Richard Sjunnesson

Official blog of Richard Sjunnesson (The Unguided)

Your pain will be legendary…

Kategori: Allmänt

Exciting and busy times currently! Pre-orders for the upcoming The Unguided album “And The Battle Royale” is in full force and some weeks ago we also released the first single from the album in “Legendary”. If you didn’t check the lyric video yet, the time is nigh!

The Unguided – Legendary

To show your awesome support you are also most welcome to pre-order the album here or here. There’s quite some information circling around on the album specifics. I think this one from our Facebook was pretty informative and transparent so I will just use it here as well:

Upcoming The Unguided album “And The Battle Royale” featuring new singer/guitarist; Jonathan Thorpenberg, to be released 10th of November 2017 via Napalm Records. Produced, Recorded, mixed and mastered by Dino Medanhodzic (Radionika Studio / Stockholm / Sweden) The limited digipack version of the album is a CD + DVD release. The CD includes 3 bonus tracks;  “Nighttaker” & “Daybreaker” which both got themselves a facelift with the new album mix and in addition to that there’s a live version of “Nighttaker” as well.

The Unguided - And The Battle Royale

The bonus live DVD entitled; “Eon’s End”, is recorded during Roland Johansson’s farewell show in Falkenberg (Sweden) last spring with a 6 man setup of the band. The DVD also features guest appearances from our friend’s Christoffer Andersson (Ex-Dead By April) and John Bengtsson (Ex-The Unguided, Ex-Sonic Syndicate). The audio is recorded, mixed and mastered by Christian Svedin (Studio Haga / Kinna / Sweden) with some help from his trusty peon Robert Kukla. The visuals are recorded by Maluha media and edited by Joel Nilsson.

The Unguided - King of Clubs (Live from "Eon's End" DVD)

The album art is once again illustrated by Kuang Hong (Hell Frost, Fragile Immortality & Lust and Loathing) and the layout is done by Gustavo Sazes. New band photos by Joel Nilsson. The continuation of “The Book of The Unguided” (from Lust and Loathing) is included in the booklet and is this time written by fantasy & sci-fi author Darren W. Pearce.

Hi Darren! :D 

And The Battle Royale” CD tracklist:

1. Death's Sting
2. The Heartbleed Bug
3. Legendary
4. Dark Metamorphosis
5. A Link to the Past
6. Anchor Stone (of the World)
7. Manipulate Fear
8. Force of Nature
9. King's Fall
10. Nighttaker (Bonus Track)
11. Daybreaker (Bonus Track)
12. Nighttaker (Live) (Bonus Track)

The Unguided - The Heartbleed Bug (Teaser)

Eon’s End” Live DVD tracklist:

1. Becoming Death (Intro) (Live)
2. Enraged (Live)
3. King of Clubs (Live)
4. Blodbad (Live)
5. Heartseeker (Live)
6. Green Eyed Demon (Feat. Christoffer Andersson) (Live)
7. Unguided Entity (Live)
8. Betrayer of the Code (Feat. John Bengtsson) (Live)
9. Operation: E.A.E. (Live)
10. Eye of the Thylacine (Live)
11. Inherit the Earth (Live)
12. The Worst Day (Revisited) (Live)
13. Nighttaker (Live)
14. Phoenix Down (Live)
15. Hate (and Other Triumps) (Live)

Photo by: Joel Nilsson

On top of all this we are super excited to go on a small Scandinavian tour with the melodic metal heroes in Soilwork. Convenient enough the mini-tour kicks off right when the new album will be released. Hope to catch you all on the shows!

NOVEMBER.10.2017 - KB - Malmö – SWE
NOVEMBER.11.2017 - Brewhouse - Gothenburg – SWE
NOVEMBER.12.2017 - John Dee - Oslo – NOR
NOVEMBER.13.2017 - The Crypt - Linköping – SWE
NOVEMBER.14.2017 - Katalin - Uppsala – SWE

Get your tickets at the "tour dates" section here!

Soilwork & The Unguided Scandinavian tour

Before that however we will venture back to Austria for two shows! Be sure not to miss those. Tickets here.

OCTOBER.13.2017 - Viper Room - Wien – AUT
OCTOBER.14.2017 - Metalnight Outbreak Vol.5 - Vorchdorf – AUT

I do think it’s time for another Q&A. As the last Q&A entry is almost a year old(!) and much have happened. Here we go!

Send your questions to:

Q: Hey Richard, I hope you will read this because I've got a question. But first of all I really loved all your work from SoSy, The Unguided and even the small part in Faithful Darkness (did I forget some?) and I hope everything is good for you and the rest! As I said I have a question.

I know you since SoSy 'Love and other disasters' and really enjoyed it and every earlier SoSy album. So I wanted to ask if it would be possible to maybe remaster or cover some of the older SoSy songs (like Soulstone Splinter or Enhance my Nightmare or even something older from demos or somewhat?) as a 'The Unguided' version?

Would be awesome because the new SoSy is totally bulls*it (don't have any other word to describe them...) and they should have stopped playing as 'Sonic Syndicate' after the self-titled, last album.

Good luck for you and the Band in the future. Hope to see you live someday in Hamburg.
A: Really cool that you appreciate our work. To remaster somethings won’t really do the trick here as with a remaster you refine an already existing source. So basically that would be the same old tracks but processed with the technology we have today. I’m not sure if that’s what you are after? However, to do remasters of “Only Inhuman” and “Love and Other Disasters” is really up to Nuclear Blast, since they are the right holders of these old albums (Well, they have publishing for “Eden Fire” but not a record deal). We could technically do new recordings or cover versions , but I’m not really sure what purpose it would serve at this point. Right now we want to focus on new fresh material instead of songs that’s more than 10 years old. There’s however one project which my brother was involved with earlier this year called; “Not One of Us”, they have covered 3 old Sonic tracks. I’m not sure if there’s any more plans but maybe that’s worth looking into for you?

Regarding Sonic, I don’t think it’s wrong to change musical direction if your own preferences have changed as well. After all music is about creating what you enjoy and what you feel is worth your own time, it’s not really doing what’s expected of you from the fans. If you are locked in a genre that is not rewarding for you anymore, I don’t see the point staying in it. I can however agree that it would be more tasteful to establish a new band (and name) if you are completely making a 180° to avoid upsetting longtime fans that could be misdirected buying products that is nothing like what they expect.

Not One of Us

Q: I wanted to ask you if there's really no way to get “The Book of The Unguided” online, for my English is not so good and then I could translate it to understand it exactly. It's written very tricky. I know I've already asked you but I would really need it and don't have the time to write it down.
A: If you buy the digital iTunes version of “Lust and Loathing” you’ll get a PDF with the book. I'm also planning on putting a "the story so far" on our website when the new album releases.

Q: Hi! I just wanted to say I really love the band's music and I hope the next album once again continues the story! But really that's the problem. I'm absolutely useless at interpreting lyrics so I have no idea what the story everybody mentions is about. I don’t suppose you know if anyone's compiled the story anywhere to read? Or if you know anywhere to find out?
A: You find the story in the both the printed version of “Lust and Loathing” and also as mentioned here above as a PDF if you buy the iTunes version.

Q: Hello guys! My name is Nils Lambertz and I will start with Youtube-Videos soon. I will do some Counter-Strike (Videogame) Videos and Fragmovies, if you do not know what this is, here is an example. And now I am searching music for my video and I wanted to ask whether I can use your music in this video. This would be the following Song: "Eye of the Thylacine". I would be very happy if you allow me to use this song in my Video, by the way, your music is just awesome! :)
A: Thanks for your support! I see no problem for you using that song. Good luck!

Q: It is possible that you play a concert on the Rock Harz in Germany? It would be awesome.
A: I would really love to come back to Rock Harz. We got a request from Rock Harz a couple of years ago and sadly at that point we couldn’t do it. But I really, really hope we can come back eventually!

Rock Harz

Q: Good lord, the fans will be unstable for a while. Things should normalize when you guys put out a strong EP. Have you guys considered Roland-specific merchandise? Looking forward to purchasing Brotherhood for Christmas!
A: I’m sure Roland specific merchandise would be very successful but it’s nothing we consider no.

Q: Wow, last two days were really hard for me. History repeats itself. Hope he'll maybe at least do some solo's and maybe guest vocals on the coming albums. Jonathan is really great but yeah, I think you know it the best. Roland's voice and guitar skills are INDISPENSABLE!
A: Roland stepping down was hard for everyone involved. I really tried my best to get him to do some guest vocals for the upcoming album. But for various reasons it just didn’t fly. However there’s an entire DVD of his farewell show included in the upcoming album so I’m sure you’ll get your Roland fix anyway.

Q: The new song and video are amazing. Really cool sound and a great introduction of Jonathan. Also cool that John was in the video. :-) Jonathan is of course the best possible replacement for Roland. His voice is very powerful and his guitar skills also rock. Only don't know how it works with solo's. But we'll find out. I wish him all the best and I know he will fit in very well. He's an amazing musician and he also has a great personality.
A: Glad you like “Nighttaker”! We feel the singer transition was executed in a very tasteful way with a lot of respect in all directions. Jonathan is indeed the best possibly replacement and by now I’m sure you also discovered his flawless guitar skills. Actually, he’s probably a guitar guru first and vocalist second. With that said, I don’t need to underline that he’s extremely skillful at both crafts. You’ve seen and heard that by now of course. It was also awesome to catch up with John a bit. When we recorded “Nighttaker” I hadn’t really seen him since our last show together 2012.

Q: Two trilogies are now done in your career. You've decided to do it very fast and hard in the first album, then going on like a little bit "softer"(like more clean vocals) in the second and so on in the third, like even more cleans. Can we now expect an Album that sounds like Hell Frost and Eden Fire or are you going on now with the "LAL Sound" ? Don't get me wrong. Only want to know the direction. For me all three "Sounds of the albums" are ingenious in their own way.
A: All I have to say about “And The Battle Royale” is that it’s really extra all haha. It’s fast, hard, soft all at once multiplied by 616. I’m super proud of this effort and it’s really dynamic. You are in for a ride!

Extra everything

Q: Really awesome new song; “Daybreaker”. It's really one of the best songs TU ever produced in my opinion. Jonathan also made it with the solo. It's good. And your screaming parts. I have no words. <3
A: Wicked that you like “Daybreaker”! Actually, it might not get the attention it deserves. Always coming a bit in the shadow of “Nighttaker”, which got the music video and was also pushed a bit differently. Hopefully now when the album comes out it get more recognition.

Q: Have also a new song out with my Band. Really worth to hear it when you want.
A: Damn bro! That’s some heavy shit. Good stuff!

Q: Congratulations on the release of Brotherhood EP, I really like it. I just wanted to ask, where can I find the lyrics to the song Daybreaker since Itunes doesn't have them.
A: Thank you! You find the lyrics for the songs under “releases” at

Q: First off all I want to thank you for the awesome music I can listen to because of you and the guys - I love it. To be honest it took me some time to feel the Unguided sound (don't know why - probably because I started listening SoSy one week before WRTN was released and I listened WRTN before anything else? Hard to explain but who cares..) As a matter of fact, I love your music (the old Sonic stuff and the Unguided stuff) even if there are some lyrics I don't understand a hundred percent, there are songs that really touch me. (like "Freelancer", "the worst day revisited", "Red eyed friend" "Mission: Undertaker", "Black eyed angel") That's the reason why I got both logo's tattooed this year. Basically I just wanted to say thank you and now I sound like a 14 year old fanboy ^^
A: Great to hear that The Unguided got under your skin eventually and quite literally with the tattoo.

Unguided for life

Q: The main reason I'm writing you is because I finally made it to read your blog since you told me back in April I will find the answer to my question in it. (Got it - thanks) But now I have some questions for your next FAQ (or IAAQ?) New Unguided chapter = new t.A.T.u. cover? ;) (Throwback to only inhuman) Maybe "all the things she said"..
A: Haha hell no, no more t.A.T.u. stuff for me. 1 cover is enough for a lifetime.

Q: Will there be a song with 100% screaming on the new record?
A: Not 100%. But there’s probably a few songs with say 80% screaming. “Death’s Sting” is pretty scream vocal oriented. I think “And The Battle Royale” have a tiny bit more screams going on than “Lust and Loathing”. But I don’t think we really consider the ratio of this, we just do what we feel works for the song. There’s no ballad however.

Q: Eventually Jonathan can also do some unclean vocals - can he scream?
A: Haha he jerk around with some gutturals in the van every now and then. And I think he had a band in the past where he was doing screaming vocals. But I don’t think he have any ambition of taking it further at this point.


Q: What about the donating stuff - is it still on?
A: At this point, we are doing quite well and there’s no need for any donation to the band.

Q: Greetings from Finland! I have a question I wanted to ask for sometime; How do you/did you manage to stay in shape on the road with The Unguided/back in the day with Sonic Syndicate? I remember u once wrote on the blog about being on Tour with In Flames and said it was pretty crazy hehe... What is your best tip?
A: At one point I actually brought skipping rope and dumbbells on the road. Especially for support tours when you could work out after your fairly short support show and have the show as a warm up to some exercise during the headliners performance. But we don’t stay out that long nowadays so I don’t really build up any bad conscious not hitting the gym for a while. To be frank I’m just too busy spending hours and hours at the gym at this point in my life anyway so I’m not too bothered. I try to keep in shape, but I don’t put in those extra hours at the gym to be an Austrian muscle machine nowadays since I just don’t have the time.

Q: What's your favorite Star Wars movie?
A: Hard one! “Empire Strike Back” probably. But I like them all in different ways. I enjoyed the latest “The Force Awakens” as well. Really hope they pull it off with “The Last Jedi”.

Lord Vader

Q: Thanks for another amazing show yesterday! Next time I would love to maybe take a beer and talk with you a few minutes. This would be my dream for you're my Idol for many years!!! But I think on every concert are like 50 of my kind :) But when you keep producing music from another universe like you do it since years I will be happy all my life !!!!!!! :)
A: Next time we’ll have a beer and chat for sure! Thanks for the kind words.

Q: Hi Rich. Drunken again XDDDD I love you for what you're doing <3<3<3<3 THE UNGUIDED is my life !!!!!!!!!
A: Go home fan, you’re drunk.

Q: This is Marc singer of Far 'n' Hate from Barcelona. Here is a link to stream our upcoming album and to watch our new video. Hope you like our new stuff.
Cheers and best wishes for the new year.
A: Sounds cool man! Good pipes.

Q: I salute you, Lord Richard! For once again I've come with questions about the future of our journey. I want to thank you for uploading the Brotherhood lyrics before I lost my mind trying to figure them out! (man that was close! ) I know me personally can be quite a freak when dealing with lyrics of songs not being publish but that's only cause I don't want to misunderstood the message a song has and since English is not my first language, you can easily confuse what's being sing!
A: Haha this will be fun!

Q: Let’s begin... NIGHTTAKER and DAYBREAKER, who are they? Are they the same entities (Two minds, one soul)? Or are they total opposites (given by the name)? And more importantly, are they new characters or the new nickname for old ones we already know?
A: Both “Nighttaker” and “Daybreaker” is familiar characters that are well established in “The Book of The Unguided”. They are two distinct characters and not the same being. Ask me this again after the album is released! But I’ll give you a clue. The “two minds, one soul” reference is pointing towards Eve and Daybreaker. And Eve is definitely not the Nighttaker.

Eve, Daybreaker, Prince

Q: On the first verses of NIGHTTAKER, seems to be about learning, learning about how to deal with your inner demons and embracing guidance into how to become a leader
(I speculate this is The Defector teaching the captain how to become a better leader).
A: The first verse is about Daybreaker’s own reflections, but pretty much revolving the theme you are mentioning here and his past hardships. It have nothing to do with The Captain.  

Q: While on the second verses it seems to talk about how disturbing the absence of actions by the heavens is, since the unguided army has evolve (wraiths becoming dark angels) and that should be a threat to them, am I right?
A: The second verse is still Daybreaker’s own reflections, but handling the topic that you are referring to here, yes. The ongoing peace, the vacuum they live in, with the obvious provocations against heaven will most likely have a counter effect. It’s not a matter of “if”, it’s more about “when”. What will the earthly layer do that will finally tip the scales?

Q: Now since I know most of the lyrics of the last trilogy are not necessarily focus on the perspective of one character, perhaps you could share some idea of what they represent in the events of this next chapter. The best interpretation I can give about DAYBREAKER it's probably "being tired of life".
A: I think your question here will be clear when you read the new story. Daybreaker is not tired of life, he’s tired of the politics and the burdens that came with the mantle he’s wearing. His interest lies elsewhere.


Q: Seems to me it's the wraiths who are growing tired of training for whatever reason. And they can't really give up since they are eternal (Although let’s not forget, 6 of them died in the last trilogy) and either JUDGMENT or whoever the DAYBREAKER is, it's pushing them too hard. And at that rate it will become "the king of nothing"... But I'm confuse about the chorus being hopeless and at the same time proud "Now save our souls" -> "You will never witness our defeat". Again, some context could help to understand the real message behind these songs.
A: I think you are jumping the gun a bit here. Most if this will be cleared out when you read the new story. The wraiths are not tired, but something happens to them and it’s interlinked with the actions of Daybreaker. The chorus handles the “battle royale”. It will become obvious what that is as well eventually.

Q: With that done, it's nice to have a face for "The Captain"! (...yes, I know he's wearing a hood and we can't really see a face, but you know what I mean) The fact we had never seem him before in any artwork might have been the reason I couldn't remember him when you told me that character had already appear in the last trilogy! Anyway, does his weapon (that weird Reaper axe looking thing) has any spell like all the others we've seen before, or it's just a nice glowing axe?
A: I too think it was nice to concretize “The Captain”. He’s been around for a long time, but never materialized. Kuang Hong really got free reins with that character design so everything you see is from Hong’s mind there, including the weapon. Obviously it manifest some kind of power as all the weapons of the fallen angels, but for now that’s not hammered out. I see it like some kind of “magical” staff really, rather than an axe.

The Captain

Q: Is it me or JUDGMENT looks more like an ALIEN (you know, those bastards with a mouth on their tongue) on the BROTHERHOOD artwork??? XD
A: Funny that. When Hong made them he was given the instructions for Judgment and Mercy to be bit inspired by Alien and Predator, but with his own twist. I guess it became even more apparent with the “Brotherhood” artwork. You know a lot of these designs is inspired directly from whatever have shaped myself growing up. Like the wraiths on invaZion was supposed to be a bit Vincent-like from Final Fantasy. Wraiths on Nightmareland was supposed to be inspired by Raziel from Legacy of Kain (duh). The machines on invaZion clearly have Terminator characteristics. It’s all an homage to whatever inspired me in the past (and still does).

Q: Last year was very quiet on the blog, and I know I'm no-one to tell you how to spend your free time but I would like to know if you plan to being active on it like the old days? Since I could ask you the questions and get an immediate answer the very next days but I really like the dynamic the Q&A has on the blog since I'm not the only one curious on some details of the songs and I've got to know plenty of stuff by other people's questions and answers, between fun facts of references or perspectives of your art. That would be all for today, hopefully you'll have time to answer them soon besides that, have a great weekend and take care! o/ UNGUIDED WE STAND!!!
A: I’d love to spend more time with the blog and involve myself more with the fan base and all the inquiries you have, like I used to do. But my manager position and responsibilities at my “honest” job just takes too much time to be able to do it currently. I’m sorry.

The baws

Q: Hi Rich, A little late but I think you have enough mails to read :) I only want to thank you so much for this amazing show in Falkenberg. It was really worth to come!!! I have no words!!! See you on the next concert near Austria :-)
A: Thank you! See you next week then!

Q: Who is the second screamer in the three songs of the Discarded Evidence Ep? (Cause I have the Idea that it may be Ella since Roger said there are people involved which want to stay hidden, I think there's a woman's voice in it and Ella did also a vocal cover when I remember that right) You don't have to tell me if you don't want ;-)
A: I have no idea what you are talking about?

Q: Hi, Do you have any shirts for The Unguided for sale somewhere? You guys have some of the most amazing album artwork I've seen, and I was hoping to find some/something similar on a shirt. There didn't seem to be anything on the "Shop" link on your site, and the only one I saw on Napalm Records was sold out.
A: The webshop is up and running again! I’m sure you find some there. Cool that you like our art!

Q: Hi Richard, Only wanted to let you know that your music is getting better and better every day I listen to it. :)) Without a special reason I wish you a nice weekend \m/
A: Glad you like it! Have a nice weekend too.

Q: Hello " The Unguided"; Hi Richard, My name is Tino and i´m from Hamburg Germany. I saw u guys there in 2016 at "The Rock Cafe" it was an awesome show at this night. Thanks for this again. I want to ask u when u are come back to Germany ? In 2018? Is it possible to see u at one of our German Festivals? May be at W:O:A or Reload Festival? I can’t await the release of your new record in November.
A: It was an awesome night at “The Rock Café”, probably the best show at the tour! We definitely going to be back in Germany 2018 when the new album is out. And it would definitely be a dream to come to W:O:A with The Unguided finally. As always, if you want us to play at a festival, be persistent and write to the festivals you want to see us at their social medias. That helps a lot!

Wacken Open Air

Q: Howdy Rich! Legendary is that a song about Roland, because of the references to Where the Frost Rose Withers, Defector DCXVI and Hate? A lot of stuff happened in my mind when I heard the songs in a row from Where the Frost Rose Withers, to Defector DCXVI,  to Hate (and Other Triumphs) and finally Legendary. I got a full picture in my head of Roland in all 4 songs.
A: The lyrics for “Legendary” was written to be sung by Roland and that’s why they have a bit of “farewell” feeling to them. Unfortunately we couldn’t get it to work and it was a pretty pressed time schedule, Roland didn’t really feel inspired by the song either and I didn’t have time to find something else to tweak into a format that would work, so in the end Jonathan recorded all the vocals for “Legendary”. Seeing the final result of the song I’m super happy how it turned out. I mean it even became the first single of the album! But of course I loved the idea of having Roland do some guest vocals at “And The Battle Royale”. It however never happened. But who knows? There’s many albums still to be done! We’ll try again next time. Cool that you picked this up through!

Q: First from the Frost Rose where we have "Trapped under ice too long", since Roland left SoSy till he joined The Unguided and he woke up in "Nightmareland", and then everyone could follow him and The Unguided to Fragile Immortality where the war against the "Syndissiah" begun. Since Syndissiah most likely is a crossword between Messiah and Syndicate. And that we hear in Defector DCXVI, which is a song about the Defector (Roland if I'm not mistaken? and also in that very verse it says; "My righteous seat of power, was always on the center throne, and that's also where you'll find me when the syndissiah fall" Roland was a big role to SoSy as soon as they lost Roland SoSy fell down.
A: If you think about it the concept of that applies to all three of us. Meaning; Roland, Roger and myself. The narration from most of the songs (and the story) is from the Defector’s perspective. When I wrote the story the Defector was more based on Roger than Roland to be honest. I think everyone in the original Sonic Syndicate had key factors. That’s what made it so good, it was not one person, and it was all 6 of us doing what we did together that made Sonic successful. I would never weigh anyone’s role in the original band against another since Robin, Roger, Roland, Karin, John and I all had key factors that made Sonic Syndicate great. Remove one and the balance is broken. I don’t think anyone would ever be able to simulate that fully without the 6 of us, because the “soul” is just not there.

Sonic Syndicate

Q: And the Defector also creates the weapons for The Unguided  "The weapons I create are the onslaught winning this war" and sosy kept on falling when The Unguided arose.
A: The Defector creating weapons was my way of portraying that Roger almost wrote 100% of the instrumental work on the 3 first Sonic Syndicate albums and the entire Hell Frost album.

Q: And then Finally the Hate song, which also were the last song played in the legacy show with Roland! A coincidence? I think not!
A: “Hate” was the trilogy’s grand finale and metaphorically written out from how my story ended and when I left Sonic Syndicate. You see; the first trilogy is the story of 10 years captured in 3 albums. The rise of Fallen Angels ~2000 and my view of the “fall” of Sonic Syndicate ~2010. Coincidentally however it worked really well with what was going on in The Unguided and Roland’s situation around 2016 as well. It was a no brainer to have it last on the farewell show. It was very emotional when we finally came to that piece in the set.

Q: First we have this. I don't know whether it's true or not but I heard something on the internet about Roland got a child when you were doing the Lust & Loathing Europe tour and therefore Roland couldn't go on the rest of the shows, hopefully you can answer that for me? "A child will be born, Who will give back to earth, What we have taken from it, Whilst walking in his father's shadow" And of course we hear this in Hate as well as in Legendary "Unguided we were, Unguided we will be".
A: I think that was a misunderstanding. When Roland didn’t do the tour 2016 some fans confused the reason being; him recently got a child, which was wrong. I don’t remember exactly, but his work load didn’t allow him to be away for the duration of the tour. To implement a child in the story was my idea of leaving a door open to expand the story eventually, IF there would be more albums post “Lust and Loathing”. Luckily there will.

The child

Q: But not only that A child was born in the Unguided as well and we see that child in "And the Battle Royale" and then Jonathan came as well, so Jonathan could be that child in the Unguided era, who knows!
A: That was also coincidental that we got a new member of the band at the same time we started to sing about an heir to the throne. But that concept worked awfully well, didn’t it? Both story wise and what was actually going on in the band.

Q: If you think I'm done yet Rich I have bad news for you haha! :D let's carry on this! In Nighttaker. There's this beautiful verse "My time is coming, But yours is now, Walk in my footsteps, Son, all is yours" Roland's time was up in The Unguided and the so called child got born in Hate. Jonathan came into The Unguided and carried on with Roland's role.
A: Yes, indeed a beautiful idea! It was not fully intentional I have to admit, but it played out awfully well and I might have emphasized it a little extra, lyrically, because of what was going on in the band. Jonathan and I talked about it at one point, and we both were a bit mind-blown when we saw the connections. Even with Roland in the band still, something was going to happen with the King on the fourth album. But it did had an extra powerful meaning in regards to what actually happened in the band 2016.

Q: Now to the final part Legendary. This part is clearly you an Roland, no doubt in that since you've been the "magically-duo" since Sonic Syndicate's era and till the end of chapter one of The Unguided. "We fought side by side and back to back Made no mistakes, like a wolf pack"
A: Yes, it was written out from a perspective of Roland and myself.

Q: And then we have this part "We did not forget - some Defector DCXVI references We never did forgive And we righted all the wrongs" and then this part. The Unguided righted all the wrongs they did in SoSy? ;)
A: Something like that. It went through some memorable lyrics of all the 3 albums in retrospective and how good we actually lined up to what we sang about in the post albums.

Q: And to the next part! "Now part of it is over And we lost some weight on our shoulder Looking back at our legacy It’s been quite an odyssey" Definitely Roland's and yours legacy I can't see what else this is! ::D
A: Yes.

"In a land so dark, where I have to go"

Q: Further on we have "And we righted all the wrongs <-- wrongs aka sosy songs <-> rights all the songs that referred to sosy songs. Remember our songs" <--- This, a message to we never should remember the songs Roland was singing? So yeah that was it a massive novel!
A: Correct. Impressive work getting under the skin of the songs!  

The Unguided studio update - Vocal recording, the “cyan” album

Kategori: Allmänt

(Original Facebook post 2017-05-21)

It’s been some eventful past days in Radionika Studios (Stockholm), to say the least. Dino Medanhodzic (the producer), Jonathan and I have diligently collected all our sweat, blood and tears in a gorgeous unguided-cocktail on those insignificant amount of square meters during well over 60 hours. And I’ve just now kind of landed back in life again from this very intense, creative and soul-emptying week. It’s indeed been long daily sessions and the few hours I’ve spent at home have just been functionality wise to sleep, eat (and to do my hearthstone quests hehe) basically. It’s no overstatement that after I laid down the last scream on the album yesterday I felt completely done as a human. But now when I regained some of my objectivity back and is listening to the rough fruit of our “hard labour”, it’s safe to say that you won’t be disappointed. This is good. This is in fact really good!

I didn’t spend a lot of time with the instrumental work until I got back from Spain and started to write the lyrics some 2 weeks ago. Getting more and more familiar to the songs it struck me then that there’s indeed new elements in the music and that it felt a bit adventures and exciting while still having the same integrity as the songs from the past three albums. There’s some really heavy stuff, and there’s the “standard” The Unguided songs that you all love, but there’s also some completely new aspects. I’m not even sure how we managed to get it together in this fairly short period of time and I don’t really remember how I got all the lyrics done during that week after my Spain vacation either, but all of a sudden all the pieces of the puzzle was in their correct place and all that I wanted to say with the album, lyrically, was right there.

Save from the “Brotherhood” EP I’ve not done much studio work with Jonathan or Dino in the past. So we needed to establish our method, like with every new individual you work with. It’s always a bit hard to say what that method is going to look like until you go in there and everyone start to do their thing. But I think we found a good way of working relatively early and they are both really pleasant to spend time with also in a studio environment. Towards the end of the week Jonathan and I joked about how we repeatedly came back to the same comment patterns, like two broken records, after a lot of takes. When he sang a part I always said: -“Don’t forget to do the one octave down harmony!”, whilst after my takes, he always asked: -“Can we try to do the screaming rhythm a bit more straight forward?” haha. Dino is an excellent producer and managed to get the best out of us without being “pushy” in any way. Very humble, but still attentive and there’s nothing that slips his eagle-eyes and bat-ears! Jonathan over-performed in every possible way on this record, both instrumentally and singing-wise. I’m so proud and impressed by his work on this album and can’t wait for everyone to hear it eventually.

Lastly I just want to thank everyone in the band that have worked extremely hard for this album. It’s a real honor to be among such amazing musicians and wonderful people. Everyone knew that this was a really important album and it’s been breathtaking to see how everyone just poured their soul into it in that regard.

Yours faithfully


The Unguided line-up change

Kategori: Allmänt

I suppose we owe you an explanation?

First and foremost; this is not going to be easy for anyone. It's actually going to be weird, awkward, and strange for all parties, including you, the fans. I'll try to walk you through it the best I can. You know all too well, that we are no strangers to our past. Neither are you. You have, in fact, been very clear about that detail. Perhaps we have been looking a bit too much in that direction as well. Perhaps we haven’t? Actually, it just might have been the energy that got this band to the point where it is today. I don’t think that it’s unlikely our progress was based on the lessons of old. They taught us awareness, and they made us visualize obstacles ahead before they even became a threat right in front of us.

But by now you understand that about us. We don't really leave the past behind. And we don't leave our brothers behind, nor do we abandon them. They will never be individuals to forget. They were a part of the machinery that made us. They are represented in all our history, and thus their spirit is essential to any present or future form of this band. We love them as individuals, and we love them as friends, even if we had our differences at times. (Who doesn’t? We’re only human…) However, in our case, our differences always have been our strength. It made us dynamic and diverse. We’ll always honor whoever is involved in The Unguided the best we can, and we will cherish the time we had together.

We are a group of people with very strong wills and ideas. Most of the time our ideas do not align with each other in regards to the different tastes we have as musicians. Other times we compromise. And many times we fuse our wide range of styles together to create our own unique “flavor” which you know as The Unguided. This is not a weakness, it's a strength. We can see things from different perspectives and bind it together to get a deeper dimension in our work. That’s the creative foundation that this band was built upon. Even if, at times, executive decisions had to be made to take a step forward. Everyone in this band still has a very delicate place in a complex system.

However, this apparatus is about to change for the second time in its history. There’s no easy way to say this and there are no extenuating circumstances regarding the matter. So, I’m just going to hand it to you straight. Our brother, Roland Johansson, is stepping down from his place in the band and passing the torch to the next in line; Jonathan Thorpenberg.

I think we could expand on reasons and details regarding this particular change forever but it all boils down to one fact, which is “time”. There is a shortage of time in Roland’s life currently, in regards to all the other duties he needs to tend to. This isn’t anyone’s fault or failure, it’s just how it has to be if we are to continue at all. This change happened in the best of terms and there is no bad blood among any party (as per your observation in the latest music video featuring all past and present members of the band). We love Roland from the depths of our hearts and we know the fans do too. We also know you’ll hate losing him (again) as much as we do. But his ties with The Unguided will not be severed in any way, he is free to come and go as he chooses, and involve himself as much as he wants in coming adventures, even if he’s not going to have a permanent role. We even intend to have some annual celebration shows with Roland, dedicated to the first three albums, and hopefully make that a nice tradition.

The Unguided - Nighttaker, Produced by: 11Frames

I painted a background story initially in this statement, as for you to understand our philosophy regarding our members. A mindset possibly not too common in bands, as any establishment would want to progress swiftly after a radical change. In that process there’s a pretty strong factor that also tries to suppress the past to favor the future. That is the natural thing to do from a business perspective but this is not a business. This is a family! We’d never dream about force feeding the fans any crap on how we found ourselves as a band, and how we now—all of the sudden—are creating the best music to date. We respect you, our past, and will always cherish it. (And in due time you are entitled to your own opinion regarding the new music anyway.)

Roland is a huge reason why we got this far. We will never be delusional about that constant, and we are eternally thankful for everything he brought the band and to us personally. As a matter of fact, it’s scary as hell to dive head forward into these uncharted waters. But it’s something we have to do for the wellbeing of a handful of brothers that just want to have fun, write the metal music we love, and rock out on stage together. We really hope Roland can afford, time-wise, to be involved in some parts of the continued journey ahead. As for yourself, to be honest, we don’t expect anything from you guys, or have the slightest idea if you intend to move through the hazy upcoming future with us at all. To each his own really. It will still not stop us to undertake this journey, which is do what we love the most, and have fun with writing a new album. After all, the original idea was always to walk our own path and that’s still the essential value within the boundaries of The Unguided. You are, of course, very much welcome to join in on this frightening new trip of ours. And we’d, as always, be delighted to have you!

When this band saw the light of day, the vision was always 3 albums. That trilogy is by now accomplished and materialized. There were never any guarantees or certainties of what would happen next. But now there is. It’s time to open a new chapter and take on new challenges! We welcome Jonathan to the family. A family which he has already been acting in for almost 2 years and some of you already got the opportunity to watch him perform and meet him. We, of course, hope once the initial shock has settled a bit, that you can open your heart and welcome this talented individual as well. And in the meantime; feel free to share your most precious memories of our mutual friend Roland, a very extraordinary man indeed. We are all dying to hear and relive your anecdotes! Speak your mind, share the love, and if you don’t think there’s already enough hate in the world, no one will stop you from sharing that either.

/Richard Sj, Roger, Henric and Richard Sc

Says Roland:

So, it seems that the history repeats it’s self once again... As many of you have noticed there has been a bunch of shows and also a tour without my presence. Some rumors have also occurred on social media here and there about whether I’m still a member of the band!?!

First of all I just want to clarify once again that the whole idea of this band was for it to be on a hobby level, to always do the stuff we wanted to do and nothing else. I can say that it’s been a privilege, once again, to be able to do this. Three albums we’ve managed to do and that was also the main goal of this “first” chapter of The Unguided. The Trilogy is done.

The demands and wishes (from the music business and the fans) to see us live, unfortunately, makes this equation a bit tougher to solve if you want to keep it at a hobby level. It’s safe to say that the music we’ve created together, as a band, isn’t too bad, since there are so many of you out there eagerly requesting us to tour (sorry, couldn’t help myself haha).

Don’t get me wrong, I love to be there on stage and perform for you all, and so does the rest of the band. But it also comes with a price, a lot of traveling and being away from home for long periods of time. Those two parameters are why I’m having a very hard time adapting. And that was the reason why I left Sonic Syndicate in the first place back in 2009. I just can’t find it in myself to be away from my family, and my work, to fulfill those wishes for you. I just don’t think it’s fair for you or the band. This is why they have decided to take it a step further and really meet the demands fans have in regards to touring. And that’s why I’ve decided to leave the party.

I’m so proud and grateful for everything we’ve achieved with The Unguided. It’s by far the most inspiring music I’ve done so far in my life. I thank Richard, Roger, Rille, Hank “The Tank” and also John for being a part of it….I love you from the bottom of my heart. Now the next chapter for The Unguided is here, and I really wish them all luck in the future. I think they found a very talented person in Jonathan to continue this book of metal. And please… do not do the “Roland vs. Jonathan” campaign once again…there is really no need or meaning to it.

I’m sure you are all curious if this is the last you will see/hear from Roland? And of course it’s NOT!! Music is my life, and I can just drop dead without it. I will help out The Unguided in any way I can, any way that fits the current model by maybe producing. Surely some music writing, and surely some guest vocals. Who knows? …I might even show up to do some live guest appearances as well!

I will also make myself available for other guest appearance jobs, so just get in touch with me, and we’ll see what happens. There has also been some writing done on the side of The Unguided, which just might be a studio project as well…. Just keep your eyes and ears open ;) Also, many of you might know that I have a huge interest in the spirit WHISKY, which is something I’ve decided to put more energy into on a professional level.

Once again, I thank the band, and all its fans for the huge amount of support that made us what we are. I’ll see you somewhere… it might be on a whisky tasting event or in another location.

Yours truly,

Roland Johansson 2015, Photo by: Patric Ullaeus

Says Jonathan: 

Greetings everyone! First of all, I would like to thank the band for allowing me—a person who has never been involved with a major band, been on tours, or recorded in flashy studios—to be a part of this band’s new line-up. The task of filling Roland’s part in The Unguided will not be an easy one. Not only because I have the utmost respect for him as a musician, and a human being, but also because his style of singing and playing has become a defining factor in the band’s overall sound. However, I will do my absolute best to do the old songs justice while, inevitably, bringing my own expression into them. I have known the guys in the band for almost two years now and we have developed a sort of musical chemistry that allows us to write songs that we are very proud to present to you all. This is an exciting new chapter for me, the band, and hopefully for all of you. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store!


The Unguided 2017, Photo by: Jose Pascual