Q: I've been following your blog for a while and I’ve noticed when people ask you to check out their music, you actually listen and give an honest opinion. So I figure why not? I recently put out a music video for my solo project ORCumentary and if you get the chance it'd mean a lot to me if you could view it and let me know what you think. I think you'll like it (at least the video aspect because I know you're into sword and sorcery video games). If you are interested in hearing more, all of ORCumentary's releases are on Spotify. Thanks for your time and I can't wait to hear Fragile Immortality!
A: Haha that’s some quality stuff man, really creative. Keep up the great job!
Q: So Mr. Sjunnesson, here I've got some questions, hope you will answer them. You recorded 6 albums so far. How long can it take, and how do you find motivation to write songs and record even more albums?
A: Timewise it usually depends. “Fragile Immortality” was a lengthy process. It started around October 2012 and we finished it around August 2013. Not that we constantly recorded during all that time, but to piece everything together, this was the time we needed for it. “Hell Frost” was faster. But if you suggest the recording started with “Nightmareland” then it surely was a couple of months. “We Rule The Night” was maybe 2 months, with pre-production. “Love and Other Disasters” was pretty swift, and partly written on tour, also “Only Inhuman”, even if we already had some pre-productions for that one. “Eden Fire” didn’t take long either probably 1 month for all, but that was a compilation of some demo songs from 2003-2004 and 3 new ones. But all those other albums we got to work with until they were done basically. With “Fragile” and “Hell Frost” we had to schedule around our regular jobs and private lives, which is a bit more complicated. But for speculations; mixing takes ~1 day per song. Drums possibly a week, guitars & bass could take a week or 2, if you work effectively. Vocals, 1 song per day is pretty common. And these are all 8 hour studio days. All in all, I think a month is pretty common for an album.
To find motivation for each album is not hard. After a finished album, I however get a bit tired of the studio, and rather want to go out and do the songs live. But that just chains my mind for a couple of weeks. Then I start to visualize the next couple of songs, concepts and titles. For those three The Unguided albums, it’s been a bit different. I had a pretty good picture already back in 2010 what I wanted to do with lyrics and concepts. The hunger for vocal recording also slowly but steady built up after a lengthy album process, but I try to keep myself busy with some guest projects as well.
Q: Any advices to guy who tries (poorly so far) with scream vocals?
A: If you find any, let me know as well!
Scream for me Hogwarts!
Q: In your opinion, which song you made so far is best, and which is worst? (both The Unguided and Sonic Syndicate [excluding "We Rule the Night"], no answer like "everyone is fine")
A: Tough one! Here we go:
- Eden Fire: Prelude To Extinction (Best), Lament of Innocence (Worst).
- Only Inhuman: Double Agent 616 (Best), All About Us (Worst).
- Love And Other Disasters: Red Eyed Friend (Best), Fallout (Worst).
- We Rule The Night: Plans Are For People (Best), Turn It Up (Worst).
- Hell Frost: Betrayer of The Code (Best), Iceheart Fragment (Worst).
- Fragile Immortality: Oblivion (Best), Enforce (Worst).
Q: Are you into thrash metal?
A: I like all metal. Thrash is not my favorite I suppose. But I like bands with some thrash elements.
Q: Do you plan any gig in Poland? If no, are there any chances for one?
A: For now, I’m just happy if we play live at all haha. Maybe we’ll come to Poland one day! But I can’t say there are any plans as of yet.
Q: I have so many questions about Fragile Immortality!!! I don't want to annoy you so I'll only ask a few... Is The Unguided a clan of fallen angels, betrayed demons and human survivors?
A: The Unguided is a metal band. In the lyrical story, they are a group of fallen angels, converted demons (and angels) allied with human survivors hehe.
Q: Is Betrayer of the Code part of the story or is it a spin off? Who are the vampires? Are they a part of The Unguided?
A: “Betrayer of The Code” is based on Anne Rice’s “The Vampire Chronicles”, especially inspired by the three first books. It does not have anything to do with the concept and “Book of The Unguided”.
Q: Is Ella playing different characters in Betrayer of the Code and Inception? A post-apocalyptic vampire seems like a really cool idea O:
A: Three unique characters. Ella plays the role of Maharet and Mekare in “Betrayer of The Code”. In the “Inception” video she played a character that I will shed some more light on eventually. The song “Unguided Entity” is written from that very characters fate and destiny, which was the single we had in mind originally. Later on we swapped to “Inception” and that’s why the single artwork, with the caged girl, is a bit more relevant to “Unguided Entity” rather than “Inception”, even if it’s the same concept in the end.
Q: Will the next album be about taking back the entire planet?
A: By the end of “Fragile Immortality” there’s still a lot of trouble in the described world and even if the unguided and the rallied human resistance is having some breakthroughs, there’s still the major hurdle yet to be solved. The elimination of the betrayer was, however, a huge victory. More about that another time!
Q: Will you introduce new villains or will you just stick with the putrid fallen angels machines? O: O: O:
A: Haha putrid fallen angels machines? Not sure what that is. But so far all villains have been introduced more or less. Well, there might be one that has just been subjectively addressed so far, might have to hammer out more about him in the coming album. But the biggest direct threat is the main machine sung about in “Eye of The Thylacine”, even if this entity has every right in the world to be upset with the mortals. With that said; those are the villains of THIS trilogy. What if there is another trilogy after this one? Hehe.
Q: Will you take a poll vote on what song you'll make a video for or are you just going to go with your favourite? *Cough* Blodbad *Cough*
A: We decided “Eye of The Thylacine” would make the best video, so we went with our gut there. It seems like a lot of you agreed with us! That video will be the end of the “Fragile Immortality” album cycle and a new cycle will commence with “Fallen Angels” EP.
Q: I have a question about the album versions of Eye of The Thylacine and Singularity. I realized that the vocals are different from the ones on the invaZion EP. Was there a particular reason for the decision to re-record the vocals? Or is it "simply" so fans don't have the same version twice?
A: There were a few vocal things we weren't happy with, and with a released album it’s hard to do anything about it, but with an EP prior the album, we can revisit things like that before we release them again on an album. I guess once you get distance from your songs, there’s always something you find that you want to tweak. I’m sure if we would have got the luxury to adjust some things on the album as well, we would have done that, but that’s just not going to happen. Some melodies are tweaked on these songs, like the chorus in “Singularity” also a few changes in the second verse of “Eye” as well as to the last chorus. There’s also some screams that are changed. It doesn’t really have to do with the fact it will be different versions, rather just polishing the songs to perfection.
Q: What do you say to people who think The Unguided is generic?
A: Why would you want to talk with ignorant people at all? If people are disrespectful, then they are not worth wasting time on. Works great both on internet and in real life, even if it’s fun to troll every now and then (I think so too). It is, in the end, rather pointless.
This is what I actually think
Q: Fragile Immortality is a quite complex album, I had to listen to it a several times and for several days before I got to the point of understanding it, more or less. Of course, the lyrical part is full of references and conceptuality, which you made a really good job on, the bands with a deep conceptuality trend to be stable, cool and have a lot of faithful fans. Also, the musical experiments are exactly what you needed to make a step forward as a band. I'm very glad that you figured that out and made it happen. That's the right course.
A: Glad you enjoyed it! We did put a lot of work into it. Not everyone grasps the complexity of it. So it’s fun when it gets recognized like this! This is the most thought-out album we’ve ever done. And you might say it’s a bit overworked even, hehe. Very time consuming, but still worth it in the end. Every puzzle-piece that existed in this project, is now residing in its exact right spot. I don’t feel that a lot after releasing an album. But with this one, I do.
Q: Some of the references I figured out: Of course, the whole story should be interpreted as the impersonation of the war between you (The Unguided) and the enemy (current Sonic Syndicate) for your return to the Zionic throne you've been shifted from. I'm almost sure it must be read like Only Inhuman and Fragile Immortality is the same story told from different sides of war.
A: Not exactly. The whole story is a metaphor of my entire musical life. The negativity that went on the final year during my time in my old band is just a fraction of that. Meaning it’s just a fraction in the story, if it exists at all. I’d say it revolves more around 2000-2009. You are onto something I suppose, but you are certainly not spot on. The mechanical threat is supposed to symbolize the music business overall, rather than a single band. There’s no war going on between two bands, there never was. There’s however constant friction between the small band and a giant mainstream machine, being the twisted and rotten music business. That’s what’s portrayed in the story. The Zionic throne room is the seat of power in the kingdom of Zion, which has been defiled by “evildoers” (for perfectly fine reasons I suppose. Once again; “Eye of The Thylacine”). The Defector is the heir to the throne, not by birthright, but he’s the people’s choice. And he merely wants his throne back so he can set things right, which is a preferable outcome, compared to the extermination of the entire human race.
Q: Syndissiah is a pretty cool metaphor of you previous band, I wonder if it's capture will take the center place in your third album :D
A: Again, Syndissiah is not a symbol of Sonic Syndicate. Omnissiah was taken, so I figured a hybrid between Syndicate and Messiah would do the trick. But as said, it’s just a metaphor of what is wrong in the musical business. View the huge major labels as the syndicate instead and it’s closer to what I had in mind. It was just a potent portrait. Syndicate is a powerful word, that’s why I included it in a band name once upon a time. In the story, the synthetics are blindly following their messiah. Their Syndissiah. That’s the message I want to underline. It has nothing to do with the old band, even if the word enhances in regards to my ties to it.
Q: I might be wrong but I think that Granted is a song about the correction of SoSy's music style which included oppression of you, and the blue flame, as well as the "moonless, star filled night" is a reference to WRTN disk cover and the colours and atmosphere it was produced with.
A: Now you are thinking a bit too much into it. “Granted” is just a love song.
Q: Eye of the Thylacine is the next "eyed" song of you, but the title also references to "Survivor - Eye of the Tiger".
Q: This might be stupid and might be not, but I think that Unguided Entity is partially related to Rebellion EP, mainly because of the lyrics before the first chorus. And the Unguided Entity is you, of course :)
A: False. The “Unguided Entity” is (as explained earlier) the girl in the “Inception” music video and single artwork.
Q: - Also, nice quote from Seneca in the end of Unguided Entity and applying it to the story.
A: Thank you. I sought it fitting.
Q: Carnal Genesis is a pretty cool song and it features the titles of Only Inhuman album in the correct order :) The only one I didn't find is Psychic Suicide, but I guess it's hidden in the title of this track.
1. Aftermath - aftermath
2. Blue Eyed Fiend - color of our eyes, fiends
3. Psychic Suicide - Carnal Genesis
4. Double Agent 616 - everyone around me here
5. Enclave - enclave
6. Denied - denied
7. Callous - callousness
8. Only Inhuman - inhuman origin
9. All About Us - all about us
10. Unknown Entity - unknown entity
11. Flashback - flashbacks
12. Freelancer - Mercenaries
13. My Soul In Black - our souls shift to a blacker black
* Zion, our city, will be re-conquered - Zion must fall
A: I can neither confirm, nor deny this.
Q: While Carnal Genesis features Only Inhuman's titles, Enforce features references to Only Inhuman lyrics. The image is attached.
A: Not entirely right, but something like that. Enforce is supposed to be the anti-hero of Enclave. Whilst Enclave is not seemliness sprinkled with butterflies, it is in the end a bit more positive, this one is downright about making your very best effort to get away from someone, whom you never liked in the first place. Still! Both have a sense of hope. Yin & Yang.
Clever, but not 100%
Q: And, of course, the titles of songs in both albums (OI and FI) are related, which I already mentioned in previous mails.
A: Very transparent.
Q: There's also something I didn't quite get: What does the "song of the Angel cleaver" symbolize?
A: “Angel cleaver” is the axe, held on the cover artwork of “Fragile Immortality”. It’s enchanted by a song, which is the custom of all weapons of significance in this world. This phenomena is somewhat touched upon in “Defector DCXVI”, as The Defector is the one crafting the weapons. What sorry excuse of a story would this tale be, without magical weapons?
Q: In the Oblivion, it repeats several times: "She is returning", who is "She"? Not sure if I awfully missed it or that will be clear in the next album.
A: You have not missed anything, it will be handled on the coming album, that’s why I put it in the very end of “Fragile Immortality”. Much like; “the invasion has begun”, in “Where The Frost Rose Withers”. She is, however, familiar to some and a complete stranger to others. It’s the cliffhanger of “Fragile Immortality”.
Q: Anyway, I wish you guys the best luck in making real your dream that you have drawn so clearly by now. The Unguided army is always with you! :)
A: Thank you! Very creative and challenging questions. Hope to see more of these in the future.
Q: And it's only now that guessed that "When All The Seraphim Cry" is a reference to Prelude to Extinction.
A: It’s not. “When All The Seraphim Cry” is about Judas betraying Jesus. “Prelude” sure had some biblical aspects in it, which goes for a lot of my lyrics, but there’s not any connection between the two, besides the bible then I suppose.
Q: There's also another question: what does "An alliance between east and west" mean in Granted?
A: Granted is actually written about Ella and myself, and the alliance between east and west is just geographically in what part of Sweden we lived. There’s some confusion in “Granted” overall, probably the biggest misconception of “Fragile Immortality”. Some people think the second verse is referring to Sonic Syndicate, whilst “gilded band” in the context actually is referring to the fact I was engaged when we first met each other, which was inappropriate.
Q: And also, did you know already in the Hell Frost times that one of the titles in the Fragile Immortality will be "Unguided Entity"? That's written in the Hell Frost booklet: "Hell Frost" additional unguided entities: ... Still having fun finding secret stuff in your songs :3
A: Yes, I had a lot of titles finished already back in 2010, even for the third album.
Q: Just a few things in addition to the previous mails (really hope I'm not annoying you with these) Unguided Entity: Dancing to the bitter Tunes of Silence - Tunes of Silence is your first band.
Q: Only Human: Fifth son of the seventh son - a reference to Iron Maiden - Seventh son of a seventh son (I also remembered the similar quote in Collapse My Dream: There's a 616 reasons not to care - a reference to Dark Tranquillity - Misery's Crown).
A: You are right about the Iron Maiden reference. The song is honoring the memory of Robert Sjunnesson. And that particular lyric line is referencing the fact the first metal album I ever got was “Seventh son of a seventh son”, and coincidentally it was given to me by Robert. He was that kind of uncle! Whenever you were misguided, he shoved an Iron Maiden record down your hand and pointed you in the right direction, hehe. Also, he was the fifth son of the Sjunnesson family. That’s why the lyric line read out like that. “Sju” in Swedish is translated to “seven”. Practically, the name means “Son of Sjunne” and “Sjunne” was the name of my great-grandfather. But literal translation could read “Seven-son”. I guess you get the idea.
Regarding Dark Tranquillity, that’s just coincidence. It would be as propitious as saying their lyrics in “For Broken Words” where the line “Betrayal of the code” appears, would be inspired by us. Or is it?...
Q: Defector DCXVI: The red eyes the lyrical hero of this song has may be interpreted as he is the Red Eyed Friend who was talked about in Sonic Syndicate's song of the same name.
A: The red eyes is referring to the colors of The Defector's eyes, as seen on the artwork of “Fallen Angels”. In “Red Eyed Friend” the being in the lyrics is actually your bad conscious. You know the little devil sitting on your left shoulder, in contrast to the angel sitting on your right?
Red Eyed Defector
Q: Before asking 2 little questions, I just wanted to share my thoughts of an awesome album!(don't put this on the blog) First I feel a bit let down 'cause of the change of the slow part of EOTT, I enjoy a lot when the voice of Roland sounds more natural, but since the rest of the album uses that on many verses, I guess you guys try to balance that so it wouldn't sound boring :b But after all it was a fresh touch (Since it sounds like the slow part of Blodbad too)
And the clean-harsh scream on "NOW IT'S TOO LATE" of the last chorus was a very nice addition c: That song and Oblivion are the most epics of the story in my opinion (Even thought I wish oblivion was a bit more longer) "LET THE FALLEN ANGEL OF SUNDERING BLOW THEM ONE LAST FATAL KISS" Amazing!!:D I still think there should be more songs like EOTT with the perspective of the machines, I mean, that song makes me want to join their cause of extinguish mankind! If I wasn't a human of course xD Carnal genesis seems a good hymn for the humans, and singularity for the alliance of the unguided and the humans :D blah blah blah anyway I don't want to bore you so here are the questions....
Q: Sorry for putting it in the blog! Haha, but I think it was worth mentioning that the EP mix of EOTT just came out really perfect and Jonas sure outdid himself on that one, it’s probably the best mix he ever did for us. It was really hard to get the same feeling and atmosphere on the album with a new studio and mix, even if I do think we somewhat succeeded after a lot of trial and error. Sometimes magic just happens and it’s hard to duplicate. We however got to revisit and tweak details for both “Singularity” and “Eye of The Thylacine”, which was nice. Regarding the perspective of the machines, I think it’s easy to get some “Stockholm syndrome” with these guys after hearing EOTT, and I would love to write some more about it on the coming album. But I think EOTT is a great insight in their binary reasoning. And to follow them more closely in the war, would kind of wipe out the rest of the mystery of them. “Eye” had the effect I wanted, we know their intensions, and we know why they are pissed off. There’s not much we can do other than fight for survival because they are not going to change their “minds”.
Q: (I don't mind waiting for you to ask this on the blog :b) Why is the armor of the Demon/wraith/fallen angel(Not sure what it is xD) Of fragile immortality cover backwards of the Hell frost one? :b
A: Great question! I wish to think in a battle scenario the fallen angel’s armor is more conveniently mounted like this. To get better range with his right arm to swing that axe, without being restricted by that huge badass armor piece. But I know that’s not the reason haha. To be fair, I think it was a technical thing from Kaung’s side painting the picture. As it’s made digitally, I guess it was easy to reuse parts from the “Hell Frost” cover, as it’s the same character, and it might just have been easier to “flip” it like this instead of repainting the entire piece. Or he became left-handed all of a sudden and the picture is taking through a mirror. Who knows!
Q: And if you had to do a part 2 of a song, which one would you choose? "Coff coff pathfinder coff coff..." 7u7 Thanks for the attention and for making so awesome music! Have a nice weekend! The unguided mexican; Raziel.
A: Part two of “Pathfinder” could very well be “Granted”, as “Pathfinder” is a love story as well. But for the story songs, there’s a continuation ongoing all the time, so there’s a multitude of follow ups on most of them. Something I’d love to do is a follow up to “Betrayer of The Code” though.
Q: Almost forgot, one more question.... -What's the story of “Blodbad” lyrics? (I know it’s not the same story of the novel so....)
A: Haha that’s a real nerdy one. “Blodbad” was actually the alias of a guy I played WoW with and the very reason why I decided to go for rank 14 back in 2005. He was an undead rogue, and I played troll rogue. He eventually became the first horde rank 14 at the server “Bladefist”, which was my server before moving to “Outland”. First time I bumped into him in Alterac Valley, and saw his brutal rank 13 gear, I was determined to get that as well. Being a fellow rogue, we started to play together a bit and doing sneaky PvP covert op and assassination mission’s together in the battlegrounds, probably the most fun time I had in a game ever. The rank 14 push was a tedious matter, however, even if I got it eventually. I think I was the second or third horde rank 14 on the server or something. The song was something I wanted to do for a long time. Both in honor to him, and to the madness of it all. The actual losing grip of reality part, from my side, kind of shines through in the lyrics every now and then as well. Besides; “Blodbad” is a badass name. Sorry if I destroyed your speculations about the song!
Rank 14 undead rogue
Q: Airoria songs.
A: Guess you want me to listen to it and say what I think? Well there’s nothing wrong with it, but nothing that would keep me interested either, I’m afraid. Then again I’m getting more and more selective. Keep hitting it hard and you’ll work it out eventually! More advice is that you might have to look over the production as well. Always better to record in a proper studio.
Q: Awesome work you did with the new album! :) Will Roger ever have his earlier short-long haircut again, like in JoD? I've never seen such insane like that. The actually one is looking so...normal :D Greetings from Germany! \,,/
A: Why are you asking me about my brothers haircut? Geez… We will never have suggestions about your particular style, so please let us run our own as well!
Q: Rich, I have a question that I would like you and/or the band to answer, if possible. It concerns the "Gray Fox"-based robot-character in the Inception music video.
First and foremost though, I want to say that the new album is utterly amazing! Each track is yet another example of how devastating raw emotion/power can be in the hands of master musicians. And the throwbacks to "Only Inhuman"? Absolutely perfect. To this day that album is one of my favorite releases, and it shall stay there until the end of time. The nostalgia... "Only Inhuman" guided me through some major events in life. Nothing will ever come close to how much I love and respect you guys for the music that you make, both then and now. When I first realized there was more than just a title connection to the aforementioned SoSy release, it was like I was transported back to that time in my life. All the lyrical references scattered throughout; the entirety of Carnal Genesis... Thank you Rich... Thank you The Unguided for creating such a masterpiece.
Moving on to the issue at hand. Ever since the release of the Inception music video, I have been drawn to the previously mentioned "Gray Fox"-inspired character. So much so that I would like to portray this character come Halloween of this year. The problem is, I have no idea where to begin obtaining any of the clothing/gear/materials needed to mimic said character. I was hoping you, or someone from the band, could help identify or recommend a "shopping list", so to speak. I actually believe I've found a good version of the mask here (generously linked by another fan on the FB page some time ago), but I didn't want to drop so much money into it without knowing for sure. Then there's whatever you wear underneath the mask, the robe/cloak, footgear, gloves, etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance, and keep up the great work!
A: Thanks for the nice words about the album, and sorry for the late reply. Maybe next Halloween? Haha. The robe is purchased at Buttericks, I think it’s this Jedi replica one. The mask I ebayed, should be something like this. The latex gloves I purchased from some suspect web shop were you could get 100 at minimum. I’m yet to use the other 99, so if you want the exact ones I can mail some over haha. The Riddick “sabre claws” we got in the old-town of Stockholm. But I’m sure you can get them just about anywhere. Maybe you are not allowed at a party with those though. Also, I bought a black ski mask to cover the throat. This one. That’s about it I think! Happy hunting.
Evil robot for Halloween
Q: So yeah. Will your next album draw parallels to Love And Other Disasters? Because if yes, that'd be awesome! I already talked about a possible name with Sören, you know him, right? After 2 hours we came up with "Death And Similar Blessings" Looking forward to what you'll say. Peace :)
A: We shall see.
Q: Heavy metal greetings, Rich! Thanks for taking the time to read your fan mail, means a lot to us! As much as I enjoyed Fragile Immortality, it quite didn't seem as good to me as Hell Frost, HF was just more my thing. Anyway, here comes my question.
Each song in FI stands alone, they don't sound like the OI songs, but I couldn't help but feel the songtitle-recycling is getting... weird. A couple of titles seemed forced. In the end, that's just my opinion, but my question is:
Will you keep doing song sequels? If so, would that mean LAOD will get song sequels? And, if both answers are yes, it'd have to stop at LAOD, right? I mean, WRTN2??? Hewl no.
I will continue to support Unguided as much as I can, but I don't know how to feel about all these sequels.
Again, thanks for reading.
A: As I’ve mentioned before, I think there’s a 50/50 split among the fans whether you prefer “Hell Frost” over “Fragile Immortality”, and I think that’s good. I hope when the next one hits we will get a 33/33/33 ratio, hehe. The albums are different from each other and it shows there’s a dynamic pool of fans to the band. I for one like “Fragile Immortality” better, because it was more of a band effort. I like the complexity of it better, which is certainly not for everyone. “Hell Frost” was straighter to the point. However, what could have been worked on a bit more vigorously on “Fragile Immortality” were the choruses. I feel some choruses are a bit better in “Hell Frost” than on “Fragile”. There’s nothing wrong with the melodies. And I do not think there’s such a thing as a bad chorus on the second album, but on the other hand there’s nothing really topping either, for example “Phoenix Down”. Sometimes this comes down to luck, sometimes there’s trial and error and from an already overworked album, there were simply no more time to spend on it. This we will deal with on the “green” album, a method which has already started on “Fallen Angels”. We will be better prepared in the future. I guess there was just too much to say in “Fragile Immortality” and sometimes the cleverness of the melodies was suppressed by this, a mistake which will not be repeated, to the same extent. I’m not sure you feel the same way about the album today. After all, this question was probably answered a year after it was originally sent in. In a lot of cases, I’ve seen people that were skeptical at first, but then the album grew on them so much, that it surpassed the debut. I for one think “Fragile” will always be an important album for us, and I think it will be even more validated with the third and last album in the trilogy. The sales of the album also suggest it was more successful than the debut.
You are entitled to your thoughts of the titles, of course. And if you feel that way, that’s certainly a valid opinion. But as you’ve seen in this blog entry there are people cherishing the title aspect of both “Hell Frost” and “Fragile”. This, of course, will have to come to an end eventually. But it was also my original vision of the band. Without it, I would never been interested in pulling the band from an idea to solid reality in the first place. In that scenario “Hell Frost” and “Fragile Immortality” would never been made at all. This idea snowballed into something pretty big, with a third album on the way, within 5 years. So I think the original idea deserves some respect. The trilogy ends with the third album, obviously. What happens next, is yet to be figured out. There are a few open doors in the story, which I’d love to explore further. But as of now, they remain just as open doors, which I have not yet passed the threshold of.
Q: I’m a big metal fan and liked your music since “Only Inhuman” with Sonic Syndicate. I must say the co-operation with Zardonic is really cool, it remind me of “Celldweller” and similar music. It would be awesome if you would have a side-project like this, were you do an entire album. Keep up the good work!
A: Glad you like our music, and also the remixes. I think we all feel in the band that we are pretty done with the whole remix thing. There would never be time to do a side-project like this, as we barley have time to do what we are supposed to do right now, even if it would have been cool. I doubt the next album will see any remixes.
Ba Dum Tss!
Q: I love Hell Frost and slowly working on Inception and I've noticed, not just the beauty of the instrumental use, but the lyrics to the songs. They're so charged in lore and a lot of biblical usage. Though I could ask how come the choice of this, I'm rather curious about the many references of "616", and I suppose the use of fallen angels and their struggles? Could it sort of parallel you as a band, being The Unguided? Also, I happen to love just everything about the band. Each instrument, the sound it all brings with both the clean and harsh and heavy vocals. It's absolutely perfect, and if you don't mind sharing, I'd love to hear if there's any secret or anything you do, eat or drink for your harsh vocals. They're astounding and from every other band I've listened to, the sound is so different, so original. How had you acquired the skill and what keeps you kicking ass with the "screams"? I appreciate the time you'd take to even just read this, and much more appreciated to a reply. Keep rocking! \m/ ~ sincerely, /a huge, if only the I was the biggest, fan of you and the rest of the band, Brandon
Q: Great that you enjoy our music! Most of your questions will be answered in our third album, so you just have to stay tuned for a bit longer. I do not have any special diet for my vocals, I guess it’s just my particular technique that makes them sound a bit different. Flattering to know that you like them!
Q: I've a short question: Is there a chance that you (The Unguided) allow an Unguided dlc for Rocksmith? (Maybe you heard about it) This would be awesome, because I'm still a beginner by playing e-guitar and with Rocksmith it's the easiest way for me to learn songs. It would be awesome to play some of your stuff! Best wishes for you and the Band
A: I’m not familiar to this game, but I guess it's Guitar Hero with a real guitar? It’s pretty hard to get on those games with a song, especially for a small band like The Unguided. But on our YouTube channel there are a lot of video lessons from Roland and Roger. Check them out!
Q: I stumbled upon this email by reading some post on your blog written years ago.
A friend of mine kept sending The Unguided and some older Sonic Syndicte stuff to me all the time, despite knowing I'm not much for modern metal, but I still liked the stuff. In any case I'm writing this to ask you whether or not there will be a possibility of you guys touring Europe? I'm asking since my buddy is Estonian, and I'm Croatian, and honestly neither of us is expecting you fly over the continent but it never hurts to ask.
A: As always with this band, touring is hard since we are very tied up in our private lives. Hopefully we can do something after the release of the third album.
Q: My question is about what you think of the new Sonic Syndicate song and their "new" style (well, the album will probably have a similar style as the song). While reading through your blog (October 2010 + November 2010) I found two passages that I found quite interesting:
“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.”
A: Are they back from their hiatus? :O) To be fair, this is so many years ago now, who cares? Why is it important to know what I think about this still? Why am I getting mailbombed with questions on the matter, every time there’s the slightest movement in modern Sonic Syndicate? I fail to see how my opinion play any role at all, in this particular time. What do YOU think? That’s the important thing. Another good question is whether you are the same person you were 5 years ago? Probably not. Do you think I am? Time goes on, people change and life goes on. Regarding the “waste of talent” comment, I wrote that when my brother was still in the band. That was a waste of talent. He’s the best songwriter I know, and knowing he was not going to be utilized in that band was a shame. But as of now, I couldn’t actually care any less. Robin is a good guitarist, John is a decent drummer and Nathan has some character to his voice. That’s that. I’m sure they are perfectly capable without my brother, Roland, and myself. If you enjoy what they put out, go ahead and enjoy it. In the end it is music, not people starving in the streets of 2015, which should be of higher importance than some silly band “rivalry”. Nathan has been in Sonic Syndicate longer than Roland by now. In a few years, he have been in the band longer than both my brother and me. Time to get over it for you as well.
Q: “Q: Any reaction at all from the band?
A: Nope. The overall vibe I got, however, was: “We shall show him!” So, maybe this is the catalyst of something good? I really hope it works as a wakeup call, and that the world will now finally be spared of further musical sludge from that camp. Maybe it will even bring them back to what they are good at in a future release? A lot of fans seemed to think WRTN is a partially decent album if they look at it as an effort from another band. But in the bracket as a Sonic Syndicate album, the fans expected something with much higher musical quality and standards. A fan said to me in his own words: “It´s just a shadow of its former glory.” couldn´t agree more. Personally, I’m a sucker for strong reactions, I especially liked this from the management: “
I asked you the question from above because from what I could see in your answers you had some hopes that SoSy will make better music in the future and I was wondering if these "hopes" came true (at least for this one song because we don't know how the other songs will sound like).
A: Haha first and foremost; I can’t believe I wrote that. Understand this, I’m a feeling person. Uncontrollable by most, even to myself at times. Nothing wrong with being a feeling person, save from the fact that sometimes the “feelings” take the wheel and steer instead of yourself, which is a dilemma you have to learn to live with if you have that kind of personality. It actually runs in our family, inherited by our father and to him by his father, and so on and so forth. Roger is spared. In fact, he’s very diplomatic, but Robin have his fine dose of it as well. If something is unfair, we react with pride. My time in Sonic Syndicate was unfair on many occasions, which led to me being unhappy and angry, and ultimately it was why I left the band. I felt betrayed. After all, each and every person in that band was in it because they were once welcomed and invited by me in the first place. It didn’t feel right. But In the end, all the years and time spent together just felt like a very skin-deep shallow relationship. It was one swollen ego after the other, and it just pushed the sanctum of the band to its very breaking point. One ego had to go and that ego was me. Simple as that. During the time I wrote this (which is again, 5 YEARS AGO!!!) I had hope in the band, since Roger was still in it. There’s not one person I respect more in this world than Roger and his musicianship. Of course I would be a fan of whatever band he’s in. But once he got kicked out, that severed the last tie. And now, I basically do not care, since there’s no reason for it. I’m happy and proud with what I’ve done in Sonic Syndicate, with what we archived together, but looking back at it, I see only how wrong it made me and how much better off I am today.
Q: You seriously need to cut the blog in segments. My PC makes dying animal sounds whenever I open it due to the massive amount of data on the homepage. Have some sympathy for the wooden PCs out there!
Q: Since you will record some songs later this year, as you said in your last blog, I assume it will be for an ep, right? If yes, will the ep like the InvaZion Ep (songs that will appear on the next album as well) or like Deathwalker (to me it's like a standalone single) or are you not sure yet? Personally I'd prefer a Deathwalker-like EP because then there wouldn't be as many "old" songs as on FI.
A: You are talking about “Fallen Angels” EP here. And yes those songs will be included on the third album, but as bonus songs, with a new mix.
Q: I remember you saying that there might be instrumental versions of the songs from upcoming albums. Is there a possibility that there will be instrumental versions of the upcoming songs from the ep/album, maybe as a special edition?
A: We asked about this for “Fragile Immortality”, but Napalm was not interested in doing it. I can’t blame them, since it was the first album they put out with us. Of course they want to examine our progress before doing something brave like that. You see; things like this have to be validated by album sales. So if you want it in the future, be sure to purchase our stuff, that’s the best tool we have against a label.
All about the...
Q: Maybe it's a little too late and you probably already heard this question, but I'm not going to search for this question and the answer in your blog. Is there a possibility that we will hear Roland doing harsh vocals on any upcoming songs again? It's not that I don't like your harsh vocals but in my opinion it sounded very good when you and Roland screamed alongside each other in Sonic Syndicate. Maybe there are some reasons for Roland not doing harsh vocals anymore and I don't really need to know these reasons but it would be nice to hear some of Roland’s harsh vocals again. There is no need for him to scream as much as in SoSy but maybe you (TU) could use Rolands harsh vocals to stress some parts in your songs (like an echo of your vocals, Richard, or he could sing some words or 1-2 phrases if that would fit into one of your songs). Thanks for (probably :D) answering my questions and if you need time to answer my questions there is no need to send the answers to me and it would be ok if I find the answers to my questions in your blog.
A: I’m sorry but this you have to find in the blog, since it’s a question that has been twisted and turned a multitude of times in the past. In rough lines, we originally wanted The Unguided to be a distinct change in how we sounded previously. Guitar solos were one of those aspects, as well as me handling the screams, and Roland only doing cleans. Musically we have no intensions of copying our old work, so we played around with some parameters. Besides. Roland hasn't been doing harsh vocals (from how I understand it), since he quit Sonic. I have no idea how he feels about it today. It’s just nothing we consider when we record and write. But I think he’s pretty happy with having the guitar as his main thing, which is his biggest musical interest besides whiskey (which is not really a musical interest anyway). I think you just have to trust us in doing what we think is right for the band, and leave that to us. We are not interested in doing “Only Inhuman” over and over again till the end of time, which would have been the case if some fans were to script how we should tackle songwriting.
Q: My question is how things are between you and robin/the rest of sonic syndicate today? Did you solve anything at all by talking it out and burying the hatchet, or have you simply been ignoring each other and let it "solve itself" so to speak? I'd be grateful for an answer! :) What do you think about the 2 latest singles from Sonic Syndicate (before you finally break & black hole halo) do you think they moved towards a better direction or that it’s still a bad?
A: Things are nothing between me and them. They are simply not a part of my life anymore. I haven't heard their songs or album.
Q: Was also wondering, what do you think of the new Sonic Syndicate songs, if you have listened to them? I can't get into them like I could back in the days when you were in that band.
A: See above.
Q: Hello The unguided my name is Marvin hunTy0 Schmitz I am one of the greatest gamers of the world and I like to ask if I can take 2 of your songs for my new video it would have a lot of views and we will put you in the description we just need your rights on YouTube if that would be okay. Kind Regards Marvin hunTy0 Schmitz
A: The greatest gamer in the world!? Wow, very humble title you've got going there, nice to meet you! But… it’s impossible, since that’s the description of me obviously. Also I doubt the greatest gamer in the world would have ~5k followers on his official Facebook page. If you write an agreement with the right holders of the music you are allowed to use the songs. The right holders being our labels. If you do not follow this, the clips will be flagged accordingly.
The best gamer in the world.... tribute.
Q: Considering the whole mess surrounding your exit from Sonic, how did you cope with it and moved on so quickly? I know you have mentioned in the blog, that you didn’t want to sit around and being bitter about what happened and such.
The reason I ask is because I deal with Asperger’s Syndrome (which is a development disorder that affects my social life on a daily basis). While the condition is not lethal or anything, it makes it very difficult to appreciate when I’m doing well at something, while it’s beyond easy to point out the negative elements.
I found very good use in many lyrics from Sonic (well, except for WRTN which I loathed). So reading about how you, Roland and Roger have made your way back with The Unguided was a testament of how things can work out if you put enough desire and hard work into it. Keep Rocking
A: I coped with it since I was surrounded by great people in my life that believed in me, also I was very determined to make it work and invested a lot of time and effort into it, together with my brothers in the band. Sorry to hear about your disorder. I know a few people with Asperger’s, and I think they are living great lives, even with the hurdle. They are specialists in some areas, but have a hard time with common things, especially the social side. I think it makes up for interesting characters, and I also know for fact that there’s high position managers with Asperger’s, doing their jobs like bosses, because that’s what they are BOSSES!
Q: Hey man, sorry to be a pain with emailing you a lot, I just wanted to thank you really, the stuff you have written, both with the Unguided and the SS stuff you wrote, has been getting me through a really tough time recently, and there aren't many people you can actually thank properly in music these days, so it's good to be able to do that with you!
A: Thanks for supporting our stuff! Glad to hear you got through whatever obstacle you had in your life. I love the hands on communication we got going here, and hope it can always be like this.
Q: Do you and Roland have any favorite song to warm up with?
A: I warm up to “Zen of Screaming”, Roland drinks some whiskey. He’s thug like that!
Q: Hey Rich, would you ever consider doing vocal lessons via Skype?
A: Sure, why not?
Q: A quick question, what aspects you liked the most about your last releases?
In terms of some harmonies, lyrics lines you really feel proud about, or even styles you have implement into your music.
A: “Eye of The Thylacine” and “Only Human” are probably the lyrics I’m most proud of from the album. They are two heart-shattering pieces for me. When we performed “Only Human” live, I was so moved. It was actually hard to get through. Very emotional. Same with “Eye”. I think it got a really beautiful message. Obviously I’m honored to get the opportunity to do a duet with my idol Hansi Kürsch in “Deathwalker”. That’s really something, and means the world for me. The second verse and middle-eight of “Oblivion” came out very well. “Unguided Entity” is one class act altogether, which I thought would get more attention than it actually got. It’s an absolute killer live! The intro gets me so pumped!
Q: In tracks like Unguided entity, Oblivion and Only human they all start and keeps on some verses a calm version of Roland's vocals like Phoenix down did. Was this on purpose 'case of the huge success Phoenix down is? Only human is the song that gives me more of that PD feel xD
A: Haha we never think like that anymore since it never works out. These songs just came out this way, and if they are similar that’s unintentional. I know after we wrote “Denied” and it became such a big song, we tried to do some “Denied” clones in Sonic Syndicate. But it never really worked out. So we learned from that lesson and are only writing freely from our minds nowadays.
Q: Listened about 50 times to both “Fallen Angels” songs can we expect more new Songs from you before Album 3? And is the green theme from fallen angels the theme for Album 3? Like blue from Nightmareland was it from Hell Frost and the red/purple theme from invaZion was it from Fragile Immortality?
A: Great that you like the “Fallen Angels” tracks. You are right about the green theme. There’s nothing fooling you!
The Green Album
Q: Man, I’m really interested to buy two Sullen clothing t-shirts but I cannot find the model you used in “Revolution, baby!” (Sonic Syndicate song) and “Inception videos” :-( Can you tell me please where I found this models PS: you are the best singer ever
A: The white Sullen shirt from “Inception” is called “Death Dealer” and I don’t think they are doing it anymore. But you might be able to find it on the interwebz. Couldn’t find the “Revolution, baby!” tee, don’t think they are doing that one either anymore.
Q: Here's my friend's band and they are damn good! :D I hope you like it, haha ^^
A: Too Danish ;) Not my cup of tea I’m afraid, but sure they got some potential!
Q: Don't know if you remember me, I've sent you some references from Fragile Immortality lyrics to old Sonic Syndicate albums that I had found (back in February). Since then I haven't found much (just some references from HF to different artists). But today another thought came to my mind. What if the lyrics from Inception are also a reference to SoSy lyrics? So that the first part of the song describes Eden Fire and the second is for Only Inhuman. "...and entered my old crown" could be a link to "Crowned in Despair" title, and "I was not plucked by the heavens" (the line that I barely understood before) is an opposite of "You cut my wings and threw me out" from "Lament Of Innocence" :? And in the second part, possibly: "Even if your souls are crushed" - "Smoked out my soul once and for all" (Aftermath); "Let my dark wings fortify you" might refer to "Sentenced to carry the weakest, just had them under my wings" from Unknown Entity. And the whole theme of this part of the song is based around Only Inhuman, like, to help people who are experiencing the feelings described in OI to listen to reason, get a faith and to join your army to follow you into the battle. So, here are some questions:
1) Am I crazy?
2) Is there some other major thing to be found in the lyrics / should I continue to try further matching SS and TU lyrics in my head?
I wish you good luck with the upcoming EOTT video and with the third album. Hopefully, you won't rush it and rather make it well-thought and _finished_. And be healthy!
A: Haha you are crazy! These are indeed some really creative observations. But none of them are things I took into consideration when I wrote the lyrics. I’ve think you’ve done a good job so far, and you should probably just wait to next album before drawing any more conclusions.
Q: Happy new year by the way! xD I read a post on your Facebook of a guy asking if the new tracks (judgment and mercy) will be on the new album and you guys said "They will appear in a new mix as bonus tracks most likely!" So I have doubts (again xD)
-If it's true, why as bonus tracks and no as part of the original set?
-And have you guys consider to do the acoustic songs of PD and Enforce bonus tracks for this next album? I know its waaay too soon to ask since you guys just released the new EP, so it may be better to save these questions 'til the new album it's officially announce: b
A: The reason why the “Fallen Angels” songs will be bonus tracks is that Napalm wants the actual album to consist of brand new tracks. So, the ones that are already released are being downgraded to bonus tracks. Not a big deal. They will get a new mix, probably some tweaks, and might even include guest vocals, who knows? Regarding acoustic versions, we talked about this at our last Skype meeting. Acoustic versions might very well be additional bonus tracks on the album, since we will skip the remixes this time around. There are some other bonus track idea as well…
Q: Just wanted to verify if I got right some of the references from the new EP Fallen Angels, and also to share some strange feelings. Firstly, I wanted to know if I guessed right the references in lyrics of Fallen Angels to SoSy - SoSy album.
1) Overkill is underrated - Survival is so overrated
2) You're lost to where light doesn't travel - a reference to the title of Black Hole (Halo)
3) Spit out the bitter taste of hate - I spit it in your face, you are my enemy
4) Peace is hard to come by - I won't go peacefully hand in hand
5) Everything that is now wrong, was once right - So what is wrong with ordinary?
I'm pretty sure about all of those except for the last one.
A: I’m not familiar with those references. The "Fallen Angels" songs are about the characters "Judgment" and "Mercy", who sprung from the "Book of The Unguided" and have absolutely nothing to do with the new Sonic Syndicate album. Why on earth would I do that? To be fair, I have no clue about its lyrical content, other than what people are telling me. Which kind of gives me a fairly good picture of an album with hateful lyrics (which is further underlined by your references here). And if you want to write spiteful lyrics, fine! To each his own. But that’s also a hateful album you will have to live with for the rest of your life. I for one is pretty confident with my fictional stories and metaphors, since real persons are not being tainted, thus my conscious stays clear. I fail to see the function with slander in music, when there's plenty of that in the world already. I might have been brutally honest in this blog from time to time, but I would never base my lyrics around something as despicable as that and knowing I constantly need to carry it with me, whenever I listen to the album.
Q: I feel a bit confused. Because with the new album Sonic Syndicate has changed the direction completely (compared to We Rule The Night album). My first few tries to listen the album have ended without getting to the end, I found it monotonous and, like, boring. But after several times I suddenly realized that I like it. My confusion is whether it's a good or a bad thing that I like new SoSy album, isn't it like a betrayal to The Unguided camp, or just a good thing that instead of one great band we now have two. Both are great in different ways, of course, there's a lot of difference in SoSy - SoSy and The Unguided sound. So I wanted to know, what do you think about this, should I (and some other fans in similar situation) stick to the official The Unguided point of view (that SoSy is like a main embodied enemy) or enjoy observing both sides of the battle. Hopefully, you won't be angry about things I wrote, didn't mean to offend in any way.
A: Haha whatever you are down with my friend! When it comes to music, it’s up to only yourself to decide. Whether there’s some age old band feud underneath, should not really play a part in what you think is good or bad in music. If you like it, you like it. Then it's within your musical range. It’s certainly not in any band's decision to direct the fans to which music they are supposed to listen to. That's my objective opinion on this. My deepest and most personal feelings however, are a bit different. But that’s nothing I would ever force upon anyone. And nothing anyone really has to take into consideration either (a bit depending on what kind of ins and outs you expect from me). My real friends know I have a hard time respecting fans that support both. That may sound odd, but if you know the story behind, all the drama that happened, it might not actually be so weird. I do think it's disrespectful to me, to ask me this and that about the current state of Sonic Syndicate. But will I ever do anything about it? Not really. If you respect me, I will respect you back. That’s how it usually goes in life. To understand this, put yourself in the situation of a family member being murdered. Would you ever find it in your heart to forgive the killer? Would you find it in your heart to forgive the ones sympathizing with the killer? Probably not. That's how I feel about fans supporting the current version of that band and its people. But in the end, music is music for goodness sake! Listen to what you like! But you have to understand this is more than music for me, I lived in that unhealthy relationship being Sonic Syndicate a long time, and it brought me a lot of pain and misery. It’s a part of my life, which makes these kind of questions really difficult. There are a few sensitive questions every now and then in this blog. Do I ever evade them? No, because I believe, if there’s a question, there’s also an answer and I’m willing to explore that, in respect to you.