Richard Sjunnesson

Official blog of Richard Sjunnesson (The Unguided)

How has it come to this?

Kategori: Allmänt

Q&A XXXII:
Send your questions to: richard@theunguided.com

Q: I have a question Can I use some tracks from The Unguided CD Hell Frost for my next wow warlock pvp Video? I buy the CD on Amazon.
A:
You need to write an agreement with the right holders to the music, in this case Despotz Records. So far we are only writing agreements with YouTube channels having over 50k subscribers since we get so many requests regarding this. Just because you buy the album doesn’t mean you have the right to distribute it and spread it. You buy it for private use, if you want to do anything else with the album, and its songs you need to establish an agreement with the right holders. Please read YouTube’s policies regarding this, don’t get yourself in trouble, it's unnecessary. We’d like to have a more easy view of this, but we’ve been abused so many times in the past, so we simply have a strict policy regarding this, to protect ourselves. Once bitten, twice shy!


Take a nap

Q: Just a quick question. How do you meet people like zardonic for collaborations? He is on the opposite side of the world and different styles of music, but somehow you found each other and came together. What is the process involved in that?
A:
In Zardonic’s case he had worked with Henric before in Cipher System during their first release; “Central tunnel 8”. So, Henric suggested him to make a remix after we recorded Hell Frost, and he was really into our music. Now we’ve done plenty of collaborations together, and we’re not stopping anytime soon! Even if we love writing and playing metal, we are not afraid to broaden our horizon when it comes to remixes or fun collaborations.

Q: Do you play any games?
A:
I have elaborated on this before in the blog, but yes I play games. For now, I’m into World of Warcraft and I guess that’s my “main” game occupation at the moment, Battlefield 4 (PS3), and I played some StarCraft II – Heart of Swarm just recently. Looking forward to the Diablo III expansion, and I’m mostly into Blizzard games.


Can't wait!

Q: Would u like to sing with a "singing voice" and actually do what Roland does now? And if not why don
t u want to?
A:
Not really, well of course it would be cool to be able to sing proper.  Isn’t that something everyone would like to do, to be fair, even if most of us only practice it in the shower? But my singing voice is just not any good and I don’t want to put in the time needed to develop it into anything bearable. What I really enjoy in all this is writing lyrics. The only thing I’ve done the past 12 years is screaming vocals, so I’m just going to stick with that for as long as I can do it. My voice is changing over time as well, which is an interesting journey to undertake. I think with every record we do, it sounds slightly different and that’s something that has been ever-changing since 2002. You can still hear it’s me in the details, but it’s altered enough to not make it sound exactly the same. Besides, I haven't come across a lot of people in the business that sound anything like my own voice, for better or for worse, but I think it’s really fun.      

 

Q: How long did it take u to become like that guy standing on the stage for like an hour and scream the shit out of your body (Its just AWESOME)?
A:
I’ve been that guy since 2002, as said. I think it took a couple of months to get into it once I decided to roll with the screaming vocals. Once you figure out the technique, it will linger in your spine forever, I suppose. I’ve always had a pretty sustainable voice. When we recorded Eden Fire, for example, I had 10 hour sessions a day, just non-stop recording screams. I’m not sure if I would pull that off today, or if I even wanted to do it since it was a lot of hard work. But nowadays when we are not rehearsing as much, or I get to utilize the technique it in the same extent, I need like a week practice to get into it again before a show day. Also, it’s a bit more frail now when we’re not touring 6 months a year, so I need to take care of my voice in a different way today than I needed in the past. Vocal recovery is really important. If I don’t get the hours of sleep needed, or if I drink a lot of alcohol the day before a show, I definitely feel how it takes its toll on my voice in a different way than it used to in the past.

Q: And last and most important question to me, can u try to do more gigs in the South of Germany like Bavaria or something? :D I know that its a stupid question but if u get the chance please do it! I know quite a lot of people who want to party and rock with u.
A:
We are getting some German festivals booked as of now. Summer Breeze, Metal Frenzy, and With Full Force is already booked, for example, and there’s more to come! We are also looking into doing a shorter tour in Germany and the surrounding countries in 2014, to support our upcoming album, so hopefully there will be some in Bavaria as well!


Festivals!

 

Q: I surprisingly found the Fallen Angels demos on Spotify! Do you have anything to do with that? I also noticed the new artworks for them, they are incredible beautiful! Who did those, or is it you? I know you have skills as a graphic artists as well, because you did the original artworks for those demos.
A:
We re-released new masters of the three demos on their 10th anniversary last year. Gustavo Sazes did the new versions of the artworks.

Q: I was wondering when you will release more information concerning the band's logo? Seeing as I have it tattooed on my calf it would be cool to know more of the story behind it :) I'm really looking forward to the new album as well and will hopefully see you guys when you come to Germany again.
A:
The story behind it is not going to be revealed on the upcoming album, and not on the album after that. But probably on the fourth one. And if you get that tattooed it better be something good, right? Hehe. Laser treatment is expensive!

Q: What do you think about my friend
s voice and songwriting? Id really appreciate if you take your time to check it out! Find the video here.
A:
Haha, that was pretty creative. Both vocally and visually! I’d totally see that voice in some power metal band. Keep it up!


Save the world

Q: I just need to tell you, holy shit. Inception beats Serenade of Guilt as my favourite song. I guess we'll have to wait for the release to get the lyrics? :/ Epic intro as well.
A:
The lyrics are out, as of this blog entry.

 

Q: Are you guys coming to the west coast of Norway anytime soon? Like in Haugesund or Bergen? That would've been really great!
A:
Nothing planned at this date, but would be cool! We played both Haugesund and Bergen in 2010 with Sonic Syndicate, and they seemed to be nice cities! We really have to do a show in Norway, but Oslo would be the closest to reality at the moment.

Q: I asked a while back whether or not you guys would be playing Soundwave to which you responded with a promising smiley face. The Unguided weren't on the first announcement, so just wondering what the chances were for you to be on the second announcement. I would absolutely love to see you guys come down here and tear up Australia and I'd be absolutely ecstatic if you did!
A:
We haven’t got anything from Soundwave so far, sorry man.

Q: I have a weird question... Do you understand Danish?
A:
Yeah, but I got an uneasy feeling the Danish people understand Swedish people slightly better than the other way around, except during gigs. Usually when we play in Denmark, I speak English in the segments between the songs. Then the crowd complains and suggests I have to speak in Swedish. So when I do, not a single fucking person understands, so I have to go back to English, hehe. Anyways, Danish is a weird language. Swedish for the win! Hehe.


Harald

Q: I am in a small, unsigned band in the USA. We have just formed and have no original material and no drummer yet. We want to cover Denied and use that to find a drummer. We will never play it live, and we will never even attempt to make any profit off of it, nor ever put it on any CD, just YouTube. It is a one-time recording just for fun. No commercial interests involved. We have made other covers too, but this will be the first one with a singer. Would you or anyone else with say in the matter be opposed to it? I can even upload it to my personal YouTube rather that our band's if you are worried about affiliations.
A:
Nothing to worry about as long as it’s a cover. Have fun!

Q: Congrats on the new album - the artwork is insane! I can't wait to feel the dopamine rush from I get when I listen to this new music! So I am sure this question will be asked 1,000 times, but is there going to be any special editions of this album? So far I found Amazon.de has it saying "Special LTD Ed." version, and Amazon UK just has it with the 15 tracks (4 Bonus tracks). Both of these sites have the same product number so I am guessing the UK and DE versions are the same? Will T-Shirt Shop.se have this CD? You're probably writing the blog as I am writing this. Sorry just really excited, can't wait! PS. Is the Deathwalker track the same as the 2012 release or is it :D :D :D updated ?
A:
Initially the first print is the 15 track digipack version. That’s the only version, and there’s no alternative, save from the LP-vinyl (which is also 15 songs.) I have my hopes up for an 11 track jewelcase second print of course. But I guess that’s a bit depending on how it sells. According to Napalm, they rarely do second prints. However, Gustavo has prepared the layout for a jewelcase version, so we’ll see. Our own official web shop will of course have the CD. Deathwalker is not the same as 2012. This one is re-recorded with Hansi Kürsch’s (Blind Guardian) vocals. Also, there’s a complete new mix, plus some other alterations.

Q: I would be very grateful if you listened album of my band. Link here.
A:
Sounds cool, bro! Listened to “Attack dog” and like it! Will examine the album more closely, found a track (Second to Sun – Protoescapist) on Spotify as well, which was cool. No plans with vocals for that?

Q: Would be fun to find references to Love and other Disasters in the third The Unguided album (like "King Of Hearts", "Your Imprisoning", etc). :D By the way, just watched video from the recent live performance of Blodbad, sounds very heavy, just like it should be, good job! Seriously, it's very great and gives a lot of energy. I guess, the new album will be on repeat in my music player for like several months non-stop :) Also recognized that a part of Blodbad was already published before here :D
A:
Nice that you liked the references! We’ll see what happens in the future. “Blodbad” is one of my favorite tracks on “Fragile Immortality” and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the album version. Also, the part from the Facebook video when Roland fucks around with that weird voice is included in the track, he just sings it more melodic and smooth on the studio version. We, however, kept the melody and phrasing of the original “joke”, since it kind of came out quite cool!


King of Hearts? :S

Q: Did you buy your new White FLG in some place or you asked someone to make them for you?? If you bought them...Do you know of any website where I can buy those kind of FLG (Red and White)?? Here in Mexico the only ones I can found are black and I can't find a proper website with those like yours :b
A:
I bought the white gloves at www.rockflame.com and the red ones at PunktShop in Stockholm.

Q: I absolutely love your music and I want to congratulate you to your new song "Inception". It
s definitely f*cking awesome! Now I have two questions; are any gigs planned in Austria? And who is this girl in the Inception music video? I am looking forward to your answer.
A:
No gigs planned in Austria as of now, but since our label is there, it’s not impossible. The girl in the video is my fiancée Ella. Same as the red-haired girl playing Maharet and Mekare in Betrayer of The Code. 

Q: Could you please check my album out? Here's a link.
A:
Checked out the album and it sounds cool. Gives me a bit of a Dope and Manson vibe, to be fair. Keep up the good work!


Dope!

Q: Did you choose the song Deathwalker for Hansi to sing 'cause you thought his voice would fit better on that track? Or did you ask him in which song he wanted to sing? o:
A:
When we first discussed the collaboration back in 2011 - 2012, the only song that was available to use for the upcoming album was “Deathwalker” (we didn’t have any other new songs at that moment.) And since he would be needing both lyrics and vocal references it was easy for us to choose that song, seeing that we had some plans to release it in 2012, and needed to record vocals for it anyway. Also, since the lyrics of that song was a collaboration between the prolific role-playing game writer; Paul Wade-Williams and myself, it automatically already had a Blind Guardian thematic fantasy feel to it. Meaning; it was kind of natural to choose that song to feature Hansi’s vocals. I think it came out very well, and his charismatic voice sure fits the whole concept for that song!

Q: Yesterday I started to listen to the instrumental versions of the Hell Frost songs and it was very interesting for me, especially Phoenix Down, Iceheart Fragment and Betrayer of the Code. Is there a chance that there will be instrumental versions of the Fragile Immortality songs?
A:
Unfortunately, no. We suggested our label to make the special edition of “Fragile Immortality” a 2-CD release. One with the original songs and one with instrumentals, but it got turned down. Maybe for the next record, who knows?


Who knows?

Q. So... you're going to make a blog about the 7 story related songs and tell us the chronological order of them when the album is out, right?:D (If that info isn't in the album booklet already..,)
A:
The chronological order of the songs is kind of in place already on the album. The songs are “Inception”, “Defector DCXVI”, “Eye of The Thylacine”, “Unguided Entity”, “Carnal Genesis”, “Singularity” and “Oblivion. The info is not in the booklet, only lyrics.

Q. Please check out our video!
A:
Checked it out, but it was not really my cup of tea, I’m afraid. But still, whatever you believe in, keep on going with it! That’s the good thing with taste, it’s very individual.

Song of the day: Bring me the horzion - It never ends

/Rich

And let my dark wings fortify you

Kategori: Allmänt

This is a bit late, was first planned for New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, but for different reasons I just didn’t find the time. Here you go however! The recap of 2013; some of my top highlights both band related and in my life.

 


Happy new year!
 

:: TOP 5 UNGUIDED HIGHLIGHTS OF 2013 ::

1. The completion of Fragile Immortality ALBUM
Believe it or not, but somewhere around September 2013 the sophomore “The Unguided” album was completely finished. Recorded, mixed and goddamned mastered! This is by far the longest and most trying album recording I’ve done up to date. Constant tracking and recording reaching over a year (not a significant amount of time compared to Chinese Democracy or that Brian Wilson’s album, but still!) Going ping pong across Sweden over the entire 2013, working on the album like monsters on the weekends and having our normal work duties during the weekdays, sure took its toll. But listening to the album, the actual end result, I’d do it all over again in a blink of an eye. This one is a beast and I’m so proud of what we archived during this trying year. Thank you; my unguided brothers and all the involved studios and personnel, for the excellent effort and salute to the fans for your unbelievable patience! It will all be worth the wait by the end of this month. Seeing our busy lives, I’m surprised we even got this together at all; I’m so impressed and so grateful we got to where we are, and I can assure you; sometimes getting from point A to B is not as easy as it first seams. One thing is certain however; “Fragile Immortality” will blow you away! Pre-order the album here.

 


Fragile Immortality


Studio Sällström early 2013

Almost finished
 

2. Inception MV
The music video, that was once again; one hell of an adventure. Not as much people involved as in “Betrayer of The Code”, but still very trying to coordinate. Originally it was supposed to be an 11Frames green screen; “performance only” video, a bit more scaled down with the only concept tying into the album being the location of a post-apocalyptic city. Which was fine of course, originally, but then the single song was supposed to get selected and within the band it was a “tie” between “Unguided Entity” and “Inception”. The chorus in “Inception” was undoubtedly a bit catchier, whilst “Unguided Entity” had more of a complex and challenging composition, which is probably not optimal for a single anyhow (but we’re unguided hehe.) This is however where the “problem” started; the 2 candidates were also 2 out of the 7 concept songs. And I was somewhere hoping that we wouldn’t select one of the concept songs for the single, since the theme is a bit too bombastic to make something proper out from in a MV with a limited budget. Well, not too limited, actually bigger than both PD and BOTC MVs, but still no LOTR budget, if you see what I mean. You never know what single songs will wash up when you record an album, so it’s hard to plan for it, and it’s not really until when you stand with the finished master in hand you are able to decide. However, when the label voted for “Inception” to be the single, we were all convinced and had to deal with it the best way possible. A simple performance video, seeing the lyrical theme, was at this point for me; not an option. So I started my tinkering, how to get around the problem. What in the story, can actually be portrayed in real life acting, and what is just too complicated? Well, the prison scenes were optimal for the acting part, and then the complex scenes, we handled with sketches made by Kuang Hong, which 11Frames animated to make them come alive. This all set for a bit more depth in the video and you get an idea of the lyrics and the story as well. But seeing how much time and effort was put into that extra dimension in the music video, it’s just too much work, and in the future I think we’ll have to go with a bit more scaled down “performance only” video (which a lot of people like as well,) just to make it reasonable. Anyway, I love the final result, gives me goose bumps to see how it makes the concept come alive. 11Frames, the band and Ella did excellent performances! Check out the music video here under and get the single on iTunes here.


The Unguided - Inception

 


Roland on the set

11Frames Production

3. Russian / Belarus shows

When we started this band back in 2010, with the philosophy we had around the band back then, if anyone would tell use we’re going to Eastern Europe for some shows a couple of years from now. We would probably just laugh at them. Its funny how a “not touring project”, find themselves in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Minsk just a couple of years from when they swore they will not tour with just this “project”. This just states how important the fans are to the development and wellbeing of a band. We wanted to make a couple of albums together since we love making music with each other, and you support us to the extent that we just can’t refuse to find it in our hearts, to get on stage not less than 35 times, in 5 different countries the last couple of three years, with a full band. That’s pretty impressive for a “not touring project” I’d say! I think no one believes in that “project” bullshit anymore, everyone know this is a fully fledged band and there’s none stopping this now. We might not be the most active of bands on the roads, but we try to do whatever is possible, and in 2014 we might just come to your door step and strike that unguided bible right in your fontanel. Put on your helmet when it’s still time! Thank you Moscow, St. Petersburg and Minsk and everyone involved making just this particular weekend possible.

 


Unguided arrives in Moscow


Moscow show


The Unguided in Minsk 
 

4. Command & Conquer TOUR
The spring headline tour with our Swedish brothers in dEMOTIONAL and Smash Into Pieces, was yet another milestone for this band. We had a great time, and hope you, the fans, had a great time as well. It was just a very loving and brotherly arrangement all together. Chris Lemon made this possible and we are eternally grateful, our best of wishes for everyone involved! The future is blinding bright for both Smash Into Pieces and dEMOTIONAL, I just want to say; don’t forget us when you are selling out arenas eventually. We can be your waterboys and shit!


C&C Tour 2013


Tour entourage

 


Rog & Hank in Halmstad
 

5. Record Deal with Napalm records
The dark alliance between The Unguided and Napalm Records was certainly one of the highlights of 2013. A negotiation ranging over almost three years, was finally inked (with blood) in Southern Germany during a festival show last summer. Our first mutual dark seed being spawned just a couple of weeks from now and then we can see full on; where this will take us! We are really happy to be working with Napalm Records and they all seem to be really good people. We’d like to believe we have a good concept going here, and they certainly have the muscles to bring it out to metal fans all around the globe. Interesting times to come!


Napalm Records

 


Signing day in Nordheim


Tour video feat. signing
 

:: TOP 5 LIFE HIGHLIGHTS OF 2013 ::

1. Duet with Hansi Kürsch
There’s been a lot of good things going on in 2013, but there’s far from any of them being as grandiose as having guest vocals on a The Unguided song by my número uno idol; Hansi Kürsch from my favorite band; Blind Guardian! I cannot till this day believe me ears when I listen to that version of “Deathwalker”, and yes, I’ve listened to is probably a million of times. My voice being in the same song as Hansi’s is blatantly a lifetime dream coming true. I try to imagine my reaction, getting hold of this information in the mid 90ies, when I was rocking out to “Tales from the Twilight World” with full force, but my young mind would probably not be able to take it, and result in a fatality of mind exploding origin. This is just unbelievable and I’m so eternally thankful that we got the opportunity, thank you Hansi, thank you with all I got!

 


Hansi Kürsch


Hansi and I at Tuska Open Air 2011


Deathwalker
 

2. Falkenberg Vacation
Luxury vacation at the best hotel in town, just next to the beach, with the most dearest to me. What a lovely week it was! The original idea was to celebrate our 2 year engagement anniversary in Falkenberg; since it was on that very beach we got engaged. But the hotel was overbooked so it was the wrong week, but still very much the right beach.

 


Hotel


Promenade


Meeting up some old friends
 

3. Sandhamn Vacation
We’ve made this to a nice tradition since I moved up to Stockholm. The Swedish archipelago is just magnificent! And seeing the Falkenberg hotel was overbooked the anniversary day, we planned this weekend so it hit right on the actual date, very cunning of us. We had a great time of recharging them batteries so they would last all the way into the summer of 2014.


Archipelago


Sundown at Sandhamn


Love birds
 

4. Fishing Trip
Two friends (and colleagues) and I had a trip down to southern Sweden. To have a little trolling adventure of the coast of Simrishamn, this was undoubtedly a great time and we had great fishing luck the first day; catching 13 salmons in total and some of them weighing in over and around 10 kg. Quite an extraordinary trip!

 


Trolling master!


On the red baron's boat

Salmon king Magnus
 

5. The Cabin (in the north)
Magnus and I also had a trip up to North land to get some fishing done and just enjoy the spectacular wildlife of northern Sweden. The fishing God was not smiling upon us the same way as he did in Simrishamn, but we still got a few pikes, and had a great time.

 


BIG FISH!


Lunch in the bear tracks

 

So there you have it! Runner up on the “Life Highlights” was certainly the Nocturnal Halloween Ball, but I had to weigh it to the others and in the end, I went with the current list. I just have to mention however, that the evening was glorious! Also, most of you know, I have this “Song of the day” posts on my official Facebook every day, and now it’s all compiled in an huge playlist, subscribe to the 2013 version of it here (and check out the 2012 playlist here.) Going to be a great year ahead of us with the album release and everything, I’m super stoked to have you all join in on the journey!


Nocturnal Halloween Ball, me to the left. 
 

Song of the day: The ungudied – inception

/Rich