Earlier today I was scrolling around on Blabbermouth, and I read the band name on some topic, and was like; “The Browning”? Really!? And got this picture in my head of a giant bung hole in space, aimed towards earth, ready to take a huge, you know what, on all of mankind. But once I got to read the latest news on Geoff Tate that picture dissolved. Still, funny coincidence, since I haven’t heard of the band until today.

Q. Happy birthday, Richard! I was bored during my graveyard shift this morning and I found myself wondering: if the Unguided were a team of Power Rangers (Unguided Rangers?), what would your respective colours be? My personal opinion is that you'd be the Red Ranger, Roger = Blue, Roland = Green, Henric = Yellow and Richard Schill = Black. And if a female Ranger is needed then Ella could fit the part of Pink Ranger. What do you think? I mean, come on, how could this Red Ranger picture NOT suit you? (I don't recall seeing such a question answered in your blog before so I hope my memory is fine and I'm the first to ask it.)
This is amusing and very disturbing at the same time. But I do think you got the coloring pinned down! Henric being the yellow gender-swapping ranger seems about right hehe. If we go up on stage like that, would everyone be willing to shut off their cameras and just enjoy the ride?

The Unguided

Q: Hey, just wondering, how much you charge for a feature in a song?
Charge? What nonsense is that? Why would I charge for what takes some five minutes in my home studio to track? All features I’ve done have been entirely free obviously.

Q: Until you leaved Sonic Syndicate the ex band is still working and is still active or when you decided to go away the band was definitely disbanded?*
Last I checked they are going in and out of hiatus, I’m not sure of their current status.

Q: There is a possibility to know your new Album name? :D
A: Yeah; TBA.


Q: Hi, Richard! Just wondering, will some of the songs from the new album have titles in Swedish as you were planning to do before?
A: Yes, there’s one song with a Swedish title. There are no Swedish lyrics however, which I kind of planned for that particular tune. But it just didn’t fit in. For the next album I’ll give it another shot!

Q: Do you like the band What Tomorrow Brings?
A: I do, yes. I know all of them in the band. Well, perhaps not the the new(?) bassist(?) but still. And I’m extremely happy to see that they reached their charity goal to raise funds to the “Cancer foundation” and immensely hope for their singer, Kristoffer’s, swift recovery from his ongoing struggle.

Q: Short question, back to sonic syndicate times (oh lord, I know ;) ) who are Tom and Floji? roadies, groupies, whatsoever? They are in one of your sonic tv episodes trying to learn swedish.
A: Tom & Flo were featured in SonicTV Episode 4 and were both roadies, groupies, and whatsoever hehe. Actually, Tom is a good friend to the band and has been around since 2007 and our first German shows. He’s running a club in Stuttgart called Bleeding Nose and is also making magic in his company D-NINE. He’s a manager, booker and does a little bit of everything. Like a Swiss army knife really, only German. He’s also the guy behind The Unguided playing on Summer Breeze 2012 and filming this clip with his GoPro. Flo was our promotion guy on Nuclear Blast, he worked on “Only Inhuman” and “Love and Other Disasters”, and then he found his love in Finland and moved there to start his own promotion company. If someone remembers the blog entry where I was in Helsinki and checked out Blind Guardian at Tuska. Ella and I stayed at Flo’s and his wonderful girlfriend’s apartment during our time in Finland. Haven’t heard from him in a while now; we offered him to do the promotion work on “Hell Frost” but he was overloaded with work so he couldn’t do it at that time. Maybe the coming album opens up for a new opportunity, who knows? He’s a really talented PR-guy.

Tom 2008

Q: I know you won't remember someone who gave you a cookie when you came to Spain years ago with your old band, but anyway, what I really like to see is The Unguided breaking the Spanish scene down with your music. I was a fan of SS and the notice of Roland and you left the band was a pity, but I'm so glad of seeing you together again rocking out with your bro' too!!!! So, if I can do anything to bring you here, cause I'm f**king sure so much people would like to see you too, just let me know and I'll help you. And if you need a support band from here to play first and bring more people, I have a band and I know other bands too to do something legendary. Sorry for a loong message and thanks for reading it. Cheer up and rock!!
A: I remember every single person that gave me a cookie, in my entire life! That’s just one of those ridiculously important things, which you never tend to forget. Anyway, The Unguided in Spain would be awesome indeed but at this time, not very practical. I think we have to tie it together with some dates around southern Germany, France and maybe Switzerland (we all know how that went last time, through.) That would be our best shot I’d say. But I mean, we evaluate everything we get, so if there’s an offer from some club or promoter, our booking agents are all ears! You’ll find contact info on our website.

Q: Hey did you guys do any slight modifications to Singularity or Eye Of The Thylacine during the final stages of production for the new album? Like the same small changes you did to Pathfinder, Green Eyed Demon, and Betrayer Of The Code for their final album mix? Can't wait for the 2nd album!!
A: There are pretty big changes to those tracks actually. The biggest one being it’s a completely different mix from an entirely separate studio than the EP versions. There are new bass, new drums, and some new vocal takes and arrangements from both Roland and myself. New guitar sound as well, and also some lyrical changes! I’d say the step from Nightmareland EP songs to Hell Frost ALBUM is minimal if you see the changes on these two tracks on the coming album.


Q: Next week you will perform at Sunstorm Festival in Nordheim. I'm coming from Belgium especially to see you guys perform (6 hours' drive), because you are my number 1 band (since SoSy and now The Unguided). 4 July is my birthday so my question is: could I have a picture with you guys and have some autographs? It would be the perfect birthday gift ever!!
A: Hi birthday boy! I hope you got your pictures and autographs. I think you did, because we did mingle with the fans quite a lot at Sunstorm. Really good evening, that was!

Q:  Will the instrumental of "Singularity" and "Eye of the Thylacine" change in the new album (Like Green eyed demon & Pathfinder did on Hell Frost) ???
A: Answered above!

Q: After the new album is released...will you post the chronological order of the songs in accordance of the book of the unguided???
A: Actually, with how the running order of the coming album turned out, the songs are pretty much in chronological order story wise. With maybe one or two exceptions, but it should be about right.

Q: Hey Richard how's things? Just a quick question I just heard a rumor that you have been in talks with AJ a promoter of Soundwave Festival Australia is this true and if so how likely is it that you will join the lineup? I really hope to see you guys here in Australia
A: It’s true that AJ did contact us on Twitter and we got a mail address. But after that we haven’t heard anything, unfortunately.


Q: Can I use one of your songs in a YouTube video?
A: No.

Q: You probably get a billion messages but I'll shoot, anyway. I have a question: How do you get your harsh vocals so harsh yet so clean and so low yet so high? I'd love to know because your voice is just freakin amazing and I wanna learn how to sing harsh yet clean and low and high :3
A: Thanks for the compliment! If you look for early entries of this blog, there should be plenty of information regarding screaming.


Q: Can you guys make a 1920x1080 resolution invaZion and/or upcoming album wallpaper. Would be appreciated.
A: Once the upcoming artworks have been released we’ll do something like that for sure!


Q: I'd like to ask you something. You are #1 of whole growlers, when I heard you 1st time (Denied), my adventure with MDM started. I'd like to learn Growl but I don’t know how I should start. Could you help me with that, write some hints or something like that? Thanks in advance.
Same for you pal! There’s a lot of information regarding this in early entries of the blog. Just read up on it, I’m sure you’ll find a lot of helpful pointers!

Song of the day: Running wild - Little big horn


With your divided tongue all tangled up

Kategori: Allmänt

Getting all set for our little Russian/Belarus adventure and we are all really excited to make the first ever; The Unguided shows there! Only set back (so far) is that; I think I'm coming down with a cold that got a bit of a vicious grip on my throat. Fear not! I'm getting a lot of hot tips on curative whiskeys from Roland. According to him they are both invigorating and healing. So this bodily intruder should be gone in no time!

Soon! St.Petersburg, Moscow and Minsk, HOLD TIGHT!

Our Facebook recently hit 25k "LIKES" from you; the fans! We are very honored over that fact and I still have fresh in mind when we merely had 1k and it feels like it was a lifetime ago, even if it was just in the beginning of 2011. Anyway; thanks a lot for the support! We are trying to keep the page interactive with our own sense of humor and necessary informative updates. Hope you are happy with it, and if you have any feedback; feel free to mail us down for all you're worth, we are always happy to hear from you! (contact info on our official website.)

Nailed it!

I recently conducted a interview with Rock Your Lyrics, be sure to check it out here, should be interesting enough. We've also recently announced a few coming shows for winter 2013, you'll find some more information regarding that on the official page. Latest out is; the Christmas Metal Festival in Geiselwind. Yes! We are coming back to Germany and just to make it a bit more unguided, we are playing two gigs on the same day! We'll end the day with Shout Arena Festival in Anröchte.

29/11 - Folkets Park - Huskvarna - SWE
30/11 - Falkhallen (Blackboxen) - Falkenberg - SWE
14/12 - Christmas Metal Festival - Geiselwind - GER
14/12 - Shout Arena Festival - Anröchte - GER

Christmas mayhem

Also the Defector DCXVI shirt is back in stock at the official web shop, as well as the much requested The Invasion shirt that also sold out very fast the first print. This will most likely be the last print of The Invasion, that goes for the invaZion shirt as well, when it's sold out, I doubt we'll print any more of that one either. So here it is; giving you the heads up, so I don't get complains later on when they are gone!

Dressed for success and drinking Jack&Coke!

I've been on a wildlife fishing adventure, in the north of Sweden, with my pike bane buddy; Magnus. It was wicked trip, mixed with a lot of fishing, beers and bears. Armed with fishing poles and Gerber BMF 9" knives, we were more than ready to take on the wild in Northland. And we actually managed to catch 9 pikes, even if all of them weren't Nessy sized.

Strong beer for strong men

The sky fell down in Sörmesunda

Making Roland proud as well

Bear woods

The pike bane himself

Chillaxing by the brown bear tracks

This lure will sure do the trick!

Newly slain bear on the menu (read: apple & bacon sausage)

Tracking down good hunting grounds

The first catch, made us tremble by fear

This bear skull might actually have been a beaver skull

Really nice lakes

Now we're getting somewhere!

The natives had problems  with my accent

Third night, we spent in this blair witch shack

The hunter son filleting the catch

Crocodile dundee style dinner!

Emptying the lakes

Mirror water

Night hearth

After the lovely four week vacation, I've been adapting slowly back to normal life and also been stationery in Nynäshamn for my "on-call" week with the job. Loving the contrasts!

Mapping out Bromma

Celebrating that vacation finally is over!

Lunch with my laywer <3

On-call in Nynäshamn

Magnus kid wears the right stuff!

An evening in Kagghamra

BBQ with Jack

Song of the day: Mercenary - Lost reality